A couple further questions:
Why marginalize or abandon Robin Morgan? Of course, everyone has a mind of their own and people shouldn’t have to answer for every wack thing that another person who shares their political convictions says, but it would be a serious mistake to suggest that Morgan—who played an instrumental role in founding New York Radical Women and WITCH, putting on the Miss America protests, organized abortion speak-outs and put together Sisterhood is Powerful, and has been a formative influence on outlets such as Ms. Magazine—is some kind of nutty fringe figure. She’s a radical figure, yes, but “radical” isn’t necessarily a term of criticism, and radical feminism has always been an absolutely essential part of Second Wave feminist theory and practice. Any story of the movement that doesn’t centrally involve her in her role as an organizer, writer, and editor has got to be a seriously distorted one.
And—let’s put the cards on the table after all—I can’t think of a single quote by Robin Morgan that the Men’s Rights bully-boys drag out that actually has anything at all objectionable in it. What specifically is the point on which she shouldn’t be defended against her accusers?
While we’re at it, what is supposed to be wrong with man-hating, anyway? If some feminists do hate men, would that mean that there is something wrong with their position?
I, for one, hate men. Not all of them, but lots of them. And I hate them precisely because they act like men are supposed to act. I.E. because they are controlling, exploitative, rude, callous, and/or violent, just like they were brought up to be. I hate men who act like that and I hate myself when I realize that I’ve acted that way. I don’t think it’s because I’m a neurotic bundle of self-loathing or because I’m aiming to become one; it’s because I think that all of us men have a long way to go to break ourselves out of habits and beliefs that keep us from acting like decent human beings as often as we should. We grow up thinking that we have the right to do a lot of fucked up stuff and then we usually go on to do it at some point or another. Often at many points throughout our lives.
There are many men that I love and mostly trust but I love them and mostly trust them for the demonstrable steps they’ve taken away from the way that men are normally expected to act. And I’m doing what I can to help the efforts to change those expectations and those actions—in myself, and in others when I can reach them—but I can’t say I blame a woman at all if she doesn’t like most men or doesn’t necessarily trust our motives straight off the bat.
That doesn’t strike me as unreasoned bigotry; it strikes me as a rational response to the empirical evidence.