Scholar and Feminist IX Petition, circa 1982, page 3

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          the right of these voices to be part of the conference and the feminist
movement. We protest the Coalition's efforts to silence sexual non-conformists
and non—conformist thinking and to intimidate anyone who dares create a

forum which includes such views.

when the Coalition charges that they were excluded, its members

misunderstand the central goal of the conference which was not to restate
present positions but to critically examine theories of sexuality, both
within and without the women's movement. The organizers wanted a conference
that would explore the dialectic of sexual pleasure and sexual danger in
women's lives. They therefore invited theorists committed to integrating
these two poles of women's experience, rather than concentrating on one or
the other. In addition, since the anti—pornography position is the most
familiar and widely publicized feminist perspective on sexuality, indeed
the View that has dominated discussion within the movement, the committee
felt that the best way to encourage fresh insights and further exploration
was to give preference to feminists whose ideas or fields of interest have
received less public attention. We think this is a reasonable approach to
planning a conference, though one on which honorable people may disagree.

But there is a larger issue at stake. Far from representing a

"tiny offshoot" of the movement, the Barnard conference affirmed and embodied
the mainstream radical tradition of women's liberation, which has always
emphasized the breaking of taboos and honest sharing of women's thoughts

and feelings as the bedrock of feminist theory. In response, the Coalition
has not only attacked individuals, but has attempted to dismiss and discredit
the entire conference by identifying it with an unpopular minority. In the
process, they have not hesitated to use classic Mccarthyite smear tactics—-
lies, distortions, innuendo, and guilt by association.

The Coalition's leaflet lumps together pornography, s/m fantasies
and consensual practices, butch—femme roles, and dissenting opinions on any
or all of these subjects as a monolith called "reactionary patriarchal
sexuality," which it then equates with actual violence and coercion. The
leaflet further claims that "politically incorrect sexuality" is ; code
for s/m, though anyone familiar with feminist politics knows that this label
has, unhappily, been freely applied to a wide variety of practices including
heterosexuality, enjoyment of penetration, and wearing dresses.

Proceeding from these erroneous assumptions, the flyer goes on to
imply that any woman who has expressed certain opinions, fraternized with
certain individuals, joined certain groups or even defended these groups’
right to exist is thereby disqualified from speaking as a feminist 9n_any
subject. Two speakers are identified as "representing" groups though in fact
they attended the conference as individuals, representing only themselves.
In addition, the Coalition's descriptions of individuals and groups contain
outright misinformation. To cite a few examples:

--The leaflet falsely characterizes No More Nice Girls, an abortion
rights group represented at an organizing workshop, as advocates of porno-
graphy. Not coincidentally, several members of the group have publicly