January 26th 2019


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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY The Natural Family as an integrative social force in American history

EDITORIAL The Remnant, resistant, creative minority

ENERGY POLICY Enough hot air about carbon dioxide; let's talk LPG

CANBERRA OBSERVED Federal election: the media have done our duty at the polls for us

NSW ELECTION NSW is just starting to sizzle

NATIONAL AFFAIRS Archbishop Wilson free, but trial was no witchhunt

NATIONAL AFFAIRS Awaiting Hayne: full report sure to shake finance sector

LIFE ISSUES The unvarnished truth about surrogacy

HIGHER EDUCATION Massification: that's the name of the game

SOCIETY Dover Beach: a mordant post-Christmas reflection

IRELAND TODAY Celtic Tiger changed out of all recognition

MUSIC One note does not a monotone make

CINEMA Aquaman: High fantasy in ocean depths

BOOK REVIEW Uninformed consent

BOOK REVIEW A thoroughly modern movement

BOOK REVEW The foundation of a successful society

LETTERS

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BOOK REVIEW A
thoroughly modern movement




News Weekly, January 26, 2019

SEX MATTERS: How Modern Feminism Lost Touch with Science, Love and Common Sense

by Mona Charen

Crown Publishing, New York
Hardcover: 320 pages
Price: AUD$49.99

Reviewed by Madeleine van der Linden

Feminism has been a shaping ideology of Western culture for over 60 years, and its effects are being felt. The current move towards aggressive denial of biological sexual difference between men and women is but an extension of feminism’s push to erase all differences between men and women.

Feminism has become part of many women’s identities, wound tightly around their sense of self, and their interactions with men. Feminist policies have become another way of virtue signalling for governments and businesses, often to the detriment of men, children and ultimately women too. To understand both the appeal and the aggression of feminism, it is worth taking an in-depth look at where feminism started and how we reached the point we are at today.

Mona Charen’s new book, Sex Matters, takes a deep look at the feminist movement and the impacts it has had on men, women and American society. While the focus is on the United States, the lessons can very easily be applied to Australia and other Western countries.

Charen outlines how the early feminist movement was based on praiseworthy aims such as financial and legal protection for widows and orphans, votes for women and the prohibition movement. In the aftermath of two world wars and the rise of communism, the feminist movement moved away from these ideals and aligned itself with Marxist rhetoric and the more extreme policies of promiscuity, abortion and the denial of biological difference in men and women.

Sex Matters takes you on this journey chronologically, with several interesting detours into neurobiology, psychology and politics.

An interesting point Charen makes is the link between feminism and communism. The movements came together for the first time in the 1960s, with the radical results we see in Western societies today. Communists saw a perfect opportunity to co-opt the disgruntled women leading the feminist movement into their ranks, thus undermining the family and allowing the state to take over the crucial task of educating and raising children.

Despite the detailed and often depressing subject matter, Charen has managed to create a book that is engrossing and avoids the pitfalls of heavily academic language. The material is all well researched, and the chronological look at the birth, growth and corruption of the feminist movement is enlightening. I suggest that any woman who wishes to label herself a feminist read this book before making the soubriquet her own.

If this book has a flaw, it is one shared by all conservative texts: it preaches to the converted. While an interesting and concise indictment on the feminist movement, Sex Matters will have little appeal for those who do not already agree with the author’s arguments.

Charen also neglects to give the subject of contraception any consideration in her arguments for how the damage done to the family and to the dignity of men and women came about. The wide adoption of the pill is certainly of note in the changes we have seen in our society with regards to women’s roles and the breakdown of the family.

Contraception further divorces procreation from the pleasure of the sexual act, leading to society’s hedonistic view of sex. Feminists have been strong advocates for the use of contraception under the heading of “reproductive rights”, and it would have been fitting for this book to explore that slogan and the consequences its adoption has had. It is disappointing that the author does not do so.

It is also worth noting that Charen seems to be a supporter of same-sex marriage. While discussing the benefits of marriage for heterosexual couples, Charen writes that, now that same-sex marriage is legal in the U.S., she hopes to see homosexual couples enjoy the same benefits. However, as this position is not discussed extensively, it does not undermine the book. I would still feel comfortable recommending this book to anyone who wishes to learn more about the truth of feminism.

Sex Matters clearly demonstrates that feminism has left its family and feminine roots far behind and is on the rampage with the likes of Marx and Freud and their postmodernist heirs. It presents a challenge to women to rethink their relationship with a movement that oste­nsibly is all about their benefit but has instead made things worse.

If Charen is to be believed (and the odds are in her favour), the movement will not stop at equal pay (or even at transgender rights) but will continue to wreak havoc until it self-destructs.


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All you need to know about
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TRANSGENDER: one shade of grey, 353pp, $39.99


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