First the hate-mail:

T.D. writes:

“Who are you guys? What do you do? I don’t believe your mission and I don’t like your message. I am a true ‘independent’ woman. I’m 34, former Marine sergeant, business owner. I’ve been self-guided all of my life because my Navy father abandoned my mother and myself in Vietmnm. Hardship has given me a strong back and a keen eye. That’s why I think that you guys are fake in your message of promoting ‘independent’ thought in women. I smell ‘conservative values.’ I don’t have anything against it; just be honest with your message.”

We’re trying to be honest, T.D.–and of course we have to hand you kudos for overcoming a rough childhood, choosing to serve your country in the military, and having the gumption to run your own business. You’re the kind of woman we like. Trouble is, the feminist movement–the movement for equal treatment of and equal opportunity for women–has been coopted by the radical left, which pushes an agenda of victimhood and government interference in spheres where we think women can take care of themselves. Furthermore, many Democratic politicians of both sexes aggressively court the rad-fems and have bought into their agenda. That’s why we at the IWF seem “conservative” by comparison. Our membership, however, includes principled Democrats as well as Republicans, libertarians as well as social conservatives.

Now for “Michael”:
“You people disgust me. Go live in your fat-cat houses and forget the perception of life that you have. Young women forced into coercive sexual acts and long hours of daily labor (10+ hours usually) make your clothes. Be proud of your elite lives, but remember this we are all born into this world as insignificant helpless children, and we will all die in this world in the same manner. Use the time of your lives when you can help people to help people, not to justify the lives you live that are so much more elaborate and privileged than most women in this world. Do not forget that your own mother’s hadn’t the right to vote. Why change the progress that feminism has brought us. You are just another mouthpiece of the elite who intend global domination.”

Ah, would that I owned a “fat-cat” house instead of my modest quarters two blocks away from Washington, D.C.’s largest cluster of housing projects. Oh for an “elite” life! And my mother did too have the right to vote! She still does, for that matter. Seriously, Michael, I agree that America has the highest standard of living in the world, and I count myself lucky to be an American. We all have an obligation to help the less fortunate, which is why we at the IWF are proud of our State Department grant to help train Iraqi women for leadership positions (see J.B.’s letter above). But we think its the radical-left feminists, not us, who represent the “elite”; they want to run our lives for us because they’re our intellectual betters.

Now for the love-mail. I’ll start with “Sarah”:

“I must tell you that “Kerry’s Pumpkin Spice Assault Rifle” [Sept. 28] is the funniest, funniest headline I have ever seen. EVER. Thanks so much for the laugh, and for all the great work you do. Oh, I am still laughing half an hour later.”

And I thought no one could top “Headless Body Found in Topless Bar”! Aren’t you sweet? And for more on pumpkin spice, do read The Other Charlotte’s cover story on  Teresa for the American Spectator, “Let Them Eat Pumpkin Spice Cookies,” on the IWF home page.

And A.R writes:

“I’m a young woman beginning my freshmen year at college, and already I am bombarded with hate speech against males and masculinity. What can I do to protect myself from bigoted indoctrination and protect my male friends from gender biogtry? And what is the Independent Women’s Forum doing in correlation with men’s equal-rights issues, and combating misandry? (The male version of misogyny, it means to hate males.) Radical feminists have perverted the ideology of gender equality and made it a sordid notion. What can I do to change that and protect my male friends and their masculinity from hate-speech?”

One thing you can do, A.R. is to become a student member of the IWF. We’ll help you find campus speakers and boost your morale and that of your guy-friends in many ways.

I’ll end with this valentine from reader A.L.:

“I just discovered IWF, and I think it is great! One request: Please add an RSS feed for the blog. (Or publish the location if there is already one.) Thanks!

I don’t know whether we have an RSS feed, but I’ll pass on the tip to our webmeister, Travis McSherley. Thanks for the heads-up, A.L.