Debunking Militant Feminist Orthodoxy

January 30, 2006

Kate O’Beirne’s “Women Who Make the World Worse” is one of the boldest books challenging the orthodoxy of political correctness to be released in years. Above all, it documents the real damage inflicted on our culture by radical feminism and the women who lead that destructive movement.

O’Beirne makes a compelling case, substantiated by copious research, that radical feminism has been driven largely by disaffected women, devoted to undermining the traditional institutions that are indispensable for a healthy, vibrant society: motherhood, fatherhood and marriage.

In their relentless assault on gender distinctions and Mother Nature herself, they have tried to eliminate all differences between men and women, labeling them as social constructs engineered by dominant males in furtherance of their conspiracy to oppress women.

This book is not merely a polemical counterpoint to the subjective propaganda with which radical feminists have bombarded society in the last three-plus decades. It marshals impressive evidence shattering the bizarre, counterintuitive psychobabble feminists have promoted to “deconstruct” the pillars of our culture.

Radical feminist torchbearers publicly condemn marriage as the “chief vehicle for the perpetuation of the oppression of women” and a destructive institution that has harmed women’s mental and emotional health.

But O’Beirne shows that when confronted with the hard evidence that refutes their premises, radical feminists cavalierly dismiss it as just further proof of men’s successful subjugation and indoctrination of women.

For example, when study after study reveals that married women, on average, are happier, healthier and wealthier than their unmarried counterparts, feminists write them off as skewed because they don’t comport with their militant conclusions.

O’Beirne cites a female sociology professor, Jessie Barnard, who says, “To be happy in a relationship which imposes so many impediments on her, as traditional marriage does, women must be slightly mentally ill.” Another, Katharine Bartlett, the dean of Duke University’s law school, attributes women’s support for the traditional, nuclear family to deeply rooted ideology (read: brainwashing).

If anyone is blinded by ideological conditioning, it’s the feminists, who willfully ignore the stubborn data that refuse to conform to their prejudices. For their dogma to thrive, they have to discount such disturbing findings as “boys who grew up outside of intact marriages, were, on average, more than twice as likely to end up in jail as other boys, and twice as likely to use illegal drugs.”

While radical feminists hold themselves out as champions of women’s freedom and choice, they have sought to systematically undercut the natural bond between mother and child and put a guilt trip on mothers who would prefer temporarily to sacrifice their professional careers and stay home during their children’s formative years.

No less a figure than Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote, “Motherly love ain’t everything it has been cracked up to be. To some extent, it’s a myth that men have created to make women think that they do this job to perfection.”

And lest you draw the wrong inferences here, O’Beirne’s book is not a condemnation of women who choose to pursue their careers while raising their children. Rather, it is an indictment of the radical feminists who insist on women marching in lock step to the monolithic dictates of the radical movement.

O’Beirne also makes quite clear that she has long opposed discrimination against women in employment and education and is a strong believer in women pursing academic and career excellence. It never occurred to her father, she says, that her chosen profession of law “was unsuitable for a woman.”

Though O’Beirne has been a fierce advocate of equal opportunity for women, she abhors the radical feminists’ goal of legally enforcing an equality of outcomes, which would include, for example, absurdly equalizing the percentage of cosmetology, welding and carpentry students between the sexes.

The feminists, O’Beirne correctly notes, are not about empowering women. They have no room in their utopia for accomplished conservative women, such as Margaret Thatcher or Condoleezza Rice.

“Women Who Make the World Worse” is, to be sure, an entertaining, often humorous expose of the modern feminist movement, but at the same time, it’s a sober wake-up call, highlighting its destructive “advancements” and naming its primary culprits, including our would-be president, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

I have long admired Kate O’Beirne and her powerful work as a writer for National Review and a commentator on “The Capital Gang.” But she has outdone herself with this book, which is a must-read for all who seek to understand radical feminism and the danger it poses to women, men, children, families, marriage, education and other essential societal institutions.

I have barely scratched the surface here. Get it and read it. You will not be disappointed.