Feminist Manifesto | Mina Loy, 1914

Feminist Manifesto | Mina Loy, 1914
Mina Loy

‘Put yourself at 
your own disposal.
Live life at first hand. 
Make the world your salon.’

Mina Loy

Mina Loy, Feminist Manifesto, 1914  

( In 1914, Loy penned her polemical Feminist Manifesto, at least partly in response to the misogyny of Futurism’s founder, F. T. Marinetti.)

Women if you want to realize yourselves-you are on the eve of a devastating psychological upheaval-all your pet illusions must be unmasked—the lies of centuries have got to go—are you prepared for the Wrench–? There is no half-measure—NO scratching on the surface of the rubbish heap of tradition, will bring about Reform, the only method is Absolute Demolition

Cease to place your confidence in economic legislation, vise-crusades & uniform education-you are glossing over Reality.

Professional & commercial careers are opening up for you
— Is that all you want?

And if you honestly desire to find your level without prejudice—be Brave & deny at the outset—that pathetic clap-trap war cry Woman is the equal of man-
She is NOT

The man who lives a life in which his activities conform to a social code which is protectorate of the feminine element—–is no longer masculine

The women who adapt themselves to a theoretical valuation of their sex as a relative impersonality, are not yet Feminine

Leave off looking to men to find out what you are not —–seek within yourselves to find out what you are

As conditions are at present constituted—you have the choice between Parasitism, & Prostitution —-or Negation

Men & women are enemies, with the enmity of the exploited for the parasite, the parasite for the exploited—at present they re at the mercy of the advantage that each can take the others sexual dependence—-. The only point at which the interests of the sexes merge—is the sexual embrace.

The first illusion it is to your interest to demolish of women into two classes the mistress, & the mother every well-balanced & developed woman knows that is not true. Nature has endowed the complete functions—-there are no restrictions on the woman who is so incompletely evolved as to be un-self-conscious in sex, will prove a restrictive influence on the temperamental expansion of the next generation; the woman who is a poor mistress will be an incompetent mother—an inferior mentality—& will enjoy an inadequate apprehension of Life.

To obtain results you must make sacrifices & the first and greatest sacrifice you have to make is of your ”virtue”

^ Mina Loy and Peggy Guggenheim, Paris, 1920s

The fictitious value of a woman as identified with her physical purity—is too easy to stand-by—rendering her lethargic in the acquisition of intrinsic merits of character by which she could obtain a concrete value—-therefore, the fist self-enforced law for the female sex, as a protection of the man made bogey of virtue—which is the principal instrument of her subjection, would be the unconditional surgical destruction of virginity through-out the female population at puberty—-.

The value of man is assessed entirely according to his use or interest to the community, the value of woman depends entirely on chance, her success or in success in maneuvering a man into taking the life-long responsibility of her—

The advantages of marriage are too ridiculously ample—
Compared to all other trades—for under modern conditions a woman can accept preposterously luxurious support from a man (with-out the return of an sort—even offspring)—as a thank offering for her virginity.

The woman who has not succeeded in striking that advantageous bargin—-is prohibited from any but surreptitious re-action to Life-stimuli—-&entirely debarred maternity.
Every woman has a right to maternity—

Every woman of superior intelligence should realize her race-responsibility, in producing children in adequate proportion to the unfit or degenerate members of her sex—

Each child of a superior woman should be the result f a definite period of psychic development in her life—-& and not necessarily of a possible irksome & outworn continuance of an alliance—spontaneously adapted for vital creation n the beginning but not necessarily harmoniously balanced as evolution.

For the harmony of race, each individual should be the expression of an easy & ample interpenetration of th male & female temperaments—free of stress
Woman must become more responsible for the child than man—
Woman must destroy in themselves, the desire to be loved—

The feeling that it is a personal insult when a man transfers his attention from her to another woman

The desire for comfortable protection instead of an intelligent curiosity & courage in meeting & resisting the pressure of life sex or so called love must be reduced to its initial element, honour, grief, sentimentality, pride and & consequently jealousy must be detached from it.

Woman for her happiness must retain her deceptive fragility of appearance, combined with indomitable will, irreducible courage, & abundant health the outcome of sound nerves—

Another great illusion is that woman must use all her introspective and clear-sightedness & unbiased bravery to destroy—for the sake of her self respect is the impurity of sex the realization in defiance of superstition that there is nothing impure in sex—except in the mental attitude to it—will constitute an incalculable & wider social regeneration than it is possible for our generation to imagine.

Mina Loy

Mina Loy

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