Suzanne Venker, the Boston University graduate who co-authored “The Flipside of Feminism” with her legendary aunt, Phyllis Schlafly, is happily disrupting Women’s History Month around the nation.
She was interviewed just days ago on NPR affiliate WBUR in Boston, where an excerpt from her book was featured in the station website.
Audience reaction was so swift and loud that co-hosts Meghna Chakrabarti and Anthony Brooks followed up with another program on “Flipside.”
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Brooks announced this week, “Our conversation with Suzanne Venker lasted about 25 minutes but it generated an avalanche of comments on our website, more than we’ve ever had on a single topic on this program.”
Chakrabarti added, “A lot of you were very angry with me for even allowing Suzanne Venker any time at all, since I did the interview.”
Among the comments from the station website:
- “Interviewing this woman on the subject of feminism is like inviting a flat-earther to discuss climate change.”
- “The demeaning of motherhood has actually caused a rise in single-parent households led by a mother, who often have little or no income.”
- “Why this woman has a platform from which to spew her ignorance is beyond me.”
- “Go Suzanne! You have given smart people a voice!”
The radio hosts quoted some angry listeners, then others who were intrigued with “The Flipside of Feminism” and called for more discussion.
Venker told WND, “Lately NPR has been undergoing a lot of scrutiny for tilted coverage, but I found Meghna Chakrabarti and Anthony Brooks wholly professional in their coverage of ‘The Flipside of Feminism.’”
In “Flipside,” Venker and Schlafly examine the bias, contradictions and elitism in so-called women’s studies taught at colleges and universities throughout the United States. Venker and Schlafly believe that the feminist dogma has been used to “brainwash” women – especially young women – since the 1960s.
Fittingly, Chakrabarti also interviewed Sally Haslanger, professor of philosophy and director of the Program in Women’s and Gender Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Chakrabarti got the professor started by reading what she deemed Venker’s most controversial statement in “Flipside.”
“The truth is that feminism has been the single worst thing that has happened to American women. It did not liberate women at all – it confused them. It made their lives harder. Women today are caught between man and nature. … Their female nature tells them sex requires love; marriage is important; children are a blessing; and men are necessary. The culture, meanwhile, tells them to sleep around and postpone family life because that will cost them their identity.”
Haslanger replied, “Well, my first response is that I don’t recognize the feminism that she’s talking about. That’s not the feminism that I am committed to; that I know and love; and the same is true for the other feminists that I work with and, that, the students I know. We’re not saying you can’t get married, you can’t have children, you can’t have family, you can’t do that. We’re not saying – we’re not trying to dictate a form of life to anyone. But I also have the sa[me] – the reaction that, the fact that she’s saying this shows that perhaps feminists have not gotten their message across – we have not been effective in the way that we would like to in saying what we stand for and who we are.”
Chakrabarti inquired, “So who are you?” Who are feminists today, then?
Venker’s reaction to both programs? “Very well done,” she said.
Schlafly is an author who has more than 20 books that have sold millions and a WND weekly columnist.