Friday, November 15, 2019

4 Feminist Lies That Are Making Women Miserable

Suzanne Venker

Twenty years ago, I wrote my first book about why women can’t “have it all,” or at least all at once, despite what the culture tells them. (Hint: It’s because no one, male or female, can perform two full-time jobs simultaneously without the bottom falling out.)

At the time, the so-called Mommy Wars were raging. Women everywhere who’d been sold a bill of goods by their feminist mothers and mentors were either lamenting the futility of being able to successfully work full-time outside the home while maintaining a healthy marriage and family life, or they were defending their choice to work full-time by insisting children do fine in round-the-clock substitute care.

Since then, the messages to women about how to have a happy life—as it relates to love and sex, work and family—have merely served to make women miserable. Not only are they unhappier than their mothers and grandmothers ever were, they’re significantly more stressed out; much more so than men.

None of this has done anything to help men and women find their way to one another. Dating in America is all but dead, and marriage is at an all-time low. While there’s more than one reason for this sad state of affairs, at the heart of it are the lies feminists have been telling for years. Here are four, in no particular order.

1. Women Don’t Need Men

It started with a seemingly comical phrase Gloria Steinem didn’t coin but repeatedly used during the height of the 1960s feminist movement: “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.” It’s still alive and well today, whether it’s Jennifer Aniston talking about how women “don’t have to fiddle with a man to have that child” or Emma Watson talking about “self-partnering.” Over time, as women began to make their own money and take advantage of the newfound birth control pill, they came to believe that women don’t need men.

They were wrong. Biologically, women are wired to depend on men—regardless of much life has changed. Most women still want to be mothers, and when they do they become vulnerable. Even today, women know instinctively that they will ultimately need a man if they want to have a family and if they want the option of being home at all, if only for a period of time.

Indeed, research shows that what matters most to women—even to those who are economically independent—is knowing they have a man on whom they can rely. It’s the feeling of being safe and in good hands—yes, even financially—that matters most. That is what’s known as hypergamy, and it is alive and well in 2019.

2. Men and Women Are the Same, Or Gender Is a Social Construct

The precise moment in history when the relationship between the sexes took a nosedive is when women began to have sex like a man—casually, with no strings attached—under the guise that women are no different from men and are thus just as capable of having casual sex. Consider this ridiculous Bustle article asserting, based on a dubious study, that men and women are now equally likely to pursue a hookup if approached the right way.

From college campuses to our nation’s boardrooms, many women today have learned to pursue sex the way men often do: no commitment necessary. And they’re getting burned.

If there’s anything that proves this in spades, it’s the so-called campus rape crisis and the excesses of Me Too. For if it were true that women are “just like men” in their ability to disentangle sex and emotion, why would campus flings and office dalliances become a cause for the courts rather than a welcome ride?

It’s not just our sexuality that confirms the disparate natures of women and men. Parenting proves it in spades. Once a baby arrives, a woman’s nurturing gene almost always kicks in. Providing for her child emotionally is her first instinct, which is why going back to work so soon is heart-wrenching for mothers.

A father’s reaction is different: his first instinct is to support the family financially. It is not his sole contribution, but it’s first on his list. Simply put, that men and women may both be capable of performing identical tasks doesn’t mean they want to do them with equal fervor. Desire matters.

3. The Biological Clock Isn’t Real

The biological clock may be politically inconvenient, but that doesn’t make it any less real. The ideal age for a woman to get pregnant is 25, noted Gillian Lockwood, medical director at the Midland Fertility Clinic in the U.K., recently: “The bleak reality is that the chance of IVF working with your own eggs once you are 40 is absolutely abysmal…In what other branch of medicine would we let, yet alone encourage, patients to pay for an elective operation with a less than five percent chance of working?”

Because of this, it stands to reason that men can postpone marriage longer than women can. But we don’t tell women this. Instead, we pretend they can map out their lives with career at the center, as men do, as though they won’t hit a point in which their ability to conceive will invariably clash with a career. Articles abound with the goal to obscure the biological reality that it’s easier for women to have babies in their twenties and early thirties.

We lie to women, in other words, to further a political agenda. In doing so, feminists get what they want—for women to reject maternal desire and to instead produce in the marketplace—but women don’t.

Indeed, after decades of following the cultural script, women can often no longer find husbands. Or they can’t have babies. Or if they do get married and have babies, they can’t stay home with them because they mapped out a life that supported an entirely different goal.

4. A Career Is More Meaningful Than Marriage and Children

Of all the lies feminists tell, the idea that career success is more fulfilling than marriage and family is by far the greatest. It is almost impossible to convey the depth of this lie, for it too began in the 1960s, this time with Betty Friedan’s insistence that being a wife and mother is akin to being in a “comfortable concentration camp.” Since that time, American women have been walloped with a steady diet of words and images that drive Friedan’s argument home.

Humans are pack animals: we need to feel part of the group to feel good about ourselves. Some of us are content to stand apart from the crowd, but most are not. Ergo, cultural messages matter.

Women are surprised to discover that work isn’t nearly as satisfying as they were led to believe.
Since mothering is no longer revered or understood to be something a woman would want to do, let alone should do, women are surprised to discover how heart-wrenching it is to leave their babies and return to work. They’re surprised to discover that work isn’t nearly as satisfying as they were led to believe.

This same sense of unease is felt by single women who can’t find a man with whom to settle down. Careers aren’t fulfilling at all, it turns out, if you wind up in bed at night alone.

Too many women map out their lives with work at the center and eventually wish they hadn’t. Sadly, my inbox is loaded with emails from women who tell me they wished someone had told them this sooner.

So, here I am saying it as loudly as I can. Women have been lied to for years, and that’s why they’re so unhappy. There is only one solution. Flip your priorities—put love and family, not work, at the center—and you will win in the game of life. That’s what I did, and it made all the difference.


Twitter and Facebook try to get ahead of the next round of political speech

Living in the age of the Internet has many pretty cool upsides, such as having basically the entire accumulated knowledge of the world accessible via the handheld glass rectangles everyone stares at all day. But what to do when some of that information is demonstrably false, or worse, deliberately misleading? Fake news is hardly an Internet innovation but the incredible speed at which it can disseminate is, and now the debate rages about whether it’s proper for platforms to allow propaganda to propagate on their property.

With the 2020 elections coming up fast (did the election cycle ever really end?), the big online content platforms are feeling to burn to get ahead of the next round of accusations that they are facilitating electoral manipulation. On the one hand, this week Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged calls to police “fake news” and political advertising, but declined the idea of banning political ads altogether. On the other, Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey came out just days later and promised to entirely ban paid political advertising on Twitter.

Mr. Dorsey’s sentiment certainly resonates, that “political message reach should be earned, not bought.” But whether he realizes it yet or not, Twitter’s new stance will inevitably open up another whole can of worms, because what, precisely, is a “political” message? Who defines what separates political speech from other issues that groups might run ads about?

In contrast, Mr. Zuckerberg and his sometimes-nemesis, Sen. Ted Cruz, are both seemingly in agreement about defending free speech online. You might guess it was Mr. Cruz who said that: “… political ads are an important part of voice — especially for local candidates, up-and-coming challengers and advocacy groups that may not get much media attention otherwise. Banning political ads favors incumbents and whoever the media covers.”

But in fact Mr. Zuckerberg said it just last month. Now, some may assume that his incentive is financial, as Facebook’s platform is far more conducive to effective political advertising and it’s a profitable activity for them to allow. But he’s also right on the principle — without the ability to boost their message in a crowded market, how is a start-up candidate or issue group supposed to get noticed?

At the same time, it’s easy to see the appeal (beyond just taking a shot at Facebook) for Mr. Dorsey to just throw his hands in the air and eliminate political advertising on his platform. Too many in the public and the media seem to have assumed that their fellow social media consumers are mindless pawns, helplessly controlled and manipulated by the dark, sinister forces of false online ads and memes. Disinformation, they say, must be policed aggressively for the sake of our democracy.

But responding to this demand puts social media platforms in a content-moderation paradox. Many of their customers are demanding that platforms try to weed out disinformation, however that’s defined. And yet, many of those same people get angry when that moderation seems biased in any way.

Subjective decisions must be made at every level about what constitutes “fake news” and every one of these decisions has the potential to introduce real or perceived bias to what content users are able to see in their feed. Is a given ad factually misleading, or is it reported as false merely because someone disagrees with its premise? Is it slanderous, or an inconvenient truth? Even a truly unbiased moderator (and I doubt such a person exists) would have difficulty answering those questions consistently in every circumstance. Algorithms, certainly, lack the nuance and context to fill that void.

As Mr. Zuckerberg appears to finally be learning, attempting to act as the arbiter of truth in political speech online is a not only a thankless task but probably a futile one. Whether Facebook or Twitter police their political content or not, politicians and users alike get angry and want to regulate them.

This is a dangerous trend, because forcing platforms to be “neutral” or placing legal guidelines on how they should police political speech would effectively let the government decide what truth is online. Nothing would be more dangerous to freedom of expression than that.

Jack Dorsey’s decision to involve Twitter in deciding whose ads are political and who are not will continue to generate that kind of blowback, and will mute the voices of many people and causes in the process. Ironically, this plays right into Facebook’s hands, as they can trumpet the fact that they are allowing a far greater degree of freedom of expression by letting the users decide whether political ads are worth listening to.

In any case, hopefully last week’s speech by Mr. Zuckerberg is the vision that wins out — one that trusts us to be our own best moderators rather than expecting either Silicon Valley or Washington, D.C., to do it all for us.


The fake news about US food standards

Remainer politicians are painting a wilfully misleading picture.

On Tuesday, the Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, gave a speech warning of the dangers if the Conservatives are given a chance to move the UK to ‘a more deregulated American model of how to run the economy’. Alongside the usual nonsense about privatising the NHS, Corbyn claimed that food standards would plummet: ‘Given the chance, they’ll slash food standards to US levels where “acceptable levels” of rat hairs in paprika and maggots in orange juice are allowed and they’ll put chlorinated chicken on our supermarket shelves.’

This idea seems to have first come to the fore in an article for Business Insider back in September 2017. It was rehashed by the same publication in 2018 and reproduced in the UK Independent last year. The original article notes some examples: ‘For tomato juice, the FDA limits up to five fly eggs and one maggot per 100 grams, the equivalent of a small juice glass. Up to 15 fly eggs and one maggot per 100 grams is allowed for tomato paste and other pizza sauces. Mushrooms are granted more leeway – 20 maggots “of any size” per 100 grams of drained mushrooms or 15 grams of dried mushrooms.’

Just to add to the yuk factor, the article adds: ‘Americans on average most likely ingest one to two pounds of flies, maggots and mites each year without knowing it – a level the FDA says is safe. The agency established these guidelines in 1995 and has revised them several times.’ For comparison, the average American appears to eat just under 2,000 pounds of food per year. In relative terms, such bug consumption is trivial. Remember, these are natural products grown in soil and surrounded by a variety of bugs. Short of cooking or sterilisation, it would be impossible to get rid of these bugs and adulterations entirely, though we obviously expect food processors to do their level best to do so.

Underpinning these claims from Labour and others is the idea that the US is some kind of Wild West where anything goes. The suggestion is that any attempt to regulate food production is slapped down by corporate interests determined to sell any old adulterated crap to dimwitted Americans. But anyone who has ever eaten in America will know that US food standards are just as considered and serious as those in Europe. Of course, there are differences of regulations – like on that aforementioned ‘chlorinated’ chicken – but that doesn’t mean that these standards are deliberately or universally lower than those in the EU.

These claims about food adulteration are seriously misleading. They are based on a half-cocked reading of the rules on adulteration from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) document ‘Food Defect Levels Handbook’. The handbook opens with the statement that the FDA is empowered ‘to establish maximum levels of natural or unavoidable defects in foods for human use that present no health hazard. These “Food Defect Action Levels” listed in this booklet are set on this premise – that they pose no inherent hazard to health.’

These ‘action levels’ should not be read as some kind of permission to adulterate food or to allow carelessness in production. The introduction continues by noting: ‘Poor manufacturing practices may result in enforcement action without regard to the action level.’ So why have such levels at all? As the handbook points out: ‘The FDA set these action levels because it is economically impractical to grow, harvest or process raw products that are totally free of non-hazardous, naturally occurring, unavoidable defects. Products harmful to consumers are subject to regulatory action whether or not they exceed the action levels.’

In other words, if there are adulterations in foods that are clearly hazardous, these will be actionable. If there are non-hazardous adulterations, these may be actionable at any level, but are certainly actionable above the levels listed in the handbook. These are ‘definitely no excuses’ levels. They are certainly not ‘average’ levels. Moreover, these ‘action levels’ are explicit and transparent. The EU does not appear to set such levels at all.

But never mind the details, this is an opportunity to bash America, the Tories and Brexit in one go. So Caroline Lucas, Green MP and leading light of the ‘People’s Vote’ campaign, is quoted in that 2018 Independent article: ‘This is the gruesome reality of the US trade deal being touted by Liam Fox as one of the great benefits of leaving the EU. Under the government’s disastrous Brexit, we will finally be free to eat all the maggot-ridden food we like. No one voted for a Brexit that waters down the safety and hygiene of our food – but that’s what the government is pursuing. The US actively dislikes many existing EU measures.’

Anyone who has ever eaten in the US will know the food is, by all reasonable standards, safe to eat – as well as cheap and delivered in enormous portions. Outbreaks of food-borne illnesses are swiftly investigated and dealt with, just as in Europe. The US is a rich country, it should hardly be a shock that it has high food standards. Not only does that mean direct regulation from government, but America is famously the most litigious nation on Earth, with eye-watering damages imposed on companies found to have allowed standards to slip. Food manufacturers have enormous incentives to do things properly.

Oh, and let us just consider the irony of all this nonsense coming from eco-warriors like Lucas and Corbyn, who would be the first in the queue to tell us we should be eating insects instead of chicken and beef. Yet when we have the tiniest consumption of insects quite naturally, it’s a sign that the neoliberals would feed us filth. What do they think happens on those ‘pick your own fruit’ farms? Can they be sure what they pick will be bug-free? Of course not.

Bending the truth in the name of bashing America and Brexit is appalling. This is fake news, pure and simple, delivered by the kind of people who rail against media lies and spin the rest of the time. Let’s welcome American food to the UK. If it cuts prices, it will help precisely the kind of people – ‘the many’ – that Labour claims to serve.


Ohio House Votes to End Religious Discrimination in Public Schools

The Ohio House of Representatives has just passed the CCV-backed Ohio Student Religious Liberties Act (HB 164). Sponsored by Rep. Tim Ginter, this bill ensures that Ohio Christian students and students of all faiths in public schools cannot be discriminated against for the free exercise of their faith.

“Children should feel safe to freely express their Christian beliefs in public schools,” said Aaron Baer, president of Citizens for Community Values. “The Ohio Student Religious Liberties Act ensures all students are not discriminated against in public schools for merely living out their faith.”

“Speaker of the House Larry Householder is continuing to show his strong leadership and care for Ohio’s children and religious freedom. HB 164 comes at a critical time in the culture and protects the right of Christian and non-Christian students alike to freely exercise their faith.”

The bill passed with a 61-31 vote, with 7 absent votes.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


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