Conspiracy Nation -- Vol. 9 Num. 46

("Quid coniuratio est?")


[CN transcript of remarks by west coast researcher Dave Emory.]


That concludes the prepared portion of the broadcast for this evening.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Good evening. Welcome once again to "One Step Beyond."

It's time now to formally begin the prepared portion of tonight's broadcast. And we're going to begin by taking a look at a column that appeared... (By the way, today is Sunday, July 14th, of 1991.) We're gonna begin by taking a look at a column that appeared in the San Jose Mercury News this past Wednesday -- this past Wednesday was July 10th of 1991. This is a column by Diane Mason, a correspondent for the St. Petersburg Times. The San Jose Mercury News entitled this particular column, "Like 'Thelma,' NOW's Ready To Kick Some." (And you know what 'some' is.) This particular column reads, in part,

There's a scene in the movie "Thelma and Louise" where Louise (Susan Sarandon) tells Thelma (Gina Davis) that she has really changed. "You used to be so sedate," Louise says. "No more," answers the now armed and dangerous Thelma. "I've had it up to my (expletive deleted) with 'sedate.'"

At the annual convention of the National Organization for Women [NOW] held in New York this past weekend, "Thelma and Louise" kept popping up -- not in person, nor as an official theme, but from the heart. It's not that NOW has ever been all that sedate, but this convention unharnessed more "we've had it up to here; let's kick butt" spirit than I've seen in a long time, maybe ever.

Hot items on sale are buttons that say, "Thelma and Louise Live," and t-shirts that read "Graduate of the Thelma and Louise Finishing School." Keynote speakers Gloria Steinem and activist lawyer Flo Kennedy talked about their travels and speeches together in the early days of the modern women's movement, calling themselves "the Thelma and Louise of the 1970s."

"Raising Hell and kicking (expletive deleted) is such fun," said Kennedy, 75. In a wheelchair, Kennedy jokes that what she does "besides being on my deathbed" is to be outrageous. She is the person who coined the oft-quoted proverb, "If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament." Claiming all the privileges of growing older and unashamed to be outspoken, Kennedy said that "Women have been reasonable too long."

(Skipping down......)

Steinem, with her matchless zing and clarity, nearly brought down the house when she speculated on why the military doesn't want women in combat. "Can you imagine what would happen if every welfare mother, every underpaid waitress, every sexually harassed secretary, had two years of military training?" she asked.

Well it would be, indeed, interesting to speculate about what might happen, under the circumstances. However I think there are other things to ruminate about in connection with this particular development of this attitude on the part of elements of the women's movement.

Always a firm believer in women's rights myself, I am at the same time very critical of many of the directions that the women's movement has taken. And it is my belief and fear that considerable elements of the women's movement are allowing themselves to be manipulated by elements of the "far right," and specifically, are allowing themselves to be manipulated in the direction of one of the oldest techniques for subduing a given enemy population, namely, "divide and conquer."

There would be no more profound division that one could effect in American society or in any other society than to divide up men and women. You split up the male and female halves of the species, and you have effected as fundamental a division as you can possibly effect. For one thing, that will have a profound effect on the family unit, the basic element of socialization. And the more you weaken the family, the more you strengthen fascism. Because once the family itself is weakened, the main element of socialization is gonna be the television set. And children who have basically had their ideas concerning conflict resolution shaped by Saturday morning cartoon shows, Nintendo games, and Arnold Schwarzenegger movies, well that is a society which when faced with a bind is going to resort to violence in order to resolve the conflict.

I do not think that dividing men and women is a good idea at all. Certainly no one should have to sacrifice basic human liberties for the sake of fitting any particular stereotype concerning sexual activity or sex-typing. However, it should be noted in this context that most people's feelings concerning the opposite sex are among the most conflicted emotional feelings and emotional complexes that they have. People's feelings concerning the parent of the opposite sex, siblings of the opposite sex, lovers and/or spouses of the opposite sex -- these are things which often have a very profound effect on people's personalities. And many people carry the scars and wounds of some of the things they have suffered during the socialization process forward, into life.

It is my fear that an over-emphasis by anyone -- be it the women's movement or some of the forces ranged in reaction to the women's movement -- an over-emphasis on male/female conflicts and differences is very likely to wind up exacerbating the differences and divisions between men and women. Also, [it is] likely to further mobilize some of the deep psychological conflicts many people of both sexes feel towards members of the opposite sex. And my fear, once again, is that not only elements ranged opposite the women's movement, but also elements of the women's movement itself, have, knowingly or otherwise, allowed themselves to be manipulated in such a direction that they are actively promoting an unnecessary and counterproductive division between the sexes.

Ultimately (obviously), men and women are dependent upon one another for the continued survival of the species. And as I've said before, there could be no more effective way of dividing and conquering than splitting up men and women.

So at a psycho-social level, I think the extent of identification of elements of the women's movement with what looks to me to be a contemporary feminist adaptation of the old Rambo, shoot-'em-up and crack their skull theme -- namely, this movie "Thelma and Louise" -- this does not look to me to be a particularly constructive attitude for elements of the women's movement to take. And I'm afraid it is likely to sow unnecessary division and further weaken progressive forces as we head into 1992, a very important election year.

I would also note that there is a searing irony here, to have Gloria Steinem ruminating as she has here:

Steinem, with her matchless zing and clarity, nearly brought down the house when she speculated on why the military doesn't want women in combat. "Can you imagine what would happen if every welfare mother, every underpaid waitress, every sexually harassed secretary, had two years of military training?" she asked.

Well I would ask in connection with that, Can you imagine what would happen if the most visible and (at least so far) effective feminist spokesperson in the United States, namely Gloria Steinem (regarded by many as the doyen of American feminism), can you imagine what would happen if she had a background in the Central Intelligence Agency?

Well you don't have to imagine what would happen. Because, in fact, Gloria Steinem has an extensive background in the intelligence agencies -- namely, the CIA -- and a number of the people in her mileau have very obvious intersections with the National Security establishment, going up to the present time. Who knows? Perhaps Gloria Steinem's CIA past is not quite as far behind her as she might like to have some of us think.

[ be continued...]

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