PARIS — A feminist who is in a relationship with another woman is stirring controversy after stating in her book “The Lesbian Genius” that women should “eliminate men from their minds,” outlining that she personally no longer consumes entertainment created by men as it is “the extension of a system of domination.”
“It is not enough to help each other. We must, in our turn, eliminate them. Eliminate them from our minds, from our images, from our representations,” wrote Alice Coffin in her publication meant to praise the achievements of lesbians. “I no longer read men’s books. I no longer watch their films. I no longer listen to their music. At least I try.”
“The productions of men are the extension of a system of domination. They are the system. Art is an extension of the male imagination. They’ve already infested my mind. I protect myself by avoiding them,” she stated. “So let’s start. Later, they can come back.”
Coffin, who sits on the Council of Paris and is the co-founder of the Association of LGBT Journalists, the European Lesbian Conference and a coordinator of the feminist activist group La Barbe, states that one of the reasons she rejects movies created by men is because they objectify women.
“Following into a well-oiled mechanism created by the Catholic state, the movie industry turned women into objects to massacre, while still putting them on the highest of pedestal,” she writes in her book, according to Media, Entertainment and Arts Worldwide (MEAWW). “Be beautiful and shut up. Be beautiful and I rape you. Be beautiful, you’re going to die. This is the movie industry.”
The feminist site Ovarit states that Coffin once said that not being married to a man “protect[s] her from marital rape and violence.”
“What I am criticized for — and this is what I want to show in the book — is that I dare to point out men, their privileges, and refuse all this discourse of complementarity between men and women,” Coffin told Archhyde.
Her remarks have erupted in controversy, with some sympathizing with her sentiments regarding male “domination” and the patriarchy — and giving her book a five-star rating — and others stating that Coffin’s feminism goes too far by nixing men from their lives.
“Alice Coffin shows very well how lesbians are invisible, even in the language and the use that one makes of it. It demonstrates the extent to which male domination is exercised at all levels and in all sectors,” one reviewer wrote. “How to rebalance things? The author has no quick fix. It is a daily struggle that every woman must lead and that men must learn to support.”
“I know women who have taken a similar stance, and will no longer consume books, films or songs authored by men. Their general stance is that women’s contributions to the arts have been on the fringes for long enough as it is, and that there are plenty of men who sidestep women’s contribution to the arts, deeming it as ‘other,'” also explained Irish Times reporter Tanya Sweeney. “But this is not the way to redress the balance.”
“It’s one thing to make a concerted move to explore culture by women (or people of color, or people with disability, or anyone who feels marginalized by the mainstream cultural canon); quite another to say that you’re going to do so while actively ignoring a whole other cohort of people,” she opined.
“Trust me, there are a few men I’d love to, as Coffin puts it, eliminate from my mind. I think of all the energy I spent on bad dates, badder boyfriends and unrequited crushes, and wish I’d not bothered and saved my bandwidth for something else. But men and women need each other, and not just for watching Netflix,” Sweeney said. “And one’s contribution to the arts and letters is not ‘lesser’ than the other’s.”
The Bible states that God created the woman for the man, as the two sexes complement each other, a doctrine in Christianity known as complementarianism.
1 Corinthians 11:7-12 teaches that man “is the image and glory of God, but the woman is the glory of the man. For the man is not of the woman but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman but the woman for the man. For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels. Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord. For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman, but all things of God.”
It also outlines that marriage is a picture of Christ and the Church, and that husbands and wives are to love each other accordingly.
“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the Church and gave himself for it, that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that He might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish,” Ephesians 5 reads.
“So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh, but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the Church, for we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones.”
“For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the Church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself, and the wife see that she reverence her husband.”