Hayley's Comments

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Hayley Rose

Hayley Rose
HayleysComments.com, Connecticut, TheVeggieStand.com
December 31
I was born when Halley’s Comet last appeared overhead and named accordingly. Since then, I've become a writer, artist, and columnist. In addition to Open Salon, my work appears frequently in The Huffington Post, All Things Healing, Gender Across Borders: A Global Feminist Blog, and several other publications. I blog daily at my site HayleysComments.com I recently published my first book, "I Know Why They Call a Shell a Shell." The book is about domestic violence, a topic that I am very vocal about. It chronicles my journey away from tumultuous love affairs by weaving stories of her past with stories from literature, music, and visual art of both modern and classical significance. Find me on Twitter @HRoseStudios


Editor’s Pick
MARCH 5, 2012 8:16AM

A New Feminist Movement? Will You Help?

Rate: 27 Flag

I am calling for a new feminist movement and men, we really need your help.

Rush Limbaugh’s comments from last week still has people outraged. Though there are many men who despise him and his views on women, the fact that he is so forthright in the public eye suggests that many more of them are in agreement with his opinions. It is men like Rush who have given “feminists” a bad name and created the stereotype: that feminists are angry “man-haters.” Though he would probably deny it, it is obvious by his loose usage of the term “feminazi” that he has helped to perpetuate this hateful and outrageous stereotype. As a feminist, I have never been a man-hater nor met any feminists who were. It has been made clear by the public’s reaction to Rush’s recent rhetoric that both men and women are fed up with these unfair gender stereotypes and shamefully ignorant accusations.

I used to wonder how the public’s perception of the word “feminist” became so skewed from it’s actual definition “a person who advocates equal rights for women.” Instead of being viewed as courageous, people who dare to challenge the status quo in a country where women are still paid 20% less than what men earn in comparable positions, we are viewed with public disdain and branded man-hating rabble-rousers merely for daring to vocalize these glaring gender inequalities. Publicly, those with clout, like Rush, talk about and regard us with the same type of annoyance and irritation that they also reserve for the brave participants of the Occupy Movement.

I see myself as a feminist, but not in the lens of this stereotype. In fact, the idea of the “man-hating feminist” disgusts me and I view it as a caricature on par with that of the distasteful “woman-hating mysogynist.” For years, Rush and the like have perpetuated these stereotypes and lies about women through hate speech and bullying. Treating us disrespectfully and regarding us as ignorant was not enough for Rush. To really get his point across, he had to call us names like “sluts” and “prostitutes.”

Now here is the clincher: the feminist movement began as a movement to achieve equality, but somewhere along the line, men like Rush have made enough noise and mongered so much fear that they easily bought and sold their followers and constituents the ideology that feminists were not in fact striving for equality, but instead seeking female dominance and superiority. And with this idea, Rush has stirred up enough hate and fear in men that has allowed him to bank on and perpetuate this fallacy for far too long.

Feminists are not stupid or ignorant. We have never striven for dominance or superiority. We have only sought one thing and one thing only: equality. We understand that taking a stance of superiority and dominance over a demographic of individuals, as Rush has done, does not make you look strong, in fact, it does quite the opposite: it makes you look weak.

Rush has been stoking these dangerous flames for too long and this time he might’ve caused a backdraft. More now than ever, we need men to unsubscribe to this ignorant fear that equates equality for women with a loss of power for men. This is a false assumption. The truth of the matter is that feminists have been touted to have these man-hating qualities by people like Rush so insecure pig-headed men like him in this country can obtain and maintain some sort of male dominance and superiority over women. They have used reverse psychology on the nation to make people believe that all this time they have been victimized by “the feminazi man haters.”

The truth is that feminists have always respected men and treated them with the same dignity we expect to be treated with. Feminists have never looked down on the general male population from a position of hate, the way men like Rush have looked down on us from and publicly stated it. We try to lead by example, but with people like Rush continuously spitting in our faces, it is difficult. What we need now more than ever are strong women and men who support equality amongst the sexes. Now is the time to vocalize our disgust for men like Rush and the hate speech they spew and perpetuate.

I am calling for a new feminist movement today, a movement where men and women help one another to achieve the respect and equality we all deserve. We must retire those ridiculous and hateful stereotypes once and for all. What do you think? Will you work with me to achieve this? What can you do to help?

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Like I said last night..
so many darn dickheads out there.. They would throw the movement down in two seconds... blahhhhhh
noooo we have to stay positive! lol
When cannot remove the stereotypes from our realities as long as we need the stereotypes to tell our stories in the hopes of showing the disparity and harm our reality often subjects us to.
The ONLY good thing about the Tea Party's War on Women is that it has been a kick to complacency. Women who realize what they stand to lose through bad public policy are more likely to rally to the defense of hard won rights we can't afford to lose.

I'm in. Rated
Shiral- I like the way you think! Great observation!
One thing that might help the neo-Feminist project is to deal seriously with the idea of "Equality", and it's wider implications. There was a great book by Dr. Toni Grant about this ("Being a Woman") but it was ignored the rush to carry out the Program of equal pay, equal everything . She was an Amazon, and a glamorous one, who got to be some kind of shrink, and by way of Jung, revived an interesting theory about 4 modes of femine "phases", which explains a lot , including Ms. Roses complaints. Simply put, the idea is that man do not admire Amazons, and never will. But women are foolishly thinking that they must be either that or some dreadful regressive alternative, which is definitely not the case. Women are not as powerless as they think, but fighting with men is not a good answer.
My life partner was one of the early members of the 1960's women's liberation movement so I came to know many people in the feminist movement over the years. I can honestly say that I never met a man hating feminist. They may exist somewhere, but if so, they keep a very low profile.

Like any social movement, feminism needs to evolve and change as socio-economic realities are always in flux. I would love to see the feminist movement go into high gear. So count me in.
Thanks, Hayley. I've been in since the '70s. It's tough organizing against the deep pockets of conservatism, though (look what's happened to the word "liberal"). But for starters, what about getting the ERA ratified? Only two states to go, I think, and it does get re-introduced to Congress every year. Rated.
When you think about great moments and great thinkers in feminist thought, it's hard to come up with a recent example. Susan Faludi's "Backlash" was probably the last really big blast to go off in third-wave circles, and that was all the way back in 1991. There are more recent examples of thinkers who go beyond traditional feminist concerns to tackle the embeddedness of gender and other social constructs in the class system--Eva Illouz's work on emotional capitalism, for instance, which has a lot to say about the hair-pulling pop culture that's sold to all of us but is especially aimed at women. The structure of work is also a recent focus of efforts to struggle against the despicable conditions created by globalization, conditions that fall the hardest and most often on women workers. Personally I thought that Rene Denfeld's "The New Victorians" was a great moment, and a necessary catharsis for the movement after all the silly anti-sex stuff from the Dworkin and McKinnon crowd. Unfortunately feminism has been hijacked recently by supporters of a sort of global "humanitarianism," who have gone a long way to making it into a prop for the neoliberal nonsense.

its known as "divide and conquer" or as my old ancient history teacher said, "city A fights city B, city C wins". the real issue is 99% vs 1% but rush has done fantastic work on getting the public to move their eye off the ball. the public has ADHD as a whole and demagogues like limbaugh make mountains of cash by amplifying it....
Shawn- you have peaked my curiosity. I think I may buy a copy of this book. I feel like I can relate to this amazon complex. it would be interesting to read more about it.

Bob- Great comment- thank-you for sharing! So glad you're in!

Martha- so true about the word "liberal" somehow that got tainted too

BOKO Thank-you for such an interesting comment! So much to think about here

Jennifer Thank-you

Vzn- WOW- so true! You devil's advocate you! But you are right! However, I do think that the feminist issue is important and needed to be addressed for a long time coming in addition to the 99% vs 1% debacle
Fantastic statement! Well written and calmly stated. Here's an idea for you: look at what's going on in your local NOW chapter. Forget the stereotypes and look at how much good work they do in the community. Join and have an impact!
Actually, I'd say feminism got a bad word because of certain women who were feminists but hated feminism. Bear with me...

Remember Phyllis Schaffley? I believe that's how her name was spelled. She suddenly appeared about the same time as feminism, in the 70's, and proclaimed that the reforms and ideas of feminism were absolutely horrible. And many of us remember Anita Bryant, who as a right-wing Christian proclaimed the evil of both feminism and gay liberation.

I vaguely remember an article written in Ms. Magazine that tried to pidgeonhole women who spoke against feminism or criticized it as women who had certain kinds of power, which they would lose if feminism became a reality. I thought then, and think now, that this was a half-truth. I believe those women were actually feminists, but they wanted to stop all other feminists.

Final thought this time; the intellectuals who led the feminist movement in the 70's were primarily Manhattan/New York/Eastern Seaboard intellectuals who didn't really know the condition of real women. Gloria Steinem never spent time in a laundramat in Rolla, Missouri or Newark, Ohio. She and her companions didn't know and couldn't understand what middle and lower class women, married and single, had to face. I think those women in the present day understand feminism as it applies in the real world, and if a new feminism came from them and not from Starbucks addicts, it might succeed where 70's feminism failed.
Since the feminist movement previously was a movement for the feminist left, and I assume a new one would be as well, and since I see the left as rather totalitarian and il-liberal, count me out.
.........(¯`v´¯) (¯`v´¯)
............... *•.¸.•* ♥⋆★•❥ Thanx, Smiles (ツ) & ♥ L☼√Ξ ☼ ♥
⋆───★•❥ ☼ .¸¸.•*`*•.♥
Right on! Where do I sign up? Great post.
PS: This is going up on my FB page.
I respectfully disagree, I think the movement we have is vital and vibrant and don't give a rat's ass about what Rush says about anything. I stand behind the work the woman did to get us Roe vs Wade passed and advance woman's health care and contraception. It had nothing to do with hating men. In fact, it was all and is all about empowering woman. I think labeling woman as this or that is divisive and is used by people to weaken us as a gender. I continue to support NOW financially also. We have a good history, let's capitalize and stand on the shoulders of those that made it.
I've been a feminist ever since my daughter was born. How can any father be anything but?
I dig what you're saying here, and I've written about this before, too. I think we need to jettison the word "feminist" and pick a new one. We aren't "women's libbers" anymore...language changes.
We could start by seeing when the existing feminist stops lobbying against joint custody legislation, and starts working for alimony reform. Don't hold your breath...
"What we need now more than ever are strong women and men who support equality amongst the sexes."

How many sexes are there?
You wrote

I think I know how the public's perception of the word "feminist" became so skewed. As a self-identified feminist, I have gotten an earful many times and became disillusioned with the movement. Here are 3 reasons, off the top of my head.
1. I have indeed, met "man-hating" feminists. One of them verbally attacked me for marrying a man--and he dared identify with the feminist movement.
2. The angry rhetoric against "housewives" who stayed home to raise children rather than go to "work".
3. The fact that the feminism in the 70's and 80's was a white, liberal, educated woman's movement that ignored the black and Latina women those same white women were hiring to watch their kids so that they could go to NOW meetings.

I am a white, liberal, educated woman. I happen to agree with you that we need a new feminist movement--we can start with those of us who never left--but this time, we need to find ways to avoid the exclusionary attitude and language that gave the movment a bad rap.
Feminism is fine where it stands, misogyny is a personality disorder like any other learned hatred. Just keep standing up for what you believe in, lead by example, and stop wasting your precious breath and energy on people who are not interested in anything you have to say.
D.Horn- Thanks for your comment!

neutron- your comment is very faceted and interesting

Barbara- I am not sure what you are referring to


John- Thanks! Stay tuned!

Thanks Rita

David- more should think like you!

Maureen I really like your idea of picking a new word- any suggestions?

Tandy- Bingo- no excluding anyone- agreed

minis thanks

oryoki Thank-you
[r] hayley, just wrote a long response which got lost in the ether. darn. will try to quickly recap. Thanks for this thoughtful as always post. I appreciate what you are saying. Misogyny, overt AND covert, is a profound issue in our society. Also, the covert misogyny that exists even in women toward each other, due to the erosion of our self-esteem as a group in an anti-feeling culture. Getting more and more anti-feeling.

Look at the corporatization and militarization happening. Empathy and humanitarianism are not respected by collective society which is why the American citizenry is so obscenely dense about the EVIL of war.

Even talk of increasing child labor shows how anti-humanity things have gotten. And wanting to rob women of all their physical options and rights. The Talibanization of women as the US pretends to fight fundamentalism they have their own Christian style regression going on for patriarchal power and control.

I had written in my lost comment about a great book by Dorothy Dinnerstein the Mermaid and the Minotaur which describes how children usually get to "know" their mother more than the fathers as people due to accessibility degrees. The father figure is more put together for identity formation for little boys from stereotypical puzzle pieces, especially those that over-praise power and anger and denigrate tenderness and sadness. The mother figure has her issues little girls learn too but they get to see deeper dimensions of the mother as a WHOLE person (though now mothers aren't as home as much either from working) but they don't have to be different from what they see, little girls, not try to be the opposite to build an identity from, they have to emulate what they learn about being human from their mommies for their identities.

And they are more androgynistic, they know human beings have both yin and yang as part of themselves whereas boys are afraid of their yins because of their less grounded identities about being male though it seems they are steeped in identity as males the opposite is really true for those men. The more obsessed with being macho the more insecure as men trying to prove it to themselves and in fear of their own yins.

Finally, when I became a feminist in the late 60s and later moved to NYC I was stunned by the ferociously strong and loyal and inspiring bonding among gay women. If straight women could have bonded with each other with that kind of loyalty or even a fraction of it and also bonded with their gay sisters, and both groups could have fought for mutual and particular issues, we would not have such threats now to women of basic human rights and the gay movement would also not be as challenged as often.

I also think back then the leaders of the women's movement, the media darlings, got clique-y (I HATE cliques) and the whole point of the feminism paradigm is being all inclusive and cooperative and respectful to all. But with the so-called feminist leadership (power corrupts) some started to pick up their cues from the patriarchy and using their tools, and also marketing and commercialization, sabotaged the momentum of leadership and it was a shame.

You know I wish the Green Party could take over from what a liberal Dem party once did in part. Offer an umbrella structure of humanism to help organize all the wonderful interests groups that could be the humanitarian spines of the Green Party, like the anti-war people, anti-gun, single payer, women's rights advocates, gay rights advocates, pro environment people, children's rights, etc., etc. That is my personal dream. We need to ORGANIZE because the mafia one percenters destroying what so many have sacrificed so much for in our past sure are organized for evil. We gotta all organize for good and push them back.

I have a lot to say about feminism .. but that is enough for now. hope I don't lose this one. :) best, libby

You have to tell men what they will receive in return, especially young men who are scared they are being shut out by the competition with women and our shrinking job market. That is only fair.
I does feel like women are being alienated more than ever. I'm not sure if that is just my perception or if it is in fact true. I think we are more educated and stronger than ever but still fight a losing battle.

I like what vzn, Rita and Oryoki have to say about it. I think we need a smart approach but don't change the infrastructure that has already been established. Build on what we have. Education is always key.

Thank you for this insightful post! ~rated
Short answer: No. Not until it has its head on straight.

Long answer:
All the definitions in the world won't stop feminism from being a purely female perspective.

It began with women rightfully chafing against a controlling, static social order which restricted their rights and officially recognized them as being less than men. In this it has my every sympathy and if this were some decades earlier, I would push for women's rights in person. It's a legacy that's been forcibly maintained across most human cultures, long enough that many today claim it's part of some "natural law". Who was it that said that was "nonsense on stilts"? Bentham? Probably.

The problem is that today is not decades ago. Feminism largely hasn't changed, but the world around it has. It's true that battles still have to be fought, women still face discrimination and the cultural scars left by centuries... no, millennia of inequality still need treatment. But the position of men has changed dramatically.

Only a sparse handful of men I know would claim women were inferior. Only a few Christian fundamentalists and foreigners. The lads I know are more concerned with their OWN discrimination. Our justice system won't admit it, but it presumes men guilty until proven innocent; the opposite for women. The preference for women and minorities in employment is staggering. The vast majority of teachers are women. Some claim that women are paid less than men, but where are the numbers to prove it? I can believe it, but when women on average occupy less high-paying jobs than men (the male enclave of engineering at work), plenty of guys I know are left to wonder.

I try to talk (or knock, in some cases) sense into them when I can but the number of men who've lost respect for women is rising. What they see is deception. Mind games and manipulation, saying one thing and meaning another, infidelity and insecurity. "Women don't know what they want," thrown around. Petty vengeance and pettier lives on both sides. The Old Days when civilization worked and genders had their place is like a siren call, even to the guys who should know better. Even me, at some times.

Point is, this whole male dominance that feminism stands against? I'm not feeling it, and no man I know is either. I'll not claim to know what it's like all around the country but the culture I grew up in made it clear: Men are expendable, women are not. Women are desirable, men are not. Men need to fight and work to prove they're worth keeping alive; women just need to breathe. And god help you if you raise a word about it.

I will support any philosophy that maintains equal rights, and equal accountability, for both men and women. I will openly challenge the likes of Limbaugh if necessary, and I will continue to defend dignity regardless of how the women around me behave. Some call me a sucker for that. Maybe I am. But as to the idea of women helping men... I'll believe it when I see it, and until I believe it I'm not going to support a recycled "feminism". My individual opinion may not mean much in the long run, but consider how many men might think the same way I do.
Charles RT:

I couldn’t agree more. Actions speak louder than words. Feminists say they represent equality but every law, bill or act they support says otherwise. This is why I left the movement in the early 2000’s. Feminism is a supremacist group! Not because their critics say so but because of the things they do.

As a former NOW member and once outspoken supporter of feminism my best advice to anyone who truly believes in equality is avoid feminist groups like a plague or you will end up like me; feeling you have done by far more damage to humanity than you could ever repair. And the hate within the group is so entrenched that there is no fixing it. Why? Because the mindset of the leaders of and biggest supporter of feminism are so blindly deranged with hate; have spent so many years placing like minded haters in positions of power; that in order for you to fix it, you would have to overthrow and destroy the whole movement. The few who actually try are booted out as “women haters” or “weak women looking for (evil) men’s approval” before you can blink. Though many of those same “good” feminists are more than happy to try and continue to manipulate others who aren’t in the circle into thinking the banner of equality still flies over feminist’s head. If it ever did, it doesn’t now nor has it for a long time.
I posted "A View from A Stay-at-Home Feminist" a while back.

Glad to find a fellow traveler. There must be more of us out there.

Please explain how "equality" is promoted by these discriminatory policies, promoted by feminists:

Feminists oppose the first academic male studies program, even though there are over 600 women's studies programs -- Google "feministe male studies"

Feminists oppose first university men's center, even though most universities have a women's center -- Google "you tube men's center vote no"

Feminists support personaility suppressing drugs (Ritalin/amphetamine) to "cure" boys of their masculinity -- its at www dot dadi dot org slash ritalin.htm

Feminists oppose equal treatment of fathers in custody disputes (there are hundreds of exampls, google "shared parenting NOW" or "shared parenting glenn sacks"

Feminists support closing all women's prisons in favor of "community programmes and treatment facilities that tackle women's needs and reduce re-offending." Male criminals would still be incarcerated because, according to the feminists, "We are not arguing that men and women should be treated differently as a matter of principle; rather, it is a pragmatic suggestion." -- Google "guardian report close all women's prisons"

Feminists oppose equal access to health care products for men -- Google "obamacare sexism"

Feminists oppose givine male victims of abuse protection under the violence against women act (VAWA): -- Google "now vawa issues"
True egalitarians support the Men's Rights Movement:

1) Equal protection under the law for all people.
2) Equal protection of government for all people.

Feminsts are against equal treatment, equal protection, and equal rights. Feminism is a supremacist discriminatory and sexist religion. Reject feminism, reject all feminists, reject calls for discrimination and dehumanization of people based on the condition of their birth.
Hayley,what an excellent work and invitation....Thank you for sharing and yes I too believe that "men and women help one another to achieve the respect and equality we all deserve.""So rated!!We need new movements Hayley...This was a good vibe and motivation!!!!
Thanks STATHI! I hope you're doing well!!!
I married a very progressive man who just knows that women are equal to men. So, I'm grateful for my partner. He keeps me in check when I express sexist thoughts or deeds. Yes. It really does work both ways. I'm also trying to raise a son who understands that women are equal to men in every way. And a grandson. ... Look at some of history's biggest villains and you realize they were filled with so many insecurities, neuroses and psychoses and you begin to wonder how anyone with a modicum of intelligence could have fallen sway to their perversions. ...
Deborah- interesting perception!