Back in the '80s, I had the pleasure
of seeing a smart-ass feminist theater troupe called
Ladies Against Women. These women dressed like drag
queens who dressed like Nancy Reagan, and they traveled
around the country spoofing the political right. In
mink stoles and kid gloves, they declared Phyllis Schlafly
their patron saint, extolled life on a pedestal, and
whined about how oppressed rich people are. They held
bake sales to raise money for "the poor, underfunded
Defense Department" and led the audience in "consciousness-lowering
exercises." At the end of the evening, they invited
us to join them. All we had to do was take home pink
permission slips for our husbands to sign.
Ladies Against Women was my kind
of feminism-quick-witted, subversive, fun-everything,
unfortunately, that the grim, well-intentioned women's
center at my college was not.
So recently, I was thrilled to hear
about a group in Washington, D.C., the Independent Women's
Forum (IWF), who seem to model themselves directly on
Ladies Against Women.
There's just one difference: the
Independent Women's Forum isn't kidding.
To read this article in its entirety,
please visit your local newsstand and ask for the October/November
issue of Ms.
BY STEPHEN KRONINGER