Back in 2007, I posted this on facebook.

2010 January 5
by Lizzzzzz

Before I had a blog, I sometimes wrote notes on facebook to let people know what feminism I was up to. Here’s one:

Below is the letter I wrote to the author of “A Quiet Revolution in Algeria.” [NY Times] It’s amazing how something so good can have a kernel of bias in it that propagates the real and present fear that feminism isn’t about equality but about revenge for the time women spent as the underdogs. If it were about women “taking over” then we’d kill men, but we don’t, so figure out what it’s really about.

Michael Slackman,

I am writing because I just read your article “A Quiet Revolution in Algeria.” Your reporting on this subject is wonderful and its very important for Americans to know about the status and progress of women the world over. Thank you for this insight into Algeria.
I do have one contention with the article though.
This paragraph:
“Although men still hold all of the formal levers of power and women still make up only 20 percent of the work force, that is more than twice their share a generation ago, and they seem to be taking over the machinery of state as well.”

I know that you wrote it to set up the quote that appears after in which Daho Djerbal claims that women are literally going to control the state. However, that paragraph contradicts itself. Women making up twenty percent of the workforce in no way at all seems that they are “taking over.” Women make up around half the population so it is right that they hold half of the jobs and half of the public offices.
Your paragraph feeds the patriarchal fear, which persists even in America today, that women are somehow taking men’s share. The fear that women entering the workforce or holding public office forces men out so that women may take control. But the truth is that women have always dominated certain sectors. Not many were afraid that a majority of women as elementary school teachers means women are trying to rule the earth without men.
I would appreciate it if you would think about how this stereotype became part of your article and get back to me. Why do you consciously or unconsciously support the idea that women becoming bus drivers or making up more of a university population than men means women’s eyes are turned toward domination?

Liz Yockey
radical feminist

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