Authors Suzanne Venker and Phyllis Schlafly argue a good case for political conservatism in “The Flipside of Feminism: What Conservative Women Know―and Men Can’t Say,” a book that explores the ways that feminism has negatively affected American politics, culture and society. According to the authors, feminism, at its core, is about power for the liberal left. Liberal power elites in the U.S. do not want equality because they want a matriarchy instead. “Flipside” authors argue that powerful feminists are using their power in media, politics, education and entertainment to convince others that women are being oppressed, marriage and motherhood are outdated and unnecessary and that gender roles are irrelevant.
The book explores topics typically undermined or wholly ignored by feminists, such as the physical and emotional consequences of casual sex, the impacts of divorce on children, the stress of balancing a family and a high-power career and the relationship between age and fertility. The authors argue that women need to be more conservative in their approach to family life and career selection.
They argue that women need to adopt three critical nonnegotiables to their life planning strategy (excerpted from the book):
- Casual sex is a dead-end street, and cohabitation does not lead to a successful marriage.
- Marriage is the ultimate goal, and divorce should not be assumed to be an option.
- Children need, deserve, and want to be raised by their own parents, who are married to each other.
- “Feminists have been successful in getting the majority of Americans to believe that millions of women in the 1950s all realized simultaneously that they were ‘entitled’ to a life outside the home and then expressed this desire only to encounter discrimination at every turn. What was really happening was that technological advances were producing so many labor-saving devices, such as dishwashers and dryers, that women didn’t have to spend as much time on household chores…Women began entering the workforce―and they did so without feminism.” (35)
- “The truth is that feminism has been the single worst thing that has happened to American women. It did not liberate women at all―it confused them…Their female nature tells them sex requires love; marriage is important; children are a blessing; and men are necessary. The culture, meanwhile, tells them to sleep around and postpone family life because that will cost them their identity. (55)
- “One reason women are confused about sex is that they’re constantly barraged with politically correct images of men and women hooking up indiscriminately, under the promise that such behavior is empowering to women. They never see the fallout of such behavior.” (63)
- “Married couples no longer think of themselves as one unit but as separate entities sharing space, which leads to an obscuring of gender roles and inevitable conflict as each spouse focuses solely on his or her own needs rather than the needs of the marriage.” (75)
- “Any story that portrays women as victims, or portrays women in search of their identity in the absences of a husband and children, is a shoo-in for mainstream media publicity.” (83)
- “The inconvenient truth is that many careers do not offer women the flexibility they want. If you plan to be a doctor, lawyer, or business executive, your family life will suffer―period. The men and women who pursued these foals have paid a big price for their achievement in the long hours they must commit to their careers.” (116)
“Disregarding a man’s work ethic and work prospects means women may be forced to remain in the workforce to keep the family afloat―and many will come to regret this.” (117)
The book gave good advice for single women looking for a husband, but it did not include suggestions on how to stop elite feminists from shaping politics and the news media. Where should conservative women go to for unbiased news information? Which political leaders are helping traditional- and family-oriented women?
The book is a good read for readers who are new to the traditional women/anti-feminist book world. The book is highly recommended.