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Letter to the Editor: Views on feminism stomp backward

Tuesday, February 7, 2006

To the editor:

Surely Southeast Missourian readers possess enough critical acumen to cross-examine David Limbaugh on feminism. Women might remind him that feminists won voting rights for women and that feminists have been at the forefront of the equal work-equal pay movement. Actual radical feminists will laugh at his assertions about Hillary Clinton. Men and women might ask, "Aside from reading one right-leaning book, what are Limbaugh's qualifications as feminist critic?

Limbaugh judges feminism by its few tyrannies, its few eccentrics and its few missteps without admitting its many dignities -- two of which I mentioned above. Thus Limbaugh attempts to demonize and dismiss a century-old emancipation movement whose radicals surely changed our culture, mostly for the better. Limbaugh himself surely knows that all radical movements (including his own), in their uphill pull against the dust and gravity of history and the mud and entropy of tradition, always wrench up some roots in the very act of pulling free, of tearing themselves loose. Those roots often end up in fresh ground. Radical movements, by their very nature, shake things up like social and cultural earthquakes.

It seems Limbaugh couldn't care less. He dismisses his enemies -- seemingly anyone who marches to any other tune but his own -- as robots in lockstep while he himself marches, eyes on the ground, in the stomping cadence of the right. So enamored is he of that parade, he has failed to notice that, in attitudes --female at least -- it is stomping back towards the 18th century.

ROB DILLON, Cape Girardeau