- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 6, 2011

Culture challenge of the week: feminism

Are women happier than they were 30 years ago?

They ought to be, according to the feminist blueprint.

But they’re not.

An excellent new book, “The Flipside of Feminism,” explains why. Written by Phyllis Schlafly, the icon of conservative women, and her niece Suzanne Venker, this witty and fast-reading book dismantles the myth of feminism and prescribes a “new road map” for women’s happiness.

It was my awesome privilege to meet Mrs. Schlafly for the first time when I was an impressionable 16-year-old. My mother took me to an Eagle Forum event when the feminists and the media were assaulting the family and freedom with the socialist, so-called “Equal Rights Amendment.” She inspired me to commit my own life to working to protect families, freedom and our rights to practice our faith. Some 30 years later, I had the privilege of taking my own 16-year-old daughter to an Eagle Forum event that Mrs. Schlafly led — and I’m so thankful to say that she has also been inspired to protect timeless values, too.

I’ve just given a copy of “The Flipside of Feminism” to my daughter to help arm her with the facts and ammunition to fight the lies of the modern feminist movement. With devastating thoroughness, the authors unpack the many reasons why so few women these days are willing to claim the label “feminist.” But first, Mrs. Schlafly and Mrs. Venker debunk the notion that modern feminism is all about equality. “Feminism” is nothing more than “the female left,” driven to impose a liberal/radical agenda on families, businesses and other institutions.

Second, the feminist promise that women could be just like men and enjoy everything men typically do — like casual sex, long hours at work, less family time — proved empty. Heartache, broken relationships, failed marriages, sexually transmitted diseases, abortion, and skyrocketing rates of emotionally wounded children have been the real legacy of feminism. It turns out — no surprise — that human nature cannot be repealed, overturned by judicial fiat, or reshaped by media messages.

The research is clear: Women want better. The American woman wants to be married; to care for her own children, instead of sending them to day care; and prefers to work part time rather than the long hours of C-suite executives. (According to the Pew Research Center, almost ⅔ of working mothers with children under 17 say they would prefer part-time work — a significant jump in just the past 10 years.)

How to save your family by rejecting “feminism” [and embracing womanhood]

It’s not too late to change our future. These marvelous and wise authors encourage women, especially conservative women, to pursue a way forward, a future “when women don’t need to define themselves using feminism as a benchmark.”

How to begin? First, read “The Flipside of Feminism.” Share a copy with your friends, sisters, daughters, pastors and children’s teachers. Discuss the book with the men in your life — the feminists’ attempt to override human nature has been confusing for men, too.

Second, recognize where, in your own life, you have unwittingly assumed the victimized attitudes of feminist leaders — and dump those sentiments overboard.

Life is what we make of it. Embrace the goodness in your life and move forward to overcome the difficulties that are a natural part of daily life. Mrs. Schlafly and Mrs. Venker have set up a terrific website to give you both the inspiration and tools to combat the constant attacks designed to get you down: www.theflipsideoffeminism.com

In their closing, the authors remind women that, “even Abraham Lincoln said most folks are only as happy as they make up their minds to be. For women, the answer lies in our decision to be satisfied.”

Rebecca Hagelin can be reached at [email protected]

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