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, order the October/November 2000 issue of Ms.
ILLUSTRATION BY STEPHEN KRONINGER