American women out-vote, out-spend, and out-live their male counterparts. They enjoy an unrivaled array of lifestyle options.
But the fact remains, females have become a decidedly unhappy lot. As a National Bureau of Economic Research report explains, “As women have gained more freedom, more education, and more power, they have become less happy.”
How do we come to terms with this modern-day malady that has no name? The Flipside of Feminism, authored by Suzanne Venker and conservative icon Phyllis Schlafly, incisively diagnoses the problem, prescribes the common-sense cure, and above all, instills hope.
Think of it as a long-awaited reality check from your older, wiser sister.…
The advent of the feminine malaise can be tied to a historically unprecedented gerrymandering of gender roles, with its inevitable biological consequences. As journalist Anne Taylor Fleming once uttered in her maternal cri de coeur:
“I belong to the sisterhood of the infertile. I am a lonesome, babyless baby-boomer now completely consumed by the longing for a baby…I am tempted to roll down the window and shout, ‘Hey, hey, Gloria, Germaine, Kate. Tell us, how does it feel to have ended up without babies, children, flesh of your flesh. Was your ideology worth the empty womb?”
Over the past 30 years, American women have been swayed to believe they have been getting the short end of the stick at the hands of their patriarchal tormentors. Feminists “know it’s easy to get people to succumb to victimhood,” counsel Venker and Schlafly.
The process begins with women’s studies courses that parade themselves as “a training course for radical feminists in radical feminism.” Women’s magazines “are based on telling women their lives are too tough for them to handle and they should feel very sorry for themselves,” recounts former Ladies Home Journal editor Myrna Blyth.
The result is a hydra-headed social-political movement rooted in Marxist theory with a decidedly narcissistic twist – feminism is “inextricably linked to the individualist message,” reveals Dr. Jean Twenge in Generation Me.
The book’s juiciest revelations center around arch-feminist Betty Friedan and her childhood traumas. In Life So Far, Friedan reveals how her mother made her feel “messy, clumsy, inadequate, bad, naughty, ugly.” But rather than getting the psychological help she desperately needed, “It was easier for me to start the women’s movement than to change my own personal life,” Friedan incoherently boasts.
The specter of liberated women blaming men for their personal neuroses would become a leitmotif of American feminism. This pattern would soon evolve into a “full-scale assault on the American male,” as Venker and Schlafly put it.
In their chapter on The Expendable Male, the authors document the contemptuousness that defines modern feminism. New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd once wrote, “Now that women don’t need men to reproduce and refinance, the question is, will we keep you around?” And Jessica Bennett crowed in Newsweek how women will one day “rule the world.”
Venker and Schlafly end their adumbration of feminist misandry with this sober warning: “no society can thrive – or survive – when half its members believe they’re oppressed and the other half are told there is no reason for them to exist.”
For women accustomed to advancing their agenda by reflexively embracing their inner victim, The Flipside of Feminism’s prescription begins to resemble a 12-step program:
“Recognizing that feminism failed in its mission, that it is based on faulty assumptions and arguments, and that it drives a wedge between men and women and even among women, is the first step to recovery.”
And it’s up to sensible women to bring an end to it all:
“If change is going to come, it will have to come from women – they are the ones who changed the nature order of things. Moreover, men aren’t the ones who kvetch about their place in the world – not because they have it so great (contrary to feminist dogma), but because it’s not in their nature.”
For the die-hard ideologues, this may be the hard part:
“We must stop talking about women’s rights, women’s needs, women’s problems, and progress for women. We must stop talking about girl power and female empowerment, and about overturning a patriarchy that doesn’t exist. When we frame the debate in feminist lingo, we foster a war between the sexes. It’s time to end the war between the sexes.”
Over the past 30 years, feminism has sought to expunge from women the primal delights of conjugal partnership, of nurturing motherhood, and of familial constancy. Now, Suzanne Venker and Phyllis Schlafly are courageously calling on women to take a stand against feminism, or risk losing the goose that laid the golden egg.