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The Flipside of Feminism: What Conservative Women Know—and Men Can't Say

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What if everything you've been told about women in America is wrong? What if what your college professors taught you - along with television, movies, books, magazine articles, and even news reports - have all been lies or distortions?Since the 1960s, American feminists have set themselves up as the arbiters of all things female. Their policies have dominated the social and What if everything you've been told about women in America is wrong? What if what your college professors taught you - along with television, movies, books, magazine articles, and even news reports - have all been lies or distortions?Since the 1960s, American feminists have set themselves up as the arbiters of all things female. Their policies have dominated the social and political landscape. The "spin sisters" in the media (aptly named by Myrna Blyth in her book of the same name) and their cohorts in academia are committed feminists. Consequently, everything Americans know — or think they know — about marriage, kids, sex, education, politics, gender roles, and work/family balance, has been filtered through a left-wing lens.But what if conservative women are in the best position to empower American women? Forty years have passed since the so-called women's movement claimed to liberate women from preconceived notions of what it means to be female — and the results are in. The latest statistics from the National Bureau of Economic Research show that as women have gained more freedom, more education, and more power, they have become less happy.Enough, say Suzanne Venker, an emerging young author, and veteran warrior Phyllis Schlafly. It's time to liberate America from feminism's dead-end road. Cast off the ideology that preaches faux empowerment and liberation from men and marriage. While modern women enjoy unprecedented freedom and opportunities, Venker and Schlafly argue that this progress is not the result of feminism.Women's progress has been a natural evolution - due in large part to men's contributions. American men are not a patriarchal bunch, as feminists claim. They have, in fact, aided women's progress. And like women, they have been just as harmed by the feminist movement.In The Flipside of Feminism, Venker and Schlafly provide readers with a new view of women in America — one that runs counter to what Americans have been besieged with for decades. Their book demonstrates that conservative women are, in fact, the most liberated women in America and the folks to whom young people should be turning for advice. Their confident and rational approach to the battle of the sexes is precisely what America needs.


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What if everything you've been told about women in America is wrong? What if what your college professors taught you - along with television, movies, books, magazine articles, and even news reports - have all been lies or distortions?Since the 1960s, American feminists have set themselves up as the arbiters of all things female. Their policies have dominated the social and What if everything you've been told about women in America is wrong? What if what your college professors taught you - along with television, movies, books, magazine articles, and even news reports - have all been lies or distortions?Since the 1960s, American feminists have set themselves up as the arbiters of all things female. Their policies have dominated the social and political landscape. The "spin sisters" in the media (aptly named by Myrna Blyth in her book of the same name) and their cohorts in academia are committed feminists. Consequently, everything Americans know — or think they know — about marriage, kids, sex, education, politics, gender roles, and work/family balance, has been filtered through a left-wing lens.But what if conservative women are in the best position to empower American women? Forty years have passed since the so-called women's movement claimed to liberate women from preconceived notions of what it means to be female — and the results are in. The latest statistics from the National Bureau of Economic Research show that as women have gained more freedom, more education, and more power, they have become less happy.Enough, say Suzanne Venker, an emerging young author, and veteran warrior Phyllis Schlafly. It's time to liberate America from feminism's dead-end road. Cast off the ideology that preaches faux empowerment and liberation from men and marriage. While modern women enjoy unprecedented freedom and opportunities, Venker and Schlafly argue that this progress is not the result of feminism.Women's progress has been a natural evolution - due in large part to men's contributions. American men are not a patriarchal bunch, as feminists claim. They have, in fact, aided women's progress. And like women, they have been just as harmed by the feminist movement.In The Flipside of Feminism, Venker and Schlafly provide readers with a new view of women in America — one that runs counter to what Americans have been besieged with for decades. Their book demonstrates that conservative women are, in fact, the most liberated women in America and the folks to whom young people should be turning for advice. Their confident and rational approach to the battle of the sexes is precisely what America needs.

30 review for The Flipside of Feminism: What Conservative Women Know—and Men Can't Say

  1. 4 out of 5

    Nataliya

    This book inspired me to create a new bookshelf - "syphilis of literature." I guess it was good for something. I haven't read it, and I never will. But as I scrolled down the book page in horrified disbelief, I came upon a review that provided enough quotes for me to form a judgment on this... thing. "Women should be thanking ‘the men who came before us’ — not feminists." Actually, can we just thank everyone? Would that be so bad? ****** "Women in previous generations simply didn’t have th This book inspired me to create a new bookshelf - "syphilis of literature." I guess it was good for something. I haven't read it, and I never will. But as I scrolled down the book page in horrified disbelief, I came upon a review that provided enough quotes for me to form a judgment on this... thing. "Women should be thanking ‘the men who came before us’ — not feminists." Actually, can we just thank everyone? Would that be so bad? ****** "Women in previous generations simply didn’t have the time, or the inclination, to focus so obsessively on their identities. They also weren’t encouraged to sleep around, get divorced, put their children in day care, turn to Uncle Sam as provider, or belittle men. That is strictly leftist territory—and it’s been the worst thing that ever happened to this nation." They also weren't encouraged to vote, own property, report abuse, say 'no', handle money, open credit without husband's permission, or get higher education. But let's just make sure we scare people enough by bringing the dreaded leftist (or, as another quote states, Marxist) word here just to hammer into 'good American' brains that feminism is EEEEEEEVILLLLL!!!! ****** "Feminists do a lot of talking about wanting women’s independence and empowerment, but their policies simply transfer women’s dependence on men to dependence on Uncle Sam." Because every woman who is not properly attached to the man (who, by the way, should be able to support her and children on a single income, as another quote states) is on welfare. No other options exist. Because 'women's dependence' is a fact, and the real question is only who she depends on. Independent women clearly do not exist. Or at least that's what I gather from the quotes from this book and the happy reviews of it. -------------- I propose an alternative way of looking at things (and the one that all sane people already use) - women and men should be treated equally; some women will chose to pursue careers and other will choose to focus on motherhood and homemaking; and others will do both. And women and men will be free to choose for themselves which path they want, without someone telling them what to do, while living in the world where being a feminist does not automatically earn you a label of a man-hater. and we will stop writing idiotic books. ------ Now I guess it's time for me to shut up about this vitriolic bit of nonsense also known as a book and go back to my goal in life that is "Kinder, Küche, Kirche" (children, kitchen, church). Because I should not want any other options.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Debbie

    Author Suzanne Venker dares to express the unspoken thoughts of many women (and perhaps an equally large number of men) who have been indoctrinated by the philosophies of modern feminism that something is wrong with the way we view the roles of men and women. What's wrong with feminism? Venker dares to tell it like it is. She gives compelling examples from both sides of the debate using their own arguments to show us how feminism has messed up society and our happiness as men and women by tellin Author Suzanne Venker dares to express the unspoken thoughts of many women (and perhaps an equally large number of men) who have been indoctrinated by the philosophies of modern feminism that something is wrong with the way we view the roles of men and women. What's wrong with feminism? Venker dares to tell it like it is. She gives compelling examples from both sides of the debate using their own arguments to show us how feminism has messed up society and our happiness as men and women by telling us our traditional roles don't matter. Feminism insists women are just as capable of being in the workforce as are men and denies the basic fact that children are happier and better adjusted when they have their mothers at home. Venker masterfully lays out the agenda of feminists and shows how government has taken the place of husbands as providers of families in order to keep more mothers in the workforce. The result has been devastating to children, mothers and the fathers who have been cast aside by feminists who view them as disposable. The women's movement and modern feminism is nearly 50 years old and what has it gotten us? Higher divorce rates thanks in part to no-fault divorce laws, single motherhood at an unprecedented rate of 40%, and sexually transmitted diseases at an all-time high. Meanwhile, abortion on demand has resulted in the destruction of 53 million lives. That's one-sixth the population of the United States that have been terminated since Roe v. Wade became the law of the land in 1973. To put it into perspective, that's the current combined populations of Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Oregon, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming. Something is wrong with a society that says it's more important for women to continue to live their lives for themselves than to bring new life into the world. I was raised with the notion that women are equal to men and have just as many opportunities available to them. However, no one told me about the deeply-rooted mother bear that lurked inside me making me feel as if my heart had been ripped out each morning when I'd drop my toddler daughter off at the day care center only to return 8 or more hours later and see her still crying and alone in the corner. My protective instinct wanted to whisk her away from the child care professionals who insisted she only needed to be "broken in" and everything would be fine. When her brother was born, my biology told me my baby needed to nurse, and sitting in a bathroom stall trying to express milk, while he was miles away with another mother being paid to care for him, wasn't going to cut it. I was convinced my children needed me home more than the Navy needed me, so I resigned my commission with all the perks and benefits of being an officer, in order to stay home and change diapers, coax children to sleep at naptime and be there when they awoke. This book has challenged me to re-think some of my long-held beliefs that women and men can and should do the same things. My own experiences as a wife and mother of many children, along with recent scientific studies that show the significant differences in male and female physiological and psychological make-up, tells me the differences between males and females are far greater than our sexual organs. This is an important book that should be read by all parents and educators.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Annita

    only have read the first two chapters. book was recommended by a friend who suggested it might "set me free" and help me understand myself and my role as a woman. ahem. So far my major take-away is blech- after reading the following passage, "According to a 2007 report from the National Bureau of Ecnomic Research, 'As women have gained more freedom, more education, and more power, they have become LESS happy.'" I'm not sure I can read much more of this.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I can't, well I won't, even give this any stars or a rating. This book is pure vitriol and I know that the authors (or really author as I assume Schlafly had A LOT to do with the content) will just call me another Elite Feminist. Basically this book is pro-men all the way and pro women staying in the home and being a mom. Fine if that's your thing of wanting to be a homemaker and raise children no one is chiding you for it, really. But what Venker and Schlafly (related) present is that the Femin I can't, well I won't, even give this any stars or a rating. This book is pure vitriol and I know that the authors (or really author as I assume Schlafly had A LOT to do with the content) will just call me another Elite Feminist. Basically this book is pro-men all the way and pro women staying in the home and being a mom. Fine if that's your thing of wanting to be a homemaker and raise children no one is chiding you for it, really. But what Venker and Schlafly (related) present is that the Feminists (evil incarnate apparently) do not want you to enjoy your life liberties in any way. What really summed it up was the faux Ten Commandments of Feminism in the appendices. Basically they promote feminism as being all about having sex with whomever whenever you want, no believing in the "values" of the home, demeaning women and making them feel bad for whatever choices they make, aborting fetuses at every chance they can get, and have no moral fiber in their beings. Aye! And you know this is a far right book when they note that Fox News is one of the few places to get fair and unbiased information. It always amazes me how some are always ready to attack one side and then claim themselves the higher being. I am not into labels, really. You can be conservative on some things and liberal in others. You can be hardcore whatever. But in life it seems that there should be the basic equality of respect. I respect your opinions and you respect mine, but once it starts impeding on civil liberties it must come to an end and we need to reach a compromise. Schlafly and Venker do not feel that there is a compromise. They view feminists as evil period. Anyone who may even have an inkling towards women working full-time or not being in the home or not 'servicing' their husband are feminists, hands down. And apparently feminism is an epidemic that needs to be stopped. I was shocked I got through this book as it was pissing me off more and more as I flipped the pages. And don't even get me started on the sex chapters. I recommend reading this just to learn about their reasoning for stopping ERA from going to pass and learning what they think a women's role is (being subservient to men as there is 'scientific evidence' that women are just not as good as men). Well screw that! We are different, yes, but we are not less than and I refuse to support a movement that says I am and should be happy about it and embrace it.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Logan

    So many women, whether they know it or not, have bought feminism's lie that since the dawn of time women have been "victims of the family institution" and that in the 1960s heroes like Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem came along to free women from this oppression by unlocking the doors to career, independence from men and family, and supposed self-fulfillment. Suzanne Venker makes a good case against this lie, albeit a case separated from Christian belief. Her thrust is, "Feminism has told you t So many women, whether they know it or not, have bought feminism's lie that since the dawn of time women have been "victims of the family institution" and that in the 1960s heroes like Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem came along to free women from this oppression by unlocking the doors to career, independence from men and family, and supposed self-fulfillment. Suzanne Venker makes a good case against this lie, albeit a case separated from Christian belief. Her thrust is, "Feminism has told you that forgetting about motherhood and marriage--or at least delaying it--and pursuing a career will make you happy. But I'm here to tell you that this is a bald-faced lie and that you will actually be happier planning for motherhood rather than planning for a career, and here are the statistics to prove it." I wholeheartedly embrace this message, but I would recommend to Christian women reading this book that they take it with a grain of salt: the end goal is not to be a happy woman just to be happy, but to be happy in God, who ordained the family and men’s and women’s roles therein. While it seems that Suzanne's message to women—plan for motherhood more than you plan for a career, marry a hard-working man who can support you and the children on one income, do not demand the toys that two-income households have the resources to purchase, etc.—may have been very easy to apply a generation or two ago when young women who weren’t pursuing a career could still be respected by their peers and young men who failed to grow up and take responsibility were not, Suzanne somewhat succeeds at pointing out that the situation isn’t as dire as some would (or would like to) believe—most women, when pressed, would prefer to stay at home and respect other women who make this choice, and most men, contrary to modern feminist notions, are not complete idiots. ***QUOTES*** ON MODERN WOMEN: Many modern women, influenced by feminism more than they know, are "guiltridden, stressed out, and saddled with a psychological need to prove [their] importance in the world." (Yup, you know the type.) ON WOMEN'S MAGAZINES: “Women’s magazines, a nearly $7 billion-a-year business, are based on telling women their lives are too tough for them to handle and they should feel very sorry for themselves. This distorted vision of your life is absolutely crazy.” ON MARXISM AND FEMINISM: "Many people don’t realize that the entire women’s movement was predicated on a Marxist view of the world. Feminism is a branch of socialism, or collectivism, which draws on a sociopolitical movement that attempts to create a stateless society in which policy decisions are pursued in the (supposed) best interest of society. Feminism, like communism, depends on hypothesizing an oppressed class." ON BETTY FRIEDAN AND OTHER FIGURES OF SECOND WAVE FEMINISM: "Betty Friedan was...afflicted with family problems. She wrote in her autobiography, Life so Far, that no matter what she did, her mother made her feel “messy, clumsy, inadequate, bad, naughty, ugly.” Friedan spent years in psychoanalysis “talking endlessly about how I hated my mother and how she had killed my father.” “All mothers should be drowned at birth,” she used to say...It is very sad that these women had painful upbringings and were haunted by them throughout their lives—we do not mean to minimize it. But that doesn’t mean—it can’t mean—that society should be turned upside down to accommodate their pain." ON FEMINISM’S FALSE CLAIM OF OPENING UP THE LABOR FORCE TO WOMEN: “Even conservative women believe the mass exodus of mothers from the home has been the ‘consequence of the great feminist revolution that stormed the barricades of the patriarchy and won a glorious victory.’ This never happened. The most important factor that influenced the significant shift of American women into the workplace is the invention of laborsaving devices. The folks to whom women are truly indebted are inventors Thomas Edison (electric lights), Elias Howe (the sewing machine), Clarence Birdseye (the process for frozen foods), and Henry Ford (the automobile). Technology and the mechanization of housework—such as the washing machine, dryer, dishwasher, and vacuum cleaner—allowed women to turn their attention away from household duties…It was the contributions of men that gave women the time to work outside the home in record numbers. Women should be thanking ‘the men who came before us’—not feminists.” ON FEMINISTS’ CLAIM OF THE VICTIMIZATION OF WOMEN: “‘It would be hard to find a single example in history in which a group that casts more than 50 percent of the vote got away with calling itself the victim’…Women in previous generations simply didn’t have the time, or the inclination, to focus so obsessively on their identities. They also weren’t encouraged to sleep around, get divorced, put their children in day care, turn to Uncle Sam as provider, or belittle men. That is strictly leftist territory—and it’s been the worst thing that ever happened to this nation.” ON EAT, PRAY, LOVE: “the most successful of all divorce memoirs is the very popular book (and movie), Eat, Pray, Love, in which the author, Elizabeth Gilbert, recounts her painful divorce and personal discovery during a year-long romp around the globe. All these books shed light on an extraordinary modern phenomenon: a deep-seated suspicion of marriage as a viable social institution.” ON MARRIAGE: “The irony of the ‘finding oneself’ argument is that it is marriage—not the single life—that allows people to discover who they are. By being accountable to another person, a spouse learns what he or she is capable of. Only by making sacrifices can we grow as individuals.” ON THE EXPERTS ON MOTHERHOOD: “American women have been getting an earful about motherhood from those who know the least about it!” ON DUAL-INCOME FAMILIES: “Today, the average home has 38 percent more square footage; kids have their own rooms; each member of the family owns his own cell phone and iPod; televisions are in many rooms; toys abound; and a trip to Disney World is considered a rite of passage. How did this happen? Employed mothers caused a dramatic change in lifestyle. Families can afford posh lifestyles because both parents are producing an income. ‘The mass affluence has been driven in large part by women’s incomes’…Therefore, to say dual-income families are a necessity is misleading. Parents are working to support the lifestyle to which they’ve become accustomed.” ON THE FEMINIST NOTION THAT HUSBANDS ARE LAZY GOOD-FOR-NOTHINGS: “The notion that most women work the equivalent of two full-time jobs while men work only one job is a feminist fairy tale. The average woman works only twenty-six hours per week outside the home, while the average man works forty-eight hours. In other words, women have fewer obligations outside the home. Both spouses are working equally hard—just in different locales. A study in the Journal of Economic Literature reports that while women perform roughly seventeen more hours of work inside the home, men perform roughly twenty-two more hours outside the home. When comparing the total amount of work men and women each do inside and outside the home, women average fifty-six hours and men average sixty-one hours.” ON OBAMA AND DAYCARE: “If, like President Obama, you believe America should ‘invest in early childhood education by dramatically expanding programs to ensure all of our young children are ready to enter kindergarten,’ that means you believe that the more exposure children have to day care and preschool, the smarter and better socialized they will be.” ON FEMINISM AND WELFARE: “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 simply transfer women’s dependence on men to dependence on Uncle Sam.” ON THE FEMINIST DOUBLE STANDARD: “Indeed, the feminist elite include Democrats and Republicans. These women claim they want to compete with men; but when push comes to shove, their victimhood mentality gets in the way.” ON THE FEMINIZATION OF THE EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM: “Despite such overwhelming evidence of sex differences, American boys are subjected to the feminization process as early as kindergarten. Surrounded mostly by women (and often feminists), both curriculum and activities revolve around the needs of girls and girls’ interests. Assigned stories are in subjects girls like (such as fairy tales), rather than subjects boys like (such as adventure and battles)…Many schools have also eliminated recess, which does not bode well for boys. They are active by nature and need to run around, and when they can’t sit still, teachers and administrators often wrongly attribute this to ADD or ADHD. Many elementary school teachers, raised to believe in a false concept of gender equality, are reluctant to admit any gender differences between males and females. Some think little boys are just unruly girls. ‘Boys learn to subdue their more spirited, intrepid behavior in school, their male instincts of competition and individualism quashed in the interest of what’s best for girls as they walk like lemmings over the edge of the radical feminist cliff by the time they reach high school,’ wrote schoolteacher and op-ed contributor Jane Gilvary for the Bulletin (Philadelphia) in “Skinny Jeans, John Wayne, and the Feminization of America (August 24, 2010).” ON FEMINISM’S SOCIETY-DISMANTLING LIES: “Most important, we must begin by telling our sons (and daughters) the truth about what feminism has done. After all, no society can thrive—or survive—when half its members believe they’re oppressed and the other half are told there’s no reason for them to exist.”

  6. 4 out of 5

    Leona

    Excellent book. It mirrored almost everything I've thought and wrote about in one of my articles. I hadn't realized what horrible homes people like Gloria Steinem came from which, apparently, formed the basis for their beliefs. Unfortunately, many liberal women won't read this book and it should be read by everyone.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ade

    Oh for the love of God. I don't even know what to think people anymore. I don't think that the Ms Venker understands that all of the rights she has now, are due to feminists fighting for those rights. If all women had stayed conservative, the world would be a very different place.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Guin

    I'm glad I read this book for several reasons: 1 - It is nonfiction which is not my thing, so I tried something new. 2 - It made some valid points and pointed me toward some other sources that I am interested in reading. 3 - It was very biased and thus reminded me how dangerous bias in writing can be, especially if the reader is not aware or chooses to overlook said bias. I struggle with feminism and the claim that everyone's lives are 1000% better because of it. I think there are great opportunitie I'm glad I read this book for several reasons: 1 - It is nonfiction which is not my thing, so I tried something new. 2 - It made some valid points and pointed me toward some other sources that I am interested in reading. 3 - It was very biased and thus reminded me how dangerous bias in writing can be, especially if the reader is not aware or chooses to overlook said bias. I struggle with feminism and the claim that everyone's lives are 1000% better because of it. I think there are great opportunities that have come of femininsm and that it has given women options, sort of. Perhaps the playing field has been levelled a bit. However, I also think we have paid a price for forging ahead, and I think that it is our children who paid the price. I truly believe that children should be at home with one parent. I think that should be the mother, but dads at home work too. I also don't believe that men and women are equal - I think they are different and different can never be equal - I don't understand why this is bad. These thoughts, given my college background, are difficult to come to terms with. I absolutely do not agree with the author's idea that the only solution is that men marry conservative women and thus create conservative families (which caused me to laugh out loud). But I don't think what we have now is working in a positive manner for a large number of families. I do like the author's idea of stages of life for a woman - education stage, working stage, family stage, etc. It seems like it provides the ability to "have it all," just not "all" at the same time. Her thoughts that young women don't necessarily need an education and job before marrying so that they experience independence which could then "poison" their minds for children was outrageous to say the least. Women, all women, need a higher education and the ability to be independant. I don't care if they never use it, at least they have it. I think I was drawn to this book not only because of conflicting feelings regarding feminism, but also because of what I see in pop culture. I hate that little girls clothes are made to look like teen-age or adult clothes. Why can't little girls be little girls? I hate that the songs on the radio have lines like "I'll follow you until you love me" or whatever disgusting lines are in Rihanna songs. I hate that I go to the mall and all I see are teenagers pushing strollers and being terrible parents. Is this what feminism got us? How do I keep my children from embracing this lifestyle? This book provided a great deal of discussion between Michael and I and it also led me to the absolute conclusion that when it comes to many family aspects, I am {gasp} rather conservative.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Michele

    Upon further thought, I have to take this down to two stars. The book IS interesting. I read it quickly which at this time of my life (caring for an infant and two young children) is proof of the book's capacity for entertainment. So for that I bumped it up to two stars. However, there is frequent obfuscation of facts within this book. The authors blithely state that there wasn't much sexism prior to the 1960s, and that loads of women were working. Um, okay....NO. There might have been loads of w Upon further thought, I have to take this down to two stars. The book IS interesting. I read it quickly which at this time of my life (caring for an infant and two young children) is proof of the book's capacity for entertainment. So for that I bumped it up to two stars. However, there is frequent obfuscation of facts within this book. The authors blithely state that there wasn't much sexism prior to the 1960s, and that loads of women were working. Um, okay....NO. There might have been loads of women working. As secretaries. And waitresses. Sure Schlafly was an attorney, but she is definitely the exception to the rule. But my primary beef is the authors' claim that there wasn't much sexism prior to the women's movement. Off the top of my head I can think of several books written and movies produced after 1930 and prior to 1960 that show casual, pervasive sexism against women. I have talked to several women who were housewives in the 1950s and 1960s who casually talk about widespread sexism. When asked if that bothered them, they shrug and say "That's just the way it was." I am very disturbed that the authors so casually whitewash this history. I don't agree with several goals and entrenched positions of the women's movement and feminists. But is this really the alternative? Yes, I stay home with my kids. Yes, I believe that women can have it all sequentially. But I certainly don't want to return to the 1950s. I like not having to brush off being groped by my boss. I like having a myriad of career opportunities open to me. I like having my own money, and control of said money.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Susanne

    I bought this book hoping to get an uplifting and enlightened view on conservative women making the workforce and OR mothering in a positive, balanced way. What I got was a book that bashed any and every liberal woman in the public eye. I walked away from this book feeling like Suzanne Venker is an angry woman who at some point was kick in the shin by a libral.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    This book was a good education for me. I liked that it made me think and evaluate my opinions. Most of the book aligns with my thinking.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Georgia

    This book made me realize how much my way of thinking has been influenced by society and it was very eye opening. I have been conditioned to think that I should have a high powered career and put love, marriage, and family on the back burner even though truthfully, that's what I really want (this is just me personally, some people really love working and want to pursue their career, and that is totally a person's choice). I had been conditioned to think that wanting those things was wrong or som This book made me realize how much my way of thinking has been influenced by society and it was very eye opening. I have been conditioned to think that I should have a high powered career and put love, marriage, and family on the back burner even though truthfully, that's what I really want (this is just me personally, some people really love working and want to pursue their career, and that is totally a person's choice). I had been conditioned to think that wanting those things was wrong or somehow not good enough, but this book made me realize it's not wrong. When did we lose all respect for the wives and mothers out there? That used to be the most important role in a family. I wish I would've read this years ago, because the one criticism I have about the book is it made me feel hopeless. I am in my late twenties and the book made me feel like I have no shot of finding love and happiness now.

  13. 5 out of 5

    jay walker

    I mean, this is just reee-diculous. I'm all for hearing all sides of an argument, but this book is pure propaganda. I went between putting it down because I was so horrified and picking it back up because I just couldn't believe what I was reading. Unconvincing, disrespectful filth. I'd keep it on the bookshelf as something to humor guests, but I can't run the risk of my young daughter seeing it in the house. BUT, I'm just another brainwashed, delusional, homosexual, welfare lovin, communist, bab I mean, this is just reee-diculous. I'm all for hearing all sides of an argument, but this book is pure propaganda. I went between putting it down because I was so horrified and picking it back up because I just couldn't believe what I was reading. Unconvincing, disrespectful filth. I'd keep it on the bookshelf as something to humor guests, but I can't run the risk of my young daughter seeing it in the house. BUT, I'm just another brainwashed, delusional, homosexual, welfare lovin, communist, baby-killin, liberal lefty with an agenda to dump my personal insecurities on all those happy families out there because it's easier than seeing a therapist (AKA a feminist). Ugh. Shut up. Actually, I'm a feminist AND an empowered, educated mother that has chosen to stay at home. I am happy and feel my awesome woman brain powers are just where they need to be. I don't think Betty Friedan got it ALL right, I don't trust the media, and I don't think the only difference between men and women are their genitals. HOWEVER. Instead of stating her views gracefully and tactfully, this author is downright mean, paranoid, and seething with hatred. Berating anyone who thinks any differently than you do isn't going to further your cause, lady.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Genevieve

    I really enjoyed this book and appreciated the insight it gave to some of the downfalls of feminism. It also brought to light how possibly damaging some of the feminists views can be to families. I highlighted many quotes in the book that were insightful, witty, or just plain obvious.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Whitney

    A great popular work on the perspectives of anti-feminist women. Of course, to fully verify many of the claims of the book (like most popular books) following the provided references back to the original, usually academic, resources is necessary. Positives: Phyllis Schlafly has much personal experience working on opposition to the ERA amendment and arguing against the second wave feminism that started around the 1960s. If there's anybody to give an anti-feminist viewpoint, it's her. Also, the add A great popular work on the perspectives of anti-feminist women. Of course, to fully verify many of the claims of the book (like most popular books) following the provided references back to the original, usually academic, resources is necessary. Positives: Phyllis Schlafly has much personal experience working on opposition to the ERA amendment and arguing against the second wave feminism that started around the 1960s. If there's anybody to give an anti-feminist viewpoint, it's her. Also, the addition of a second author, her niece, Suzanne Venker, gives this work fresh perspective of a "modern" conservative woman. These two women have combined both of their voices, fairly seamlessly, to present the reader with a re-interpretation of feminist history from the 1940s to the present. For conservative women, many of these arguments will probably resonate with their lived experience. For liberal or feminist women, these authors present numerous challenges as well as a few mishaps that have tarnished the women's movement's image (and subsequently the term feminist - please note that feminist and women's movement are not interchangeable although they are related as feminism is an ideology and a women's movement is just that, a social movement led by women on behalf of women). These challenges presented by the authors have not been addressed by many feminists for fear that they will be a slippery slope to sexism and discrimination. Cons: This work is not given context to larger historical fact. While focusing on the state of U.S. feminism from around the 1940s to the present is not a detriment to the work, the authors do not acknowledge that, historically, women have been denied full citizenship and representation under the law all over the world. In addition, different groups of women were given access to citizenship and representation that stemmed directly from larger cultural influences, such as racism and able-ism. Many laws that give women the right to marry whom they wish were only uniform across the country in the past 50 years. Therefore, I think it is hard to argue that the nation is 100% past issues that truly did oppress individuals based on gender, race and ability. As one of the so-called "fringe" third-wave feminists that these authors deride and also as a student who will be pursing a Ph.D. in the future (on the topic of anti-feminism and conservative feminisms of all things), I found their assessment of the value of educating women in higher education to be offensive. While the authors are not against a general college education, they specifically state that women should not think of pursuing advanced degrees if they also want to have children. One part of the book even goes so far to hypothesize that the men highly-educated women marry will be resentful and unappreciative of a wife's potential debts from her education, especially if she decides she would like to stay at home while he works. Most college graduates today, male or female, have accrued student loan debt and there are also plenty of stories of women working to fund their male partner's education. There is also bit of hypocrisy here as Schlafly herself has multiple advanced degrees (M.A. in political science from Harvard and a J.D. from Washington University) while having raised six children. And as a truly biased, subjective, personal-experience con: I have never met a single mother like the one they describe in their book. The single mothers I know do not want to be dependent on the government. In fact, they are some of the hardest-working, maternal, full-time parents I have ever met! If anything, they remind me that my life is not all that hard and that you CAN accomplish your life goals while still being an involved parent. When I do have children I hope that I am just as dedicated to being there for my children while balancing my desires to use my over-educated brain.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    I laughed when I read the subtitle about men. Women who agree with some tenets of this book would get a lot of flak from some women, let alone men speaking on this topic. I think every woman of any political orientation should read this book. Is the book perfect? No. Will you be offended at some point? Probably. I certainly thought Venker had some overly simplistic, even outlandish assertions that I disagreed with. However, she does make some assertions that make sense. She argues that we (women I laughed when I read the subtitle about men. Women who agree with some tenets of this book would get a lot of flak from some women, let alone men speaking on this topic. I think every woman of any political orientation should read this book. Is the book perfect? No. Will you be offended at some point? Probably. I certainly thought Venker had some overly simplistic, even outlandish assertions that I disagreed with. However, she does make some assertions that make sense. She argues that we (women) can't have it all. Or, at least if we have it all, we might be so stressed we want to pull our hair out. Or we might not get to primarily raise our own children.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Karen (Living Unabridged)

    A dose of common sense: women have many opportunities and can achieve many things. But it helps to do those things in order (what the authors call sequencing) that works with biology instead of against it. Enjoyed the no-nonsense tone but seriously doubt anyone who holds a contrary view would read this book anyway. It might have been a good idea to contrast the opportunities and advancement of American women with the plight currently experienced by other women in the world, where they are still t A dose of common sense: women have many opportunities and can achieve many things. But it helps to do those things in order (what the authors call sequencing) that works with biology instead of against it. Enjoyed the no-nonsense tone but seriously doubt anyone who holds a contrary view would read this book anyway. It might have been a good idea to contrast the opportunities and advancement of American women with the plight currently experienced by other women in the world, where they are still treated like 2nd class citizens (or worse, like property).

  18. 4 out of 5

    Shelly

    Book #44 for 2011 - I liked this book. Feminism is not what you think it is. And that's all I'm going to say about that. If you don't agree (or are curious) read the book for yourself.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Harmony

    A great defense of traditional women's roles without being a negative attack on women who work. A different voice from what is usually heard in the media and movies.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Hope

    This is a disheartening book on many levels. It shows the inroad radical feminism has made on our culture without our even being aware of it. When I voiced some of these concerns to one of my adult sons, he looked at me aghast and sputtered that none of those things could possibly be true. "None of my feminist friends believe that stuff, etc." The point of the book is that feminism is understood by the masses as "equal pay for equal work." But there is so much more to the feminist agenda that no This is a disheartening book on many levels. It shows the inroad radical feminism has made on our culture without our even being aware of it. When I voiced some of these concerns to one of my adult sons, he looked at me aghast and sputtered that none of those things could possibly be true. "None of my feminist friends believe that stuff, etc." The point of the book is that feminism is understood by the masses as "equal pay for equal work." But there is so much more to the feminist agenda that no one seems to question. If women are to be treated as equals in the workplace, they CANNOT (according to the feminist elite) be tied down to children or marriage. Abortion rights are crucial to this. Feminist teachings have left a generation of young women who feel guilty (and worthless) if they want to stay home and raise their children. Feminism's insistence that women are no different from men has harmed marriages because couples who do get married have unnatural expectations for each other (that everything will be 50/50 for example) rather than embracing their differences and taking advantage of them for their mutual good. The idea that gender differences don't really exist has so permeated our culture, that Harvard presidents can be fired for repeating scientific evidence for those differences. If men and women (and their differences) aren't really necessary to each other, they can throw out those old labels and choose their gender and sexual orientation cafeteria style, which is what is happening today. Finally, Venker makes a case for how "freedom for women" as defined by feminism (freedom to have multiple sexual partners, freedom from sexual consequences, freedom from child-rearing restraints, freedom from the drudgery of homemaking) have left a generation of women who have less power over men than ever before. (See The Economics of Sex youtube video.) The Flipside of Feminism is a hard-hitting and depressing book, but a necessary reality check in a world that has already absorbed feminist thought without weighing the consequences.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Callie

    I have been meaning to pick up this book for a while, and I'm glad I finally did! I feel like I waited a little too long between finishing the book and writing this review - I'm afraid I'm forgetting so many of the points I wanted to make, but I'll give it a whirl anyway. In this book, Venker (Schlaffley's niece) and Schlaffley present a brief history of feminism from their perspective and then discuss the many effects of modern feminism that we see in society today - specifically the negative ef I have been meaning to pick up this book for a while, and I'm glad I finally did! I feel like I waited a little too long between finishing the book and writing this review - I'm afraid I'm forgetting so many of the points I wanted to make, but I'll give it a whirl anyway. In this book, Venker (Schlaffley's niece) and Schlaffley present a brief history of feminism from their perspective and then discuss the many effects of modern feminism that we see in society today - specifically the negative effects. They aren't scared to dive into many hot-button topics, such as the effects of feminism on men and boys in today's culture, the way feminism has affected our society's view on sex and marriage, the effect on children when they spend more time in daycare than with their parents, and the "wage gap". I felt like the arguments that Venker and Schlaffley made in this book were well-supported by the sources that they shared, and I found the whole thing really fascinating. They made so many interesting points about feminism and how many of us have adopted feminist philosophies without even thinking about it...and many of them to our detriment. I'm wanting my own copy of this book, and especially for the list of "must read" books in the back - it will be keeping my to-read list full for a while! Definitely recommend this book if you have any interest in the negative effects of feminism on our culture today.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Emily Hoornstra

    Although I went into this book feeling that feminism (as a movement) may have left us bankrupt in different ways, I figured part of that was due to my religious perspective. Imagine my surprise when the primary author describes herself as not being a religious person but merely one with a concern. I don't believe this to be an exhaustive research paper but it is definitely thought provoking. And as much as we'd like to dismiss these sort of thoughts in ourselves and others, I believe we've still Although I went into this book feeling that feminism (as a movement) may have left us bankrupt in different ways, I figured part of that was due to my religious perspective. Imagine my surprise when the primary author describes herself as not being a religious person but merely one with a concern. I don't believe this to be an exhaustive research paper but it is definitely thought provoking. And as much as we'd like to dismiss these sort of thoughts in ourselves and others, I believe we've still seen the negative aspects that she lays out for us. It's a bit difficult to ignore facts, especially facts collected over time, and to ignore the stories you've heard from the women around you. I only wish that those who had written such scathing reviews of this book would have at least read (preferably finished) the book before slamming it outright.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Miles

    This book hangs around the dual assumptions that sex is the same as gender and some character traits are inherent to sex/gender. If you allow Venker those two things as postulates (and if you never check the statistics which appear to have been invented on the spot), this book hangs together nicely... Which is to say it's perfectly useless as a source of information or wisdom but enlightening as an explanation of the opinions of the anti-feminist right.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Stacie

    While this book contained interesting information, I think it painted with too broad of a brush. Even when I agreed with the premise of an argument, the way it was illustrated smacked as much of propaganda as what I've read from feminist camps, except with an opposite message. Maybe it's just that I disliked the writing style of the authors, but if the underlying common sense (most of the time) wasn't already apparent to me, this book would not have won me over. There were a few eye-openers, lik While this book contained interesting information, I think it painted with too broad of a brush. Even when I agreed with the premise of an argument, the way it was illustrated smacked as much of propaganda as what I've read from feminist camps, except with an opposite message. Maybe it's just that I disliked the writing style of the authors, but if the underlying common sense (most of the time) wasn't already apparent to me, this book would not have won me over. There were a few eye-openers, like the fact that the government considers me a "working mother" because I earned more than one dollar last year. Good grief. And I'm definitely interested to read more about pro/con studies on early childhood "quality" care. I am an educated woman who stays at home with her kids. I work hard at my job, but it is a fact that I have more freedom in my work than my husband has in his office. He is tied to his phone and computer tighter than I am tied to anything on a par at home. And we are both tied to our family. The book also talks of sequencing rather than multitasking. Similarly, I often think of my life as having seasons. My dreams aren't being repressed; no one can do everything they want to do all at once and do it well. Everyone has to make decisions in life, everyone has to prioritize, so weigh the costs and benefits and choose your life with your eyes open. Blindly following any ideology is a shame.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Brian Palmer

    I tried not to just rate this on its politics, but rather on its virtues as a book. It is (as the title suggests) a very pro-conservative, anti-"feminism" book. Since I've been reading a lot on feminism lately, I grabbed this to see it from another perspective. This is not nearly as erudite as some other books; the entire slim volume (my copy is 183 pages before appendices) reads like an extended op-ed in a paper. This means, unfortunately, that it treated its topics pretty shallowly; I doubt th I tried not to just rate this on its politics, but rather on its virtues as a book. It is (as the title suggests) a very pro-conservative, anti-"feminism" book. Since I've been reading a lot on feminism lately, I grabbed this to see it from another perspective. This is not nearly as erudite as some other books; the entire slim volume (my copy is 183 pages before appendices) reads like an extended op-ed in a paper. This means, unfortunately, that it treated its topics pretty shallowly; I doubt that it would change many readers' minds. Instead, the authors try to bind together people already sympathetic to the author's message, by focusing on feminists and the elite who disagree with them. The authors do not decry women's rights; they in fact claim to be inheriting the mantle of first stage feminism and suffragettes, who were "family-oriented women who had no desire to eradicate female nature." There are nuggets of interesting arguments here, but to me, at least, they felt like they needed to be fleshed out and developed. For example, very early on they attack the notion that 'feminism' as a movement should be credited for the changes in women's role in society since the 1940s; the authors claim that a large part of this was simply due to "technology and the mechanization of housework." A fair enough rebuttal to some of the more grandiose arguments of their political rivals, I suppose -- but the authors never seem to focus on whether technological changes have obsoleted some of their conservative stances. One critical point they charge of the 1960s-era feminists is that they were products of unusual unhappiness, who tried to transform society because they were unable themselves to cope with the existing structure (although most women could). Other arguments throughout the book seem to never address this tantalizing thread: even if most people would be happier in circumstance X, what would happen for those that can't? (Concretely: one position the authors advance is that women would be better off not travelling far from family, so that they can get their own mothers/families to help with childcare. They omit mention of what a society built around this means to people who do not have family). Putting the political positions aside, the biggest literary sin in the book was the erratic endnoting. Some artificial anecdotes were introduced to serve as an example; other anecdotes were real, referred to by other works. I usually had to re-read the surrounding text multiple times to be sure. And in several cases, they specifically use an example, but fail to provide a more explicit citation. (It's possible they are contained in the non-annotated bibliography provided at the end). There also was some hilarious juxtaposition, as when they rail against gender-biased 'domestic violence' claims being a weapon of feminists, and then a few pages later rail about how feminists are trying to make laws gender-neutral.

  26. 5 out of 5

    C

    The subtitle made me laugh, but I actually did know much of what was in this book, so it was a fast read. People who think they are feminists are often in favor of equal rights (meaning equal opportunities) for women; real feminists, to judge by their current writings and activism, promote female wants (well, at least their own wants) as "enlightened goals" without regard to nature's demands, fairness towards men, or the needs of children. I find it odd that a pregnant lady was put on the cover, The subtitle made me laugh, but I actually did know much of what was in this book, so it was a fast read. People who think they are feminists are often in favor of equal rights (meaning equal opportunities) for women; real feminists, to judge by their current writings and activism, promote female wants (well, at least their own wants) as "enlightened goals" without regard to nature's demands, fairness towards men, or the needs of children. I find it odd that a pregnant lady was put on the cover, for the authors didn't devote nearly as much space as they could have to the issues that women deal with once they enter the world of morning sickness and night-time feedings. I don't agree with the idea that no-fault divorce is terrible. Before it came into existence, every divorce was a battle to tar the other person as the horrible party at blame for the marriage falling apart. That's an awful lot of baggage to inflict on the children. Also, since we have a Constitutional protection from involuntary servitude, forcing a marriage--with its mutual obligation of support--to continue when one partner wants out, is indefensible. (The same logic doesn't work to justify abortion, however; it's not OK to get out of a marriage by ending the life of a spouse.)

  27. 5 out of 5

    Toni Delgado Jones

    Read this for my book club. Interesting perspective and thought provoking concepts that make you cheer, or want to throw the book at the wall, but written in a propaganda-esque style that turns me off.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Bookish Jen

    It’s no secret to anyone familiar with my little place on the Internet that I am a liberal, progressive feminist, and I don’t apologize for it. But in a presidential year that is both historical and hysterical, I can’t help but be intrigued by conservative, right-winged, anti-feminist types. So, I’ve decided to take one the team, and read books written by these anti-me creatures and post my reviews for a new series I call Taking One For the Team. You’re very welcome. Here is my first effort. Oh t It’s no secret to anyone familiar with my little place on the Internet that I am a liberal, progressive feminist, and I don’t apologize for it. But in a presidential year that is both historical and hysterical, I can’t help but be intrigued by conservative, right-winged, anti-feminist types. So, I’ve decided to take one the team, and read books written by these anti-me creatures and post my reviews for a new series I call Taking One For the Team. You’re very welcome. Here is my first effort. Oh those irksome feminists with their abortion parties, man hating conventions and false accusations of rape. Feminists focus so much on frivolous things like equal pay for equal work, voting rights, domestic violence, and sexual harassment. Feminists, who are so hell-bent on power, they control the media, the workplace, families, government, education, Hollywood, sports, and religion. Feminists want to destroy! Destroy, I say! Well, I don’t think feminists want to destroy much of anything other than strict patriarchy. But Phyllis Schlafly and her niece Suzanne Venker are quite certain feminists are a destructive bunch. And both of them try to convince us with their book Bitches Ain’t Shit. Oops, I mean, The Flipside of Feminism: What Conservative Women Know and Men Can’t Say. Many of you know Phyllis Schlafly. During feminism’s second wave, Phyllis spoke out publicly against the ERA (Equal Rights Amendment) and pesky women libbers. Phyllis claimed to be simple housewife who treated politics as a hobby. But Phyllis wasn’t content to work the election polls in between loads of laundry. Married to a wealthy man, Phyllis had domestic help, is a Harvard educated lawyer, and a prolific writer and lecturer. She ran for Congress when her eldest child was a toddler and campaigned against feminism and the ERA when her youngest was in junior high and high school. Does that sound like a simple housewife to you? Nope, that sounds like a woman who benefited from feminism. And who is Suzanne Venker? Not quite as well-known as her aunt, Suzanne has also authored several books and is a contributor to Fox News. She’s also just as smug as Phyllis. In the opening of The Flipside of Feminism, Suzanne assumes the reason why she’s a conservative, and therefore superior to liberal feminazis, is because she was raised by members of the Greatest Generation, not the Baby Boom generation. Yes, the reason why you feminists smoked the pot, had premarital sex, and now vote for Democrats is because you were raised by Steve and Elise Keaton, not Archie and Edith Bunker. Suzanne wastes no time mentioning that her mother, Auntie Phyllis, and other assorted anti-feminists didn’t need feminism to obtain an education or a career. Well, that may be true for them, but plenty of women were denied education and careers simply because they were women. My own maternal grandmother was denied a high school education because she had to go to work at 14 to help support her family and an education was considered a waste on a girl. However, Suzanne would disregard my grandmother’s experience and others just like her. In fact, Suzanne and Phyllis arrogantly ignore their own privilege throughout this entire book and assume other women are simply not as smart, hard-working, or talented as them. Suzanne and Phyllis also assume women turned to feminism because a handful of them, notably Gloria Steinem and Betty Friedan, experienced dysfunctional childhoods or rocky marriages, and society should not pay the price for their maladjustment. Gee, nice show of compassion ladies. As if conservatives never experienced crappy childhoods or bad marriages. Speaking of marriage, feminists love divorce according to Suzanne and Phyllis. We love divorce so much we want to marry it! However, there is no examination why some feminists concerned themselves with divorce. Nor is does this book mention conservatives who are divorced like Newt Gingrich, Rush Limbaugh and Dr. Laura. Feminists may love divorce but we hate marriage and motherhood. We want to replace being supported by our husbands with being supported by taxpayers. And as for feminists demeaning motherhood, I just think feminism was brave enough admit motherhood wasn’t all sunshine and daisies for some women. You know who I think demeans motherhood? Michelle Duggar, who seems to see her children as accessories, not full human beings (though one is disgusting sister-molesting pervert and a cheating man whore). And we all know Michelle would never wear “This is What Feminist Looks Like” T-shirt. What else? Well, feminists demand Title IX, which opened up athletic opportunities for girls, because guys who play sports are usually conservative (yea, right). We hate men but somehow are responsible for irresponsible sexual hook-ups. We lie about rape and sexual harassment. And companies are struggling because we want to earn the same pay as men for doing the same exact job. The nerve! And who are these horrible feminists? Well, according the authors, feminists fit into two camps, radical feminists (Andrea Dworkin) and media feminists (Katie Couric, Oprah). Feminists are can be found in large urban areas like Manhattan, Los Angeles, and Washington DC. Feminist want nothing more than to rip off a Montana born and bred housewife’s apron and replace it with a hard hat. Phyllis and Suzanne can’t imagine feminists who live in fly over country, bake cookies, work regular jobs, cherish their families, and include women, men, and children. At the end of The Flipside of Feminism, Phyllis and Suzanne offer tips on how to combat the evil effects of feminism. One of my favorites? Educate your son how feminism has harmed society and encourage them to seek out conservative women. So if that cool chick your son meets in his French Literature class has a playlist filled with Ani DiFranco downloads he should run far away and date that simpering lass who owns a tattered copy of Fascinating Womanhood. I must give Phyllis and Suzanne some credit. They write with total conviction; they don’t hem and haw. And I can imagine some people reading this book thinking feminism is the other “F-word.” However, people with critical thinking skills will be able to read between the lines and realize Suzanne and Phyllis are just a couple of snotty and selfish Queen Bees. They are all three “Heathers,” and the rest of just a bunch of “Martha Dumptrucks”. Originally published at The Book Self: https://thebookselfblog.wordpress.com...

  29. 4 out of 5

    Madison

    One star is being too kind to this hot garbage, and I'm a worse person for having wasted four hours of my life reading it. To start, Venker completely disregards entire subsets of women: trans women, lesbians, women who aren’t white, poor women, women who aren’t able to have kids or women who plain old don’t want them. She claims not to be privileged, but it's painfully obvious that she assumes the experience of all women is on par with the experience of white, cis, upper middle class, child-wan One star is being too kind to this hot garbage, and I'm a worse person for having wasted four hours of my life reading it. To start, Venker completely disregards entire subsets of women: trans women, lesbians, women who aren’t white, poor women, women who aren’t able to have kids or women who plain old don’t want them. She claims not to be privileged, but it's painfully obvious that she assumes the experience of all women is on par with the experience of white, cis, upper middle class, child-wanting women just like her, who by the sound of it are the only kind of women she's ever interacted with. Basically the point of the book is that we women could choose to be happy with our lives if we all just shut up and stuck to our biologically determinist gender roles. Because everyone knows all it takes to make you happy is positive affirmations, divorce is for whiny harpies, and childrearing is every woman's ultimate goal. They may not think so, but eventually every woman will realize that what she wanted all along was a lovely home, many children and a big strong man to provide for her. After all, we silly women can't be trusted to know what we want! And if that's not enough to make you happy, if you don’t feel validated in a society that goes out of its way to undermine your self-worth and devalue your contributions, that is a personal weakness and also your fault. I thought had I good idea of what I was getting into, but I truly wasn't prepared for some absolutely bonkers assertions. A few highlights: - Feminism is to blame for "confusing" women, who just want to be told what their opinions and ambitions are - It’s okay for men to seek personal happiness and satisfaction outside of marriage and childrearing, but if women try to do the same instead of sacrificing every moment of their lives for others, they’re selfish - The whole purpose of higher education - and of life in general - is to land the richest man who'll have you, then withhold sex long enough to convince him to marry you in order to get it - which totally sounds like the recipe for a happy marriage, by the way. Among many other evils, feminism has removed incentive everyone to marry because women are financially independent and men have freely available sex. Not that, like, people might want to get married because they love each other or anything. The concept of marrying someone because you love them and not because they're rich is...weirdly looked down on?? - Getting to decide the number of babies you have is a bad thing - Divorce happens because women are too educated - Fox News is fair and balanced reporting - It's sad that male bosses are too scared of harassment claims to ask their subordinate female colleagues on dates - She calls feminists man-haters, but BOY HOWDY does she infantilize and patronize men. According to her, all men are loveless apes who are slaves to their sexual desires and aren't capable of rational thought when sex is on the table (which is, of course, why they can't be blamed when girls-who-cried-rape lead them on). All men are just boys at heart and it's their wife's responsibility to make them grow up. It's okay for them to have sex before marriage, that's just bros bein' dudes, but not for you, you stupid slut! Which of course begs the question of who all these unmarried men are supposed to be having sex with if women stay chaste until marriage... - Apparently women are selfish, entitled and "expecting too much" for wanting a partner they find attractive and sex they find satisfying. Venker, I am so, so sorry about all the terrible sex you've been having with your rich, ugly husband! And then there's the actual logic in Venker's arguments, which is out the window. She CONSTANTLY flip-flops between claiming that feminists are the oppressing majority and claiming that most women are conservatives like her. Also between that feminism is an offshoot of socialism and that they're dangerously individualist. Her evidence is anecdotal, her claims go largely unsubstantiated, and to absolutely no one's surprise, we get a few racial and ethnic slurs thrown in just for funsies. All in all, the world is a worse place because this book exists.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Marshall

    The thing about the left-wing nuts getting nuttier is that it makes the right-wing nuts sound not-so-nutty. This book is pretty bad. Its arguments rely mainly on correlation confused with causation ("X is associated with Y" implying Y causes X), and ad hominem arguments ("feminist A believes such-and-such, but of course she would. Look at how A was raised / how her marriages failed / how her kids don't like her / etc.") There is a riduculous amount of anti-liberal slander, and it's all done in a The thing about the left-wing nuts getting nuttier is that it makes the right-wing nuts sound not-so-nutty. This book is pretty bad. Its arguments rely mainly on correlation confused with causation ("X is associated with Y" implying Y causes X), and ad hominem arguments ("feminist A believes such-and-such, but of course she would. Look at how A was raised / how her marriages failed / how her kids don't like her / etc.") There is a riduculous amount of anti-liberal slander, and it's all done in a folksy, down-home tone of voice. Here's a typical excerpt from the book: "Democrats know who butters their bread: single moms who get their living expenses from Big Brother government." Ugh. Really? Is that really the quality of argument you want to commit to print? And yet, the book does raise good points, which feminists rarely discuss. This indicates that the conservative perspective does have a place in the gender discussion. The most poignant is the question about what's best for kids. Feminists will talk a lot about equality and rights for women, as if women are all that matter. They do matter, but people also care about the well-being of kids, and feminists just don't do enough to make the case that feminism is also better, or at least as good, for raising kids. They seem to think day care (i.e. paying someone else to raise your kids for you) is just as good as raising them yourself, which it clearly isn't. If they can't show that feminism is better for raising kids, then they're saying feminism is only relevant for the childless, a tiny portion of society. This book helped me realize that this one point is one of feminism's greatest undoings. Women care an awful lot about their freedom and independence, but then that maternal instinct kicks in, and we end up with "mommy wars." Women feel such a great longing to watch their kids grow up, and many are willing to make the trade-offs necessary for this. Those who don't, drive themselves crazy with stress, trying to "have it all." Another point this book makes, which I've often thought about, but few seem concerned with, is this idea that divorce should be quick and easy. This seems bizarre to me. Marriage is a life-changing contract, promising to share your life with another person. Being able to walk away from any contract with few repurcussions renders that contract meaningless. That's fine by me, as I don't care much for marriage anyway, but then why do people still bother with marriage at all? It seems to go back to the question of what's best for raising kids. I say, if you want to get married, that's a choice you get to make, but then you should take it seriously, or don't bother with it at all. Something that intrigued me about this book is that, although it trots out the standard conservative arguments about the evils of sex before marriage, it doesn't argue that women should stay in the kitchen. It argues instead for "sequencing." In other words, women can have it all, just not all at once. There's a stage of their lives in which they will be happiest staying in the kitchen, mainly the first few years of the children's lives. I can see why this may be true for many, but not all, women. And that's really the conclusion I walk away with. The point is freedom of choice. I like that not getting married or having kids is a viable option. I like that I don't have to be the breadwinner for some woman, and I like that women can take care of themselves. But if you do make certain major life choices, then you're signing up for the trade-offs and costs associated with those choices. You don't get to have your cake and eat it to, at the expense of the taxpayers.

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