Female objects of semantic dehumanization and violence.ABSTRACT
Now and throughout history, pejorative pejorative Medtalk Bad…real bad language has played a major role in the longstanding victimization victimization Social medicine The abuse of the disenfranchised–eg, those underage, elderly, ♀, mentally retarded, illegal aliens, or other, by coercing them into illegal activities–eg, drug trade, pornography, prostitution. of women. This study employs a comprehensive classification of degrading categories--deficient human, subhuman sub·hu·man
1. Below the human race in evolutionary development.
2. Regarded as not being fully human.
sub·hu , animal, parasite, disease, inanimate object, and waste product--as a framework for analyzing the demeaning de·mean 1
tr.v. de·meaned, de·mean·ing, de·means
To conduct or behave (oneself) in a particular manner: demeaned themselves well in class. words invoked to justify man's inhumanity in·hu·man·i·ty
n. pl. in·hu·man·i·ties
1. Lack of pity or compassion.
2. An inhuman or cruel act.
1. to women. It concludes with observations about how this pernicious anti-female lexicon of derogation The partial repeal of a law, usually by a subsequent act that in some way diminishes its Original Intent or scope.
Derogation is distinguishable from abrogation, which is the total Annulment of a law.
DEROGATION, civil law. is part and parcel of a pervasive seamless shroud of anti-life rhetoric called upon to rationalize violence against other victims (born and unborn) in contemporary society and in times past.
A Longstanding Tradition of Oppression Against Women
Subjection to a countless assortment of atrocities has been the common plight of all too many women throughout much of history. The parade of horrors has been virtually endless: the killing of female infants, enforced prostitution, the burning of women accused of witchcraft, widow burning, the reduction of women to sex objects through genital mutilation genital mutilation The destruction or removal of a portion or the entire external genitalia, which may occur in the context of a crime of passion or as part of a cultural rite. See Bobbittize, Cutter, Female circumcision, Self-mutilation. , the sale of enslaved Enslaved may refer to:
Webster defines suttee suttee (sŭ'tē`, sŭ`tē') [Skt. sati=faithful wife], former Indian funeral practice in which the widow immolated herself on her husband's funeral pyre. (widow burning) as "the act or custom of a Hindu woman willingly cremating herself or being cremated on the funeral pyre of her husband as an indication of her devotion to him."
Despite the voluntary and devotional elements highlighted in this definition, suttee is in actuality a cruel and usually coercive form of human sacrifice imposed on women against their wills. In Muslim India the reluctant candidate for immolation im·mo·late
tr.v. im·mo·lat·ed, im·mo·lat·ing, im·mo·lates
1. To kill as a sacrifice.
2. To kill (oneself) by fire.
3. To destroy. "was usually surrounded by men armed with sticks who goaded goad
1. A long stick with a pointed end used for prodding animals.
2. An agent or means of prodding or urging; a stimulus.
tr.v. her on to her destination by physical force." Other methods of coercion consisted of tying the hands and legs of the victims as they mounted the pyre, rendering "widows suspected of weakness of will" senseless through drugs or alcohol, and pushing them into pyres build in deep, escape-proof pits. (1)
The lengths to which the perpetrators went to ensure that the unwilling victims be subjected to this destructive ritual can be gleaned from an incident that occurred in 1769. A widow who had escaped from a pyre in the rain was, on the following day, found by a search party and dragged back to the pyre. She pleaded to be spared but her own son insisted that she throw herself on the pile as he would lose caste and suffer everlasting humiliation. When she still refused the son, with the help of some others present, bound her hands and feet and hurled her into the blaze. (2)
One of the most horrendous atrocities perpetrated against women began on December 13, 1937, when the Japanese army seized China's capital city of Nanking with a vengeance. Besides engaging in widespread looting, arson, and wanton murder, the invading forces committed whole sexual assaults against Chinese women. The incidence of rape was so extensive that this outburst became known as "the Rape of Nanking." According to evidence submitted at the International Military Tribunal for the Far East The International Military Tribunal for the Far East (IMTFE), also known as the Tokyo Trials, the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal or simply as the Tribunal, was convened to try the leaders of the Empire of Japan for three types of crimes: "Class A" (crimes against held in Tokyo in 1946, "approximately 20,000 cases of rape occurred within the city during the first month of occupation." The tribunal concluded:
Death was a frequent penalty for the slightest resistance on the part of a victim or the members of her family who sought to protect her. Even girls of tender years and old women were raped in large numbers throughout the city, and many cases of abnormal or sadistic sa·dism
1. The deriving of sexual gratification or the tendency to derive sexual gratification from inflicting pain or emotional abuse on others.
2. The deriving of pleasure, or the tendency to derive pleasure, from cruelty. behavior in connection with the rapings occurred. Many women were killed after the act and their bodies mutilated mu·ti·late
tr.v. mu·ti·lat·ed, mu·ti·lat·ing, mu·ti·lates
1. To deprive of a limb or an essential part; cripple.
2. To disfigure by damaging irreparably: mutilate a statue. .... The barbarous behavior of the Japanese army cannot be excused as the acts of a soldiery which had temporarily gotten out of hand when at last a stubbornly defended position had capitulated--rape, arson and murder continued to be committed on a large scale for at least six weeks after the city had been taken. (3)
During the Vietnam War Vietnam War, conflict in Southeast Asia, primarily fought in South Vietnam between government forces aided by the United States and guerrilla forces aided by North Vietnam. , some American soldiers participated in numerous gang rapes just before killing their victims. In one such incident, a squad of nine GIs went into a village supposedly on the lookout for in search of; looking for.
See also: Lookout a "Viet Cong whore." An eyewitness report revealed: "Instead of capturing her, they raped her--every man raped her.... And then, the last man to make love to her, shot her in the head." (4) In another similar episode, members of an army platoon subjected two female Vietnamese detainees "to multiple rapes, sodomy sodomy
Noncoital carnal copulation. Sodomy is a crime in some jurisdictions. Some sodomy laws, particularly in Middle Eastern countries and those jurisdictions observing Shari'ah law, provide penalties as severe as life imprisonment for homosexual intercourse, even if the , and other mistreatments." They were both subsequently murdered; one of them was shot once in the neck and twice in the head. (5)
Sexual assault is a stubbornly persistent crime which transcends diverse historical periods and cultures. Down through the ages--in times of war and peace--rape has been commonly employed as a weapon to intimidate, overpower o·ver·pow·er
tr.v. o·ver·pow·ered, o·ver·pow·er·ing, o·ver·pow·ers
1. To overcome or vanquish by superior force; subdue.
2. To affect so strongly as to make helpless or ineffective; overwhelm.
3. , violate, humiliate, injure, and sometimes kill scores of women. Despite today's legal and social efforts to end this unspeakable form of sexual terrorism, growing numbers or women face a greater risk of being sexually abused and assaulted. In 1987, just over 91,000 forcible rapes were reported in the United States. This figure represents an increase of 11 percent since 1983. A crime clock compiled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), division of the U.S. Dept. of Justice charged with investigating all violations of federal laws except those assigned to some other federal agency. shows that one forcible rape takes place every six minutes. (6)
In ancient Rome husbands and fathers could put women to death without a public trial. Death was imposed for the most trivial offenses. A Roman husband, Egnatius Metellus, "beat his wife to death because she had drunk some wine; and this murder, far from leading to his being denounced, was not even blamed. People considered that her exemplary punishment had properly expiated her offense against the law of sobriety." (7)
During the Middle Ages, women could be flogged through the city streets of many European countries. (8) According to the mores prevalent in late thirteenth-century France, "provided he neither kills nor maims her, it is legal for a man to beat his wife when she wrongs him." (9) Fifteenth-century England, the so-called "Age of Chivalry chivalry (shĭv`əlrē), system of ethical ideals that arose from feudalism and had its highest development in the 12th and 13th cent. " when knights in shining armor provided damsels in distress with the utmost protection and respect--was also an era in which a popular manual imported from France, "The Knight of the La Tour Landry," furnished a highly unchivalrous prescription for dealing with scolding wives: "He smote her with his fist down to the earth. And then with his foot he struck her in the visage and broke her nose, and all her life after she had her nose crooked that she might not for shame show her visage it was so foul blemished blem·ish
tr.v. blem·ished, blem·ish·ing, blem·ish·es
To mar or impair by a flaw.
An imperfection that mars or impairs; a flaw or defect. . ... Therefore the wife ought to suffer and let the husband have the word, and to be master." (10)
In an article written for The Contemporary Review (1878), Frances Power Cobbe Frances Power Cobbe (December 4, 1822 – April 5, 1904), was an Irish writer who is known today as a social reformer, feminist theorist and pioneer animal rights activist. called to public attention the pervasive scope of wife-battering and torture in England. She disclosed that over a three-year period about 6,000 women had been "'brutally assaulted'--that is, maimed maim
tr.v. maimed, maim·ing, maims
1. To disable or disfigure, usually by depriving of the use of a limb or other part of the body. See Synonyms at batter1.
2. , blinded, trampled, burned, and in no inconsiderate in·con·sid·er·ate
1. Thoughtless of others; displaying a lack of consideration.
2. Not well considered or carefully thought out; ill-advised. number of instances murdered outright."" Furthermore, Cobbe identified a pronounced pattern of ever-increasing violence associated with wife-beating:
Wife-beating in process of time, and in numberless cases, advances to Wife-torture, and the Wife-torture usually ends in Wife-maiming, Wife-blinding, or Wife-murder. A man who has "thrashed" his wife with his fists half-a-dozen times, becomes satiated sa·ti·ate
tr.v. sa·ti·at·ed, sa·ti·at·ing, sa·ti·ates
1. To satisfy (an appetite or desire) fully.
2. To satisfy to excess.
Filled to satisfaction. with such enjoyment as that performance brings, and next time he is angry he kicks her with his hob-nailed shoes. When he has kicked her a few times standing or sitting, he kicks her down and stamps on her stomach, her breast, or her face. If he does not wear clogs or hobnailed hob·nail
A short nail with a thick head used to protect the soles of shoes or boots.
[hob1, peg, projection (obsolete) + nail. shoes, he takes up some other weapon, a knife, a poker, a hammer, a bottle of vitriol vitriol: see sulfuric acid. , or a lighted lamp, and strikes her with it, or sets her on fire; then, and then only, the hopeless creature's sufferings are at an end. (12)
Things did not fare that much better for wives in America. The husband's right to "chastise chas·tise
tr.v. chas·tised, chas·tis·ing, chas·tis·es
1. To punish, as by beating. See Synonyms at punish.
2. To criticize severely; rebuke.
3. Archaic To purify. " (a euphemism for "beat") his spouse occupied an honored position in American law and personal male behavior for a long period of time. This right was granted formal legal approval by the state of Mississippi in 1824. Other states soon followed suit. Not until 1871 did the movement for making wife-beating illegal begin to take hold in the system of American jurisprudence. In that year, courts in Alabama and Massachusetts declared: "The privilege, ancient though it be, to beat [the wife] with a stick, to pull her hair, choke her, spit in her face or kick her is not now acknowledged by our law." (13)
Despite the removal of legal recognition from wife-battering and the improved enforcement of laws against this unconscionable Unusually harsh and shocking to the conscience; that which is so grossly unfair that a court will proscribe it.
When a court uses the word unconscionable to describe conduct, it means that the conduct does not conform to the dictates of conscience. practice, it still remains deeply embedded in the United States and in other societies throughout the world. As of 1985 in America alone, according to figures furnished by Murray Straus, director of the University of New Hampshire New Hampshire, one of the New England states of the NE United States. It is bordered by Massachusetts (S), Vermont, with the Connecticut R. forming the boundary (W), the Canadian province of Quebec (NW), and Maine and a short strip of the Atlantic Ocean (E). Family Research Laboratory, "more than 1,300,000 wives, out of the nation's 54,000,000 couples, are still being severely assaulted each year." This violence includes "kicking, hitting with a fist, beating up, biting, and using or threatening to use a gun or knife." (14)
Ideology and Dehumanizing Language
Numerous explanations have been advanced to shed light on the question of why women have been and continue to be subjected to such widespread abuse, oppression, and degradation. Some of the most frequently advanced explanations for the oppression of women are:
A Defective Opportunity Structure--the lack of economic, legal, educational, social, and other opportunities places women in an overly dependent position which makes them highly vulnerable to all kinds of exploitation.
Sado-Masochism--this theory posits that men derive pleasure from inflicting pain on women while women enjoy being hurt to the point of extreme physical injury.
The Ideology of Patriarchy--the belief that men are inherently superior to women provides males with a convenient pretext for dominating women in all spheres of life.
Feminine Weakness--the generally smaller size and lesser muscular strength of women gives men a decided advantage in the successful application of physical force.
The Dogma of Male Supremacy
Each of the above theories and others not included among them provide important insights into the victimization of women. The most comprehensive explanation is the centrality of patriarchal ideology. Because the concept of patriarchy is based on the notion of male superiority, it could well serve as a foundation for the many theories that attempt to account for the deplorable treatment of women insofar in·so·far
To such an extent.
Adv. 1. insofar - to the degree or extent that; "insofar as it can be ascertained, the horse lung is comparable to that of man"; "so far as it is reasonably practical he should practice as the belief in male supremacy is a major precondition for perpetuating many types of oppression against females whether they be discrimination, denial of opportunity, or physical coercion.
Although not all violence perpetrated against women can be attributed solely to a patriarchal mentality, the ideology of male supremacy is so deeply ingrained in many societies and cultures that it cannot help but have a profound impact on how men view and therefore treat women. Historically and currently, an overwhelming preponderance of violence against women has been male-induced. Many perpetrators believe that their status as males actually entitles them to exploit the minds and bodies of women in any way they wish.
The ideology of male dominance and preference--a set of beliefs which maintains that men are stronger, smarter, better, and more important than women--has spawned a host of words and expressions intended to demean de·mean 1
tr.v. de·meaned, de·mean·ing, de·means
To conduct or behave (oneself) in a particular manner: demeaned themselves well in class. and vilify females. The derogatory language in turn functions to solidify the ideology. This in effect sets in motion a vicious self-perpetuating cycle in which ideology and terminology continually reinforce one another. Once unleashed, the degrading rhetoric furnishes a convenient excuse for the commission of violence upon the targets of the rhetoric. Patriarchal ideology thus serves as a major source for the construction of oppressive images of women which lead to the implementation of oppressive actions against women.
Substantial scholarly efforts have been devoted to demonstrating the often subtle manner in which language functions to denigrate den·i·grate
tr.v. den·i·grat·ed, den·i·grat·ing, den·i·grates
1. To attack the character or reputation of; speak ill of; defame.
2. women and keep them in a subordinate position. In The Language of Oppression (1974), Haig Bosmajian concluded:
While the language of racial and ethnic oppression is often blatant and relatively easy to identify, the language of sexism is more subtle and pervasive. Our everyday speech reflects the "superiority" of the male and the "inferiority" of the female, resulting in a master-subject relationship. The language of sexism relegates the woman to the status of children, servants, and idiots, to being the "second sex" and to virtual invisibility.... The language of sexism remains with us and exerts an influence on the male's attitudes towards and control over women and the women's attitudes towards themselves. (15)
In addition, there are less subtle and more deeply degrading expressions which have been invoked throughout history to justify all kinds of horrid actions directed against women. They can be arranged according to a hierarchy of dehumanization de·hu·man·ize
tr.v. de·hu·man·ized, de·hu·man·iz·ing, de·hu·man·iz·es
1. To deprive of human qualities such as individuality, compassion, or civility: beginning with the epithet ep·i·thet
a. A term used to characterize a person or thing, such as rosy-fingered in rosy-fingered dawn or the Great in Catherine the Great.
b. "inferior" and followed by a set of designations connoting increasing degrees of worthlessness: "subhuman," "nonhuman," "animal," "parasite," "disease," "object" and "waste product." This particular lexicon of profound vilification, tragically, has not been swept into the dust bin of history; it continues to plague modern society.
A Deficient, Subhuman Gender
Down through the ages, women have been persistently portrayed as a subpar species, sometimes lacking even the most fundamental vestiges of humanhood. The inferiority label imposed upon those of the female sex is frequently intended to be a totalistic notion encompassing almost every aspect of the woman's being--physical, mental, and emotional. Furthermore, the incapacity attributed to females has been often depicted as a permanent state, unalterably imprinted in the fixed order of creation. Sometimes women are considered so worthless that their human nature is entirely obliterated and they are relegated to the status of nonhuman entities.
The Inferior Sex
In ancient Greece, Aristotle expounded on the "natural inferiority" of women in all spheres of activity. "The female is a female by virtue of a certain lack of qualities," he wrote. "We should regard female nature as afflicted with a natural defectiveness." (16)
The Renaissance in England--an era when women reigned as queens--was characterized by a spate of diatribes which employed the concept of female inferiority as a foundation for castigating the "unnatural" and "monstrous" phenomenon of the female ruler. Political reformer John Knox's The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women (1558) was a "declaration of the imperfections of women, of their natural weakness and inordinate appetites." A sampling of its many degrading references include: "the inferior member," "weak, frail, impatient, feeble, and foolish," "in her greatest perfection woman was created to be subject to man" and "all woman is commanded to serve, to be in humility and subjection." (17)
During the same period in English history, the acceptance of female inadequacy served as a basis for the subordination of women in the marital relationship. From 1562 onwards, the British Crown directed that The Homily homily (hŏm`əlē), type of oral religious instruction delivered to a church congregation. In the patristic period through the Middle Ages the focus of the homily was on the explanation and application of texts read or sung during the on Marriage be read in church. This statement portrayed the woman as "a weak creature" who was "prone to all weak affectations and dispositions of mind, more than men be." (18) In 1619, a guide to proper conduct in marriage offered the following advice to wives: "Set this down with thyself thy·self
Yourself. Used as the reflexive or emphatic form of thee or thou.
Archaic the reflexive form of thou1 : mine husband is my superior, my Better; he hath authority and rule over me; nature hath given it to him ... . God hath given it to him." (19)
The notorious Marquis de Sade Noun 1. Marquis de Sade - French soldier and writer whose descriptions of sexual perversion gave rise to the term `sadism' (1740-1814)
Comte Donatien Alphonse Francois de Sade, de Sade, Sade , who in the second half of the eighteenth century terrorized and brutalized scores of female victims to satisfy his insatiable appetite for violent and degrading sex, resorted to the most demeaning terminology when referring to women. He called woman "a puny creature, always inferior to man, infinitely less attractive than he, less ingenious, less wise, constructed in a disgusting manner entirely opposite to what is capable of pleasing a man, to what is able to delight him." (20) This imagery dominated his perceptions and constituted a major factor in motivating his abominable behavior.
Various authors, thinkers, and philosophers are found in the forefront of endowing the vocabulary of female inadequacy with considerable respectability. Joseph Addison, a prominent English author during the latter 1600s and early 1700s, thought women "incapable of logic and not amenable to reason."(21) The phrases "no sense of justice," "defective in the powers of reasoning and deliberation," "that undersized undersized
see dwarfism, runt. , narrow-shouldered, broad-hipped, and short-legged race" and "the unaesthetic Adj. 1. unaesthetic - violating aesthetic canons or requirements; deficient in tastefulness or beauty; "inaesthetic and quite unintellectual"; "peered through those inaesthetic spectacles"
inaesthetic sex" comprise just some of the many derogatory characterizations of women in German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer's "Essay on Women" (1851).(22) These views led him to the conclusion that "they [women] form the sexus sequior-the second sex, inferior in every respect to the first" and are "by nature meant to obey."(23)
A milestone in the relentless war of words against women came in the work of another German philosopher, Otto Weininger. His Sex and Character (1906) represents one of the most extreme defamations of female character ever published: On imagination-"women are devoid of imagination." On memory-"A being whose memory is very slight, and who can recall only in the most imperfect fashion." On morality-"with regard to women we can talk only of the non-moral, of the complete absence of a moral sense." On genius-"the female must be described as absolutely without the quality of genius.... A female genius is a contradiction in terms Noun 1. contradiction in terms - (logic) a statement that is necessarily false; "the statement `he is brave and he is not brave' is a contradiction"
logic - the branch of philosophy that analyzes inference ." On thinking-"a woman is without logic... The absolute female, then, is devoid not only of the logical rules, but of the functions of making concepts and judgments which depend on them."(24)
Weininger's assaults on female capability knew no boundaries: "However degraded a man may be, he is immeasurably above the most superior woman." As the result of a "long analysis," Weininger asserted: "There is no exception to the complete absence in women of any true, inalienable Not subject to sale or transfer; inseparable.
That which is inalienable cannot be bought, sold, or transferred from one individual to another. The personal rights to life and liberty guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States are inalienable. relation to worth."(25)
The depiction of women as immature, childish beings is another semantic device often invoked to support the doctrine of female inferiority. In line with this perspective, nothing of any consequence can be expected from women since they are irreversibly arrested at an infantile stage of development. Therefore, the best way to handle these "superficial, frivolous, sensate sen·sate or sen·sat·ed
1. Perceived by a sense or the senses.
2. Having physical sensation. , and emotional creatures" is to indulge, discipline, overprotect o·ver·pro·tect
tr.v. o·ver·pro·tect·ed, o·ver·pro·tect·ing, o·ver·pro·tects
To protect too much; coddle: overprotected their children. , play with, and humor them; but never to take them seriously. Defining women as equivalent to young children lowers them to the state of individuals who are incapable of reflection, foresight, and depth of thought.
The polished and courtly Earl of Chesterfield Earls of Chesterfield, in the County of Derby, was a title in the Peerage of England. It was created in 1616 for Philip Stanhope. He had already been created Baron Stanhope, of Shelford in the County of Nottingham, in 1616, also in the Peerage of England. , considered one of the wittiest and most accomplished men of his time, set forth a patronizing description of women and advice on how to deal with them in a letter to his son in 1748: "Women, then, are only children of a larger growth; they have an entertaining tattle, and sometimes wit ... A man of sense only trifles with them, plays with them, humors and flatters them, as he does with a sprightly spright·ly
adj. spright·li·er, spright·li·est
Full of spirit and vitality; lively; brisk.
In a lively, animated manner.
spright forward child; but he neither consults them about, nor trusts them with serious matters; though he often makes them believe that he does both." (26)
Philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer viewed women as "directly fitted for acting as the nurses and teachers of our early childhood" because "they are themselves childish, frivolous and short-sighted; in a word, they are big children all their life-long--a kind of intermediate stage between the child and the full-grown man." Moreover, he emphasized, "women remain children their whole life long; never seeing anything but what is quite close to them, cleaving to the present moment, taking appearance for reality, and preferring trifles to matters of the first importance." Women's "childish" ways are particularly evident, contended Schopenhauer, in the lack of attention they give to a concert, an opera, or a play: "the childish simplicity ... with which they keep on chattering during the finest passages in the greatest masterpieces." (27)
Science in the Service of Female Incapability
During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, scientists moved into the controversy over the "woman question" by endowing the stereotypes of female inferiority with an aura of empirical authority. These guardians of male supremacy--many of them leading figures in their respective fields--cited a vast array of measurements and observations on the "defects" in female anatomy and physiology. They became acutely preoccupied with how the "deficient" size, weight, capacity, and configuration of the female skull doomed women to an irrevocable state of mental inadequacy. Although much of the so-called data summoned represented a severe corruption of science itself and has long since been thoroughly refuted, it served an indispensable function in the history of oppression; it furnished a rationale for keeping women subjugated sub·ju·gate
tr.v. sub·ju·gat·ed, sub·ju·gat·ing, sub·ju·gates
1. To bring under control; conquer. See Synonyms at defeat.
2. To make subservient; enslave. during a period when they collectively began to seek equality of opportunity in voting rights Voting rights
The right to vote on matters that are put to a vote of security holders. For example the right to vote for directors.
The type of voting and the amount of control held by the owners of a class of stock. , wages, and education.
In his "Lectures on Man, His Place in Creation, and in the History of the Earth" (1864), Karl Vogt, a professor of natural history at the University of Geneva The University of Geneva (Université de Genève) is a university in Geneva, Switzerland. It was founded by John Calvin in 1559. Initially a theological seminary, it also taught law. , employed a series of measurements taken on female skulls to back up the contention that "woman is a constantly growing child, and in the brain, as in so many others parts of the body, she conforms to her childish type." (28)
A Miss M.A. Hardaker authored an influential article for The Popular Science Monthly (March 1882) in which she used such variables as size, brain weight, and operation of physiological processes to make the case for female limitations. She emphasized that "we have as much external evidence of the superior quality of the masculine brain as of the superior breathing power of the masculine lungs, or of the superior absorbing power of the masculine stomach." (29) The differences in mental capacity between men and women were summarized in her comments on the relationship between size and the consumption of food: "As an actual fact, women do not consume so much food as men; nor can they do so while their average size remains so much smaller .... The sum total of food converted into thought by women can never equal the sum total of food converted into thought by men. It follows, therefore, that men will always think more than women." (30) That this type of pseudo-scientific rhetoric came from the pen of a female in tellectual indicates the enormous sway it had over men and women alike.
Female mental inferiority was the theme of an article written by evolutionist-physiologist George J. Romanes in the British monthly The Nineteenth Century (May 1887). Because "the average brain-weight of women is about five ounces less than that of men," he declared, "on merely anatomical grounds we should be prepared to expect a marked inferiority of intellectual power in the former." He concluded that since "the general physique of women is less robust than that of men," they are "therefore less able to sustain the fatigue of serious or prolonged brain action." (31)
Herbert Spencer, a prominent English sociologist, wrote in The Study of Sociology (1896) that the lesser-sized brains of women led to a pronounced limitation in "the latest products of human evolution--the power of abstract reasoning and that most abstract of the emotions, the sentiment of justice." (32)
According to German psychologist P. Moebius in Concerning the Physiological, Intellectual Feebleness of Women (1907), even the woman's spirituality suffered due to lack of brain power: "Extraordinarily important parts of the brain necessary for spiritual life, the frontal convolutions and temporal lobes, are less well developed in women and this difference is inborn inborn /in·born/ (in´born?)
1. genetically determined, and present at birth.
1. Possessed by an organism at birth.
2. ." (33)
Consignment of women to a nonhuman status underlies much of the sexual terrorism that dominates the contents of pornographic "literature." The writings of the Marquis de Sade (1740-1814)--a heavy diet of sex, torture, and killing inextricably in·ex·tri·ca·ble
a. So intricate or entangled as to make escape impossible: an inextricable maze; an inextricable web of deceit.
b. intertwined--are saturated with dehumanizing images of women. De Sade's male perpetrators frequently spout their philosophy of females as contemptible con·tempt·i·ble
1. Deserving of contempt; despicable.
2. Obsolete Contemptuous.
con·tempt subhuman creatures while engaging in endless episodes of unrelenting sexual degradation and violence. In Sade's most demeaning pornographic novel, Justine (1791), the victimizer victimizer Psychology A victim who, having been physically, sexually, emotionally abused, reverses the role and abuses others takes time out from his brutal assaults against his female victims to express serious doubt whether "this peculiar creature [woman], as distinct from man as is man from the ape, had any reasonable legitimate pretensions to classification as a human." (34) Even in the most banal and nonviolent pornography, assert two leaders of Women Against Violence in Pornography and Media Women Against Violence in Pornography and Media (WAVPM) was a radical feminist activist group based out of San Francisco and an influential force in the anti-pornography movement of the late 1970s and 1980s. , "women are not seen as human beings." (35)
The notion of females as "subhumans The Subhumans is the name of two prominent punk rock bands:
Philosopher Otto Weininger's portrayal of women as entities below the level of humanity descended to rock bottom with his depiction of them as "nothing." "Women," he continually asserted, "have no existence and no essence; they are not, they are nothing." This declaration was backed up by an excruciating demonstration of philosophic mumbo-jumbo: "All metaphysical, all transcendental existence is logical and moral existence; women is non-logical and non-moral.... She is rather nothing." While the "male is the image of God, the absolute something," Weininger emphasized, "the female ... is the symbol of nothing." The nothingness noth·ing·ness
1. The condition or quality of being nothing; nonexistence.
2. Empty space; a void.
3. Lack of consequence; insignificance.
4. Something inconsequential or insignificant. ascribed to women is aptly illustrated, he believed, by the "Chinaman" who, when "asked how many children he has, he counts only the boys, and will say none if he has only daughters." (37)
Weininger's presentation of women as "nothing" contains numerous pornographic counterparts. Obscene writings are full of references to women as "nothing," "nonperson non·per·son
A person whose existence is systematically ignored or concealed, especially one whose removal from the attention and memory of the public is sought for reasons of ideological or political deviation.
Noun 1. ," "nonbeing," "zero," "empty" and "VOID." A classic illustration of the nothingness imposed on female nature is the pornographic novel The Story of O (1965), written under the pseudonym Pauline Reage. Throughout this sordid tale of moral nihilism and physical annihilation, O is subjected to interminable acts of degradation and violence: rape, sodomy, brandings, whippings, torture, ridicule, and extreme humiliation. The grim litany of sadomasochistic sa·do·mas·o·chism
The combination of sadism and masochism, in particular the deriving of pleasure, especially sexual gratification, from inflicting or submitting to physical or emotional abuse. sex and unrestrained barbarism is predicated on one of pornography's cosmic principles: women are by nature "zeroes," "nonbeings," "nonpersons," empty "Os." (38)
Such thoroughly dehumanizing concepts as "nonperson" and "nothing"--veritable mainstays of pornography--have spilled over into the vocabulary of motives constructed by rapists to vindicate their acts of sexual violence. In the words of one convicted, incarcerated incarcerated /in·car·cer·at·ed/ (in-kahr´ser-at?ed) imprisoned; constricted; subjected to incarceration.
Confined or trapped, as a hernia. rapist, "I wanted sex and there was peer pressure. She wasn't like a person, no personality." (39)
The perception of women as "nothing" played a crucial role in the brutal rape and beating of a young woman in New York's Central Park by a gang of teenage boys on the evening of April 19, 1989. The pack of six youths, ranging in age from 14 to 16, culminated a night of "wilding"--a street term for a spree of random hell-raising and violence--by assaulting a 28-year-old female jogger. Over a half-hour period, they beat her senseless with rocks and a metal pipe, raped her repeatedly, and then left her for dead. When she was found three hours later, her body temperature had dropped to 80 degrees, she had lost two-thirds of her blood, and lapsed into a coma. After their arrest, the perpetrators showed no signs of remorse. Instead, they joked about and described what they had done as "fun." One of them told the police that the woman was "nothing." (40)
Demeaning animal metaphors comprise a staple of linguistic derision directed against women from time immemorial. In one set of animalistic an·i·mal·ism
1. Enjoyment of vigorous health and physical drives.
2. Indifference to all but the physical appetites.
3. The doctrine that humans are merely animals with no spiritual nature. images, the woman is depicted as a mindless breeder blindly following beastly beast·ly
adj. beast·li·er, beast·li·est
1. Of or resembling a beast; bestial.
2. Very disagreeable; unpleasant.
adv. Chiefly British
To an extreme degree; very. instincts and performing the strictly "animal" functions of producing and rearing offspring. In line with another utilization of animal analogies, underneath even the most modest feminine demeanor lurks an insatiable, raging "sexual beast" which covets every imaginable sexual aberration, preferably combining lust and the most sadistic violence. One other variation on the theme of female animality features portrayals of women as "wild animals WILD ANIMALS. Animals in a state of nature; animals ferae naturae. Vide Animals; Ferae naturae. " in dire need of subjugation Subjugation
king to whom God sold Israelites. [O.T.: Judges 3:8]
consigned to servitude in retribution for trickery. [O.T.: Joshua 9:22–27]
curses him and progeny to servitude. [O. , domestication domestication
Process of hereditary reorganization of wild animals and plants into forms more accommodating to the interests of people. In its strictest sense, it refers to the initial stage of human mastery of wild animals and plants. , and tight control, including a regular regimen of physical battering. These three animalistic images can be found in a wide variety of sources: poetry, satire, politics, philosophy, the law, drama, and pornography.
The semantic reduction of women to the status of "brood mares" was translated into practice on a vast scale in the antebellum American South. Court decisions were commonly quoted as a basis for comparing female slaves to prolific female animals: "Suppose a brood mare is hired for five years, the foals belong to him who has a part of the use of the dam. The slave in Maryland, in this respect, is placed on no higher or different grounds." (41)
A "breeder woman," recounted former slave Martha Jackson," "brought in chillun ev'y twelve mont's jes lak a cow bringin' in a calf." (42) And those with proven records of child production brought the highest market values. An advertisement in the Charleston (South Carolina South Carolina, state of the SE United States. It is bordered by North Carolina (N), the Atlantic Ocean (SE), and Georgia (SW). Facts and Figures
Area, 31,055 sq mi (80,432 sq km). Pop. (2000) 4,012,012, a 15. ) Mercury described a 29-year-old African-American woman with two young children as an individual who "is very prolific in her generating qualities, and affords a rare opportunity for any person who wishes to raise a family of strong, healthy servants." (43) Still younger women displaying comparable childbearing capacities were in even greater demand. A girl of seventeen who had born two children was called "a rattlin' good breeder" and "commanded an extraordinary price."" (44)
The longstanding tradition of defining women as nothing more than bestial bes·tial
2. Marked by brutality or depravity.
3. Lacking in intelligence or reason; subhuman. breeders dies hard. Male misogynists, however, are not the only group responsible for its perpetuation. Women who claim to be feminists, yet harbor deep-seated hostility toward both men and motherhood, are especially prone to accuse women who bear and raise children of compulsive acquiescence to an animalistic urge mandated by male supremacists to keep females in a perpetual state of servitude servitude
In property law, a right by which property owned by one person is subject to a specified use or enjoyment by another. Servitudes allow people to create stable long-term arrangements for a wide variety of purposes, including shared land uses; maintaining the . A leading proponent of this rhetoric is feminist author Kate Millett. In Sexual Politics (1970), she referred to the "reproduction and care of the young" as "animal functions." (45)
Unrestrained Sexual Bestiality Bestiality
See also Perversion.
Minotaur born to Pasiphaë and Cretan Bull. [Gk. Myth.: Zimmerman, 34]
raped by Zeus in form of swan. [Gk. Myth.
The use of gross animal imagery to stamp female sexuality with scorn and revulsion is a major theme in many literary works of the past. The early satirist Juvenal described a woman filled with sexual desire as "worse than a tigress robbed of its young." (46) In Ben Jonson's play Epicoene (1609). Captain Thomas Otter asserted: "Wives are nasty, sluttish animals." (47)
Two modern writers who excel in the practice of debasing de·base
tr.v. de·based, de·bas·ing, de·bas·es
To lower in character, quality, or value; degrade. See Synonyms at adulterate, corrupt, degrade.
[de- + base2. women to vulgar, unbridled sexual animals are Henry Miller and Normal Mailer. These practitioners of explicit pornographic imagery under the guise of literature act out their hatred for women in novels. Their books are suffused suf·fuse
tr.v. suf·fused, suf·fus·ing, suf·fus·es
To spread through or over, as with liquid, color, or light: "The sky above the roof is suffused with deep colors" with passages featuring out-of-control, bestial females who relish being relentlessly assaulted and ravished RAVISHED, pleadings. In indictments for rape, this technical word must be introduced, for no other word, nor any circumlocution, will answer the purpose. The defendant should be charged with having "feloniously ravished" the prosecutrix, or woman mentioned in the indictment. Bac. Ab. by masterful, macho males.
Miller's descriptions of women in sexual encounters are riddled with repulsive animal metaphors. In Tropic of Capricorn Tropic of Capricorn, parallel of latitude at 23°30' south of the equator; it is the southern boundary of the tropics. This parallel marks the farthest point south at which the sun can be seen directly overhead at noon; south of the parallel the sun appears less (1961), he depicts sexual conquests as equivalent to "trapping a weasel weasel, name for certain small, lithe, carnivorous mammals of the family Mustelidae (weasel family). Members of this family are generally characterized by long bodies and necks, short legs, small rounded ears, and medium to long tails. when night came on." (48) His caricatures of female sexual behavior sexual behavior A person's sexual practices–ie, whether he/she engages in heterosexual or homosexual activity. See Sex life, Sexual life. in Sexus (1965) abound with the most degenerate animal analogies: "She was like a bitch in heat... wriggling like a worm on the hook Adj. 1. on the hook - caught in a difficult or dangerous situation; "there I was back on the hook"
dangerous, unsafe - involving or causing danger or risk; liable to hurt or harm; "a dangerous criminal"; "a dangerous bridge"; "unemployment reached dangerous .... Mara twisted like an eel. She wasn't any longer a woman in heat, she wasn't even a woman; she was just a mass of indefinable contours wriggling and squirming like a piece of fresh bait .... groaning, grunting, squealing squeal
v. squealed, squeal·ing, squeals
1. To give forth a loud shrill cry or sound.
2. Slang To turn informer; betray an accomplice or secret.
v.tr. like a pig... fornicating with a rabbit.... She crouched on all fours like a she animal, quivering and whinnying.... She looked like a crazed animal." (49)
More of the same can be found in Normal Mailer's numerous contributions to the lexicon of "rampant female sexuality animality." His Advertisements for Myself (1959) maligns women in sexual relations with the expressions "the wanton whip-thrash of a wounded snake" and "she thrashed beneath me like a trapped little animal." (50) Mailer continued these degrading accounts in An American Dream (1965): "A carnal carnal adjective Referring to the flesh, to baser instincts, often referring to sexual “knowledge” transaction with a caged animal," "that smell ... of the wild boar full of rut" and "she was hungry, like a lean rat." (51) During an interview, Mailer maintained that "most men who understand women at all feel hostility toward them. At their worst, women are low, sloppy beasts." (52)
The demeaning animality attributed to female sexuality is heightened further in pornographic magazines. Hustler has featured the photograph of a woman, surrounded by the mounted heads of wild animals and animal skins, with her legs open toward a lion. The accompanying commentary emphasizes that "Lea" had abandoned "the veneer of civilization for the honesty of wild animal passions" and "the beast in her is unleashed." Furthermore, "she sees in wild creatures her own primitive lusts and desires, and she satisfies them with the uninhibited uninhibited /un·in·hib·it·ed/ (un?in-hib´i-ted) free from usual constraints; not subject to normal inhibitory mechanisms. speed of a beast in heat." Also published in Hustler was a picture of a male lion on its back, with its legs spread apart in the midst Adv. 1. in the midst - the middle or central part or point; "in the midst of the forest"; "could he walk out in the midst of his piece?"
midmost of photographs of nude women. (53)
Pornographers have developed what Susan Griffin in Pornography and Silence (1981) calls a "secret museum of classic art" portraying women copulating with animals. American, Japanese, Dutch, French, German, and Polish painters have created scenes of women being raped by bulls and coupling with goats, horses, kangaroos, and other animals. In one such painting, a virgin having sexual contact with a monkey is depicted as being "bestialized, devirginized and monkeyfied." (54)
Cartoons published in contemporary pornographic magazines serve as another principal source for reducing women to the level of sexual beasts who prefer copulating with animals instead of human beings. One of their favorite themes consists of sexual affairs between wives and the family dog. In her extensive study of images of debased de·base
tr.v. de·based, de·bas·ing, de·bas·es
To lower in character, quality, or value; degrade. See Synonyms at adulterate, corrupt, degrade.
[de- + base2. sexuality (1987) in Playboy, Hustler, and Penthouse, Dr. Judith A. Reisman Judith A. Reisman (b. Judith Ann Gelernter, 1935, Newark, New Jersey) is best known for her criticism of the work of Alfred Kinsey. She argues that that many of Kinsey's sexual viewpoints are not appropriate in the context of modern sex education. includes copies of cartoons depicting female bestiality published in Playboy during the 1970s and 1980s. (55)
The Taming of Wild Animals
The ancient times, the most minimal expressions of autonomy on the part of women would likely precipitate the imposition of wild-beast labels. In 195 B.C. the Roman legislator Marcus Porcius Cato This name can refer to:
Lowering women to the level of wild animals and beasts is a motif constantly repeated in a broad range of writings. In 1564 the Italian anatomist a·nat·o·mist
An expert in or a student of anatomy.
one skilled in anatomy. P. Borgarucci declared: "Woman is a most arrogant and extremely intractable animal." (57) Jean Bodin, a prominent French jurist A judge or legal scholar; an individual who is versed or skilled in law.
The term jurist is ordinarily applied to individuals who have gained respect and recognition by their writings on legal topics.
jurist n. and political theorist during the mid to late 1500s, pointed to "bestial cupidity cu·pid·i·ty
Excessive desire, especially for wealth; covetousness or avarice.
[Middle English cupidite, from Old French, from Latin cupidit " as the reason "why Plato placed woman between man and the brute beast." "Wisdom," Bodin added, "never comes from women, whose nature is nearer to that of brute beasts." (58)
Portrayals of women as menacing animals have been frequently invoked to rationalize harsh behavior. When Marcus Porcius Cato addressed the Roman lawmakers on the "violent and uncontrolled" nature of female animality, he also stated: "It is useless to let go the reins and then expect her not to kick over the traces. You must keep her on a tight rein." (59) Renaissance pamphleteer pam·phlet·eer
A writer of pamphlets or other short works taking a partisan stand on an issue.
intr.v. pam·phlet·eered, pam·phlet·eer·ing, pam·phlet·eers
To write and publish pamphlets. Joseph Swetnam resorted to a similar analogy to justify the imposition of severe restraints on women: "As a sharp bit curbs a froward fro·ward
Stubbornly contrary and disobedient; obstinate.
froward·ly adv. horse, even so a curst curst
A past tense and a past participle of curse.
Variant of cursed.
Adj. 1. curst - deserving a curse; sometimes used as an intensifier; "villagers shun the area believing it to be cursed"; woman be roughly used." (60)
Statements advocating woman-beating are invariably in·var·i·a·ble
Not changing or subject to change; constant.
in·vari·a·bil accompanied by domesticated-animal analogies. The nineteenth-century French poet Charles Baudelaire once wrote: "I consider that women are domestic animals which ought to be kept locked up in captivity; they should be well fed and cared for and beaten regularly." (61) Identical sentiments prevailed during the late 1800s in England, an era when wife-battering constituted a major problem. A popular Gloucestershire adage stated: "A woman, a spaniel spaniel: see sporting dog; toy dog.
Any of several breeds of dogs used to flush game. Spaniels originated in Spain, but most modern breeds were developed in Britain. Breeds range from 14 to 20 in. and a walnut tree, the more they are beaten, the better they be." (62) "The women of Lancashire," according to another favorite saying, "are awfully fond of bad husbands. It has become quite a truism that our women are like dogs, the more you beat them the more they love you." (63)
The labeling of women as parasitic creatures who cannot subsist sub·sist
v. sub·sist·ed, sub·sist·ing, sub·sists
a. To exist; be.
b. To remain or continue in existence.
2. on their own represents a common method of denigration den·i·grate
tr.v. den·i·grat·ed, den·i·grat·ing, den·i·grates
1. To attack the character or reputation of; speak ill of; defame.
2. . Like the parasite, the woman is pictured as possessing an insatiable impulse to attach herself to a host (the man) in order to survive. In what turns out to be an asymmetrical relationship, she not only survives but flourishes, invariably at the expense of the supportive man. Through the devices of guile and treachery, the "parasitic" woman exploits, saps the energy from, absorbs, possesses, and eventually devours her male host. Since much of the woman's cunning is ascribed to sexual seduction and female artifice, she is often dubbed a "sexual parasite." This misogynistic mi·sog·y·nis·tic also mi·sog·y·nous
Of or characterized by a hatred of women.
Adj. 1. misogynistic - hating women in particular
ill-natured - having an irritable and unpleasant disposition lexicon is strewn strew
tr.v. strewed, strewn or strewed, strew·ing, strews
1. To spread here and there; scatter: strewing flowers down the aisle.
2. with descriptions of women as "vermin vermin /ver·min/ (ver´min)
1. an external animal parasite.
2. such parasites collectively.ver´minous
n. pl. ," "parasites," "leeches," "spiders," "vampires," "carnivorous plants," and other repugnant REPUGNANT. That which is contrary to something else; a repugnant condition is one contrary to the contract itself; as, if I grant you a house and lot in fee, upon condition that you shall not aliens, the condition is repugnant and void. Bac. Ab. Conditions, L. , rapacious creatures.
Sexual Parasitism parasitism: see parasite.
Relationship between two species in which one benefits at the expense of the other. Ectoparasites live on the body surface of the host; endoparasites live in their hosts' organs, tissues, or cells and often rely
Parasitic imagery intended to debase de·base
tr.v. de·based, de·bas·ing, de·bas·es
To lower in character, quality, or value; degrade. See Synonyms at adulterate, corrupt, degrade.
[de- + base2. women is found in a wide variety of material, ranging from satire to pornography. The anti-female Renaissance propagandist Joseph Swetnam depicted women as "vermin" and a "spider which weaves a fine web to hang a fly." He warned men about the woman who "will play the horse leech to suck away thy wealth, but in the winter of thy misery she will fly away from thee." (64) Just before subjecting his female victim to an odious diet of sexual perversion and violence, a character in one of the Marquis de Sade's novels gave a speech riddled with parasitic references to the poor, and, by extension, to the pleading, destitute woman standing before him. "Would a man devoured by vermin," he asked, "allow them to feed upon him out of sympathy? In our gardens do we not uproot the parasitic plant which harms useful vegetation?" (65) The Swedish novelist and dramatist August Strindberg likened his wife to "the female spider that devours her mate immediately after the hymeneal hy·me·ne·al
Of or relating to a wedding or marriage.
1. A wedding song or poem.
2. hymeneals Archaic A wedding; nuptials. embrace." ( 66) Author Henry Miller's depiction of the woman's relationship with the man reads: "She clung to me like a leech." (67)
Rene Guyon, a proponent of the woman as a "sexual parasite," wished to liberate people from what he called "the hideous bondage of conventional sexuality morality!" His unabashed proclamation of unfettered sexual license, Sexual Freedom (1950), is infested in·fest
tr.v. in·fest·ed, in·fest·ing, in·fests
1. To inhabit or overrun in numbers or quantities large enough to be harmful, threatening, or obnoxious: with parasitic expressions: "Woman is almost universally parasitic"; "parasitism ... is woman's intrinsic nature"; "her parasitic instinct"; "woman's sexual parasitism is innate"; "the parasitism of women assumes multifarious multifarious adj., adv. reference to a lawsuit in which either party or various causes of action (claims based on different legal theories) are improperly joined together in the same suit. This is more commonly called "misjoinder." (See: misjoinder) forms, and is so much second nature that is may be regarded as a common place." (68)
Elaborating more fully on the nature of female "sexual parasitism," Guyon declared that women in general "regard parasitism on the male as their ideal, and if possible parasitism upon one 'host,' a man able to provide a stable position ... that guarantee of permanence which is most congenial to a parasite." In addition, Guyon maintained, "average women" exhibit a decided disinclination dis·in·cli·na·tion
A lack of inclination; a mild aversion or reluctance.
Noun 1. disinclination - that toward which you are inclined to feel dislike; "his disinclination for modesty is well known" "to welcome social or legal changes which will interfere with their parasitic role." "There are," he continually reiterated, "many advantages in being a parasite." (69)
The lowering of women to parasites is not the exclusive domain of men with an axe to grind Axe to grind
Used in context of general equities. Involvement in a security, whether through a position, order, or inquiry. against females. Some feminists are fond of utilizing this dehumanizing metaphor, primarily against those who are homemakers. Although these feminists seem to be simply in favor of giving women a choice regarding their status--whether it be exercised inside or outside the home--their litmus test litmus test
A test for chemical acidity or basicity using litmus paper. of non-parasitism, independence, and maturity, is full-time gainful gain·ful
Providing a gain; profitable: gainful employment.
gainful·ly adv. employment in the work force. Moreover, while their rhetoric is replete with images of "housewives" as "parasites" on husband, home, and hearth, it is almost entirely devoid of any references to "working women" as "parasites" on either the employer or the job.
An extensive presentation of women--particularly married women--as parasites upon men is incorporated in Simone de Beauvoir's The Second Sex (1952), touted by the publisher as "the classic manifesto of the liberated woman." De Beauvoir, a prolific French writer and towering figure in modern-day feminism, compared the situation of the "clinging" woman to "that of a parasite sucking out the living strength of another organism." She asserted that marriage turns women into "praying mantises" and "leeches" and declared that "women's work within the home gives her no autonomy: it is not directly useful to society ... it produces nothing ... However respected she may be, she is subordinate, secondary, parasitic." (70)
Women residing in middle- and upper-class families bore a significant brunt of de Beauvoir's vitriolic terminology: "The parasitic woman" leading a "parasitic existence," "she can only vegetate as a parasite in her father's home or take some menial position in the home of a stranger." De Beauvoir expressed a pronounced irritation toward women who willingly choose to "live as parasites" even when they have the wherewithal to do otherwise. Such "parasitic" women, she lamented, are "extremely demoralizing de·mor·al·ize
tr.v. de·mor·al·ized, de·mor·al·iz·ing, de·mor·al·iz·es
1. To undermine the confidence or morale of; dishearten: an inconsistent policy that demoralized the staff. for the woman who aims at self-sufficiency." (71)
Underlying the numerous parasitic epithets which de Beauvoir heaps upon women in monogamous relationships is a semantic assault on marriage in general. A sampling of excerpts from The Second Sex reveals the jaundiced jaun·diced
1. Affected with jaundice.
2. Yellow or yellowish.
3. Affected by or exhibiting envy, prejudice, or hostility.
1. nature of this onslaught: "It is a commonplace that marriage kills love"; "Marriage is a form of servitude"; "Marriage is obscene in principle"; "Marriage is today a surviving relic of dead ways of life"; "The chains of marriage are heavy"; "conjugal Pertaining or relating to marriage; suitable or applicable to married people.
Conjugal rights are those that are considered to be part and parcel of the state of matrimony, such as love, sex, companionship, and support. slavery"; "Marriage diminishes man ... but almost always it annihilates woman." (72)
A Diseased Species
Disease analogies occupy a central position in the name-calling directed against women. They are usually conveyed in two basic themes: (I) women per se are defined as a dangerous "contagion Contagion
The likelihood of significant economic changes in one country spreading to other countries. This can refer to either economic booms or economic crises.
An infamous example is the "Asian Contagion" that occurred in 1997 and started in Thailand. " or "plague" which infects people or pollutes animals and things, and (2) the woman's anatomical and physiological makeup is equated with illnesses, wounds, infirmities, and disabilities. Such malignant stereotypes have furnished an ongoing foundation for the numerous actions intended to isolate, exploit, and discriminate against members of the female gender. Like other forms of devaluation devaluation, decreasing the value of one nation's currency relative to gold or the currencies of other nations. It is usually undertaken as a means of correcting a deficit in the balance of payments. , disease metaphors possess a steadfast longevity persisting from ancient times onward.
An Infectious, Disabling Condition
During classical antiquity, women were commonly called "plagues." The Greek writer Hesiod dubbed Pandora the first of the "damnable dam·na·ble
Deserving condemnation; odious.
dam race of women--a plague which men must live with." (73) An identical view was expressed in a satirical poem, written by the Greek poet Semonides: "Yes, this the worst plague Zeus has made--women; if they seem to be [of] some use to him who has them, it is to him especially that they prove a plague." (74)
These images of women continued well into the 1500s. In his diatribe di·a·tribe
A bitter, abusive denunciation.
[Latin diatriba, learned discourse, from Greek diatrib against female in positions of power and leadership--The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women (1558)--John Knox claimed that God "hath raised up these Jezebels to be the uttermost of his plagues." In addition, he asserted, "to place a woman in authority above a realm is to pollute and profane the royal seat, the throne of justice." (75) In his Discoveries of Witchcraft (1584), English skeptic Reginald Scot labeled "lean, hollow-eyed, old, beetlebrowed women" as "the most infectious." (76) Such statements were widely disseminated during the Renaissance, an era when reason, science, progress, and enlightenment were supposed to have supplanted the legends and myths of the dark ages.
A variation on the infection metaphor--women as a deformity in nature--was frequently put forth in the ancient world and later. The creator and foremost proponent in this concept was the Greek philosopher Aristotle. In Generation of Animals Generation of Animals (or On the Generation of Animals, or in Latin De Generatione Animalium) is a text by Aristotle. Arabic translation
The Arabic translation of De Generatione Animalium comprises treatises 15-19 of the he included one of his most negative assessments of women: "Females are weaker and colder in their nature; and we should look upon the female state as being as it were a deformity, though one which occurs in the ordinary course of nature." (77)
The nineteenth century proved to be a fruitful time for the reduction of women to the status of illnesses. In 1851 E.J. Tilt called the woman's life cycle "a long chain of never-ending infirmities." (78) In a paper presented before the Anthropological Society of London The Anthropological Society of London was founded in 1863 by Richard Francis Burton and Dr. James Hunt. It broke away from the existing Ethnological Society of London, founded in 1842, and defined itself in opposition to the older society. in 1869, J. McGregor Allan emphasized that "every woman is, according to temperament and other circumstances, always more or less an invalid....Nature disables the whole sex." (79) Gagliani, a writer during this same period, referred to women as "invalids" and averred that "women, therefore, only have intervals of health in the course of a continual disease." (80)
The Contaminated Wound
While virtually every aspect of female anatomy has been defined as a diseased component, it is the vulva vulva /vul·va/ (vul´vah) [L.] the external genital organs of the female, including the mons pubis, labia majora and minora, clitoris, and vestibule of the vagina. which is most often subjected to this type of invective. In legends and mythology the female genitalia genitalia /gen·i·ta·lia/ (jen?i-tal´e-ah) [L.] the reproductive organs.
ambiguous genitalia are often portrayed as "a supernatural wound" inflicted by a bird, a snake, or a lizard. (81) According to Freudian mythology, the woman typically equates the absence of the male sex organ to a profound biological defect which carries over into the social, psychological, and cognitive spheres as well. This dogma of biological reductionism reductionism(rē·dukˑ·sh·niˑ·z features a female castration complex castration complex
1. In psychoanalytic theory, a child's fear of injury to the genitals by the parent of the same sex as punishment for unconscious guilt over oedipal feelings.
2. continually renewed by the omnipresence of a permanent wound, a visible scar--a constant reminder of the woman's pervasive inferiority. "After a woman has become aware of the wound to her narcissism narcissism (närsĭs`ĭzəm), Freudian term, drawn from the Greek myth of Narcissus, indicating an exclusive self-absorption. In psychoanalysis, narcissism is considered a normal stage in the development of children. ," Freud taught, "she develops, like a scar, a sense of inferiority." (82) In the woman-hating world of Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer Tropic of Cancer, parallel of latitude at 23°30' north of the equator; it is the northern boundary of the tropics. This parallel marks the farthest point north at which the sun can be seen directly overhead at noon; north of the parallel the sun appears less than (1961), female sexual anatomy is repeatedly deified de·i·fy
tr.v. dei·fied, dei·fy·ing, dei·fies
1. To make a god of; raise to the condition of a god.
2. To worship or revere as a god: deify a leader.
3. by the expressions "it's disgusting," "an ugly gash" and "the wound that never heals." (83)
The monthly flow of blood, fluid, and other discharges from the woman has long been seen to enhance the notion of a bleeding, contaminated wound with highly infectious, incapacitating in·ca·pac·i·tate
tr.v. in·ca·pac·i·tat·ed, in·ca·pac·i·tat·ing, in·ca·pac·i·tates
1. To deprive of strength or ability; disable.
2. To make legally ineligible; disqualify. qualities. Gagliani believed that menstruation made the woman "an invalid for six days during each month." (84) In L'Amour (1859), French historian Jules Michelet depicted the menstrual process as a disordered state which persists for a much longer duration: "Woman is for ever suffering from the cicatrization cicatrization /cic·a·tri·za·tion/ (sik?ah-tri-za´shun) the formation of a cicatrix or scar.
The process of scar formation. of an interior wound which is the cause of a whole drama. So that in reality for 15 or 20 days out of 28--one may almost say always--woman is not only invalided but wounded." (85) J. McGregor Allan called menstruation a "periodic illness" and focused on its "severe disabling impact": "It will be within the mark to say that women are unwell, from this cause .... At such times, women are unfit for any great mental or physical labour. They suffer under a languor and depression which disqualify To deprive of eligibility or render unfit; to disable or incapacitate.
To be disqualified is to be stripped of legal capacity. A wife would be disqualified as a juror in her husband's trial for murder due to the nature of their relationship. them for thought or action, and r ender it extremely doubtful how far they can be considered responsible beings while the crisis lasts." (86)
From time immemorial, numerous alarms have been sounded about the "highly contagious" nature of the menses menses /men·ses/ (men´sez) the monthly flow of blood from the female genital tract.
n. . The Roman scholar Pliny (61-113 A.D.) accused the menstruating men·stru·ate
intr.v. men·stru·at·ed, men·stru·at·ing, men·stru·ates
To undergo menstruation.
[Late Latin m woman of ruining crops, destroying gardens, and killing bees. Her touch, he added, turned wine into vinegar and caused milk to sour. (87) The Dogon of East Africa believed that a woman undergoing her period would bring misfortune to everything she came in contact with. (88) The peasants of Eastern Europe held that food was especially susceptible to "the deadly contagion." All would go wrong, they warned, if a woman were allowed to bake bread, make pickles, or churn butter during her period. (89)
Such superstitions are not confined to ancient and primitive cultures. "It is an undoubted fact that meat spoils when touched by menstruating women," proclaimed an article in The British Medical Journal The British Medical Journal, or BMJ, is one of the most popular and widely-read peer-reviewed general medical journals in the world. It is published by the BMJ Publishing Group Ltd (owned by the British Medical Association), whose other in 1878. (20)
Besides being defined as a diseased state in itself, menstruation has been blamed for inducing a flood of maladies, ranging from epilepsy to that condition habitually associated with females--hysteria. A typical exposition of this linkage was published in The Lancet (April 12, 1873), another leading British medical journal. Its author, Dr. Robert Barnes, wrote: "It is a matter of frequent observation that the first attack of hysteria or epilepsy coincides with the first effort at menstruation, and that a fit is liable to recur at successive menstrual epochs." (91)
The portrayal of menstruating women as diseased and highly contagious sources has furnished a major rationale for numerous injustices--particularly extreme segregation--imposed upon females. In many cultures, women have been quarantined during their monthly periods. At the onset of their first penods, girls from the Nootka of the Canadian northwestern coast were supplied with private eating utensils and had to eat alone for eight months. (92) When Eskimo girls experienced the monthly flow, they had to crouch in a corner, their faces to the wall, and let their hair hang over their heads. (93) Among some Australians of Queensland, the menstruating girl was buried up to the waist in a secluded spot. The soil was supposed to purify her "contaminated" condition. (94) As late as the beginning of the twentieth century, a rule still existed forbidding menstruating women from entering sugar refineries in northern France. The exclusion was based on the contention that women afflicted with "the curse" would cause the su gar to blacken black·en
v. black·ened, black·en·ing, black·ens
1. To make black.
2. To sully or defame: a scandal that blackened the mayor's name.
3. . (95)
The Objectification ob·jec·ti·fy
tr.v. ob·jec·ti·fied, ob·jec·ti·fy·ing, ob·jec·ti·fies
1. To present or regard as an object: "Because we have objectified animals, we are able to treat them impersonally" of Women
At the depths of the semantics of subhumanism, one encounters a frequently invoked set of demeaning designations aimed at women which can be best classified under the heading "the objectification of the victim"; that is, the transformation of women into inanimate objects--mere things which have no semblance of humanity, life, or even motion. This pervasive lexicon of denigration contains such terms as "object," "thing," "property," "possession," "chattel chattel (chăt`əl), in law, any property other than a freehold estate in land (see tenure). A chattel is treated as personal property rather than real property regardless of whether it is movable or immovable (see property). ," "toy," "goods," "merchandise," "furniture," "matter," "material," and "specimen." These words have been utilized to justify the acts of violence and degradation visited upon members of the female gender for millennia. This kind of name-calling is still very much in evidence today, and supplies a major semantic foundation for the contemporary assaults on the body, person, and integrity of women.
Pieces of Property
The perception of women as the man's rightful "possession" to be used and abused as he sees fit is a dominant assumption of the longstanding mentality of male supremacy. It has served as a basis for laws governing male-female relationships inside and outside the family, and has long furnished a rationalization for wife-battering, rape, and other atrocities.
From early times, men created and acted upon the notion that women are licit "pieces of property" to take and possess--often by violent means. Women thus became man's first "permanent acquisition," his first "piece of real property." Many a marriage down through history resulted from the forcible abduction Abduction
expecting inheritance, kidnapped by uncle. [Br. Lit.: Kidnapped]
kidnapped at age five; taken from Scotland. [Br. Lit. of females. The earliest civil law pertaining to marriage is attributed to Romulus, the legendary founder of Rome. It obliged married women "to conform themselves entirely to the temper of their husbands and the husbands to rule their wives as necessary and inseparable possessions." (96)
The notion that women are the private property of men can be located in a wide assortment of sources. Petruchio, a character in William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew shrew, common name for the small, insectivorous mammals of the family Soricidae, related to the moles. Shrews include the smallest mammals; the smallest shrews are under 2 in. (5.1 cm) long, excluding the tail, and the largest are about 6 in. (15 cm) long. , expressed an attitude of male ownership over females as "chattel" which prevailed in Shakespeare's day: "I will be master of what is mine own. She is my goods, my chattels CHATTELS, property. A term which includes all hinds of property, except the freehold or things which are parcel of it. It is a more extensive term than goods or effects. Debtors taken in execution, captives, apprentices, are accounted chattels. Godol. Orph. Leg. part 3, chap. 6, Sec. 1. , she is my house, my household stuff, my field, my barn." (97) One of the most dominant figures in French history, Napoleon Bonaparte, once asserted: "Nature intended women to be our slaves ... they are our property; we are not theirs. They belong to us, just as a tree that bears fruit belongs to a gardener." (98) The influential German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche declared that man "must always look on woman from the oriental standpoint--as a possession, as private property, as something born to serve and be dependent on him." (99)
Labeling women as appropriate "objects" for male possession--a conception with a strong legacy of legal support--has helped endow even an act so despicable as rape with astounding a·stound
tr.v. a·stound·ed, a·stound·ing, a·stounds
To astonish and bewilder. See Synonyms at surprise.
[From Middle English astoned, past participle of astonen, toleration. For many centuries, rape was consistently defined in law, not as a violent attack on the woman, but as simply the "robbing of" or "trespass against" another man's "property." (100)
The greatly increased incidence of rape during wartime is based on a perception of women in subjugated countries as "legitimate booty" and apt "rewards" for the victorious forces. "To the victor belongs the spoils" is a time-worn slogan invoked to rationalize gang rapes by mobs of marauding ma·raud
v. ma·raud·ed, ma·raud·ing, ma·rauds
To rove and raid in search of plunder.
To raid or pillage for spoils. soldiers. Susan Brownmiller in her 1971 book, Against Our Will, concludes that the license to commit wanton aggression against women is motivated by "the mob's hatred and contempt" directed against "other men's property, be it furniture, cattle, or women." (101)
Reduction of females to the status of "objects" for sexual violence is an image which is not confined to the past or to war-tom countries; it is also a prime motive employed by contemporary rapists to justify their assaults. In a series of in-depth interviews of convicted rapists conducted in the early 1980s, Diane Scully and colleagues at Virginia Commonwealth University Formed by a merger between the Richmond Professional Institute and the Medical College of Virginia in 1968, VCU has a medical school that is home to the nation's oldest organ transplant program. found that many of the justifications manufactured by the perpetrators were based on "the cultural view of women as sexual commodities, dehumanized and devoid of autonomy and dignity." (102) As the result of such a perception, Scully concluded, most of the rapists displayed an alarming lack of empathy toward their victims and saw them as merely "sex objects" to be used and abused rather than as legitimate human beings with feelings and rights. As one of these sex offenders put it: "I had no feelings at all, she was like an object." (103) Another variation on the extent to which women are objectified in rape can be gleaned from an account gi ven by one of the rapists in Scully's study: "Rape is a man's right. If a woman doesn't want to give it, the man should take it. Women have no right to say no. Women are made to have sex. It's all they are good for." (104)
Similarly, consignment of women to the status of "property" furnishes a central justification for wife-beating, another all too common barbarity. In her pathfinding expose of wife-torture in nineteenth-century England, Frances Power Cobbe highlighted the significant role of dehumanizing language in relegating the victims to the "property" of their husbands:
The special depreciation of wives is more directly responsible for the outrages they endure. The notion that a man's wife is his PROPERTY, in the sense in which a horse is his property ... is the fatal root of incalculable evil and misery. Every brutal-minded man, and many a man who in other relations of life is not brutal, entertains more or less vaguely the notion that his wife is his thing, and is ready to ask with indignation (as we read again and again in the police reports) of anyone who interferes with his treatment of her, "May I not do what I will with my own?" (105)
Wife-battering today still exists on an enormous scale, and one of its main justifications continues to be based on a perception of wives as "possessions" which can be used and abused according to the whim of the husband owner. In a study of battered wives conducted in the mid 1970s, a woman revealed that when she cried and protested after being beaten on her honeymoon, her husband responded: "I married you so I own you." (106) On the Donahue television talk show of September 19, 1989, former wife batterer Chuck Switzer revealed: "I considered my wife when I married her to become my property, and I wanted absolute and total control." Lee Grant, the director of a documentary film on battered women, appeared on this same program. She emphasized that wife beating is part of a well-entrenched tradition which says: "I own this woman. I can do whatever I want to this woman." (107)
A common expression of female objectification is the widespread practice of regarding women as equivalent to merchandise for disposal in the marketplace. The reduction of women to the category of expendable goods to be sold, exchanged, or auctioned off according to cost-benefit mentality constituted an underpinning for the establishment and maintenance of two oppressive institutions: arranged marriage and enslavement en·slave
tr.v. en·slaved, en·slav·ing, en·slaves
To make into or as if into a slave.
en·slavement n. of females.
Throughout much of history, women have had little or no say in the formation of marital unions, but were considered merely "merchandise" bought and sold by male consumers. Marriage for the wife meant reduction to the status of "chattel property" for transferal from one patriarch (the father) to another patriarch (the husband). In the medieval household, women served as "commodities" whose value depended upon how much honor, wealth, and influence their acquisition would bestow on the feudal lord. (108) Some cultures deemed women to be of such meager mea·ger also mea·gre
1. Deficient in quantity, fullness, or extent; scanty.
2. Deficient in richness, fertility, or vigor; feeble: the meager soil of an eroded plain.
3. worth that they were virtually given away without any financial strings attached. The Hindu Shastras, for example, viewed a daughter "merely as an object to be 'given away,' and that as soon as possible. She is declared by them to be marriageable mar·riage·a·ble
Suitable for marriage: of marriageable age.
mar , even in her infancy, to a person of any age, and of course without her own choice." (109)
The merchandising of women attained cataclysmic cat·a·clysm
1. A violent upheaval that causes great destruction or brings about a fundamental change.
2. A violent and sudden change in the earth's crust.
3. A devastating flood. proportions in the international slave trade slave trade
Capturing, selling, and buying of slaves. Slavery has existed throughout the world from ancient times, and trading in slaves has been equally universal. Slaves were taken from the Slavs and Iranians from antiquity to the 19th century, from the sub-Saharan which flourished for so many centuries. An especially revolting practice spawned by the perception of females as disposable slave "property" is that of infibulation infibulation /in·fib·u·la·tion/ (in-fib?u-la´shun) the act of buckling or fastening as if with buckles, particularly the practice of fastening the prepuce or labia minora together to prevent coitus. , a brutal form of genital mutilation performed on girls in some parts of the Middle East and Africa. In this nineteenth-century account, the Bedouins performed infibulation on their female slaves to insure that they reached their owners undamaged: "The practice of infibulation was carried out on girls before the age of puberty. The edges of the vulva were made raw and sewn together forming scar tissue scar tissue
Dense, fibrous connective tissue that forms over a healed wound or cut. and leaving only a small opening just large enough for the function of urination urination
Process of excreting urine from the bladder (see urinary system). Nerve centres in the spinal cord, brain stem, and cerebral cortex control it through involuntary and voluntary muscles. The need to void is felt when the bladder holds 3. . When the slave was sold to her owner, a second operation was necessary in order to make her fit for the purpose for which she was purchased." (110) The practice of female genital mutilation female genital mutilation: see circumcision. , also called "female circumcision" and "clitoridectomy clitoridectomy /clit·o·ri·dec·to·my/ (klit?ah-ri-dek´tah-me) excision of the clitoris.
Excision of the clitoris. ," which varies in degree ranging f rom an excision of the clitoris clitoris /clit·o·ris/ (klit´ah-ris) the small, elongated, erectile body in the female, situated at the anterior angle of the rima pudendi and homologous with the penis in the male.
n. (in order to curb sexual desire) to radical infibulation as described above, did not pass away with slavery. Although it has been outlawed in most African countries (in many cases, only as recently as the 1980s), genital mutilation of females is still practiced clandestinely in many cultures today as a means to insure a daughter's virginity until marriage. This continued practice, compelled by the requirement that the female enter marriage as "undamaged goods," underscores the association between the female and the slave, with the female slave subject to a double oppression." (111)
Slave markets in the antebellum American South constituted an auspicious locale for the war of words against black women to demonstrate one of its most devastating dev·as·tate
tr.v. dev·as·tat·ed, dev·as·tat·ing, dev·as·tates
1. To lay waste; destroy.
2. To overwhelm; confound; stun: was devastated by the rude remark. impacts. It was in this setting of extreme degradation that the translation of noxious attitudes into practice took on an awesome quality of literalness. This was the place where African-American slaves, including women as well as men, were not only called "property," "specimens" and "merchandise," but also were treated in accordance with the demeaning nomenclature.
An eyewitness account of a public slave auction held in Richmond, Virginia, on March 21, 1856, disclosed the kind of humiliating examination given to a woman referred to as "a piece of furniture":
"Here, gentlemen, is a young lady for you," said the assistant, as he led along a beautiful Girl, of 16 or 17 years of age. The Auctioneer began again, assistant rolling up her sleeves; all her limbs being more or less shown by him, and examined by the "gentlemen traders," as she went through the walking exercises, which was done in every case. "There, gentlemen," said the Auctioneer . "is as handsome a piece of furniture as can be produced in our glorious Republic." (112)
The expressions "choice specimen," "prolific," "piece of property" and "merchandise" could be frequently heard in auctions involving the exposure of young black women to revolting scrutiny and procedures. In one such instance, the auctioneer declared:
"Gentlemen: This is a very choice specimen... . What will you give for her, how much? Do I hear, $1,000? $1,000 I'm only bid for this superb piece of property! [Here one of the 'gentlemen' in a distant part of the room cried out, 'Send her this way,' and the Auctioneer stopped while the merchandise was told to 'walk out there, step lively now!' The 'gentleman' then turned the Girl round and round, told her to 'grin,' to show her teeth, and pushed her lips aside with his fingers, and then examined her person, from head to foot, asked her several questions about herself, and sent her back to the stand; the Sale then went on. $1,100--$1,200--$1,300, going at $1,300! Why, gentlemen, I'm really astonished a·ston·ish
tr.v. as·ton·ished, as·ton·ish·ing, as·ton·ish·es
To fill with sudden wonder or amazement. See Synonyms at surprise. at your backwardness! This Girl is none of your everyday Niggers! She's a specimen that some of your Abolitionists would give almost any price for." (13)
Mere Matter and Material
In the ancient world, Aristotle articulated an influential theory of generation in which the woman's role was relegated to the insignificant status of "matter" and "material." "The contribution which the female makes to generation," he wrote, "is the matter used therein. . . . The male provides the 'form' and the 'principle of the movement,' the female provides the body, in other words Adv. 1. in other words - otherwise stated; "in other words, we are broke"
put differently the material." Moreover, Aristotle emphasized that "the male is the active partner, the one which originates the movement, and the female qua female is the passive one" who contributes nothing "but material." (114)
Misogynists have frequently invoked Aristotle's degrading expressions as semantic weapons in their onslaughts upon women. German philosopher Otto Weininger, in particular, proved to be an avid curator. In his tirades against women, he highlighted the Aristotelian notion that "the male principle was the formative active agent, the 'logos,' whilst the female was the passive material." Furthermore, Aristotle's use of "the word 'soul' for the active, formative, causative principle" prompted Weininger to conclude that women are not simply "matte" or "material," but also formless form·less
1. Having no definite form; shapeless. See Synonyms at shapeless.
2. Lacking order.
3. Having no material existence. objects entirely devoid of a soul. (115) Excerpts from his book provide some additional examples of this rhetoric:
The relation of man to woman is simply that of subject to object. Woman seeks her consummation as the object .... Woman is the material on which man acts .... Woman is matter .... Matter needs to be formed: and thus woman demands that man should clear her confusion of thought .... The soul is a masculine character .... The woman is material which passively assumes any form impressed upon it. (116)
The terminology above serves as a useful vehicle for the victimization of women. Weininger contended that "woman does not wish to be treated as an active agent, she wants to remain always and throughout--this is just her womanhood--purely passive, to feel herself under another's will." (117)
Some of the most degrading images of women as objects can be found in the vast contemporary pornographic industry of books, films, videotapes, music, magazines, photographs, and sadomasochistic paraphernalia. The essence of pornography consists of the incessant depiction of women as "sexual property" and "things" to be manipulated, exploited, mutilated, violated, and discarded at the impulse of the male consumer. Pornographic fare is built on graphic, explicit images of promiscuous sex combined with unadorned violence--episodes involving females being whipped, punched, raped, sodomized, tied up, hung upside down, dismembered, humiliated, and physically annihilated. In this world of ultimate dehumanization, even the rare person who protests what is being done to her is portrayed as actually asking for it, and more of it. There is no such thing as true rape in these sordid tales since, according to the tenets of pornographic dogma, every woman deep down, her outward demeanor notwithstanding, possesses a cravin g to be sexually molested mo·lest
tr.v. mo·lest·ed, mo·lest·ing, mo·lests
1. To disturb, interfere with, or annoy.
2. To subject to unwanted or improper sexual activity. , assaulted, and debauched de·bauch
v. de·bauched, de·bauch·ing, de·bauch·es
a. To corrupt morally.
b. To lead away from excellence or virtue.
Pornography carries the objectification of women to new depths of debasement Debasement
1. To lower the value, quality or status of something or someone.
2. To lower the value (of a coin) by adding metal of inferior value.
In other words, debasement is the degrading of the value of something or character of someone. by an obsessive focus on the female body; the body projected--much like the characterization pursued in Otto Weininger's invective against women--is devoid of essence, will, spirit, soul, and integrity. It comprises pieces of sheer "material" and "matter"--legs, sex organs, breasts, buttocks--upon which the male acts out his lust, hostility, and aggression. The pornography manufactured by Henry Miller is replete with obsessive accounts of sexual conquests over women depicted as "impersonal matter, mindless tissue endlessly compliant." (118) In her analysis of the dehumanization process intrinsic to pornography, Pornography and Silence (1981), Susan Griffin calls pornography a "sadistic act" which "reduces a woman to a mere thing, to an entirely material object without a soul." "Pornography's revenge against nature," she added, "is precisely to deprive matter of spirit. And so in one act, pornography humiliates woman's body, by reduc ing her soul." (119)
A recurring pornographic version of female "matter" and "material" is the consignment of women to pieces of "meat" and "flesh." In many pornographic novels the female victim is hung upside down "like a piece of meat" after experiencing an increasingly brutal sequence of sexual assaults and other forms of violence. Often heard in the testimony of former porno models is the statement: "You were treated like a piece of meat." A woman new to the "business" is dubbed "fresh meat." (120) In Henry Miller's universe of relentless obscenity, a woman is simply "bait" and "a hunk of giddy flesh." (121)
Playboy magazine--a pioneer in the creation of sophisticated, sexist pornography--specializes in the peddling of another dehumanized object: women as "sexual toys" to be manipulated and consumed by avant-garde playboys. Susan Brownmiller aptly identified the staple of pornographic fare: "Females as anonymous, panting panting
rapid, shallow breathing, a characteristic heat-losing reaction in dogs; represents an increase in dead-space ventilation resulting in heat loss without necessarily increasing oxygen uptake or carbon dioxide loss. playthings, adult toys, dehumanized objects to be used, abused, broken and discarded." (122) The playboy inevitably tires of his expendable "plaything"--especially when it begins to show the slightest signs of age--and opts for a younger model. Regarding the typical sexual conquest, pornographic author Henry Miller wrote: "I moved her around like one of those legless legless
1. without legs
2. Slang very drunk
Adj. 1. legless - not having legs; "a legless man in a wheelchair" toys which illustrate the principle of gravity." (123) In her autobiography, Ordeal (1980), former pornographic film star Linda Lovelace revealed that she was treated like "an inflatable plastic doll, a puppet. They picked me up and moved me here and there; they spread my legs this way and that; they shoved their things at me and in to me." She described herself as "not a person anymore. I was a robot...a wind-up toy.... I had become someone else's thing." (124)
The Pornographic Goliath--an empire larger than the record and film industries combined--has had a drastic impact, not only on many male perceptions of women, but also on how women are actually treated. Robin Morgan's observation that "pornography is the theory and rape the practice" (125) emphasizes the enormous power which dehumanizing language and images have on behavior. It should hardly come as a surprise that men who are raised on a steady diet of material overflowing with hostility, violence, and sexual terrorism would be readily disposed to act out these scenarios in real life; and millions of men have been exposed to this degrading fare. It is more than coincidental that today--a period when wife-battering, sexual abuse, rape, and other sexual crimes run rampant--is also an era when society is being polluted with a deluge of sexually arousing, degenerate, and violent imagery. Tragically, many women have likewise succumbed to the myth of females as erotic slaves and sex objects constructed by the pur veyors of porn, and have become imprisoned im·pris·on
tr.v. im·pris·oned, im·pris·on·ing, im·pris·ons
To put in or as if in prison; confine.
[Middle English emprisonen, from Old French emprisoner : en- by their demeaning imperatives.
Occasionally, women have even been reduced to "waste products." The expressions "dung," "pus pus, thick white or yellowish fluid that forms in areas of infection such as wounds and abscesses. It is constituted of decomposed body tissue, bacteria (or other micro-organisms that cause the infection), and certain white blood cells. ," "refuse" and "sewer" represent the type of disgust-inducing terminology employed.
Animal Excrement excrement /ex·cre·ment/ (eks´kri-mint)
2. excretion (2).
Waste matter or any excretion cast out of the body, especially feces. and Pus
For some misogynists, the imposition of animal metaphors alone was not considered dehumanizing enough; they chose instead to use the word for animal excrement--dung--when referring to women. During the tenth century, an epoch marked by an abundance of pejorative stereotypes of females, Odo of Cluny
tr.v. be·lit·tled, be·lit·tling, be·lit·tles
1. To represent or speak of as contemptibly small or unimportant; disparage: a person who belittled our efforts to do the job right. his mistress by relying upon another term related to the disposal of noxious material--"pus":
When she had sucked the marrow from my bones And languorously I turned to her with a kiss, Beside me suddenly I saw nothing more Than a gluey-sided leather bag of pus! (128)
Sewers for Waste Disposal
Another manifestation of the waste analogy is the association of women with sewers, which association has been directed primarily against prostitutes. A well-known adage which has spanned many past centuries reads: "Prostitutes are to a city what sewers are to a palace." (129)
The sewer metaphor is not confined to prostitutes of a bygone era, but is meant to denigrate contemporary women as well. This is particularly evident in the compulsive obscenity conjured up by such modern authors as Henry Miller. To Miller, the woman's body is not only a proper object for the ventilation of male contempt, but is also equivalent to a "sewer" for the disposal of "refuse." His attitude towards the woman's sexual anatomy is summed up in the observation that "one crack is as good as another and over every sewer there's a grating." (130) Miller's version of the typical sexual conquest consists of dumping waste into its natural disposal site, the women's body: "During intercourse they passed out of me, as though I were emptying refuse in a sewer." (131)
The practice of associating women with animal "waste products" has also invaded the world of crude, lewd, and blatantly sleazy prime-time television. On the television news show Nightline (March 2, 1989), a Michigan mother, Terry Rikolta, told about hearing a joke comparing women to dog dung on the sitcom series "Married ... With Children." She elaborated that the father of the family asked his young daughter, "What do women and dog doo-doo have in common?" When she failed to answer, he replied: "The older they get, the easier they are to pick up." (132)
It is imperative to become fully conversant with how the victimization of women has been and continues to be facilitated by dehumanizing terminology. Another connection of major significance is the need to recognize that the degrading expressions directed against women are strikingly similar to the demeaning designations invoked against today's unwanted human beings before as well as after birth.
Furthermore, it is also crucial to realize that the relentless war of words against women and other contemporary victims shares a close kinship with the name calling aimed at some of history's most reviled groups: Native Americans; African-Americans; the victims of Soviet tyranny; and Jews, Gypsies, and the handicapped in the Third Reich. For an extensive analysis of the striking parallels between the disparaging dis·par·age
tr.v. dis·par·aged, dis·par·ag·ing, dis·par·ag·es
1. To speak of in a slighting or disrespectful way; belittle. See Synonyms at decry.
2. To reduce in esteem or rank. expressions constructed to devalue women and the degrading terminology manufactured to denigrate other vulnerable groups present and past, see my Dehumanizing the Vulnerable: When Word Games Take Lives. (133)
A fuller grasp of the interrelationship in·ter·re·late
tr. & intr.v. in·ter·re·lat·ed, in·ter·re·lat·ing, in·ter·re·lates
To place in or come into mutual relationship.
in between name calling, violence, and victim vulnerability furnishes an indispensable perspective for challenging what constitutes a widespread seamless shroud of anti-life rhetoric and replacing it with a vocabulary of humanization Humanization
Fusing the constant and variable framework region of one or more human immunoglobulins with the binding region of an animal immunoglobulin, done to reduce human reaction against the fusion antibody.
Mentioned in: Alemtuzumab featuring positive, life-affirming portrayals of all human beings despite their gender, race, status, condition, or stage of development. A change of such far-reaching proportions will require a major transformation in language, attitude, and awareness under-girded by the most expansive of moral visions.
(1.) P. Thomas, Indian Women Through the Ages (Bombay: Asia Publishing House, 1964): 263, 295-96.
(2.) Benjamin Walker, The Hindu World: An Encyclopedic en·cy·clo·pe·dic
1. Of, relating to, or characteristic of an encyclopedia.
2. Embracing many subjects; comprehensive: "an ignorance almost as encyclopedic as his erudition" Survey of Hinduism, 2 vols. (New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of : Frederick A. Praeger, 1968), 2: 464.
(3.) Susan Brownmiller, Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1975): 61.
(4.) Vietnam Veterans Against the War Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) is a tax-exempt non-profit organization and corporation, originally created to oppose the Vietnam War. VVAW describes itself as a national veterans' organization that campaigns for peace, justice, and the rights of all United States military , The Winter Soldier Investigation
(5.) Maurine Beasley, "Court Clears Captain of Hiding Viet Atrocity," Washington Post, 31 July 1971, A3.
(6.) Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Department of Justice, Crime in the United States Crime in the United States is characterized by relatively high levels of gun violence and homicide, compared to other developed countries although this is explained by the fact that criminals in America are more likely to use firearms. : Uniform Crime Reports for the United States (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1988): 6, 13-15.
(7.) Julia O'Faolain and Lauro Martines, eds., Net in God's Image (New York: Harper & Row, 1973): 37.
(8.) R. Emerson Dobash and Russell P. Dobash, "Wives: The 'Appropriate' Victims of Marital Violence," Victimology vic·tim·ol·o·gy
The study of crime victims.
victim·olo·gist n. : An International Journal 2 (1977-1978): 429.
(9.) O'Faolain and Martines, p. 175.
(10.) George Macaulay Trevelyan Noun 1. George Macaulay Trevelyan - English historian and son of Sir George Otto Trevelyan whose works include a social history of England and a biography of Garibaldi (1876-1962)
Trevelyan , History of England, 3rd ed. (London: Longaman, Green, 1952): 260.
(11.) Frances Power Cobbe, "Wife-Torture in England," The Contemporary Review, April 1878: 79.
(12.) Ibid., 73.
(13.) Dobash and Dobash, pp. 430-31.
(14.) "Wife-Beating Declines," USA Today Newsview, April 1986, p. 6.
(15.) Haig Bosmajian, The Language of Oppression (Washington, D.C.: Public Affairs Press, 1974): 90.
(16.) Simone do Beauvoir, The Second Sex, trans. H.M. Parshley (New York: Vintage Books, Random House, 1974): xviii.
(17.) Marvin A. Breslow, ed., The Political Writings of John Knox: The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women and Other Selected Works (London and Toronto: Associated University Presses, 1985):44-45, 43, 45, 52.
(18.) "The Homily on Marriage," in Katherine Usher Henderson and Barbara F. McManus, Half Humankind: Contexts arid Texts of the Controversy about Women in England, 1540-1640 (Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press The University of Illinois Press (UIP), is a major American university press and part of the University of Illinois. Overview
According to the UIP's website: , 1985): 78.
(19.) William Whately, "A Bride Bush," in Henderson and McManus, p. 78.
(20.) The Marquis do Sade, The Complete Justine, Philosophy in the Bedroom, and Other Writings, comp. and trans. Richard Seaver and Austryn Wainhouse (New York: Grove Press, 1965): 647.
(21.) Peter Smithers, The Life of Joseph Addison (New York: Clarendon Press, Oxford University Press, 1954): 353.
(22.) Arthur Schopenhauer, Essays: From the Parerga and Paralipomena paralipomena
a supplement to a book or other work containing material previously omitted.
See also: Books : Studies in Pessimism, trans. T. Bailey Saunders (London: George Allen and Unwin, 1951): 65, 68.
(23.) Ibid., p. 69, 75.
(24.) Otto Weininger, Sex and Character (New York: AMS AMS - Andrew Message System Press, 1975; reprint of 1906 ed. published by William Heinemann, London, and G.P. Putnam's Sons, New York): 118, 188-89, 148-49, 195, 145-46, 196,204.
(25.) Ibid., p. 252, 279.
(26.) Charles Strachey, ed., The Letters of the Earl of Chesterfield to His Son, 2 vols. (London: Methuen, 1924), 1:261-62.
(27.) Schopenhauer, Essays, 63-64, 68.
(28.) Karl Vogt, Lectures on Man, His Place in Creation, and in the History of the Earth (London, 1864): 183.
(29.) Miss M.A. Hardaker, "Science and the Woman Question," The Popular Science Monthly 20 (March 1882): 578.
(30.) Ibid., p. 583.
(31.) George J. Romanes, "Mental Differences Between Men and Women," The Nineteenth Century 21 (May 1887): 654-655.
(32.) Herbert Spencer, The Study of Sociology (New York: D. Appleton, 1896): 374.
(33.) H.R. Hays, The Dangerous Sex: The Myth of Feminine Evil (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1964): 14-15.
(34.) Marquis de Sade, p. 647.
(35.) Diana E.H. Russell with Laura Lederer, "Questions We Get Asked Most Often," in Take Back the Night: Women on Pornography, ed. Laura Lederer (New York: William Morrow, 1980): 24.
(36.) Vietnam Veterans Against War, p. 14.
(37.) Weininger, p. 286, 297, 187.
(38.) Pauline Reage, The Story of O (New York Grove Press, 1965).
(39.) Diane Scully and Joseph Marolla, "Riding the Bull at Gilley's': Convicted Rapists Describe the Rewards of Rape," Social Problems 32 (February 1985): 260.
(40.) Nancy Gibbs, "Wilding in the Night," Time, 8 May 1989, 20-21; "Rape of Jogger in Park Aggravates New York's Racial Tension," St. Louis Post-Dispatch The St. Louis Post-Dispatch is the only major city-wide newspaper in St. Louis, Missouri. Although written to serve Greater St. Louis, the Post-Dispatch is one of the largest newspapers in the region, and is available and read as far west as Springfield, Missouri. , 30 April 1989, p. 6A.
(41.) Frank Tannenbaum, Slave and Citizen: The Negro in America (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1947): 80.
(42.) "The Breeder Woman," in Black Women in White America: A Documentary History, ed. Gerda Lerner (New York: Vintage Books, Random House, 1973): 47-48.
(43.) The Suppressed Book About Slavery (1864; reprint ed., New York: Arno Press and the New York Times, 1968): 175.
(44.) Tannenbaum, p. 82.
(45.) Kate Millett, Sexual Politics (Garden City, New York Garden City, New York is a village in central Nassau County, New York in the USA, which was founded by multi-millionaire Alexander Turney Stewart in 1869. The village is located 18.5 miles to the east of mid-town Manhattan, on Long Island. : Doubleday, 1970): 119.
(46.) Juvenal The Sixteen Satires, trans. Peter Green (New York: Penguin Classics, 1982): Satire 6, p. 137.
(47.) Ben Jonson, Epicoene, ed. Edward Partridge (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1971): 112.
(48.) Henry Miller, Tropic of Capricorn (New York: Grove Press, 1961): 183.
(49.) Henry Miller, Sexus (New York: Grove Press, 1965): 229, 181, 287, 126, 304.
(50.) Norman Mailer, Advertisements for Myself (New York: Signet, New American Library, 1960): 438, 449.
(51.) Norman Mailer, An American Dream (New York: Dial Press, 1965): 34,43.
(52.) Norman Mailer, The Presidential Papers (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1963): 131.
(53.) Susan Griffin, Pornography and Silence: Culture's Revenge Against Nature (New York: Harper & Row, 1981): 24-25.
(54.) Ibid., pp. 25-26.
(55.) Conversations with and material furnished by Dr. Judith A. Reisman. For an extensive account of Cartoons depicting sex between wives and animals and other forms of sexual debasement, see the three-volume 1987 Reisman Report entitled Images of Children, Crime and Violence in Playboy, Penthouse and Hustler Magazines. This research was sponsored by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (or OJJDP) is an office of the United States Department of Justice and a component of the Office of Justice Programs. (OJJDP OJJDP Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (federal agency) ), U.S. Dept. of Justice, Project No. 84-JN-AX-K007, and conducted at the American University, Washington, D.C., from February 1984 to November 1985.
(56.) O'Faolain and Martines, p. 39.
(57.) Ibid., p. 121.
(58.) Ibid., p. 209.
(59.) O'Faolain and Martines, p. 39.
(60.) Joseph Swetnam, "The Arraignment A criminal proceeding at which the defendant is officially called before a court of competent jurisdiction, informed of the offense charged in the complaint, information, indictment, or other charging document, and asked to enter a plea of guilty, not guilty, or as otherwise permitted of Lewd, Idle, Froward, and Unconstant Women (1615)", in Henderson and McManus, p. 209.
(61.) Hays, Dangerous Sex, 201.
(62.) R. Emerson Dobash and Russell Dobash, Violence Against Wives: A Case Against the Patriarchy (New York: Free Press, 1979) 55.
(63.) Cobbe, p. 64.
(64.) Swetnam, pp. 190, 205, 202.
(65.) Marquis de Sade, p. 690.
(66.) Hays, p. 253.
(67.) Miller, p. 20.
(68.) Rene Guyon, Sexual Freedom, trans. Eden and Cedar Paul (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1958): xi, 214, 208, 212, 198, 207.
(69.) Ibid., pp. 207, 263, 214.
(70.) De Beauvoir, p. 805, 539, 510.
(71.) Ibid., pp. 123, 481, 777.
(72.) Ibid., pp. 211, 496, 509, 532, 534.
(73.) Hesiod, Theogony the·og·o·ny
n. pl. the·og·o·nies
An account of the origin and genealogy of the gods.
the , trans. Norman O. Brown Norman Oliver Brown (1913, El Oro, Mexico – 2002, Santa Cruz, California) was an American intellectual of wide ranging interests.
His father was an Anglo-Irish mining engineer; his mother was a Cuban of Alsatian and Cuban origin. (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1953): 70.
(74.) Hugh Lloyd-Jones, Females of the Species: Semonides on Women (Park Ridge, NJ: Noyes Press, 1975): 54.
(75.) Breslow, pp. 66, 71.
(76.) O'Faolain and Martines, p. 210.
(77.) Aristotle, Generation of Animals, revised and reprinted ed., trans. A.L. Peck (London: William Heinemann; Cambridge: Loeb Classical Library, Harvard University Press The Harvard University Press is a publishing house, a division of Harvard University, that is highly respected in academic publishing. It was established on January 13, 1913. In 2005, it published 220 new titles. , 1953): 459, 461.
(78.) Pat Jalland and John Hooper, Women from Birth to Death: The Female Life Cycle in Britain 1830-1914 (Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Humanities Press International, 19861: 33.
(79.) J. McGregor Allan, "On the Real Differences in the Minds of Men and Women," Journal of the Anthropological Society of London 7 (1869), cc.
(80.) Havelock Ellis, Man and Woman: A Study of Human Secondary Sexual Characters, 5th ed, rev. & enlarged (New York: Charles Scribner's, 1914): 283.
(81.) Hays, p. 39.
(82.) Sigmund Freud, "Same Psychological Consequences of the Anatomical Distinctions Between the Sexes" (1925), Collected Papers, ed. James Strachey (New York: Basic Books, 1959), vol. 5, 192.
(83.) Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer (New York: Grove Press, 1961): 140, 249.
(84.) Ellis, p. 283.
(85.) Ibid., pp. 283-284.
(86.) Allan, pp. cxcix, cxcviii.
(87.) De Beauvoir, p. 168.
(88.) Hays, p. 41.
(90.) Quoted in de Beauvoir, p. 168.
(91.) Robert Barnes, "Lumleian Lecture on the Convulsive con·vul·sive
1. Characterized by or having the nature of convulsions.
2. Having or producing convulsions.
pertaining to, characterized by, or of the nature of a convulsion. Diseases of Women," The Lancet, 12 April 1873, pp. 514-15.
(92.) Hays, p. 40.
(94.) Ibid., p. 41.
(95.) De Beauvoir, p. 168.
(96.) O'Faolain and Martines, pp. 34-35.
(97.) William Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew, ed. H.J. Oliver (New York: Oxford University Press, 1982): 175.
(98.) Quoted in Sisterhood is Powerful Sisterhood Is Powerful (ISBN 0-394-70539-4), published in 1970, was one of the first widely available anthologies of early Second Wave radical feminist writings. The collection was edited by Robin Morgan, a feminist poet and founding member of New York Radical Women and W.I. : An Anthology of Writings from the Women's Liberation Movement Women’s Liberation Movement
appellation of modern day women’s rights advocacy. [Am. Hist.: Flexner, 396]
See : Feminism , ed. Robin Morgan (New York: Random House, 1970): 34.
(99.) Quoted in Weininger, p. 342.
(100.) Brownmiller, pp. 17-18, 163.
(101.) Ibid., p. 125.
(102.) Diana Scully and Joseph Marolla, "Convicted Rapists' Vocabulary of Motives: Excuses and Justifications," Social Problems 31 (June 1984): 542.
(103.) Diana Scully, "Convicted Rapists' Perceptions of Self and Victim: Role Taking and Emotions," Gender & Society 2 (June 1988): 209.
(104.) Scully and Marolla, 1985 p. 261.
(105.) Cobbe, p. 62.
(106.) Dobash and Dobash, 1979, p. 94.
(107.) "Men Tell Why They Batter," Donahue, Transcript #2777, September 19, 1989, pp. 4,7.
(108.) Dobash and Dobash, 1979, p. 45.
(109.) John Wilson, History of the Suppression of Infanticide infanticide (ĭnfăn`təsīd) [Lat.,=child murder], the putting to death of the newborn with the consent of the parent, family, or community. Infanticide often occurs among peoples whose food supply is insecure (e.g. in Western India (Bombay: Smith, Taylor and Co., 1855): 33-34.
(110.) Hays, p. 124.
(111.) See Asma el Dareer, Woman Why Do You Weep? (London: Zed Press, 1982), Nawal El Saadawi Nawal El Saadawi (Arabic: نوال السعداوى) (born October 27, 1931) is an Egyptian feminist writer, activist and physician. She was born in Kafr Ta hla village on the banks of the Nile. , The Hidden Face of Eve: Women in the Arab World, (London: Zed press, 1980), and Hanny Lightfoot-Klein, Prisoners of Ritual: An Odyssey into Female Genital Circumcision in Africa (Binghamton, NY: Harrington Park Press, 1989).
(112.) Suppressed Book About Slavery, p. 153.
(113.) Ibid., p. 144.
(114.) Aristotle, pp. 101, 109, 111.
(115.) Weininger, p. 187.
(116.) Ibid., pp. 292-293, 204, 293, 213, 320.
(117.) Ibid., p.292.
(118.) Millelt, p. 313.
(119.) Griffin, pp. 3, 49.
(120.) Laura Lederer, "Then and Now: An Interview with a Former Pornography Model," in Lederer, Take Back the Night, 66, 64.
(121.) Miller, Tropic of Capricorn, p. 186, 199.
(122.) Brownmiller, p. 394.
(123.) Miller, Sexus, p. 117.
(124.) Linda Lovelace with Mike McGrady, Ordeal: An Autobiography (Secaucus, NJ: Citadel Press, 1980): 45, 91.
(125.) Robin Morgan, "Theory and Practice: Pornography and Rape," in Lederer, Take Back the Night, 139.
(126.) Hays, p. 200.
(127.) Ibid., p. 194.
(128.) Ibid., p. 200.
(129.) De Beauvoir, p. 115.
(130.) Henry Miller, Black Spring (New York: An Evergreen Black Cat Book, Grove Press, 1963): 144.
(131.) Henry Miller, Two Books, Quiet Days in Clichy and the World of Sex (New York: Grove Press, 1978): 110.
(132.) "Steamy TV," Nightline, Teanscript, Show #2029, 2 March 1989, p. 4.
(133.) William Brennan, Dehumanizing the Vulnerable: When Word Games Take Lives (Chicago: Loyola University Press, 1995).
Dr. William Brennan, Ph.D. is professor in the School of Social Service at St. Louis University. His most recent book is Dehumanizing the Vulnerable: When Word Games Take Lives. Previous books include Medical Holocausts: Exterminative Medicine in Nazi Germany and Contemporary Society, published in 1980, and The Abortion Holocaust: Today's Final Solution, published in 1984. A prolific writer and well-known speaker, Brennan has addressed major life issues at national conferences and on university campuses in the United States and in Great Britain.