Phyllis Chesler on the contributions of Second Wave Feminism

by CynthiaYockey on December 4, 2010

A few days ago psychologist and pioneer feminist Phyllis Chesler posed the question, “Is the Conservative Media Really Anti-feminist?,” at her own website and Newsreal. Short version: no, but the Left is, because the Left stopped publishing Dr. Chesler’s work the instant she began to treat feminism like values that were to be upheld by all, everywhere — which, obviously, is crazy talk — while the Right immediately started to publish her work:

It did not help matters that, in the past, I also opposed pornography, prostitution, and the selective feminist prosecution of only certain men for sexual harassment (white men, conservative men of any color) and rape, but not other men (men of color, men of color in positions of power, Democratic presidents). These tensions were ongoing among feminist leaders from the mid to late 1970s on, and they constituted a serious private controversy between Steinem and myself.

And then I committed an ultimate series of unforgivable Thought Crimes. I publicly stood up for America, for Israel, and for the West—and I began exposing Islamic gender and religious apartheid and Islamic jihad. This included exposing the Muslim hatred, not only of Israel, but of Jews and of other “infidels.”

This piece seems to have inspired a post by Megan Fox at Newsreal — who is linked in Dr. Chesler’s post below — which is a name-calling rant against the feminist pioneers who viciously created the state of liberty and equality American women now enjoy. I am 57 and I remember what it was like to be constantly invalidated, thwarted and denigrated for being female well into the 1980’s. Now is better. I am very grateful to Dr. Chesler for her life’s work. Here is part of her reply to Ms. Fox:

More important: Does Fox realize that good fathers and good husbands lose their jobs, become ill, even die, and that a second income is often essential? Perhaps for most people that second income has always been essential—but if women are uneducated or unskilled, (even when they are highly skilled) women still cannot earn a “male” income? And that children go hungry and become homeless for this reason?

It is telling that in her open letter to Second Wave feminists, Fox seems to blame all social evils only on women and on feminists in particular. She allows men an absolutely free pass in terms of their entrapping girls and women into unmarried sex and into unwed motherhood. Men both produce and purchase pornography; men are the pimps and the Johns who buy women’s bodies. Men traffic girls and women into sexual slavery. Why are these purveyors of filth and these whore-mongers absent from her commentary? Does she understand that it is men who have infected women with AIDS, not the other way around?


Before the Second Wave began making waves, women were silent in church, synagogue, mosque, and temple. We created the consciousness that led people to envision women as religious authorities, counselors—not only as followers and volunteers but as leaders. Since then, women have been ordained as ministers and as rabbis and, in a real sense, God has been further liberated from human misogyny.

Thank you, Dr. Chesler — thank you, thank you, thank you!

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I R A Darth Aggie December 23, 2010 at 8:33 pm

She allows men an absolutely free pass in terms of their entrapping girls and women into unmarried sex and into unwed motherhood.

I’m sorry, this isn’t the 50s any more. Of course men should be given a free pass since we’re not entrapping anyone. Where I live, having sex with someone who is not capable of giving consent is called sexual assault and is a felony. So the women involved are equal partners.

Or is Dr. Chesler arguing they’re not capable of giving consent? some how, I don’t think so, and yet that is the logical result of that statement. Oh, wait, how about all those innocent men being entrapped by those sirens into unmarried sex and unwed fatherhood?

Perhaps Dr. Chesler would like to rephrase the statement?

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