CultureWatch

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A review of Feminist Fantasies. By Phyllis Schlafly.

Feb 18, 2004

Spence Publishing, 2003.

If there is one name in America that strikes terror in the hearts of most feminists, it is Phyllis Schlafly. For over four decades she has championed the cause of faith and family, and has resisted the radical social engineering of radical feminists, the homosexual lobby and other coercive utopians.

She is perhaps most famous for almost single-handedly knocking down the feminist Equal Rights Amendment. Her 1964 book on what women really want, A Choice Not an Echo, sold 3 million copies.

This volume is a collection of her columns, articles and essays written over the years. Arranged topically, they cover a number of important issues, including affirmative action, women in the military, the importance of marriage and family, women in the workplace, and so on. They offer some of the most insightful and challenging remarks found on these vital issues. Each pithy essay (there are around one hundred) is a minor classic.

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Take for example her 1987 piece, “Why Affirmative Action is Wrong for Women”. The first two (of seven) reasons are worth citing: First, “the woman receiving the benefit is not a woman who was ever discriminated against. The benefits are not targeted for the victims. Nobody should be entitled to receive a remedy for any injury suffered by someone else.”

Second, “it is based on a theory of group rights as opposed to the American tradition of individual rights. Women are not a monolithic, cohesive group in which a grievance suffered by one woman should translate into a right or a remedy granted to another woman.”

Or consider the so-called glass ceiling. Says Schlafly, “Just because there is a small percentage of women in senior management does not prove discrimination. It proves instead that the majority of women have made other choices – usually family choices – rather than devoting themselves to the corporate world for sixty to eighty hours a week.”

The short essays contained in this book will not take long to read. But they will provide much food for thought, rattle a few cages, and cause much mirth (depending on where you stand on the issues). With the overwhelming proliferation of the feminist worldview in the media and elsewhere, it is reassuring to know that countering voices still exist. And this is one of the best.

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