Title

Fear and Loathing in Mississippi: The Attack on Camp Sister Spirit

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1997

Department

Political Science, International Development, and International Affairs

Abstract

In 1993, the small rural community of Ovett, Miss., and a group of self-described radical lesbian feminists clashed over the establishment by the women of a feminist educational retreat known as Camp Sister Spirit. This dispute took the form of physical and psychological harassment of the women, wide-open public debate in the community, in the press, and on television, federal mediation efforts, and two lawsuits. This article analyzes this dispute using Mary Daly's seven patterns of the sado-ritual syndrome (Daly 1978). The analysis examines the ideological and moral standpoints of the participants, the issues of ''blaming the victim'' and scapegoating, the development of the conflict from a dispute between neighbors to the involvement of international media, national activists and the Clinton Administration, the transformation of the conflict from a political to legal dispute, the representations of the groups within the community and the media, the effect of public opinion on the dispute, and the politics of the media in the dispute.

Publication Title

Women & Politics

Volume

17

Issue

3

First Page

17

Last Page

39