Re: The Iroquois and the Early Radical Feminists

Kathleen A. Gillogly (Kagillogly@AOL.COM)
Wed, 31 Jan 1996 12:48:46 -0500

In a message dated 96-01-31 01:06:18 EST, Rohrlich writes:

> I'M doing this because
>it's extremely hard for me to understand how the main point was missed,
>i.e., the Iroquois
>the Iroquos influence on early radical feminists. The main point was missed

I think that this has already been adequately addressed by a previous
post-er. The point is that the early radical feminists were influenced by
their *vision* of Iroquois society. That does not mean that the Iroquois
were truly what the early radical feminists imagined them to be. Looking at
Iroquois from their own experience of patriarchal oppression, feminists
thought this looked like egalitarianism. Does that mean the Iroquois are
truly egalitarian? I think we've had plenty of discussion on that point and
the evidence is pretty good that they're not.

This discussion shows the problems that arise when we are imprecise in our
use of terms. Although this isn't a panel at the AAAs, I would like to
suggest that we all be careful in what we write and how we write it. This
isn't a "beer" seminar among friends at the local pub, either. Flip,
off-the-cuff, and emotional comments and responses don't contribute to our
understanding. If anyone needs an example of how detrimental this is to
fruitful, satisfying discussion, take a look at soc.culture.thai. The
flaming on that newsgroup is so pervasive that most serious contributors have
left. Let's not follow their example, please!

Kate Gillogly
Dept. of Anthropology
Univ. of Michigan