Thursday, April 21, 2022

The Incendiary Rage of the Suffragettes

The British suffragettes are now lionized as self-sacrificing activists who won the vote for women in Great Britain. In fact, they probably delayed the granting of woman suffrage with their violence, and they offer a case study in the mass hysteria, longing for martyrdom, and narcissistic indifference to other people that so often characterize dangerous zealots.

From the time of its founding in 1903 until 1914, the Women’s Social and Political Union, the radical arm of the early 20th century British feminist movement, became an increasingly violent organization that distinguished itself from other women’s groups of the time by living up to its ominous motto “Deeds, not Words.”

How Nineteenth-Century Women Got Away with Murder

In his 1913 book The Fraud of Feminism, British barrister Ernest Belfort Bax described, with his characteristic wit, how “Female criminals are surrounded by a halo of injured innocence,” “convinced of the maliciousness of [their] accusers” and of their own lack of responsibility (p. 51-52). In fact, the historical record demonstrates a self-reinforcing pattern in which legal authorities and public opinion often excused rather than punished women’s bad actions, with the result that some women come to believe that in many circumstances they have the right to kill.

Sunday, April 10, 2022

Early Feminists Advocated Exemption For Female Killers - Janice Fiamengo

Female killers have always excited a combination of horror and sympathy, the latter emotion almost never expressed for male killers. In the case of Sarah Jane Whiteling, a 40-year-old American woman who murdered the three members of her family in 1888, sympathy led a local psychiatric doctor to lobby for an insanity-based defense exclusive to women which, though not successful in commuting Whiteling’s sentence, found favor with other doctors and affirmed the many theories of women’s reduced criminal capacity that were common in the nineteenth century and remain common today.

Woman Murders Her Baby, Feminists Blame Men

Nineteenth century feminists claimed to speak on behalf of the vulnerable from a position of empathy that made their perspectives uniquely valuable. But when Hester Vaughn killed her newborn baby, feminists’ rage at men far outweighed their sympathy for Vaughn’s dead infant.

The case of Philadelphia resident Hester Vaughn (variously spelt Vaughan), who was tried and convicted for first-degree murder in the death of her newborn baby, is one of the most infamous cases of infanticide in American history, not only because of the sensational nature of the crime but also because of the manner in which feminist leaders seized on the incident to advance their anti-male agenda. The History Channel’s website informs readers today that the trial “exposed sexual harassment in 1868” and that Hester Vaughn’s dead baby “became a symbol in the fight for equal rights.” As we will see, it wasn’t quite that simple.

Friday, April 8, 2022

The Deadly Goddess Fantasy - The Fiamengo File 2.0 Producer Commentary

Monotheistic religions like Judaism, Islam and Christianity worship one God, usually presented as male, but polytheism came first and female deities have been imagined and worshiped in various cultures throughout human history. Greek mythology, for example, describes many including Hera, goddess of marriage and birth, and Athena, goddess of wisdom and intelligence, and Hinduism also describes many goddesses including Saraswati, Goddess of Knowledge.

The Western
Goddess movement could be said to have grown along with or even within feminism. Early feminists like Elizabeth Cady Stanton, author of the 1848 Declaration of Sentiments, wrote on the topic but it wasn't until the 1970s and the rise of New Age religions that the Goddess movement really took off, and became an important, but divisive, issue in feminism.