Sex Matters: How Modern Feminism Lost Touch with Science, Love, and Common Sense

Mona Charen. Crown Forum, $27 (320p) ISBN 978-0-451-49839-7
Radio and TV show pundit Charen (Useful Idiots) delivers a scathing critique of modern feminism in this brash treatise. Each chapter focuses on a different issue plaguing women today—campus sexual assault, divorce rates, and so on—that, Charen argues, has been exacerbated by the gains of feminism. According to Charen, women are less happy today than men are, which she says is due to the mid-20th-century sexual revolution framing marriage and motherhood as prisons for women. She blames feminism for a decline in “family values” and uses her own experience as a highly educated, ambitious woman interested in child-rearing to argue that motherhood is, but should not be, diminished as an important choice in our society. Charen argues in favor of “traditional” gender roles, which she feels have been denied to women today because of feminist values, and asserts (without providing supporting evidence) that “sex differences are real [and] rather than attempting the Sisyphean task of reforming society to meet an androgynous ideal, we are happier when we accept our natures and play to our strengths.” She also ignores class differences and how they have influenced feminist movements. Feminists will find her arguments problematic, but those who espouse a more conservative philosophy will enjoy her paean to complementarian gender roles. Agent: Glen Hartley, Writers’ Representatives. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/14/2018
Release date: 06/26/2018
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 978-0-451-49840-3
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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