Betty Friedan started the feminist movement in the late 1960s with her book "The Feminine Mystique," which created the myth that suburban housewives were suffering from "a sense of dissatisfaction" with their alleged-to-be-boring lives. To liberate women from the home that Friedan labeled "a comfortable concentration camp," the feminist movement worked tirelessly to make the role of fulltime homemaker socially disdained.
Economic need played no role in the feminist argument that marriage is archaic and oppressive to women. A job in the labor force was upheld as so much more fulfilling than tending babies and preparing dinner for a hard-working husband.
Women's studies courses require students to accept as an article of faith the silly notion that gender differences are not natural or biological but are social constructs created by the patriarchy and ancient stereotypes. This leads feminists to seek legislative corrections for problems that don't exist.
A former editor of the Ladies' Home Journal wrote in her book "Spin Sisters" that the anorexic blondes on television are every day selling the falsehood that women's lives are full of misery and threats from men. Bernard Goldberg calls the mainstream media "one of America's most pro-feminist institutions."
According to feminist ideology, the only gender-specific characteristic is that men are naturally batterers who make all women victims. On that theory, the feminists conned Congress into passing the Violence Against Women Act (note the sex discriminatory title), which includes a handout of a billion dollars a year to finance their political, legislative and judicial goals.
The feminists whine endlessly using their favorite word "choice" in matters of abortion, but they reject choice in gender roles. The Big Mama of feminist studies, Simone de Beauvoir, said: "We don't believe that any woman should have this choice. No woman should be authorized to stay at home to raise her children ... precisely because if there is such a choice, too many women will make that one."
The feminists have carried on a long-running campaign to make husbands and fathers unnecessary and irrelevant. Most divorces are initiated by women, and more women than men request same-sex marriage licenses in Massachusetts so that, with two affirmative-action jobs plus in vitro fertilization, they can create a "family" without husbands or fathers.
Despite the false messages of the colleges and the media, most American women are smart enough to reject the label feminist, and only 20 percent of mothers say they want full-time work in the labor force. I suggest that women suffering from unhappiness should look into how women are treated in the rest of the world, and then maybe American women would realize they are the most fortunate people on earth.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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