Mona Charen
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Noting the comeback campaigns of Eliot Spitzer and Anthony Weiner in New York, feminist author Hanna Rosin wonders why "50 years into the sexual revolution" women politicians lag so far behind men in the sex scandal tally. She notes biological and evolutionary explanations only to reject them in favor of the idea that women are just too unused to power to abuse it in that way. She's cheered though by surveys showing that younger women are cheating on their spouses almost as much as men and confidently looks forward to the not-too-distant day when we'll "find ourselves willing to look past the indiscretions" of women philanderers, too.

Welcome to the feminist paradise, where the ideal is for women to model themselves not just on men but on the worst men.

Fifty years ago, Betty Friedan, a restless Marxist, published The Feminine Mystique. Its premise was that women were miserable in the "comfortable concentration camp" of domestic life but were too brainwashed to know it. The job of feminism was to "raise the consciousness" of these benighted dupes.

Friedan's timing was felicitous. The U.S. economy was expanding dramatically, laborsaving devices had made housework much less time-consuming, and technological progress was making brainwork more valuable than physical strength in the marketplace. Freidan and her many acolytes were pushing on an open door.

But they pushed in the wrong direction. Not satisfied with encouraging women to pursue careers and correcting legal barriers to women's equality, feminists sought nothing less than the obliteration of family life and traditional sexual mores. The "double standard" in matters of sex, they taught, favored men. The solution was promiscuity for everyone (enabled by unrestricted abortion).

It was a foolish and self-defeating wrong turn.

Fifty years on, we have this dispatch from the University of Pennsylvania: "Sex on Campus: She Can Play That Game Too," a New York Times account of the way women at one Ivy League school are supposedly "hooking up" in preference to having relationships. It's not that the sexual revolution actually favored men, the Times reassures its readers, it's just that women are too focused on careers to make time for men. They pursue sex with "hookup buddies" without a flicker of regret.

This is the new brainwashing. Women have been sold (and sold and sold) on the notion that happiness and fulfillment are to be found in careers. Marriage and children are items to be calendared after the MBA, J.D., or Ph.D. Sex is recreation. Getting attached to the human being behind the sex organ can limit your internship options.

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Mona Charen

Mona Charen is a syndicated columnist, political analyst and author of Do-Gooders: How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help .
 
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