It is heartwarming to see an aunt and niece duo working together to co-write a book for women across the country to read. Except when it is Suzanne Venker and Phyllis Schlafly’s new polemic, The Flipside of Feminism. Then it is less heartwarming and more vomit inducing.
The subtitle, What Conservative Women Know, and Men Can’t Say, gives you an idea of the kind of tone Venker and Schlafly adopt in their prose. A somewhat conspiracy-theorist attitude, they call out “the feminist elite” (wait, we have one of those?) for shoving their ideas down the traditional American woman’s throat. They claim role-changing events like the Equal Pay Act and World War II were naturally occurring developments that led to women entering the workforce, and praise the pre-Feminist movement birth control pill while making sure to state that men invented it. Feminism is, they say, “the single worst thing that has happened to American women.” Whoa.
According to the authors, women should choose to stay at home and raise their children (they neglect to address whether all women have the economic power to choose, or if they even have children), and go without the “posh lifestyles” they’ve grown accustomed to with unnecessary dual incomes. They simultaneously claim feminist victories as their own and criticize the options the movement has provided for American women, too many options according to them. Venker and Schlafly say that “most women in America are a right-of-center bunch and don’t want what women on the left want. [They] are traditionalists and don’t want to change America.”
But if Venker and Schlafly are so adamant that women should be firmly positioned in the home, what business do they have writing a book? Because ladies, the real "flipside of feminism" is that there was a time when most women didn’t have access to publishing their thoughts, and even then no one would have taken their thoughts seriously.
The opinions expressed on the BUST blog are those of the authors themselves and do not necessarily reflect the position of BUST Magazine or its staff.
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