10 thoughts on “Sheila Jeffreys on Kate Millett

  1. She was wonderful, and especially encouraging to young working- class feminists like me. Kind and accessible in person; here is the event where I met her, right after the publication of “Sita”:
    It was a big thing for me to meet her, which is why I kept this.
    Highly recommend “Flying” and “Sita”–Jeffreys is so right, she was a hypnotic writer.

  2. To fully appreciate Kate Millet’s work and writing style, I suggest reading her writing. This is a .pdf of “Sexual Politics” which was viewed as revolutionary and even shocking for its time. By politics, Millet doesn’t mean politics in the traditional sense. She was referring to systems of power and dominance.
    In 2003, Andrea Dworkin wrote:
    “I cannot think of anyone who accomplished what Kate Millett did, with this one book. It remains the alpha and omega of the women’s movement. Everything that feminists have done is foreshadowed, predicted or encouraged by Sexual Politics.”

    What’s Current: The formidable Kate Millett has died

    These glowing articles from the New Yorker and New York Times remind us that Millet’s “Sexual Politics” will always be a classic in feminist literature, and if we take time to reread what she wrote in the 1970s, it’s still relevant today.
    Rebecca Mead from the New Yorker says,
    “Sexual Politics” is erudite and angry in equal measure: a thrilling and damning critique of the patriarchy and its structural effects. “Male supremacy, like other political creeds, does not finally rely in physical strength but in the acceptance of a value system which is not biological,” (Rebecca Mean – New Yorker)
    I especially enjoyed the article from Carol Adams in the NY Times. I liked the way she tied misogynists like Donald Trump to what Millet had written decades ago. There is something about a well written classic that never goes out of style.
    “It’s been 47 years since that white cover with the stark black capital letters appeared. The challenge for us in thinking about “Sexual Politics” now is the weariness of knowing Ms. Millett’s analysis isn’t yet outdated. President Trump has made second-wave feminism relevant again. Sexual bragging? Discussing women’s bodies as objects? Fascination and repulsion by women’s bleeding and other bodily functions? Check, check, check.
    For Ms. Millett, misogynist literature — exemplified by the writings of D. H. Lawrence, Henry Miller, Norman Mailer and Jean Genet — was the primary vehicle of masculine hostility. The tools for disseminating such hostility — @realdonaldtrump — have increased exponentially.
    When Ms. Millett talks about the “politically expedient character of patriarchal convictions about women,” I think about the health care debates of the past year, the reference by one state legislator to pregnant women as “hosts” and of the fact that not a single female senator was invited to help write the health bill this past spring.” (Carol J. Adams – NY Times)

    I was amazed to see that people can still buy “Sexual Politics” at Amazon.com. Classics never die; they just get better with age.

  3. I wasn’t sure where it would be best to post this, but a 60-year-old woman was allegedly attacked in London by four transwomen this evening.
    She was trying to attend the gender panel with Dr. Julia Long and Miranda Yardley that New Cross Learning center cancelled due to “safety concerns.” The organizers found a new venue and told those who wanted to attend to gather at Speaker’s Corner at Hyde Park, which is, I think, where the assault happened, and I’ve also been hearing that trans activists found the venue.

    What’s Current: New Cross Learning shuts down ‘What is Gender’ event after threats & harassment

    Action for Trans Health London has already put out a statement which appears to defend the assault as a feminist act, retroactively justified because of “carceral feminism”–i.e., women who witnessed the assault called the police.
    LGBT Lewisham is blaming the violence by transwomen on those who supposedly challenge the existence of trans people.

    In other words, if we won’t allow our actions, words, and even thoughts to be controlled by men, we have no one to blame but ourselves when they harm us. Same old patriarchy, now also available in eyeliner and stiletto heels.

    1. Someone managed to get video of the incident mentioned in my last comment.
      The woman’s name is Maria Mac and she was initially attacked by a transwoman in his early twenties who graabbed her camera and destroyed it. I don’t know whether he’s the same guy who stole Miranda Yardley’s phone. (Yardley has put out quite a lot of information about last night’s events on Twitter.)
      Maria Mac posted a comment with a link to the video on the “This Never Happens” facebook page.

    2. There’s additional information on the incident at Gender Identity Watch, including a more detailed account by Maria MacLachlan herself, who turns out not to be some helpless grandmother but a tough, older woman willing to fight back. (Her Twitter account lists her pronouns as “Fe fi fo fum!”)

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