With the debate of feminism revived by Sarah Palin's recent claim that she's one of them, Phyllis Schlafly is jumping in with a new book that suggests the 1960s "women's revolution" movement is ruining women and the country. Written with her niece Suzanne Venker, The Flipside of Feminism provides readers with a new view of women in America.
The bottom line, says Venker, is that, "Feminism has sabotaged women's happiness." Worse, she adds, it's flipped male-female relationships upside down. Just one example: Men more than ever are seeking love, marriage and kids while women want independence.
As Schlafly's niece, Venker grew up seeing an alternative view to mainstream feminists views on TV and in the media. Now as a mother in Missouri, she's trying to help her aunt highlight what conservatives feel is wrong with feminism and to build a new understanding between men and women.
The book is controversial, especially in liberal circles, for lines like this: "Unfortunately, once feminism came along, women abandoned their pedestal in droves and decided they wanted to share the man's pedestal with him. They claimed they wanted both sexes on the same pedestal to represent equality and prove men and women are the same. Instead, they found themselves in conflict. Since there isn't enough room on a pedestal for both of them, feminists pushed men off to make room for themselves." She added, "That's not equality. That's matriarchy."
On sex: "Sex is a problem, too. More and more wives today say they're too tired for sex. ...Naturally, this poses a problem for husbands, who are rarely too tired for sex. Sex is a man's favorite past time, and the wives who are too tired to have it are often resentful of this fact. If change is going to come, it will have to come from women—they are the ones who changed the natural 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. Men tend to go along with whatever women say they need."
The duo have also raised concerns about Palin calling herself a conservative feminist. "You can't be both," says Venker, who adds that Palin is "confusing" conservatives by calling herself a feminist.
Mainstream media and liberal politicians and pundits also take a big hit, blamed for promoting feminism. They are especially critical of the "feminist elite" including Oprah, first lady Michelle Obama, CBS anchor Katie Couric, and Arianna Huffington. "What these women have in common is clout, and they believe they know that's best for women," they write, adding: "The problem is that the majority of women in this country don't have the power—feminists do. And feminists influence liberals as well as conservatives to confirm to the feminist message."
From the book and our recent interview, Whispers has pulled this list:
Five Ways That Feminism Has Ruined America
1. It hurt marriage. Women want to wait so that they can keep their identities longer and men are finding easy sex, taking away a big reason for marriage.
2. Undermines child rearing. More kids are in childcare where discipline is lax resulting in a "epidemic" of bad kids, childhood obesity, and bullies.
3. Two-income trap. With both husband and wife working it's hard to live without life's luxuries.
4. Undermines college sports. Title IX has ended many male-only sports at some colleges.
5. Emasculates men. It's better to be a wuss than speak up or mouth off and face charges of harassment or chauvinism.