Got dem ole Phyllis Schlafly on my TV screen blues
What infuriated me this morning was listening to some of the callers. Schlafly was on Washington Journal with Marcia Greenberger of the National Women's Law Center to talk about the Title IX school sports controversy. One woman called in to vehemently disagree with Schlafly's Title IX-bashing rhetoric, but made a point of saying "I'm not a feminist--I don't agree with all that."
There is probably nothing that makes me angrier than someone going out of her way to support social, political, and economic equality for women, and then denying that she supports social, political, and economic equality for women. If someone doesn't take the media-created stigma off of the word "feminism" soon, we will all have to make female symbols in the sand with out toes.
During the 70's, the media's coverage was either of the "aren't they cute?" variety or the "these women are nuts" variety. Though there is no record of anyone burning a bra, and though no one is certain that Robin Morgan even said "Bras will be burned" (I hope she did), the myth that we all burned our bras in public lingers to this day. Thousands of women have gone out of their way to distance themselves from feminism while enjoying its fruits, a fact which infuriates me. Shallow, narcissistic talking head Chris Matthews and his ilk say things like "What do The Feminists have to say?" as though The Feminists were a small cult whose ideas are kept secret from the public. Wouldn't it be more sensible, in the 21st Century, to assume that everyone is a feminist, and be shocked by those who are not?
Another C-Span caller wanted to challenge Marcia Greenberger's statement that--prior to the passage of Title IX--many schools didn't have sports programs for women. "I find that impossible to believe," she said, "and know it cannot be true." Well, it certainly is true, and it wasn't that long ago--back in the early 70's--when women couldn't gain entry to law schools and medical schools, and if they did, they were persecuted by both the male faculty and male students until their lives were miserable.
A little women's history appears to be in order for a whole lot of Americans--men and women.