LOPEZ: What is new and unique about your book?
VENKER: It attacks feminism head-on rather than trying to incorporate some version of feminism for the modern woman. In particular, it exposes the lies of feminism: e.g., that men and women are the same, that differences are a social construct instead of biological, that caring for one’s children exclusively is an obsolete lifestyle, and that women should be independent of men — when in fact the feminist worldview just exchanges dependency on a husband for dependency on government handouts. We also point out the fallacy that feminism is about equal rights for women. In truth, feminism is about power for the female Left.
LOPEZ: You dedicate your book to “all young women who’ve been made to feel out of step.” Isn’t that a much less common occurrence than in the day of Phyllis Schlafly standing bravely alone against the ERA?
PHYLLIS SCHLAFLY: Not at all. Suzanne has heard from countless young women and men across America who have thanked us profusely for giving them a voice and for speaking out against something so pervasive. Americans feel completely helpless in combating feminism.
LOPEZ: Suzanne, have you ever been ashamed to be related to Phyllis? What did you learn about her at Boston University? (And why would a gal from St. Louis go to Boston anyway?)
VENKER: Ha! That’s a funny question. No, I have never been ashamed to be related to Phyllis — I’m incredibly proud to be related to [such] strong, independent-minded women who have never given a hoot about what other people think. Almost all the women in my family are this way, and I love it. It’s so rare. That said, I do write in the introduction that I never wanted to call attention to the fact that Phyllis is my aunt. When I was in college in the 1980s, professors would mention her name disparagingly and my classmates would nod their heads accordingly. I never announced that she was my aunt — I wasn’t prepared to defend her at the time. The subject matter was just too big.
I [wanted to] see the world outside the Midwest, and Boston seemed like the best place to do that. Plus Phyllis, my mother (Phyllis’s only sibling), my sister, and most of my cousins all went to schools up East.
LOPEZ: Does marriage really elude the modern generation?
VENKER: The decline in marriage is a terribly significant and concerning trend. Look at the stats — 41 percent illegitimacy last year. The idea that marriage is optional, unrealistic, and ultimately confining has been thoroughly absorbed in our culture. What we see in Hollywood and in the media is a good barometer of cultural trends — they represent the culture at a particular time. In the past, the media showed intact families; today the families in movies and on television are fractured — and morality is virtually non-existent.
LOPEZ: Why do you include a mini how-to guide from Miriam Grossman?
VENKER: Because young women must have the facts about casual sex that they’re not getting anywhere else — that’s why Dr. Grossman calls herself “100 percent M.D., 0% P.C.” Her work is absolutely vital for young women. A woman’s best chance to avoid heartache, as well as the physical consequences of the hookup lifestyle, is to arm herself with the information Dr. Grossman provides.
LOPEZ: Will hooking up ever die?
SCHLAFLY: We hope so. Look how smoking has gone out of style.
LOPEZ: The Grossman manual is for girls, but do boys need it just as much?
VENKER: Yes, they need to recognize and understand that feminism is a left-wing worldview that has infected our culture. They also need to be sure they don’t marry a woman who has absorbed feminist ideology.
LOPEZ: Why is obliterating even the word feminism so important to you?
SCHLAFLY: We’re not for obliterating it; we’re for making it a pejorative.
LOPEZ: What has it been like tag-teaming on this book? Have there been any generational skirmishes?
VENKER: No. It was an inspired collaboration.