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On conservative Phyllis Schlafly's new book, 'The Flipside of Feminism'

March 31, 2011 | 11:27 am


Phyllis Schlafly helped win the fight against the Equal Rights Amendment, which she said was unnecessary because she didn't need to raise six children, get a law degree or have a career. Schlafly became one of America's most prominent female conservatives. Now 86, she's still got something to say.

Schlafly's new book, "The Flipside of Feminism: What Conservative Women Know -- and Men Can't Say," is co-written with her 43-year-old niece Suzanne Venker. In our opinion pages, Meghan Daum takes a look.

[w]hat's ultimately most troubling about "The Flipside of Feminism" is how utterly predictable -- which is to say predictably strident -- it is. As in so many partisan tracts --  and the left is just as guilty as the right -- the complexities of human nature are discarded in favor of monolithic assumptions. Nowhere in the book, at least in my estimation, do they lay out evidence to support their case that there's a man-hating, bra-burning, abortion-loving, child-resenting subtext to mainstream American life. There may well be a few extremists out there somewhere calling for a militant, women-only utopia, but why should this be the definition of "feminist" when it's already the definition of "silly"?

Daum, who comes from the opposite political camp, still finds much to like about Venker, with whom she spoke on the phone about the book. Read her complete piece here.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: Phyllis Schlafly (waving hat) at the 1996 Republican Convention in San Diego. Credit: Associated Press