WASHINGTON D.C. – Wednesday the Heritage Foundation co-hosted with the National Review Institute, Mona Charen to discuss her new book, Sex Matters: How Modern Feminism Lost Touch With Science Love and Common Sense. Charen is also the author of two previous NYT bestsellers, and was also a speech writer for Nancy Reagan.
The event consisted of a discussion between Charen, and Kathryn Jean Lopez, editor-at large of National Review Magazine who interviewed her, and was moderated by Ryan Anderson, a Senior Research Fellow at the Heritage Foundation.
“I knew I was going to be accused of being against women, because I’m against a lot of what feminism has done, and because I’m identifying feminism’s errors, but it does not come out of any hostility to women or men, it comes out of a feeling of wanting people to thrive and to have the most secure and happy lives that they can,” began Charen.
“In many instances I think that the answer to why people are struggling and that they are not as happy as they could be is because they lack that most basic and fundamental building block in life which is a stable happy family, that gives every child what they need right from the get-go…Copious amounts of social science show that those things a baby needs are best delievered by two married parents” she explained .
Lopez asks how we can be truthful in a culture, that is so confused.
Charen went on to explain that hard sciences have shown that there are differences between men and women. She explains that feminists are afraid of these differences, because they believe that acknowledging these differences will lead to the oppression of men. “Men tend to excel more than women at high end math and science…Men outnumber women about 10 to 1.
Women tend to cluster at the center of the bell curve; Men tend to be found at the tails,” says Charen
Charen does not shirk from addressing the pay gap, explaining that starting out in early in their careers, there is only a slight pay gap between men and women, when they have the same training, education and skills. “The pay gap shows up when women get into their late 20s and 30s and start having children and cut back at work,” explained Charen.
Lopez asks how we can helps unmarried parents with children.
"Right now the ethic in America is 'don't judge'...That is what people know it means to be a good person, and that is a limitation of our times." explains Charen. "If you really do want people to be able to flourish, you have to wish what is best and what is best for them is security."
It is better for children to grow up with both a a mother and father. Boys who grow up without their fathers have more problems with anger and self control when they hit adolescence. Girls who grow up without their fathers have much lower self-esteem and are much less assertive and confident, explained Charen.
Society tells us that the only thing that matters is love. That isn't true, she explains. "It is also important to enourage people to give their kids security," says Charen. Ideally it is best for a child to be raised by it's two biological parents, according to Charen.
"You can't just sort of interchangeably switch people in and out of roles and think that you are not going to pay a price," says Charen.
Lopez asks how we can discuss the idea that love is not enough and that duty and responsibility are important especially in such a "gender fluid" culture, without sounding like conservatives.
“The effort to deny nature leads to unnecessary suffering and denies great pleasures,” explains Charen.
Many women ask how you can have it all. “You can have it all, but you can’t have it all at once,” explains Charen.
Charen explains that most women including herself who take time off or cut back on work to raise a family do not feel like losers, as the feminist movement would have us to believe.
You cannot measure the success of men and women separately, explains Charen.
@monacharenEPPC “We are all connected so we cannot see our success independent of one another” #SexMatters @Heritage @kathrynlopez @kennylinafp @thefathereffect @EPPCdc @FrMatthewLC @NRO @lifehaspurpose @RyanAFournier @ryanbomberger #WednesdayWisdom pic.twitter.com/WTAFE4vdC0— Marguerite Duane (@mduanemd) July 18, 2018
During the question and answer period moderator Ryan Anderson, asked Charen "What can men do? What should men do?"
"Men need to remind the world that when they are gentleman, when they shoulder their responsibilities, when they are the protectors of women and not the abusers of women, they are worthy or the greatest respect, and the greatest honor," responded Charen.
"I'm sympathetic to the men who grew up without any guidance, it's not really their fault. It's a circle, the men have to be raised by good men and women, who teach them what it means to be a solid citizen," said Charen.