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Interchange – Dissecting Male Supremacy: Kate Millett’s Sexual Politics

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We open the show with Bobbi Martin’s “For the Love of Him.” All the music played is from the 1970 Billboard Top 100, extending the discussion from last week’s show on the political power of music.

Kate Millett’s 1970 book, Sexual Politics, is a classic text of Second Wave Feminism, finding sexism and subjection inherent in the institutions of marriage and the nuclear family. The ideology used to support this is located in the foundational sexual myths of Patriarchy–“Pandora’s Box” and Eve’s disobedience of the Father in Genesis. And central to the 20th Century’s narrative of what makes the Lesser sex lesser is Freud’s ascription of the so-called inferiority to penis envy and a castration complex. While Millett’s arguments and examples seem unassailable, did they have any effect on the social and political mores of the last 50 years?

Kate Millett is a feminist activist, writer, visual artist, teacher, and human rights advocate and a 2013 Inductee into The National Women’s Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls NY, the birthplace of the American Suffragette Movement. Perhaps the most amazing consequence of the publication of Sexual Politics is the notice it received in the popular press: Kate Millett even appeared on the cover of Time Magazine in a portrait by Alice Neel. Forty-six years later, the racist, misogynist Donald Trump was chosen Time’s “Person of the Year” and the 45th President of the United States.

GUEST
Maggie Doherty is a lecturer at Harvard University who is working on a book called The Equivalents, about a remarkable friend group of five women writers and artists who met at the Radcliffe Institute in the early 1960s. She’s published essays in journals and magazines such as The New Republic, Dissent, and n+1, among others.

RELATED
What Kate Did” by Maggie Doherty
Yes All Women” by Maggie Doherty
Sexual Politics and the Feminist Work that Remains Undone” by Rebecca Mead (New Yorker)
Unmanning Sex: Meghan Murphy on Radical Feminism
What Makes Us Vulnerable: The Essential Ellen Willis

MUSIC
“For the Love of Him” by Bobbi Martin
“Evil Ways” by Santana
“All Through the Night” The Paris Sisters
“Band of Gold” by Freda Payne
“(I Know) I’m Losing You” by Rare Earth

CREDITS
Producer & Host: Doug Storm
Assistant Producer: Rob Schoon
Board Engineer: Jennifer Brooks
Executive Producer: Joe Crawford

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