Tag Archives: Mina Loy

“There is no half measure-no scratching on the surface of the rubbish heap of tradition, will bring about reform, the only method is absolute demolition.” (Norton pg. 797)

Loy paints a very dark picture of American society. She pokes fun at tradition, calling for a societal revolution, an idea embedded in futuristic manifestos such as this. This quote is describing her cry for women to overturn the patriarchal society they live in. She personifies the thoughts and emotions of many women living during this time period, emotions such as anger, betrayal, revolution, and suppression. She hints at her belief that women are superior to men throughout the manifesto, especially when she says, “deny at the outset-that pathetic clap-trap war cry woman is the equal of man – for she is not.”  Her idea of a revolution stems from the belief that the only way to ensure fairness is to suppress men and allow women to rise up as the superior sex. In order to achieve this, she claims women need to isolate themselves from men in order to gain a true sense of “self-respect.” Her ideas seemed very Marxist to me as a reader; women rising to overthrow men is similar to the proletariat revolting in order to overthrow the elite government (bourgeoisie).

It is interesting to study her use of language and fonts throughout this text.  She highlights words and phrases pertaining to revolution and oppression. For example, “parisitism” signifies her resentment for marriage, which she believes to be a form of female bondage and subservience. She compares it to “prostitution” later on, poking at the objectification of women by selling their bodies to men. Ironically enough, however, she goes on to state that, “there is nothing impure in sex,” an idea that seems to contradict her previous attack on prostitution. This statement is another cry for women to shed the belief that they must be virgins before marriage, a tradition that she believes diminishes their social power.

I believe that her overall idea is flawed. She claims that women rising to power will eliminate key societal problems. But rather than equalizing the sexes, she chooses to repress men the same way women were, resulting in a similar revolution from the male population. The only way to eliminate these societal woes is to let men and women reside together as equals in society. She fails to address the possibility of men and women existing symbiotically.

*Quote from Feminist Manifesto by Mina Loy