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The Opposite of Inclusiveness

Friedan’s call for partnership with men would require conversation with men, discussion with men, negotiation with men, give and take with men.

A group of feminists in New York would have none of that. They would be happy to take. But they had no intentions of giving, nor even acknowledging women had anything of which men might want and deserve an equal share. In June 1969 they issued their Redstockings Manifesto and labeled men the opposite of partners with whom they might give and take. “Women are an oppressed class,” they wrote. “We identify the agents of our oppression as men.”

Voila! With that clever bit of labeling, The Redstockings provided the rationale for women to demand what they wanted of men’s advantages. By claiming their “oppression is total” they pulled their advantages off the table and hid them behind defiant glares. Men never really got a seat at that table. And thus did the shakedown begin.

In this day and age some sixty years later, when women otherwise espouse the necessity and virtue of listening to stakeholders, respecting all points of view, giving everyone a seat at the table and listening — really listening — the Redstockings Manifsto stands as a testament to the power of rhetoric to displace reason.

Counter-Feminism aims to reconvene the parties to the table for honest, respectful negotiations that are long overdue.