Open Collections

UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Misty water coloured misogyny : The politics of "false memory syndrome" Webb, Annabel N. 1996

Your browser doesn't seem to have a PDF viewer, please download the PDF to view this item.

Item Metadata

Download

Media
831-ubc_1996-0341.pdf [ 4.04MB ]
Metadata
JSON: 831-1.0054099.json
JSON-LD: 831-1.0054099-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): 831-1.0054099-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: 831-1.0054099-rdf.json
Turtle: 831-1.0054099-turtle.txt
N-Triples: 831-1.0054099-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: 831-1.0054099-source.json
Full Text
831-1.0054099-fulltext.txt
Citation
831-1.0054099.ris

Full Text

MISTY WATER COLOURED MISOGYNY: THE POLITICS OF "FALSE MEMORY SYNDROME" by ANNABEL N. WEBB B.A., The University of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1990 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of Counselling Psychology) We accept t h i s thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA May, 1996 Copyright Annabel N. Webb, 1996 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Department DE-6 (2/88) ABSTRACT Over the past 2 0 years feminism has c l e a r l y a l t e r e d popular consciousness about sexual abuse and record numbers of women have come forward to expose the men who sexually assaulted them. I t i s i n t h i s context that the notion of false memory syndrome (FMS) has arisen s i g n i f y i n g a debate about the s c i e n t i f i c v a l i d i t y of repression and memory of sexual abuse. In order to challenge the notion of FMS, which I argue i s part of a r i g h t wing attack against feminism, and p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the psychotherapeutic realm, I c r i t i c a l l y analyze 4 volumes of False Memory Syndrome Foundation Newsletters. I argue that the False Memory Syndrome Foundation, a Pennsylvania based lobby group, masterminded the notion of FMS as part of a p o l i t i c a l and l e g a l strategy to deny women's allegations of sexual abuse against powerful white men. I argue further that t h i s movement employs r h e t o r i c and organizing t a c t i c s that are consistent with neo-conservative movements more generally. TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract l i Table of Contents Acknowledgement 111 i v INTRODUCTION Chapter One False Memory Syndrome Misty Water Coloured Misogyny A Feminist Theoretical Framework C r i t i c a l Psychology Feminism vs. Postmodernism A Radical Critique Discourse Analysis FMSF Newsletters Volumes 1-4 2 7 14 18 21 27 29 Chapter Two The False Memory Syndrome Foundation A Brief History 33 Mandate 3 5 A Multiphase Project 3 6 Resources 40 Organizing Strategies 44 FMS Clearing House 48 Chapter Three Neo-Conservative P o l i t i c s Cultural P o l i t i c s : New Right Ideology New Class Discourse A n t i - P o l i t i c a l Correctness Discourse Science and Anti-PC The Counter-Victim F l i p FDS of FMS: Appropriation of Feminist Discourse Construction of Innocence 51 54 63 65 69 73 80 Chapter Four Chapter Five References FMS & the P o l i t i c s of Sexual Assault Law Evidentiary Requirements 94 Limitation Periods and Third Party L i a b i l i t y 100 Conclusions and Recommendations 106 111 Appendix A FMSF Professional & S c i e n t i f i c Advisory 117 i v ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS For Lynette Singer who inspired my transformation from a feminist apologist to a r a d i c a l feminist b i t c h . INTRODUCTION In the following pages, I introduce the notion of False Memory Syndrome (FMS) as part of a r i g h t wing attack against feminism. This thesis i s a p o l i t i c a l project. I t i s a feminist c r i t i q u e that aims to provide feminist a c t i v i s t s with some of the a n a l y t i c a l t o o l s necessary not only to anticipate the moves of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation, the lobby group responsible for FMS, but to counter FMS p o l i t i c a l l y . My goal i s to construct a complex and r a d i c a l analysis of FMS, that i s to understand the various and overlapping r e l a t i o n s of power that have informed i t s development at t h i s p a r t i c u l a r h i s t o r i c a l moment, i n the hope that these arguments w i l l contribute to the development of a p a r t i c u l a r l y r a d i c a l p o l i t i c a l response. This project was inspired, i n part by the anti-feminist attacks I and other feminists have had to endure i n the Department of Counselling Psychology at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia as a r e s u l t of our attempts to bring feminism to psychology, but mostly my r e a l i z a t i o n of the inherent contradiction i n making r a d i c a l feminist arguments from an academic/professional location which I argue i s a very l i m i t e d p o l i t i c a l intervention i n i t s p o t e n t i a l for cooptation and i t s reinforcement of an e l i t i s t system of knowledge production. Throughout the text the reader w i l l f e e l the tension between my sense of accountability to a grassroots feminist p o l i t i c a l movement and the demands of writing t h i s c r i t i q u e as part of the requirements of a Master's degree i n counselling psychology, a department i n which c r i t i c a l theory, and feminism i n pa r t i c u l a r , i s thoroughly marginalized. In the following chapter I introduce FMS, s i t u a t e i t s development i n the context of feminist advances over the past 20 years, and frame i t as a problem for research. False Memory Syndrome In September, 1993, HomeMaker's Magazine f a publ i c a t i o n that targets women and i s d i s t r i b u t e d by home delivery to over a m i l l i o n homes i n Canada, ran a story t i t l e d "Falsely Accused." Accompanied by a picture of a woman clutching her head i n despair, the subheading of t h i s feature read: "False Memory Syndrome i s wrecking families and destroying the c r e d i b i l i t y of genuine sexual-abuse victims. Many experts are pointing to incompetent therapists as the v i l l a i n s of the piece" (Bayin, 1993, p. 44). The a r t i c l e goes on to t e l l the story of a 38 year old woman who, during the course of psychotherapy remembered having been sexually abused as a c h i l d . Following a sympathetic portrayal of her elde r l y parent, who was "torn apart" (p. 46) by the accusation, the a r t i c l e recounts t h i s woman's f r u i t l e s s e f f o r t s i n therapy. Four years of se l f - h e l p books, including The Courage to Heal (Bass & Davis, 1988), and support groups for survivors of sexual abuse proved unsuccessful i n ending her re l e n t l e s s depression. The story concludes with her recantation of the allegations and ensuing membership i n a support group for "recanters" (Bayin, 1993, p. 48) and the False Memory Syndrome Foundation. The remainder of the piece i s devoted to a technical discussion about the psychology of memory, the suggestive power of psychotherapists, and False Memory Syndrome (FMS). In tones of dismay, the author o f f e r s t h i s portrayal of FMS: ...the worst c r i s i s to h i t the family i n decades: innocent people being f a l s e l y accused, adult child r e n having t h e i r problems compounded by bad therapy, and genuine victims of abuse i n danger of being disbelieved by society or dismissed because of the mounting hysteria and the sheer numbers of reported abuse victims. (Bayin, p. 48) The past four years has seen a p r o l i f e r a t i o n of such s t o r i e s with the term FMS surfacing a l l over the mainstream ele c t r o n i c and p r i n t media, including major newspapers from coast to coast of the United States and Canada, and academic l i t e r a t u r e from psychology to law and medicine. The term FMS s i g n i f i e s , depending which side of the controversy one supports: (a) a dangerous psychological phenomenon that deeply threatens the i n s t i t u t i o n of the family, or (b) a r i g h t wing attack on feminist advancements i n the psychotherapeutic realm. The emergence of FMS as a s i g n i f i c a n t issue i n both academic and popular spheres i s l a r g e l y due to the False Memory Syndrome Foundation (FMSF) which has spent a great deal of time and money promoting i t . With a multi-phase plan of attack, a grassroots organizing strategy, and plenty of resources including academic and mainstream media support, the FMSF has s u c c e s s f u l l y popularized the notion of FMS, and challenged feminists i n both the psychotherapeutic and l e g a l domains by c a l l i n g into question not only the therapeutic process by which women remember past sexual abuse, but also, the probative value of such memories i n l e g a l proceedings. For i t s promoters the term FMS describes: [A] condition i n which a person's i d e n t i t y and interpersonal relationships are centered around a memory of traumatic experience which i s objectiv e l y f a l s e but i n which the person strongly believes. Note that the syndrome i s not characterized by f a l s e memories as such. We a l l have memories that are inaccurate. Rather, the syndrome may be diagnosed when the memory i s so deeply ingrained that i t orients the i n d i v i d u a l ' s en t i r e personality and l i f e s t y l e , i n turn disrupting a l l sorts of other adaptive behaviors. The analogy to personality disorder i s i n t e n t i o n a l (Kihlstrom, FMSF Pamphlet). FMS appears to be a decidedly middle class a f f l i c t i o n : Unlike a tornado, t h i s wild fury [FMS] does not seem random i n i t prey. Both have underlying order. FMS has concentrated on highly educated women who are generally successful by popular standards. Most of the victims are entering middle-age and come from families with above average incomes and education background who provided well for t h e i r children with such things as dancing lessons, tennis lessons, junior years abroad, parental p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n school a c t i v i t i e s and family vacations. (FMSF Newsletter, 1992, Nov, p. 1) Recovered memories of sexual abuse are viewed by FMS proponents as the product of a "disastrous therapeutic program" (FMS Foundation Mission and Purpose) i n which overzealous (women) therapists use techniques such as hypnosis, age-regression, guided imagery, dream interpretation, bibliotherapy ( i . e . , The Courage to Heal, Bass & Davis, 1988), rape counselling, and group therapy to influence and/or induce women's memories of sexual abuse. Extensive focus on abuse during therapy and willingness to explain depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem as the manifestations of past sexual abuse, even when a woman has not disclo s e d experiences of abuse, are also ways i n which therapists alle g e d l y encourage women to f a l s e l y remember. One of the supposed hallmark symptoms of FMS, i s women's confrontation of sexually abusive men (step/father, brother, uncle, grandfather, etc.) and subsequent r e f u s a l to have contact with them. Proponents of FMS blame feminism for the perpetuation of f a l s e allegations and consequent destruction of the nuclear family because feminist therapists view t r a d i t i o n a l family therapy as inappropriate i n cases where men have raped t h e i r daughters (FMSF Newsletter, 1992, June). Executive Director of the FMSF, Pamela Freyd (1994) summarizes FMS i n the following way: We have a run-away phenomenon. Good intentions, a lack of knowledge about memory, a panic about child-abuse, an over-generalization of recovery techniques i n therapy, women's issues, media sensationalism, the death-throes of Freudianism, economic issues and a l l the problems and anxieties come from being human or l i v i n g i n a family have somehow mixed together to take on a new form with a l i f e of i t s own. The r e s u l t has been a disast e r . (FMSF Newsletter, 1994, Sept, p. 1) Misty Water Coloured Misogyny From the outset I argue that FMS i s the product of a well orchestrated conservative campaign to r i d psychotherapy related to c h i l d sexual abuse of feminism, and dispute the notion that white middle cl a s s men perpetrate incest. The emergence of the FMSF, with i t s e x p l i c i t agenda to leg i t i m i z e FMS as a psychological construct capable of shaping popular understanding and influencing legal processes, i s not only a p a r t i c u l a r l y blatant example of how science, i n t h i s case psychology, operates on behalf of p a r t i c u l a r p o l i t i c a l and s o c i a l interests and, indeed, the maintenance of an unjust/unequal s o c i a l order, but i s also a reaction to the advancements of the feminist movement. 1990 marks 20 years of anti-violence against women activism by grassroots feminists. Battered women's shelters, rape c r i s i s centers, and women's centers were part of a feminist v i s i o n that allowed women the safety required to expose male violence and thus accurately define the s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l r e a l i t i e s of women l i v e s (Lakeman, 1993). With every women's center came hundreds of women ready to expose and take action against the men who had abused them (Lakeman, 1993) . As women came to understand and theorize violence against women through feminist consciousness r a i s i n g , a process that was defined as conceptually a n t i t h e t i c a l to psychotherapy i n that i t demystified and de-pathologized women's reactions and resistance to rape, psychology responded, as i t has done at every other h i s t o r i c a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t feminist moment, by attempting to d i s c r e d i t women with pathological psychological labels (Armstrong, 1994; Faludi, 1991; Herman, 1992). Women have been blamed for male violence and labeled with masochistic and/or self-defeating personality disorder, and t h e i r coping strategies and resistance has been pathologized with equally u n f l a t t e r i n g diagnoses such as borderline or multiple personality disorder (Armstrong, 1994; Caplan, 1987; Chesler, 1972; Penfold & Walker, 1983). In spite of the fundamentally misogynist h i s t o r y and assumptions (see Chesler, 1972) of psychology, some feminists have attempted to reform psychology and more s p e c i f i c a l l y psychotherapy. The "survivor movement" shrouded i n the therapeutic ideology of personal pathology, healing, and recovery, rather than feminist p o l i t i c a l analysis and s o c i a l action, I argue, i s the outgrowth of a psychological cooptation of feminist thought (Armstrong, 1994; Cox, personal communication, 1996). The survivor movement's adherence to ce r t a i n feminist ideas has nonetheless inspired many women to hold men l e g a l l y accountable for incestuous abuse i n both the c i v i l and criminal courts, and i n t h i s way has posed a threat to male power by challenging the p a t r i a r c h a l myth of the protective father. I t i s i n t h i s context that the FMSF emerged as advocates for men accused of sexual abuse, and developed the concept of FMS as a way to d i s c r e d i t women's allegations. The survivor movement's popularization of therapeutic discourses on sexual abuse had already s h i f t e d the focus of the debate about violence against women from a p o l i t i c a l to a psychological one and thus set the stage for the development of FMS. Whatever trace of feminist thinking could be found i n the rhet o r i c of the survivor movement, would be challenged by FMS advocates and replaced by a more arcane, and indeed conservative psychology of sexual abuse. The advantage of framing t h e i r denial of sexual abuse i n the language of cognitive psychology, I argue, was that FMS advocates were able to construct themselves as motivated by science rather than p o l i t i c s and thus credible by vi r t u e of t h e i r allegedly disinterested s c h o l a r l y stance. One of the more inter e s t i n g features of FMS discourse i s the c o l l a t e r a l nature of i t s attack that d i s c r e d i t s women who allege sexual assault v i a a t h i r d party: the (pro)feminist therapist. Herman (1992) argues " c l i n i c i a n s who l i s t e n too long and too c a r e f u l l y to traumatized patients often become suspect among t h e i r colleagues, as though contaminated by contact" (p. 9). Not only have FMS arguments been used to d i s c r e d i t feminist therapists and the women they support but i t has also been used i n the l e g a l arena as a buttress for feminist legal reforms of evidentiary requirements and l i m i t a t i o n periods pertaining to sexual assault laws. Susan V e l l a (1992), coordinator of the Canadian National Steering Committee of the National Association of Women and the Law, argues moreover, that "the [False Memory Syndrome] Foundation i s aimed at giving c r e d i b i l i t y to yet one more defence to be used by accused perpetrators of childhood sexual abuse claims i n the criminal and c i v i l courts" (p. 1) . She goes on to suggest: A worrisome aspect of the FMS theory i s that i t makes the victim's therapist the scapegoat i n childhood sexual assault claims. The FMS gives the t r i a l judge an "out" by making i t possible for the judge to fi n d an accused not g u i l t y without l a b e l l i n g the victim a l i a r . . . n o t only does the FMS have the potential of posing another evidentiary hurdle for the victim to cle a r , i t also has the potential of scaring o f f therapists from t r e a t i n g adult survivors for fear of being di s c r e d i t e d i n the courts, and of the p o t e n t i a l of facing lawsuits by accused who are successful i n t h e i r defences (for slander, i n t e n t i o n a l interference with family r e l a t i o n s , negligence, e t c . ) . ( p . l ) In the following pages I frame FMS as part of a neo-conservative reaction to feminist gains i n both the psychological and leg a l domains. Before moving on to the substance of my argument, I begin i n chapter 1, by o u t l i n i n g the th e o r e t i c a l underpinnings of my feminist analysis and locating t h i s project within a t r a d i t i o n of c r i t i c a l psychology. Chapters 2, 3, & 4 b u i l d on one another. In chapter 2, I present the FMSF as a r i g h t wing think tank and examine i t s s t r a t e g i c development and dissemination of FMS. I look at how i n s t i t u t i o n s l i k e the academy and mainstream media have supported t h i s movement, and how the FMSF has organized an extensive network of FMS lobbyists across the United States and in t e r n a t i o n a l l y . In chapter 3, I focus on how FMS discourse i s informed by r i g h t wing ideology, and employs neo-conservative r h e t o r i c a l s t r a t e g i e s . More s p e c i f i c a l l y I c r i t i q u e FMS by ill u m i n a t i n g i t s re l i a n c e on a number of sexist, anti-feminist, white middle c l a s s myths about sexual abuse. I then move on i n chapter 4 , to t a l k about the material consequences of FMS i n the le g a l domain and some of the ways i n which t h i s movement claims to have influenced the courts. CHAPTER ONE A FEMINIST THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK In the following chapter I outline my t h e o r e t i c a l framework for analyzing FMS. I locate my analysis i n a t r a d i t i o n of c r i t i c a l psychology, b r i e f l y discuss the debates between feminism and postmodernism as part of the t h e o r e t i c a l development of my analysis, and then delineate a r a d i c a l framework for my c r i t i q u e . C r i t i c a l Psychology Psychological c r i t i q u e s t y p i c a l l y address the empirical v a l i d i t y of psychological constructs on the basis of t h e i r t h e o r e t i c a l consistency and methodological stringency within a dominant t r a d i t i o n of psychology. By dominant psychology I mean that which r e l i e s on the methods and philosophical tenets of Modernism: objectivism, rationalism, and universalism. Like a l l hegemonic discourses, however, psychology i s not e n t i r e l y u n i f i e d and has thus inspired c r i t i q u e s that, amongst other things, challenge i t s supposed i m p a r t i a l i t y . In t h i s section I outline some of these c r i t i q u e s as applied to the present analysis. French psychologist and s o c i a l h i s t o r i a n Michel Foucault (1965) examined the s o c i a l construction of madness and the r o l e of psychiatry as a mechanism of s o c i a l control. Foucault was concerned with the production of s o c i a l discourse and i t s r e l a t i o n to s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l power (Fraser, 1989). According to Foucault, p s y c h i a t r i c and psychotherapeutic discourses are modes of power and s o c i a l control and hence must be examined i n t h e i r p o l i t i c a l , c u l t u r a l , and h i s t o r i c a l contexts i n order to f u l l y understand t h e i r s i g n i f i c a n c e i n a p a r t i c u l a r s o c i a l order (Walby, 1990) . Similar to Foucault's work a number of booklength feminist c r i t i q u e s of psychiatry and psychology (see Caplan, 1987; Chesler, 1972; Penfold & Walker, 1983) have illuminated the white c a p i t a l i s t p a t r i a r c h a l i n t e r e s t s that inform psychological constructions of women, and, more s p e c i f i c a l l y , men's violence against women as well as women's varied responses and resistance to i t . Feminists have c r i t i c i z e d science and i t s reliance on p o s i t i v i s t research methods arguing that such research tends to produce generalized, abstracted theories that are completely disconnected from the h i s t o r i c a l , s o c i o - c u l t u r a l , and p o l i t i c a l contexts that inform them (Harding, 1986; Haraway, 1991) . Like other sciences, psychology claims o b j e c t i v i t y by a r t i f i c i a l l y separating the p o l i t i c a l and s o c i a l interests of researchers from the science they produce. Of p a r t i c u l a r relevance to my discussion of FMS i s the degree to which psychology i n s i d i o u s l y erases women's c o l l e c t i v e , though d i f f e r e n t , resistance to p a t r i a r c h a l oppression and redefines i t as in d i v i d u a l pathology a l l the while claiming s c i e n t i f i c n e u t r a l i t y (Baker-Miller, 1986; Butler, 1992). Freudian Seduction Theory, which posits the notion that women fantasize incestuous sexual abuse, i s not only a p a r t i c u l a r l y transparent example of the connections between white middle class male power and knowledge i n psychology, but also the h i s t o r i c a l backdrop to the current psychological attack on women's memories of sexual abuse. Freud's decision to r e t r a c t h i s o r i g i n a l theory which i d e n t i f i e d father perpetrated rape as the cause of women's "hysteria", and replace i t with Seduction Theory, was unquestionably due to se x i s t prejudice and a desire to conform to the p a t r i a r c h a l ideology of his time (Masson, 1992; Walby, 1990). Herman (1992) argues that "no matter how cogent h i s arguments or how v a l i d his observations, Freud's discovery could not gain acceptance i n the absence of a p o l i t i c a l and s o c i a l context that would support the inves t i g a t i o n of hysteria, wherever i t might lead" (p. 28). In order to regain acceptance by h i s colleagues and the s c i e n t i f i c community "[Freud] went on to develop a theory of human development i n which the i n f e r i o r i t y and mendacity of women are fundamental points of doctrine. In an anti-feminist climate, t h i s theory prospered and thrived" (Herman, 1992, p. 28). Like c r i t i c a l t heorists i n psychology, I c r i t i q u e FMS i n a way that illuminates the h i s t o r i c a l and p o l i t i c a l s p e c i f i c i t y of t h i s discourse. Rather than focussing on the empirical v a l i d i t y or s c i e n t i f i c legitimacy of FMS, I locate FMS r h e t o r i c within the context of current r i g h t wing p o l i t i c s and how they have helped to shape current psychological discourses on sexual abuse. My approach draws on the i n s i g h t s of c r i t i c a l s o c i a l theory, feminism, l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m , and postmodernism. Treating FMS as a category of s o c i a l discourse, I c r i t i c a l l y examine the ways i n which FMS i s represented i n four volumes of FMSF Newsletters and how various strategies of power— sexism, racism, heterosexism, classism—inform the FMSF's rh e t o r i c about sexual abuse. Before moving on to outline the s p e c i f i c s of my a n a l y t i c a l framework, I want to take a moment to discuss the t h e o r e t i c a l debates between feminism and postmodernism because they have informed the development of my t h e o r e t i c a l position. Feminism vs. Postmodernism Recognizing the debate within c r i t i c a l t r a d i t i o n s regarding the p o l i t i c a l u t i l i t y of p o s t s t r u c t u r a l i s t c r i t i q u e s (Brodribb, 1992; Christian, 1990; Nicholson, 1990), which often problematize important p o l i t i c a l precepts, I propose a feminist analysis that i s p r a x i s -oriented and, at the same time, c r i t i c a l l y appropriates c e r t a i n tenets of poststructural thought. Both feminists and postmodernists have sought to a r t i c u l a t e a brand of s o c i a l c r i t i c i s m that i s l i b e r a t e d from the epistemological shackles of Modern philosophy. Motivated by the exigencies of an emancipatory p o l i t i c a l agenda, feminists have focussed p r i n c i p a l l y on formulating s o c i a l c r i t i c i s m and only secondarily on examining the conditions of philosophy. For postmodernists, on the other hand, s o c i a l c r i t i c i s m i s merely the c o r o l l a r y of a lengthy confrontation with philosophy (Fraser & Nicholson, 1990). Some argue that these two i n t e l l e c t u a l / c u l t u r a l currents are somewhat complementary i n t h e i r respective strengths and weaknesses: "a postmodernist r e f l e c t i o n of feminist theory reveals disabling vestiges of essentialism while a feminist r e f l e c t i o n on postmodernism reveals androcentrism and p o l i t i c a l naivete" (Fraser & Nicholson, 1990, p. 20). Postmodernists describe r e a l i t y as constituted i n and by discourse. In other words the way we think, t a l k and write about our experience i n the world, whether that be i n the language of science, feminism, or some other philosophy, does not simply r e f l e c t , but a c t i v e l y shapes our r e a l i t y (Dant, 1991). Language i s one of the central s i t e s of analysis for postmodernists because language i s a key component of discourse production. Like knowledge, language both r e f l e c t s and reproduces i t s s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l contexts (Fraser, 1989) . S i m i l a r l y , s u b j e c t i v i t y , or the way i n which a person experiences a sense of being i n the world, i s seen as h i s t o r i c a l l y s p e c i f i c and s o c i a l l y produced v i a disc u r s i v e practises (Weedon, 1987), and therefore does not r e f l e c t the conscious w i l l of a person but instead, i s a language position i n which the subject i s merely the s i t e of s i g n i f i c a t i o n , or, as Benhabib (1992) puts i t , the " v e n t r i l o q u i s t for discourses" (p. 216) . Postmodern c r i t i q u e s s c r u t i n i z e the connections between language, s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n s , i n d i v i d u a l consciousness, and power (Weedon, 1987), and interrogate "...the ways i n which s o c i a l s u b j e c t i v i t y i s formed, internalized, contested, and re-formed through the struggles of competing discourses" (Valverde, 1991, p. 176). This type of s o c i a l c r i t i c i s m i s s p e c i f i c i n i t s focus and tends to concentrate on p a r t i c u l a r discourses and disc u r s i v e contexts rather than producing more general theories. According to Fraser and Nicholson (1990), feminist c r i t i q u e s of modern philosophy arise p r e c i s e l y from the exigencies of transformative p o l i t i c a l p r actice that postmodern theori s t s neglect. Feminists have rejected the notion of o b j e c t i v i t y , interrogated the supposed u n i v e r s a l i t y of Modern philosophy, and produced theories that challenge sexist conceptions of women's oppression. Black feminists, moreover, have pushed feminism toward a more r a d i c a l and sophisticated understanding of how male supremacy i s complicated by and translated through relations of race, cl a s s , and sexual orientation (see for example Davis, 1983; Hooks, 1984; Lorde, 1984). Some feminists, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n academic settings, have embraced postmodernism and attempted to apply i t s c r i t i q u e to an understanding of women's oppression. From t h i s perspective discourse i s the s i t e of struggle and transformation, thus, the project of t h i s "discursive" (p. 5) feminist p o l i t i c s i s to a l t e r c u l t u r a l representations concerning gender, race, and sexual orientation (Ebert, 1993). As I outline my c r i t i c a l framework i n the following section, I distinguish between a t r u l y r a d i c a l c r i t i q u e of inequality and feminist poststructuralism, which I argue undermines feminism as a p o l i t i c a l movement. A Radical Critique Many feminists r e j e c t a postmodern conception of feminism because i t tends to relegate feminist interventions to a struggle over rh e t o r i c rather than a p o l i t i c a l movement: "[a] strong postmodernist p o s i t i o n i s incompatible with and i n fact renders incoherent feminism as a t h e o r e t i c a l a r t i c u l a t i o n of a struggling s o c i a l movement" (Benhabib, 1992, p. 210-211). Ebert (1993) contends that certain postmodern a r t i c u l a t i o n s of feminism: ...problematized the notion of p o l i t i c s and re a r t i c u l a t e d i t as s o l e l y a c u l t u r a l p o l i t i c s : that i s , as a language-effect, a mode of r h e t o r i c aimed at changing c u l t u r a l representations, rather than as a c o l l e c t i v e practice through which e x i s t i n g s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n s are changed so that (economic) resources and c u l t u r a l power can be d i s t r i b u t e d without regard to gender, race, c l a s s , sexuality (p. 6). Notions such as patriarchy or emancipation are problematized by postmodern feminists and are dismissed as ' t o t a l i z i n g ' concepts that should be replaced with more l o c a l , s p e c i f i c , and concrete representations. The wholesale expulsion of certain feminist concepts including materialism within postmodern feminist discourses has led theorists such as Ebert (1993) to question the emancipatory u t i l i t y of a feminism i n which "...any attempt to 'conceptualize' experience or pleasure i s seen...as a violent erasure of the unique, l o c a l , s p e c i f i c and concrete i n d i v i d u a l : to conceptualize i s to t o t a l i z e and to t o t a l i z e i s seen, at a l l l e v e l s , as t o t a l i t a r i a n " (p. 8). Drawing on my understanding of feminism i n both academic and grassroots contexts I have worked through the academic debates between postmodernists and feminists and examined the p o t e n t i a l for a postmodern feminism, an exercise that has led me to distinguish between engaged r a d i c a l s o c i a l c r i t i c i s m and postmodern cooptation of c r i t i c a l s o c i a l theory, the l a t t e r often r e i n f o r c i n g many of the power structures i t ostensibly c r i t i q u e s by b u i l d i n g arguments that are not only disconnected from s p e c i f i c p o l i t i c a l action but also exclusionary i n t h e i r e l i t i s t language. For t h i s reason I was p a r t i c u l a r l y drawn to Theresa Ebert's (1993) work which p u l l s together the most useful aspects of postmodernism, namely i t s interrogation of cultural/knowledge production, and r a d i c a l feminism for the purpose of developing a more r a d i c a l and p o l i t i c a l l y relevant feminist c r i t i q u e . In t h i s context I define a r a d i c a l c r i t i q u e as one that i s the most complex i n i t s understanding of the i n s t i t u t i o n s and s o c i a l structures that constitute women's l i v e d experience of oppression and i s thus maximally informative as a guide for transformative p o l i t i c a l action. For Ebert (1993) feminist theory must be a p o l i t i c a l l y transformative practise: ...one that not only disrupts the s p e c i f i c conditions and features of a r a c i s t , p a t r i a r c h a l , and c a p i t a l i s t oppression but also transforms the systematic r e l a t i o n s of exploitation and moves toward producing nonexploitative s o c i a l arrangements. At the same time, feminist theory needs to be especially s e l f - r e f l e x i v e and adept at c r i t i q u i n g i t s own h i s t o r i c a l s i t u a t i o n and l i m i t s ; at r e s i s t i n g the p a t r i a r c h a l appropriation and usurpation of i t s oppositional l o g i c ; and at insuring that i t s alternative practices and modes of knowing c i r c u l a t e and are used on behalf of an emancipatory agenda, (p. 12) Ebert (1993) argues for a feminism that foregrounds material p o l i t i c s and functions as "an explanatory c r i t i q u e of the ways i n which meanings are m a t e r i a l l y formed and s o c i a l r e a l i t y i s constructed i n r e l a t i o n to various strategies of power" (p. 9). Ebert's feminist v i s i o n , which adopts certain tenets of p o s t s t u c t u r a l i s t thought, aims to develop an h i s t o r i c a l c r i t i q u e of knowledge production. She argues for a feminist theory that uses "a m a t e r i a l i s t frame to engage both l e v e l s of [feminist] p o l i t i c s : c u l t u r a l p o l i t i c s (intervening i n and changing c u l t u r a l representations, s p e c i f i c a l l y those concerning gender, sexuality, and race) as well as transformative p o l i t i c s (radical s o c i a l intervention i n the h i s t o r i c a l economic, p o l i t i c a l , and labor r e l a t i o n s underlying c u l t u r a l representations)" (p. 6). In the following analysis of FMS I apply a feminist c r i t i q u e similar to the one Ebert (1991, 1993) asserts; my exploration of FMS i d e n t i f i e s and c r i t i q u e s structures of inequality and i n j u s t i c e . I conceptualize FMS to the extent that i t i s constructed through r e l a t i o n s of race, class, gender, and sexual or i e n t a t i o n . I analyze the c u l t u r a l p o l i t i c s of FMS, which i s how FMS i s represented as discourse, and locate these representations within h i s t o r i c a l l y and c u l t u r a l l y s p e c i f i c r e l a t i o n s of power. In t h i s analysis I treat the production of knowledge as part of the s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l apparatus of power. In no way do I presume to be objective; my research, on the contrary, foregrounds my p o l i t i c a l intentions and makes bias central to my argument instead of t r e a t i n g i t as the bogey man of an otherwise objective science (Lather, 1991). From a feminist standpoint I c r i t i q u e the ways i n which the FMSF has used science and academic authority to produce a fundamentally misogynist and anti-feminist construct for the purpose of d i s p l a c i n g feminist conceptions of sexual abuse i n the psychotherapeutic realm. I argue that FMS i s u n l i k e l y to be s i g n i f i c a n t l y challenged without an analysis of the power relations that have given r i s e to i t at t h i s p a r t i c u l a r h i s t o r i c a l moment. I regard t h i s kind of analysis as part of the project of a r a d i c a l transformation of psychology. The purpose of my c r i t i q u e of FMS i s to illuminate what i s p o l i t i c a l l y transformable. Rather than arguing the s c i e n t i f i c v a l i d i t y of FMS, I c r i t i q u e the FMSF's p o l i t i c a l use of science, i n t h i s case cognitive psychology, to deny sexual abuse and by extension feminist knowledge. Similar to Foucault's (1984) genealogy, my method of c r i t i c a l analysis i s "concerned with the processes, procedures, and apparatuses whereby truth, knowledge, b e l i e f are produced" (Fraser, 1989, p. 19). This sort of c r i t i q u e moreover, ...separates i t s e l f within the ' w i l l to t r u t h ' by t r y i n g to unmask discourses' associations with power and m a t e r i a l i t i e s ; also, i t i s not reductive, that i s , i t alone allows for a f u l l d e scription of the complexly determined d i s c u r s i v e practices i t studies; and f i n a l l y , i t describes and c r i t i c i z e s these practices with an eye to revealing t h e i r 'subjugating' e f f e c t s i n the p r e s e n t — i t means always to r e s i s t d i s c i p l i n i n g and speaking for others i n t h e i r own struggles (Bove, 1990). In general I look at how truth i s constructed by FMS discourse and i l l u s t r a t e the s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l foundations of t h i s r hetoric. My purpose i s not to define FMS as much as i t i s to c r i t i q u e i t s various di s c u r s i v e representations and illuminate the ways i n which material conditions, l i k e access to money, education and s o c i a l status, inform the s o c i a l struggle over c u l t u r a l representations of sexual abuse. This method of c r i t i q u e i s sometimes referred to as discourse analysis. Discourse Analysis Some c r i t i c a l s o c i a l theorists view discourse, the way i n which we think, talk , or write about things, as a concrete form i n which knowledge i s manifested as a s o c i a l phenomena (Dant, 1991), which, moreover, embodies a (material) p o l i t i c a l struggle over who has access to s o c i a l l y legitimized knowledge production (Fraser, 1989, p. 20). Analysis of discourse should thus illuminate patterns of meaning, contradictions, and inconsistencies that are symptomatically linked to s o c i a l i n / j u s t i c e (Gavey, 1989). For instance, discourses that are hegemonic, or serve to maintain the i d e o l o g i c a l machinery of an oppressive system of r u l e , w i l l doubtlessly r e f l e c t the values, gender, c l a s s , race, and sexual orientation of those with power (Weedon, 1987). The relationship between c e r t a i n discourses and t h e i r s o c i a l l y transformative p o t e n t i a l i s l a r g e l y dependent on who a r t i c u l a t e s them and i n what context (Philp, 1985), as A l c o f f (1991) points out: "who i s speaking to whom turns out to be as important for meaning and truth as what i s said: i n f a c t what i s said turns out to change according to who i s speaking and who i s l i s t e n i n g " (p. 12). S i t u a t i n g knowledge h i s t o r i c a l l y and p o l i t i c a l l y , as well as i d e n t i f y i n g the s o c i a l position of those who a r t i c u l a t e p a r t i c u l a r discourses, i s thus fundamental to a c r i t i c a l analysis and i s essential to the process of unmasking "the working of power on behalf of s p e c i a l i n t e r e s t [within discourse] and...the opportunities for resistance to i t " (Gavey, 1989, p. 466). In order to illuminate the ways in which FMS discourse operates on behalf of white middle c l a s s men, and indeed reinforces a s i t u a t i o n i n which women's knowledge and allegations of sexual abuse are derided and denied, I trace the relationship between the organizing strategies of the FMSF and the consequent growth of FMS. The sorts of questions I ask i n my analysis of FMS are as follows: (a) To what extent do the material conditions of the FMSF i n terms of t h e i r f i n a n c i a l status and s o c i a l power influence the s o c i a l impact of FMS discourse? (b) What strategies were used by the FMSF to legitimize FMS as a s c i e n t i f i c construct? (c) What do FMS advocates assume to be "normal", natural", or "commonsensical" i n t h e i r arguments and what do they disregard as outrageous or implausible? (d) How does the FMSF j u s t i f y i t s denial of sexual abuse allegations i n a s o c i a l context where i t has become increasingly unacceptable to do so? (e) How does the FMSF use both hegemonic and l i b e r a t o r y discourse to authorize and legitimize t h e i r p o s i t i o n while at the same time constructing feminist conceptions of sexual abuse as i l l e g i t i m a t e ? (f) How does the FMSF present i t s views as objective t r u t h while simultaneously constructing dissenting views as p o l i t i c a l dogma? (g) How are certain FMS ideas h i s t o r i c a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t and how do they r e l a t e to systems of power and knowledge? (i) What are the material s o c i a l consequences of FMS arguments? FMSF Newsletters Volumes 1-4 I have selected the f i r s t four volumes of FMSF bimonthly newsletters for analysis because these newsletters are the most concise and thorough a r t i c u l a t i o n of FMS discourse I have seen to date. This material traces the movement of the FMS lobby from i t s inception i n 1992, r i g h t up to the end of 1995. Each issue i s loaded with FMS r h e t o r i c and FMSF organizing strategies. They are replete with e d i t o r i a l s , excerpts from academic materials, l e g a l decisions, popular press segments, book reviews, l e g a l analyses, countless personal anecdotes, meeting and conference announcements, advisory board l i s t i n g s , and so on. In my reading of FMS I have chosen to focus on material that i s most relevant to a feminist p o l i t i c a l intervention and/or i s so common i n the text that i t seems worthy of exploration. I focus on the s p e c i f i c organizing strategies of the FMSF i n order to provide grassroots feminists the opportunity to respond to t h i s organization and anticipate further FMSF a c t i v i t y . I argue furthermore, that we can learn from the successful organizing strategies of our p o l i t i c a l opponents and thus should pay attention to the s p e c i f i c strategies the FMSF has used to create i t s movement. My focus on the neo-conservative character of FMS i s i n part a response to the feminist c r i t i q u e s of FMS I have read to date, few of which locate FMS i n a wider conservative movement. In no way i s t h i s text meant to be an exhaustive analysis, i t i s instead one woman's reading of FMS. In order to f u l l y appreciate the 31 s i g n i f i c a n c e of FMS, we must f i r s t understand, the organization that i s responsible for i n s t i g a t i n g i t as a moral panic. I t i s to t h i s question that I turn my attention i n chapter 2 . CHAPTER TWO THE FALSE MEMORY SYNDROME FOUNDATION The FMSF i s a 501 (c) (3) organization and does not lobby...The FMS Foundation has no l e g i s l a t i v e agenda. (FMSF Newsletter, 1995, Jan, p. 3) Single-issue organizing, i n p a r t i c u l a r movements that have focussed on the protection of white suburban family l i f e , has been a very successful strategy of the Right (Davis, 198 6). These movements are often supported by 'think-tanks' which have been p i v o t a l i n popularizing r i g h t wing discourses i n the United States (Bruce, 1990). Groups of neo-conservative academics, who posses the s c i e n t i f i c authority to produce "expertise" on subjects related to the inte r e s t s of a r i g h t wing p o l i t i c a l agenda, form these think tanks i n order to es t a b l i s h an ideol o g i c a l i n f r a s t r u c t u r e f o r conservative p o l i t i c a l action (Ehrenreich, 1990). Think-tanks r a r e l y lack resources and often receive hefty r i g h t wing foundation grants and substantial i n s t i t u t i o n a l support such as academic sponsorship (Bruce, 1990). Beyond marketing expertise, think-tanks act as clearing houses for conservative propaganda. In the following chapter I argue that the FMSF, with i t s focus on establishing FMS expertise, i s a conservative think tank and i s largely responsible f o r the spread of FMS. While I reserve my exploration of the neo-conservative ide o l o g i c a l foundations of FMS for chapter 3, i n t h i s chapter I provide the foundations for that argument by constructing FMS as the product of a p o l i t i c a l movement as opposed to a s c i e n t i f i c discovery. I s t a r t with a b r i e f history of the FMSF, delineate i t s stated mandate, and then move on to look the kinds of resources and organizing strategies i t has used to rocket FMS into the popular, academic, and le g a l domains. A b r i e f History The rapid spread of FMS was not a spontaneous event, but instead was the product of the e f f o r t s of the FMSF, a Pennsylvania based non-profit organization that was founded March 14, 1992. Pamela Freyd, the current executive director, started the organization when her husband, Peter Freyd, was accused by t h e i r daughter of incestuous rape and sexual assault (Doe, 1991). In an a r t i c l e t i t l e d "How could t h i s happen? Coping with a f a l s e accusation of incest and rape" (Doe, 1991), Pamela Freyd, writing under the pseudonym Jane Doe, proclaimed her husband's innocence and accused an incompetent, unethical, arrogant and c r u e l feminist therapist for allegedly coaxing her daughter into making such allegations (Doe, 1991). After a l l , she explained, Peter Freyd had passed a l i e detector t e s t so how could he possibly be g u i l t y (Doe, 1991)? The piece was published i n Issues i n C h i l d Abuse Accusations. a journal edited by sexual abuse advocate and rabid anti-feminist, Ralph Underwager, member of the I n s t i t u t e for Psychological Therapies (see "FMS Founders Champion Paedophilia," 1993). He and h i s wife, H o l l i d a Wakefield, also a member of the I n s t i t u t e for Psychological Therapies, were instrumental i n the development of the FMSF providing resources i n i t s early days, such as a 1-800 number, and "loving professional support" (FMSF Newsletter, 1992, May, p. 1) • In A p r i l of 1992 Pamela and a group of accused parents and professionals supporters, the newly formed FMSF, secured a s i t e for t h e i r headquarters at the University City Science Center i n Philadelphia, a non-p r o f i t organization funded by 28 educational i n s t i t u t i o n s to support research organization and companies that are developing new technologies (FMSF Newsletter, 1992, A p r i l ) . In no time the FMSF was f u l l y equipped with phones, faxes, a 1-800 number, status as a tax exempt public charity, p r o f e s s i o n a l l y bound c o l l e c t i o n s of reprinted a r t i c l e s , pamphlets, monthly newsletters, and a volunteer s t a f f and were well prepared to respond to the now hundreds of telephone i n q u i r i e s from doctors, lawyers, u n i v e r s i t y administrators and professors, t e l e v i s i o n producers, psychological associations, and 'families' (accused men and the women who support them) (FMSF Newsletter, 1992, A p r i l , June, July, Nov). Mandate In 1992 the FMSF announced t h e i r mission to warn the public, media, legal and mental health communities, about an allegedly growing and dangerous s o c i a l problem/health c r i s i s , FMS, and i t s destruction of science and the family. With a handful of academics at the helm, they developed a multifaceted mandate: (a) to provide a s c i e n t i f i c rationale for the spread of FMS, (b) to prevent further cases of FMS, (c) to a s s i s t accused men (and t h e i r women supporters) through counselling, (d) to publi c i z e FMS and i t s alleged causes, (e) to promote and sponsor s c i e n t i f i c research into FMS and disseminate findings to relevant professional communities, (f) to devise s c i e n t i f i c methods for distinguishing true and f a l s e a l l e g a t i o n s , (g) to explain the reasons for f a l s e a llegations ( i . e . , inducement by therapists) and, (h) to provide l e g a l advice to accused men (FMSF Pamphlet). They made i t clear, however, that t h e i r goal was not to determine the truth of women's alle g a t i o n s , a task that apparently would require clairvoyance or supernatural powers, but instead, with the o b j e c t i v i t y of a transcendent and a l l knowing science as t h e i r guide, they would earnestly and dispassionately "record t h i s phenomenon as accurately and completely as possible" (FMSF Newsletter, 1993, Jan., p. 1). In one statement of purpose the FMSF claimed that sexual abuse per se was not t h e i r central concern, but, instead, to defend the good name of science and promote family r e c o n c i l i a t i o n (FMSF Newsletter, 1993, March). Far from being the product of a passive and objective s c i e n t i f i c endeavor, the growth of FMS was, i n f a c t , an e n t i r e l y manufactured event. A Multiphase Project FMSF leaders are shrewd p o l i t i c a l organizers, s t r a t e g i c i n t h e i r use of resources, and adept at mobilizing community action. The advancement of FMS involved a well organized multiphase strategy of attack, a m i l l i o n d o l l a r annual operating budget, i n s t i t u t i o n a l support from the academy and mainstream media, and a grassroots-style organizing scheme. In order to f u l l y appreciate the degree to which the notion of FMS arose as part of a well orchestrated plan, i t i s intere s t i n g to look at the multiphase organizing strategy that the FMSF employed. Phase I was the development and deployment of a s c i e n t i f i c construct that would disrupt and replace popular feminist ideas about sexual abuse and at the same time, d i s c r e d i t feminists who challenge science, psychology, and law. In i t s early days the FMSF spent much of i t s time c o l l e c t i n g d a t a — conducting surveys, and s o l i c i t i n g s t o r i e s from accused men, non-accused family members, and women who retracted a l l e g a t i o n s . They needed to document a recognizable and consistent c l u s t e r of "symptoms" that would leg i t i m i z e FMS as an observable psychomedical phenomena. When enough men accused of incestuous rape (and often t h e i r women supporters) came forward to t e l l miraculously s i m i l a r s t o r i e s of t h e i r innocence, the FMSF claimed to be witnessing a s c i e n t i f i c phenomena. Phase II targeted/created "experts" i n major i n s t i t u t i o n s such as academia, psychiatry, medicine, and law i n order to further legitimize FMS as a s c i e n t i f i c construct and firmly insinuate i t into a body of academic l i t e r a t u r e . The development of the FMSF S c i e n t i f i c and Professional Advisory which consists of over 45 legal experts, authors, p s y c h i a t r i s t s , and s o c i a l , developmental, and forensic psychologists (see Appendix A) was c r u c i a l i n esta b l i s h i n g t h e i r c r e d i b i l i t y (FMSF Newsletter, 1993, Dec). With the "most prestigious memory researchers and c l i n i c i a n s i n the world" publishing research papers, organizing and speaking at conferences, and acting as expert witnesses, the expertise of FMS advocates was firmly established. And the academic community was more than ready to embrace the notion of FMS: This month, we see the biggest and most s i g n i f i c a n t change: a great increase i n the number of scholarly papers about FMS. Because of the tone of the papers and because of the depth i n which the issues are addressed, we conclude that the academic community i s concerned about the consequences of recovered memory therapy and i s now w i l l i n g to speak out i n a voice about the s c i e n t i f i c foundation of memory. (FMSF Newsletter, 1994, Sept, p. 1) Phase III was geared toward convincing powerful professional organizations that FMS was a problem i n need of t h e i r attention. With the support of the scientific/academic community the FMSF began to pressure national regulatory bodies such as the American Psychiatric Association, American Medical Association, and American Psychological Association, into reevaluating psychotherapeutic techniques associated with sexual abuse. In no time regulatory bodies began to make public statements about the po t e n t i a l hazards of "recovered memory therapy" (cited i n FMSF Newsletter, 1994, July; 1995, July/Aug). Phase IV. which I discuss at length i n chapter 4, was the move into the criminal and c i v i l courts. The FMSF were able to argue, with the backing of the biggest most powerful professional regulatory bodies i n North America, that the l i b e r a l l e g a l " r i g h t s " of men were being v i o l a t e d on the basis of u n s c i e n t i f i c psychological theories. The execution of t h i s multi-phase strategy was dependent upon a s i g n i f i c a n t resource base. In the next section I explore how the FMSF used money, the mainstream media, and the academy to c u l t i v a t e FMS. Resources The FMSF r e l i e s on membership dues ($100.OO/year), i n d i v i d u a l donations, employer matched donations, g i f t s of stock, bequeathed monies, United Way donations, and grants from charitable foundations, and corporations to fund t h e i r a c t i v i t i e s (FMSF Newsletter, 1992, Aug/Sept; FMS Foundation Mission and Purpose). In i t s f i r s t 3 years of operation the FMSF more than doubled i t s operating budget from $365,485 (FMSF Newsletter, 1993, July) to $1 m i l l i o n (FMSF Newsletter, 1995, March). Most of t h i s budget i s spent on p o l i t i c a l lobbying and public education, with the remainder going to administration costs such as s t a f f s a l a r i e s , phone l i n e s , and rent (FMSF Newsletter, 1995, Sept). What i s c l e a r l y unaccounted for i n the f i n a n c i a l statements of the FMSF, however, i s the contributions of establishments such as t e l e v i s i o n networks and u n i v e r s i t i e s who have provide an i n s t i t u t i o n a l i n f r a s t r u c t u r e for FMSF a c t i v i t i e s . Marketing of FMS has been taken on with enthusiasm by the mainstream media. Nearly every American t e l e v i s i o n network has contributed to the spread of FMS. The types of programs that have ca r r i e d FMS r e l a t e d s t o r i e s include: i n f l u e n t i a l t e l e v i s i o n news magazines (ABC's "20/20", NBC's "Dateline", PBS's "Nova" and "Frontline", CBS's "60 Minutes", "Eye to Eye with Connie Chung" and "News-with-Dan-Rather", CBC's "The Nature of Things" and "Pamela Wallen L i v e " ) ; syndicated daytime talkshows ("Maury Povich", "Shirley", "Donahue"); syndicated t a b l o i d news programs ("Inside Edition", "Current A f f a i r " ) ; morning t e l e v i s i o n (CBS's "This Morning" and "Morning Show", NBC's "Today"); late night t e l e v i s i o n (CBS's "Late Late Show"); and even sit-coms and dramatic t e l e v i s i o n (NBC's "S i s t e r s " , PBS's "Mystery Theater") (FMSF e-mail l i s t ) . Some of these programs, such as ABC's "20/20" and NBC's "Dateline", have broadcast multiple FMS r e l a t e d programs. Radio broadcasts include a whole host of National Public Radio (NPR) programs, from "The Friday Science Show", "Fresh A i r " , " A l l Things Considered" to "Talk of the Nation". FMS i s a popular C h r i s t i a n Radio topic and has featured on "Focus on the Family" and "The Bible Answer Man Radio Show" (syndicated to over 100 Christian radio stations worldwide). The FMSF were confident from the beginning that the media would be sympathetic and encouraged members, e s p e c i a l l y non-accused and professional supporters, to speak p u b l i c l y : The most e f f e c t i v e public representatives are those who are not accused...If therapists and lawyers who have thanked us for s t a r t i n g t h i s organization w i l l speak out about what they have seen, then surely we can stop the u n s c i e n t i f i c practices more quickly" (FMSF Newsletter, 1992, May, p. 4). And indeed, the willingness of FMS advocate to speak p u b l i c l y appears to have been e f f e c t i v e i n garnering public support and interest i n the FMSF: " I t i s your courage i n appearing on t e l e v i s i o n that i s spreading the word of the FMS phenomenon. Whenever you appear, the phones ri n g and c a l l e r s thank you for l e t t i n g them know about the Foundation" (FMSF Newsletter, 1992, Nov, p. 5). With every highly p u b l i c i z e d p r i n t or t e l e v i s i o n story, the public response soared: 900 c a l l s to the FMSF following a " S a l l y Jesse Raphael" program, 900 c a l l s following an Anne Landers column (FMSF Newsletter, 1994, Jan), 40-50 f i r s t time c a l l s a day following an a r t i c l e i n GoodHousekeeping (FMSF Newsletter, 1994, Sept) (notice that the target market i s obviously women). The FMSF adamantly denies any a f f i l i a t i o n with the media, however, and i s indignant at such a " s i l l y " suggestion (FMSF Newsletter, 1994, July p. 2). The question i s not so much whether certain members of the media are linked to the FMSF, but the degree to which the popular press has embraced t h e i r rhetoric. FMS i s d e f i n i t e l y a hot top i c and without a doubt promoted by the mainstream press (Cockburn, 1996). U n i v e r s i t i e s have played a central r o l e i n c u l t i v a t i n g FMS by providing i n t e l l e c t u a l c a p i t a l and i n f r a s t r u c t u r a l support. Most of the FMSF s c i e n t i f i c and professional advisory board members are located i n u n i v e r s i t i e s and are thus paid to produce FMS r e l a t e d research. Access to publishing i n academic journals, and u n i v e r s i t y sponsorship of conferences has been key i n l e g i t i m i z i n g FMS as a s c i e n t i f i c construct. The very prestigious John Hopkins Medical I n s t i t u t i o n , for example, works cl o s e l y with FMSF. They have cosponsored a number of continuing education events, including an international conference i n 1994 which offered 16 continuing medical education c r e d i t hours for p a r t i c i p a t i o n , and generated hundreds of d o l l a r s worth of video and audio tapes to l a t e r be marketed by the FMSF (FMSF Newsletter, 1995, Jan). John Hopkins i s also sponsoring a series of one-day professional conferences to be held i n San Diego, Atlanta, Chicago, and Boston i n the spring of 1996, and planning a national conference for the spring of 1997. The f a c t that FMSF advisory board member Paul McHugh so happens to be the chief of psychiatry at John Hopkins Hospital explains, at least i n part, the apparent enthusiasm of that i n s t i t u t i o n . Organizing Strategies P l e n t i f u l resources account for only a part of the success of the FMSF. They are very e f f e c t i v e p o l i t i c a l organizers. In i t s early days, the FMSF r e l i e d on volunteers, paid s t a f f and a mu l t i - l e v e l organizing strategy that involved an i n t r i c a t e network of volunteers across the United States who were c a l l e d on at times to respond to the scores of telephone i n q u i r i e s following high p r o f i l e media segments (FMSF Newsletter, Aug/Sept, 1992). The FMSF c o d i f i e d t h e i r telephone procedures and developed t r a i n i n g manuals for volunteers enabling them to monitor thousands of c a l l s from across the country and ensure consistency i n t h e i r reporting of information (FMSF Newsletter, 1992, Aug/Sept, p. 3). As a consequence the FMSF membership which started at 243 'families' has grown almost exponentially over the past 4 years and currently exceeds 10,000 (FMSF Newsletter, 1995, October). FMSF members currently meet i n 28 American states 4 Canadian provinces, Aus t r a l i a , the Netherlands, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom (FMSF Newsletter, 1995 Nov/Dec). The FMSF encourages members to s t a r t t h e i r own organizing groups state by state, to hold regular meetings i n t h e i r l o c a l communities, and to submit names of l i a i s o n persons to the Foundation so that new members can be introduced to others i n t h e i r area. Liaisons are also responsible for developing and d i s t r i b u t i n g l i s t s of l o c a l media contacts (FMSF Newsletter, 1992, Nov). Rather than forming o f f i c i a l state branches, however, the FMSF prefers to r e t a i n maximum control of i t s public image and therefore i n s t r u c t s members to organize under the vague t i t l e of "Professionals and Parents i n Support of the FMS Foundation" (FMSF Newsletter, 1992, Oct, p. 5). State organizers are instructed to consult the FMSF before taking public action and are forbidden to speak p u b l i c l y on behalf of the Foundation (FMSF Newsletter, 1993, May). Part of the success of FMSF's p o l i t i c a l strategy i s that they have c a p i t a l i z e d on the comfort and resources of t h e i r professional middle and upper c l a s s membership who are quite confident and f a m i l i a r with the lobbying t a c t i c s that the FMSF promotes. Whereas they turn t h e i r middle class noses up at what they denigrate as p o l i t i c a l activism (organizing that does not r e l y on money and/or i n s t i t u t i o n a l power) and lobbying (blatant and therefore sleazy p o l i t i c s ) , the FMSF c a r r i e s out i t s " d i g n i f i e d " (FMSF Newsletter, 1992, A p r i l , p. 4) program of public education (propaganda). They organize conferences and seminars to which they i n v i t e other l o c a l professionals and p o l i t i c i a n s . They pressure book stores and l i b r a r i e s to carry and display pro-FMS materials, and c i r c u l a t e t h e i r l i t e r a t u r e through hospital waiting rooms, community centers, banks, and churches. They i n i t i a t e l e t t e r writing campaigns and "write, write, write" to professional organizations, public o f f i c i a l s , lawyers, doctors, newspapers, t e l e v i s i o n producers. The FMSF encourages lobbying at the national, state, l o c a l , and personal l e v e l s : You can make i t happen. At the national l e v e l write to the Congressional Select Committee on Children Youth and Families (address below); write to the media—newspapers and t e l e v i s i o n — t o inform them about what i s going on. At the state l e v e l , learn about the lice n s i n g laws and other l e g i s l a t i v e issues that a f f e c t you. Make your voice heard. At the l o c a l l e v e l reach out. Work with the FMS Foundation l i a i s o n i n education e f f o r t s . At the personal l e v e l , document c a r e f u l l y the d e t a i l s of the actors and actions that have devastated your l i f e . (FMSF Newsletter, 1992, Nov, p. 1) Newsletters play a key ro l e i n keeping the momentum of the movement going and are an excellent organizing t o o l i n that they provide a forum to acknowledge and encourage members' p a r t i c i p a t i o n . They also provide concise, up-to-date, and accessible information about the growth of FMS, including summaries of media coverage, legal decisions, psychological debates, and c r i t i q u e s of FMS. For members who are inexperienced lobbyists, FMSF Newsletters often contain examples of l e t t e r s to public o f f i c i a l s and media representatives (see for example FMSF Newsletter, 1993, Feb), and provide other p o t e n t i a l lobbying t a c t i c s . "Make a Difference", a regular newsletter column, was introduced i n October of 1994: This i s a new column that w i l l l e t you know what people are doing to challenge FMS madness. Remember three years ago FMSF didn't e x i s t . A group of 50 or so people found each other and today we are over 13, 0 0 0 . Together we have made a difference. How did t h i s happen? Each month we w i l l report on a c t i v i t i e s of members. (FMSF Newsletter, 1994, Oct, p. 8) "Make a Difference" i s an excellent t o o l to keep members current about lobbying that i s going on across the country and inter n a t i o n a l l y . The intent i s presumably to promote a sense of national and int e r n a t i o n a l unity, and inspire members to take action i n t h e i r own communities. FMS Clearing House The FMSF acts as a clearing house for FMS r e l a t e d materials. They currently lay claim to a database of more than 6 , 0 0 0 academic and popular a r t i c l e s , videos, and books on FMS related topics (FMSF Newsletter, 1995, Nov/Dec). Most of t h e i r material i s c o l l e c t e d by FMSF members. I t i s not due to lack of funds that the FMSF chooses to have members perform t h i s function rather than a c l i p p i n g service, but instead because i t gives them access to a broader base of information including f l y e r s , brochures, and advertisements, and thus a more complete representation of popular opinion about sexual abuse (FMSF Newsletter, 1992, A p r i l ; 1995, Oct). They have a centralized database of FMS " s t o r i e s " which they use to support t h e i r s c i e n t i f i c arguments: Perhaps the most important thing that you can do i s to keep a written record of your feelings and of the events i n your family as they unfold. FMS Foundation w i l l keep an archive of these records so that scholars i n the future w i l l have a source of information about t h i s phenomenon. (FMSF Newsletter, 1992, June, p. 5) Not only does the FMSF c o l l e c t information, but they are largely responsible for i t s d i s t r i b u t i o n . The FMSF disseminates information v i a e-mail, fax, telephone, mail, conferences, and meetings. They recently developed a speakers bureau consisting of pro-FMS p s y c h i a t r i s t s , psychologists, s o c i a l workers, nurses, lawyers, law enforcement o f f i c i a l s , and writers. They offe r programs suitable for professional conferences, professional development/staff t r a i n i n g seminars, mental health programs/panels, and Continuing Education conferences and workshops. Speakers are prepared to t a l k about FMS, forensic issues, d i s s o c i a t i v e disorders, hypnosis, therapy, interviewing techniques, c u l t s , satanic r i t u a l abuse, r e t r a c t o r s , mediation, r e c o n c i l i a t i o n , c i v i l and criminal law, professional malpractice, and more (FMSF Newsletter, 1995, July/Aug). In t h i s chapter I have explained how the FMSF operates as a think tank using academia, the media, and a v a r i e t y of other resources and strategies to popularize FMS and legitimize i t as a s c i e n t i f i c construct. I have also alluded b r i e f l y to my argument that FMS i s part of a conservative p o l i t i c a l project. In chapter 3, I explore t h i s notion a l i t t l e more c l o s e l y by examining how a number of r i g h t wing discourses inform the construction of FMS. CHAPTER THREE NEO-CONSERVATIVE POLITICS Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of the current phenomenon, i s the misuse of science to promote a p o l i t i c a l end. Pamela Freyd, (FMSF Newsletter, 1994, Jan, p. 1) In the following chapter I argue that FMS i s not the objective s c i e n t i f i c phenomenon that i t s promoters claim, but instead i s a r i g h t wing and decidedly a n t i -feminist construct. I f i r s t contextualize the r i s e of FMS i n period that i s characterized by the Right's focus on c u l t u r a l p o l i t i c s . I go on to define New Right ideology and explain how i t s adherence to c e r t a i n l i b e r a l values has attracted the professional middle c l a s s . F i n a l l y , I look at a number of conservative discourses and r h e t o r i c a l strategies > such as power inversion and appropriation, that the FMS lobby has used to j u s t i f y i t s attack on feminism. Cu l t u r a l P o l i t i c s : New Right Ideology The Right's move toward c u l t u r a l p o l i t i c s was l a r g e l y inspired by the success of the 60s and 70s L e f t to e f f e c t both popular understandings of s o c i a l inequality and, more importantly, public p o l i c y . I t was gruesomely apparent to the Right, i n the wake of a number of progressive s o c i a l and l e g a l reforms, that c u l t u r a l production, that i s , the generation of ideas and concepts capable of shaping popular consciousness, was an e f f e c t i v e s i t e of p o l i t i c a l struggle on which to focus attention (Davis, 1986). In t h i s era of l i b e r a l hegemony, more hardline rhetoric, immediately recognizable as conservative ideology, was u n l i k e l y to win the favour of the masses and thus a new brand of conservatism was born with a kinder and gentler, more appropriated r h e t o r i c ; the sort that masquerades i n the language of s o c i a l j u s t i c e and asserts a nonetheless reactionary agenda. "New Right" ideology i s characterized by a blend of l i b e r a l discourse, conservative economics, r i g h t wing populism, and a strong foundation i n the middle cl a s s (Ehrenreich, 1989; Levitas, 1986). Its adherence to l i b e r a l p r i n c i p l e s , especially r i g h t s discourses that stress i n d i v i d u a l l i b e r t y , allows the New Right to appear interested i n the p l i g h t of the "common f o l k " while employing conservative economic and s o c i a l p o l i c i e s that unquestionably exacerbate the d i s p a r i t y between the most and least powerful i n society. L i b e r a l s are drawn to New Right ideology because i t o f f e r s a l i b e r a l discourse with which to oppose substantive equality (structural changes) without appearing conservative (Mclntyre, 1993). For middle class professionals, moreover, with t h e i r u n i v e r s i t y educations and claims to i n t e l l e c t u a l and c u l t u r a l enlightenment, New Right discourse i s p a r t i c u l a r l y a t t r a c t i v e because i t allows them to see t h e i r views as l i b e r a l and thus c l e a r l y d i s t i n c t from the supposedly vulgar conservatism of the working class (Ehrenreich, 1989) . Anti-feminism i s a fundamental component of New Right ideology because feminism threatens so many of the core values of modern conservatism: white middle cl a s s family privacy, male supremacy, compulsory heterosexuality, and indeed, the notion of the b i o l o g i c a l family as the fundamental unit of s o c i a l l i f e . Of p a r t i c u l a r import to the New Right task i s the r e p r i v a t i z a t i o n of what the feminist movement made public, that i s the domestic abuse of women and chil d r e n by men. New Right hatred of feminism and other l i b e r a t o r y movements does not, however prevent t h i s ideology from appropriating l i b e r a t i o n discourses for the purpose of making i t s e l f appear more l i b e r a l . In the following sections I outline a number of New Right discourses that have informed the construction of FMS. I begin by p a r a l l e l i n g FMS discourse with a sim i l a r attack on l i b e r a l professionals i n the 70s and 80s. I go on to introduce a n t i - p o l i t i c a l correctness discourse and examine how i t s r h e t o r i c a l inversion of power allows the FMS lobby to j u s t i f y anti-feminism, prove men's innocence, and po s i t i o n themselves as the moral authority on sexual abuse. New Class Discourse In order to demonstrate the id e o l o g i c a l o r i g i n s of FMS i n the New Right I explore, a p a r a l l e l example of the conservative attack on the professional ( l i b e r a l ) middle class during the late 70s and 80s , which I argue employed much of the same populist r h e t o r i c and p o l i t i c a l strategies that the FMS lobby i s currently using against therapists. In her cogent c r i t i q u e of the American middle cl a s s and i t s move to the Right over the past two decades, Barbara Ehrenreich (1990) looked at how the New Right gained popular support f o r an increasingly conservative p o l i t i c a l agenda during the 70s and 80s. In order to consolidate conservative middle and working cla s s interests with those of the corporate e l i t e , the New Right created an enemy that everyone would love to hate. Right wing p o l i t i c a l pundits invented a monster that, while cl o s e l y resembling themselves, was distinguished by i t s v i l e p a r a s i t i c nature and moral bankruptcy (Ehrenreich, 1990). I t was the New Class, l i b e r a l e l i t e s , j o u r n a l i s t s , academics, p o l i t i c a l commentators, lawyers, etc., who, during the 60s and 70s, p o l i t i c a l l y aligned themselves with marginalized peoples, but according to the New Right ideologues, only for the purposes of building t h e i r own careers. They were traitorous on a l l fronts, r u t h l e s s l y e x p l o i t i n g the powerlessness of the marginalized and v i o l a t i n g the middle class shibboleth of occupational autonomy that requires work to be directed by inner p r i n c i p l e s and values as opposed to external material rewards such as p r o f i t (Ehrenreich, 1990). New Class discourse according to Ehrenreich (1990), tapped into "a widespread uneasiness with the professional middle c l a s s — a growing awareness that t h i s c lass was indeed an e l i t e , estranged from the concerns of the 'ordinary' working class Americans" (Ehrenreich, 1990, p. 146). As the whistle-blowers, the s l i g h t l y schizophrenic overseers of s o c i a l j u s t i c e and middle class loyalty, the New Right had won a monopoly on moral authority: Their f i c t i v e b attle with the New Class infused them [New Right] no doubt, with moral righteousness. Whatever they did, they were on the side of the 'plain f o l k s , ' the Middle Americans, the working class. They could make t h e i r careers advancing p o l i c i e s that hurt the hard-working and the n e e d y — a l l i n the name of combatting a wicked, and fortunately quite i n v i s i b l e and powerless, ' l i b e r a l e l i t e . ' (Ehrenreich, 1990, p. 195) . Just as conservatives positioned themselves as the watch-dogs pointing an accusatory finger at the l i b e r a l e l i t e i n the 70s, I argue that the FMS lobby employs a si m i l a r r h e t o r i c to d i s c r e d i t professionals who advocate for women. The FMS lobby construct these therapists as a greedy bunch who are not only unqualified, but morally deplete, p r o f i t e e r i n g from the pain and su f f e r i n g of women. FMSF l i t e r a t u r e i s l i t t e r e d with New Class discourse. Therapy r e l a t e d to sexual abuse i s variously c i t e d as: "a marvelous money spinner" (FMSF Newsletter, 1994, June, p. 12), "a psychological industry" (FMSF Newsletter, 1993, March, p. 2), "a new cottage industry" (FMSF Newsletter, 1993, May, p. 12), "a grossly unregulated business" (FMSF Newsletter, 1994, Nov., p. 5 ) , and so on. Feminist therapy i s constructed as the cash cow of the 90s, with l i t e r a l l y hundreds of thousands of d o l l a r s i n insurance money and criminal compensation to be bilked by mental health professionals (FMSF Newsletter, 1993, A p r i l , Aug/Sept)). Pamela Freyd (FMSF Newsletter, 1995, March) speculates that i t i s greed rather than ethics that perpetuates FMS: We don't know why so many professionals continue to defend Recovered Memory Therapy given the r i s k s and costs involved with i t s practice. In part, we suspect, i t i s related to the o v e r a l l extravagant climate of the 1980s i n which "entrepreneurs glutted the market with new ps y c h i a t r i c h o s p i t a l s " and "patients could stay i n t a l k therapy for years". ( p.. 1) Others suggest that therapists who suffered i n the recession are f i n a n c i a l l y motivated to come up with extended treatment programs (FMSF Newsletter, 1994, June). They are not just greedy but mercenary, using up allegedly limited health-care resources without regard f o r whether there i s enough l e f t over to "ensure that [children] have enough to eat or good medical care" (FMSF Newsletter, 1 9 9 3 , A p r i l , p. 6 ) . The motivations of feminist therapists are i n stark contrast to the virtuous and dispassionate FMSF who are constructed as "professionals with no sp e c i a l i n t e r e s t and receive no material reward" (FMSF Newsletter, 1 9 9 5 , Oct, p. 2 ) . While the FMSF b r i s t l e s at the "moral arrogance" ( F M S F Newsletter, 1 9 9 4 , A p r i l , p. 5 ) of the survivor movement they position themselves as the moral authority on sexual abuse. They are not i n the sordid business of p r o f i t , "no insurance company has offered us any money" (FMSF Newsletter, 1 9 9 3 , Jan, p. 2 ) , or p o l i t i c s but, instead, the " d i g n i f i e d " endeavor of res t o r i n g families (FMSF Newsletter, 1 9 9 2 , A p r i l , p. 5 ) . They "care about people" (FMSF Newsletter, 1 9 9 2 , Nov, p. 6 ) and put the needs of "our children" f i r s t ( F M S F Newsletter, 1 9 9 2 , A p r i l , p. 5 ) . Like the Red Cross (FMSF Newsletter, 1 9 9 4 , Nov), they save l i v e s : "How do we thank you for saving our li v e s ? We had planned to no longer be on Earth for another Christmas. Because of the Foundation we are a l i v e — a n d ready to take on whatever comes" (FMSF Newsletter, 1 9 9 3 , Jan, p. 1 ) . New Class discourse i s complicated by sexism i n the r h e t o r i c of FMS and thus feminist therapists are not j u s t greedy but unqualified, u n s c i e n t i f i c , p o s i t i v e l y unmasculine (whether they are men or women), money-grubbing man-haters who have no business de l e g i t i m i z i n g the counselling profession or tapping into a market that r i g h t f u l l y belong to white men. The FMSF goes further, arguing that women have lowered the standards of academic psychology: How they got Ph.d.'s. i s a disgrace. The whole f i e l d of c l i n i c a l psychology and applied psychology, s o c i a l work and the related d i s c i p l i n e s has gone downhill i n the l a s t 10-20 years. Social work was never there. These people have no business being i n that endeavor... You get a l l these weak people gathering together, t a l k i n g to each other, promoting f o l k l o r e and mythology, never having understood science. They are the people, unfortunately, who are doing t h i s . ( cited i n FMSF Newsletter, 1992) In t h i s excerpt certain phrases and words reveal a fundamentally se x i s t and anti-feminist discourse while the author never actually uses the words feminism or women. "Weak people" who "never understood science" (women) have caused a s l i d e i n academic standards ("how they got Ph.D.'s i s a disgrace") over the l a s t "10-20 years" (post-70s feminism). "Social Work" i s a code for women's work i n t h i s context and so, of course, was "never there" (up to white male standards). C l i n i c a l experience i s another code word for i l l e g i t i m a t e credentials. Knowledge based on c l i n i c a l observation—feminized knowledge—rather l i k e i n t u i t i o n , i s derogated as f a c i l e . According to the FMS lobby, c l i n i c a l experience can be obtained by anyone, even "witch-doctors," "labotomists," and "astrologers", and thus i s c e r t a i n l y not worthy of s c i e n t i f i c legitimacy nor insurance funding (FMSF Newsletter, 1995, Jan, P. 2). The reference to labotomists here i s worthy of a quick diversion because i t i s an example of how the FMS lobby appropriates r a d i c a l discourses on psychiatry i n order to garner sympathy and support for conservative arguments. In t h i s case an eerie image an h i s t o r i c a l l y abusive psychiatry with i t s g r i z z l y procedures such as lobotomies and e l e c t r i c convulsive therapy i s grouped with "recovered memory therapy" allowing the FMS lobby to not only p o s i t i o n themselves as morally superior but argue for extremely conservative therapy techniques and appear quite moderate. They do not c r i t i q u e contemporary psychiatry as an i n s t i t u t i o n nor do they c a l l f o r more libe r a t o r y psychotherapeutic pr a c t i c e , instead they advocate a retrenchment to more conservative modes of therapy (see FMSF Newsletter, 1994, Oct). FMS p r o f e s s i o n a l / s c i e n t i f i c standards discourse i s as much a sexist reaction to the feminization of the mental health f i e l d , which occurred with the i n f l u x of women into graduate programs i n psychology and s o c i a l work and the introduction of feminist c r i t i q u e s i n these d i s c i p l i n e s , as i t i s a desire to rei n s t a t e the conservative white professional male monopoly on the therapy industry (Schuman & Galvez, 1996). Interestingly the FMSF constructs i t s anti-feminist arguments i n the language of mental health consumer r i g h t s . In the name of consumer's r i g h t s the FMSF monitors education standards and therapeutic practices. This consumer righ t s discourse draws on lay persons' j u s t i f i a b l e resentment of p r o f e s s i o n a l / e l i t i s t arrogance. Therapists, the FMSF argues " . . . h i s t o r i c a l l y have r e s i s t e d the notion that they must prove the value of what they do" (FMSF Newsletter, 1993, June, p. 3). The r e a l concern of the FMSF i s not that professionals should have to prove t h e i r expertise, but instead that professionalism should not include feminism. According to the FMSF therapists who pra c t i c e p o l i t i c a l ( i . e . , feminist) therapy, which i n c i d e n t a l l y i s constructed as analogous to space a l i e n abduction and age regression, are threat to consumers and insurance companies who fund therapy: Should therapy be p o l i t i c a l and i f so what are the boundaries? If some therapists use age regression hypnosis i n space a l i e n abduction therapy and i n past l i f e therapy then i t i s a f a i r and hones question for consumers to ask for the evidence of benefits of t h i s therapy, es p e c i a l l y since t h e i r insurance i s paying for i t . (FMSF Newsletter, 1993, July, p. 2) In order to i l l u s t r a t e the insidiousness of t h i s kind of r h e t o r i c a l appropriation on behalf of r i g h t wing interests i t i s interesting to look at a p a r a l l e l example. The Nurses for Patients Rights Informed Consent Ethics (PRICE), a Vancouver based anti-choice group, argue against abortion with the following r i g h t s discourse: Though i t may be d i f f i c u l t to stand up to your doctor and protect your rights , remember i t s h i s j o b [emphasis i n or i g i n a l ] as a physician to inform you of your r i s k s before you approve any surgery. Don't be intimidated. I t ' s your [emphasis i n o r i g i n a l ] body that w i l l be operated on and i t ' s you who w i l l suffer the e f f e c t s i f anything goes wrong. (Making an Informed Decision About Your Pregnancy, pamphlet of PRICE) Like FMS New Class discourse, the professional, i n t h i s case a doctor, i s accurately constructed as powerful. The discourse furthermore presents i t s e l f as feminist, that i s interested i n women's r i g h t to control t h e i r bodies. Like FMS discourses, however, these arguments are used to further an anti-woman agenda, i n t h i s case the r e s t r i c t i o n of women's reproductive choice. This kind of appropriation of s o c i a l j u s t i c e arguments for the purpose of furthering conservative aims, i s very common i n FMS discourse and, moreover, c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of a n t i - p o l i t i c a l correctness r h e t o r i c to which I now turn my attention. A n t i - P o l i t i c a l Correctness Discourse In the early 1990s r i g h t wing academics, Republican p o l i t i c i a n s , and the mainstream media, rocketed the notion of ' p o l i t i c a l correctness' into the consciousness of the American public (Martinez, 1991; Selfa & Mass, 1992). On the heels of his exceptionally r a c i s t W i l l i e Horton campaign strategy, George Bush pointed an accusatory at finger p o l i t i c a l correctness (PC) suggesting that, even worse than racism or sexism, PC was a threat to l i b e r t y and freedom i n America (Martinez, 1991; Selfa & Maass, 1992). A n t i - p o l i t i c a l correctness (anti-PC) discourse, the face of conservative populism i n the 90s, i s one of the more absurd, but ef f e c t i v e , c u l t u r a l projects of the New Right. In anti-PC rhetoric the term " p o l i t i c a l correctness" refers to s o c i a l j u s t i c e arguments and s o c i a l j u s t i c e advocates are variously characterized as thought p o l i c e , feminazis, McCarthyists, and witch hunters. In Anti-PC mythology, a merciless, t o t a l i t a r i a n , but nonetheless arrogantly m o r a l i s t i c army of marginalized people—women, people of colour, gays and lesbians—(witch) hunt and persecute r i c h white men. Rich white men on the other hand are the anti-PC heros, f i g h t i n g back against the marginalized i n the name of the family, science, and t r a d i t i o n . Power inversion, backward lo g i c and h i s t o r i c a l inaccuracy i s the name of the anti-PC game: everything i s topsy turvy i n i t s double speak. For example, i n FMS discourse, which I argue i s part of an anti-PC attack on feminism, men accused of incestuous rape are the victims of sexual abuse, feminist c r i t i q u e s of science are a "backlash against science" (FMSF Newsletter, 1995, May, p. 1), feminist therapists are "a new kind of sexual predator" (FMSF Newsletter, 1994, Sept, p. 10), and conservative science i s c r i t i c a l thinking. Science and Anti-PC The Right has focussed much of i t s anti-PC attack on the academy because u n i v e r s i t i e s are viewed by the Right as a l a s t bastion of 60s radicalism (Mclntyre, 1993) . Though Anti-PC discourse arose i n the Humanities (Martinez, 1991), the advent of postmodern and feminist c r i t i q u e s of science (see for example Harding, 1986; Haraway, 1991) has inspired more recent anti-PC reactions i n the sciences (Ross, 1995) . In anti-PC discourse, science that upholds the i n t e r e s t s of r i c h white men i s aligned with democracy while science that promotes the interests of women, people of colour, or gays and lesbians i s constructed as purely i d e o l o g i c a l and hence undemocratic. The r i s e of FMS discourse, I argue, i s a reaction to feminist c r i t i q u e s of the s o c i a l sciences and, more s p e c i f i c a l l y , feminist theories of sexual abuse i n psychology. The FMSF's emphasis on cognitive psychology, laden as i t i s with u n i n t e l l i g i b l e terminology and arcane s c i e n t i f i c discussion, i s i n part an attempt to intimidate t h e i r c r i t i c s , but mostly an anti-PC reaction to theories of sexual abuse that do not r e l y on white male academic authority. Feminist sexual abuse discourses are thus derided and dismissed by FMS advocates as "pop psychology" (FMSF Newsletter, 1992, May, p. 3), "junk science" (FMSF Newsletter, 1995, Oct, p. 7), and "pseudo-science" (FMSF Newsletter, 1994, Sept, p. 1). The anti-PC "myth of s c i e n t i s t s as a beleaguered and i s o l a t e d minority of truth-seekers" i s a l i v e and well i n FMS discourse (Ross, 1993, p. 348). Just as anti-PC white male academics have defended t h e i r hegemony i n the Humanities by pointing to the timeless allegedly neutral values of the Great Western Works (Mclntyre, 1993), the FMSF argues i t s n e u t r a l i t y on the basis of a purportedly transcendent and objective t r a d i t i o n of s c i e n t i f i c investigation. The FMSF i s adamant that they are guided by science rather than p o l i t i c s and endlessly p o n t i f i c a t e about the d i s t i n c t i o n between science and ideology (FMSF Newsletter, 1994, J u l y ) . Science that promotes a (feminist) p o l i t i c a l agenda i s i n t h e i r view a "misuse of science" (FMSF Newsletter, 1994, Jan, p. l ) . Although the FMSF claims to be interested i n science, "open debate, discussion argument, presenting data" (FMSF Newsletter, 1994, July, p. 3), c r i t i c a l thought (FMSF Newsletter, 1993, March), and free inquiry, feminists are apparently driven by i d e o l o g i c a l arrogance and dogmatism. Feminist theories of sexual abuse are constructed as a "closed confused l o g i c system" (FMSF Newsletter, 1993, May, p. 11), "undisguised gender-based hatred," "venomous ranting" (FMSF Newsletter, 1993, June, p. 7), and a "non-negotiable, t o t a l i s t i c , black and white view" (FMSF Newsletter, 1993, Oct, p. 2). Feminism i s a c u l t : There i s the b l i n d f a i t h — t h e hypnotic acceptance of the teaching of the gurus—the unquestioning and u n c r i t i c a l incorporation of the far-out tenets into the personal l i v e s of the adherents—no matter how outlandish the teachings—no matter who gets hurt, or how much. There i s the missionary zeal and closed-minded, narrowly focused, head i n the sand determination to vindicate a s o c i a l agenda (a product of fuzzy emotional, convoluted thinking at any cost). (FMSF Newsletter, 1993, June, p. 6) Just as the FMSF attempt to d i s c r e d i t women's knowledge by constructing i t as c u l t i s h and u n s c i e n t i f i c , the witch hunts of the 16th and 17th century were an attempt to secure a white male monopoly on psychomedical expertise by demonizing centuries of women's knowledge i n the name of science: The story of the r i s e of the psychomedical ex p e r t s — t h e doctors, the psychologists, and sundry related professionals—might be t o l d as an allegory of science versus superstition: on the one side, the clear headed, masculine s p i r i t of science; on the other side a dark morass of female superstition, old wives t a l e s , rumours preserved as f a c t . In t h i s a l l e g o r i c a l v i s i o n , the triumph of science was as inevitable as human progress or natural evolution: the experts triumphed because they were r i g h t . (Ehrenreich & English, 1978, p. 33) FMS advocates claim, i n a discursive maneuver that only an id e o l o g i c a l acrobat could p u l l o f f , that they are the victims of a witch hunt, not just as academics, but as men accused of incestuous rape. In the following section I look at how FMS discourse inverts r e l a t i o n s of power i n order to j u s t i f y i t s attack on women. The Counter-Victim F l i p Power inversion, or the "counter-victim f l i p " as Ehrenreich (1995, p. 11) c a l l s i t , i s part of the id e o l o g i c a l gymnastics of anti-PC r h e t o r i c . The purpose of such inversion i s to j u s t i f y reprehensible s o c i a l acts by positioning those who commit them as morally righteous. Ehrenreich (1995) wryly explains: Think of a l l the times you have ac c i d e n t a l l y elbowed some elde r l y or pregnant person to the ground i n the course of boarding the bus or t r a i n . Think of the nasty aftermath, the clumsy apologies, the possible f i n e s . How much nicer i t would sound, when recounted to friends and family, i f that e l d e r l y or pregnant person turned out to have been trampled while inexplicably assaulting you! (p. 11) In the counter-victim f l i p of FMS discourse, witch hunts no longer s i g n i f y the murder of women i n the service of men's desire to monopolize and p r o f e s s i o n a l i z e medicine (Ehrenreich & English, 1978) . Instead i t i s the middle class professional men who are witch hunted for wanting to maintain t h e i r medical and psychotherapeutic monopoly over women. They warn of "an explosion of witch hunting" and that FMS " r e a l l y i s a witch hunt" (FMSF Newsletter, 1993, Aug/Sept, p. 7). Therapists are the "secular high p r i e s t s " (FMSF Newsletter, 1993, July, p. 9) i n t h i s anti-PC f i c t i o n , using methods to i d e n t i f y incestuous fathers that p a r a l l e l those for detecting witches: "In times past t r e a t i s e were published on the signs and symptoms of witches. Now we have books on the signs and symptoms of 'abusers' (FMSF Newsletter, 1993, Aug/Sept, p. 8). Richard Gardner (cited i n FMSF Newsletter, 1993, Nov), hunted witch, FMS expert, and advocate for men accused of rape, claims that the number who suffered as a r e s u l t of the Salem witch t r i a l s or McCarthyism pales i n comparison to men suffering due to sexual abuse "hysteria" (p. 1). Gardner's invocations of McCarthyism i s i r o n i c indeed. Just as c l a s s i c McCarthyism waged war on r a d i c a l academics and drove them out of u n i v e r s i t i e s i n the name of academic freedom and freedom of expression, FMS advocates attempt to r i d psychology of feminists by the same argument (Phelps, 1991) . The l o g i c of FMS i s vir t u a l l y -i d e n t i c a l to McCarthyism i n that i t claims c i v i l l i b e r t a r i a n aims, while crushing dissenting voices by d i s c r e d i t i n g them as p o l i t i c a l dogma rather than s c i e n t i f i c investigation (Phelps, 1991). What makes FMS a witch hunt according to the FMSF i s t h e r a p i s t s ' denial of men's access to due process i n the therapy o f f i c e : To accuse families and then refuse to investigate i s , of course, a witch hunt (FMSF Newsletter, 1993, Dec, p. 1); To accuse people and then deny them reasonable means of defending themselves i s a witch hunt (FMSF Newsletter, 1993, June, p. 1) . The FMSF focuses primarily on the evidentiary process of witch hunts because the substance of that h i s t o r y would without a doubt reveal u n f l a t t e r i n g p a r a l l e l s between the objectives of the FMSF and the o r i g i n a l witch hunters. In the anti-PC paranoia of FMS, therapists are att r i b u t e d an authority they c l e a r l y do not posses. Beware the feminist therapist, FMS discourse warns, she has the power to be judge and jury, and there i s no greater i n s u l t to patriarchy than a s i t u a t i o n i n which women are omnipotent. The notion that men are being persecuted and are "not allowed to defend themselves" (FMSF Newsletter, 1993, Nov, p. 4), i s a patent falsehood and i s actually contradicted by the FMSF's l e g a l s t a t i s t i c s (FMSF Newsletter, 1995, Sept). Men are not only defending themselves, but going on to successfully sue therapists (FMSF Newsletter, 1995, Sept). Witch hunt arguments are t y p i c a l l y used to j u s t i f y extremely conservative therapeutic and le g a l standards, namely the requirement of corroboration. If therapists believe women without seeking corroboration of the abuse, then they are accused of engaging i n "witch t r i a l l o g i c " (FMSF Newsletter, 1993, Jan, p. 3) and using repressed memories as "the modern secular equivalent of spectral evidence" (FMSF Newsletter, 1995, July/Aug, p. 5). The Chief of psychiatry at John Hopkins Hospital, Paul McHugh (FMSF Newsletter, 1993, Oct) argues that, i n order to avoid a witch hunt, therapists must launch f u l l scale investigations into women's allegations of sexual abuse. Just as defense attorneys are now seeking disclosure of women's school, medical, p s y c h i a t r i c and counselling records i n sexual assault cases, so too should therapists, the FMSF argues. According to Ralph Underwager and Hol l i d a Wakefield (cited i n FMSF Newsletter, 1992, Nov), therapists should obtain the following information regarding t h e i r women c l i e n t s i n order to "assess" abuse a l l e g a t i o n s : a l l medical, p s y c h i a t r i c and school records; information on past sexual history including rapes and abortions; a work history and espe c i a l l y any allegations of sexual harassment; criminal records; and possible ways i n which the woman may benefit by making a f a l s e a l l e g a t i o n . These c a l l s for corroboration are an attempt to establish a standard of truth for therapy that i s more d i f f i c u l t to meet than that required to prove rape i n the criminal courts. FDS of FMS: Appropriation of Feminist Discourse Just as the counter victim f l i p of witch hunt discourse positions the FMSF as s o c i a l c r i t i c so too does t h e i r appropriation of feminist c r i t i q u e s . In t y p i c a l anti-PC s t y l e FMS discourse anticipates accusations of misogyny and employs a two-pronged strategy of appropriation and i r o n i c s e l f - r e f l e x i v i t y to further i t s agenda of anti-feminism. Just as FDS (feminine deodorant spray) i s more feminine than any woman could ever be, the FMS lobby i s more feminist than feminism i t s e l f . FMS "feminism", which I re f e r to as Feminist Deodorant Spray (FDS), i s a bizarre but sweet smelling, 1950s, REAL Woman (see Erwin, 1984) construction that involves "women's brigades" (FMSF Newsletter, 1995, A p r i l , p. 9) and a stand-by-your-man kind of lo g i c . This discourse constructs modern day feminism as a malodorous, manhating, and murderous p o l i t i c a l movement, which, rather than l i b e r a t i n g women, oppresses women further by transforming them into whiners and victims (FMSF Newsletter, 1993, June; 1993, Oct; 1994, A p r i l ) : We r e f l e c t on a comment of an older woman who was active i n the early years of the Women's Movement. "How does i t help women to portray them as victims who are lacking the strength to take hold of t h e i r own l i v e s and actions." (FMSF Newsletter, 1993, June, p. 5). FDS discourse positions FMS advocates as the older, wiser, and more liberated pioneers of the women's movement while characterizing modern day feminists as a hot-headed and ungrateful generation of renegades: Do the feminists r e a l i z e what they are doing to the very women who fought for women's r i g h t s back i n the 50s & 60s, and who have made i t possible for the young ones now to go out and receive equal pay or be able to achieve anything they aspire to? (FMSF Newsletter, 1993, May, p. 5). Feminism, which i n FDS discourse i s the a n t i t h e s i s of women's l i b e r a t i o n , i n s u l t s women: ...why i t i s that t h i s generation of feminists assume that there are hundreds of women— grandmothers, mothers, and sisters—who are too weak, lazy or stupid to have noticed that t h e i r daughters or s i s t e r s were subjected to h o r r i f i c sexual abuse for years i n t h e i r own homes? The argument here appears to be feminist i n i t s c r i t i q u e of mother blaming; a response to the misogynist notion that psychological disturbance i s usually the r e s u l t of bad mothering and, more s p e c i f i c a l l y , i n cases of sexual abuse, that mothers are responsible for abuse perpetrated by t h e i r husbands because they "allow" i t to happen by vi r t u e of t h e i r s t u p i d i t y , neglect, or indifference. What i s in t e r e s t i n g i n t h i s example i s that mother blame arguments are coopted i n the service of j u s t i f y i n g the denial of sexual abuse allegations. Also of i n t e r e s t i n t h i s example i s the r h e t o r i c a l invocation of t r a d i t i o n that p a r a l l e l s FMS arguments about science and the family: FDS i s t r a d i t i o n a l "feminism" and therefore more legitimate i n i t s time-honoured p r i n c i p l e s . One of the more interesting facets of FDS r h e t o r i c i s that i t manages to both claim and i n s u l t feminism a l l i n one breath. The FMSF c a l l feminists stupid and dogmatic and then, i r o n i c a l l y , argue that women's in t e l l i g e n c e should be respected: We as k . . . i f i t might be harmful to feminism to portray women as having minds closed to s c i e n t i f i c information and as being s a t i s f i e d with sloppy, inaccurate s t a t i s t i c s ? Could i t be viewed as a profound i n s u l t to women to give them slogans rather than accurate information about how memory works? Are women r e a l l y not being cheated i f they are not expected to use c r i t i c a l thinking s k i l l s ? (FMSF Newsletter, 1993, Jan, p. 2) Another way of i n s u l t i n g feminism while appearing to be feminist i s the "I believe women are sexually abused but..." FDS maneuver which appears progressive i n i t ' s s e l f - r e f l e x i v e disclaimer. In the following FDS example the FMSF's stated concerns about c h i l d abuse are followed by a construction of feminist therapists as overzealous, ignorant, and greedy: C h i l d abuse i s an outrage, i t i s unconscionable, and victims deserve our compassion and should be helped i n what ever ways are appropriate. At the same time, we must assure that we don't create new victims through ignorance or overzealousness or, as one survivor who never forgot wrote "media hucksterism and the su r e - f i r e appearance of l o t s of f o l k s looking to cash i n and get r i c h quick." (FMSF Newsletter, 1993, June, p. 1) In FDS rh e t o r i c acknowledgements of c h i l d sexual abuse are usually followed by questions of i t ' s prevalence: "Incest does happen and i t ' s h o r r i b l e [I believe women but...], and that's why i t i s so important not to cook the numbers and make i t seem more common than i t i s " (FMSF Newsletter, 1993, Feb, p. 6). The FMSF claims to be protecting women's c r e d i b i l i t y by weeding out charlatans who f a l s e l y accuse t h e i r r i c h and powerful fathers of rape. They argue that feminists exaggerate s t a t i s t i c s on c h i l d sexual abuse, sexual harassment, and "date rape" and therefore t r i v i a l i z e women's allegations of rape (FMSF Newsletter, 1993, July; October). Interestingly, FMS advocates foresee that they w i l l be viewed as anti-feminist for t h e i r challenges to sexual abuse s t a t i s t i c s . By r h e t o r i c a l l y a n t i c i p a t i n g a feminist rejoinder to t h e i r arguments, however, FMS advocates, manage to appear s o c i a l l y conscious, interested i n women's rights, and committed to c r i t i c a l inquiry: There i s a tremendous fear that by r a i s i n g the question of whether a memory could be f a l s e , FMSF w i l l set back the clocks to a time when women and children who t r i e d to say that they had been abused were ignored or often made to f e e l that they were to blame for the abuse. We are very concerned about that p o s s i b i l i t y . No one that we know wants a return to a s i t u a t i o n that was wrong and was not good for woman and children. The question we have asked i s , "Can an accusation of abuse be wrong?"[emphasis i n o r i g i n a l ] (FMSF Newsletter, 1993, July, p. 2 ) This a l l sounds very reasonable except that the question i s posed i n an h i s t o r i c a l context which has for hundreds of years denied women's allegations of rape. I f there i s any doubt about the authors intent to d i s c r e d i t the feminist notion that rape i s common, i t i s made clear i n the remainder of the segment which blames feminists for t r i v i a l i z i n g violence against women, and then concludes by comparing feminism to thought reform and t o t a l i t a r i a n i s m (FMSF Newsletter, 1993, J u l y ) . A number of feminist discourses, including r a d i c a l feminist c r i t i q u e s of therapy which construct therapy as fundamentally exp l o i t i v e of women (FMSF Newsletter, 1993, Oct; 1994, June), are used by the FMSF to argue against feminist therapy. And how does a r a d i c a l feminist c r i t i q u e of therapy f i t with the FMSF agenda to further professionalize therapy? The FMSF do not act u a l l y c r i t i q u e the psychologizing and pro f e s s i o n a l i z i n g of violence against women (see Armstrong, 1994) because they do not consider i t a problem for mental health professionals to p r o f i t o f f violence against women. On the contrary, they see therapy as an "essential service" (FMSF Newsletter, 1995, May, p. 1) equivalent to the "water supply" (FMSF Newsletter, 1995, July/Aug, p. 1). By invoking a r a d i c a l c r i t i q u e of therapy, FMS discourse plays on women's r i g h t f u l resentment of malestream psychiatry/psychology and i t s pathologizing, dehumanizing, and deleterious consequences to women, and then twists those arguments to assert a more conservative and white male dominated psychotherapy. The FMSF's attempts to reassert a white male monopoly on the therapy industry and knowledge about sexual abuse i s , to a certain extent, guided by t h e i r desire to corner the therapy market, but more fundamentally a reaction against the feminist challenge to the cornerstone of white middle class p a t r i a r c h a l ideology: the myth of the innocent father. In the next section I look at how FMS discourse constructs the innocence of white middle class men by employing the anti-PC counter victim f l i p , and invoking a serie s of c l a s s i s t , agist, and r a c i s t p a t r i a r c h a l discourses. Construction of Innocence In the counter victim f l i p of FMS women are the abusers and men are the victims. For the most part men in the FMSF l i t e r a t u r e are painted as the j i l t e d dads of a generation of ungrateful, sick, f o o l i s h , attention seeking daughters. The point of t h i s chapter i s to illuminate the ways i n which the FMSF constructs men as innocent by framing them i n opposition to a s i l e n t but nonetheless ever present other: the mythical Black r a p i s t , the working class incestuous bigot, the homosexual pedophile, and so on. Men's innocence i s argued by FMS advocates, furthermore, on the basis of a deeply misogynist conception of women. Before moving on to look at innocent fathers, I b r i e f l y examine the FMS construction of cruel daughters, and i n p a r t i c u l a r how t h i s discourse i s informed by r e l a t i o n s of race and cl a s s . Women who accuse t h e i r fathers of rape are portrayed as cruel and s p i t e f u l spoiled brats who have deeply betrayed the values of t h e i r race and c l a s s . They are debutantes running amok t r a i t o r o u s l y v i o l a t i n g the middle class code of family privacy by i n f l i c t i n g the state, whether i t be the police or the j u d i c i a r y , upon t h e i r fathers. I t is* a middle class nightmare that involves public humiliation, property damage, and f i n a n c i a l burden: Imagine waking up one morning to f i n d your yard f i l l e d with digging equipment and the p o l i c e informing you that you are being investigated f o r sexual torture and murder reported by your daughter who had recovered memories. Imagine the le g a l fees. Imagine the s i t u a t i o n when friends of the family have t h e i r yards dug up too... (FMSF Newsletter, 1 9 9 4 , Feb, p. 3 ) Since they have gone to therapy the viciousness of these daughters i n immeasurable, they stop at nothing, even making death bed accusations. They are inhuman and assaultive, staging " h i t and run" attacks on unsuspecting el d e r l y fathers (FMSF Newsletter, 1992, July, p. 2). They drive t h e i r mothers to suicide, "I confronted my mother. She t o l d me she had nothing more to l i v e for, and she drove her car off a bridge" (FMSF Newsletter, 1993, July, p. 9), and worse, they murder fathers, "Our hearts broke t h i s week as we li s t e n e d to a woman weeping that she had k i l l e d her father with her accusations" (FMSF Newsletter, 1992, July, p. 2) . Innocent father discourses are varied sometimes presenting dads as victimized and mortally wounded e l d e r l y gents, and other times, successful and powerful p a t r i a r c h a l fathers who he r o i c a l l y combat the "f a m i l i c i d e " of feminism (FMSF Newsletter, 1995, March, p. 9). Each of these constructions i s designed to further the fundamentally conservative objectives of FMS discourse, namely the r e u n i f i c a t i o n of the family, the reinstatement of the innocent p a t r i a r c h a l father, and the s i l e n c i n g of women who dissent. The victim/hero construction of fathers i n FMS discourse i s c l a s s i c a l l y anti-PC i n that i t allows men to attack feminism while appearing ga l l a n t and courageous for doing so. I r i s h s o c i a l c r i t i c Fintan O'Toole (cited i n Cockburn, 1995) humorously explains t h i s r h e t o r i c a l strategy: "We have now reached the point where every goon with a grievance, every b i t t e r bigot, merely has to place the pr e f i x 'I know i t s not p o l i t i c a l l y correct but...' i n front of the usual s t r i n g of i n s u l t s i n order to be not just safe from c r i t i c i s m but actually a card, a lad, even a hero. Conversely, to ta l k about poverty and inequality, to draw attention to the r e a l i t y that discrimination and i n j u s t i c e are s t i l l f a c ts of l i f e , i s to commit the new s i n of p o l i t i c a l corectness...Anti-PC has become the l a t e s t cover for creeps. I t i s a godsend for every sort of curmudgeon and crank, from the f a s c i s t i c to the merely smug. (p. 299) "Big Daddy", the patr i a r c h a l hero of conservative ideology, i s a central figure i n FMS discourse. Big Daddy i s the a l l powerful man: the great provider, a r b i t e r of truth, and protector of the family. His bravery i s astounding, he stands up for t r a d i t i o n i n every i n s t i t u t i o n — s c i e n c e , medicine and l a w — i n the face of a vicious and rabid witch hunt c a l l e d FMS (FMSF Newsletter, 1994, Oct). His rhetoric i s unabashedly e l i t i s t , and he makes no bones about t e l l i n g us he i s q u a l i f i e d to speak the truth. His bragging varies i n emphasis depending upon whether he speaks as an accused father or e l i t e professional. Though he c l e a r l y occupies both locations, he often i d e n t i f i e s himself as one or the other, obscuring his combined power as both father and professional (FMSF Newsletter, 1993, May). When he i s looking for p i t y , Big Daddy sometimes conceals his professional q u a l i f i c a t i o n s and becomes "A father", even though he speaks i n an academic voice: The orderly process of dispassionate i n v e s t i g a t i o n has been disrupted by the involvement of a body of theo r i s t s and p r a c t i t i o n e r s who are guided not by the s c i e n t i f i c method, but by a p o l i t i c a l agenda which r e l i e s upon assumptions for which there i s no evidence...A father. (FMSF Newsletter, 1993, Oct, p. 6). Presenting himself as Father, rather than the more c o l l o q u i a l Dad, grants him greater speech authority. In any event he can assert ideas without i d e n t i f y i n g the source of his knowledge ( i . e . , academia) and he w i l l be believed because his wisdom i s assumed by v i r t u e of h i s s o c i a l location. Sometimes, perhaps when he i s f e e l i n g a l i t t l e defensive or when he anticipates a challenge to h i s authority, he becomes "A Professional and A Dad" (FMSF Newsletter, 1994, March, p. 9). He undergoes t h i s transformation when rape accusations have undermined h i s c r e d i b i l i t y as Dad. On these occasions he i s referenced i n terms o f h i s status as a corporate and/or professional e l i t e . He i s one of the Old Boys, he wears a s u i t , and he i s educated, or has achieved s u f f i c i e n t economic wealth to win him authority. His credentials are impressive and c e r t a i n l y contrary to the a t t r i b u t e s o f r e a l sexual abusers. Such an esteemed p r o f e s s i o n a l — p s y c h i a t r i s t , business executive, academic, publisher, law enforcement o f f i c i a l , lawyer, teacher, o i l executive, mental health professional, high school p r i n c i p a l , s c i e n t i s t — surely, would never rape a c h i l d . The authority and innocence of Big Daddy i s established, not simply by t r o t t i n g out h i s professional credentials, but also by d i s c u r s i v e l y s i t u a t i n g him i n opposition to a r a c i s t , c l a s s i s t , and homophobic construction of the kind of "men who rape chi l d r e n " : the mythical Black r a p i s t , the bigoted and incestuous working class father, or the "homosexual" pedophile. Big Daddy the p a t e r n a l i s t i c protector, man about the house, would never rape his daughter. After a l l , he must defend the good name of hi s family: "I'm sure you understand why I have to clear my name. The consequences of not resolving t h i s accusation before I die i s that the whole family and ancestors w i l l suffer...A Dad (83 years)" (FMSF Newsletter, 1994, Nov/Dec, p. 9). How could anyone accuse him of sexual abuse when he stands on guard for the children and protects "poor women" from the r e a l criminals, s h i f t y therapists and lawyers: These are criminal matters. Science can go on debating about repressed memories. The l i v e s of the poor women who f a l l into the hands of therapists and f r i e n d l y lawyers are not part of the s c i e n t i f i c game. These l i v e s are unique. These are our children...A Dad. (FMSF Newsletter, 1994, March, p. 4) "In my Father's House" (FMSF Newsletter, 1995, Sept, p. 15), a poem written by a (good) daughter, one who retracted her allegation, i s a w i s t f u l r e f l e c t i o n of p a t r i a r c h a l imagery. Father's house i s a place of t r u t h and Ch r i s t i a n values, "a space for peace and nowhere to put judgement" (p. 15). More than that, Father's house i s divine: "In my Father's house, God creates a new family. My father's house i s inside a God of forgiveness" (p. 15). If there was any doubt about the race of t h i s hallowed Father—Our Father who art on e a r t h — t h e discourse i s r a c i a l i z e d metaphorically by i t s references to "blue eyes", a powerful symbol of whiteness: "In my Father's house, I see my childhood i n his sharp blue eyes" (p. 15). Our Father i s a God fearing man so how could he possibly have raped a child? He reads the b i b l e every morning and prays for his wayward daughter: "Dad s t i l l r e f l e c t s his sweet simple f a i t h i n Christ and I s t i l l have him by my side...Every morning when I go to work I k i s s Dad goodbye. He has had his breakfast and i s reading h i s Bible and praying for you" (FMSF Newsletter, 1995, July/Aug, p. 15). The Dear Old Dad construction i s r i f e with p a t r i a r c h a l imagery and presumably intended to s t i r up fee l i n g s of sympathy. It r e l i e s , moreover, on a construction of el d e r l y men that s i t s i n stark contrast to the stereotype of a r a p i s t . Dear Old Dad would never have raped his daughter. He i s : "A 90-year-old-man" (FMSF Newsletter, 1993, Dec, p. 4), "pop" (FMSF Newsletter, 1995, Nov/Dec, p. 15), "A Father (72 years o l d ) " (FMSF Newsletter, 1994, Feb, p. 10), "87 years o l d " (FMSF Newsletter, 1993, Oct, p. 10), "90 i n a few days" (FMSF Newsletter, 1995, July/Aug, p. 15). He i s i n h i s golden years, Grandpop, the e l d e r l y gent who l i k e s to s p o i l the grandkids. A grade 8 boy writes about h i s grandpa, the man his mother once accused of rape: "My grandfather i s a good chef", "Grandpa poured us some chocolate milk", "My grandpa taught us how to f i s h and my brother and I both caught our f i r s t f i s h with him". (FMSF Newsletter, 1995, A p r i l , p. 11). The Death Bed Dad i s also popular i n FMS discourse. Not only does t h i s construction portray him as a v i c t i m but the image of t h i s sick e l d e r l y grandfather makes i t v i r t u a l l y impossible to imagine him as a r a p i s t . Unlike h i s hard-hearted daughter, he i s a sen s i t i v e man. He i s so sens i t i v e i n f a c t that he develops a terminal i l l n e s s following h i s daughter's abuse allegations: "The father suffered several strokes a f t e r the accusations were made" (FMSF Newsletter, 1995, Nov/Dec, p. 10); "My husband died about 3 months after our daughter's confrontation which was of course, absolutely devastating (FMSF Newsletter, 1 9 9 3 , Oct, p. 9 ) ; "The obituary said that Trent Joe Parker had died of complications due to pneumonia. Those of us who r e c a l l the h e l l Trent suffered for nearly 3 years—and the ef f e c t that s u f f e r i n g had on hi s ulcer—know better" (FMSF Newsletter, 1 9 9 4 , Jan, p. 5); "he died of a broken heart" (FMSF Newsletter, 1 9 9 3 , June, p. 6 ) Death Bed Dads are a tortured l o t , desperate to win back t h e i r hateful daughter's love and approval. If only she would relent i n her accusation, he could, god w i l l i n g , go to his grave i n peace: "Of course, the saddest part i n a l l of t h i s i s the fact that my husband died t r y i n g to make her see that she made a t e r r i b l e mistake. He did not die i n peace" (FMSF Newsletter, 1 9 9 3 , Feb, p. 3 ) . Death Bed Dads are not a f r a i d to die, however, because they are confident that the almighty Father w i l l see t h e i r innocence: "Your father died today taking your accusations to hi s grave...He was not i n the least a f r a i d of death as he believed that he w i l l l i v e again i n Glory with the Lord, and that He knows the t r u t h . (FMSF Newsletter, 1 9 9 4 , May, p. 1 1 ) Devastated Dads suffer a variety of physical ailments but are mostly psychically wounded: "He hardly t a l k s anymore [after being accused]. The doctors say i t might have been a small stroke" (FMSF Newsletter, 1994, A p r i l , p. 12); "I get so depressed. I have l o s t over 3 0 pounds, my hair has turned quite gray, I have developed high blood pressure for the f i r s t time i n my l i f e , I can't sleep, I am up pacing much of every night. I have no appetite. I have almost become a hermit because I f i n d i t hard to be with people recently" (FMSF Newsletter, 1993, Dec, p. 6). The devastation for one "septuagenarian" was worse than witnessing a f a t a l accident: "being accused by h i s daughter was more d i f f i c u l t to deal with than seeing another daughter k i l l e d i n a bicycle/automobile accident 11 years ago" (FMSF Newsletter, 1995, May, p. 16) . Sensitive New Age Dad may have some flaws but he would never rape his daughter. On the contrary, he knows how i t feels to be raped because he f e e l s " v i o l a t e d " by his daughter's accusations (FMSF Newsletter, 1995, Oct, p. 17). Some of h i s "dear t r a i t s " are that he i s sensitive and affectionate to a f a u l t : "I was always so glad my husband was so open, sharing and so demonstrative to a l l of us." (FMSF Newsletter, 1993, March, p. 8). He i s not ashamed to cry, "I s i t here and write t h i s with tears i n my eyes" (FMSF Newsletter, 1995, Sept, p. 15) He sends "tear-stained" hand written copies of h i s story to state and federal l e g i s l a t o r s (FMSF Newsletter, 1995, May, p. 16). He walks on the beach (FMSF Newsletter, 1995, Sept) and reunites with his daughter i n the sunset: "We held hands and shared good memories and wept and hugged as the sun set witnessed our reunion" (FMSF Newsletter, 1995, Sept, p. 15). He hangs a poem under h i s daughter's picture i n the family home (FMSF Newsletter, 1993, May). Dad i s more than a victim, he i s a Martyr. He does not hesitate to s a c r i f i c e himself for the good of h i s daughter, "my own f e e l i n g of r e l i e f that she no longer sees me as a perpetrator i s minor compared to my joy that she i s emerging from a black hole and w i l l have a chance now for a f u l l e r family l i f e instead of a b i t t e r future based on f a l s e memories. A Dad" (FMSF Newsletter, 1994, Jul/Aug, p. 6). Even at 88 years old he puts himself second: "I am 88 years old and f e e l that i t i s u n l i k e l y that my injury and pain w i l l be assuaged. I look for a future i n t h i s regard not f o r me personally but rather for an untold number of people who are or w i l l be subjected to t h i s treatment." (FMSF Newsletter, 1994, May, p. 1). Whether he i s Big Daddy the r i c h and powerful defender of h i s family, or Our Father the god-fearing C h r i s t i a n , or Dear Old Dad the philanthropic cardigan-sporting grandfather, or Death Bed Dad the s p i r i t l e s s and emotionally tortured dying father, or Sensitive New Age Dad the enlightened and vulnerable a l t r u i s t , there i s one thing he i s not: a r a p i s t . The image of FMS supporters as professional white middle c l a s s e l d e r l y C h r i s t i a n men i s so incongruous with the s t e r e o t y p i c a l image of a r a p i s t , that i t makes i t d i f f i c u l t to imagine these men as such. In t h i s chapter I have outlined a number of ways i n which FMS discourse appropriates the language of s o c i a l j u s t i c e i n order to situate i t s e l f as a moral authority on sexual abuse. Were i t not for the serious material repercussions of FMS, i t might be viewed as rather humorous irony. In the f i n a l chapter I look at the consequences of FMS i n the l e g a l domain. In p a r t i c u l a r I discuss FMS as part of the Right's focus on the courts i n the past 20 years and then move on to t a l k about the s p e c i f i c areas of law that the FMSF has targeted. CHAPTER FOUR FMS AND THE POLITICS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT LAW FMSF does not encourage or discourage lawsuits. I t does not provide legal advice per se. As part of the educational goals, i t does make resources available to accused persons and t h e i r counsel. (FMSF Newsletter, 1993, July, P. 3) The courts have been a key s i t e of p o l i t i c a l struggle for the Right i n the United States, e s p e c i a l l y following a number of Reagan appointments to the Supreme Court i n the 1980s (Bruce, 1990). The dismantling of the so-called Rape Shield provisions (R. v. Seaboyer. 1991) i n Canada, and more recently, the challenges to laws of disclosure (R. v. O'Connor. 1995) are but 2 examples of how the courts are being used to attack feminist l e g a l gains i n both the criminal and c i v i l courts i n Canada (Smith, 1992). The section of the FMSF newsletter that reports recent FMS related legal decisions has grown considerably over the past four years and occupies a growing portion of each issue. This i s , of course, r e f l e c t i v e of the upsurge of c i v i l and criminal l i t i g a t i o n i n the U.S. and Canada that has employed FMS arguments i n support of accused men. According to the FMSF Newsletter challenges have been mounted i n a number of areas of law: (a) evidentiary requirements, such as the a d m i s s i b i l i t y of s c i e n t i f i c evidence and uncorroborated testimony (b) l i m i t a t i o n periods that accommodate the needs of women (c) scope of l i a b i l i t y . Although the FMSF consistently claim that they are not a p o l i t i c a l lobby group they have submitted Amicus Curiae B r i e f i n Texas, Alabama, and Rhode Island Supreme Courts. Evidentiary Requirements The a d m i s s i b i l i t y of novel s c i e n t i f i c evidence i n the American courts depends on i t s general acceptance within the relevant s c i e n t i f i c community (Frve t e s t , c i t e d i n FMSF Newsletter, 1995, Oct). I f there i s substantial disagreement amongst s c i e n t i s t s about any p a r t i c u l a r s c i e n t i f i c evidence then i t cannot be admitted into court. I t i s no accident that the FMSF moved so quickly to create disagreement i n the s c i e n t i f i c community. Indeed, i t was p e r f e c t l y s t r a t e g i c i n that i t was designed to prevent any evidence based on so c a l l e d repressed memory from being used i n the courts. The FMSF c i t e the decision of Jus t i c e Groff, New Hampshire Hillsbourgh County Superior Court, i n two cases of aggravated sexual assault, as one of the most important FMS l e g a l events to date (FMSF Newsletter, 1995, June). In both cases the women are alleged to have recovered memories during therapy. J u s t i c e Groff ordered that before either woman would be allowed to t e s t i f y , the state must prove, i n a p r e - t r i a l hearing that repressed memories exis t and that remembering through therapy i s generally accepted i n psychology. FMSF advisory board members Elizabeth Loftus and Paul McHugh t e s t i f i e d on behalf of the male defendant i n a p r e - t r i a l hearing to determine the a d m i s s i b i l i t y of the women's testimony. The defense was successful i n arguing for the i n a d m i s s i b i l i t y of the women's testimony on the following grounds: The Court finds that the testimony of the victims as to t h e i r memory of the assaults s h a l l not be admitted at t r i a l because the phenomenon of memory repression, and the process of therapy used i n these cases to recover the memories, have not gained general acceptance i n the f i e l d of psychology; and are not s c i e n t i f i c a l l y r e l i a b l e , (cited i n FMSF Newsletter, 1995, June, p. 9) J u s t i c e Groff's 35 page Decree (cited i n FMSF Newsletter, 1995, June), with i t s references to the necessity of therapists obtaining corroboration, the dangers of suggestive techniques, the r i s e i n women who are r e t r a c t i n g allegations, the p a r a l l e l s with a l i e n abduction memories, and so on, i s l i t t l e more than a parroting of FMS discourse (FMSF Newsletter, 1995, June.) Is i t any wonder that the FMSF claim i t as a s i g n i f i c a n t v i c t o r y . The FMSF i s c a r e f u l , however, not to frame t h i s as a p o l i t i c a l moment but instead describe i t as one of the f i r s t l e g a l decisions to deal with repressed memory "squarely on i t s merits" (FMSF Newsletter, 1995, July/Aug, p. 8): Ju s t i c e Groff makes i t clear that he did not intend to a r b i t r a t e the ongoing debate within the ps y c h i a t r i c community on the issue of repressed memories. His holding i s based on the e x i s t i n g s c i e n t i f i c evidence that the concept of repressed memory i s not generally accepted i n the f i e l d of psychology nor i s there any way, absent independent corroboration, to determine the tr u t h or f a l s i t y of a repressed memory. (FMSF Newsletter, 1995, Jul/Aug, p. 8). In the same month a Baltimore C i r c u i t Court dismissed a c i v i l s u i t against a p r i e s t who was alleged to have sexually assaulted two of his former female students. The case was dismissed a f t e r the judge deemed the p l a i n t i f f s ' testimony inadmissible based on a lack of acceptance of repression i n the s c i e n t i f i c community. The judge explained: The court i n no way i s judging [the p l a i n t i f f s ' ] c r e d i b i l i t y , but t h e i r r e c o l l e c t i o n . That d i d not meet the t e s t of s c i e n t i f i c r e l i a b i l i t y . . . N o empirical studies v e r i f y the existence of repressed memory. There i s no way to t e s t the v a l i d i t y of these memories. (cited i n FMSF Newsletter, 1995, June, p. 9) The Michigan Supreme Court overturned a s i m i l a r non-corroboration provision i n July, 1995. The Court held that: There i s no agreement on the v i a b i l i t y and r e l i a b i l i t y of repressed memory syndrome within the American Medical Association or the American Psy c h i a t r i c Association. In the absence of a consensus on t h i s s t i l l - e v o l v i n g theory from the appropriate medical experts, i t would be unwise and premature to recognize the repressed memory syndrome as a basis for applying the discovery r u l e . ((FMSF Newsletter, 1995, July/Aug, p. 9) Here we see the f r u i t s of the FMSF's targeting of professional regulatory bodies. A Canadian judgement, while not r e f e r r i n g s p e c i f i c a l l y to FMS, nonetheless d i s c u r s i v e l y invokes i t . In a half page excerpt of the reasons f o r judgment, the Crown Counsel was strongly advised to drop the case (FMSF Newsletter, 1993, Nov). The judge pointed to the complainants' r e c o l l e c t i o n s of sexual abuse, compared t h e i r testimony to evidence generated by " a s t r a l t r a v e l l i n g " and warned that the r e a l evidentiary l i m i t was "that each of the complaints at one point, and indeed for a long time, had no memory of the alleged [sexual] interference" (p. 9). He concluded h i s tirade with a series of i n s u l t s d i r e c t e d at the women complainants: I am so unimpressed by the qu a l i t y of testimony i n t h i s case that I am almost overwhelmed by my desire to stop the prosecution. The so-called victims i n t h i s case are unreliable. G's evidence i s outlandish from the s t a r t and the product of near or complete insanity. C s i s a product of unrelenting suggestion, i n my view. L's evidence i s among the least r e l i a b l e I have seen i n a c h i l d and i n my view i s nothing but an e f f o r t to please her mother, (p. 9) In another Canadian decision, a B.C. judge patronizingly stated that while he believed the female complainant i n a sexual abuse case was convinced of her memories, he was also concerned that her therapist may have unwittingly promoted these memories (FMSF Newsletter, 1993, June). The judge indicated, furthermore, that he could not judge the v a l i d i t y of the complainants testimony without corroboration, even though the requirement of corroboration i n sexual assault cases was abandoned i n Canada i n the 1980s because i t was deemed discriminatory against women (Sheppard, 1988). Bonnie Agnew, 20 year member of the Vancouver Rape R e l i e f c o l l e c t i v e , has suggested that psychological arguments about the r e l i a b i l i t y of memory are sure to ar i s e i n cases even where women have f u l l memory and always did (personal communication, March 23, 1996). And indeed, the notion of FMS was argued i n support of disclosure of counselling records i n R. v. O'Connor (1995), a Canadian case i n which a p r i e s t was charged with a number of sexual offences against Native women which were alleged to have occurred at a r e s i d e n t i a l school 25 years e a r l i e r . While the women f u l l y remembered the abuse and always had, Lamer C.J.C., speaking for the majority of the Supreme Court of Canada, accepted the relevance of therapeutic records i n sexual assault cases because: ...they may reveal the use of a therapy which influence the complainants memory of the alleged offence; or, they may contain information that bears on the complainants c r e d i b i l i t y including testimonial factors such as the qua l i t y of the complainants perception of events at the time of the offence and t h e i r memory since. (R. v. 0'Connor, 1995, p. 241). The appearance of FMS discourse i n cases where women have f u l l memory of sexual abuse i s testimony to i t s wide ranging and pernicious anti-feminist p o t e n t i a l i n the le g a l domain. Limitation Periods and Third Party L i a b i l i t y Feminists have fought hard to extend statute of l i m i t a t i o n periods i n cases of c h i l d sexual assault so that those who were abused as children would have f a i r access to c i v i l l e g a l redress as adults. This i s an area where the FMS lobby i s attempting to eliminate feminist l e g a l reforms. On the basis of t h e i r examination of a number of cases i n which l i m i t a t i o n periods have been extended i n order to accommodate women's memories of sexual abuse, the FMSF question whether the discovery exception to the statute of l i m i t a t i o n s can be properly applied where there i s "no assurance that objective evidence i s available with which the court may r e l i a b l y v e r i f y the facts of the o r i g i n a l wrongful act and the r e s u l t i n g physical i n j u r y " (FMSF Newsletter, July/August, p. 7). In t h i s manner FMS advocates r a i s e evidentiary problems with repressed memories i n order to dismiss c i v i l proceedings before they even begin. A v a r i a t i o n of t h i s argument was applied by defense lawyers i n Connecticut who challenged the c o n s t i t u t i o n a l i t y of extended l i m i t a t i o n periods i n a sexual assault case involving repressed memories. They argued that the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment was vi o l a t e d by Connecticut's statute of repose (extension of the l i m i t a t i o n period) because i t " u n j u s t i f i a b l y allows p l a i n t i f f s who claim they were sexually assaulted as children longer to sue than i s afforded other p l a i n t i f f s " (FMSF Newsletter, 1995, Oct, p. 8). Fortunately, the court unanimously upheld the c o n s t i t u t i o n a l i t y of t h i s law, arguing i n favour of laws that allow for the p o s s i b i l i t y of repression of sexual abuse. Another p i v o t a l moment i n the FMSF's program of le g a l retrenchment i s the Ramona case i n C a l i f o r n i a , i n which Gary Ramona sued his daughter's therapists f o r $8 m i l l i o n i n damages including the loss of h i s $400,OOO/year executive job, h i s marriage, and contact with h i s daughters, was claimed as a triumph the FMS lobby (FMSF Newsletter, 1994, A p r i l ) . The major s i g n i f i c a n c e of t h i s case was that i t allowed a father accused of incestuous rape to bring s u i t against h i s daughter's therapists for t h e i r support of her alleg a t i o n s (FMSF Newsletter, 1994, May): The jury found that the Defendants i n the case...were negligent i n providing health care to Holly Ramona by implanting or r e i n f o r c i n g f a l s e memories that her father had molested her as a c h i l d . The jury also found that a l l Defendants had r e s p o n s i b i l i t y i n causing Gary Ramona to be confronted with the accusation. (FMSF Newsletter, 1994, July/Aug., p. 8). The case therefore established that therapists owe a duty of care to incestuous fathers, and thus can no longer unreservedly support women who allege incest without fearing l e g a l r e t a l i a t i o n . I t i s int e r e s t i n g to note the p a r a l l e l s between t h i s type of offensive FMS l i t i g a t i o n and what became known i n the 1980s as SLAPPs (strategic lawsuits against public p a r t i c i p a t i o n ) . SLAPPs have served to crush c i t i z e n dissent against the corporate e l i t e . The FMS lobby has used law s u i t s i n a s i m i l a r manner to intimidates therapists. The term SLAPP was coined to describe the p r o l i f e r a t i o n of corporate lawsuits i n the U.S. since the early 70s that have served to thwart c i t i z e n activism against the corporate e l i t e (Herman, 1996). SLAPP s u i t s , the majority of which are i n f a c t l o s t by the corporations, nonetheless drain the f i n a n c i a l resources of the Defendants and serve to deter others who may have ideas about speaking out against the corporate power structure. "SLAPP and l i b e l s u i t s are another case where money gives great advantage i n staying power and expertise. That i s why the market has turned to them as a further instrument for keeping dissent and protest at bay" (Herman, 1996, p. 55) . The FMSF reports that more than 200 lawsuits have been f i l e d against therapists on the basis of FMS arguments with damages sought ranging from $80,000 to $5 m i l l i o n . The s u i t s target alleged professional negligence/malpractice i n a number of areas. Therapists are being sued for f a i l i n g to obtain a "proper hi s t o r y " (corroboration of sexual abuse) p r i o r to treatment, using memory enhancement techniques without seeking independent corroboration, and f a i l i n g to obtain informed consent by not warning women about the p o t e n t i a l for f a l s e memories (FMSF Newsletter, 1995, July/August, p. 3). For a mere $20 one can obtain an FMSF summary of the issues and dispositions i n 180 higher court decisions ( c i v i l and criminal) related to repressed memory. Because I have not obtained t h i s document I cannot comment on the number of cases found i n favour of accused men or against women therapists. I t i s c l e a r however, looking over the contents of the FMSF newsletter column "Legal Corner" for the year of 1995, that many cases against accused men have been dropped, dismissed or overturned on appeal. Over 200 cases have been f i l e d against (women) professionals by former c l i e n t s who have recanted t h e i r allegations of incest, with settlements ranging from $80,000 to $5 m i l l i o n (FMSF Newsletter, 1995, July/Aug). In the criminal courts FMS i s being used to challenge women's allegations of sexual assault regardless of repression. On the grounds of i n s u f f i c i e n t evidence, that i s evidence based on women's memory, cases are being dismissed according to the FMSF. FMS i s also the basis for a l e g a l offensive against feminist professionals i n the c i v i l courts. While the FMSF undoubtedly embellish t h e i r successes i n the courts, feminists should nonetheless be concerned by what appears to be a trend of l e g a l retrenchment i n both the c i v i l and criminal courts i n cases of sexual assault. With t h i s i n mind I now turn to my conclusions. CHAPTER FIVE CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS The master's tools w i l l never dismantle the master's house. Audre Lorde (1984, p. 110). In t h i s thesis I have traced the ways i n which the FMSF manufactured the notion of FMS, l e g i t i m i z e d i t as a s c i e n t i f i c construct, and then used i t to d i s c r e d i t women i n the courts. I have argued that the development of FMS was not an objective s c i e n t i f i c endeavor as the FMSF would have us believe, but was instead a calculated p o l i t i c a l project that involved thousands of p o l i t i c a l lobbyists, substantial i n s t i t u t i o n a l support, and a sophisticated multi-phase plan of action. I t s organizing strategies and i t s r h e t o r i c reveal that the FMSF i s firmly ensconced within a broader neo-conservative movement. By presenting t h e i r arguments i n the language of cognitive psychology, and employing an anti-PC r h e t o r i c a l strategy of appropriation and power inversion, the FMSF has managed to make t h e i r denial of sexual abuse appear not only s c i e n t i f i c a l l y j u s t i f i a b l e but morally righteous. They appear concerned about the right s of women and mental health consumers while they advocate a return to more conservative and oppressive psychotherapeutic and l e g a l regimes. Despite the FMSF's apparent embrace of feminism and other l i b e r a t o r y discourses, the development of FMS was c l e a r l y part of an anti-feminist attack on psychotherapy. As Schuman and Galvez (1996), c r i t i c s of FMS point out, the aim of FMS i s not to disrupt science or psychology in toto, i t i s , instead, to di s t i n g u i s h good therapists from bad and re i n s t a t e a more t r a d i t i o n a l psychology. The FMSF's c a l l s f o r increased regulation of therapy seem reasonable, except when we r e a l i z e that the FMS lobby i s c a l l i n g f or women, es p e c i a l l y feminists, to be regulated r i g h t out of the profession. They want to l i m i t therapeutic p r a c t i c e to extremely conservative p s y c h i a t r i c , behavioural, and cognitive approaches, and re i n s t a t e white male academia as the sole source of legitimate knowledge and t r a i n i n g for therapists. The development of FMS was also a reaction by r i c h white fathers, some of whom are academics, to t h e i r daughter's accusations of incestuous rape. There are a number of things at stake i n t h i s f i g h t , not the l e a s t of which i s the pa t r i a r c h a l nuclear family and the myth of the innocent white middle class professional father. The FMSF i s not concerned with disputing a l l e g a t i o n s against working class or Black men, however, because i t s construction of sexual abuse r e l i e s on classism and white supremacy i n order to re-emphasize the presumptive innocence of white middle class men. In c r i t i q u i n g the FMSF's arguments, and p a r t i c u l a r l y t h e i r emphasis on science, I am more convinced than ever that feminist c r i t i q u e s must not only address the contents of neo-conservative arguments, but also the systems of knowledge production the r e l y upon. We must examine how knowledge i s produced and legitimized i n r e l a t i o n to power, i n order to f u l l y appreciate the p o l i t i c a l implications of any idea or concept. The implications of my analysis of FMS for feminist therapists are numerous. I want to focus, however, on the more fundamental question of whether i t i s useful for feminists to engage with therapy at a l l . Looking at the r i s e of FMS discourse as a reaction to feminist gains i n the psychotherapeutic realm, and understanding feminist therapy as part of a psychological cooptation ( i . e . , professionalization) of feminist p o l i t i c a l responses to violence against women, I believe i t was a mistake for feminists, however w e l l -intentioned, to attempt to reform psychotherapy. Not only i s the structure of therapy problematic i n i t s i n d i v i d u a l i s t and d e p o l i t i c i z e d assumptions but i t s h i s t o r y i s horrendously oppressive (Caplan, 1987; Chesler, 1972; Foucault, 1965; Penfold & Walker, 1983). Therapy, whether approached as c l i e n t or therapist, has only served to increase the di v i s i o n s between women, p a r t i c u l a r l y along l i n e s of class and race. I f we are serious about women's l i b e r a t i o n and putting an end to men's violence against women then we must stop p r o f e s s i o n a l i z i n g feminism whether i t be i n academic psychology or professional psychotherapy. The only useful feminist engagement with psychology i s a c r i t i q u e of i t s oppressive foundations. In the face of men's increasingly aggressive l e g a l strategies, e s p e c i a l l y c a l l s for disclosure of counselling records i n sexual assault cases, and i n order to prevent further l i m i t a t i o n s on women's access to l e g a l redress, feminists must stand i n s o l i d a r i t y . This w i l l not be achieved from the i n d i v i d u a l professional o f f i c e s of therapists as the FMSF has very c l e a r l y demonstrated. Therapy i s not, and should never have been, a replacement for grassroots p o l i t i c a l organizing. I conclude by i n v i t i n g feminist therapists and t h e i r women c l i e n t s to put an end to the middle cl a s s professionalism that has divided us and instead to j o i n the grassroots movement. References A l c o f f , L. (1991). The problem of speaking for others. C u l t u r a l Critique. 20 (Winter), 5-32. Armstrong, L. (1994). Rocking the cradle of sexual p o l i t i c s . New York: Addison-Wesley. Baker-Miller, J. (1986). Toward a new psychology of women. Boston: Beacon Press. Bass, E., & Davis, L. (1988). The courage to heal. New York: Harper & Row. Bayin, A. (1993, September). Fal s e l y accused. HomeMakers Magazine. 44-52. Benhabib, S. (1992). Situating the s e l f : Gender. community and postmodernism i n contemporary e t h i c s . New York: Routledge. Bove, P.A. (1990). Discourse. In F. Len t r i c c h i a & T. McLaughlin (Eds.), C r i t i c a l terms f o r l i t e r a r y study. Chicago,IL: University of Chicago Press. Brodribb, S. (1992). Nothing mat(t)ers: A feminist c r i t i q u e of postmodernism. Toronto, Ont: James Lorimer & Co. Ltd.. Bruce, S. (1990). Modernity and fundamentalism: The new Chr i s t i a n r i g h t i n America. BJS. 41(4), 477-496 Butler, S. (1992, May). Connection, disconnection and s o c i a l change. Lecture given at the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada. Caplan, P.J. (1987). The myth of women's masochism. New York: Signet. Chesler, P. (1972). Women and madness. New York: Avon , Books. Ch r i s t i a n , B. (1990). The race for theory. In: G. Anzaldua (Ed.), Making face, making soul haciendo Caras. San Fran, CA: Aunt Lute Books Chomsky, N. (1996, March). Bringing the Third World Home Lecture given at the Queen Elizabeth Theater, Vancouver, B.C., Canada. Cockburn, A. (1995, March). Beat the d e v i l . The Nation. 299-300. Cockburn, L. (1996). How do you s p e l l backlash: F - a - l - s -m-e-m-o-r-y s-y-n-d-r-o-m-e. Herizons, (Winter), 24-27. Dant, T. (1991). Knowledge, ideology & discourse. New York: Routledge. Davis, A. (1983). Women, race & cla s s . New York: Vintage. Davis, M. (1986). Prisoners of the American dream. New York: Verso. Doe, J . (1991). How could t h i s happen? Coping with a f a l s e accusation of incest and rape. Issues i n Chi l d Abuse Accusations. 3(3). Ebert, T.L. (1991). Writing i n the p o l i t i c a l : Resistance (post)modernism. Legal Studies Forum, 15(4), 291-303. Ebert, T.L. (1993). Ludic feminism, the body, performance, and labor: Bringing materialism back into Feminist Cultural Studies. Cultural C r i t i q u e . Winter, 5-50. Ehrenreich, B. (1989). Fear of f a l l i n g : The inner l i f e of the middle cl a s s . New York: HarperCollins. Ehrenreich, B. (1995, Sept). Bitches and fags, oh my. The Progressive, p. 11. Ehrenreich, B. & English, D. (1978). For her own good: 150 years of expert advice to women. New York: Anchor Books. Erwin, L. (1984). Challenging feminism: The organized anti-feminist backlash. Resources for Feminist Research. 17(3), 147-149. Faludi, S. (1991). Backlash. New York: Crown. FMSF e-mail l i s t . Compiles l i s t s of radio and t e l e v i s i o n broadcasts relevant to FMS. PJF@saul.cis.upenn.edu FMSF Fact Sheet ( l e a f l e t ) . FMS Foundation, 3508 Market Sreet-suite 128, Philadelphia, PA, 19104. FMS Foundation Mission and Purpose ( l e a f l e t ) . FMS Foundation, 3508 Market Sreet-suite 128, Philadelphia, PA, 19104. "FMS Founders champion paedophilia" (1993). E d i t o r i a l i n Survivorship. 5 (3) . FMS Foundation Newsletters, Volume 1, 1992. FMS Foundation Newsletters, Volume 2, 1993. FMS Foundation Newsletters, Volume 3, 1994. FMS Foundation Newsletters, Volume 4, 1995. Foucault, M. (1965). Madness and c i v i l i z a t i o n (R. Howard Trans.). New York: Random House. Foucault, M. (1984). Nietzsche, genealogy, History. In P. Rabinow (Ed.), The Foucault reader. New York: Pantheon. Fraser, N. (1989). Unruly practices: Power, discourse, and gender i n contemporary s o c i a l theory. Minneapolis MN: Univ of Minnesota Press. Fraser, N., & Nicholson, L.J. (1990). So c i a l c r i t i c i s m without philosophy: An encounter between feminism and postmodernism. In L.J. Nicholson (Ed.), Feminism/Postmodernism (pp. 19-38). New York: Routledge. Gardner, R. (1987). The parental a l i e n a t i o n syndrome and the d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n between fabricated and genuine sex abuse. C r e s s k i l l , NJ: Creative Therapeutics. Gavey, N. (1989). Feminist poststructuralism and discourse analysis. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 13 459-475. 114 Harding, S. (1986). The science question i n feminism. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. Haraway, D. (1991). Simians, cyborgs, and women. New York: Routledge. Herman, E.S. (1996). The market attack on dissent. Z Magazine. March, 52-56. Herman, J.L. (1992). Trauma and recovery. New York: HarperCollins. hooks, b. (1984). Feminist theory: From margin to center. Boston: South End Press. Kihlstrom, J . . FMS Foundation Pamphlet. Lakeman, L. (1993). 99 Steps toward an end to violence against women. National Action Committee on the Status of Women, Toronto, Canada. Lather, P. (1991). Getting smart: Feminist research and pedagogy with/in the Postmodern. New York: Routledge. Levitas, R. (Ed.). (1986). The ideology of the New Right. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press. Lorde, A. (1984). S i s t e r outsider. Freedom, CA: The Crossing Press. Making an Informed Decision About Your Pregnancy (Pamphlet). Concerned Nurses f o r Patients-Rights Informed Consent-Ethics, 4705 West 6th Avenue, Vancouver, B.C. Mandel, M. (1989). The Charter of Rights and the l e g a l i z a t i o n of p o l i t i c s i n Canada. Toronto, Ont: Wall & Thompson. Martinez, E. (1991, July/August). W i l l i e Horton's gonna get your alma mater. Z Magazine. 126-130. Masson, J.M. (1992). The assault on truth. New York: HarperCollins. Mclntyre, S. (1993). Backlash against equality: The "tyranny" of the " p o l i t i c a l l y correct". M c G i l l Law Journal. 38(1), 1-63. Nicholson, L. (Ed.). (1990). Feminism/Postmodernism. New York: Routledge. Penfold, P.S., & Walker, G.A. (1983). Women and the ps y c h i a t r i c paradox. Montreal, PQ: Eden Press. Phelps, C. (1991). The second time farce: The Right's "New McCarthyism." Monthly Review. 43.(5), 39-57. Philp, M. (1985). Michel Foucault. In Q. Skinner (Ed.), The return of errand theory i n the human sciences (pp. 67-81). New York: Cambridge University Press. R. v. O'Connor (1995) 130 D.L.R. (4th) 235 R. v. Seabover (1991) 2 S.C.R. 577 Ross, A. (1995, October). Science backlash on technoskeptics. The Nation. 346-350. Schuman, J . & Galvez, M. (1996). A meta/multi-discursive reading of "f a l s e memory syndrome." Feminism & Psychology. 6(1), 7-29. Sel f a , L. & Maass, A. (1992). PC: What's behind the attack on p o l i t i c a l l y correct? The International S o c i a l i s t Organization. Chicago, IL: Bookmarks Sheppard, A.F. (1988). Evidence. Vancouver, Canada: Carswell. Smith, M.D. (1993). Language, law, and s o c i a l power: Seaboyer; Gayme v. R. and a c r i t i c a l theory of ideology. Univ Toronto Faculty Law Review. 51, 118-143. Valverde, M. (1991). As i f subjects existed: Analyzing s o c i a l discourses. Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology. 28(2), 173-187. V e l l a , S. (1992). False memory syndrome: The l a t e s t defence to childhood sexual abuse claims. Jurisfemme. 12(4), 1,3. Walby, S. (1990). Theorizing patriarchy. Cambridge, MA B a s i l Blackwell. Weedon, C. (1987). Feminist practise and p o s t s t r u c t u r a l i s t theory. New York: B a s i l Blackwell. APPENDIX A FMSF S c i e n t i f i c and Professional Advisory Board November 1, 1995 Aaron T. Beck, M.D., D.M.S. University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA Terence W. Campbell, Ph.D. C l i n i c a l and Forensic Psychology, S t e r l i n g Heights, MI Rosalind Cartwright, Ph.D. Rush Presbyterian St Lukes Medical Center, Chicago, IL Jean Chapman, Ph.D. University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI Loren Chapman, Ph.D. University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI Frederick C. Crews, Ph.D. University of C a l i f o r n i a Berkeley, CA Robyn M. Dawes, Ph.D. Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA David F. Dinges, Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania, The Ins t i t u t e of Pennsylvania Hospital, Philadelphia, PA Henry C. E l l i s , Ph.D. University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM Fred Fankel, M.B.Ch.B., D.P.M. Beth I s r a e l Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA George K. Ganaway, M.D. Emory University of Medicine, Atlanta, GA Martin Gardner, Author Hendersonville, NC Roche1 Gelman, Ph.D. University of C a l i f o r n i a , L.A., CA Henry Gleitman, Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 118 L i l a Gleitman, Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA Richard Green, M.D., J.D. Charing Cross Hospital, London David A. Halperin, M.D. Mount S i n a i School of Medicine, New York, NY Earnest Hilgard, Ph.D. Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA John Hochman, M.D. UCLA Medical School, L.A., CA David S. Holmes, Ph.D. University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS P h i l i p S. Holzman, Ph.D. Harvard University, Cambridge, MA John Kihlstrom, Ph.D. Yale University, New Haven, CT Harold L i e f , M.D. University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA Elizabeth Loftus, Ph.D. University of Washington, Seattle, WA Paul McHugh, M.D. John Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD Harold Merskey, D.M. University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada U l r i c Neisser, Ph.D. Emory University , Atlanta, GA Richard Ofshe, Ph.D. University of C a l i f o r n i a , Berkeley, CA Emily Carota Orne, B.A. University of Pennsylvania, The I n s t i t u t e of Pennsylvania Hospital, Philadelphia, PA Martin Orne, M.D., Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania, The I n s t i t u t e of Pennsylvania Hospital, Philadelphia, PA Loren Pankratz, Ph.D. Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland, OR Campbell Perry, Ph.D. Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada Michael A . Persinger, Ph.D. Laurentian University, Ontario, Canada August T. Piper, J r . , M.D. Seattle, WA Harrison Pope, J r . , M.D. Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, MA James Randi, Author and Magician Plantation, FL Henry L. Roediger, I I I , Ph.D. Rice University, Houston, TX Carolyn Saari, Ph.D. Loyola University, Chicago, IL Theodore Sarbin, Ph.D. University of C a l i f o r n i a , Santa Cruz, CA Thomas Sebeok, Ph.D. Indiana University, Bloomington, IN Loise Shoemaker, Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA Margaret Singer, Ph.D. University of C a l i f o r n i a , Berkeley, CA Ralph Slovenko, J.D., Ph.D. Wayne State University Law School, Detroit, MI Donald Spence, Ph.D. Robert Wood Johnson Medical Center, Piscataway, NJ 120 J e f f r e y V i c t o r , Ph.D. Jamestown Community College, Jamestown, NY H o l l i d a Wakefield, M.A. I n s t i t u t e of Psychological Therapies, N o r t h f i e l d , MN Louis Jolyon West, M.D. UCLA School of Medicine, L.A., CA 

Cite

Citation Scheme:

        

Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics

Share

Embed

Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                        
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            src="{[{embed.src}]}"
                            data-item="{[{embed.item}]}"
                            data-collection="{[{embed.collection}]}"
                            data-metadata="{[{embed.showMetadata}]}"
                            data-width="{[{embed.width}]}"
                            async >
                            </script>
                            </div>
                        
                    
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:
http://iiif.library.ubc.ca/presentation/dsp.831.1-0054099/manifest

Comment

Related Items