Chatty Cathys

Smarty Pants Books: The Flip Side of Feminism

While I primarily read YA literature, I do have a deep, deep love for memoirs written by funny, quirky women who have a lot to say. I also love books that maybe speak of issues that are close to my heart, but present a different viewpoint. I also love a book about the South or about Southerners.

But these books have no place on my blog… OR DO THEY?!

I created a list on my Goodreads page called Smarty Pants (which you can check out here) where I can save all the memoirs and non-fiction books that sound oh so good to me! So I thought from time to time, if as I read them, I’ll post about them using the title “Smarty Pants Books.”

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One I’ve been REALLY wanting to read lately is called The Flipside of Feminism: What Conservative Women Know—and Men Can’t Say by Suzanne Venker and Phyllis Schlafly.

Here is the summary from Goodreads:

What if everything you’ve been told about women in America is wrong? What if what your college professors taught you – along with television, movies, books, magazine articles, and even news reports – have all been lies or distortions?

Since the 1960s, American feminists have set themselves up as the arbiters of all things female. Their policies have dominated the social and political landscape. The “spin sisters” in the media (aptly named by Myrna Blyth in her book of the same name) and their cohorts in academia are committed feminists. Consequently, everything Americans know — or think they know — about marriage, kids, sex, education, politics, gender roles, and work/family balance, has been filtered through a left-wing lens.

But what if conservative women are in the best position to empower American women?

Forty years have passed since the so-called women’s movement claimed to liberate women from preconceived notions of what it means to be female — and the results are in. The latest statistics from the National Bureau of Economic Research show that as women have gained more freedom, more education, and more power, they have become less happy.

Enough, say Suzanne Venker, an emerging young author, and veteran warrior Phyllis Schlafly. It’s time to liberate America from feminism’s dead-end road. Cast off the ideology that preaches faux empowerment and liberation from men and marriage. While modern women enjoy unprecedented freedom and opportunities, Venker and Schlafly argue that this progress is not the result of feminism.

Women’s progress has been a natural evolution – due in large part to men’s contributions. American men are not a patriarchal bunch, as feminists claim. They have, in fact, aided women’s progress. And like women, they have been just as harmed by the feminist movement.

In The Flipside of Feminism, Venker and Schlafly provide readers with a new view of women in America — one that runs counter to what Americans have been besieged with for decades. Their book demonstrates that conservative women are, in fact, the most liberated women in America and the folks to whom young people should be turning for advice. Their confident and rational approach to the battle of the sexes is precisely what America needs.

Sounds interesting, no? Over the past few years I’ve been battling with “feminism” and what it means to me. I’ve been struggling to figure out what it means to be a woman in the workforce, the home, in a family, and in society. On the one hand, I like the idea of being equal to men, to be able to do the same things as them, to aspire the same ways they do, to break through the glass ceiling. But on the other… I’m starting to question if being able to have those things would make me happy.

Anyway… have any of you read this one? Heard of it? Sounds interesting? Sounds like something you’d want to throw across the room?

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7 thoughts on “Smarty Pants Books: The Flip Side of Feminism”

  1. I totally think discussions about these type of books have a place on your blog if that’s what you want to talk about! I love YA and that’s what I mostly read since I work with teens in the library, but I never shy away from discussing other books that interest me.

    I have this book on a list to read for my Feminist Friday feature. Even though I think I will mostly disagree with it, I like to look at a variety of perspectives. I’d be interested to see your thoughts on it!

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    1. I’m glad someone else has heard of this book! I’ve been really interested in reading it for a while now. I read a snippet from it and I actually found myself agreeing with some of the things in it. I don’t feel like the description does it much justice though… but we shall see! I’ll definitely post my thoughts on it if I ever get around to reading it!

      Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

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  2. I think this books sounds so interesting. You know how I feel about these issues, especially since I left my career 11 (eeks!) years ago to be a stay at home mom. While like you, I fully back up the absolute truth that women can and should be able to do anything men can do and should be paid the same, have the same choices, etc etc, I feel largely ignored by the Feminist movement because while choice is a word that is used by that group, so often the choice to give up a career to be a mom and wife full-time is treated like a) something I’m forced to do (not true in my case) or b) the lesser choice, almost like I’m forsaking my rights as a woman. Women should have the choice to pursue the things they believe in and do what makes them feel fulfilled in life without bashing one another, and yet I watch the working mom/stay at home moms fight it out online (both sides equally judging each other) and it just disappoints me. Ok, I’ll stop now.

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    1. This is EXACTLY why I want to read this book! Key word: CHOICE. I don’t think being a housewife or stay at home mom is settling or choosing the lesser option. Just because we don’t choose what is considered the “better” career doesn’t mean we aren’t feminists or whatever. I’ve been feeling this way for a while now, having totally poo-pooed the idea of being a stay at home mom when I was younger. Anyway… hopefully I can read this soon and let you know what my thoughts are on it! 🙂

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  3. Well, I haven’t read this book, so I can’t really comment on whether I agree with the authors or not. But about your comment – on women being equal to men, and whether that would make you happy. I think it’s important for women to have the exact same rights as men, no matter what. It isn’t about making women happy. It’s about allowing women the chance to be happy with the same things men have. I think anyway. I think every woman should make her own choice – one where she has the same rights as an man has.

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