The feminist movement has had an immense effect on American culture, laws, education and social relationships. A principal tenet of the doctrine of Political Correctness, feminism is the prevailing dogma on university campuses and in the book industry. The feminists are powerful enough in the media, in schools and colleges, and in politics and government to intimidate most of their opposition, especially men.
The best book that methodically challenges the feminist ideology is Carolyn Graglia's Domestic Tranquility. She does a brilliant job of refuting the feminist ideologues' tiresome tirades. Check out any library under "women" and you will find that Mrs. Graglia's book is pitted against hundreds of feminist volumes. Phyllis Schlafly's The Power of the Positive Woman, published in 1977, is long since out of print and was censored by the libraries when it was in print.
But refuting feminist ideology is not enough. It is necessary to have intelligent critiques of feminist behavior, hypocrisies, language, and political and social activism. We need exposés of the ripple effects of their ideology in the laws that were changed during the last generation, in their proposals that were defeated, in debates in legislatures, in the scripting of television programs and movies, in the social experimentation in our armed services, in day-to-day social relationships, and in the changing attitudes and roles of men and women.
A few brave women have tackled limited parts of this movement; e.g., Suzanne Fields' wonderful columns in the Washington Times, some delicious dissections of feminist hypocrisies by Ann Coulter, Christina Hoff Sommers' dissertations on the feminists' war against boys, and several books exposing the double standards in the military. Criticisms of feminism are conspicuously absent from the writings of otherwise prolific male authors and commentators, and the few who have tried it have suffered career-damaging retaliation.
Years ago, I subscribed to a newsletter of timely jokes written by a successful practitioner of clean one-line comedy. I got tired of the abundance of jokes about dumb wives and wrote the author that I would cancel my subscription unless he gave equal time to jokes about feminists, whose antics and remarks are far funnier. He never answered me -- he didn't dare face the wrath of the feminists, knowing they have no sense of humor.
My new book called Feminist Fantasies (just published by Spence Publishing Company in Dallas) is the first book that tackles the feminists where the rubber meets the road -- on the battlefields of television and radio talk shows, in legislative hearings, and in college courses. The book consists of 92 of my essays on feminism written over the past thirty years chronicling how the feminists spewed their anti-family message in the media, in state capitols, and on university campuses. These essays show how their destructive dogmas took root in our culture and led many young women down the primrose path to a lonely, barren life.
The St.Louis Post-Dispatch ran a four-column news article this year about an aging feminist, a 30-year member of the National Organization for Women, who is still pouting because in the 1960s she was called a stewardess instead of an airline attendant. She showed the reporter her scrapbook of treasured pictures -- not of any grandchildren, but of Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan, Bella Abzug and Florence Kennedy. Pathetically, she fantasizes that the Equal Rights Amendment will make her happy.
Feminist Fantasies provides a unique look at feminism from the battlefield where the action is -- where I've been for the past thirty years. It takes you inside the controversies of the feminist movement from its heyday in the 1970s through its second and third waves. No other book explains how feminist dogma has been translated into political strategy and tactics, federal and state legislation, litigation to invite judicial activism, movie and television scripts, newspaper features, military regulations, college courses and school textbooks. No other book provides a reasoned criticism of feminist follies in every aspect of the culture.
Feminist Fantasies shows how the feminists captured the media, including its famous talking heads, and converted television into a maker of social trends rather than a reporter or a mirror of real life. I trace the feminist campaign to reinvent the family in their own image through television talk shows and sitcoms, movies made by Hollywood and for television, music from opera to rock, newspaper news and editorials, art, advertising, and business magazines.
Feminist Fantasies tackles the contradictory goals of feminism: equality plus preferential treatment. It explains the feminists' devious devices to achieve power in the workplace through deceitful sloganeering such as "comparable worth" and "glass ceiling." It exposes how the feminists define equality as access to tax-funded abortions and same-sex marriages. It tells about their campaigns to restructure the American legal system, to pursue their global goals, to enforce double standards, and to use academia to locate and train recruits for their cause. It describes the feminists' identity crisis.
Feminist Fantasies should be must reading for every young woman. It's a vaccine against the contagious disease of feminism. I dare the Women's Studies departments of colleges and universities to use it to balance the scores of feminist books customarily assigned to brainwash female students. The foreword by Ann Coulter underscores this book's importance.
This book shows how the longtime feminist goal of a gender-neutral society was the motivation behind the campaigns for the Equal Rights Amendment and for the feminization of the military. Feminist goals are incompatible with the combat readiness we need in times of war, a priority that has taken on a new urgency because of events since 9/11. The brave firefighters who charged up the towers of the World Trade Center, and our Special Forces who dared to enter the caves in Afghanistan, need our help to defend themselves and their work against the feminists who despise macho men.
The feminists' goal is to eradicate from our culture everything that is masculine and remake us into a gender-neutral society. We see their handiwork in textbook revision and in the constant haranguing by the language gestapo to force us to use such gender-neutral idiocies as he/she. We see this in the war on boys through abolishing recess, overprescribing Ritalin, and the zero tolerance policies that forbid them to play cops and robbers. We see this in the sex integration of Virginia Military Institute and the Citadel, which was a battle not for sex equality but to eliminate macho men. We see this in the implementation of Title IX, which is used not to give women equal opportunity in colleges but as a vehicle to abolish wrestling teams and other sports in which men outperform women.
The feminists showcased their goal in the New York Times Sunday Style section on November 3, 2002. The headline was "She's Got to Be a Macho Girl," and the subtitle was: "In a role reversal, teenage girls are the aggressors when it comes to boys." The article boasted about "the trickle-down effects of feminism" which have taught teenage girls to initiate sex "in a more aggressive manner." One high school senior pontificated: "No one is a stay-at-home mom anymore. Women don't have to wear skirts. We are empowered and we can do whatever we want."
The feminists constantly intimidate men with their assault on the English language. When Mitt Romney, campaigning for governor of Massachusetts in 2002, called the histrionics of his Democratic feminist opponent "unbecoming," the feminists exploded in tantrums of accusations that he had used a sexist word. Actually, since unbecoming means unattractive and creating an unfavorable impression, the word is most apt to politely describe a feminist politician. As Harry Truman used to say, if you can't stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen.
Feminist Fantasies offers hope and moral support to women who want to liberate themselves from feminist dogmas and build a traditional family. The book does not recite platitudes on how to be a good wife and mother. Instead, it provides intellectual ammunition to help young women refute their contemporaries who disdain marriage and motherhood. My lectures on hundreds of college campuses, which attract large crowds, prove that students have never heard the facts and arguments about feminism that I have the nerve to present to hostile audiences.
Understanding feminism requires knowledge of how the feminists coopted our culture and built their political power. Feminist Fantasies tells this never-before-told history through critical commentaries that contemporaneously addressed feminist issues during the past thirty years. No other book in print deals head-on with feminism like Feminist Fantasies.
How the Feminists Built Their Power
If you wonder how the feminists are able to wield so much clout with politicians, the explanation is in a new book called Guide to Feminist Organizations. As Midge Decter says in her foreword, this book is long overdue, and we thank Capital Research Center and author Kimberly Schuld for providing such a useful tool.
By setting forth the facts about 35 feminist groups, this guide clarifies how the radical feminists built their political power so that they are falsely touted by the media as the voice of "women," even though all polls show that the big majority of women reject the label "feminist." The feminists did it by organization, networking and lots of money, much of which came from leftwing foundations, corporations headed by weak-kneed executives, and grants of taxpayer funds.
The feminist groups detailed in the guide include the noisy activist organizations, the decades-old women's groups that had respectable reputations until they were captured by the feminists, the think tanks that grind out dubious data to fortify feminist follies, and the abortion-propaganda groups masquerading under the euphemism "women's health." Networking keeps them "on message" and well-funded. Feminist organizations even demand that government fund their ideologies and themselves, and transfer to feminists the power they think that men now enjoy.
These groups may appear to have different missions, but they have a common ideology: Women are victims of an oppressive patriarchal society, and all men are guilty both individually and collectively. Women's problems are not personal but societal, and require constitutional, legislative or litigious remedies.
First among these activists is the National Organization for Women (NOW), which spent $5,292,025 in 2000. Loud and brassy, NOW lobbies for feminist and pro-abortion legislation, organizes protest rallies, initiates lawsuits, and always backs Democratic Party candidates and proposals. The NOW agenda supports all abortion rights including partial-birth abortion, gay and lesbian rights, worldwide legalization of prostitution, and unrestricted access to pornography in libraries. According to the guide, "NOW revels in attacking Christianity and traditional values, conservative ideas and men," with Rush Limbaugh, Jerry Falwell and Promise Keepers their favorite targets.
NOW gave unquestioning support to Bill Clinton despite his shabby sexual shenanigans. Tammy Bruce, former president of the Los Angeles NOW, spilled the beans about how Clinton bought NOW's support with taxpayer grants for "tobacco control" from the Department of Health and Human Services: "California NOW and National NOW received three-quarters of a million dollars ($767,099) during the Paula Jones and Monica Lewinsky scandals."
The League of Women Voters abandoned its former credibility and became a federally funded lobby to expand the size of government so that it can accommodate expensive feminist programs. The League, which spent $4,620,246 in 2000, supports gun control, abortion access, universal health care, more environmental regulation, and increased power for the United Nations.
The American Association of University Women turned itself into a vehicle to promote off-the-wall feminist hypotheses that aren't taken seriously even in the academic world. AAUW spent $9,512,044 in 2000.
The feminists use the YWCA to teach radical feminism to the next generation. The Girl Scouts went feminist after they took Betty Friedan on their board; they dropped "loyalty" from the oath, began a condom-friendly sex-ed program, and made belief in God optional.
Most of the activist feminist organizations have 501(c)(3) sister groups with interlocking directors. They pursue the same agenda, including government-funded daycare, paid entitlements for family leave, unrestricted access to abortion, comparable worth, lesbian rights, affirmative action, universal health insurance, and anti-male implementation of Title IX. As the Guide states, "It's hard to see where NOW political lobbying ends and NOW Foundation education activity begins."
Funding for feminist foundations comes from many sources that ought to know better. NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund has raked in corporate donations from a long list topped by ABC, AT&T, American Express, Chase Manhattan, Colgate-Palmolive, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, New York Times Foundation, Revlon, Saks, and New York brokerage houses; from Ford, Rockefeller and other wealthy foundations; and $1,678,252 in government grants since 1996 given by the Clinton Administration. NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund boasted income of $7,318,269 in 2000.
Such vast amounts of money are used to develop political clout and enable the feminists to raise and spend millions of dollars in political campaigns. EMILY's List, which contributes only to Democratic pro-abortion feminist candidates, spent more than $20 million in the 2002 election cycle and is the largest political action committee, twice as large as the union that is second largest.
This political money has translated into a stranglehold on the Democratic Party and sycophantic cheerleading for radical feminist politicians such as Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton and their clones running in 2002. Follow the money and you will understand why Democratic Senators don't dare to cast any vote or make any off-hand remark that could be construed as interfering with the feminist or pro-abortion agenda. EMILY's List website boasts that Tom Daschle said, "The reason I'm here today as Senate Majority Leader can be said in two words: EMILY's List." Rep. Nancy Pelosi said, "I know that I would not ... be the Democratic Whip of the House without the work that was done by EMILY's List."
Hooray for Hootie!
At last we have a real man who can resist the histrionics of the pushy feminists. It's so refreshing to know that somewhere there is an American man willing to stand his ground -- on any issue -- and tell the feminists he is not going to knuckle under to their nagging, extortion, pressure tactics or media tantrums.
William Johnson, known to friends as Hootie, is the president of the Augusta National Golf Club located in northeastern Georgia which has hosted the world's most famous golf tournament, the Masters, ever since 1934. A pushy outfit called the National Council of Women's Organizations (NCWO) has been trying to force the all-male golf club to alter its admissions policy and admit women. The feminists are not appeased by the fact that women can play golf on the Augusta National course; they demand to be members of the club.
Hootie responded by saying the club will not submit to pressure to change its admissions policy from an "outside group with its own agenda." Calling NCWO's tactics "offensive and coercive," he added, "We will not be bullied, threatened or intimidated. We do not intend to become a trophy in their display case."
Bully for Hootie! He probably read the Supreme Court's decision in Boy Scouts v. Dale, wherein the high court upheld the right of private associations to set their own membership rules.
The New York Times says that Hootie "counterpunched with harsh words and a complete resistance to bowing to the demands." The reporter must have been shocked, shocked that any man has the nerve to counterpunch against the feminists (even though the feminists have been claiming for years that they want to be treated like men instead of ladies).
The NCWO manifested its malicious streak by going to Coca-Cola, IBM and Citigroup to demand that they terminate their corporate sponsorship of the Masters tournament unless the Augusta National Golf Club changes its policy. The NCWO got easy help from its feminist friends in the media who then targeted only Hootie, but not the NCWO, as "defiant" and "angry" (words of the Associated Press), and as "defiant" and "combative" (words of the New York Times).
Hootie then announced that the club would cancel commercial advertising on the televised 2003 Masters tournament in order to protect the corporations from the feminists' wrath. The Masters tournament already gets the highest television ratings, and its fans will cheer the delightful prospect of watching a sports event without any commercials.
Maybe Hootie suspected that the corporate executives wouldn't have the stamina to stand up to the feminists. He's probably right. Most corporation executives get wobbly in the knees when the feminists start chanting their mantra "discrimination" and accusing the men of "sexism."
The feminists tried to use Tiger Woods, who won the Masters in 2002 for the third time, as a prop in their publicity stunt to advance their special-interest agenda. When asked what he thinks about Augusta National's rules, Tiger replied with the good sense that has made him a star and a role-model: "They're entitled to set up their own rules the way they want them."
British golfers also kept their eyes on the ball. A spokesman for the Royal & Ancient Golf Club, which runs the British Open at Muirfield where women are excluded as members, commented, "We take the Open to the best links in the British Isles. We don't engage in social engineering."
Under the Clinton Administration, the feminists made athletics one of the arrows in their campaign to emasculate America. They co-opted Title IX for their own agenda, sabotaging its original purpose of ensuring equal educational opportunity for women and turning it into a weapon to force the abolition of scores of college men's wrestling, track and gymnastics teams.
The feminists have been crowing that recent achievements by women athletes are the happy result of Title IX. But when a reporter asked for a comment on Title IX from Jennifer Capriati, one of the best women tennis players in the world, she replied, "I have no idea what Title IX is. Sorry."
The name of the National Council of Women's Organizations is a misnomer because it's not a "women's" council, it's a feminist council. The all-women's organizations I belong to wouldn't belong to it.
The NCWO has typical feminist goals such as Senator Barbara Boxer's current passion: ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). NCWO members are probably hoping to be named to CEDAW's Article 17 Committee of "experts" to monitor compliance so they can harass Hootie with UN backing.
NCWO's extremist feminist goals also include affirmative action for women, ratification of the long-defunct Equal Rights Amendment, pro-abortion and pro-gay rights legislation, government wage control camouflaged as "pay equity," the Clintonista feminists' use of Title IX, and government babysitting services. Its goals parallel those of the National Organization for Women and Eleanor Smeal's Feminist Majority, two of its member groups.
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Phyllis Schlafly, the president of Eagle Forum, was named one of the 100 most important women of the 20th century by the Ladies' Home Journal. In a ten-year battle, Mrs. Schlafly led the pro-family movement to victory over the principal legislative goal of the radical feminists, the Equal Rights Amendment. She is America's most articulate and successful opponent of the radical feminist movement, and she has lectured or debated on over 500 college campuses. She is the author or editor of 20 books on subjects as varied as politics (A Choice Not An Echo), family and feminism (The Power of the Positive Woman), child care (Who Will Rock the Cradle?), nuclear strategy (Strike From Space and Kissinger on the Couch), education (Child Abuse in the Classroom and Turbo Reader). Her monthly newsletter called The Phyllis Schlafly Report is now in its 36th year. Her syndicated columns and daily radio commentaries can be read and heard live on Eagle Forum's website: www.eagleforum.org. Mrs. Schlafly is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Washington University, received her J.D. from Washington University Law School and her Master's in Political Science from Harvard University. The mother of six children, she was the 1992 Illinois Mother of the Year.