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Book Review: ‘The Flipside of Feminism’

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By Mike Gray

The Flipside of Feminism: What Conservative Women Know—And Men Can’t Say — by Suzanne Venker and Phyllis Schlafly — WND Books — Hardcover — 2011 — ISBN 978-193507127-3 — 226 pages.

. . . no society can thrive—or survive—when half its members [i.e., women] believe they’re oppressed and the other half [i.e., men] are told there’s no reason for them to exist.

In The Flipside of Feminism, Suzanne Venker and Phyllis Schlafly document how for the last half century or so America’s women have been sold a bill of goods by the Liberal-Progressives.

The Lib-Progs devised and marketed—and through a compliant media industry continue to market—the demonstrably false idea that women can have it all, that is, raise healthy, well-adjusted children and enjoy a full-time career outside the home at the same time.

The hard and un-Progressive truth is that women can have it all, but not all at the same time. Biology and social inertia dictate that women, if they want to have those things, must achieve them sequentially: children when they’re young and outside careers when the kids are mature enough to handle being on their own most of the time. Venker and Schlafly believe that “multi-tasking” is a myth, an aspect of the junk science which pervades the thinking of Lib-Prog “researchers” (a term that’s too good for them, really) who, like the “global warming” alarmists, have a political agenda to push.

What we’re seeing here is the fallout from the “Great Society” programs enacted back in the ’60s, programs with the best of intentions and the worst of results. The mass migration of women into the workforce was not a spontaneous cultural development, as historians would have us believe, but an engineered one resulting from the unsubstantiated Liberal-Progressive belief that women and men are psychologically and sociologically identical and deal with life’s problems in the same way and with the same motivations.

The Lib-Prog solution to income disparities between men and women was the usual  “carrot-and-stick” approach—dangling “free” taxpayer money before women’s noses would make it more profitable for them not to have a bread-winning husband around, while subtly demonizing men as perpetual, unreliable deadbeats through the rigged court system. This campaign has been enormously successful, to the point where men are in the process of becoming nearly superfluous in family life.

As for those income disparities, the Lib-Prog mantra that men earn more than women do for the same work is pure myth, but one that the current Administration is happy to parrot. On average, women do less work than men in the workplace, and they like it that way. Part time employment gives them a chance to have a homelife and earn extra money at the same time; as for men, their jobs are almost always more dangerous or time-consuming. The most desirable homelife for men is one of loving peace and tranquility after a hard workday, coupled with the satisfaction that they’ve brought home the bacon. One last thing about salaries: As Venker and Schlafly note, the Federal Government defines a “working woman” as one who earns at least one dollar outside the home. Rigging statistical data like that will ensure that the Liberal-Progressive mantra “men earn more than women” will always be “true.”

Feminism crosses party lines at every point. Lib-Prog Republicans as well as Democrats have drunk the feminists’ Kool-Aid. For decades now they’ve bought into the “victimization” meme—you know, racial or gender discrimination is endemic to American society and we’ve gotta do something about it! Of course, “doing something about it” always entails an enlargement of governmental interference into places where the Constitution specifically forbids it to go:

The biggest chasm between feminists and conservatives is that feminists are pro-government and conservatives are not. Feminists do a lot of talking about wanting women’s independence and empowerment, but their policies [such as universal day care through Head Start and other federal programs] simply transfer women’s dependence on men to dependence on Uncle Sam.

One might assume these two views of government—feminist or conservative—would divide Democrats and Republicans. But the pervasive power feminists wield in our culture is such that Republicans don’t realize they, too, have internalized feminist assumptions and vocabulary.

. . . . The usual procedure of those on the Left is to highlight a victim group in order to appeal to Americans’ emotions, devise a government-financed plan to help the disadvantaged group, pretend the plan is a benefit for society, and give it sympathetic labeling.

Venker and Schlafly have just described the Liberal-Progressive modus operandi for most of the past century. Unfortunately, it works every time. There really is no “Party of No.”

When or if Lois Lane—a die-hard feminist, to be sure—ever does marry Clark Kent—a full-time worker, despite his super speed—do you seriously think a child born of that union would see very much of his parents? While Lois is chasing a story in Namibia and Clark is chasing a supervillain on the Moon, the kid will probably be in day care being raised by total strangers for the benefit of the political class, nursing a resentfulness against his absentee parents that will sooner or later manifest itself in an emotional collapse and/or aggression. When that happens, let’s just hope he hasn’t inherited his father’s super powers!

This review has only scratched the surface of what’s covered in The Flipside of Feminism. You can order it from here.

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