Tammy Bruce says she defected from the feminist movement after realizing the agenda had become close-minded and disingenuous to the point of fascism. Radio personality and author of two bestsellers, “The Death of Right and Wrong” and “The New Thought Police,” Bruce gave a speech at Philips Autograph Library on Tuesday, Mar. 31, reflecting on how she has gone from being labeled a radical leftist to a neo-conservative, without ever changing her Democratic registration or her positions on the issues.
Bruce was President of the Los Angeles chapter of the National Organization for Women in the late 1980’s, a time when moral activists constantly camped outside of abortion clinics to harass women and block their entry. Bruce said that while she is “all for persuasion on the public level,” she resolved to defend women’s freedom of choice against what she views as bullying mob tactics. Bruce helped refine a method of counterdemonstration, directing her activists to arrive at the clinics before the prolifers and clear a path for women to enter safely.
Bruce was proud of standing up for her principles, but said the other leaders of NOW became suspicious of her success in recruiting men, whom the feminists seemed to view as enemies. An avowed lesbian, Bruce explained she views feminism as the effort to become “liberated with men, not from them,” and welcomes male support.
Bruce recalled with shame a time when her feminist cadre persuaded her to act against her better judgment. She recalled learning of an abortionist whose patients were repeatedly hemorrhaging and dying on his table. Bruce wanted to go public with the charges to protect women from harm, but she was told to keep silent in order to avoid giving the prolifers ammunition for their argument.
“Feminism should be about improving women’s lives, not about politics,” Bruce said. She expressed regret over her silence, but said it was not the last time she felt pressured to compromise her beliefs for the supposed good of the whole. “The left is full of non-conformists, but you’d better conform,” Bruce remarked. “The hardest thing is being shunned, but I’ve finally reached the point where I don’t care. I’m not afraid to stand alone.”
Bruce said that liberals are often hypocritical because they only speak out when it suits their interests. She complained that when OJ Simpson was tried for the murder of his ex-wife, whom he had allegedly battered repeatedly, the left missed a valuable opportunity to point out the consequences of ignoring domestic violence, instead focusing on racial issues.
She said the same phenomenon can be seen in the case of Martha Stewart, a successful woman whom the liberals refuse to defend because she represents big business.
The speech’s message was one of individual empowerment. Bruce called on women and minorities to stop perpetuating their plight by positioning themselves as victims. She said that the liberal elite has a stake in maintaining the status quo, “rubbing salt into old wounds.” She said that while bias and discrimination will always exist, ultimately it is within the power of each individual to form their own beliefs and achieve success on their own terms.
Tammy Bruce has a third book in progress and her radio show recently began in national syndication.