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BU Alum Assails Feminism as “Dead-End Road”

New book urges women to “make lemonade out of lemons”

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Suzanne Venker

SED alum Suzanne Venker says her aunt and coauthor, Phyllis Shlafly, had one stipulation about collaborating on The Flipside of Feminism: that the book completely condemn feminism.

 

During her years as a BU undergraduate, Suzanne Venker was known, she writes, as “that conservative girl from the Midwest,” with values that collided head-on with most of her peers’. Writing frankly, at times contemptuously, about what she sees as the sins of progressive liberals in general and feminists in particular, the former middle school teacher has made a name for herself among right-wing pundits such as David Horowitz, Ann Coulter, and Laura Schlessinger.

Now, Venker (SED’90), 43, has teamed up with her 85-year-old maternal aunt, lifelong antifeminist warrior Phyllis Shlafly, to write The Flipside of Feminism: What Conservative Women Know—and Men Can’t Say (WND Books), a polemic that blames “the so-called women’s movement” for lowering women’s happiness quotient even as they can claim—as the writers concede—more freedom, more education, and more power. The book, which seeks to liberate women from “feminism’s dead-end road,” caps a lifetime of activism for Shlafly, a Harvard-educated political scientist and lawyer best known for leading the 1970s right-wing charge against the proposed Equal Rights Amendment.

BU Today recently spoke to Venker about her book, why she thinks women today are in many ways worse off than they were in her mother’s time, and why the feminist movement is to blame.

BU Today: Who is the intended audience for Flipside?
Venker:
The biggest focus is on young women in their 20s and 30s, which doesn’t mean that women in their 40s can’t get a tremendous amount out of it, or everybody, male and female, 18 to 50. But the younger age group isn’t getting an alternative perspective on these issues; that really is the kicker. Where are women going to get this information? Most people around them tend to be of one particular persuasion. Liberalism dominates, especially on college campuses.

From the book’s dedication—your husband “always knew his feminist professors were nuts”—to the Appendix’s “Ten Feminist Commandments”—“Thou shalt belittle men until their manhood is gone”—you don’t say one positive word about feminists. Isn’t there anything about feminism you can agree with?
When I originally went to Phyllis to ask her if she’d be interested in doing this project, she had one stipulation—that the book completely condemn feminism. If it were to be any other way, she wasn’t interested. When she said that, I sort of cringed and thought, there’s got to be something you can give them credit for, and for a few months I went back and forth. But I have to say that once you do the homework, it becomes very difficult to give much credit to feminism. Some people refer to the Suffragettes as feminists, but that’s a matter of semantics; feminism is really only in the last half century, though they tried to piggyback on the right-to-vote movement.

What about strides toward equality in hiring and equal pay for equal work?
I would say that feminism made some strides in the workforce, but none on the home front. And whatever strides were made in the workforce have had tremendous ramifications for businesses, so they came at a great cost to businesses and government. It’s a double-edged sword.

You say feminism invented the concept of oppressed women and pounced on marriage as akin to enslavement. What about its efforts to broaden awareness of, and options for, oppressed and trapped women, women abused by their husbands?
Awareness of battered women? That would be like what I said about the workforce. It looks like a gain at the outset, and awareness is great. But now the policies that have increased awareness—the solution—have become the problem. The abuse problem is smaller than it’s made out to be, and when you draw attention to something that’s so terrible, it’s like the issue of homosexuality today. The awareness that gays exist, or that terrible men beat their wives, is good to recognize but not to belabor or exaggerate. It’s almost as if every man is a potential abuser or every man is gay. I don’t know that it’s fair to take these situations and apply them across the board.

Aren’t abused women less stigmatized, and don’t they have access to more resources today because of the efforts of feminists?
I would give feminists credit for that. Yes, I would. But the only thing I would say about that is that increasing awareness and having more monies going toward a problem may be a fine thing, but it may get us off track. Maybe it helps one situation and worsens another.

You blame feminism and progressive liberals for the rise in the divorce rate, yet statistics show the divorce rate is highest among the poor and higher in conservative states than liberal states such as Massachusetts, with one of the lowest in the country. How do you reconcile that with your claims?
The issue of feminist modern marriages versus traditional marriages is a very middle-class debate, so it’s not a fair argument to say it’s an economic issue. Everything about feminism comes from a middle-class perspective; it never was an economic issue from the get-go. Betty Friedan was about devaluing the role of the full-time homemaker and that women need more. That was the whole premise.

How does that explain the comparatively high divorce rate in, say, Bible Belt states? Do you believe that feminism is responsible for the failure of most marriages?
If you keep hearing that marriage and motherhood aren’t enough, you’re going to adopt that mentality once it becomes popular. There’s simply no question that people enter marriage assuming they can always get divorced. The feminists were all for change, but there are some things that shouldn’t change. That’s the philosophy of the conservative world. The left wing view of the world sees progress as unending, and there’s nothing that ever should stay the way that it is, so conservatives are branded as throwbacks. The reality is that some things don’t need to be changed.

Many women happily opt for marriage and children, but hasn’t feminism eased the stigma, and the discrimination against women who choose other paths?
How many women choose not to get married and have children? I guess it’s nice that there’s acceptance, but we shouldn’t be more focused on this group. By making this small percentage feel better about their choices, there are ramifications for the rest. Why would you have a whole movement to make women feel better about not choosing to have children?

You write that women need to understand that men can’t change their sexual nature, that for women casual sex is “a dead-end street” leading only to disappointment, and that marriage should be women’s “ultimate goal.” But how is it anyone’s business if independent women pursue their own sexual choices?
It is my belief that ultimately nobody, male or female, can be happy with that lifestyle, with having sex with whoever they want, having sex with your friends, or one night stands and all that. A recent book, Manning Up, by Kay Hymowitz, makes the point that both men and women tire of that eventually and do marry. In other words, what I tried to prove was that there is another way to approach sex than the one you see in the popular culture.

Sex scandals and bad behavior in general happen on both sides of the aisle, yet you blame what you see as society’s immorality on feminism. Isn’t that a bit over the top?
Feminism can be credited for destigmatizing all sorts of lifestyles, which made sex what it has become in our culture—the casual nature of it, the relentless focus on sex and the body and how sex sells. Am I saying feminism is at the root of all the bad behavior governing sex? Of course not. Yes, affairs have always existed, and lots of sexual things have always gone on. But it’s the social acceptance of these that I attribute to the feminist movement.

You write that there are similarities between feminism and Marxism. Can you explain?
Like Marxism, feminism is a mode of thinking that depends upon hypothesizing an oppressed class. Feminists wanted to associate their movement with the civil rights movement. That really fueled the emotional fire. If you can prove or argue that women were slaves to men in the same way blacks were slaves to whites, you have a really good emotional response. In the book we talk about how it has been easy for feminists to have done what they did; for one thing, they have the most power in America, second, they can depend on the fact that people are naturally prone to pointing fingers; it’s human to feel as though, hey wait a minute, I am a victim. The concept of taking responsibility is not natural, so they were able to tap into the fact that it’s not really your responsibility.

Are you saying sexism doesn’t exist?
I’m not saying sexism is made up. But how you respond to that sexism will depend on what your life will be like. My mother quit one job and got promoted at another. The people who are the most successful are the people who make lemonade out of lemons. Rather than yapping about how you’re a victim, go find your way. Somebody will listen; somebody will be there. But it’s a huge jump to say that women are oppressed. As for men, they don’t get to cry sexism.

How about the role of feminism in targeting the plight of some groups of women around the world—the victimhood, for example, of child brides, sexual slaves, girls subjected to female genital mutilation, and women targeted in so-called honor killings?
Feminists are not concerned with women outside of America. That’s not where their focus is at all. Because once you focus on what really goes on, what real women’s issues are, what you’re doing here would look silly. The horrible things that go on, you don’t hear feminists out front and center focusing on these atrocities. As I say, if they divert their attentions to true human rights issues, whatever it is they’re fighting for here in America would look ridiculous.

You write that when you were a BU student, your conservative values made you feel “particularly alone.” How would you describe your social life here?
My experience at BU isn’t different from any typical college experience. You’re so consumed with schoolwork and having fun; it’s just that it was sort of known that they were all one way and I was another way. It was fine, it wasn’t a deal killer, but when they went to a pro-choice rally in DC, I just didn’t go, and I remember my roommate didn’t understand that at all. She assumed that everybody thought one way about this issue. The differences definitely kept rearing their ugly head.

Has your aunt, Phyllis Shlafly, always been an important role model for you?
What Phyllis provided for me, really, was an opportunity to look at an alternative view of women in America. Everyone had this one view, feminism, and I had this aunt who provided a different perspective; I liken it to being exposed to Fox News and the internet rather than just mainstream media. I got an alternative form of news, I was exposed to something that most people were not, and that had a big effect on me. I had great role models who defied the cultural message.

Susan Seligson can be reached at sueselig@bu.edu.

223 Comments

223 Comments on BU Alum Assails Feminism as “Dead-End Road”

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 6:02 am

    Suzanne Venker

    I find Suzanne Verker’s opinions offensive and insenitive to the opression of women worldwide. Her comments scream ignorance and are embarassing for Boston Univeristy.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 6:44 am

    Regardless of what you say about feminism and how women cannot claim to be oppressed (laughing as i write that), you liken Fox news to alternative news found on the internet. WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

  • Sarah on 03.08.2011 at 7:17 am

    I never considered myself a feminist, however I think this interview is too much. I particularly like her blanket statement that “Feminists are not concerned with anybody outside of America.” Making broad generalizations like this doesn’t help her argument. There are radicals in every group that can make an entire movement look bad, but to completely write off feminism is simply blind. Plus beginning to write a book with the purpose to “completely condemn feminism” is almost like saying that she refused to give it a chance, and I refuse to listen to anyone seriously with that kind of closed-mindedness.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 7:32 am

    Is she for real? Yes, “Feminists don’t care about anyone outside of America.” This interview is nauseating.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 7:51 am

    Another chance for learning missed

    There is a saying from software development “Garbage In – Garbage Out”.
    So you start a book with this premise: “When I originally went to Phyllis to ask her if she’d be interested in doing this project, she had one stipulation—that the book completely condemn feminism. If it were to be any other way, she wasn’t interested.”
    Don’t be surprised when this becomes an anti-feminist diatribe.
    It might have been an interesting look at a social movement, but we find yet another vicious polemic from a hater.
    How sad.
    Another chance at a rational dialogue and possible learning missed.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 7:51 am

    Not so fond memories...

    She doesn’t really even answer the questions, does she? But then, I’ve always considered this a characteristic of American populist conservatism: don’t answer the questions, just follow the script. This is the reason why the vapid hypocrisy of Bible Belt pseudo-religion and the values of the American South ring so hollow for anyone with a post-high school education. In this I believe Ms. Venker ably follows in the footsteps of her aunt, and I do admit, as I read her responses to the questions, of remembering the zaniness of Shlafly and the Reagan era.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 7:56 am

    Closed minded

    I’ve never heard of a more closed-minded view in my life. This woman is so short-sighted it is sickening. For starters, where exactly did the feminism movement come from? Women who were unhappy being barefoot and pregnant at home all the time. Women have just as much intellectual power as men, and with recent surveys, more business leadership roles are now held by women as opposed to men.

    If women are unhappy with equal treatment, they can gladly go find a Westboro Baptist Church religious/ignorance cult to join and become subservient to “the men” of the family.

    Another victim of the Book of Oppression, AKA the Bible:

    “Timothy 2:12: But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.” THIS is where the woman’s ignorance comes from, being brainwashed into believing lines like that. Religion should be banned for anyone under 18.

    • She is correct on 01.26.2012 at 11:07 pm

      Feminism was not created or run by women… except at proxies and goons and cattle…

      Zionists created it and used it during the Bolshevik devestation of the Russian monarchy. It is a ruse and a cruel hoax.

      women are not mens equals. feminism is pure evil because it was created and financed by and run as a psy-ops gender war to reduce population and get females under the control of the State and children indoctrinated at a very early age.

      Sorry females.. but you are this stupid you deserve your own fate. Research the roots of feminism under Zionism/communism/fascism.

      In all of the history of the EArth there are no matriarchal nor can their be such societies. It violated the natural order of life in all species.

      Now what has happened due to the Fascist Feminist Zionist assault on humanity, it has destroyed the nuclear family, women are insane and out of control (just watch the TV).. they masturbate like monkeys with “toys”..and have become violent, they are losing their sense of identity, dignity and purpose, and men are boycotting marriage and treating them like the whores they behave like…

      If you’re not in touch with this then you apparently don’t have Google and can’t use the word “vagina” in a search.

      Wake up you flipping idiots… feminism was created by sinister MEN.. Edward Bernays , Sigmund Freud’s nephew taught women to smoke because Fred was correct about “penis envy” .. all women suffer from it and its a psychological thing that they need to get power from males or attempt to falsely act male (aka in the workplace, buying property, big SUV’s, motorcycles) ..and then half of them masturbate with a fake male phallus… think about it you assinine morons!! Sigmund Freud’s theories were carried out by Bernays..and the Zionists who sold it to females… feminism was simply a way to get you to destroy yourself and your families…and turn your power over to the State.. now you are ‘consumers’ of whatever they hook you onto.

      Seriously. Any woman who THINKS feminism is GOOD needs her head examined and to learn about what a monkey the Zionists made you. Now go play with your TOYS little girls…

      SAd. Women 200 years ago were smarter than modern sluts.

      • WC on 02.28.2012 at 5:27 am

        The Westboro Baptist Church called. They want their moron back.

      • erin on 11.26.2012 at 1:37 pm

        Vibrators are awesome. Seriously if you were a girl and you gave it a try you’d be a CONVERT I swear.

        Yeah, I pretty much love being a sex crazed lunatic who owns an apartment and works. It’s a definitely more fun than cooking and cleaning in a docile manner. But to each their own, I guess!

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 7:56 am

    I don’t agree with too much of what Venker has to say. However, I’ve always thought the term “feminism” to be a terrible name for the movement which claims to fight for equality of the sexes, because the word “feminist” sounds like the goal is to turn everyone into women, or to make women socially superior. Why not “gender egalitarianism”? Feminism…what an unfortunate word choice which has probably turned away countless people.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 8:10 am

    I mean.. seriously??

  • yvonne on 03.08.2011 at 8:19 am

    read your history

    I always find it interesting to read comments from women who have attended college, write books or become involved in the political realm. History bears out that if not for the suffrage movement, their opportunities to be involved in these things would be limited or non-existant.

    Regarding the happiness quotient, really, that is such a ridiculous statement it boggles the mind. I am sure there are women who were happy with the status quo and if they were, there is nothing saying they can’t stay there. However, to speak out against feminism by women who are college educated just shows they have not gone back far enough in their history to truly study the plight of women in America. Women had no rights to vote, they were considered property in many states and had limited legal rights. So please, if you want to have an idealized, romanticized view, ok..but its fiction.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 8:21 am

    Great Interview! Great Author!

    It’s both exciting and energizing to see women who don’t pity themselves, instead fight to make it (who make lemonade out of lemons) and prove to other women that the thinking behind self pity only drags them down, brings about a negative outcome for them; isn’t that what ‘true feminism’ should be about? Overcoming adversity while not feeling sorry for yourself? As she put it, sexism exists in both sides of the isle, but people who are not feeling sorry for themselves are usually the ones who are making it far in this world. Men don’t get to cry sexism, perfectly put by Suzanne.

    Another great thing to know is that there are other conservatives out here at BU who are flourishing into great authors. Suzanne Venker’s experiences are very much still happening today for young conservatives in the midst of so many liberals; but instead of getting contaminated by liberal ideals or lack thereof (values), are instead the ones making the difference. Keep up the good work Suzanne!!

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 8:27 am

    Are you kidding? Lemonade? Wouldn’t it be nice if in the book and in her speaking, the author had actually used her educational skills to read research? To learn about the history of women’s movements, including feminism, and recognize that it’s a global movement? It’s Schlafly’s and Venker’s positions of privilege in a western culture that allow them to see the world through such a narrow lens, to ignore the ways in which globally women’s movements have, in fact, improved the quality of life for many, many people. I would love to see some facts — some actual statistics behind her assertions that the people who benefit from change are a small percentage. And really, what sex research demonstrates men’s helpless sexual drives? Seriously, read something that has research in it and then make these pronouncements. If it weren’t for her relationship to Schlafly, why would we be reading her work?

    • Michelle L on 04.12.2012 at 6:38 pm

      That is why she must have agreed to write the book as Schlafly demanded. She must have known it wouldn’t have sold without a connection with a published author.

  • Melissa on 03.08.2011 at 8:32 am

    Disappointing

    It’s a real shame that this book is now being associated with BU. This interview and book show an ignorant-sounding lack of acceptance of people’s lifestyle choices, and a complete denial of the realities of women’s lives. It’s quite hard to simply “make lemonade out of lemons” when women make 77% of what men earn and the effects of workplace discrimination are well-documented.

    I find it offensive that Venker compares American feminist efforts as “silly” compared with the issues women face in other countries. It’s true that there is far less sexual enslavement and genital mutilation here than elsewhere, but that doesn’t mean that the women’s movement should be discounted as a dead-end. There are women in America who are abused by their boyfriends and spouses, who are raped, who face limited career choices and stunted career advancement, who bear most of the burdens that come with splitting time between work and family, and who struggle with achieving equality in all facets of life. Not to mention women’s sexual freedom is still stigmatized and reproductive choices limited.

    This book appears to contain antiquated notions about the place of women in our society. I read similar arguments when studying the late-1800s anti-suffrage movement. Without the women’s movement, Venker probably wouldn’t have been able to attend BU or write this book. I’m all for freedom of ideas, but it is upsetting to see women endorsing these views.

    • James on 04.14.2012 at 3:13 am

      It’s a real shame that this book is now being associated with BU. This interview and book show an ignorant-sounding lack of acceptance of people’s lifestyle choices, and a complete denial of the realities of women’s lives. It’s quite hard to simply “make lemonade out of lemons” when women make 77% of what men earn and the effects of workplace discrimination are well-documented.

      Being college educated myself, I understand the natural draw to express pride to your attended campus. However, each campus of higher education strives to the purpose of expanding education, not the limitation of thought. Nice attempt at marginalizing views in higher education. Also, I would like to see this survey that shows women are making 77% of what men make as I can say, from first hand account, it is patently false. Since college, I joined the workforce in a Bible Belt state and can say absolutely without a doubt women are treated as not only equals but instead as preferred candidates. Most of the management staff at the company I work for are women, their salaries are higher than the mens salaries of equal rank and file also they are in many ways and forms sexist against the men in the office. However, a man coming out and expressing any level of oppression is never taken seriously and a man that does express this is usually fired for being sexist. Double edge sword. My spouse, I am male and married, makes more than I do for a job title that is lesser of stature than my own with much less responsibility. Does that bother me? Not in the slightest, we approach life as a partnership not as who brings in the bacon has greater say.

      I find it offensive that Venker compares American feminist efforts as “silly” compared with the issues women face in other countries. It’s true that there is far less sexual enslavement and genital mutilation here than elsewhere, but that doesn’t mean that the women’s movement should be discounted as a dead-end. There are women in America who are abused by their boyfriends and spouses, who are raped, who face limited career choices and stunted career advancement, who bear most of the burdens that come with splitting time between work and family, and who struggle with achieving equality in all facets of life. Not to mention women’s sexual freedom is still stigmatized and reproductive choices limited.

      Life in the US of A is sweet compared with most of the world. Our issues are trivial to someone who lives in an Indian slum. It does not matter what the gender is, in the nations being referred to life sucks. Our lives do not come close by comparison. Even the poorest of the poor live 1000 times better. Go to a third world country and just try to argue that, you will fail. There are men in America who are abused by their girlfriends and spouses, who are raped, who face limited career choices and stunted career advancement, who bear most of the burdens that come with splitting time between work and family, and who struggle with achieving equality in all facets of life. Not to mention mens sexual freedom is stigmatized and reproductive choices are limited. See? The argument for men is the same, that makes anyone who only views the argument from one side as being sexist. The simple fact of life, once you young one enter real world life, is that the whole gender bias is either erased or reversed. Companies are more motivated by tax benefits to promote women over men which is, actually, a direct violation of equal rights laws but big government does not seem to have an issue with doing it. But, most feminist do not see it that way. The feminists will see it as an affirmative approach to undo sins of the past. Here is a reality check, if a mans resume and a womans resume crosses my desk and the mans resume is better than the womans, I will hire the man based on qualifications not gender. If the womans resume is better, I will hire the woman based on qualifications not gender. My company disagrees with that approach as it is much easier to obtain grants, loans, tax benefits, government funding and the glad handed dole out from the government if the woman is hired regardless of qualifications. Also, most family based homes in this nation are now double income. That means both the man and the woman, in a traditional sense, work. That also means both the man and woman struggle with splitting time between work and family. On the last point, men are now just as pressured with sexual reproduction stigma as women, if not more so due to carried over stigmas of child rearing financial responsibility and having zero input in reproductive decisions. It is the womans right to bear child, not the mans. So, say if for example, a woman came onto a man at a bar they chat up for a few hours then head back to her place for a night of romance. 12 months later this man notices half of his check is missing due to garnishment of wages for child support without ever having knowledge of being a father. That scenario happens at a frightening frequency. What say does the man have in reproductive rights? None, but he does bear the financial responsibility just in case the woman decides to reproduce.

      This book appears to contain antiquated notions about the place of women in our society. I read similar arguments when studying the late-1800s anti-suffrage movement. Without the women’s movement, Venker probably wouldn’t have been able to attend BU or write this book. I’m all for freedom of ideas, but it is upsetting to see women endorsing these views.

      I’m certain Jane Austen would have disagreed with the section about not being able to write a book prior to the late 1800′s. Also, there were women in higher education prior to the late 1800′s as well. Having not read the book, I cannot say what notions of womens place in society are being presented. But, we live in a society backed by a document called the constitution. After all of the government verbiage there are these things called ammendments and the very first one is the right of free speech. Venker has every right to write this book regardless of your upset position on it. You have every right to have and express your opinion on it as well, that is your constitutional right. Women fought valiantly for suffrage and that is, ultimately, the only equality needed to level the playing field. The right to vote is the most powerful tool any person can have. What came along with the right to vote is also the right to run for office. If anyone feels that their rights afforded by the constitution are being trampled, that person has the right to either vote for someone who shares their values or run for office. To summarize, you have the right to do something about it. That right was given to you long before you were born. That is a right that most of the world does not share with you. Be glad that you live in such a just and tolerant nation in which a form such as this one is encouraged rather than punishable by death.

      • anoooonymous on 11.30.2012 at 11:00 pm

        So, say if for example, a woman came onto a man at a bar they chat up for a few hours then head back to her place for a night of romance. 12 months later this man notices half of his check is missing due to garnishment of wages for child support without ever having knowledge of being a father. That scenario happens at a frightening frequency. What say does the man have in reproductive rights? None, but he does bear the financial responsibility just in case the woman decides to reproduce….

        Excuse me? How is it that the woman has any more rights in a sexual encounter turning into a child?? Dude, you have heard of contraception on the mans side, right? Nonetheless, its your choice to have sex. Both the man and woman are financially and legally responsible for children they together bear. You really ought to try to get out more, try talking to other ppl, and reading :)

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 8:33 am

    Are you kidding??

    I have no idea why or how a woman could be an anti feminist. To me, that seems misinformed. If you want to turn a blind eye to the world around you, I suppose that is fine, but don’t write about it and pass it off as “anti feminist” propaganda. This woman should realize it is because of feminism that she even has had the opportunity of going to school and publishing a book. If it weren’t for the efforts of the suffragists and the radicals in the 60s and 70s, we wouldn’t be able to vote or have birth control. I guess I can’t see how wanted equality is the cause for unhappiness. Any ideas??

    • Nan on 01.28.2012 at 9:32 pm

      you totally lose credibility just quoting that worn out stat that women make a mere 77% of men. Yeah, we do when we re-enter the work force after having babies, or don’t work as many hours as they do – which we normally don’t since we want to be with our kids! That’s a no-brainer. Single women who work as many hours as men do actually make as much if not more than their male counter-parts. We do have much to thank the feminist movement for. We have much to be wary of.

  • Shaw Hubbard on 03.08.2011 at 8:38 am

    No bliss in ignorance

    I wish the interviewer had followed up to find out what Ms. Venker meant by “whatever strides were made in the workforce have had tremendous ramifications for businesses, so they came at a great cost to businesses and government.” How have women cost business and government? Does she mean maternity leaves?
    She asks later, “why would you have a whole movement to make women feel better about not choosing to have children?” How have these women cost business and government?

    Ignorance might be bliss for the ignorant, but it’s hell for the rest of us.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 8:42 am

    Wow, what an inconsistent and narrow-minded woman. I particularly like when she compares abusive spouses to gay people.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 8:50 am

    Dangerous and slanted arguments.
    This is stupid to blame feminists for issues that are much more broad & influenced by other issues in both culture & economy. Over all, feminism was about women having a choices and having opportunities to exercise those choices. We too easily forget that for many women the only choice was to work until they got married and then to have children. There wasn’t another option. Even today, many women report disparity not only in pay & career opportunity, but in the amount of work they do at home in comparison to men.
    As long as women fight each other over labels we will never be equal truly equal. But, I ask young women, that this author claims to be targeting, to be smart about the leaders you follow as you may not yet know what the world really has in store for you.

  • Jordan Valentine on 03.08.2011 at 8:53 am

    Congratulations

    As the child of a second-wave feminist, I was taught from the get-go that the real feminist fight was about having the greatest number of options possible. That never excluded marriage, family, or the domestic life…or anything else. You get to be Donna Reed or Germaine Greer or any other permutation of womanhood that appeals to you, that’s the point. Many women in American society in our 20s and 30s understand this inherently; its the legacy of the feminist movement that its not even a question whether we have the right to work, or speak, or write, or be heard. So I would congratulate Mrs. Venker on being the perfect end result of the feminist movement–an outspoken, published female author who is shuttling to speaking engagements, giving interviews, using her college education and enjoying her book tour. I may find she and her aunt terribly naive and laughably misguided, but the fact that they get to be so vocally and publicly so tells me that feminism works. Congratulations to them both.

  • david b on 03.08.2011 at 8:59 am

    Ridiculous interview

    Ok the subject of the interview is atrociously ignorant and can’t even define feminism properly (its a movement for women to advocate their perspective and their rights which are largely neglected even in the us) but that’s no excuse for this softball interview. The journalist doing this has absolutely no vision, a dreary person who thinks that there is such a thing as objectivity. You are in fact presenting an ideology with this softball interview and if you think you’re letting people “decide for themselves” maybe you shouldn’t take your journalism lessons from the 24 hour news and maybe watch some Phil Donahue.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 9:00 am

    Yikes!

    “The abuse problem is smaller than it’s made out to be”?!?!

    Wow. I’m really sorry that BU’s name is on this. She seems to not understand what feminism is, or how it has allowed her and her aunt to publish and promote such a book. It really makes me question her critical thinking and reading skills.

  • Ariana Katz on 03.08.2011 at 9:07 am

    Happy 100th International Women's Day

    This woman is welcome to her opinions. She knows this, as she and longtime enemy of equality Phyllis Shlafly wrote a book together.

    However, it is unacceptable that she promote this hateful, completely off the wall ideas that marriage is the norm (and something to aspire to), that if you have a problem, look within (because its probably your fault, and if it isn’t, just get over it and fix it!), that feminists are responsible for sexual immorality?

    Suzanne Venker clearly has her history wrong, and has no cause-and-effect understanding of political and social movements.

    Further, she claims that the feminist movement hi-lighting domestic assault is a minor issue. This is exactly why feminism matters–because things that effect some of us mean all of us are mad. That we stand together as human beings to fight for one another.

    It is important to recognize that feminism historically has been a middle class movement. Betty Friedan’s dismissal of working mothers was as ignorant as Venker’s claim that feminism is only focused on struggles in America.

    Feminism means that Venker can write whatever book she wants, and take the time to do it (wouldn’t writing this book take away from home-making time?) Feminism means she can be anti-choice, decide not to go to a rally, and still be respected by her peers. Feminism means that, should Suzanne choose, she could remain single and child-free.

    Saying that there are groups of people who are not oppressed by societal structures simply means you’re not paying attention.

    There’s still a reason we’re fighting for equality, something abundantly clear after reading about this upcoming book.
    Happy 100th Anniversary of International Women’s Day.

  • Dr. Tarynn M. Witten on 03.08.2011 at 9:08 am

    What me worry?

    What scares me is that there are people out there who actually believe this. What scares me more is that BU chose to feature her. As a BU alumnus I am ashamed for my university. While an ardent proponent for free speech, I do think that promoting such thinking simply continues not only the idea that women’s rights activism is outmoded and unnecessary, but it also promotes the idea that such thinking should be featured. As my three brilliant daughters would say … WTF!!!! Shame on BU. Perhaps I could get a full page feature on my books too while we are at it. I could also use the press. Did she donate a part of her profits to BU to get this kind of coverage? How very offensive.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 9:11 am

    What has feminism ever done for anyone?

    Answer: You got a featured interview (conducted by another woman) to PROMOTE YOUR BOOK, which is published by a multiple NY-Times-bestseller publishing house, in an e-magazine with a circulation of roughly 16,000. How many pre-feminist woman authors have achieved that?
    ~
    Why bother writing a book at all, when the thesis seems to be that a woman should be at home barefoot & pregnant and serving her man? I guess it’s a case of “do as I say, not as I do.”

  • JMT on 03.08.2011 at 9:11 am

    Did you seriously just publish this on International Women’s Day?

    Suzanne is pretending that feminism is some single monolithic entity, so that she can set the straw (wo)man on fire.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 9:14 am

    sickening

    Without feminism, she would not have been able to attend Boston University and no one would pay attention to her book because women’s literature was shunned. This woman makes me sick. Her and her aunt just want the publicity associated with saying they are anti-feminists. None of her claims are supported by true research. It is a correlational claim to say that feminism has resulted in women’s unhappiness, not causational. Feminism does not directly cause women’s unhappiness, and no one could ever prove it does.

  • Congratulations, BU Today on 03.08.2011 at 9:16 am

    You managed to get another page view by spreading this author’s message of willful ignorance.

    What is the goal of posting such an interview? Was it to attract views from people like myself who would likely disagree with the content of the article? Do you honestly want to give credibility to this author’s history and fact denying arguments? Are you just desperate for stories about BU alumni that any person will do?

    Additionally, the softball nature of this interview, rarely and barely challenging any of the author’s answers, seems to be nothing more than an extended press release on the novel.

  • Stacey Goguen on 03.08.2011 at 9:16 am

    What Ms. Venker Describes is Not Feminism

    I wonder if Ms. Venker had any experience with our Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program? (Then still Women’s Studies)

    I wonder this because some of what she says is wrong and/or deplorable.

    “Feminists are not concerned with anybody outside of America.”
    –Gayatri Spivak and a whole movement called “Third World Feminisms”

    ““Ten Feminist Commandments”—“Thou shalt belittle men until their manhood is gone””
    –Feminists belittle manhood, not men. (And if one doesn’t think there’s a difference, that’s part of the problem.) (Feminists also belittle womanhood or any other assumed human “essence.”)

    “And whatever strides were made in the workforce [like equal pay---which we still don't have] have had tremendous ramifications for businesses, so they came at a great cost to businesses and government. It’s a double-edged sword.”
    –People shouldn’t have equal rights & pay because it hurts the economy? Let’s go back to slave labor then–I hear that was great for businesses and agriculture once upon a time.

    “By making this small percentage [people who don't want children] feel better about their choices, there are ramifications for the rest.”
    –This is called making people feel less human by catargorizing them as minorities, abnormal, and fringe.

    ” Everyone had this one view, feminism, ”
    –If only. Whatever the mainstream media is, feminist it is not.

    “your husband “always knew his feminist professors were nuts””
    –This is a nice big middle finger to an entire program at our University. I wonder how long her husband studied feminism for to make this claim.

    “The abuse problem is smaller than it’s made out to be, ”
    –No, it’s really not. http://www.rileycenter.org/domestic-violence-statistics.html (older ones)
    http://www.dvrc-or.org/dv-facts-stats/ (newer ones)

    “It is my belief that ultimately nobody, male or female, can be happy with that lifestyle, with having sex with whoever they want, having sex with your friends, or one night stands and all that.”
    –Feminism argues that generalizing like this is what leads to people treating other people as subhuman. Assuming YOU know what THE human condition is like at heart is a dark road to travel.

    “Feminism can be credited for destigmatizing all sorts of lifestyles, which made sex what it has become in our culture”
    –Playboy helped make this culture, and feminism sure as hell didn’t make playboy.

    “But it’s the social acceptance [of casual sex] of these that I attribute to the feminist movement.”
    –If Ms. Venker read up on the cleft between “the feminist movement” and “the sexual revolution”, she would see how oversimplifying this statement is.

    “I’m not saying sexism is made up. But how you respond to that sexism will depend on what your life will be like. My mother quit one job and got promoted at another. The people who are the most successful are the people who make lemonade out of lemons. Rather than yapping about how you’re a victim, go find your way. Somebody will listen; somebody will be there. But it’s a huge jump to say that women are oppressed. As for men, they don’t get to cry sexism.”

    –Some of us can not stand idly by when we see that shitty things done to us form a pattern. When we see these things done to our sisters, our mothers, our lovers, and our friends. When we see that we are belittled a dehumanized in a thousand tiny ways that add up to us belittling and dehumanizing ourselves. Men don’t ‘get to cry sexism’ because men are not–as men–systematically and structurally denied social power. Sexism is not about the individual. It’s not about YOUR life. It’s about patterns of behavior in societies (like judges telling female attornies to wear skirts, like being surprised when a woman is good as math, like wondering more often if a rape victim is lying (as opposed to a mugging victim or an assault victim or fraud victim, who could also be lying).

    tl;dr
    Feminism is a poorly understood political stance and academic field. This interview does not help clear up any of the misconceptions about it. I question the judgment of publishing this interview. Dissenting perspectives are good when they are well thought out perspectives that have the basic facts of a movement right.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 9:25 am

    Shocking

    This interview makes me think of Gaddafi and Sheen….all divorced from reality and ranting in incoherent ways. The rest of the comments do well to point out the flaws in the author’s thinking. I can only hope this woman has no daughters.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 9:25 am

    International Women's Day

    Why is this interview being run on the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day? BU Today is not mentioning International Women’s Day at all.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 9:29 am

    Amen!

    How refreshing to hear the opposite side of what I feel is constantly being rammed down my throat. Thank you!

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 9:30 am

    Girl is getting her money's worth out of the 1st amendment.

    I stopped reading after I read,”The abuse problem is smaller than it’s made out to be, and when you draw attention to something that’s so terrible, it’s like the issue of homosexuality today. The awareness that gays exist, or that terrible men beat their wives, is good to recognize but not to belabor or exaggerate.” I actually think its great that BU did this story and surprised at the readers who are “shaming” BU in these posts. They are underestimating other readers, as if we’ll assume her way of thinking(?) – which is exactly the kind of narrow “reasoning” this woman demonstrates.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 9:33 am

    This type of thinking is scary. I recall being taught to address both sides of an argument fairly in any research–clearly this is the diatribe of someone uninterested in the validity of her argument. These arguments would be outright comical if she wasn’t so disturbingly serious. I’m deeply offended.

    • anoooonymous on 11.30.2012 at 11:02 pm

      seriously

  • Mike D on 03.08.2011 at 9:33 am

    The Schlafly’s live in an alternate reality. All one has to do is check out Conservapedia.com (Andrew Schlafly’s brainchild) to realize exactly how wacked out and departed from reality the family is: they are young earth creationists who believe in biblically based patriarchal families.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 9:34 am

    Join Women on the Bridge

    You know what’s Ironic, check out Google’s homepage today.

    We hope you’ll join us at the Harvard Bridge in Boston, MA on March 8 from 9:00am to 12:00pm as we participate in this global campaign led by Women for Women International. Gathering point: Massachusettes Ave over The Charles River between Boston and Cambridge.

  • Stacey Goguen on 03.08.2011 at 9:35 am

    reponse

    “How refreshing to hear the opposite side of what I feel is constantly being rammed down my throat. Thank you!”

    Ya it sucks when people start wanting to be treated with respect as fellow humans, huh?

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 9:36 am

    Venker and March 8th?

    I find it really odd that BU Today has selected this particular story for March 8th. I am positive there are many other successful women alumni of BU, and I am sure some of these women have worked in women rights organizations or in raising awareness for women’s issues. Overall, there are many ways to acknowledge the international women’s day and the tremendous improvements in social and economic rights of women in the US and in the rest of the world — which would have been a much more sensible approach to take to take on March 8th instead of promoting an antifeminist author.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 9:39 am

    Posting this Article on Woman's Day?

    I was disgusted to wake up this morning and find this article. I find it in VERY poor taste for BU Today to run this article on Woman’s Day. As a Boston University student, I’m embarrassed.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 9:39 am

    feminism

    Despite the group think of comments here, nobody likes feminists in the real world. Ever wonder why? Here are some home truths for the sisterhood:

    Feminism is a movement to promote women’s interests at the expense of men.

    Despite claims by some moderate (and misled) feminists to the contrary, feminism is not a movement for the betterment of men and women. If it was, it would be called humanism.

    Feminists are not concerned, for example, about the fact that four times as many men commit suicide as women or that fewer and fewer boys attend college or graduate from high school.

    Feminists demand that we treat men and women as exactly equal unless it suits women to differentiate between the sexes.

    For example, a typical feminist will see no irony in arguing on one hand that women need ever greater protection from domestic violence, rape and sexual harassment but on the other hand that women are just as good as men at fighting, construction, farming, police work, etc.

    Question: How many feminists does it take to change a light bulb?

    Answer: That’s not funny, you sexist pig. I will report your hate speech and do everything in my power to destroy your career and reputation. We need a speech code to regulate people such as your. And you need to attend sensitivity training so that you can be re-educated on the benefits of feminism.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 9:39 am

    An embarrassment

    I am truly embarrassed to be at an institution where a woman like this would be profiled in a daily news publication sent to all at the university. Though I have not read her book, her statements in this interview are simply false and rooted in errors and frankly quite misogynous beliefs. To point out a few blatant errors:

    “Feminists are not concerned with anybody outside of America.” This is just NOT true. To me, being a feminist means believing in equal rights for women, worldwide. Why would anyone who considers themself to be a feminist limit this belief in equality to America?

    “I’m not saying sexism is made up. But how you respond to that sexism will depend on what your life will be like. My mother quit one job and got promoted at another. The people who are the most successful are the people who make lemonade out of lemons. Rather than yapping about how you’re a victim, go find your way. Somebody will listen; somebody will be there. But it’s a huge jump to say that women are oppressed.” So, Ms. Venker, you think that there are NO oppressed women in the world? Really?

    Reading this in my email this morning truly made my stomach turn. BU should be ashamed. And, as one of the posters above stated, this on International Women’s Day? BU has truly made an error in publishing this.

  • Sarah on 03.08.2011 at 9:40 am

    A new low for BU Today

    On International Women’s Day? Really?

    I’m used to BU Today covering generally uninteresting topics on a daily basis but this is a new low. I am furious at the BU Today staff for flooding our inboxes with today’s offensive and backwards-thinking bullshit. Who thought this was worth covering?

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 9:45 am

    feminism

    Despite the feminist group think on display in the comments here, nobody actually likes feminists in the real world. Ever wonder why? Here are some home truths for the sisterhood:

    Despite claims by some moderate (and misled) feminists to the contrary, feminism is not a movement for the betterment of men and women. If it was, it would be called humanism.

    Feminism not a movement for equality or fairness but instead is is a movement to promote women’s interests at the expense of men.

    Feminists are not concerned, for example, about the fact that four times as many men commit suicide as women or that fewer and fewer boys attend college or graduate from high school.

    Feminists demand that we treat men and women as exactly equal unless it suits women to differentiate between the sexes.

    For example, a typical feminist will see no irony in arguing on one hand that women need ever greater protection from domestic violence, rape and sexual harassment but on the other hand that women are just as good as men at fighting, construction, farming, police work, etc.

    Question: How many feminists does it take to change a light bulb?

    Answer: That’s not funny, you sexist pig. I will report your hate speech and do everything in my power to destroy your career and reputation. We need a speech code to regulate people such as your. And you need to attend sensitivity training so that you can be re-educated on the benefits of feminism.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 9:46 am

    Judging by the above posts, it seems some people here at BU are all for diversity unless it about airing an opinion that’s different from their own. I’m really hoping BU can move beyond that stupid political correctness and actually tolerate alternative ideas. I’d rather see genuine engagement and constructive rebuttles, not the usual verbal attacks: “offensive” “ignorant”, etc. Some people find feminism offensive, insenstitive, and embarassing. Ms Venker has given a voice to people who are usually shouted down. She’s doing what all feminists should applaud: she’s standing up and voicing her ideas.

    Feminsim would have a lot more appeal if cared about all women, not just those who share their worldview.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 9:46 am

    my gosh

    Well. This was offensive. I disagreed with literally every word that came out of this woman’s mouth. The icing on the cake is her final statement, that its like being exposed to fox news instead of the “main stream media.” Pretty much all i had to hear to understand what an idiot this lady is.

  • David on 03.08.2011 at 9:55 am

    "Judging by the above posts,"

    Hey dummy, guess what? Not every opinion is created equal. Maybe you’ve been raised to think every hare-brained thought that farts out of your mouth is worthy of respect and attention but that’s not how it works here in the real world. “Different” does not equal “worthwhile”.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 9:57 am

    Way to goo, BU Today. Maybe you can get Sarah Palin next time and really class up your publication! I realize it’s not the goal of BU Today to make the University look good, but this almost goes out of its way to do the opposite. Dissenting/minority viewpoints are certainly valid subjects, but let’s try to meet a certain academic/intellectual standard. If you really had to do a piece on this book, you should have interviewed Phyllis Schlafly, not this media clown.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 10:04 am

    Feminism worked!

    Back when I was at BU … late 70s and early 80s … working in summers at a large aerospace corporate office … men still had photos of sex stars on their desks, men starting a family were given larger raises to help them out, women were “strongly suggested” to look attractive … women were often referred to as the “b-word” or, worse, the “c-word” …

    So I’m thankful that feminism, along with its myriad sexual harassment court cases, helped to make the work environment a more level playing field. Because women stood up for their rights, we are ALL better off. Including men, like me!

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 10:09 am

    A short rant inspired by this article

    “I liken it to being exposed to Fox News and the internet rather than just mainstream media. I got an alternative form of news, I was exposed to something that most people were not, and that had a big effect on me.”

    Fox News = alternative and non-mainstream? No wonder she is confused on issues of human dignity.

    Oh, by the way, while not everyone is a victim, everyone IS exposed to racism, abuse, torture, inequality, and other injustices. They’re just pretending not to see it, or worse, justifying it based on some misguided, reactionary ideology that somehow equates progress with stripping men–mostly white men–of their power.

    This intentionally crafted ignorance is a movement in the U.S., built up of people like Suzanne Verker and Sarah Palin and whole helluva lot of white men who we’re voting into office. It’s called social conservatism and it’ll send most of us to the back of the bus.

    Just saying.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 10:09 am

    Article’s like this are what give conservatives a bad rep. I consider myself to be an independent thinker, I take each issue for itself and judge how I feel about it. I personally believe that’s what college is supposed to be teaching us to do. I do believe that a lot of people on this campus are blindly liberal, but as witnessed by this comment thread that is not entirely true. Making broad statements almost always makes you wrong. The lack of research that seems to have happened before this book was written astounds me, as does the lack of some sort of pro-feminist opinion. You’re not going to convince anyone to be an anti-feminist when all you do is make remarks like “Feminists don’t care about what happens outside of America” and basically telling abused woman that they ARE alone, and should suck it up and “make lemonade from lemons”.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 10:14 am

    Internalized Sexism?!

    This is misogynist barf.
    Suzanne, go back to the Midwest.
    I wouldn’t wipe my a** with your book.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 10:14 am

    Thank you!

    I appreciate BU Today sharing this… it’s good to hear this for a change! And isn’t the whole premise of feminism giving women a voice? This woman is entitled to her opinion just as much as the fiercest feminist. To those who are so vehemently opposed…a little hypocritical, don’t you think??

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 10:15 am

    Incoherent and unsubstantiated

    Suzanne Venker comes off as incoherent and makes claims that are unsubstantiated by any cursory examination of the feminist movement in America today. Many feminists in American, for example, are very concerned with the plight of women in China, the Middle East, etc. The move to present non-liberal points of view at colleges and universities that so many conservatives are so fond of does not mean that people who spout innuendo and falsehood should be given a media spotlight by BU. There are plenty of ways of making a reasoned argument for conservativism.

  • Daniel Kamalic on 03.08.2011 at 10:16 am

    As a married man who's always considered myself a feminist

    …I agree that, for International Women’s Day, BU Today could have and should have chosen an alum who has actually fought for important womens’ issues. On the up-side, at least this article does a good job of showing how feminism is still important even today. Apparently there are still people in this country, and surprisingly even alumni of BU, who deny the importance of that work.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 10:18 am

    Why would you ever publish this?

    Boston University, progressive and liberal and generally an accepting and hard-working community pushing forward to make great opportunities for all that pass through its doors… And you publish this? And on International Woman’s Day? I’m so disappointed. Ms. Venker here avoids every question and all but says that women should be in the kitchen making their husbands lemonade and not working for more out of life. This woman’s degree should be revoked and BU Today should be embarrassed for giving her press and publishing this.

  • SMK on 03.08.2011 at 10:25 am

    Attention must be paid

    What Suzanne Venker many of her cohort fail to understand is this: Phyllis Schlafly does not attend Harvard, Suzanne Venker does not write a book and get it published, and we never have this conversation but for the women who came before us and forced open the doors of higher education and the workplace.

    We stand on the shoulders of the suffragettes and the feminists and all the brave women she chooses to slander.

    You do not have to accept the politics of those who came before you, but if you are going to engage in this discussion, you have an obligation to take the subject seriously. The author has laid her cards out on the table: her aunt told her to condemn feminism. This smacks of opportunism and nothing more. The political climate is agreeable to another anti-feminist screed, and she can capitalize on the reputation of her dotty aunt.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 10:26 am

    Don't just vent

    I might disagree completely with Suzanne Venker, but I don’t see a problem with BU airing her opinion. If you disagree with what she has to say, don’t just vent, prove that she’s wrong.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 10:27 am

    Ms. Venker, (does she admit that “Ms” solves problems when addressing women whose marital status is unknown to us and none of our business?) concedes that she committed a moral compromise by enlisting her aunt Ms. Schlafley who insisted that nothing positive about feminism be mentioned.

    The “devil’s’ bargain was made when Venker agreed to this in order to use her aunt’s famous name, thus ensuring sales from the reactionary right. The problem is Venker does think feminism has achieved certain things, i.e. calling attention to victims of abuse.

    But this balanced view was sacrificed for sales.

    What other intellectual and moral compromises was she willing to make?

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 10:33 am

    Today I am embarrassed to be a BU student.

    Today is International Women’s Day and I can’t help but think the decision to publish this was an intentional and calculated move. How best can we celebrate women around the world? By showing one who’s trying to pit women against women, obviously. This woman is undoubtedly ignorant — comparing domestic abuse to homosexuality, saying domestic abuse is not that big an issue, victim-blaming, telling women essentially to get over thousands of years’ worth of oppression. There isn’t a shred of credibility to her argument because she clearly doesn’t understand what feminism is.

    And for the person who said feminism is an alien term, feminism has been called humanism. It IS humanism. But it was started by women and yeah, how dare we not acknowledge that women can be powerful and important in working for equality. Let’s just negate that entirely and act like it’s all about turning men into women. Outside of this article, that’s the most ignorant thing I’ve heard all day.

    Anyway, this article is disgusting and I’m ashamed to be a BU student at an institution where things like this are published on a day for women. We get one per year and this is a big one — the 100th International Women’s Day. I’m not going to let this article ruin my day but it was certainly a crappy way to start it. Whoever decides BU Today’s content should be fired. Boring most of the time and then bullshit like this or some old hacks trashing Zinn’s legacy to create a stir. Disgusting, divisive, hate-mongering. Ugh.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 10:35 am

    You Benefit

    Suzanne Verker is basically trying to say that feminism is bad by ignoring everything that feminism has done to make her life what it is today. First of all, she wrote a book and published it! Let’s just think of all the women who had pseudonyms because people wouldn’t buy books written by women. She’s trying to argue that every good thing that’s come of feminism really wasn’t thanks to feminism! I am sorry but that is total crap. You don’t have to be a feminist, but don’t walk around saying you don’t need something that you have clearly benefited from, as have all women. I am outraged that you would publish a book that is so ignorant of the great feminists’ contributions to YOUR life. I’m conservative too, but I hope I’ll never be so ignorant.

  • Mary Annas on 03.08.2011 at 10:39 am

    suzanne venker

    as a BU grad and writing teacher, I go back and forth about giving this kind of voice a forum. On the one hand it stimulates discussion, but it also normalizes an opinion that is really out there and dangerous. there is nothing hypothetical about the subjugation of (especially) poor women.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 10:40 am

    Interesting

    Although I thought I might pass out halfway through reading this interview, I think it’s wise for those of us who consider ourselves feminists to be aware of these opinions. I thought the interviewer did a great job of challenging her. It’s interesting when someone who has so clearly benefited from the work of feminists (as we all have) can renounce those achievements. I for one am grateful that I can get a credit card in my own name instead of my husband’s, a mortgage, my own bank account … and all the many things that have changed just in my lifetime.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 10:41 am

    The only reason I’m not writing a point-by-point response to Suzanne Venker’s interview comments is that there are not enough hours in a day. Let us hope (for her sake) that her book is thoroughly researched and is founded on evidence because if this interview is an indication of the larger text, she displays a fair amount of ignorance of historical fact.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 10:42 am

    What were you thinking, BU Today?

    I found this interview to be not only offensive, but sad, too. Other commenters have pointed out that there are actually people in this world who share the views of this ignorant woman, and that is truly sad. It just goes to show that feminism allowed for this woman and her questionable aunt to spew their vitriol, but that there is obviously more work to be done in the world of equal rights. And lastly… stay in St. Louis, Suz!

  • Thursday Chesterton on 03.08.2011 at 10:56 am

    @judging from the above posts:

    Though a diversity of opinion deserves celebration, it only deserves such when all opinions involved have good reasons to justify them, for an opinion is only valuable insofar as it’s justified and correct, and a debate (the point of diversity) can only increase our knowledge when it rejects one valuable opinion for a more valuable one.

    If one argument is trivial, then we learn nothing, because to refute it, we only exercised the knowledge we had.

    Of course, this opinion casts a pox on both houses. How many Internet arguments are really worth anyone’s time?

    That said, while I’d like to see a well-reasoned anti-feminist argument, even if it turned out to be wrong, Venker doesn’t offer such.

    She simply doesn’t support her argument–that feminism’s advances have damaged the economy and home life, and therefore should be pushed back–with facts. The exchange about the divorce rate in Massachusetts as opposed to the Bible Belt gives her away. Home life would appear to be flourishing where feminism is stronger, if we can take the divorce rate as an indicator.

    Further, her impression that feminism is accepted everywhere, and especially on college campuses, is mistaken on its face. If feminism had widespread acceptance, then we wouldn’t see people offended at the idea of rape culture. But people get offended at that idea all the time, so clearly feminism doesn’t have the widespread acceptance Venker claims it has.

    So yes, we should celebrate a diversity of opinion, and yes, where we disagree, we should work to disprove, rather than shout down, the other side, and yes, if we’re convinced, we should assent. But we should distinguish between good opinions and bad ones. Zenker’s is a bad one.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 10:57 am

    Certainly this woman is entitled to her opinion and has every right to publish a book containing all her ideas, crazy or otherwise…but people really do have a point when they question why BU would even consider shining a light on her.

    BU is institution that can list hundreds, if not thousands, of very prominent, intelligent, insightful, and open-minded individuals who have helped make BU the place we all chose over so many others.

    This woman adds nothing to the conversation about feminism or woman’s rights or even what it’s like to live in realty. Why tout her as an alum? BU wouldn’t cover a blatantly racist alum, so why her?

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 11:00 am

    Certainly this woman is entitled to her opinion and has every right to publish a book containing all her ideas, crazy or otherwise…but people really do have a point when they question why BU would even consider shining a light on her.

    BU is institution that can list hundreds, if not thousands, of very prominent, intelligent, insightful, and open-minded individuals who have helped make BU the place we all chose over so many others.

    This woman adds nothing to the conversation about feminism or woman’s rights or even what it’s like to live in realty. Why tout her as an alum?

  • Kristina on 03.08.2011 at 11:05 am

    Feminism is the reason you have a book deal

    It wasn’t until 1872 that a woman gained entry into Boston University. (http://www.bu.edu/dbin/womenstudies/faculty.php)
    It is a shame that Venker was not exposed to what feminism is while at BU. It’s painful to see a person who only is able to have a voice, vote, go to college, write a book, be heard by a publisher, get an interview with a journalist, do something other than domestic labor – in her home or in someone else’s for less than the wage a white man would receive… and she is unable to see that the opportunities afforded her are because of the work of men, women and transpersons fighting for equality and laws against discrimination.

    I am embarrassed for her and for being associated with BU for printing this piece without pointing out these contradictions.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 11:10 am

    This is consistent...

    I think it is perfectly consistent behavior for BU Today to publish this interview. They knew the author’s ideas were extreme and would be perfect fodder for their non-conservative readership to yet again come out and say, “See, all conservatives are nuts and out of touch with reality!” You are seeing this woman exactly the way BU Today wants you to. Do you think they would have published this if it actually made you think that conservatives might have some valid points to make in the discussion on feminsim? It appears to me that this author could have toned it down, that she did have some good things to say about feminism. Unfortunately, she gave up her true voice in order to collaborate with her aunt, who was not interested in seeking middle ground. It’s hard to say for sure without having first read the book.

  • A. Goodfriend on 03.08.2011 at 11:11 am

    If I wasn't already convinced to be a Feminist...

    Now I sure as heck am.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 11:15 am

    Feminism ouside of America

    I started thinking about equal rights for women as a 13-year-old at Ellie Smeal’s kitchen table, outraged that my mother was not receiving the same pay as men doing the same job.
    I started losing respect for the feminist movement when I was dis-respected for choosing marriage and child-rearing as my “career”…my choices were not “their” choices, even though I raised 4 independent-thinking daughters.
    I will get back a measure of respect for feminist leadership in this country when they start to break their silence on the plight of women and girls under SHARIA law in many of the extreme Islamist states!

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 11:20 am

    Nothing New Here

    First of all, I want to thank the other commentators for letting me know that today is International Women’s Day, which I was not aware of. I’m guessing that the staff at BU Today were either purposefully trying to create controversy or were foolishly unaware of the ramifications of this interview on this day. That being said, what needs to be recognized is that Suzanne Venker is preaching to the choir in this book, if it follows the same thought process as this interview. She’s not going to be swaying liberals to be conservatives, or feminists to be anti-feminists via this book. It is an ideologically-informed argument that doesn’t need to reference competing views in order to resonate with the target audience. This is the disappointing thing — it simply adds to a polarized debate instead of introducing a meaningful dialogue over the issue where we might be willing to listen to her. Reading an interview of a liberal feminist espousing an extreme, radical viewpoint would not help either. This is more of the same shouting and sniping back and forth.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 11:20 am

    Absolutely Ridiculous

    Verker’s opinions on feminism are not only offensive and ignorant, they are downright moronic. I applaud the interviewer for challenging her screwed-up, backwards views of the world today. She can’t even answer some of the questions asked, such as why divorce rates are much higher in Bible belt states than in our “liberal” Massachusetts. Other responses, such as her claim that feminists are only concerned with issues in America, are just obnoxious.

    I appreciate BU Today for shedding light on some of the atrocious opinions of conservative right-wingers, and can only hope that the number of females believing this baloney is few and far between.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 11:23 am

    How ignorant. Opinions like this woman’s are why we need feminism. Why would you publicize such backward ideas? I don’t care if she went to BU, she is NOT the sort of alumnus I would consider an asset to the BU community. It’s easy to profit from the work feminists do and condemn them. Were it not for feminism, she would have never even had the chance to attend BU. Let’s hear from some BU alums trying to bring us into the future, not take us back to the past.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 11:25 am

    I was happy…until I read this article.

    I’m all for promoting diverse opinions but this is just depressing. She has a book, she doesn’t need another avenue to express herself. Take the article away.

  • Tyler on 03.08.2011 at 11:27 am

    Feminism is not...

    This lady has it all wrong. Feminism is not about empowering women, it is about equality regardless of gender. So why condemn feminism?

    If you want to hear what feminism IS about, read the interview with Sarah Merra from TEDxBU 2011 http://buquad.com/2011/02/28/tedxbu/

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 11:28 am

    Demeaning

    While I realize takes pride in the political diversity of its community I find the comments made by Ms. Venker incredibly demeaning to several groups. Fortunately, my own life experiences have proven that feminism, in fact, has made a world of a difference.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 11:31 am

    While I realize takes pride in the political diversity of its community I find the comments made by Ms. Venker incredibly demeaning to several groups. Fortunately, my own life experiences have proven that feminism, in fact, has made a world of a difference.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 11:39 am

    I was there at the beginning

    I started thinking about equal rights for women as a 13-year-old at Ellie Smeal’s kitchen table, outraged that my mother was not receiving the same pay as men doing the same job.
    I started losing respect for the feminist movement when I was dis-respected for choosing marriage and child-rearing as my “career”…my choices were not “their” choices, even though I raised 4 independent-thinking daughters.
    I will get back a measure of respect for feminist leadership in this country when they start to break their silence on the plight of women and girls under SHARIA law in many of the extreme Islamist states!

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 11:51 am

    Interesting...

    This article and its responses are really quite interesting. I for one am glad it was published here and seems to go along well with the recent series of articles on “changing lanes” (which, admittedly, I have read none.) It gives the idea that there is life beyond campus and that everything that happens here is not “the truth” or “the world in its entirety”. This is not to say I agree with what Verker is saying, or at least not all of it, and many posts have made valid points about her position gratis the feminist movement, though I am surprised, being in the academic locality that we are, that no one has mentioned the feminist impact on academic theory itself.
    Theory is, after all, what we are discussing here.
    If leftists are pushing for the ability to hold many views, then they must accept that some of those views will be ones they disagree with. While I am female, I do not consider myself feminist, I agree with those arguing semantics, and that if we want to discuss domestic abuse it should be discussed in the light that men can also be abused.
    BU should not be shamed for publishing this, not even on international women’s day. It has sparked lively discussion on the current state of the movement, and it’s directionality. What better day to raise the awareness of this debate?

  • Ashley Fears on 03.08.2011 at 11:54 am

    Hypocrite

    Ironic how “feminist agendas” provided Suzanne with the very right to a higher education at BU. As a fellow Missourian I am appalled by her ignorant and backwards views. Luckily, she is NOT a representative of what the average Midwestern woman stands for.

  • Beth Forrest on 03.08.2011 at 11:55 am

    It is a shame that BU did such a poor job of educating this woman. She is incredibly naive to think that she has not benefited by feminism. Certainly, we can look at issues that continue to be problematic for women, the system is flawed and what we value is misplaced — things instead of people. She is short-sighted and clueless — but gives me great encouragement by the other comments listed here.

    If she wants to promote women being only a wife and mother (not that there is anything wrong with that), she should indeed practice what she preaches.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 11:57 am

    Don't just vent said: "If

    Don’t just vent said:
    “If you disagree with what she has to say, don’t just vent, prove that she’s wrong.”

    I’ll do better than that. I won’t buy her book.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 11:58 am

    So proud of BU!

    This is great, BU, featuring a woman on International Women’s Day who shows no evidence of self-awareness, knowledge of what feminism actually is, or even an ability to do basic research. (or research that supports anything other than her conclusions before she EVEN WROTE THE BOOK).
    Does she like having funding for girls’ and women’s sports? Access to birth control? The ability to own property, have a credit card, and sign a loan without a male co-signer? What about protection against rape, domestic abuse, sexual harassment? (oh, sorry, I forgot that those things aren’t really big problems and women who have been assaulted and abused should just make LEMONADE out of lemons?) Does she like her nice college degree? Her book publishing deal? Her ability to vote? (which contrary to her belief, suffragettes were first wave feminists. Alice Paul, a key suffragette, wrote and promoted the Equal Rights Act, which Ms. Venker’s dear aunt Ms. Shlafly knows was heavily identified with second-wave feminism.)
    Lastly, her claim that feminism encourages women to act as victims is just ludicrous: feminism fosters women’s abilities to recognize their true potential, and fight back against systems that hurt them. The strongest women I know are ones that Ms. Venker would consider “victims”- women that have fought against abuse, domestic violence and sexual assault and come out stronger and resolved.

    P.S. Her claim that feminists not being concerned about anyone outside of America is ludicrous and completely unsubstantiated. Show me some evidence Ms. Venker, because I have yet to see any for your absurd claims.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 12:02 pm

    Bam.

    +1 for the patriarchy, thanks to Suzanne Verker. Happy Woman’s Day, everyone!

  • Not a feminist, but... on 03.08.2011 at 12:05 pm

    …this is just unreal. How can she completely condemn the progression of women’s rights when she was able to get a great education at one of the best universities in the world and write this book? HER way of thinking is backwards, not, as she says, the “liberal” way of thinking. I don’t understand how women in the workforce have made “tremendous ramifications for businesses.”

    I’m embarrassed that she graduated from the same university I attend. How she, as a woman, can be so close-minded and backwards, I just don’t understand. The reader comments say it all. Happy International Women’s Day to those who cherish and appreciate how far women have come.

  • GLY on 03.08.2011 at 12:06 pm

    great interviewer

    I commend Susan Seligson for her great interviewing here. She threw out pretty straightforward questions, and Suzanne Venker contradicted and embarrassed herself.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 12:08 pm

    Blatant, deliberate ignorance has no place in a university

    It shocks me that BU would even entertain the perspective of someone so obviously ignorant and closed-minded. One of the goals, and tremendous accomplishments of the feminist movements has been to create an environment where all opinions have a right to be heard. But BU is an academic institution, and Venker’s deliberate ignorance and blind assumptions have no place in a university not because they are radical but because of their complete lack of intelligent argument. Venker clearly has no understanding of what feminism is from the perspective of feminists themselves or of its manifestations in the world today (the reason she can get a college education at all and even go so far as to write a book is because of feminist movements – before the 60s and 70s college was simply a tool to meet one’s husband). She clearly has paid no attention to actual statistics or spoken to women who now engage in the more liberated lifestyles permitted to women in a post-feminist age – speaking from the perspective of a conservative young woman who works on women’s education issues and wishes to develop my own career before marriage, I am appalled at her total disregard for the obvious benefits so many of us enjoy every day that are a result of the feminist movements. But I am even more appalled that BU would choose to acknowledge such a blatant piece of radical propaganda that has so little argumentative merit. Women like Venker give conservatives a bad name, I’m disgusted.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 12:28 pm

    Stop your crying

    It’s ridiculous that there is so much outrage about a conservative article on BU Today. If you people want to read only liberal articles subscribe to the New York Times or Huffington Post. This is college and there should be no problem with political discourse.

  • Alumnus on 03.08.2011 at 12:34 pm

    Providing feedback

    I too am disappointed that BU Today chose to provide a venue for this author’s views — they are superficial, uninformed, and actively harmful to the cause of gender equity.

    BU Today isn’t a journalistic venue; rather, it exists to highlight and promote the work of BU faculty, students, and alumni, so as to advance the reputation of the University in the eyes of its constituents and the wider public. Let’s not be confused, then, about the journalistic charge behind Ms. Seligson’s assignment — one imagines that her editors didn’t expect anything other than softball questions. So, rather than leaving comments here, I encourage readers to write to the top: Assistant Vice President and Executive Editor, Art Jahnke (jahnke@bu.edu) and BU Today editor John O’Rourke (orourkej@bu.edu).

    This article, and the decisions which brought it to publication, reflect poorly on the judgment and priorities of the editors, and by extension, on the BU community. So, BU community: tell them better how to represent you!

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 12:44 pm

    Just like Ann Coulter

    I knew I was going to severely dislike (I’m holding back here) Suzanne Verker as soon as I read that she has made a name for herself among right wing-nuts such as Ann Coulter. A few years ago I attempted to read one of Ann’s books to see where her head was at, but I shut the book at about page 5 when she started to condone women with careers outside the home. Excuse me? Talk about the pot calling the kettle black! Obviously, it’s OK for women to have a “career”–such as an author–as long as this career involves putting women down and keeping them in their place, i.e., at home barefoot and pregnant and submissive whenever a man is present.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 12:46 pm

    Great interview

    While I don’t agree with anything Venker said, it’s good to have a different opinion, and I like how the interviewer forced her into contradiction.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 12:57 pm

    uhm obvious troll is obvious?

    to all the commenters who feel this is an abomination to be published on international women’s day, and can’t believe bu would do such a thing should consider the possibility that bu today of course knows how backwards and unfounded verker’s opinions are, and is counting on such educated readers as yourselves to see such an interview as offensive and insensitive to a great amount of women. i mean, i beat most readers are a lot more pissed off and at arms about women’s rights after reading it.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 1:00 pm

    I was going to type a long-winded, ranty response, but I’m pretty sure this video is adequate.

    http://www.windsorstar.com/news/windsor/Bond+star+Craig+drag+Women+film/4401991/story.html

    watch it. get educated.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 1:08 pm

    This woman has a right to her opinion...

    But I cannot believe this was published on International Women’s Day, of all days. I’ve practically lost an entire day being angry over this because these issues are so relevant and mean so much to me. As a rape survivor, I reject the notion that abuse against women is an inflated concept. One in every three women experiences sexual assault in her lifetime. Nearly every woman I know has experienced street harassment — something which is not talked about nearly enough. Women still don’t make as much as men. Soon, women may not have access to abortions, cancer screenings or STD treatments through Planned Parenthood. Don’t blame feminism for this. It’s not our fault we encountered rapists and misogynists who have no respect for women. Without feminism, I would still be blaming myself for having been raped. Feminists has given me and millions of other women around the world voices we didn’t have before.

    That’s why I will be attending the Boston Walk for Choice. I’m going to make some damn lemonade, Suz.

  • Berny on 03.08.2011 at 1:11 pm

    Woefully ignorant woman

    Much like her aunt Phyllis, Ann Coulter, Laura Schlessinger, and other right-wing pundits. Suzanne Verker is an incredibly ignorant individual. They are all so cocksure of everything they “know” that it never occurs to them that what they know simply isn’t so. (with apologies to Samuel Clement)

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 1:19 pm

    What planet has she lived on?

    Suzanne Venker’s interview is incredibly disturbing as it relies entirely on uninformed opinion as it attempts to deny the existence of a reality that we deal with every day. Abuse is overstated? Feminists don’t care about women outside the U.S.? Feminism led to the widespread acceptance of sexual “affairs”? And so on… I’m surprised that she didn’t blame Global Warming on feminism but then again she probably doesn’t believe that it is caused by man-made (just kidding) activity.

    Why has BU Today given Ms. Venker a forum to voice her sophomoric attacks on women and feminism especially on the 100th Anniversary of International Women’s Day? If BU feels the need to present the Flat Earth perspective on Women and Feminism you could have at least waited a day and found another BU alum with something more serious to offer as a critique.

  • Divorced Dad on 03.08.2011 at 1:25 pm

    The Other Side of the Fence

    The preponderance weak arguments and ignorant ad hominem attacks on Ms. Venker among the comments is truly shocking. One would think that at a major university, dissenting and controversial opinions would we be welcomed and met with thoughtful reasoned discourse. Instead, we have a writing intructor, no less, publicly advocating censorship. I applaud BU for publishing this interview because raises important points of view rarely published for fear of retribution.

    Ironically, the commenters in this forum, through their collective actions, contradict the notion that women are an oppresed minority victimized by male overlords. To the contrary, Ms. Venker is attacked with the timidity of a rabid pack of wolves, which is a far cry from the behavior of victims who have truly been oppressed. While many comments clamor for equal rights, modern feminists have no such objectives. Feminists define and redefine “equal rights” are on their own self-serving terms to preserve their “oppression and victimization” in perptuity. Why do feminists not demand that 50% of fathers receive primary custody of their children or question why the vast majority of the homeless and incarcerated are men?

    Compare the number of men and women in each of your BU classes. Is this accounting consistent with what you have been told about gender equality?

    International Women’s Day is a day to celebrate the inclusion of women into all walks of society not hosted by Mike Rowe. (Sorry, I just could help myself there!) I think we can all puff our chests out and gloat for a bit, for much good has been accomplished. The BU interview of Ms. Venker’s should remind us to be smart and savvy consumers of information and reflect upon the view from the other side of the fence.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 1:29 pm

    Gross

    I know this may not be a very scholarly rebuttal, but all I have to say is “Yuck.” As a fellow women, I am embarrassed of her. I just can’t…..

  • Christina on 03.08.2011 at 1:31 pm

    Wow

    I think she lost any and all potential credibility when she compared being a homosexual to being a domestic abuser. She attributes the social acceptance of casual sex to the feminist movement. She claims that feminists care nothing about international issues. Equal pay for women “came at a great cost to businesses and government.” Does she have any kind of proof substantiating these claims? And then likening her aunt’s influence to the “fair and balance” coverage you get from Fox News (and the Internet?) as opposed to a feminist view which is compared to “mainstream media.” Well. It’s just sad that this isn’t a joke.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 1:33 pm

    Everyone else pretty much already said what I think. But I’ll just say as a 23 year old guy that she doesn’t put forth very convincing arguments. She talks circles like a politician, deflects questions she doesn’t want to address, and flat out doesn’t answer some of the questions. I actually didn’t finish the article; what’s the point when she isn’t even answering the questions. She does have a good point though that I think we can all agree with: some things don’t need to change. What about child and slave labor, that was pretty good for business right? And clearly what’s good for business is more important than individual rights. Also, Fox News is pretty mainstream, I hate to break it to her haha.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 1:37 pm

    Re: Judging by the above posts...

    I quote you: “She’s doing what all feminists should applaud: she’s standing up and voicing her ideas. Feminsim would have a lot more appeal if cared about all women, not just those who share their worldview.”

    I agree that “alternative ideas” have the right to be voiced and this woman has the right to say hers, but are you being serious? How did Venker get the right to “stand up and voice her ideas”? By a woman before her fighting for her ability to do so. One might applaud her speaking, but not in contradiction to condemning the fight that has allowed her to speak as such.

    Feminism does care about all women, because it’s a fight for ALL WOMEN to have the right to make their own choices, whether it’s to have a family, a career, both, or speak ill of the advancements that have allowed the women who thinks it to say so. In agreeing that her book should only condemn feminists, she is proving that she herself does not in fact care for all women, because she does not care about these women with whom she disagrees, she condemns them. She is no better than the feminists whose beliefs and actions she condemns.

    Everyone has the right to state their ideas, so posting this interview is presenting open dialogue, which is what a university should do. However, everyone should respect other’s ideas and educate themselves before making sweeping generalizations and claiming opinions as facts, as Venker, and whoever wrote “Judging by the above posts” are doing here.

  • As a minority working two jobs for her education on 03.08.2011 at 1:43 pm

    I'll just say what some of us in the room were thinking...

    What a stunning account of upper-class white privilege.

    I’m supposed to believe its okay that women get paid .80 cents to the dollar that their coworkers make? And what if they have kids? Got to put food on the table? Pay rent? What’s her advice, marry up and have it taken care of for you?

    Oh, and as for domestic issues, I think they’re important. You know like how 1 in every 4 kids in America will grow up in poverty (according to 60 minutes)? What about racial discrimination and how Latinos and Blacks are purposefully screened out of jobs just because of their name (Freakanomics)? And just because you don’t “like” gays, it doesn’t mean you get to throw them out of your neighborhood. I didn’t vote you into office and you certainly are not the next Messiah. (I think Jesus talked about love, but that’s so not your message)…

    And look what I did there, I sourced my facts! It’s thanks to my hard-earned degree in a school that allows both women and minorities. Oh, what evil will the progressives think of next?

    Now off to the kitchen and your Twilight Zone!

    As for you, BU Today, what an epic way to ring in the 100th anniversary. For Cinco de Mayo, how about you post an article on Anti-Mexican and Anti-Latino mentality. Next Black history month, find an alum who believes Blacks shouldn’t be allowed to vote due to (insert archaic stereotype here).

    I’m sure you can find someone.

    Happy International Women’s Day

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 2:17 pm

    seriously?

    ….this almost makes me embarrassed to graduate from the same place as this woman. yikes.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 2:26 pm

    Obviously everyone is entitled to their opinion, as offensive as it may be. However my point of contention is with BU Today, who should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves for giving this woman a megaphone with which to voice her misinformed, insolent, and derogatory bullshit.

  • Ashamed she attended BU on 03.08.2011 at 2:29 pm

    This is just infuriating.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 2:29 pm

    coming from a conservative at BU

    In my opinion the name she is giving conservatives is appalling. I am a conservative at BU but I am also a woman and just because I believe in a smaller government and so on doesn’t mean that I don’t want to be looked at as an equal. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that I myself am a feminist, but I do believe that many things she says in this article (actually almost everything) are downright offensive. To say that drawing attention to homosexuality is causing more harm than good is not something that anti-feminists would say but something that people from 1900 would say. YOU, Suzanne Venker, are the one causing the problem. Saying, also, that drawing attention to battered women is a problem is utterly embarrassing. If you are an educated person, you would be able to differentiate between people saying that every man is an abuser and people supporting women who have been in an extremely unfortunate and scary situation. I am embarrassed that BU has posted this and I am also embarrassed that this woman went here.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 2:49 pm

    I can’t believe you would even post this on BU Today. Way to embarrass our school.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 3:04 pm

    with family like Phyllis

    With an aunt as adamantly backwards,vocally unreasonable, and close minded as Phyllis Shlafly controlling this woman’s life from birth I am sure, its no wonder this material came out from her (well, Phyllis’s mouth).

    “The snowflakes that grace us at Christmastime typify the artistic beauty that bestows joy on all ages but, like an acid, evolution corrodes this inborn appreciation of beauty and falsely trains children to view themselves as mere animals no more worthy than dogs or cats.”
    -Phyllis Shlafly

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 3:06 pm

    I’m glad BU wrote this. This is America, you can disagree with what someone says, but they have every right to say it. Writing off an opinion that you happen to disagree with as insensitive, or ignorant is not really the domain of an interviewer. It is not the domain of a university. As someone with liberal proclivities, I wish that there were more conservative voices on any campus. And for those who are there, I wish they’d feel free to speak their opinions without being demonized, verbally bashed or completely written off. Instead of screaming that someone is ignorant, crazy, sexist, rude, or whatever you label someone that you disagree with simply to invalidate their opinion, why don’t you ask why she feels that way? Since when did it become a crime to disagree with accepted logic? Have any of you posters ever thought about the philosophical and practical underpinnings of what you stand for? Have you ever considered feminism in the global context of the country? The world? Or are you content to read a bunch of literary essays, write some blogs, act in the vagina monologues, and then go out and contradict your entire ideological framework (I’m looking at you, cosmo subscribers, and “the Bachelor” watchers). Instead of badgering, ask where she’s coming from. Or think for yourself what in the feminist framework you agree with, and what you don’t. Believe me when you’re 32 with no kids and no family, a PhD and an MBA won’t keep you warm: whether you’re male or female. So quit with the off the fly nonsense and think…I mean, you paid $200k+, right?

    • Jean on 02.28.2012 at 5:38 am

      Believe me when you’re 32 with no kids and no family, a PhD and an MBA won’t keep you warm: whether you’re male or female.

      I’m sorry, but did you just say that there is no point in going to school because it won’t result in you getting married and having someone to ‘keep you warm’? Why should that be the ultimate goal in life? Wake up.

      And another thing – if you don’t like how the majority of voices on this campus are liberal, why did you come to Massachusetts for school??

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 3:39 pm

    Someone should probably inform her that were it not for feminists before her time, she never would have gone to college or been able to be a published author.

    It also looks as though she stopped following the feminist movement around 1980. Sure there were problems with it then…..which is why we’re now in the Third Wave and have adopted a self-critical lens.

    I don’t fault BU for posting this; I welcome other opinions, but i’m not sure it had to be on International Women’s Day….

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 3:41 pm

    Really? Nothing Good?

    Anyone that can claim feminism has nothing positive to offer cannot be taken seriously. As soon as you start tossing around absolutisms your argument loses credibility. Certainly, there are feminists that go to ridiculous extremes but anyone that claims they are making up issues clearly hasn’t looked at the statistics. As far as 1950s housewives having better lives—take a look at the Rolling Stones song Mother’s Little Helper. There is a slew of historical evidence that many housewives felt stifled and repressed. Honestly, either this woman is lucky enough to have never been subjected to discrimination or ignorant enough not to notice. Either way she has no right to tell other women the discrimination they face is trivial or that they should just deal with it.

  • Meryl on 03.08.2011 at 3:47 pm

    This is truly disgusting and a shame for our school.

    I am extremely disappointed that BU chose to “commemorate” the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day with this load of offensive misogynist tripe. For the first time I am truly ashamed to be a BU student, as the rampant stupidity of this article has escaped the confines of our campus and is being discussed at length all over the Internet.

    If Venker and Schafly had any sense they would thank the feminist movement for making it possible for them to both have college educations and to distribute their vile women-hating garbage to the world.

    BU, please print some sort of apology for demeaning women on a day that is meant to celebrate our struggles and achievements. This article was a terrible decision and I am upset not only with the shockingly insensitive authors, but with the staff of the paper who chose to print this today.

    I am a proud feminist. When life gives me lemons I will squirt them in the eyes of those who oppress me.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 3:49 pm

    Completely disrespectful....

    I’m happen to be doing an extremely in depth research assignment on women’s roles (or lack there of) in the 1950′s and the aftermath of the decade. I must say that her notions of second wave feminism are completely incorrect and that every single one of her beliefs is the exact replica of the 1950′s housewife. However, this is besides the point.

    I understand free speech, but what an insulting and belittling article to have featured on the 100th anniversary of INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY. BU Today should be ashamed of themselves.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 3:51 pm

    The problem with the notion of promoting diversity of opinions is that not all opinions are weighted equally. Opinions that do not have a basis in facts or can be disproven do not deserve the same attention as ones that stand up to scrutiny. This is a major problem with “balanced” journalism. I’m more than willing to hear out the opinions of someone who could make a convincing argument with a viewpoint different than my own, but the key word there is convincing. It’s not about “censoring” opinions. Arguments that don’t hold water shouldn’t be given undue attention. Period.

  • Dan Weber on 03.08.2011 at 3:54 pm

    This is unbelievably embarrassing

    From this alum’s point of view, I’m incredibly embarrassed that you’ve spilled so much digital ink promoting this book.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 3:55 pm

    Great

    http://jezebel.com/#!5779670/bu-alum-takes-down-all+powerful-feminism

    More awesome press for Boston University, coming on the heels of RateBU.

    Hey BU,

    Let’s pretend to be in favor of women’s rights?

    Personally, articles like this put a stain on my future degree. It’s fine if we want to have a conversation about feminism, but why do we have to frame it in the terms of Venker’s “arguments”?

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 4:06 pm

    There were several questions in this interview that Venker just dodged or ignored. I respect her expressing her views but how she has answered questions and the lack of rigorous social-economic analysis behind her statements greatly reduces her credibility. We shouldn’t want conservative views or liberal views or black or white or purple views on campus just to balance out the other views. All opinions are not equal: some are a great deal more robust and supported by argumentation and science.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 4:09 pm

    She has a daughter, by the way

    Her daughter is probably a preteen at this point. It would be so lovely if that daughter happened to be subjected to the same sort of abuse, discrimination, and victimization that is encountered by women every day across the world. Of course, I would never, ever advocate for someone to take my comments in a public setting and turn them into an action, especially an illegal one. Still, it will be a precious learning moment when the girl gets called a slut and ostracized.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 4:10 pm

    It is great to hear different points of view, but this woman is passing off opinion as fact. She also avoided answering some questions that really would have helped her prove her point.

    To say that feminists don’t care about issues outside of our country is completely wrong. I sincerely hope that her book isn’t as ill-informed as she came across in this interview.

  • Becky on 03.08.2011 at 4:23 pm

    LOL

    Women of BU: don’t get mad. Just be happy you don’t live her sad life in which she thinks that feminism hasn’t brought her anything but sadness and inequality. She means nothing.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 4:29 pm

    What a wasted opportunity. There is so much research on how the rise of women in the workforce/two-earner families has affected the average woman and/or her family (and it’s not all positive or negative). There are many female economists and sociologists, for example, who would make for a fascinating Q+A on the same topics Venker purports to address. Considering this is a university publication, it’d be nice to see actual research (data, case studies, etc.) addressed on this website, rather than 1000 words premised around the absurd, unsubstantiated, highly political hypothesis that “All societal change is bad.”

    There is nothing intellectual or even intelligent about this woman’s arguments. I fear all this article does is allow both sides to pat themselves on the back (she’s an idiot!/she’s a genius!), rather than to examine the hard truths of the economic and social realities feminism has, for better or worse, created.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 4:35 pm

    This woman’s comments are offensive and disgraceful. As a working woman who has worked endlessly to put myself on equal playing field with men, she basically dismisses any and all efforts made by myself and all women in my position. If she wants to not work, get married and have kids, thats her prerogative; don’t bring down the entire feminist movement and undo the hard work of thousands of women. Besides, she just grasps and threads and contradicts herself throughout the interview. It doesn’t even make argumentative sense.

  • Laura Eloyan on 03.08.2011 at 4:38 pm

    Does BU endorse Venker's WorldView?

    If an alum had become an influential neo-nazi with a new book would that warrant an interview too? BU Today is not just a media outlet, it is a way to communicate the values of the school. Profiling this irresponsible woman seems like endorsement, and it is embarassed.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 4:45 pm

    Embarrass BU

    This is being posted all over fb as a sign of BU’s provincialism and backwardness. Way to portray the school as rich kids with no appreciation for women’s consciousness or value, BU Today. And on International Women’s Day, too!

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 4:46 pm

    There are such things as chauvinistic women. Let me start from a quote from the interview:

    “Because once you focus on what really goes on, what real women’s issues are [female genital mutilation], what you’re doing here [protecting the rights of American women] would look silly.”

    So, basically, once we are better than the worst countries in the world, all is good? Americans have had a hard time with even being second-best – e.g. who remembers silver medal winners? But she wants Americans to be 100% satisfied with being second-worst? There isn’t a medal for that, not even an ugly one. While what she says may have initial appeal, 30 seconds reflection will show otherwise.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 4:55 pm

    The fact that Boston University chose to publish this on International Women’s Day makes me embarrassed to be a student here. Perhaps next Martin Luther King Jr. day BU Today would enjoying posting an article on how the civil rights movement did more harm than good?

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 5:11 pm

    maybe bu should post an article about MLK and the civil rights movement and how it did more harm than good. this article is an embarrassment to bu.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 5:18 pm

    To the poster who asked if commentors had considered...

    the broader implications of feminism in local, national and global communities. Answer: yes. I am a student social activist and organizer of several protests in the Boston area. I don’t know what kind of narrow view you have of students and young people, but you’re wrong. So many students, even if they begin by blogging or reading other forward-thinking blogs, eventually go on to participate in some form of activism, whether it’s signing a petition, attending a protest or rally, or organizing one, among many other forms of political and social activism. What you’re saying is as bad as what the NH politicians proposing to block student voters from elections are saying — “young people vote on their feelings”. That’s awful and it’s undercutting the fact that we have opinions, we think about these things in-depth and we — and our opinions — are valuable to our country and to the world.

  • Northeastern '08 on 03.08.2011 at 5:22 pm

    I LOL'd, I cried, I mostly LOL'd

    You have to admire this dim bulb’s metaphorical cojones, arguing that women should succeed on their own skills while relying on nepotism to advance her own career (such as it is). The quid quo pro is hilarious – recycle Eagle Forum’s ridiculous paleoconservative talking points for a new generation and Rich Auntie Phyllis will set you up with a book deal.

    Conservatives have been trying for decades to convince women to vote against their own self-interest. Thankfully, with intellectual lightweights like Suzanne Verker manning the helm, the next generation of theocrats are probably S.O.L.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 5:27 pm

    Incredibly Uninformed

    I couldn’t let this go without comment. Trigger warning for suicide.

    “Feminists are not concerned, for example, about the fact that four times as many men commit suicide as women…”

    And do you know why that is? Men use more permanent methods. Guns, hanging, jumping. Women use things like pills and cutting, things that they have a better chance of surviving.

    Women have higher rates of suicide attempts and more depression. You are incredibly uninformed, as is the interviewee of this article.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 5:29 pm

    Bravo, Susan!

    On one hand, I am glad BU posted it. The kind of questions Ms. Seligson asked are exactly what needs to be asked of someone writing a book like this, and Ms. Venker did not come close to answering most of them. Instead, Venker evaded the difficult issues and blamed this book’s extreme bias against any kind of positive talk about feminism on Shlafly’s involvement. We should realize this and, therefore, avoid the book entirely. Let’s look at the title of the interview: “assail” is the perfect word to use to describe Venker’s work here, as Venker admits that she didn’t even try to be objective in writing the book.

    On the other hand, I also agree with those who say it shouldn’t have been posted to begin with. It is International Women’s Day, after all.

  • Meredith on 03.08.2011 at 5:40 pm

    Suzanne Verker

    So, “Feminists are not concerned with women outside of America”? Here’s a tribute to International Women’s Day from Eve Ensler, one of the most prolific American activist feminists. See if you can find any mention of women outside of America Ms. Verker:

    REFUSER
    From the Lebanese mountains
    To the Kenyan village of El Doret
    We are practicing self-defense
    Versed in Karate, Tai Chi, Judo, and Kung Foo
    We are no longer surrendering to our fate.

    Now, we are the ones who walk our girl friends home from school.
    And we don’t do it with macho. We do it with cool.

    Our mothers are the Pink Sari Gang
    Fighting off the drunken men
    With rose pointed fingers and sticks in
    Uttar Pradesh.
    The Peshmerga women
    in the Kurdish mountains
    with barrettes in their hair
    and AK47′s instead of pocket books.

    We are not waiting anymore to be taken and retaken.

    We are the Liberian women sitting
    in the Africa sun blockading the exits
    til the men figure it out.

    We are the Nigerian women
    babies strapped to out backs
    occupying the oil terminals of Chevron.
    We are the women of Kerala
    who refused to let Coca Cola
    privatize our water.
    We are Cindy Sheehan showing up in Crawford without a plan.
    We are all those who forfeited husbands boyfriends and dates
    Cause we were married to our mission.
    We know love comes from all directions and in many forms.
    We are Malalai who spoke back to the Afghan Loya Jurga
    And told them they were “raping warlords” and
    She kept speaking even when they kept
    trying to blow up her house.
    And we are Zoya whose radical mother was shot dead when Zoya was only a child so she was fed on revolution which was stronger than milk

    And we are the ones who kept and loved our babies
    even though they have the faces of our rapists.

    We are the girls who stopped cutting ourselves to release the pain
    And we are the girls who refused to have our clitoris cut
    And give up our pleasure.

    We are:
    Rachel Corrie who wouldn’t couldn’t move away from the Israeli tank.
    Aung San Suu Kyi who still smiles after years of not being able to leave her room.
    Anne Frank who survives now cause she wrote down her story.
    We are Neda Soltani gunned down by a sniper in the streets of
    Tehran as she voiced a new freedom and way
    And we are Asmaa Mahfouz from the April 6th movement in Egypt
    Who twittered an uprising.

    We are the women riding the high seas to offer
    Needy women abortions on ships.
    We are women documenting the atrocities
    in stadiums with video cameras underneath our Burqas.
    We are seventeen and living for a year in a tree
    And laying down in the forests to protect wild oaks.
    We are out at sea interrupting the whale murders.
    We are freegans, vegans, trannies
    But mainly we are refusers.
    We don’t accept your world
    Your rules your wars
    We don’t accept your cruelty and unkindness.
    We don’t believe some need to suffer for others to survive
    Or that there isn’t enough to go around
    Or that corporations are the only and best economic arrangement
    And we don’t hate boys, okay?
    That’s another bullshit story.

    We are refusers
    But we crave kissing.
    We don’t want to do anything before we’re ready
    but it could be sooner than you think
    and we get to decide
    and we are not afraid of what is pulsing through us.
    It makes us alive.

    Don’t deny us, criticize us or infantilize us.
    We don’t accept checkpoints, blockades or air raids
    We are obsessed with learning.
    On the barren Tsunamied beaches of Sri Lanka
    In the desolate and smelly remains
    Of the lower ninth
    We want school.
    We want school.
    We want school.

    We know if you plan too long
    Nothing happens and things get worse and that
    Most everything is found in the action
    and instinctively we get that the scariest thing
    isn’t dying, but not trying at all.

    And when we finally have our voice
    and come together
    when we let ourselves gather the knowledge
    when we stop turning on each other
    but direct our energy towards what matters
    when we stop worrying about
    our skinny ass stomachs or too frizzy hair
    or fat thighs
    when we stop caring about pleasing
    and making everyone so incredibly happy-
    We got the Power.

    If
    Janis Joplin was nominated the ugliest man on her campus
    And they sent Angela Davis to jail
    If Simone Weil had manly virtues
    And Joan of Arc was hysterical
    If Bella Abzug was eminently obnoxious
    And Ellen Sirleaf Johnson is considered scary
    If Arundhati Roy is totally intimidating
    and Rigoberta Menchu is pathologically intense
    And Julia Butterfly Hill is an extremist freak
    Call us hysterical then
    Fanatical
    Eccentric
    Delusional
    Intimidating
    Eminently obnoxious
    Militant
    Bitch
    Freak
    Tattoo me
    Witch
    Give us our broomsticks
    And potions on the stove
    We are the girls
    who are aren’t afraid to cook.

    “Refuser” is published in Eve’s newest work – I AM AN EMOTIONAL CREATURE: The Secret Life of Girls Around the World, just released in paperback from Villard Trade Paperbacks.

    Eve Ensler, a playwright and activist, is the founder of V-Day, a global movement to end violence against women and girls. In conjunction with I AM AN EMOTIONAL CREATURE, V-Day has developed a targeted pilot program, V-Girls, to engage young women in our “empowerment philanthropy” model, providing them with a platform to amplify their voices.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 5:42 pm

    I’m not a hardcore, man-hating feminist by any means, but any woman who so blatantly rejects or denies the leaps and bounds women have made in the past has a large measure of self-loathing that makes me pity them. This woman has nothing but narrow-minded opinion to support her point, as made apparent by the amount of avoidance she applies in her answers. I hope she has a great time in the kitchen, but that’s not where I choose to spend my life.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 5:49 pm

    beyond pathetic and embarrassing

    When I think of BU and those who have come before me, I think of the others about whom BU Today writes. I think MLK, Chris Ricks (Knighted by the Queen of England), and those who have won Nobel Prizes. Suzanne Venker is one of those people that makes me want to throw up, and the fact that we both went to the same school means that she’s indirectly connected to me, and that makes me want to throw up more. She’s a hypocrite and a stupid woman who can’t see that feminism – the movement for equal rights – got her her education and her freedom to choose to be a moron in public.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 5:52 pm

    This is horrifying. I don’t understand why BU would publish this, especially today. It’s just in bad taste. This woman has clearly never talked to a feminist, slinging accusations like “feminists are not concerned with women outside of America,” it’s ridiculous. I’m ashamed.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 5:53 pm

    The only thing keeping me from being any more humiliated to be a BU student today than I already am, is this comment thread. Thanks to all those who have pointed out that posting an anti-feminist interview on the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day is either a embarrassingly ignorant or a deliberately insulting move on the part of BU Today. I also appreciate those on both the pro- and anti- side in comments arguing that, if you’re going to do an anti-feminism article, it needs to be reasoned, challenging, and fact-based — not this nonsensical, hypocritical, misogynistic, knee-jerk conservative tripe. (And, I would hope, it would still not be posted on IWD of all days!) As a staunch feminist I welcome academic dialogue and dissenting views, but I can’t even dignify this with a response other than deep embarrassment for my school.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 6:32 pm

    What I learned from reading the comments:

    (1) A married mother/writer/blogger/pundit who has been out in the real world for two decades is completely ignorant about feminism and its relationship to women’s lives, while the average BU undergraduate who maybe has a summer job and a few hook-ups under her belt possesses a comprehensively infallible grasp of the subject. (2) Based on a few very brief answers to provocative questions about a book that no one has even read yet, it is fair to condemn the author as “atrociously ignorant”, “dangerous”, “close-minded” and “women-hating”. (3) Freedom of speech is sacred, except that it was wrong to publish this particular interview, because no one should have to be exposed to any criticism of feminism. (4) BU Today should not publish anything that may give the impression that someone who graduated from BU 20 years ago is anti-feminist, because it hurts our reputation. (5) Any successful woman who criticizes feminism is a hypocrite. (6) Any criticism of feminism is an attack on women’s rights. (7) There is no rational reason for anyone to criticize feminism. Did I miss anything?

  • Katie on 03.08.2011 at 6:38 pm

    Spectacular Embarrassment of Boston University

    When I went to read this article today, I made it only to the second interview question before I was too angry to continue. My friend said she had to walk away or risk punching her work computer in front of other people. I on the other hand, took a break to read one of my daily websites – Jezebel. This article was on the front page. Awesome. I went back to finish the article, perhaps hoping it would somehow redeem itself. It did not. I honestly cannot believe how a working women could and would, take this stand against feminism. I also don’t understand how she can argue that feminism only concerns itself within America.

    If I were BU, I would try to distance myself from this deranged hypocrite and not post this article on BU Today. It is especially not appropriate for International Women’s Day. I am angry that BU has embarrassed its students and me as an alum.

  • Suzanne Venker on 03.08.2011 at 6:41 pm

    To all angry persons at

    To all angry persons at BU:
    Stop. Breathe. And think. This interview was conducted over the telephone. It was a conversation. From that conversation, Ms. Seligson formulated an article. Most articles that stem from conversations are subject to large amounts of editing and words are sometimes taken out of context or just naturally lose their meaning.
    The Flipside of Feminism (www.theflipsideoffeminism.com) is indeed saturated with research. There is no way to extrapolate an author’s message from an article like this one — though Ms. Seligson did a fine job working with what she had.
    The outrage displayed here merely proves the point Phyllis and I make in Flipside that feminism has been thoroughly absorbed by American culture to the degree that people cannot speak out against it for fear of being attacked. That’s called mind control, and it is the antithesis of what a true college education should be about.
    Until young people are exposed to alternative points of view, they will never have the opportunity to see things as they really are.

    Suzanne Venker

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 6:42 pm

    Previous comments have essentially voiced my same opinions regarding this woman’s very backward way of seeing what women should and can accomplish, so I won’t be redundant in that regard. However, everyone is railing on BUtoday for posting this. Bravo first to the interviewer/author for posing insightful, articulated, and pointed questions that highlight where Venker’s research lacks, and that challenge her assumptions. And bravo to BUToday for posting the interview–as evidenced by the sheer number of comments, this has created a lot of controversy, and controversy sparks debate and progress.

  • Tom Megginson on 03.08.2011 at 6:44 pm

    Thank you for this interview

    I had never heard of this person, or her book, before. Now I know just how ignorant and hateful both are.

    Those of you who condemn the interviewer: Free speech is good. It lets the small-minded and intolerant out themselves.

    If they only ever preached to the choir, we might never know our enemy.

  • Reckoner on 03.08.2011 at 6:56 pm

    Pie

    Who let Ms. Venker out of the kitchen? She needs to be making me a pie.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 7:01 pm

    If my life sucks so much compared to the 1950′s, how come both my grandmothers (who both worked outside the home the entire time they had young children) see my life and the lives of my female cousins as much more open and free than theirs? My grandmothers had to work out of economic necessity, something Ms. Venker seems to think is made up, and neither of them (as well as my grandfathers) had any education beyond high school. However, all my grandparents welcome the advancement that feminism has brought, namely the ability for women to go to any college, pursue any career, have access to birth control and abortion, and live freer, more choice-filled lives. I’m not saying that the 1950′s were some dark age where everyone’s life sucked, but life has improved for essentially everybody that isn’t a white heterosexual middle class man. If Ms. Venker sees all societal change as bad, and would like us to regress to the 1950′s, she’s basically saying “too bad for you” to everyone who has achieved more rights, opportunities and options in the last 50 years: not only women, but also African-Americans, gay people, religious minorities, immigrants, and many other groups. But screw all those people: change is bad!

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 7:22 pm

    This is a terrible article, I hope the newsletter and the woman who wrote it are proud of the ignorance they have put out there.
    This just gives the university a horrible reputation. It is second hand embarrassment to even read this. This article is an insult to women’s rights and it is an insult to gay rights. It is not anyone’s place to spout this garbage, regardless of freedom of speech. Gay’s are just as horrible as wife beaters? Wife beating is no big deal? Nothing good has ever come out of feminism?
    It is because of feminism that this day even exists.
    It is because of feminism that she is allowed to be published.
    It is because of feminism that she was even allowed to have a career or study in a university.

    This certainly does not send a positive and welcoming message for BU.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 7:28 pm

    THE IRONY OF A WOMAN WITH A COLLEGE DEGREE CRYING ABOUT ~FEMINISM~

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 7:31 pm

    What’s she doing outside the kitchen?

  • louisa on 03.08.2011 at 7:35 pm

    A couple thoughts from a BU grad: feminism is an economic issue, despite what the interview subject said. Ask any stay at home wife whose husband leaves her and marries someone else. Pension plan? That’s a no. Economic viability? Also a no.

    Also, she had no answer to the question of how feminism can be so ‘pro-divorce’ when research shows there’s greater marriage instability and more divorce in red states. Ross Douthat has written aboutt his extensively, and honestly.

    Here’s another one: saying that liberals feel things are always changing. Definitions of family have in fact changed greatly over the centuries and doubtless will continue to do so.

    In other interviews, I gotta say that Phyllis Schlafley has done a better job at making this book sound intelligent.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 8:15 pm

    Ridiculous

    This woman may have her views and everyone, as everyone is entitled to them; however, I don’t see the benefit of posting this on our public newspaper on International Woman’s Day. This not only takes away all the accomplishments women have acheived, it gives BU a horrible name and seriously embarasses me that this woman got her degree here. This was a waste of an interview and dumb to post on this day. On President’s day did you bash all the bad things our presidents have done? How about any other holiday? This woman has no idea what she’s saying anyway, half her facts are really just nonsense opinions.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 8:48 pm

    UGH.

    I’m offended that I even breathe the same air as this woman, let alone attend the school she once graduated from. I’m also amazingly sorry that BU Today even gave this woman a moment of its time. It is always good to have counterpoints in an otherwise liberal news source, but the only place this drivel is acceptable is Fox News.

  • Nick on 03.08.2011 at 9:30 pm

    To those who find this embarrassing...

    Exclusively publishing articles with a single point of view is in direct conflict with the essence of democracy. Public discourse on contentious ideas is how we come to find the truth and make informed decisions as citizens. An academic institution such as BU should be among the safest places to trade ideas.To quote Voltair: “I disagree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
    I would find it more embarrassing if my university was full of students who refuse to hear thoughts and ideas that disagree with their own.

  • Nick on 03.08.2011 at 9:31 pm

    To those who find this embarrassing...

    Exclusively publishing articles with a single point of view is in direct conflict with the essence of democracy. Public discourse on contentious ideas is how we come to find the truth and make informed decisions as citizens. An academic institution such as BU should be among the safest places to trade ideas.To quote Voltaire: “I disagree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
    I would find it more embarrassing if my university was full of students who refuse to hear thoughts and ideas that disagree with their own.

  • Nikitasha on 03.08.2011 at 9:32 pm

    Rights vs The Economy

    “And whatever strides were made in the workforce have had tremendous ramifications for businesses, so they came at a great cost to businesses and government.”

    In America, there is such a large emphasis on “growth” and the economy, that it sometimes impedes on morality. This mentality has a detrimental effect on an issue like this as well as other pressing issues. Businesses are always concerned with profits that they overlook the harm they cause on people and other countries. If something is morally wrong, then thats the only argument that you need in order to justify change.

  • Nikitasha Aggarwal on 03.08.2011 at 9:35 pm

    Rights vs Profit

    “And whatever strides were made in the workforce have had tremendous ramifications for businesses, so they came at a great cost to businesses and government.”

    In America, there is such a large emphasis on “growth” and the economy, that it sometimes impedes on morality. This mentality has a detrimental effect on an issue like this as well as other pressing issues. Businesses are always concerned with profits that they overlook the harm they cause on people and other countries. If something is morally wrong, then thats the only argument that you need in order to justify change.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 10:00 pm

    Promoting this woman’s book, really BU? What’s next? How about a book on the “other side” of racism. You make me embarrassed to have a BU degree.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 10:02 pm

    Since this crazy woman and BU Today don’t believe in equal pay for woman, maybe I should be allowed to pay less of my tuition here.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 10:05 pm

    I was directed here from jezebel and was frankly a wee bit impressed by the article. Yes, I am sad that this woman’s opinions are taken as fact by so many people. However, the interviewer did very well and asked hard-hitting questions, ie, this paper in no way endorsed the alum’s views. It was simply good journalism. I think it is of utmost importance that all media continue (start) to treat opposing viewpoints with respect and take them down with logic and facts, not insults.

  • Chris Taylor on 03.08.2011 at 10:13 pm

    disgusting

    BU Anthropology, Sociology, and many other classes teach a very different version of feminism (and one that ACTUALLY is accepted by the scholarly community, unlike this “Harvard” educated political scientist). Grow a pair, BU, and stand up for what is scholarly consensus, ethically progressive, and socially acceptable to the University community this administration is trying to create.

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2011 at 11:55 pm

    As someone who is devoting her life to increasing educational opportunities for girls around the world, I am extremely disappointed in BU Today. How about an article on the progress of women over the past century? Or how about increasing awareness on sexism within our local, national, AND international community?

    “How you respond to that sexism will depend on what your life will be like…” really? Try telling that to the girl with an arranged marriage, the girl forced into prostitution, or the thousands of American women denied promotions. This is embarrassing, and on the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day.

  • Anonymous on 03.09.2011 at 1:52 am

    seriously!???

    To everyone saying this woman should have a voice because she’s airing a different opinion or to those saying, don’t vent, prove her wrong: If you are a student at any university and are unable to prove her wrong based on this interview you are BRAINDEAD!

    And, btw, the feminist movement is not at all silent on the oppression of women in other countries. Feminists, in fact, do a lot of work, activism and fundraising for different revolutionary feminist movements all over the world. And it’s FEMINISMS, not FEMINISM.

  • Mike on 03.09.2011 at 2:09 am

    Sell out

    In agreeing to “completely condemn feminism” Verker sells out objectivity (presuming there was any to begin with) in order to ride on the coattails of her famous aunt, who not coincidentally sells a ton of books.

    It’s really hard to figure out where to begin with the “wrong” in her arguments. So I wont.

    Social conservatives are all about confining individuals to very narrow roles in society, be they predicated on sex, religion, class or age. Feminism has saved us from the horrors of the role women were expected to play in the early half of the 20th century. Anyone who denies that is just insane. Sure, devaluing the role of homemaker has been a casualty in the campaign against financial, social, and mental imprisonment but that is something which can be corrected and is by far the lesser of evils.

  • Anonymous on 03.09.2011 at 2:24 am

    Not many real women at BU?

    A vast majority of opinions on this article indicate a major brainwashing is taking place in our society. I see no statistics from anyone that would counter the claims that Suzanne Venker has put forth, just hatred for a real woman, something that most of you are not, or don’t want to be.
    You don’t need to be like men nor can you be, so stop trying.
    Women are great, go ahead and be one and stop acting like there is something wrong with it.

  • Anonymous on 03.09.2011 at 5:35 am

    Watch Mad Men if you want a slice of what it was really like in the “good old days.” As far as the “tremendous ramifications” in business, how about DOUBLING the talent pool with the inclusion and fair treatment of women? This is ridiculous.

  • Anonymous on 03.09.2011 at 6:23 am

    Why, oh why?

    I took the time to read through every single comment and see whether they had anything worthwhile to say. For the most part, the anti-feminists seem to argue quite valid points, such as while women cry for equality, they hug the very things that protected them (because trust me, they need protecting. I think that can be said without any facts or sources cited, but if since 99% of feminist and feminist-advocates are so quick to write off any sentence that doesn’t have 5 footnotes attached to it, why don’t you for once try to find a source that is not a sad little book like Freakonomics or 60 Minutes, do your own research, and disprove me when i say that women and men are physically dissimilar?), and men never cry sexism.

    The feminists posting comments here are either “this is so dumb, how can BU post this? Did they really just post this (yes you dumb beaver, press f5 if you’re still not sure and try to say something constructive next time)?” or make a small attempt to defend feminism and fail to do so. One such example which i read quite a few times was that feminism is “not just in America”. If that is the case, why have I never heard of a feminist rally or public speech or anything relating to feminism in any country in far eastern asia? Third world countries? I don’t think feminist issues such as lower pay is a huge problem in countries where sweatshops are built, because women and men alike are both grateful to work hours on end for pennies a day (or a problem at all. In fact, seeing as how men are physically superior to women, if the case was that women were paid less in sweatshops than men and began griping about it, the company would just hire men who get paid the same as your hypothesized “equal women” and yet do more work).

    Now when you complainers and rage ranters bring up the topic that she avoids the question, one person went as far as to say “i disagree with literally every word she said” (how proud your fellow feminists must be that you spoke with such passion! /sarcasm), I’d like to know where she began dodging questions and contradicting herself. AFAIK she explains that the divorce rate is an economic issue, and that a generalized divorce rate won’t be able to back up her argument. Did she at one point say “hey i hate feminists” and then say “i love feminists”?

    Where she contradicts herself, dodges answers to questions, I’d like to know. If any of you wannabe-trolls return to see if someone made an actual response, please copy and paste from directly above. And before any of you try to use “she didn’t give a straight answer, that means she dodged the question,” that’s as if I asked you “do your parents know you’re a dumbass illiterate failure?” and you were to say “i’m not a dumbass illiterate failure”. you are not answering my question, because the premise of my question is that you are in fact a dumbass illiterate failure, much like how the interviewer’s question is that “these statistics go against what you say about how feminism has a negative effect on marriages and divorce rates” when the statics themselves are not applicable.

    And really, feminism is a middle-class debate. For the poor, simply having a job is enough. I highly doubt women will take to the streets demanding they get the same 8.50 pay as their male hamburger flipping coworker instead of a 7.75 and risk losing their job and being evicted. Yes, feminism is for you middle-class already-privileged snobbish women who want everything in the world. Minorities have less power than you do, try rallying for their equality before you bitch about how unfair the world is.

    Allow me to reiterate some things which may have been implied, but not true. I don’t agree with the author’s viewpoints in that I acknowledge feminism has made progress, nobody can deny that. More options for women is fantastic, and I am genuinely happy for all the women who are able to make the same pay and hold the same jobs, get the same education, as men. But in certain fields (mostly physical labor, and other occupations which may regard negotiation skills and such) men are simply more effective than women. Men can lift more. Men are less sensitive and less intimidated and less likely to take insults personally. All of these things make a man better suited for business. That is not to say every single man is better than every single women. From many seasons of The Apprentice, America has seen strong smart women make their way to the top. But the fact of the matter is that for some fields, men are preferred, and should get paid more. (I believe that is because women are afraid of being called a cold-hearted bitch when they perform well at work and negotiate the hell out of their competition, a stigma which affects only women [now we're starting to see that there IS a difference between men and women! open your eyes feminists]).

    According to previous posts, I shouldn’t expect to see a well-constructed rebuttal for at least 30 or 40 comments after mine, if at all.

    Please, no rage essays full of meaningless vulgarities. They only serve one purpose: to enlarge your e-peen (that would be your ego, for those of you who are shaking with anger at this point in reading my post and can’t think straight [no surprise there]). And we all know who’s got the largest e-peen. Oh wait, we don’t. Because it doesn’t mean anything.

    cheers

    • WC on 02.28.2012 at 5:58 am

      Let’s see…

      1) Calling women ‘beavers’ and ‘monkeys’ –> likening a group of people to an animal, how mature. The KKK called, they want you to write a piece about how stupid black people’s responses are while calling them ‘apes’.
      2) Stating that men are ‘less sensitive and less intimidated and less likely to take insults personally’ –> generalizations are always appreciated.
      3) ‘From many seasons of The Apprentice, America has seen strong smart women make their way to the top.’ –> This is a television show. Reality TV is scripted and is thus NOT REAL. You just reduced your argument to ‘it’s done all the time on TV, why are you whining about it?’

      Do your research before you waste BU’s time moaning about how you ‘never hear about anything relating to feminism in third world countries’. You don’t hear about it because you aren’t looking for it. Try googling V-Day, Eve Ensler, or the Geena Davis Institute on Gender and Media. Get back to us when you have something substantial to say.

  • Anne Mette Fil on 03.09.2011 at 7:39 am

    So many comments have pointed out the flaws in her thinking that I just want to add an anecdote to show a perspective she might never have considered.

    I’m born in the late sixties, in a married household where my mother was the stay at home mom that acted as the wind beneath my fathers wings as he built an impressive career. They were they ultimate team, she kept the house running, kids set, with the family moving all over the world for his work. He took the jobs that allowed him to further his career. We were all well loved, had lots of attention and help from mom and dad on weekends and were economically well off.

    One day dad just dropped dead. We were all young children when this happened.

    There’s mom, with no experience in working, in sudden need of keeping the family running on her own. She had no interest in marrying again (in fact she still hasn’t, Dad was her love of her life). She was rejected constantly, even though she spent a lot of time as a housewife actually studying, so she had a college education. She clawed her way into the job market, kept getting rejected for raises because “Mr so and so has a family to support, they just had a new baby” as if she hadn’t! She quit many jobs, to find better luck elsewhere and somehow managed to get all us kids through college. Her career started to look pretty good despite a late start.

    In her late 50s she was laid off as the company she was at downsized. At that age getting a new job was very difficult, she freelanced a lot. Finally all the stress took its toll, and she burned out, was hospitalized, and in need of care.

    It is us the children that are supporting her now, as her pension is miniscule due to not working when we were young children. It was her choice to be a housewife. A mother. As faith would have it, her husband was taken away, and in her time the other option – working – was still an extraordinarily difficult path.

    It’s her and women like her that you leave no option. I am a feminist because I believe that every human being should have a choice. I am a feminist because I watched my mother fight male chauvinism just to keep her children fed.

  • Shola on 03.09.2011 at 8:21 am

    Unbalanced. Suggest you publish interview with Diane Balser

    Would you publish a right-wing bigoted rant on Martin Luther King day? I think not. Would you publish a deeply felt and thoughtfully articulated piece on the Civil Rights movement instead? Probably. I believe in freedom of speech, so while I abhor Venker’s ideas (or lack thereof) I don’t begrudge the publication of this article, —except, of course, for the timing, on International Women’s Day. For fairness’ sake, I hope to see something thoughtful published here that would counter Venker’s many false and unsubstantiated claims about feminism.Therefore, why not look to your own faculty and publish an interview with Diane Balser, a passionate and deeply thoughtful champion of women’s rights right here on campus, someone who does not put down men to further the cause of women, but rather who understands and opposes the mechanisms of an endemic system that oppresses women. I am sorry to say that BU Today has participated in this system by publishing only such a one-sided article.

  • Anonymous on 03.09.2011 at 8:39 am

    BU Today Editorial Policy

    The editors of BU Today really ought to issue a public apology on their website for publishing this interview on International Women’s Day. They published no other stories on women or feminism that day. They represent part of a university – that is, an institution where professors strive to discover and present the truth – and are not an independent unit.

    Pointing out that the editors had a moral and legal right to publish this piece is no defense at all, I’m afraid. Rights, no matter how strong one takes them to be, simply don’t work like that. To illustrate why: suppose one thinks I have a moral right to refuse medical care on any occasion when I need it; that alone is no positive reason to refuse medical care! If a doctor imploringly asks me, “why are you refusing medical care?” it would be ridiculous to answer, “simply because it is my right” (cf. “simply because I believe my life is no longer worth living” – this might, let’s hope, be false, but at least it is the right kind of consideration to count a reason).

    Similarly, publishing an incoherent, unsubstantiated expression of a morally repugnant view can not be justified simply by appealing to rights.

    I call on the editors to issue an apology, and I call on readers of these comments to indicate here, or by writing to BU Today, that they support this request.

  • Anonymous on 03.09.2011 at 8:48 am

    BU Alums

    Guess we can’t all be winners.

    Also, she does realize that feminism is merely the idea that a) men and women should be treated equally socially, politically, and economically and b) at present, they are not, right? Feminism does not say you MUST work and it does not devalue, in any way, the role of homemakers. It only allows for the choice of women to work outside the home, because for a long time we didn’t even have that.

    And more importantly, she says the statistics on sexual harassment are exaggerated when the exact opposite is true. Rape is underreported. And when it is reported, it’s rarely persecuted. And when it is persecuted, the criminal usually gets 6 months for what is, in fact, a violent crime. Girl did not do her homework, because that information is readily available.

  • Lot on 03.09.2011 at 8:50 am

    lemons

    This is perfect: the conservative view is that women should make lemonade out of lemons.

    Suzanne Venker thinks that if you are being abused or belittled at work you should turn that into a positive and stop complaining.

    Sharron Angle thinks that if you get raped by your father and fall pregnant by him you should have the baby and stop complaining.

    GW Bush thought that if you are stunningly incompetent you should parade the disastrous results as a badge of honour.

    It could sum-up the conservative movement. Maybe it will be their next election slogan “Got lemons? Make lemonade!” Banking crisis? Strip union rights! Unwinnable wars? Unifying struggle! Hurricane causing widespread death and state of emergency? Hell of a job! Popular democrat? LETS GO CRAZY!

    You have to admire them a little for their spotless, blind positivity in the face of awful realities.

  • Anonymous on 03.09.2011 at 8:59 am

    Venker interview

    This article is highly offensive, especially in its comments about abused women and gays. I call upon the editors of BU Today to apologize for publishing it.

  • Anonymous on 03.09.2011 at 9:08 am

    Way to go overboard...

    My family is completely divided between conservatives and liberals, but all agree that feminism, overall, is a good thing. It’s done some harm, yes, but providing awareness of abusive husbands is not included. Also, just because I want a career doesn’t mean I want to get married. Nor would I ever enter into marriage with the idea that, “I can just get a divorce.”

    I have to agree with the above comments, to publish this on International Women’s Day is offensive. She’s just as bad as the extreme feminists she condemns. People need to stop getting on soapboxes to tell us how we should act. Isn’t the point to grant women the freedom to do as they like without condemnation?

  • Anonymous on 03.09.2011 at 9:32 am

    i think i threw up in my mouth… multiple times.

  • Dan Cusher on 03.09.2011 at 9:37 am

    Great interview

    I understand that a lot of previous comments are offended that this book is getting attention from and association with BU. I would like to point out to these people that the fact that the interviewer was neutral and not defending feminism really just allowed the absurdity and inconsistency of the interviewee to shine through by their own light. For example, the fact that one question (“You blame feminism and progressive liberals for the rise in the divorce rate, yet statistics show the divorce rate is highest among the poor and higher in conservative states….How do you reconcile that with your claims?”) was avoided, repeated, and avoided again is a not-too-subtle indicator that this is a person with an ulterior agenda that doesn’t conform to plain fact.

    Susan Seligson, the interviewer, deserves credit for a very honest and informative interview, which brought out the true nature of her subject in an unbiased manor, thus allowing each reader to form his or her own judgement. So to those who were offended by the attention given, please don’t confuse that disgusting nature with the method used to display it.

  • Sandy Oestreich on 03.09.2011 at 9:46 am

    all the above +re-ignited ERA in 7states!

    This article would certainly be interesting to me, a feminist, IF it aqvoided the generalizations and assumptions. I have a woman’s intuition that the author had to revv up any antifeminism she felt so as to sell a book with Schlafley’s name. Impossible that someone could be so vitriolic and prejudiced against another subset of hmans!

    Unfortunately, I cannot resonate with very much of it. It doesn’t make me angry, just bewildered per my first paragraph.

    Maybe that’s because I have been happily married to a man for almost 60 years, have two loving daughters, and AM SPEARHEADING THE EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT RATIFICATION BY THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE WITH 2 BILLS FOR THE PAST 9 YEARS WHILE HELPING TO MENTOR THE 6 OTHER STATES FILING RATIICATION BILLS.

    As of yesterday, Internaitonal Womens Equality Day, my 300 000-member ERA organization celebrated Cong. Tammy Baldwin’s FILING A BRAND NEW, FAST-TRACK ERA BILL before US CONGRESS!!!!!! YAAY

    ERA says “Equality under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on account of sex:/gender. It’s just about the fundamental moral American value of equality for all regardless of gender.

    We work incredibly long hours for YOU for FREE–the YOU meaning male and female alike! We abhor prejudice of one sex aqgainst another and work hard for male rights as well as women;s while recogniiing that sex discrimination is experienced more routinely and agregiously against women. But MALES have their child custody and other issues. WE WORK FOR BOTH GENDERS, hard.

    But, remember, it SELLS BOOKS TO BE INFLAMMATORY. Today, it’s all about securing stockpiles of capital. That, I believe, is the purpose of this book, this article and Phyllis Schlafly.

    We NEED YOU ALL TO PITCH IN WITH US TO GET ERA PASSED NOW. WE NEED YOUR NAME, EMAIL AND PHONE NUMBER for our files in case we might ask you to make a p;hone call.

    Do that for us, PLEASE? Do that for YOU! Write me, SandyO@PassERA.org and DO go to http://www.2PassERA.org right away to learn ways that you are discriminated against, male or female, and how this affects your entire life and esp. your elderly years!

    The System does not work FOR you as you probably now know.

    See us at 2PassERA.org and DO Please write your encouragement to SqandyO@PassERA.org.

    Remember and forgive our haunting opposition. They have a profitiable ax to grind. See how we answer Schlafley’s lies point by counterpoint at our 2PassERA.org.

    We WILL pass ERA. Absolutely. Whether in a wheelchair and on oxygen–WE WILL DO THIS. See how. Give us a hand . Our hearts would swell if you wrote sandyo@PassERA.org

  • Anonymous on 03.09.2011 at 10:09 am

    re: feminism

    To whoever said feminism was not well-liked in the real world
    and that it came at the expense of men… here are a few factoids for you:

    1) re: humanism. Humanism was a Renessaince age school of thought that had to do with an emphasis on human experience and philosophy over religion (which controlled the state). So it would be really confusing to dub another distinct intellectual movement the same name. Humanism is also too vague a term to describe sexism.

    2. Four times as many men as women kill themselves, but 9 out of every 10 (!) suicide attempts are committed by girls. Boys and men tend to succeed in suicide because they often choose more violent methods of suicide (guns, ie) whereas women are more likely to choose preventable methods (ie, poison and others)

    3. It is not differentiation between the sexes to say women need more protection than men do from domestic abuse. Read some statistics. 20 percent of women get sexually assaulted in the US, how many men do? Less than 2.

    4. NO real feminists would ever condone hate speech.

    Do some basic research, man.

  • amlaskow on 03.09.2011 at 10:44 am

    Re: Among the many objectionable

    FYI: Ms. Seligson CONDUCTED the interview (i.e. asked the questions), these aren’t actually her beliefs…

  • Anonymous on 03.09.2011 at 10:55 am

    You’d think people like her would at least be able to reach the logical conclusion that because they have the educational and career options they do, have the freedom to express their views, and can write and publish a book without having to use a male pseudonym, feminism obviously isn’t a “dead-end street”, but apparently not.

  • Katie on 03.09.2011 at 11:10 am

    I’m sure the thousands of feminist organizations (both US-based and foreign) that are working around the world to help stop atrocities such as FGM, child marriages, forced prostitution, honor killings, etc, would like to know that they apparently don’t care about women outside the US. Someone should send them the memo.

  • Paul Green on 03.09.2011 at 11:18 am

    Venker Succumbs to Society's Male Dominance

    This woman is a fool. Imagine setting out with your coauthor to write a book that "completely condemns feminism." How is that kind of an objective supposed to accomplish anything except promote backwards thinking? The following quote, in which Venker parallels homosexuality with spouse abuse really sums up the overall idiocy of this entire interview and of Venker’s new book. I don’t recommend reading either and I can say that confidently WITHOUT having read the book.
    "The abuse problem is smaller than it’s made out to be, and when you draw attention to something that’s so terrible, it’s like the issue of homosexuality today. The awareness that gays exist, or that terrible men beat their wives, is good to recognize but not to belabor or exaggerate. It’s almost as if every man is a potential abuser or every man is gay. I don’t know that it’s fair to take these situations and apply them across the board."
    It’s just too bad BU wasn’t able to teach Ms. Venker one damn thing.

  • Anonymous on 03.09.2011 at 11:31 am

    Wait, this is a good thing!

    While many of us are up at arms and justifiably angered by the author’s message, I am really happy that BU Today published this interview, opening up the door for real debate and renewed feelings of indignation. NEVER take for granted the advances in equality that you enjoy. They can be taken away. Every time Republicans obtain leadership, Roe vs Wade is immediately on the chopping block. If you allow your defenses to go down, the strides we have made in racial equality can be stopped too… Just look at how “immigrants” are being singled out and referred to these days. Hate speech still thrives behind closed doors. Plus, gay rights? Hardly any progress at all! How hard did people have to fight to overturn “Don’t ask Don’t Tell”? Oh, and “you can get married” to “sorry, we’re taking that back.” Don’t take this stuff for granted. Keep fighting for it.

    Verker may take it for granted, and stripped of the advantages she has enjoyed (including the the fruits of the feminist movement) she would probably talk out of the other side of her mouth. But it is important, students of today, intellects of the future, to read and understand opinions and beliefs that are different from yours, so you remember the value of your cause, and understand the tack of your opponents.

    Thanks BU Today for publishing this, especially on International Women’s Day. You’re keeping the debate alive, and the will to fight for equal rights.

  • Anonymous on 03.09.2011 at 12:43 pm

    Wow, I don’t think she answered one question that the interviewer asked. This woman is a joke.

  • Reason on 03.09.2011 at 12:50 pm

    Ironic

    Suzanne, if you are so anti-feminist, you should stop writing books and doing interviews and get back in the kitchen. You should be making a nice dinner for your husband, not traveling around on book tours.

    Right?

    Also, I hope your publisher is giving you $0.80 for every dollar a man would make in royalties. That’s the way is should be.

    Right?

  • JudiannaAnonymous on 03.09.2011 at 1:07 pm

    Feminism

    This statement says everything I need to know about liberal women:
    “…I refuse to listen to anyone seriously with that kind of closed-mindedness.” Mirror, mirror on the wall; who’s the most closed-minded of us all?”

    I’d say that is the pot calling the kettle black. Wait until you have three sons in the public school system that teaches only one side of an issue and that from a mostly feminine view. Wait until your son consistently makes a 4.0 gpa and better with special projects throughout 13 years of school, but a girl is given the Valadictory spot, even though her gpa is 3.9 with no special projects because “we want to be equally represented.” There is equal and then there is equal, with women being more equal than some

  • Truthseeker on 03.09.2011 at 1:10 pm

    Feminism

    Looks like a lot of the comments are coming from liberals who are ignorant of how people with a different worldview think. It appears that they haven’t bothered to educate themselves on why conservatives believe the way they do. If one cannot understand how others in your own state and country think then how can you possibly understand how people in other nations and cultures think? Get out of the liberal groupthink and educate yourselves. Don’t wait for your university to spoonfeed you. Most professors are in the same boat as you!

  • Anonymous on 03.09.2011 at 2:01 pm

    It’s not so much that I disagree with her opinion; I do, but that’s not what sticks in my craw (people are entitled to express their opinions.)
    The problem is her “opinion” isn’t based on fact or anything really- it seems more based on assumptions and hand-me-down condemnation, and she dodges more questions than she actually answers.

  • Terrell Clemmons on 03.09.2011 at 2:51 pm

    I Am Woman, Hear Me Rage

    I didn’t have to read through many of these comments to detect one common thread: seething anger.

    I’m wondering, Why?

    I actually read the book. It presents good arguments and food for thought. Facts are presented, with footnotes for the especially scrupulous fact-checkers.

    But most of these comments are just a chaotic mess of angry emoting. I Am Woman, Hear Me Rage meets I Am Woman, Hear Me Whine.

    Please, serve and represent your gender a little better than this. (And I am female, by the way.) If you’re going to express an opinion, at least deal with the facts presented.

    And if you really want to prove the authors wrong, read the book, and make your case using reason, logic, and facts, not hysteria.

  • Anonymous on 03.09.2011 at 2:53 pm

    To whoever said feminism


    To whoever said feminism was not well-liked in the real world and that it came at the expense of men… here are a few factoids for you: 1) re: humanism. Humanism was a Renessaince age school of thought that had to do with an emphasis on human experience and philosophy over religion (which controlled the state). So it would be really confusing to dub another distinct intellectual movement the same name. Humanism is also too vague a term to describe sexism. 2. Four times as many men as women kill themselves, but 9 out of every 10 (!) suicide attempts are committed by girls. Boys and men tend to succeed in suicide because they often choose more violent methods of suicide (guns, ie) whereas women are more likely to choose preventable methods (ie, poison and others) 3. It is not differentiation between the sexes to say women need more protection than men do from domestic abuse. Read some statistics. 20 percent of women get sexually assaulted in the US, how many men do? Less than 2. 4. NO real feminists would ever condone hate speech. Do some basic research, man.

    Read point 3 over to yourself again. It seems that women in fact do need more protection from men, since they are more prone to being assaulted.

    As for point 2, you’ve just proven that men are better at women at yet ANOTHER thing, committing suicide. How can 9 out of 10 (what a joke statistic, really?) suicide attempts be made by women and yet, as you say, 4 times as many men commit suicide as women? if 90 women attempted to commit suicide, and 10 men attempted to commit suicide, you’re saying that out of those 90 women only 2.5 of them managed to succeed? What an embarrassing “factoid” to try to use in defense of feminism. And when you say they choose more “preventable” methods, you mean they don’t really want to commit suicide? Since clearly it is a preventable method, and as you say, women are more prone to choosing a preventable method because, much like marriage, they enter this suicide-attempt with the belief that they can back out now that they have so many options.

    I believe that the statement regarding women marrying with the thought in her mind that divorce is a possibility is very true. I don’t believe that every woman goes into marriage thinking “i can just get divorced if i want,” but I believe that women now feel that they have a choice in whether they wish to stay married or not (whether it may be because they don’t love the person, or is being abused, or a number of other justified reasons), but feminists and such tend to take these things and blow it out of proportion. Many have become way too empowered and aggressive, at the slightest hint of “sexism” crying for people in the workplace to get fired over a comment that “puts down the entire feminist movement!” (really? a single article or book, let alone a comment, can put down a whole decades-long movement? You girls need to work harder than, honestly).

    i type in paragraphs so that many of you boons who refuse to read anything longer than 5 lines (“i stopped reading the interview after the first question, HA what a joke!” when in reality it’s more because your attention span is very, very short). Still looking for a good response.

    cheeres

  • Bob on 03.09.2011 at 2:54 pm

    Bizarro World!!

    After reading so many obtuse comments which smack of a typical brainwashed university population, it is little wonder how a cold, hardened Marxist, whose best friends are Mao-lovers, terrorists and racists, could become Ruler of America.
    I have news for you all: America is not, and will never experience economic “recovery” as long as this hate-filled totalitarian punk resides in the Oval Office. Thousands of women in America are tasting poverty for the first time every day, thanks to this disciple of Karl Marx. Communism and Fascism have brought nothing but poverty, misery and death to hundreds of millions of people throughout the world, yet you have stupidly voted to impose it upon yourselves. Your kids and grandchildren will wonder what happened, and YOU will have to look them in the eyes.
    Oh, I almost forgot, Sarah Palin is the stupid one.

  • Anonymous on 03.09.2011 at 2:57 pm

    “Where she contradicts herself, dodges answers to questions, I’d like to know. If any of you wannabe-trolls return to see if someone made an actual response, please copy and paste from directly above. ”

    “How does that explain the comparatively high divorce rate in, say, Bible Belt states? Do you believe that feminism is responsible for the failure of most marriages?
    If you keep hearing that marriage and motherhood aren’t enough, you’re going to adopt that mentality once it becomes popular. There’s simply no question that people enter marriage assuming they can always get divorced. The feminists were all for change, but there are some things that shouldn’t change. That’s the philosophy of the conservative world. The left wing view of the world sees progress as unending, and there’s nothing that ever should stay the way that it is, so conservatives are branded as throwbacks. The reality is that some things don’t need to be changed. ”

    This doesn’t say anything in regards to Bible Belt states vs. more liberal states, in fact this was the second time the interviewer had to ask basically the same question- the question before asked about conseravative vs. liberal states and their divorce rates as well as mentioning economics- she chose to answer only the economic portion, and that small portion she did address she basically dismissed.

  • Anonymous on 03.09.2011 at 9:32 pm

    I am a BU alumni. After

    I am a BU alumni.

    After seeing how BU has decided to appreciate International Women’s Day, I am withholding my annual gift to the university.

    I thought BU had moved beyond John Silber’s “Women at BU are just there to be a distraction to the men” comments.

    Thanks for devaluing my degree.

  • Anonymous on 03.09.2011 at 9:55 pm

    Where do I even begin...

    There are no words. I am appalled that this woman is allowed to teach children. I can’t even deem this women as credible because she deflects all of the questions and her logic resembles that of a five year old child. Dear world, please do not get the impression that SED and BU students as a whole are this ignorant and close minded. There is nothing wrong with having conservative views. However, her comments about the fabrication of the existence of homosexual males and battered women were extremely disconcerting. Fortunately, the world is changing, and hopefully one day everyone in “the home of the free and the brave” will be equal under the law.

  • Anonymous on 03.09.2011 at 11:07 pm

    Good article. Reading the comments was just hilarious. It’s truly amazing how easily these BU girls get upset. It’s kind of depressing actually. Meh.

  • Anonymous on 03.09.2011 at 11:46 pm

    Domestic Violence

    I was particularly shocked at Venker’s uneducated views about domestic violence and abuse. Being currently enrolled in a domestic violence course, I can say that abuse is definitely not a “smaller [problem] than it’s made out to be.” Studies have shown that the lifetime prevalence of intimate partner violence among women in the U.S. to be anywhere between 12-34%. This is an undeniably staggering statistic, especially when we take into consideration that abuse is severely underreported. Also, domestic violence is a public health concern that has effects beyond the short-term physical consequences, ranging from mental health concerns and hearing loss to chronic pain and heart problems. Even beyond that, domestic violence is an interpersonal issue, often indirectly or directly affecting children. So, to say that discussion about domestic violence is exaggerated and belabored is unjustifiable. Later, Venker says that raising awareness and providing resources to abused women “helps one situation and worsens another.” Which situation is it worsening? These resources help victims with healthcare needs, housing needs, safety planning, and countless other basic necessities so that they can help themselves (and their children). It seems clear that Venker’s claims are full of holes, so I am happy to see the BU community forcefully responding to this article.

  • Kate L. on 03.10.2011 at 7:53 am

    Feminist interview

    If feminism rescues and gives a voice to just 1 abused woman, then it is worth any negatives perceived by Venker.
    As a baby boomer, I am appreciative of any suffragette/feminist wins that have enabled me to be financially independent and therefore not have to rely on anyone for my well-being. Marriage should be a partnership between two equals, not the indentured servitude Venker seems to espouse.

  • Anonymous on 03.10.2011 at 7:52 pm

    Great interview!!!

    Great job Suzanne. I dont understand why people can not respect alternative ideas. I agree with her on many points.

  • Anonymous on 03.10.2011 at 8:05 pm

    Reprehensible

    As a public health student, I was deeply disturbed by this interview. Other comments adequately point out the errors permeating Ms. Venker’s understanding of history, sociology, and feminism, but I was especially troubled by a single statement from the interview. As someone mentioned earlier, she makes an outrageous assertion regarding intimate partner violence, that “the abuse problem is smaller than it’s made out to be…” This viewpoint is completely unfounded. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has studied the consequences of intimate partner violence in depth, describing it as a public health problem that annually causes two million injuries, the loss of eight million days of paid work, and more than four billion dollars in health care costs (2003, “Costs of Intimate Partner Violence Against Women in the United States”). Furthermore, the journal of the National Institute of Justice reports that between 1,000 and 1,600 women are murdered by male partners in the United States every year (2003, Issue 250). Intimate partner violence is an issue that urgently needs increased, not decreased, attention. Ms. Venker’s misguided opinions have the potential to do a great deal of harm if taken as fact, as she minimizes the indisputable negative impact that abuse has on individuals and on our society as a whole.

    Every person is entitled to her beliefs, but I am completely mystified as to why a premier academic institution would feature an interview that contains nothing but rhetoric. By disseminating such baseless and destructive statements absent any kind of challenge or criticism, the writers and editorial staff of BU Today are perpetuating misinformation and squandering the opportunity to engage in an intellectually meaningful way with Ms. Venker’s ideas. Furthermore, as violence against women is a problem affecting communities around the world, the publication of this interview on International Women’s Day is particularly offensive and reflects poorly on Boston University.

  • Anonymous on 03.11.2011 at 1:01 am

    haha! she crazy! and she calls her an academic! wow.

    this was a good laugh. i love how she didn’t answer one question fully. i stopped reading after i scrolled down and saw feminsm and marxism.

  • Anny on 03.11.2011 at 1:25 pm

    http://www.bu.edu/bostonia/fall10/couples/

  • SchadenfreudianSlip on 03.12.2011 at 2:15 am

    If You're Getting Flak, You're Probably Right Over the Target

    Bravo to BU for their display of courage, strength, independence and choice.

    For those who are hissyfitting into self-induced apoplexy, it is you who are disgusting. BU should be appalled at your behavior.

  • Sunny on 03.12.2011 at 11:54 am

    There are so many things that are frustrating in this article but one thing from the very beginning that frustrates me is that she says that the Suffragettes were not feminists. The idea of this is just absurd – suffragettes wanted the right to vote, a right making women more equal to men. Feminism is not about female superiority, it’s about females being equal to males. Feminism isn’t about burning your bra and bringing down men, it’s about having respect for females and asking for equality. As an academic, her knowledge of what she writes as an authority on is incredibly warped.

  • This is an example of the work still left to do on 03.13.2011 at 11:46 am

    There are many people – both women and men – who hate women. There’s a distinct psychology behind women-haters – they’re insecure, small-minded people who feel threatened by female power and want to retain privilege (in the case of anti-feminist men) or like to put other women down (in the case of anti-feminist women). We can safely ignore their empty rhetoric. Feminism is going nowhere. It’s here to stay.

  • Anonymous on 03.13.2011 at 2:09 pm

    hypocritical

    How do Suzanne and Phyllis think they are able to get published in the first place? It’s due to the feminist movement they both conveniently disparage. I cannot believe that Boston University would print this garbage – showing the true colors of an ugly and backwards thinking “school” and the mediocre reporters that fail to do their job by exposing hypocrisy.

  • Anonymous on 03.17.2011 at 12:24 am

    The rebuttals of feminists

    If feminism rescues and gives a voice to just 1 abused woman, then it is worth any negatives perceived by Venker. As a baby boomer, I am appreciative of any suffragette/feminist wins that have enabled me to be financially independent and therefore not have to rely on anyone for my well-being. Marriage should be a partnership between two equals, not the indentured servitude Venker seems to espouse.

    So you’re saying that the negative effects of feminism, which affect potentially tens of millions of women, are worth 1 abused woman’s voice being heard?

    Such exaggeration only shows your ignorance and stubbornness regarding this subject.


    There are many people – both women and men – who hate women. There’s a distinct psychology behind women-haters – they’re insecure, small-minded people who feel threatened by female power and want to retain privilege (in the case of anti-feminist men) or like to put other women down (in the case of anti-feminist women). We can safely ignore their empty rhetoric. Feminism is going nowhere. It’s here to stay.

    Small-minded and insecure, you call “women-haters”. Do not victimize yourselves into thinking that any anti-feminism movement has its focal point about women. It seems feminism has unjustifiably enlarged your head to believe that; there are two genders.
    As for your description of “women-haters”, that is simply a projection of your own flaws onto others, seeing as how you primarily believe that “women-haters” “feel threatened,” a clear sign of insecurity when you must state that your enemies are feeling threatened by you, and small-minded would be your inability to understand that you cannot generalize like so, grouping all “women-haters” as “small-minded and insecure”. I do believe some may perhaps be small-minded and insecure, just as how some feminists may be as well. These qualities do not affect their decision to become a feminist or a “woman-hater”, as much as you’d like to believe.

    As far as men trying to “retain privilege”, you would see that it is not that big of a concern if you had bothered to stick your nose down from the sky, it’s more that women are trying so hard to become men (or, have the same “privileges” as men) when if that were to be the case, women would benefit from these “privileges” by far due to their genetically and scientifically proven weaker bodies, and perhaps selves. Women who put down feminists are not anti-feminists, they may perhaps just be realists who learned to face reality.

    Yes, feminism has come a long way and indeed has done a great deal of good. But as far as demanding perfect equality, that is something that can never be achieved, for the benefit of both men and women. One example that will illustrate how it would benefit men unfairly would be manual labor, where a woman will in most cases be inferior in strength to men, and will rarely get hired because of that fact. Other fields this would affect would be professional sports, which would ruin athletics for women forever. Their pay grade and ability to make the team will be on a universal standard, which we will say is the NBA and not the WNBA standards, thereby ridding the WNBA as well as many other professional sporting organizations created solely for women (perhaps not some such as golf or archery, which would be a test of dexterity and skill as opposed to overall physical capabilities).

    Lastly, yes, I agree. Feminism is going nowhere.

  • Mark Gillar on 03.19.2011 at 3:47 pm

    Venerk Comments on BU Reaction

    BU Alum Suzanne Venker commented on the reaction to her interview with Susan Seligson in the following BlogTalkRadio interview which I conducted.

    http://www.blogtalkradio.com/markgillar/2011/03/19/suzanne-venker–the-flipside-of-feminism

    The interview is 50 minutes long. There is some overlap with the Seligson and Radio Boston interviews, but there is much new material as well. There are also specific references to some of the posts on this thread.

  • Anonymous on 03.21.2011 at 12:21 pm

    Venker's radio response

    I laughed at Venker’s lumping all BU students (who commented? every student? I’m unsure) together the way she did. For her to say that we all live in a bubble here is amusingly myopic.

    Her position is not refreshing; it’s misguided at best. She espouses checking the facts, yet grossly generalizes her opposition’s arguments.

    That’s the problem I have with Venker: I’m not opposed to her position prima facie; I simply cannot wrap my head around the lack of cogency within her argument.

    Venker can bash what happened on BUToday all she wants, but to actually sit down with her ideas — well, I think her critics are having the last laugh.

  • Blake Huggins on 03.25.2011 at 8:30 am

    Here’s a response by a BU School of Theology/School of Social Work student: http://causejustice.blogspot.com/2011/03/response-to-bu-today-article.html

  • Anonymous on 03.28.2011 at 9:09 am

    So many of these comments draw attention to Venker’s views, but none refer to how dreadfully one-sided the questions are. Im very dissapointed with how leading these questions are; the position of the interviewer is disturbingly biased.

    Perhaps if these questions weren’t phrased do harshfully, more commenters would view Venker’s opinions differently

  • Josephine Tey on 04.03.2011 at 10:52 pm

    Boo-hoo, poor Suzanne

    I saw this poor misguided woman on CSPAN and it was so obviously clear that she was in it for the money and riding her aunt’s notoriety. And Phyllis was in fine form, throwing insults around without any real facts to back up her sassy statements. Phyllis, honey, your time has past, unless of course you would like to expand upon the revelation that you were able to “do so much” because you married rich and hired nannies. Please don’t insult us with your bald-faced lies about doing it all. You didn’t, you had six wonderful babies and you called in nannies for help. And, Suzanne, let’s see: her first marriage failed because her husband was a feminist; that’s what she claims. He didn’t want to move back to St. Louis, she did. So, Suzie Q, how come you didn’t stay with your man like all good Mid-west girls should. At least have the intellectual fortitude (don’t worry, I will wait while you look that up) to tell us what this book really is. It is SO obviously a sad little attempt to justify the choices poor little Suzie Q made. And, while we’re at it, let’s solidify my superiority in decision making by writing a book. Some of us are too busy homeschooling and playing with our children to write such drivel. So, Suze, did you homeschool? Because I am one up on you if you didn’t . Guess what Suze, and you might want to sit down for this revelation, we all love our children. I even stay home with mine, but never have had the extra money to sip Starbucks or get a facial. Can you say the same? Try and break free of your aunt’s orbit. She has obviously brainwashed you far more than the mind-control feminists that apparently have everyone in the country fooled. But, wait, it’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s Suzie Q to the rescue. She’s the only one who can see. Neither Suzanne nor Phyllis are enough woman to get this book to go, that’s why they had to team up. So, to all of you, Godspeed in getting home tonight without getting brainwashed by the FEMINISTS (cue the scream of horror).

  • Ed Burke on 04.16.2011 at 5:24 pm

    Ignorant College Grads

    There are few people more ignoraant than the modern (post-60s) US college graduate. They do not even know that they have been indoctrinated to see history in a certain way. They react emotionally if you disagree with the new religion of left-wing thinking. Here are some things to consider. You will not have hear dthem from your profs:

    1. It all about technology, not ideology. Women did not participate in the broader society in the past millenia because war was brutal hand-to-hand combat, and economy was dominated by very strenuous physical labor, most of which was beyond the strength of women. Once the industrial revolution occurred, and machines took over, the roles of women changed. Also, in the past, there was no refrigeration, mass transportation etc., and if a woman wanted choldren, she had to stay home and nurse them etc. Once those things developed, woman’s role changed. Not a vat conspiracy of opprssion, but technology mainly shaped the roles in society.

    2. The purpose of this left-wing agenda is to replace the family with the global corporation/state. Why do you think that the large global corporations are so in favor of the liberal agenda?

    3. Myth: men in the past had sex before marriage, and women didn’t. Question: if women weren’t having sex, then who were them men having it with? Prostitution? Be realistic. In fact, most people were not as sex-obsessed as we are today, and married very early. Men were not running around having fun while women were at home sewing. A total myth. Casual sex is a recent urban phenonemon, and is having disasterour consequences for women.

    4. Women earn less because they generally do not go into the higher-earning professions, and still study the “soft” subjects and go into lower-payng careers. They also generally take more time off from their careers for medical and family reasons.

  • JL on 04.30.2011 at 2:24 pm

    about the marriage statistics

    The interviewer raised a good question about marriage statistics, especially why states like Mass. have fewer divorces. Here is a link to some relevant statistics.

    http://pewsocialtrends.org/2009/10/15/marriages-and-divorce-a-50-state-tour/

    I will not serve up a simple answer for you; if you are not sophisticated enough to think for yourself, you should not be debating this topic. There is indeed a very reasonable explanation if you spend 2 minutes on it. If that would interrupt your heated and reactive train of thought… then isn’t that a good thing?
    Especially in heated emotional debates like this one it is important to try to think objectively and where they exist, to rely on facts. Rhetoric and innuendo get us nowhere.

  • henry ford on 05.09.2011 at 6:02 pm

    Suzie and Phyllis

    Does Stepford ring a bell ???

  • tralala on 08.08.2011 at 6:25 pm

    Its true...

    Feminists have warped the debate, they talk as if they are the only people with problems in the world. After all this time 9 out of 10 prisoners remain male. How is that possible? If the usual feminist explanation were brought out it would be blamed on sexism, and at 9 out of 10 it would be some heinous sexism indeed.

    Perhaps..perhaps men and women are different? Can’t be brought up. Feminists conveniently ignore such statistics when they ask for equal quotas in the board room, they assume that all is equal when it is not, and ignore the evidence when it is inconvenient. Men obviously fail more than women, so many in jail, suicide, homelessness, even college drop out rates…but somehow in the discussion feminists assume all is equal and the comparison is between apples and apples and not apples and oranges, and only when convenient.

    There has been some blank slate thinking warping feminism, instead of equality of opportunity this has led to assumption of equality of outcome, which is to be forced if necessary. You see this with calls for women in the boardrooms and such, but do they ever push women into being plumbers? Womens enrollment and graduation rates in higher education already outstrip men, yet title 9 continues to create a sham out of athletic programs, it is an absurd situation. They have to actively entice women to fill the empty slots in their equalization programs because they are forcing something that is unnatural on them, and the mens programs sacrificed in the name of equality are simply not considered at all. This is essentially irrational, if not sexist thinking and so feminism has warped to become something other than working towards justice, it has become a movement based on dogma.

    steven pinker explains it well in the blank slate, there are ideologies like communism that denied human nature, assumed everyone was equal and thus ready to be molded to the states ideal, feminists also bought into the blank slate, thus they only thought of men as women with penis’s, and thus any divergence of behavior or thinking must be aberrant. Many women tried to raise their little boys without toy guns only to find they got around such things pretending other toys were weapons, you can’t get around human nature. But the thinking still permeated the movement. You get this a lot in the objectification claims. It is an accusation without any logic. If a woman doesn’t like something, it is suddenly objectification. As if men are expected to lust after womens brains, or have masturbatory fantasies about iq, it fundamentally is absurd, yet it gets repeated ad nauseum. people are sexual creatures, and to condemn based on this is to condemn people for their existence.

    Plus the victimisation mentality led to a lot of soft minded thinking. Just how many times have womens groups spouted incredible figures on abuse or crime or eating disorders only for us to find out later they were totally made up. How is this type of soft minded uncritical thinking supposed to give women credibility, let alone convince anyone women are good at math. From the claim that 1 in 4 college women are raped, to the claim that domestic violence spikes on superbowl days, the falsehoods to beat men over the head with got repeated year after year. This even extends to debates over academia. Recently they have been claiming that the math departments in universities are too male dominated, to support their claim that it should be 50/50 they claimed that women do as well as men in high school math on average. But this left out the important part, men do better AND worse in math, the variation is more extreme, and what matters is not average ability in math when it comes to reaching the top of the field, it is the exceptional that matter. Men are more likely to get all the answers right in the sat, but they are also more likely to get the answers almost all wrong, to rely on averages is to rely on dishonest arguments. If there are more exceptional men in math then it doesn’t matter what the average is, this is basic logic, but the folks pushing for quotas in university math departments just ignore this. That is the problem with feminism, it stopped being about fairness, and became about trying to gain power at any cost, reason be damned.

  • Dre on 08.29.2011 at 2:24 pm

    After reading all of these mean-spirited, hateful comments, I have come to the conclusion that it is not Suzanne Venker who is the hateful person here…ITS THESE INTOLERANT MEAN-SPIRITED FEMINIST that are the closed-minded hateful people.

    Suzanne also clearly states that The women in her family were getting an education and successful careers long before the feminist movement claimed to have solely given women opportunities. And , that alone should refute 50 percent of the retorts in this hateful comment section.

    I am almost convinced that feminism is evolving into a Hate Movement. They hate anyone with an alternative ideology than their own. AND MEN ARE THE TRUE PRIMARY VICTIMS. And more and more men are becoming aware of this. But, the number one question is : WHAT WILL HAPPEN WHEN MEN BEGAN TO FIGHT BACK?

  • Kathleen on 01.13.2012 at 8:17 pm

    She doesn’t really seem to answer the questions very directly and she seems to go off point a bit. For me, I understand how the feminist movement actually made it harder for women, in the way of workload, because being a mother is a full time job, but also working a full-time job on top of being a mother, that’s a lot to juggle. But when she blames the feminist movement for sex being more accepted in today’s media, I honestly have the opinion that displaying women like that is a form of discrimination against women, because they are only portrayed as an object. It’s for reasons like this that people are still fighting for women’s equality. The media conditions girls at a young age to think that their body image (and not their intellect) is what is valued most. It’s disgusting, but because we are ALL conditioned from a very young age, it is accepted and young women willingly display themselves in such a way because of the value placed on looking fit and sexy. People don’t realize what is really going on, including Suzanne.

  • anoooonymous on 11.30.2012 at 11:04 pm

    yuck. Suzanne’s sexism is depressing. WHat a terrible use of paper

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