University of Michigan law professor Catharine MacKinnon, the surviving half of MacDworkin, gave a speech at Stanford University the other day about how every day is Sept. 11 for women in America (or should that be "Amerika"?). Noting that "the number of people who died at [the terrorists'] hands is the same as the number of women who die at men's hands–every year," MacKinnon asserted, "A kind of war is being fought, but there is no name for this war in which men are the aggressors and women the victims."
It's true that about 3,000 American women and girls are murdered every year (about 10% of them by other women). Of course, that number is dwarfed by the roughly 10,000 males who are also murdered every year, but never mind: "Just like terrorist attacks, acts of violence against women are carefully planned, targeted at civilians and driven by ideology." This is, of course, nuts. There may be a few woman-killers who are driven by misogyny, but MacKinnon's broader claim is akin to the notion that every interracial violent crime is part of a race war. This analogy brings to mind another point. Anyone who blamed African-Americans as a group for violent crimes committed by black perpetrators, or Arabs or Muslims as a group for radical Islamic terrorism, would be branded a bigot—and rightly so. Yet MacKinnon can say things like, "half of society is attacking the other half"—and it's "incisive" and "thought-provoking," according to one female law student who attended the talk.