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June 27 2018

Mona Charen on MeToo, Love and Marriage

by Charlotte Hays

Mona Charen's new book Sex Matters: How Modern Feminism Lost Touch with Science, Love and Common Sense is out. 

As always, Mona is provocative. To whet your appetite for the book, a few snippets from her NRO article outlining the discontents of modern feminism are in order.

Mona on MeToo and feminism:

#MeToo is perceived as a feminist crusade, but the truth is more complicated. Feminists were early adopters of the sexual revolution, perceiving it as a key tenet of their liberation agenda. By rejecting modesty, courtship, and chivalry, feminists of the 1960s and 1970s rejected the safe harbor of marriage and family and invited the social chaos that has left so many women struggling to raise children by themselves and feeling exhausted, insecure, and cynical. It has also left many men aimless, addicted, angry, and alone.

Love and work:

It’s a great blessing that women’s talents are valued in the workplace more than in the past. To the degree that feminism gave women a boost of self-confidence, it can take a bow. But women also want and need the security of marriage and the profound fulfillment of motherhood. In 2015, feminist Amanda Marcotte objected to “the Republican worldview” as “one where even basic things like love, connection, and other basic human needs are being reclassified as privileges that should only be available to the wealthy.”

Marcotte is right that love and connection are key to human flourishing, but she fails to account for feminism’s role in putting those things further out of reach. Betty Friedan was one of the only second-wave feminist leaders who had children. Late in life, she largely recanted her anti-family views, acknowledging, as Marcotte and others do not, that feminism had turned its back on the “life-serving core of feminine identity.”

Marriage, including a personal insight into what makes Mona tick:

Perhaps due to feminism, or unquestioning attachment to the sexual revolution, or the deep-seated American reverence for freedom, we are reluctant to confront the price of neglecting duty and commitment. Consider what works: Among married African Americans, the poverty rate is 8 percent, or half the national rate. Among black single mothers, 46 percent live in poverty. The ratios are similar for other ethnic groups.

Too many in our society encourage us to believe that our identity and validation must come almost entirely from our profession. My own work, at its best, is stimulating and gratifying, but my husband and three sons are the treasures of my heart. Given a little luck, most of us can expect to live long lives. There is time enough for raising a family and pursuing a career, but being an adult means acknowledging that there are always tradeoffs. The world will never shower the kind of adulation upon good mothers and fathers that it reserves for successful entrepreneurs, athletes, or reality-TV stars. But young people making choices about their futures should know that getting their personal lives right is far more important than career choices.

Congratulations to Mona Charen.

Independent Women's Forum is an educational 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. IWF is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Voice.​
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