The Marxist Roots of Feminism


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Here is where the research of Daniel Horowitz also fills in some blanks. Using Friedan’s notes, Horowitz reported that: “Especially important is what [Friedan] recorded when Douglas talked about the condition of women in Nazi Germany and the USSR. On [Friedan’s] twentieth birthday, in February 1941, Douglas mentioned what she called the ‘feminist movement.’ She talked about the ‘traditionalism’ of the Nazis’ attitude to religion, women, children, and family. According to [Friedan’s] notes, Douglas said the Nazis placed children at the center of family lives, celebrated motherhood, and opposed women working outside the house in professional positions (not as farmers and mutual laborers). They minimized the intellectual capacity of women, emphasizing instead the importance of their feelings. In the middle of her lecture on women under Nazi rule, Douglas noted parenthetically that men who controlled women’s magazines participated in this conscious ideological effort to tell women that despite their aspirations for intellectual life, in fact they were instinctual being who belonged in the home. In contrast, Douglas said, women in the USSR experienced equality of opportunity, with their wages almost matching (and in some cases exceeding) those of men.”

Betty Friedan opposed American involvement in the war before, during, and after the Nazi-Soviet Pact, showing, at the very least, that she was not a doctrinaire Party-line communist. But, according to FBI files examined by Horowitz, she reportedly did join the Young Communist League (the youth branch of the Communist Party), and attempted to join the Party itself at least twice. She records in her memoir that she attempted to join in New York in 1942, but decided against it after talking it over with her father. Daniel Horowitz, using Friedan’s FBI file, recorded another attempt in 1944, where she was turned away because “there already were too many intellectuals in the labor movement and that she would have greater party influence by staying in her own field, which is Psychology.”

Professor Horowitz stated in a lecture that,

After she left Smith, Friedan spent a year as a psychology graduate at the University of California, Berkeley. There she began nine years, from 1943 to 1952, as a labor journalist, first for Federated Press, a left-wing news service. Then, for about six years beginning in July 1946, precisely at the moment when the wartime Popular Front came under intense attack, Friedan was a reporter for the UE News, the newspaper of one of America’s most radical unions.

That union, the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America, or “UE,” was more than radical. It was communist-controlled, and among Betty Friedan’s assignments at UE News was to promote the communist-run Progressive Party campaign of Henry Wallace for the presidency in 1948. The support that the communist-dominated unions gave to the Progressive Party and its anti-containment policies was the final straw between the reds and the CIO, and over the course of the next two years the Democratic-Socialist leadership of the CIO would expel the red unions, including the UE.

But there are still deeper communist connections for Friedan, which further explain not only her radical politics but her radical feminism.

As Daniel Horowitz found, Friedan read Friedrich Engels’ The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State, the classic statement of Marxist feminism. Friedan took down what Engels had to say about the liberation of women coming only when they entered the productive workforce: “The emancipation of women becomes possible only when women are enabled to take part in production on a large, social scale, and when domestic duties require their attention only to a minor degree.”

To that, Friedan added three words of her own: “along with men.”

The modern feminist movement was on its way. But it’s journey was not over. It still had to be drilled and instilled in the schools. On that, there were many who built on Friedan’s foundation, from numerous other radical feminists to the secular disciples of John Dewey—just for starters.

Americans today need to understand that the feminist movement is rooted less in concern for every woman and more in far-left politics—even communist politics. There is a specter haunting the feminist movement, and that specter does not have the interest of women first, especially not conservative women.

Spyridon Mitsotakis is a student at New York University and an aspiring Cold War researcher and writer.

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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?

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    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.