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


Over the past 20 years feminism has clearly altered popular consciousness about sexual abuse and record numbers of women have come forward to expose the men who sexually assaulted them. It is in this context that the notion of false memory syndrome (FMS) has arisen signifying a debate about the scientific validity of repression and memory of sexual abuse. In order to challenge the notion of FMS, which I argue in part of a right wing attack against feminism, and particularly in the psychotherapeutic realm, I critically 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 political and legal strategy to deny women's allegations of sexual abuse against powerful white men. I argue further that this movement employs rhetoric and organizing tactics that are consistent with neoconservative movements more generally.

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