When Time magazine runs a cover story called "The Case for Staying Home," and Reuters reports that housework is good for women because it can help prevent ovarian cancer, you know the feminists are on the run. Stay-at-home moms are coming back in style.
Time reports that there has been a dramatic "drop-off" in workplace participation by married mothers with infants less than a year old. The figure fell from 59 percent in 1997 to 53 percent in 2000, and the drop was mostly among well-educated women over age 30.
How about that word "drop-off"? The big news is the increase in the numbers of mothers dropping off of the corporate or professional ladder and the decrease in the number of babies dropped off at day care.
According to a new Australian-Chinese study published in the International Journal of Cancer, moderate exercise such as housework decreases the risk of ovarian cancer in women. The more and the harder the housework the housewife does, the more she benefits.
The same week, attendees at a meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in Orlando, Fla., were told that a study at Women's Hospital in Boston showed that modest amounts of exercise can substantially improve women's chances of surviving breast cancer and help them to live longer. The doctor who presented the findings recommended the exercise of walking (but neglected to suggest walking behind a vacuum cleaner).
Why you won't read optimistic news like this in the major women's magazines is entertainingly explained in a new book by Myrna Blyth, who was editor-in-chief of Ladies' Home Journal for two decades. Her book is called "Spin Sisters: How the Women of the Media Sell Unhappiness and Liberalism to the Women of America."
The Spin Sisters are the high-profile women in the media, both those who control the profitable women's magazines and the anorexic female hosts on television. They are all busy selling American women the ideology of victimhood, the attitude that women's lives are full of misery and threats, and that they suffer from a constant state of stress that keeps them unable to cope with life's ordinary irritations.
The whole premise of female victimhood is false. American women today live longer, healthier lives than ever, filled with a multitude of opportunities for education, travel and employment.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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