Feminism, like the word "pedophilia," encompasses a wide range of meanings. There does not exist one "feminism," but, rather, a quite large number of somewhat-related groups espousing differing narratives, such as the narrative concerning child abuse.
One of the narratives is an anti-oppression point of view as applied to the contemporary situation of women and historical abuses faced by women and other minorities. This feminist discourse is particularly concerned with equal rights, and in some cases, outright equality.
The "radical, third-wave" feminists joined forces with right-wing Republicans to condemn intergenerational sexual activity. Other feminist groups have differing opinions. Wikipedia has a large number of articles explaining the differences between the different "feminist" schools of thought.
Whilst some sex-positive and/or dissident feminists such as Gayle Rubin, Germaine Greer, Kate Millett, Camille Paglia, Patrick Califia, Heather Corinna, and Shulamith Firestone elaborate contrarian philosophies and anecdotes on the issue of adult-minor sexuality, since the 1970s, the discourse has been increasingly used to condemn such sexual relationships on the basis that inequalities render them universally "abusive". It could be said that the loathing felt by some boylovers towards feminists as a group is similar in magnitude to the derision which present day feminists show towards boy-attracted males.
Margaret Cruikshank notes, "In the eyes of lesbian feminists, NAMBLA exploits children. But because sex is central to gay male life, any attempt to restrict it or any support for censorship seems antithetical to the spirit of gay liberation."
At its October 1980 convention, NOW adopted a resolution with a "concept paper" that had a novel definition of pederasty ("the involvement of children by adults in sexual activity") and stated, "it is well known that over 90% of all pederasts are heterosexual males who seek out young girls as their victims".
Reasons for loathing of "feminism" among boylovers
A number of reasons can be speculatively offered:
- The perception of some feminists as espousing the child sexual abuse psychiatry agenda of the late 1970s, 80s and onwards, with the establishment of psychiatric organisations such as The Leadership Council.
- Conflation of pederasty (a practice that brings with it a considerable historical tradition) with the fledgling incest model of child sexual abuse. The perception that this generalization involves a knowing revision of that well-established history.
- Failure of some feminists to explain experiences of boys and boylovers that run contrary to those theorized in feminist critiques of intergenerational relationships.
- Failure of some feminists to identify with or even tentatively address issues related to masculinity.
- The perception of modern feminism as being female elitism ("feminazi", etc) and/or institutionalised model of covertly exercised authority.
- Attempts by some feminists to represent (gay) youth and encourage their "rights" and "participation" whilst at the same time infantalising them and denying their autonomy.
- The use of pedohysteria as essentially the frontline ideology in the feminist war on men. Feminists oppose at all costs anything that could bring men pleasure, and would even prefer that children suffer under poverty rather than enjoy a consensual, loving relationship with an older man who could provide for their physical and emotional needs.
- Plain misogyny.
BoyChat contributor, Anacreon:
- "Historically, from what I've read I get the impression that the earliest modern feminism, which got started about two hundred years ago on the heels of the French Revolution, was probably a liberating idea. The early Romantics who espoused it, for instance the poet Percy Shelley and his wife Mary, associated it with free love and equality of the sexes within the context of a generally emancipated state of society. These people were wild radicals, the hippies of their day, and so alienated from mainstream society that they felt compelled to leave their native England.
- Later on something horrible happened. I suspect it was probably Victorianism. Decades after the high Romantic period, when feminism got started again in the late nineteenth century following a long hiatus, it emerged as a deeply bourgeois movement in the worst sense of that term. It was intensely puritanical, and oriented toward controlling male behavior. It became associated with the "temperance" movement and suppression of "vice," meaning chiefly prostitution. In the United States it involved itself in the ultimately successful push for Prohibition, a disaster that brought terrible troubles with organized crime that plague us to this day.
- So I guess you could say that feminism went bad when it became respectable. In this sense it resembles the gay movement, which from the viewpoint of boylovers joined the oppressor when it opted for assimilation and so decided to eject undesirables. Contemporary feminism seems to me to be entirely modeled on the second, Victorian version of itself, not at all on the first. Modern feminists are interested in domination rather than in freedom, obsessed with control through the infantilization of everyone in sight, and fanatically eager to wield the gelding knife. So as you rightly observe their movement operates generally as a viciously regressive force, often the unacknowledged ally of rabid fundamentalism."
Libertarian or "pro-sex" feminism
Ann Ferguson writes, "Libertarian or 'pro-sex' feminists stress the importance of women's claiming the right to consensual pleasure in sexual activity, no matter whether this ends up supporting activity labelled deviant by the dominant culture (homosexuality, adult/child sex, prostitution, sadomasochism, pornography and so forth). . . . Libertarians have their own three principles: (1) Feminists should repudiate any theoretical analyses, legal restrictions or moral judgments which stigmatize any sexual minorities and thus restrict the freedom of all. (2) Feminists should reclaim control over female sexuality by demanding the right to practice whatever gives us consensual pleasure and satisfaction, whether or not they be sexual practices (S/M, cruising, adult/child sexuality, nonmonogamy) traditionally identified with male sexuality. (3) The ideal sexual relationship is between fully consenting, equal partners who negotiate to maximize each other's sexual pleasure and satisfaction by any means they choose."
Gayle Rubin was the first libertarian to voice doubts about the tendency of liberal and radical feminists to unite in a new moralism that would legitimize lesbian and gay sexuality but continue to stigmatize other sexual minorities and practices. The sex radicals or pro-sex feminists saw statutory rape laws as violating privacy and personal autonomy and feared (correctly) that gender-neutral laws would increase discrimination against homosexuals by allowing them to be prosecuted for statutory rape.
Not all those who call themselves "libertarians" are sympathetic to BL issues; for example, Cathy Reisenwitz writes, "Child pornography is illegal because a child has to be harmed to make it and because people think that owning child porn is likely to cause someone to hurt a child. It’s the gateway porn."
"Feminism" (Web archive) (Original Newgon Wiki Article)
- The Gay and Lesbian Liberation Movement By Margaret Cruikshank p. 177-178
- Man/Boy Love and Feminism by David Thorstad
- Ferguson, Ann (May 1986). "Pleasure, Power and the Porn Wars". The Women's review of books 3 (8): 11-13.
- Carolyn E. Cocca (Summer, 2002). "From "Welfare Queen" to "Exploited Teen": Welfare Dependency, Statutory Rape, and Moral Panic". NWSA Journal (The Johns Hopkins University Press) 14 (2): 56-79. http://www.jstor.org/stable/4316892.