Feminism is a socialist, anti-family, political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.—Pat Robertson
When the above quotation appeared in the movie Miss Representation, which I showed in an Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies class, my students scoffed at it. Indeed, at first glance Robertson’s words seem wacky on a number of levels, but get past the wackiness and what you have is fear of female sexual and economic autonomy. Robertson is speaking of women without husbands, women choosing whether or not to have children (not by killing them once born, of course, but via contraception and abortion), women seeking policies that support and uplift families from all socioeconomic backgrounds, and women loving other women. Each of these ideas flies in the face of patriarchy, or a society built on male control of women. The wackiness makes sense seen in this light—but what of witchcraft? Why is that one in there?