Remarks at the World Congress of Families III
Mexico City, Mexico
March 29, 2004
It is accepted fact that “the truth will set us free.”
The converse is also true falsehoods enslave and myths destroy.
Now before you smile and say those comments are just too simplistic and too obvious to have any great consequence, let’s look at some historical facts:
The people that Hitler enticed with his myths of Aryan supremacy were not ignorant people but they bought into myths that ultimately plunged all of Europe into war and that war nearly annihilated European Jewry.Lenin and Stalin promoted the Marxist fallacy of a good and benign Communist state. This led to the slaughter of the Kulaks and the starvation of an estimated 7 million Ukrainians.Add to this list of horrors the murderous purges of Mao in China and the genocide of Pol Pot in Cambodia Mao’s man-made famine in China killed more millions than died in the USSR and Pol Pot was responsible for the deaths of 25 percent of Cambodia’s population.
We could lengthen this list easily, but these few examples should document the idea that falsehoods and myths lead, inevitably, to enslavement and death.
THE MYTHS OF FEMINISM
Today, we focus on one of the greatest mythmakers of all time Feminism.
In the process, we will look at how the falsehoods that have been perpetuated in the name of feminism are harming women, devastating marriage and destroying the family.
First though, we have to understand why the feminist myths predominantly have to do with women’s relationships with men, marriage and the family. For feminist thinkers, traditional marriage is the ultimate oppressor of women; the biggest obstacle to the realization of an egalitarian society is patriarchy and the social order that supports it, particularly marriage and religion. So, at the top of their agenda over the past four decades have been efforts to undermine marriage, family, religion and masculinity.
Abortion on Demand: Since the central aspect of women’s liberation is so-called “free love” sexual activity that is unconstrained and without consequences – they declared that abortion on demand is a basic human right and they made abortion an essential and sacred element of their life’s creed. The abortion activists became both effective street fighters and skillful backroom strategists; they defend the 45 million murders of unborn lives by abortionists at every turn and in every arena.
Federally Mandated Day Care: Feminists demand that childcare arrangements be federally funded so that the rearing of children can be turned over to childcare providers and thus not be burdensome or interfere with a woman’s career aspirations. Never mind that data overwhelmingly point out the risks to babies and children who are in day care too much generally conceded to be over 20 hours a week. That data has consistently been suppressed, buried and unreported. Or, it has been unfairly attacked and distorted. In fact, the suppression of the overwhelming evidence about the attachment, behavioral, emotional and health risks associated with the overuse of day care amounts to statutory child abuse, but such is the power of the feminist special interests that they can keep that information from widespread dissemination. Feminists are at the forefront of those who are trying to convince the world that “father and mother” are just words that all a child needs are both male and female influences and that any man and woman can provide a child’s nurturing and guidance needs.
Sexual Orientation Special Agenda: Feminists are determined to mainstream lesbian and homosexual lifestyles. One of Betty Friedan’s (frequently identified as the founder of the women’s movement) biographers described the competition between Friedan and her successor, Gloria Steinem. The biographer attributed Friedan’s downfall to her refusal to embrace homosexuality. Some of the movement leaders privately accused Friedan of only dealing with “symptoms” and that only “those willing to explore the significance of ‘women loving women’ would come to grips with the underlying causes of women’s oppression.”
Anti-Masculinity: At the recent U.N. Commission on the Status of Women, the theme was the role of men and boys in achieving gender equity. There was considerable emphasis on teaching young boys to be more “sensitive” and less “aggressive.” Characteristics that are stereotypically “male” were clearly undesirable and consistently portrayed in a negative light. Males in society, in general, according to the 2004 CSW, must be re-educated as to their proper roles relating to women and, where necessary, coerced into letting women pursue their professions and these agendas ahead of men and in preference to men.
THE FEMINIST LEADERS
The women behind these ideas had disastrous personal lives. For instance:
Betty Friedan Friedan, the mother of the feminist movement, gave us The Feminine Mystique and the “problem that has no name.” That problem according to Friedan is that women are victims. Being female means having delusions and false values and being forced to find fulfillment and identity through husbands and children. Friedan worked nine hours a day declaring that being a wife and mother was “not going to interfere with what I regarded as my real life.” Not surprisingly, Friedan’s three children had to undergo therapy to deal with what was called “the emotional fallout.”
Gloria Steinem Steinem was the beauty queen of the feminist movement. Steinem, a Phi Beta Kappa graduate, was engaged to her college boyfriend. After breaking up with him and discovering that she was pregnant, she had an abortion. Later, Steinem founded Ms. magazine and coined two phrases “reproductive freedom” and “pro-choice” bringing a brilliant sense of marketing to a movement that glossed over the realities of promiscuity and abortion and propelled so-called “sexual freedom” into the mainstream. Steinem famously declared that a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle. She remained single until her 60s when she recently married a divorced man with grown children.
Germaine Greer Known as the diva of feminism, Germaine Greer is, like Gloria Steinem, now in her 60s. Greer has two books: The Female Eunuch kick-started her fame and The Whole Woman, published recently, basically repudiates everything Greer had said previously. Known for her bawdy diatribes, Greer preached that sexual liberation is the path to fulfillment. Greer has had “several” abortions which left her unable to have children. She has stooped in recent months to getting attention by being an apologist for female genital mutilation. She was married briefly for three weeks, during which time, she brags, she cheated on her husband seven times. But at age 60, she mused: “The finest time in your life was when you fell asleep in someone’s arms and woke up in the same position eight hours later. Sleeping in someone’s arms is the prize.” Inevitably, she sleeps alone.
Andrea Dworkin and Katherine McKinnon These women made the ridiculous assertion that “marital sexual relations are a form of rape.” Some feminists considered this bold leadership. What a hideous idea to distort the God-given capacity of a man and woman to love each other and produce new life by describing it as rape.
The list could go on to include disparate feminist personalities like Patricia Ireland, Alice and Rebecca Walker, and Hillary Clinton, the power behind the Beijing Platform for Action a U.N. document from the 1995 world women’s conference that sought to “mainstream gender equity.”
Not all of these women are well-known, but their ideology has played a significant role in betraying the very ones it is purported to benefit women and children and it has been instrumental in producing massive damage to both the culture and families.
FEMINIST OUTCOMES ON THE FAMILY
Let me review some of the collateral damage from a lifestyle of so-called “free” love.
Currently, less than 52 percent of U.S. households include a married couple.More than 50 million women lived alone at the end of the 20th century. Since 1970 the marriage rate has declined by about 25 percent and the divorce rate has increased by nearly 80 percent. Half of all marriages have ended in divorce since the early ’80s. This means that more than 35 million kids are left bereft, with the majority of them living with a single mother and living in poverty.The total number of cohabitating couples at the beginning of this decade was approaching 5 million and the number is rising steadily. Ten million adults under the age of 25 will contract an STD this year.The skyrocketing increase in out-of-wedlock births is the defining characteristic of the demographics of the 20th century one-third of children are born out-of-wedlock.Of the women between the ages of 15 and 44-those most likely to get married-less than half, only 49 percent, are now married. Abortion upon demand has meant the end of life for 43 million babies . . . and untold pain for the women who would have been their mothers. 59 percent of our children are now spending a significant portion of their childhood and adolescence in single-parent families. That means, according to the social science evidence, that 25 percent of them will never reach productive adulthood.
These are very real and tangible results.
Other results are not quite so obvious, but some of the feminist ideologues burrowed in to our institutions, and they have had extraordinary influence on opinion leaders and the media. They have also become a powerful force at the United Nations through influential nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). As a result, their ideas have taken root and their influence on nations and cultures has become immense. In fact, in many respects, the United Nations became their “sandbox” and they ruled the “playground.” They also found ways into leadership in mainline protestant denominations and so-called “religious feminism” ran on a parallel track to undermine churches in the same way that the secular feminists were undermining the culture.
When the Bush Administration appointed me as a delegate to the U.N. Children’s Summit in 2003, the liberal Allen Guttmacher Institute devoted a whole issue of its monthly report to criticism of the “conservative” delegates to the U.N. conferences under the Bush administration. The tone of the article was that they (the liberal nongovernment organizations dominated by feminists) were the “insiders” and the “new” delegates were “usurpers.” They called me a “pit bull” for pro-life and pro-family causes.
At the recent United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, a feminist NGO leader described pro-life, pro-family people in a condescending, patronizing tone of voice, “They are good people, she said. “They just advocate bad policy.” She went on the complain sweetly, “They are allergic to quotas.”
THE ANTI-FEMINIST MOVEMENT
The good news is that after 40 years, we are beginning to see a new generation of women question the feminist heresy that has produced so much devastation to families.
A recent CBS poll revealed that three out of four women described the word feminist as an insult. Another study found that the number of working women who believe that a career is as important as being a wife and mother has fallen 23 percent since the 1970s.
What has caused such a dramatic change in women’s attitudes?
Cindy Crawford, the supermodel, dislikes the word “feminist.” In an interview in the September 2000 issue of George magazine, she explained, “The word ‘feminist’ has such negative connotations to me.”
Cindy is not alone.
Experts agree that women are growing more and more uncomfortable with the current feminist movement.
The whole feminist movement began to unravel with the idea that inhibiting sexual desire is a bad thing and it completely came unglued when it began to focus so intensely on promoting lesbianism.
SEXUAL PROMISCUITY AND CULTURAL IMPLOSION
The Liberal British anthropologist J.D. Unwin, a popular writer in the ’30s who was a follower of Sigmund Freud and a friend of the Huxleys, believed that people are healthier with free sexual expression. He set out to prove that point by studying every civilization in human history for which records survive. He conducted extensive studies of 86 societies in the 1920s.
What he found surprised him. He found the total opposite of what he expected to find. He found powerful evidence that the traditional monogamous nuclear family is an essential key to social vitality. He found that when parameters around sexual expression were loosened that when sex outside the confines of marriage became the norm there wasn’t a flowering of human civilization and a burst of creativity and productivity like he had expected to find indeed as he wanted to find.
Instead, what he found was the exact opposite that after a generation or so of sexual license a culture falls apart and implodes cultures like the Babylonians, the Greeks, the Persians.
The United States is following that pattern. We have been conducting a generation-long social experiment in America. For 30-40 years, we’ve been saying that sex is recreation and commitment is unnecessary and that it is nobody’s business who somebody sleeps with as long as “nobody gets hurt.”
The problem is: Plenty of people get hurt men, women and children and all of society is damaged.
HARDWIRED TO CONNECT
Last fall, a new study came out called “Hardwired to Connect.” The study was a joint effort by three groups the Dartmouth University Medical School, the YMCA of America and the Institute for American Values.
These organizations studied a mountain of data and came up with three major conclusions.
First, human beings are hardwired to connect with each other.Second, human beings are hardwired to seek a transcendent reality beyond ourselves they called that transcendent reality God.Third, human beings are hardwired to express our humanity as males and females in masculinity and femininity.
The thing that struck me about these three findings is that all three are tenets that feminism has tried to destroy.
A whole generation of young women has grown up being told that they don’t need a man and many are actively hostile toward all men. Women have been told that they don’t need to “bend the knee” to anyone including God; that they are sufficient unto themselves and independent of everyone else. And, feminists have tried to instill the idea that gender is a social construct and that all of us need to get in touch with both our masculine and feminine sides.
All across our culture, we can see the results of an ideology that has attempted to destroy all of these hardwired connections.
ANY WOMAN FOR MOM; ANY MAN FOR DAD?
What has happened to a movement that was supposed to make it possible for women to “have it all”?
You can see both the positive and negative outcomes in a 78-page report I wrote: Gaining Ground: A Profile of American Women in the Twentieth Century. It is available on our Web site: www.cwfa.org. It contains 100 years of data about women’s well-being in the United States. Many of the trends that are tracked in this document are replicated in other nations around the world.
The most significant finding in that study is about the prevalence and problems of single-mother households.
When there is no father in the home, there’s trouble. Often there is a boyfriend or a series of boyfriends, but even when there is not, regardless how heroic that mother is and many are struggling heroically and try their best for their children the absence of the father in the home is a loss that has dramatic and serious impact on both boys and girls.
- Princeton University and the University of Pennsylvania conducted a longitudinal study of the impact on boys ages 12-22 when there is no father living in the home with the boy. What they found is astounding. When boys that age grow up without a father in the home, they are 300 times more likely to get into trouble with the law than are boys whose fathers are in the home. Not having a father in the home is the single most important variable when it comes to a boy getting into trouble with the law. Father absence is a more significant predictor of outcome than ethnicity, poverty, religion or socio-economic group.
- Duke University just finished a longitudinal study on fathers and daughters. They found that girls who lose their fathers from the home before their 6th birthday are five times more likely to become promiscuous before their 16th birthday than if the father is there until they are at least age 6. And, if a girl loses her father from the home after age 6, she is twice as likely to become promiscuous.
Adlai Stevenson said, “The time to stop a revolution is at the beginning not the end.”
But, we didn’t stop this revolution at its beginning and we are living in the midst of cultural disintegration all around us.
Will we be able to do anything now? At the end of the revolution?
One thing is clear no nation can long endure without strong, healthy families founded on the inviolable institution of marriage the union of one man and one women committed to each other for a lifetime.
So something must be done everyone has to do something!
Every generation must fight to preserve truth.
My father and his generation fought World War II.
Now you and I and our generation must fight a war as well.
I am convinced that our war is to protect the institution of marriage and to rebuild the family as the strong foundation of society. Our challenge is a culture war and we can no longer deny that it IS a war and that the stakes are high. Some people have been hesitant to accept the terminology of a “culture war.” Yet the blunt fact is that there are two opposing worldviews that are lined up over the issues of life, faith and family. And, the war is not a modern one fought in the air and plotted over computers. No, it’s the civil war type of battle where the forces are lined up for hand-to-hand combat. This is a war that will be won one person at a time, one small victorious step forward after another. And it is a war that will be won by those who are the most committed and most determined and most persistent.
The culture war is really a battle for the soul of our nations and the future of our children.
The terrorists seek to destroy Western civilization our buildings, trains, planes.
Most of all, they seek to destroy our economy and our Constitution, which is made of up laws mandating individual rights and freedom.
What do they seek in its place? Oppressive regimes like the Taliban in Afghanistan and Saddam in Iraq.
Feminists seek to destroy the boundaries of morality because they believe that the traditional nuclear family is oppressive and restrictive of their freedom.
What they don’t understand is that the traditional family is where children first learn not just the bonds of affection, but the demands of duties and obligations to one another. Feminists also fail to understand the central role that the traditional family plays in nurturing children why it is the safest and best place for children to be born and reared.
In the wake of the unlimited freedom that feminists demanded flows a culture of death and destruction.
We will rebuild the towers; we must rebuild the family.
Forty years ago, Kruschev came to the U.N., pounded his shoe on the table and said, “We will bury you.” But it is the communists who are buried and all but forgotten today. The feminist dictators cannot achieve their ends through democratic means, so they try to impose their ideas by judicial fiat. But we cannot allow them to prevail.
At some points in the history of people, there are times of reckoning. There are times when people are called upon to make momentous decisions that have enormous repercussions not just on them, their families and communities, but on their society and on the broader civilization that they will pass along to future generations.
This is our time of reckoning. These are our issues. We are called upon to make momentous decisions that have worldwide repercussions. Will we be up to the challenge?
James Garfield put it this way in 1864:
“A nation is not worthy to be saved if, in the hour of its fate,
It will not gather up all its jewels of manhood and life, and go down into the conflict,
However bloody and doubtful, resolved on measureless ruin or complete success.”
Dr. Janice Shaw Crouse is a former Bush Presidential Speechwriter and has served as an official United States delegate to United Nations’ conferences on both women and children. Dr. Crouse is an author, writer and speaker and is an international authority and commentator on political, feminist, family, social, religious and women’s issues. These remarks can be quoted with appropriate attribution and further information can be found at the CWA/BLI Web site: www.cwfa.org , where you can sign up to receive regular e-mail publications and alerts on contemporary issues.