Thursday, June 21, 2012

Suzanne Venker: The Effects of Feminism on Millennial Women

The responses to the interview questions may not represent the views of The Echo Boom Bomb's author. These interviews are provided to inform readers of information from experts and provide these experts with a medium where they can answer questions without any content changes. You can also read other interviews at this link. All media in articles, unless otherwise stated, was added by Tim Smith.

One more-than-fair criticism I've received is that I have interviewed and portrayed many sociocultural issues from a pro-feminist point of view. For instance, neither Stephanie Coontz nor Kay Hymowitz criticized feminism, and while one seemed to think this new change would be good for everyone (Stephanie Coontz), the other seemed to almost point the finger at men (Kay Hymowitz - her book is Manning Up after all). Meanwhile, Susan Walsh seems to be the most conservative voice I've offered as of yet, regarding social issues. Of course, finding someone to point the finger at feminism is more than difficult. Nonetheless, I caught up with Suzanne Venker, who wrote a critique on feminism, titled The Flipside of Feminism.

A former middle school teacher-turned-social critic, Suzanne Venker is, first and foremost, a wife and mother of two children, ages 9 and 12. She is also the author of three books, 7 Myths of Working Mothers, The Flipside of Feminism, and (upcoming) How To Choose A Husband. She has appeared throughout media as a conservative view. You can read more about her at her bio page on her website, Suzanne Venker.

1. After interviewing Kay Hymowitz (on family formation), Stephanie Coontz and Susan Walsh (about hooking up) concerning the challenges young women and modern families face, what do you see as the major challenges for young women and modern families?

Young women have thoroughly absorbed feminist doctrine and now live in a culture that elevates women to such a degree that men have been dragged out of the equation. Many people don’t realize that equality these days means sameness -- not worthiness. The feminist goal is interchangeability between the sexes. Feminists deny biology, or the unique natures of women and men.

The other problem facing young women is the hook-up culture. Thanks to feminists, young women believe they can have sex and not face emotional attachment post-sex. This, in essence, plays into the male libido but can mean dire consequences for young women. I point out in my upcoming book, How To Choose A Husband (to be released in February 2013) that according to a recent Pew study, young men have lost interest in marriage, while young women have increased their interest in marriage during the same time period. This clearly shows the genders moving in opposite directions as far as life goals are concerned.

2. For young women, how do you think these issues should be addressed?

First, the modern generation needs to be educated about gender differences in a scientifically accurate manner. They need to recognize that men and women are fundamentally different – biologically, personally, and neurologically. These differences do not exist due to social constructs; they are inherent in male and female nature. And as we speak, we are learning more information from brain research on how the male and female brains differ. These differences should be taught to young people so they can live fulfilling lives by understanding who they really are.

Second, since women are the arbiters of sexual relationships, they need to stop sleeping around -- and instead make men commit before having sex with them. If we promote a culture in which men can have sex with whomever they want, they’ll see no need to marry. And, ultimately, women are the ones who want to get married. So if women want men to commit, women need to set their sexual-behavioral standards high (and adjust their expectations for what they want in a partner to a more realistic standard).

3. One criticism of anyone attacking feminism is that these individuals want to send us back to when "men dominated women" and patriarchy ruled. How do you respond to critics who might argue that this is what you're trying to promote?

[Editor's Note: Relative to the time frame, this assertion, which you will hear through educational institutions, may or may not be inaccurate. Certain work - such as farm work, for instance - does not allow for gender ideology. Likewise, being a male carries significant risk (according to history), as males are typically expected to sacrifice their lives in the event of a major disaster.]

First, I would ask them what time frame they’re talking about. If they asserted the 1950s era, as they usually do, I would argue that their assumptions about the male/female relationship is a caricature they’ve absorbed from media and feminists (who are usually one and the same). These sources created a drama about life in that era -- so when we read a portrayal of Leave It To Beaver or Father Knows Best, for instance, we get the feminist version of the truth and make assumptions accordingly.

We should also consider that many of the technologies that have been invented have helped women, such as birth control, were invented by men. In other words, it is men who helped liberate women through the technology they created. This has done far more for women than feminists ever did.

Finally, I would point out that many women were making their own choices long before feminism came along. Women may have had fewer choices in earlier eras, but that’s not because they lived in a patriarchy. Women became housewives because that was the ‘thing to do’ then, and society supported that lifestyle wholeheartedly.

My mother, for instance, chose to be stockbroker until she married my father at the age of 34. While that was unpopular for women in that era, no one stopped her from doing this. She even opened her own bank account with no problem! So many assumptions have been made about the way things were as a result of feminist influence.

4. When we discuss women and feminism, the discussion typically leaves out men. So – let’s be fair here – how have men been affected by feminism?

Feminism benefits men in that it appeals to the male sex drive. Female empowerment has, ironically, changed the culture to revolve around male DNA. Men are not prone to settling down or committing. They need to be inspired by women’s desire to do so.

Today men can have their cake and eat it, too. They can choose to settle down and have kids later -- or never settle down at all. They can have all the sex they want. It is women who don’t get what they’re looking for: marriage and commitment. I’ve stumbled across a huge subculture of young men (almost unexplored by media) who have chosen to avoid marriage because they don’t see any incentive to marry.

A man’s incentive for marriage is to provide and protect for his family. If he feels he’s not needed, he’s less likely to commit. American women have unintentionally driven men away. As a result, they feel lonely and unloved.

But women have the power to change everything that’s going on in modern relationships. All they have to do is reject the advice their feminist mothers and mentors gave them. My new book, How to Choose a Husband, helps them do this by offering women a feminist detox, or “12-step program” for changing their lives. Any woman who undergoes this “program” will find the love she craves.

The future of marriage is in women’s hands.