[FoRK] Uncle Tom and Gloria Steinem

info at pulpculture.org < info at pulpculture.org > on > Tue Mar 14 17:08:58 PST 2006

I've been engaging in informal discussions of Ariel Levy's book, Female 
Chauvinist Pigs, to clarify my criticisms of her book. The jottings, the 
kind of note taking I might do with a pad as I read the book, are on the 
blog. I've just kind of tossed it up there in preparation to write a more 
careful review.

The centerpiece of her argument is that women have our own "Uncle Toms" and 
she calls them Female Chauvinist Pigs. She takes pains to explain what she 
means and even gestures at her knowledge of what a problematic argument 
she's making. Nonetheless, she tells you she's going to make it anyway.

On one minor, trivia point now, I'm trying to remember which black author 
or figure first criticized Gloria Steinem for using "Uncle Tomming" to 
analyze women's situation. Steinem did so in an opinion piece for the 
Washington Post, 1970, and in her testimony for the hearings on the Equal 
Rights Amendment.

Anyone know who criticized Steinem or who's criticized feminist 
appropriations of the phrase, a phrase which makes a facile comparison 
between women's condition and slavery?

If you belong to discussion lists where someone might know the answer, feel 
free to pass this along.

I appreciate any insight!

k





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