Issues - gender Bias - Planned family destruction
Just recently a 'battered woman,' for that
is how she saw herself, came to me for help. Her lover, who
lived apart from her and her children, had beaten her up badly
and she was forced to go to the hospital. He then took her
back to her own house and stayed with her in order to look
after her while her wounds healed.
'You are not a battered woman,' I said with a sigh. I define
a battered woman as a woman who is a genuine victim of her
partner's violence. 'You are a violence-prone woman, a victim
of your own need for violence.' I sighed because those two
sentences uttered twenty-five years ago in my early work at
Chiswick caused me to be hated and despised. I became the
nation's conscience. I dared to say publicly that women can
be as violent as men and that women were a great deal more
psychologically violent than men. In this woman's case we
have a great deal of work to do and he needs to find himself
a good therapist.
In 1971, inspired by the promise of women journalists and
other media-manipulators, I decided to join the newly founded
Women's Movement. 'Sisterhood is powerful' they chanted. 'Sisters
unite, no more competing, women helping women.' It all sounded
too good to be true. My first meeting filled me with doubts.
It was held in a very middle-class home in Chiswick and I
gazed at the Mao posters on the wall of the drawing-room.
When asked why I was there by the hostess, I replied that
my husband was a television reporter and was very rarely home
and I felt lonely and isolated with my two children. 'Your
problem is not your isolation but your husband. He oppresses
you and he is a capitalist.' I pointed out that she too had
a mortgage so she therefore was a capitalist, and far from
oppressing me my husband was baby-sitting so that I could
attend this meeting. Her husband was out at a Union meeting
organizing the Brentford Biscuit factory with the help of
his degree in Political Science, to prepare for the forthcoming
What the woman didn't know, was that I was the daughter of
a diplomat. I was born in China, and traveled the world with
my father. I also-worked in the Foreign Office and was well
aware of the atrocities both in Russia and in China. Then
over cups of tea, we were assured that women were a minority
group. I pointed out that women made up fifty-two per cent
of the world's population. I was given Mao's little red book
and SHREW magazine. I took it home and was horrified at the
hatred it spewed against men.
I decided that this organization needed looking at. With both
children in school and time on my hands I went to work for
The Women's Liberation Workshop in Shaftsbury Avenue. I witnessed
the women working there tearing open letters and pocketing
the three pounds ten shillings that desperate women were sending
in to join the movement. I tried to answer as many of the
letters as I could. Some of that money went into buying explosives.
Terrorists in the Women's Movement blew up the BBC van outside
the Miss World Contest and the top off the Post office tower.
I called in the police. All this rubbish and rhetoric was
to culminate in the up-rising of the 'working classes' and
the death of Capitalism and the destruction of all men. Needless
to say there were virtually no working class women in this
movement. Most of the revolution was fought around middle
class dinner tables in grisly Islington.
By now I was very firmly 'the enemy.' Men, at this point,
took the whole movement as a joke but it was no joke, as many
homeless men deprived of their children will tell you. Savaged
by feminist lawyers and therapists, men have routinely been
deprived of their homes, their children and their incomes.
I knew that I wanted to fulfill my original dream. Women working
with women in co-operation with men. The idea that we should
work with men was anathema to these women. The Women's Movement
was dominated by the Radical Separatist Movement. They not
only hated men but heterosexual women as well. I saw through
their very hidden agenda. I stood on platforms saying that
if I had to pay three pounds ten shillings, meet in cells
and call my friends comrade, then they were asking me to join
the Communist Party, which was fine, but don't lie. Don't
collect money under false pretenses. I had plenty of good
Communist friends, I wanted a movement that truly represented
women. Not tired hacked-to-death male politics.
The early collective meetings and conferences involved hundreds
of women, mostly middle-class women bored with their life-styles
and they were terrifying. Anyone brought up in a girls' boarding
school as I was, knows how violent and manipulative women
can be. The bullying in the collectives was unabated. No lipstick,
no high heels, no deodorant, I broke all the rules. 'Why do
you wear men's suits and ties,' I asked. 'if you so hate men?'
Silly question I suppose. 'We are wearing the symbol of our
oppression,' was the humorless reply.
By now I realized through reading the Women's Movement literature
that those thousands of women working in all caring fields,
the journalists, the television makers, were determined to
destroy family life in England. [See Communist
Manifesto ?WHS] 'Make the personal political,' was one
of their many banners. So thousands of violent and very disturbed
women attacked normal happily married women and our traditional
way of life. Secret meetings were held (everything was done
in secret) and I received a letter '.....and the collective
decided that until the whole matter is sorted out, and you
have given a statement of this position to a woman-lawyer,
or someone in the N.C.C.L., you should no longer work in the
office or attend meetings of any of the collectives.'
Profoundly depressed by my experiences in the movement, I
went off to do what I always believed would liberate women.
A place to gather and to work together in co-operation with
Soon beaten and battered women with their children were coming
to me for help. There was no literature on battered women,
so I wrote 'Scream Quietly Or The Neighbors Will Hear.' I
was immediately in trouble because the book was not 'politically
correct,' it discussed family violence and I refused to let
the Managing Director politicize my book. By now I was giving
the figure of 62 women out of the first hundred women who
came to the refuge were as violent or more violent than the
men they left. Also many were prostitutes taking refuge from
their violent pimps. This infuriated the Women's Movement.
I knew that as soon as I attracted publicity and funding,
the Women's Movement which by now attracted neither, would
be beating on my door. When I called a small conference to
help other groups get started, several hundred women with
feminists and radical separatist feminists invaded my conference.
They started their usual bogus rubbish trying to appeal to
my mothers, making much use of the phrase 'working classes.'
My mothers were not impressed. One of my closest friends at
Chiswick said 'there isn't a working class woman amongst you.'
Another slightly bolder yelled 'go home and get your dildoes.'
We left them to battle it out by themselves. They then formed
The National Women's Aid Federation.
This delighted my many enemies at The Home Office and The
Department Of Social Security. My chief enemy at my first
meeting was a member of the sisterhood. 'How will you pay
for your refuge?' she sniffed. 'I shall pray,' I said. I did
all the time and it was our prayers that sustained Chiswick
for all those years. The Federation used all their contacts
in the media (many of them were journalists) to rubbish me
and my work. By now I was writing at home at night. They came
to interview me about my books but the books were never discussed,
only how fat I was or how belligerent I was.
I recently asked The Home Office for their latest report and
I was not surprised to see that my name and 'Scream Quietly,'
the first book in the world on wife battering was missing.
I knew from other writers that editors in the publishing world
of London were themselves radical feminists and it was their
habit to dictate their themes to desperate writers, who were
then coerced into writing the editor's book, knowing that
should they disobey, they would not be published. My brother
Danny always wrote what he was told to write. He complained
down the telephone to me and finally, just before he died,
he said bitterly 'I have no contracts and no film deals in
sight.' He rewrote the four hundred page synopsis for his
book four times to suit his agent and his publishers.
Throughout all the fighting I kept preaching that family life
was and always will be the foundation of any civilization.
Destroy the family and you destroy the country. I warned that
of the violent women with their children coming to me, virtually
none used contraception. My mothers had an average of 5.1
children, meanwhile non-violent families had a 2.5 average.
I wrote reports, I drafted memos, all to no avail. Nobody
wanted to hear what I had to say. In the back of 'Scream Quietly'
I listed all the agencies that had failed my families. I wrote
that I was not seeing social workers, I was seeing political
activists with social work degrees. The same went for teachers,
and probation officers, editors of books and magazines. Like
a giant cancer this movement dug its crabs legs into anywhere
they could wield their power.
Many women, assisted by weak men, sought to destroy me and
my work and I knew that finally having fought court cases
that involved disobeying judge's orders to save children's
lives, I knew I would be ousted from my own refuge. A few
men bravely tried to make their voices heard, realizing the
dangers. They too were excoriated by both men and women. Businessmen
in the media, managing directors of publishing houses, never
understood that their editors were lying to them. Playing
the numbers game. 'Who do you think you are?' screamed one
feminist editor. 'I must be somebody,' I replied. 'After all
I'm in Debrett's and Who's Who. You're nobody in publishing.'
Another said...'Why can't you write the sort of books you
know I like, Erin...... books about women loving women?' 'I
can't,' I replied. 'I'm a heterosexual writer and all my books
celebrate family life.'
Because men looked upon the refuge movement as a 'woman's
issue', newspapers sent women journalists to attack me. I
addressed a conference of radical feminists and asked them
why, when I respected their right to practice their politics
and define their own sexuality they denied me my rights to
my heterosexuality, my right to live and work to preserve
family life and to enjoy being at home with my family. That
I think being a mother and a grandmother has given me more
joy than any other achievement. I was screamed down and met
with utter hostility.
When I published 'Prone to Violence', a book about my work
with violent women and the children in the refuge, I was picketed
by hundreds of banner-waving women. 'All men are bastards!'
read some of the banners. 'All men are rapists!' shrieked
another. 'If those banners said Jews or black people, you
would have arrested those women,' I told the policeman who
had come to say that I had to have a police escort all around
England for the book tour.
In due course, I lost the refuge but a carefully orchestrated
campaigning the press never allowed the people of England
to know that I was pushed into exile. The newspapers made
much of my defection and I was helpless. My crime was to fight
for family life and values. A few months ago The Sunday Times
sent a reporter to find out why I was waitressing in a bar
in exchange for food. 'There seems to have been a conspiracy,'
the reporter wrote. I knew that remainder notices would soon
be forthcoming and now my back list is remaindered. Thank
goodness my books are selling all over the world including
sales to Russia. I own nothing but my four dogs and my cat
and I work internationally for peace in the family.
to Violence' (1982 Hamblyn Paperbacks, Middlesex, England)
is not a book that's easy to find in the book trade (only
three copies of it were listed in the catalogues of Canadian
university libraries in 1998). However, it is now available
as an Internet
edition. It was thoroughly boycotted world-wide by the
feminists when it was originally published.
radical feminists (a.k.a. redfems)
went so far as to remove the copies of the books that had
already been shipped out and were available from the shelves
of the book stores. The publisher went into receivership over
However, the book is now back in print in an edition produced
Publishing Inc.. ?WHS]