Your Daughters are Beyond Your Command: Susan Brownmiller, Slutwalks, and the Responsibilities of Feminists to One Another

Young women, before you make any mention of rape, or rape culture, or how it is bad, you must first cite Susan Brownmiller! 

I was wondering if you have been following the discussions of rape activism on college campuses.
Yes, very closely. In the 1970s we had an extraordinary movement against sexual assault in this country and changed the laws. They [the campus activists] don’t seem to know that. They think they are the first people to discover rape, and the problem of consent, and they are not.

Jesus TITS. How exactly should they be demonstrating that they are not the first people to discover rape? Should they make sure to say your name loudly? Should they be sure to add footnotes to every Take Back the Night flyer to demonstrate they’ve read the required texts? Maybe you should give them an exam, and grade them on their history, before you let them be people.

Since you apparently were the first REAL feminist, how large a parade should you be thrown anytime anybody else wants a right or privilege not previously granted, and what color ticker tape would suit?

The women’s movement in the ’70s was not a campus movement at all. I like to see activism wherever it rears its head, but this is a very limited movement that doesn’t accept reality. Culture may tell you, “You can drink as much as men,” but you can’t. People think they can have it all ways. The slut marches bothered me, too, when they said you can wear whatever you want. Well sure, but you look like a hooker. They say, “That doesn’t matter,” but it matters to the man who wants to rape. It’s unrealistic. I don’t know what happened to the understanding people had in the 1970s.

Well, possibly lots of people who have been born SINCE the 1970s have different opinions about the ways we live now. Lots of them maybe have ways they want to act up, want to protest, want to live. Lots of them don’t WANT to have the “understanding” that men can get away with raping them if they are drunk whores, that apparently people had in the 1970s.

Since they live in the 2010s, lots of them seem to want to live in the 2010s, with new understandings they make themselves. Some of them even want to “discover” things like rape and consent, the way we all discover things when we encounter them for the first time because we are all 22 sometime.

So annoying.

By the way, there were lots and lots of feminists before the 1970s, and I don’t see them mentioned in Brownmiller’s complaint. Alice Paul called and she said you’re welcome for that hunger strike in PRISON, and also for that right to vote that you bitches take for granted nowadays. (Emmeline Pankhurst called and said you should all suck her dick, because that’s how she rolls.) You were not the ones who discovered the idea of women’s rights, rape, or consent, either, so back up off the college campuses.

I am so sick of this noise. It is not  time for younger women to fight your fight. They don’t make protests like they used to? They don’t make women’s movements like they used to? Nobody’s doing it right anymore? Then get OUT THE FECKING BARCALOUNGER, GRANDMA, and get in the street. Because until you can’t, until you are no longer breathing, you have the same responsibility as anyone who is alive no matter how young or slutty they are.

I am so sick of hearing people declare that they selflessly fought for their daughters, and then insult those daughters for not “appreciating” it by doing the exact same thing in the exact same way. It’s not selfless if you think they owe you one. It’s not selfless if you guilt them about it. It’s not selfless if all it was, was a to-do list.

I get it. I do. I want everybody to be better, too, and I want people to listen to what I said the first time I said it, and I want credit for being right. I turned 40 today and my inner 19-year-old is righteously pissed off about it. I have my own fights I wish were over. I’m tired and I can’t believe some of the stuff we have to keep pushing back against. I sat through three hours of that debate with you all, too, and I can’t believe this is still the way the world is.

But it’s not the fault of young people anymore than it’s the fault of old people. Why do we always jump to, “The fight isn’t over and it’s because these young women aren’t fighting like we did?” Just as easy to argue, “The fight isn’t over and it’s because all these old women didn’t finish the damn job.” Both are equally pointless; the fight isn’t over, after all. That’s the important part. That’s the part we should be listening to.

It is everybody’s job to keep working. There is not a protest quota after which you get to kick back, yell DON’T YOU DUMB HO-BAGS KNOW WHO I AM, and scold 22-year-olds about slutwalks. You want to live in the world, you have to live in the world, and you have to keep fighting. And if some reporter asks you what you think about how other people are fighting, instead of making the tiresome argument that Kids Today Just Don’t Know How, quote them some Susan B. Anthony, who I’ve heard tell was quite a feminist in her day:

Modern invention has banished the spinning wheel, and the same law of progress makes the woman of today a different woman from her grandmother.


4 thoughts on “Your Daughters are Beyond Your Command: Susan Brownmiller, Slutwalks, and the Responsibilities of Feminists to One Another

  1. In total agreement with you. That’s one thing about my fellow half of the species I’ve never understood – we’re fighting the same fight, but doing it differently. We should be holding each other up, not tearing each other down.

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