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Sally C. Pipes is President and CEO, Pacific Research Institute [go to Pipes index]

Feminists Inflicting a False Environment
Professional victimhood...
[Sally C. Pipes] 4/7/04

With Iraq and the presidential election, militant feminism is not much in the news these days. But that doesn't mean it is out of action or lacking influence. Consider Women Escaping A Violent Environment or WEAVE.

Based in California's capital, Sacramento, WEAVE operates a rape crisis center and battles domestic violence. The group also operates extensively in the area's public schools. Giving an outside group a captive audience of students should invite scrutiny. WEAVE materials include the "Roots of Violence," a workshop that includes a chart showing that people in power have six attributes.

They are white, rich, middle-aged, able-bodied, male, and heterosexual. People without power, on the other hand, are nonwhite, poor, young, elderly, disabled, female, and homosexual. See how simple it all is. This kind of propaganda is generally self-refuting, but please indulge some reflection.

National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, a woman of great accomplishment, might find it odd that "white" and "male" are automatic attributes of power, and that female somehow denotes weakness. The many successful businesswomen this column has profiled, many of them minorities, would also find it insulting.

Willie Brown, longtime speaker of the California Assembly, and former mayor of San Francisco, might object to the notion that nonwhites are without power. So might former DC mayor Marion Berry, or Secretary of State Colin Powell.

The middle-aged parent who pays more in taxes than she does on food, housing, or college tuition could be excused from thinking that an age somewhere between 30 and 60 is a characteristic of having power or being somehow oppressive. A severe disability, cleverly concealed from the American people, was no barrier to the attainment of power by Franklin Roosevelt.

Barney Frank, openly homosexual, serves in Congress. Mark Leno and Jackie Goldberg, openly homosexual, serve in the California Assembly. They would be surprised to learn that they have no power.

The implication in WEAVE's material is that only the "power" group has a need for control that leads to violence. As the case of Aileen Wuornos showed, women are as capable as men of being mass murderers. The unrepentant Wuornos was also, by the way, a lesbian, and poor. Dorothea Puente, an elderly Latina of limited means, bumped off retirees in Sacramento and stole their money.

More recently, one Marcus Wesson of Fresno appears to have found being poor and African American no bar to completely controlling the lives of people and perpetrating acts of shocking violence against helpless women and children. Other examples could be multiplied but suffice it to say that the WEAVE workshop is a baseless caricature. But WEAVE wields some power of its own.

We are not dealing with television talk-shows or faculty lounge chit-chat here. WEAVE is inflicting its baleful message on impressionable students in the public schools. WEAVE boss Nicolette Bautista says her group's lessons need to be taught starting in grade five - students are about 10 years old at that point - then repeated in middle school and high school. One might imagine the outcry if, say, Focus on the Family, the Eagle Forum, or the National Rifle Association were invited to hold workshops in the public schools. Yet one can understand why WEAVE believes it has a mandate to do so.

WEAVE gets a lot of money from the government, $2,250,851 in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2002, according to the group's website. Government grants, in fact, are by far their biggest source of income. So the group has no objection to taking money generated by middle-aged, male, able-bodied, heterosexual taxpayers.

Domestic violence and sexual assault are serious issues. But it is hard to see how preventing both can be served by a bogus view that divides society into an oppressor class and a victim class, and attempts to shoe-horn everything into that template.

A better place to start would be the view learned from direct experience by Alexander Solzhenitsyn, that the line separating good and evil runs not between classes, nations, races, or genders but straight down the middle of every human heart. CRO

copyright 2004 Pacific Research Institute




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