The Marxist Roots of Feminism


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Liberals’ treatment of Michelle Bachmann is rife with all the wonderful double standards we have come to expect from the Left. With few exceptions, feminists have been silent—which is nothing new for them. As David Horowitz recalled in the early 1980s: “I once asked Leslie Harris, the head of the ACLU task force on women, how feminists could continue their support of a man [Ted Kennedy] who was such a prominent abuser of women himself. ‘We know that,’ she said, ‘but he’s down for the political agenda.’”

In fact, it’s a long leftist tradition to think of and treat women this way, dating all the way back to Grandpa Marx. As Ann Coulter wrote in Human Events:

“Karl Marx kept a female slave from the time she was 8 years old, eventually using her not only as a servant but as his mistress, never acknowledging his child with her or paying her at all. She waited on him hand and foot while he explained to the world that profit is the stolen surplus value of the laborer. Like so many liberal icons, Marx seldom bathed and left his wife and children in poverty.”

Phyllis Schlafly, who has spent a lifetime pointing out liberal hypocrisy on issues of gender, says that it’s no wonder liberal women think men are pigs: Their men are pigs.

So, the question is, why are angry leftist politics more dear to the heart of feminism than the treatment of women?

The answer may lie in the roots of the modern-day feminism, specifically the publication of the 1963 manifesto, The Feminine Mystique, by Betty Friedan, a book that has had a terrible effect on modern culture.

The story behind The Feminine Mystique was revealed almost 15 years ago by Daniel Horowitz (no relation to David), professor at Friedan’s Alma mater, Smith College, in his excessively sympathetic biography, Betty Friedan and the Making of “The Feminine Mystique:” The American Left, the Cold War, and Modern Feminism. But there’s more to the story, with some answers recently provided by the extraordinary work of another professor, Paul Kengor, author of Dupes: How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century.

In Dupes, Professor Kengor reproduces a December 1, 1920 letter from the American Communist Party to the Soviet Comintern. It states: “Some time ago we received word from the Comint [Comintern] that they wanted the names and addresses of ‘liberal’ college professors in this country, so as to be able to send them literature for college libraries. Such a list is enclosed.”

Among those on the list is “Paul H. Douglas.” Paul Douglas and his wife, Dorothy Wolff Douglas, were staunch leftists, and in 1927 Douglas traveled to the Soviet Union, where he and his fellow progressives enjoyed a long, friendly meeting with Stalin himself. To his credit, Douglas returned from Russia skeptical of what he saw, but remained on the Left nonetheless—to the left of even FDR and his New Deal. Douglas eventually moved to the center, especially after a tour of duty in the pacific during WWII, where he served with distinction.

The pilgrimage of Dorothy Wolff Douglas, however, is not as redeeming. She divorced Paul Douglas in 1930, and became a Professor at Smith College. Her radicalism never waned. In 1953, the House Committee on Un-American Activities confronted Dorothy with evidence that she had been a member of the Communist Party. The evidence included financial transactions that revealed her to be contributing $600 a month to the Party in membership dues from the end of 1936 to the middle of 1939—information she refused to confirm or deny. In the late 1940s, Wolff Douglass was a senior member of the Congress of American Women, a communist front-group. There is no indication that she was absent from the Party during the intervening years.

How does this involve Betty Friedan?

Friedan arrived at Smith College in 1938. She started taking Professor Dorothy Wolff Douglas’s economics course in 1940, and recalls becoming interested in literature on the Spanish Civil War and communist John Reed’s book Ten Days That Shook the World. More specific, it was in February 1941 that Dorothy Wolff Douglas was able to make a great enough impact on Betty to convince her to adopt communism.

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  • Ellen

    I consider myself as a feminist. I work and take care of my family. I have equal voice in my household. I also am a conservative and think that NOW is a joke.

    • Ron Armstrong

      It is a conceptual impossibility to be politically conservative and a Feminist. Feminism is rooted in Marxism.

  • waterwillows

    It should also be mentioned the lesbian roots of the feminist movement. I was around at the time of their beginnings.
    I did not join in the protest movements or the flower child agenda or the anti establishment groups, but I most certainly did check them all out. I was very young and curious.
    When I went to see what the feminist groups were all about and to meet these women in person, I was somewhat surprised that it mostly consisted of lesbians and militant ones at that. I did not say much or really contribute to the group because I was very angry.
    I expected something about women and all I got was a lot of garbage about being more like men. Like that was some kind of solution.
    They may have moved towards the marxist state, but we should remember that their beginnings were lesiban groups.

    • Maxie

      And quite unattractive lesbians at that, e.g.; Abzug, Friedan. This fits with my thesis that leftists are, first and foremost, haters of men.

  • Shmuel Kahn

    Heterodoxy once ran a cartoon of Karl Marx wearing a bra and panties, holding a whip.

    Could FPM please run it again?

  • Chezwick_mac

    Bill Clinton reportedly raped Juanita Broderick, assaulted Cathleen Willey, and exposed himself to Paula Jones….but because he was a liberal, all was forgiven. Clarence Thomas said the word "pubic hair" in mixed company…but because he was a conservative, feminists reviled him as a sexual-harasser extraordinaire.

    The hypocrisy is palpable…and contemptible.

    • Maxie

      Hypocrisy and the double standard are in the DNA of Leftists.

  • Sound&Fury

    Feminist offspring of Friedan & her generation despise women like Palin & Bachmann precisely because they co-opt the traditional feminist movement. Bachmann, Palin & conservative women present a threat not because of who they are — women– but because of what they represent — American values rather than Marxist ones.

  • Ann

    I often think that these so called Feminist were a pretty big joke—since Motherhood is the biggest job on the PLANET–with out females uh no one could be born and humans would have died out–instead of making this the focal point of the movement they made the killing of the unborn,working out side the home,having sex with other women, hating real men,making men act like girls—now they want us to think that children are sexual and abusers are not being treated right—THIS MOVEMENT WENT FROM GETTING THE RIGHT TO VOTE TO KILLING THE UNBORN—JOKE ONE BIG JOKE!!!

    • UCSPanther

      And what many feminists fail to understand, is that ironically, abortion is a weapon against them before they are born in backwards civilizations where men are way more valued than women.

  • abdul7591

    I have to say that, as a man whose parents both had the same profession – medicine – and grew p thinking that nothing could be more natural than men and women doing the same kind of work, women like Friedan never impressed me as having as much of an interest in furthering the cause of achieving parity with men than in promoting hostility to men. By the way, that picture of Friedan at the top of the article nearly gave me a heart attack. She looks like a cross between Helen Thomas, another ogress of the Left, and Gollum from The Lord of the Rings. Is this some kind of pattern with militant feminists, that they tend to be physically hideous? Does their anger have something to do with the fact that normal men wouldn't go near them with a 10-foot pole?

  • http://pokemonteambuilder.com/ pokemons

    That they tend to be physically hideous? Does their anger have something to do with the fact that normal men wouldn't go near them with a 10-foot pole

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    And what many feminists fail to understand, is that ironically, abortion is a weapon against them before they are born in backwards civilizations where men are way more valued than women.

  • Vince

    Feminism does not entail the coddling of all women simply because they are women. Feminism is about the empowerment of women. Liberal’s treatment of Michelle Bachman is not due to misogyny, it is because she is a raving moron. It has nothing to do with the fact that she’s female. That’s the great thing about feminists, they don’t put women on pedestals, they treat them the same way they treat men. Bachman does not deserve special consideration, her politics are not rejected because she’s a woman, they’re rejected because they’re moronic. And it is certainly not just because she’s a conservative woman. Bad ideas are bad ideas, regardless of your affiliation of gender.

    This is seriously, and I’m not saying this just to be mean, the dumbest, most simian line of drivel I have ever had the discomfort to read. The author of this article clearly has no education concerning the feminist movement, or of politics in general. Frankly, I would be astounded to learn that he carries any burden of education whatsoever. To the author, you have, in this article managed to attach a sack to the desiccated bowels of the American public opinion, and filled it to the breaking point, and posted it on the internet for all to see, when it should have been flushed long ago.

    And please, don’t misinterpret what I’m saying to mean that I’m angry at you. I’m not. I’m not even angry about your article. What I am angry about however is that our education system has failed you so thoroughly and completely. It’s not too late to educate yourself, there is hope for you. Please, for the sake of the future of our nation, read a damn book.

    • Reaganite

      You didn’t read the article, idiot

      • Vince

        I read it, and disagreed with it, idiot.

  • Sasha K-S

    Can anyone provide a source for Karl Marx having a female slave other than Ann Coulter? Searching on the topic returns only Coulter and this very article.