by Carey Roberts
It was one of those claims that only a feminist could dream up: "A 2005 U.N. Population Fund report found that 70% of married women in India were victims of beatings or rape." Despite the lack of credibility of anything that comes from the United Nations, this straight-faced claim actually made its way into a front-page article last week in the Washington Times.
That, despite the fact that the research shows Indian women are the gender more likely to abuse. Plus, no one could track down the UN report that supposedly made the claim. [www.mediaradar.org/alert20061113.php]
The Washington Times is certainly no feminist rag. So what’s going on here?
In the wake of the November 7 electoral debacle, conservatives are doing a lot of soul-searching. Maybe it’s time to assess whether the feminist ideology has been allowed to invidiously dilute the conservative message.
There was a time, of course, when the women’s movement held the moral high ground. Susan B. Anthony not only championed women’s right to vote, but also took a principled stand against abortion.
But after Anthony died in 1906, her movement fell under the sway of a group of neo-Marxist women who dubbed themselves "feminists." The Misses of Misery asserted that everything that is wrong in the world can be blamed on the vast anti-woman conspiracy they call the patriarchy. Here’s Gloria Steinem: "Overthrowing capitalism is too small for us. We must overthrow the whole… patriarchy."
For years, conservatives have underestimated the dogged determination of the women’s libbers to undermine everything that is good and right in our society: the inviolability of life, sanctity of the family, free speech, opportunities not quotas, law based on due process, and limited role of government.
Let’s be perfectly plain about it: Feminism is the antithesis of everything conservatism stands for.
Thankfully, some in the conservative ranks have bravely spoken out against the rad-fem jihad, including Phyllis Schlafly, Ann Coulter, Laura Schlessinger, Catherine Seipp, Kathryn Jean Lopez, and Myrna Blyth.
But why are there only six, not 600 conservative women on the list? And what about conservative men? Are the conservative no-shows intimidated or merely complacent? Why haven’t the mainstream conservative organizations come out four-square against radical feminism?
To be sure, one reason is that the conservative movement has become beholden to the electoral imperatives of the Republican party, fearing that any criticism of feminism might stir a backlash on election day. This fear is misplaced, however, as only a quarter of American women call themselves feminist, and 22% of women say that being called a feminist would be an "insult." [www.ifeminists.net/introduction/editorials/2004/0811roberts.html]
Another reason is that many conservative men – especially politicians and newspaper editors — confuse ladies-first chivalry with becoming water-carriers for the latest feminist myth-de-jour.
It’s time that these guys wise-up to the feminist bait-and-switch. These gals claim to be the complete equals to men. But voice any doubts about their ideology, and they lapse into a pathetic cocoon of hurt feelings.
And then there are those ladies who claim to be straight-laced conservatives, but bristle with an anti-male hostility or spread poisonous gender myths.
Take conservative columnist Suzanne Fields who had the habit of making nasty asides about men. Finally her readers objected en masse, their letters appearing under an editorial headline that took exception to Fields’ "Anti-Male Diatribe."
And then there’s marriage maven Maggie Gallagher who never passes on the opportunity to diss men. Once Gallagher claimed that, "battering is largely a male prerogative, the way a tiny fraction of evil men seek to control the women they sleep with."
Really, Mrs. Gallagher?
Try telling that to the family of Dennis McGlothin of Peoria County, Ill., who last week was run over and killed by his ex-wife Krystle. Just to make her point, the woman also rammed his pickup truck and smashed his windows.
This case is not an aberration. Psychologist Renee McDonald has found that American wives are twice as likely as their husbands to engage in severe domestic violence. [www.smu.edu/experts/study-documents/family-violence-study-may2006.pdf]
A few months ago Washington Times editor-in-chief Wesley Pruden reflected on the feminist opportunists who seize on military sex scandals to push for women in front-line combat positions. Prudent ridiculed the flat-footed military brass as "Powerful men who know better are unable to stand up to the stamp of little feminist feet."
It’s time that conservatives found the moral courage and personal gumption to say ‘no’ to the latest feminist demands, lest we bequeath to our children and grandchildren an unruly and emasculated culture.
Carey Roberts is a staff writer for the New Media Alliance, Inc. The New Media Alliance is a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets.