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Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute Conservative Leadership Seminar on July 26, 2013 on Capitol Hill will be hosting Katie Pavlich, Cleta Mitchell, Kate Obenshain, Amanda Collins as well as others! This is an opportunity that you do not want to miss out on!
See you there!
Can the Women’s Movement be Saved?
by Andrea Carlson
In Freedom Feminism Christina Hoff Sommers discusses the unsung heroines of the women’s rights movement, while offering a strategy to make feminism more appealing and representative of women everywhere. At the beginning of the book, Hoff Sommers laments that 70% of women reject the label of feminist. She contends that women’s emancipation has been one of the great feats of Western civilization. However, many women reject the feminist label because they associate it with hardline feminists who leave little to no room for debate or disagreement.
Little-known-feminist Hannah More (1745-1833)
Hoff Sommers contends that if feminists want more women to identify with their cause and truly support women’s advancement across the globe, they must allow conservatives, moderates, and libertarians to have their voices heard. She documents the historical precedent for cooperation amongst different schools of thoughts within the women’s rights movement. Egalitarian feminism and Maternal feminism were two schools of thought that emerged during the European Enlightenment. Egalitarian feminism was an appeal to universal rights and sought to liberate women from their traditional roles as wives and mothers. Conversely, Maternal feminism championed these roles and saw their potential as a force for good beyond the family. This was accomplished through charitable works and influencing policy. Hoff Sommers praises the achievements and ideals of both these schools of thought, but notes the wider influence that Maternal feminism had on women. More women felt more comfortable with the message of Maternal feminism, and therefore joined the cause of female empowerment and emancipation.
Hoff Sommers relates this lesson of history to modern feminist movements. She says that women are reluctant to call themselves feminists, due to the radical nature of modern feminism. She draws on texts from modern feminists that promote the destruction of Capitalism and the strict view that women belong only in the workplace. When the foundations of many feminist schools of thought are Marxist and Socialist, feminism alienates many women who do not empathize with radical views about destroying Capitalism. Additionally, many women still value roles such as wife and mother.
Noting the fact that contemporary feminism alienates many women, Hoff Sommers proposes a new strategy that would challenge the one ideology within modern feminism. She contends that hardline feminists need to include conservative, moderate, and libertarian women in their ranks. These women bring different viewpoints and can serve as a balance to radical feminists. As history has shown, this approach inspires more women to join together and advocate for individual rights. Hoff Sommers contends that this is especially crucial, considering that women across the globe face injustices such as honor killings, genital cutting, and forced marriages.
Christina Hoff Sommers offers a more balanced approach than modern feminists to women’s issues and argues for more non radical voices in the women’s movement. She challenges the dogmatism of contemporary feminism, supporting her arguments with historical precedent. Freedom Feminism lays out a compelling argument for why feminism is needed as a movement for all women, but why it’s important to restore its lost history and include women with diverse points of view.
The Poison of the Sexual Revolution, Summary of “Adam and Eve after the Pill”
Eberstadt describes in the previous chapters how the sexual revolution has changed the way that society as a whole views sex and promiscuity. Teenage girls are having kids out of wedlock and being supported by their public high schools, which is essentially enabling them to have children and not have to deal with the challenges that having a child brings. Along with that, traditional marriage is being threatened more than ever by the “hook-up” culture that people of all age groups play a part in. The sexual revolution took society by control Eberstadt explores what the sexual revolution is doing to men (chapter 3) and children (chapter 4).
The sexual revolution evolved into the revolution against traditional marriage. It began when women started to demand that society give them the option to have sex without the consequences. Over the long term it caused an increase in broken relationships and divorce. Today more than birth control taints the image of traditional marriage, but prior to “the pill” being released on the market; there were fewer variables to threaten marriage.
In our society, birth control is used as an excuse for promiscuity and its power is abused. The issue is when teenage girls take birth control because they want to have multiple sexual partners.
Eberstadt refers to Mary Ann Layden, a psychiatrist who runs the Sexual Trauma and Psychopathology Program at the University of Pennsylvania. Layden uses the phrase “sexual obesity” to describe a person who is consumed with sex, whether pornography or multiple frequent sexual partners. Eberstadt argues that “sexual obesity” is devouring American society.
Exposure to pornography is an obvious issue with ‘sexual obesity’ in our society. Eberstadt states that, “Young people who have been exposed to pornography are more likely to have multiple lifetime sexual partners [and] more likely to have had more than one sexual partner in the last three months … No one who is reasonable would doubt that there is a connection between watching sex acts and trying out what one sees—especially for adolescents, who rather famously and instantly ape the other influences in their lives.” This results in young teens becoming ‘sexually obese’ at an incredibly young age and as Eberstadt explains, for them to “engage in forced sex and more likely to be sexual offenders.” It is devastating to me that society views porn as an “innocent recreational activity”; while in reality it is a tool to breed future sex offenders.
Accessibility to birth control has increased the popularity of pornography, causing society to accept it as a normal activity to engage in. Eberstadt references a 2008 study that states two-thirds of men—and one in 10 women—between the ages of eighteen to twenty-six viewed pornography more than once within the last month. Eberstadt quotes philosopher, Roger Scruton who said, “Those who become addicted to this risk-free form of sex run a risk of another and greater kind. They risk the loss of love, in a world where only love brings happiness.”
It is sad that human beings are looked at today as just a body or a toy to be used, and society tends to forget that people have emotions and are meant to be companions. Yet mentality is extremely prevalent among college campuses, and students notice it. As a senior in college it is easy to discern which guys view women as their play mate and which guys see a female as a human being. Promiscuity on campus is encouraged by handing out condoms in the hallways, during Valentine’s Day and holding safe-sex lessons at freshman orientation. Instead of combating the sexual culture, colleges are embracing it and making it the social norm for the current generation.
Child sex trafficking is not something that we, as a society, like to talk about or admit occurs. With the progression of sexual diversity, society has begun to tolerate different types of sexual encounters, and sex between adult and child is seen by some as merely “experimenting.” Sadly, the issue has become a double edge sword. Eberstadt emphasizes that “globalization appears to be making sex crimes against the young ever easier,” since the more we talk about it globally, the more available it becomes to citizens of countries that outlaw it. People know where to go to find what they are looking for—or rather WHO they are looking for.
It is safe to say that American society has never condoned sex with children. In America we work hard to implement policy to protect children in dangerous situations and have an operating Child Protection Service to take children out of homes that could be guilty of sexually abusing children. Overall, regardless of the way that American society feels about pedophilia, revolutions are uncontrollable as Eberstadt states, and she worries that “the beast almost inevitably becomes too forceful to control.”
Personally, I think that people who have chosen a “sexual obesity” lifestyle are doing themselves a severe disservice. They are inherently choosing a dysfunctional view of relationships and marriage. Porn causes 3 problems: it subtly destroys a healthy sexual relationship in marriage as one partner begins to expect sexual acts to mirror the actors in the ‘films’. It also encourages promiscuity and unfaithfulness in the unending quest for increased sexual satisfaction. Finally, it verifies and reinforces unhealthy sexual behavior.
Summary by CBLPI Kira B. Tieman
"Adam and Eve after the Pill" by Mary Eberstadt
As a rising senior in college I have noticed that intellectuals often question if the popular opinion of what is moral is actually beneficial to our society. An example would be during the Cold War. Eberstadt states that during the Cold War, intellectuals questioned whether or not communism was actually something to fear, despite the fact that victims of communism spoke out against it because they knew that it was poison to society. It seems ridiculous that there were American citizens that thought communism was benefitting other countries and chose to ignore the citizens that were suffering due to lack of resources, as a direct result of Communist policies. Eberstadt relates this to the sexual revolution; at the time that “the pill” was created and put onto the market, those in support never imagined the effects it would have on society. It does have its pros but the cons have outweighed the positive aspects of it. When I was a senior in high school I saw freshman girls that were pregnant, and some had more than one child. These girls were provided with free child care within the school and were allowed to be late to class and leave class early to bring their child to and from day care.
This is a modern example of how the sexual revolution has changed our society. It is common for teenagers to have children out of wedlock, and they are given special privileges so that they can care for their kids. I do not think that they should be kicked out on the street with no one to help them, but it does seem absurd that a public high school, such as the one I attended, provides free child care for teen mothers as well as offer a class (that they received high school credit for) on how to be a good mom.
Eberstadt goes on to explain how the sexual revolution has diminished the value of traditional marriage, which has made men and women alike shy away from marriage because of fear. Marriage is a sacred connection between a man and woman and should not be taken lightly, but like everything in life, it takes dedication. Unfortunately the feminists on the Left portray those women who choose to enter into a traditional marriage as peasants and degrade them for their life decision. The reality is that most women, regardless of political affiliation, desire to be married and have a family. The leftist feminists have become more prevalent since the sexual revolution because of the birth control pill which has allowed them to have sexual freedom—as they explain it—and not have to deal with the lifestyle and priority changes that a baby brings.
Summary by CBLPI Intern Kira B. Tieman
Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute Lecture and Intern Director, Catherine Rodriguez (former CBLPI Intern), gives young conservative women encouragement to be active on campus and engage in the conservative movement #Conservatives #ConservativeMovement #CBLPI
In The Wall Street Journal, James Freeman interviews Cleta Mitchell, the attorney who helped expose the tax agency’s abuses.
Cleta Mitchell is a great example of a powerful, conservative woman that is dedicated to the cause
Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute Summer 2013 Intern, Viktoria Mukha from U.C Berkley, tells a heart warming story about her patriotic father who immigrated from Russia for Father’s Day.
Former U.S Treasurer under President Ronald Regan, Bay Buchanan emphasized the importance of standing up for your beliefs as a conservative in a liberal world at the CBLPI Intern Seminar
From the desks of the Interns at Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute.
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