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The Contrarian
Fight the Feminist Occupation
Women Who Make the World Worse

[Sally C. Pipes] 4/6/06

We recently noted that some forecasters view the election of female politicians as a sign of a new and better world run by women. Of course, not everybody sees it that way — certainly not Kate O'Beirne, author of Women Who Make the World Worse: and How Their Radical Feminist Assault is ruining Our Schools, Families, and Sports.

The author, Washington editor of National Review and familiar to television viewers, believes that the modern women's movement is totalitarian in its methods, radical in its aims, and dishonest in its advocacy. Kate O’Beirne attempts to show this in a topical manner, through chapters on the family, the military, sports, and other relevant subjects. She makes a strong case that is too detailed to outline at length in this space, but worthy of support on key points. The cast of characters will be familiar to readers of the Contrarian.

Sally C. Pipes
[Courtesty of Pacific Research Institute]

Sally C. Pipes is President and CEO, Pacific Research Institute [go to Pipes index]

The great virtue of this book is its linkage of ideas with consequences. Bad ideas translate to bad public policy. This is not an issue of faculty lounge chit-chat, nor even formal debate. The radical feminists outlined here are and have always been at war with society. They have managed to occupy much territory, even without the facts on their side.

Women Who Make the World Worse is also a convenient refresher course on what might be called feminism's greatest hits. For those new to the fray, or who may have forgotten, O'Beirne recounts the Super Bowl hoax of 1993. Feminists floated the idea that Super Bowl Sunday is a veritable D-Day of violence toward women. It isn't, but only a single reporter at the Washington Post took the trouble to check the facts. The unfactual campaign rolled on unabated because of the vast credulity toward feminist claims.

O'Beirne notes that Senator Birch Bayh, an Indiana Democrat, was one of the chief sponsors of Title IX, which he saw as a measure against gender quotas. It hasn't exactly worked out that way. The measure's "proportionality" provision has led to the elimination of hundreds of men's sports teams, including the UCLA men's swimming team. The University of Miami dropped men's crew, swimming, and diving. Princeton dropped wrestling.

"That was not the purpose of Title IX," former Senator Bayh lamely explained. According to O'Beirne, he's wrong on that as well. Feminists wanted a law mandating discrimination against men, and they got what they wanted.

Late in the book, O'Beirne gets into the differences between men and women, something the radical ranks deny even as they attack those who point them out. O'Beirne was part of a 1995 ABC News special on sex differences in which she was asked to talk about the effect of lawsuits that forced fire departments to lower their physical standards in order to accommodate women. This would probably mean, she said, that we would now be dragged out of burning buildings by our ankles, our head hitting the steps along they way. Gloria Steinem's response is one of the many collector's items in this tough-minded book.

"It's better to drag them out, because there's less smoke down there," Steinem said. "I mean, we're probably killing people by carrying them out at that height, you know, so – I mean, you know, we need to look sensibly here at these jobs and what they really require, and not just some idea of what macho is." The author concluded that "desperate creativity must be a female trait."

O'Beirne shows similar insight on the travails of Harvard president Larry Summers, who at a conference suggested that sex differences might have something to do with the underrepresentation of women in science. Nancy Hopkins of MIT felt a need to flee the room lest she black out or throw up, thereby exhibiting, according to O'Beirne, "an innate difference between men and some women when they hear something they find unpleasant."

The most unpleasant reality in Women Who Make the World Worse is the lack of symmetry in the consequences department. While the results of feminist propaganda are evident throughout society, the high-profile feminists suffer no adverse consequences for their campaigns of misinformation and intimidation. Indeed, they keep getting money, grants, fawning attention from politicians, and free publicity from media outlets that should be checking the facts. That dynamic will have to change if radical feminists are to be prevented from making the world worse than they already have.


copyright 2006 Pacific Research Institute




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