By Carey Roberts Originally published here Oct. 6, 2004
Radical feminism can be traced back directly to Marxism-Leninism. The feminist ideology, framework, and utopian aspirations all have their origin in the writings of Karl Marx and Frederick Engels (see this article).
Sometime visit the Women and Marxism website. There you can read exactly what V.I. Lenin, Joseph Stalin, and Mao Tse-Tung had to say about women’s liberation.
Vladimir Lenin was the mastermind behind the early Soviet propaganda campaign. In his book The Birth of the Propaganda State, Peter Kenez concludes the Soviet state achieved its early successes because of the “ability of the political system to isolate the Russian people from information and ideas that would have undermined the message.”
And that message was the gospel of class consciousness. The Marxist mantra was repeated endlessly: the worker was exploited by the evil capitalist, and the peasant was oppressed by the greedy landowner.
This indoctrination strategy worked for several reasons. It motivated the workers and peasants. It channeled their anger towards the capitalists. And it vilified and demoralized the opponents of Communism.
Lenin also pushed the class consciousness theme in his speeches to women, but with a new twist. On the occasion of the 1921 International Working Women’s Day, Lenin proclaimed that women were doubly oppressed — both because they were victims of capitalism, and because they were slaves “overburdened with the drudgery of the most squalid, backbreaking and stultifying toil in the kitchen and the family household.”
“Drudgery of the most squalid, backbreaking, and stultifying toil?” An apt description of life in the Gulag, perhaps, but not of housework in the relative comfort of the home.
But lack of historical accuracy did not deter the early feminists. Pick up a copy of Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex or Kate Millett’s Sexual Politics. You will read exactly the same arguments: Men are the unending oppressors of women, and marriage is a legalized form of slavery.
To achieve their vision of women’s liberation, the Matrons of Mischief pursued the age-old strategy of divide and conquer.
First, the Sisterhood canonized the strong, self-assured, independent woman. This ideal became government policy when the Clinton administration launched its “Girl Power” program and UNICEF later started its “Go Girl!” initiative. To this day, programs to prevent osteoporosis carry the slogan “Strong Women, Strong Bones.”
But these campaigns carry an underlying message: “If you’re a strong woman, why would you ever need or want a man?”
And when the Marlboro Woman message didn’t completely sink in, feminists went to Plan B: male-bashing. Male chauvinist pig. Misogynist. Insensitive. Over-bearing. Abusive. Batterer. And many others.
At first, men thought the caricatures were funny. Then they tried to ignore them. But the end result has been to make men feel guilty and shameful. The steady drum-beat of those inflammatory messages served to turn the battle of the sexes into a gender war. The next step would be to conquer. And what was the target? Nothing less than the institution of marriage.
Robin Morgan, who would later become the editor of Ms. magazine, referred to marriage as “a slavery-like practice.” Germaine Greer argued, “If women are to effect a significant amelioration in their condition, it seems obvious that they must refuse to marry.” Kate Millett extolled the destruction of the traditional family as “revolutionary or utopian.”
Persons who are interested in comprehending the scope of this relentless assault should peruse the Heritage Foundation report, “Why Congress Should Ignore Radical Feminist Opposition to Marriage.”
So what is the ultimate objective of this campaign of feminist class consciousness? Surprisingly, feminists have made little effort to disguise their goal. In her book Red Feminism, Kate Weigand makes this stunning admission: “This book provides evidence to support the belief that at least some Communists regarded the subversion of the gender system as an integral part of the larger fight to overturn capitalism.”
Subvert the gender system to overturn capitalism. Karl Marx would be pleased.
Carey Roberts is an analyst and commentator on political correctness. His best-known work was an exposé on Marxism and radical feminism. He has published in The Washington Times, LewRockwell.com, ifeminists.net, Men’s News Daily, eco.freedom.org, The Federal Observer, Opinion Editorials, and The Right Report. Previously, he served on active duty in the Army, was a professor of psychology, and was a citizen-lobbyist in the US Congress. In his spare time he admires Norman Rockwell paintings, collects antiques, and is an avid soccer fan. He now works as an independent researcher and consultant.