Dennis Prager offers the best concise analysis of the effects of feminism ever

Dennis Prager has summarized many of my viewpoints on this blog in a tiny, tiny little article. He calls it “Four Legacies of Feminism“.

Read the whole glorious thing and bask in its wisdom!

Full text:

As we approach the 50th anniversary of the publication of Betty Friedan’s feminist magnum opus, The Feminine Mystique, we can have a perspective on feminism that was largely unavailable heretofore.

And that perspective doesn’t make feminism look good. Yes, women have more opportunities to achieve career success; they are now members of most Jewish and Christian clergy; women’s college sports teams are given huge amounts of money; and there are far more women in political positions of power. But the prices paid for these changes — four in particular — have been great, and outweigh the gains for women, let alone for men and for society.

1) The first was the feminist message to young women to have sex just as men do. There is no reason for them to lead a different sexual life than men, they were told. Just as men can have sex with any woman solely for the sake of physical pleasure, so, too, women ought to enjoy sex with any man just for the fun of it. The notion that the nature of women is to hope for at least the possibility of a long-term commitment from a man they sleep with has been dismissed as sexist nonsense.

As a result, vast numbers of young American women had, and continue to have, what are called “hookups”; and for some of them it is quite possible that no psychological or emotional price has been paid. But the majority of women who are promiscuous do pay prices. One is depression. New York Times columnist Ross Douthat recently summarized an academic study on the subject: “A young woman’s likelihood of depression rose steadily as her number of partners climbed and the present stability of her sex life diminished.”

Long before this study, I had learned from women callers to my radio show (an hour each week — the “Male-Female Hour” — is devoted to very honest discussion of sexual and other man-woman issues) that not only did female promiscuity coincide with depression, it also often had lasting effects on women’s ability to enjoy sex. Many married women told me that in order to have a normal sexual relationship with their husband, they had to work through the negative aftereffects of early promiscuity — not trusting men, feeling used, seeing sex as unrelated to love, and disdaining their husband’s sexual overtures. And many said they still couldn’t have a normal sex life with their husband.

2) The second awful legacy of feminism has been the belief among women that they could and should postpone marriage until they developed their careers. Only then should they seriously consider looking for a husband. Thus, the decade or more during which women have the best chance to attract men is spent being preoccupied with developing a career. Again, I cite woman callers to my radio show over the past 20 years who have sadly looked back at what they now, at age 40, regard as 20 wasted years. Sure, these frequently bright and talented women have a fine career. But most women are not programmed to prefer a great career to a great man and a family. They feel they were sold a bill of goods at college and by the media. And they were. It turns out that most women without a man do worse in life than fish without bicycles.

3) The third sad feminist legacy is that so many women — and men — have bought the notion that women should work outside the home that for the first time in American history, and perhaps world history, vast numbers of children are not primarily raised by their mothers or even by an extended family member. Instead they are raised for a significant part of their childhood by nannies and by workers at daycare centers. Whatever feminists may say about their only advocating choices, everyone knows the truth: Feminism regards work outside the home as more elevating, honorable, and personally productive than full-time mothering and making a home.

4) And the fourth awful legacy of feminism has been the demasculinization of men. For all of higher civilization’s recorded history, becoming a man was defined overwhelmingly as taking responsibility for a family. That notion — indeed the notion of masculinity itself — is regarded by feminism as the worst of sins: patriarchy.

Men need a role, or they become, as the title of George Gilder’s classic book on single men describes them: Naked Nomads. In little more than a generation, feminism has obliterated roles. If you wonder why so many men choose not to get married, the answer lies in large part in the contemporary devaluation of the husband and of the father — of men as men, in other words. Most men want to be honored in some way — as a husband, a father, a provider, as an accomplished something; they don’t want merely to be “equal partners” with a wife.

In sum, thanks to feminism, very many women slept with too many men for their own happiness; postponed marriage too long to find the right man to marry; are having hired hands do much of the raising of their children; and find they are dating boy-men because manly men are so rare.

Feminism exemplifies the truth of the saying, “Be careful what you wish for — you may get it.”

I wish I could add something to this, but I can’t because every time I think of something to add, he says it in the next sentence.

If you like this short essay, then this medium essay arguing against feminism authored by Barbara Kay would be nice follow-up.

It might be worth forwarding these articles along to your friends. And I highly recommend books on male-female relationships and roles by George Gilder, especially “Men and Marriage“.

8 thoughts on “Dennis Prager offers the best concise analysis of the effects of feminism ever”

  1. WK,

    That last full paragraph summary is writing worthy of aspiration. There is no way around the roles we were created to fill. Perhaps there is no better evidence for the fall than the proclivity of men to abdicate their responsibility as husband and father and of women’s proclivity to leave their post as wife and mother. For my part, I see the challenge to be one of discipleship. Personally taking on the responsibility in my home to be a man, a husband and father. To love, nurture and cherish my wife, to bring up my children and to encourage other men to have enough courage to do the same.

    Thanks for the great content. I posted on marriage today and i’ll be sure to link to your post here tomorrow with a follow-up on the fallout from profaning the sacredness of love and marriage.


  2. WIntery Knight, I can definitely see where you’re coming from. However, I emphatically disagree with you.

    In regards to your first point. There have been no conclusive studies that I know of (and I do a lot of research about this) that prove that women having emotionless sex means that they suffer from depression. If you have a peer reviewed study that shows that emotionless sex and depression are directly linked to each other, I would like to see it.

    Second, the idea that women are “programmed” to prefer watching children and washing dishes over a career is not a genetic fact. It’s a social construction based on the fact that we live in a patriarchal society that tells women that they are failures if they don’t “settle down” and focus on the children.

    Third, I don’t know if you talk to many feminists (or if Dennis Pragger does) but working outside the home is not elevated in the minds of most feminists. It really is about making the choice based on what is best for you and your family. Believe it or not, mother who work outside the home are not selfish pigs.

    Fourth, do you seriously believe that feminism has demasculinized men? What is it exactly about equality and open communication that you find to be demasculinizing? I’m grateful to have men in my life (my husband included) that are proud to have women as their partners, not their subordinates.


    1. Thanks for numbering your points.

      Let me summarize the nature of each:

      1. Request for evidence (see below)
      2. Assertion
      3. Assertion
      4. Assertion

      I can only respond to 1), because you are entitled to your opinions in 2) through 4).

      Here’s a study:

      Here’s the conclusion from the abstract:

      Engaging in sex and drug behaviors places adolescents, and especially girls, at risk for future depression.

      Also, you may be interested in research on some other effects of premarital sex:

      That NY Times article discuss a book published by Oxford University Press, the top academic press.


      [E]arlier generations of Americans waited longer to have sex, took fewer sexual partners across their lifetimes, and were more likely to see sleeping together as a way station on the road to wedlock.And they may have been happier for it. That’s the conclusion suggested by two sociologists, Mark Regnerus and Jeremy Uecker, in their recent book, “Premarital Sex in America.” Their research, which looks at sexual behavior among contemporary young adults, finds a significant correlation between sexual restraint and emotional well-being, between monogamy and happiness — and between promiscuity and depression.

      This correlation is much stronger for women than for men. Female emotional well-being seems to be tightly bound to sexual stability — which may help explain why overall female happiness has actually drifted downward since the sexual revolution.

      Among the young people Regnerus and Uecker studied, the happiest women were those with a current sexual partner and only one or two partners in their lifetime. Virgins were almost as happy, though not quite, and then a young woman’s likelihood of depression rose steadily as her number of partners climbed and the present stability of her sex life diminished.

      When social conservatives talk about restoring the link between sex, monogamy and marriage, they often have these kinds of realities in mind. The point isn’t that we should aspire to some Arcadia of perfect chastity. Rather, it’s that a high sexual ideal can shape how quickly and casually people pair off, even when they aren’t living up to its exacting demands. The ultimate goal is a sexual culture that makes it easier for young people to achieve romantic happiness — by encouraging them to wait a little longer, choose more carefully and judge their sex lives against a strong moral standard.

      You may also be interested in my previous posts on premarital sex:

      Premarital sex reduces the quality and stability of marriage, and it gets worse the more partners you have.

      Obviously, I could go on and on. But let’s leave it there.


    2. I have to disagree with you Rachel with your point that “working outside the home is not elevated in the minds of most feminists.” On the contrary, that flies in the face of what Betty Friedan wrote about in the Feminine Mystique where she argues quite strongly how degrading it is for a woman to be a keeper of the home, how beneath her this role of homemaker is.

      And for the record, I’m grateful to have a husband who loves me and cherishes me as his own flesh because I show him honour and respect by submitting to him not as a slave, or second-class person, but as a willing and loving partner. Showing honour and respect to my husband by submitting to him does not make me less of a person in my husband’s eyes, in fact, it makes me greater in his eyes.


  3. Prager says:
    “Many married women told me that in order to have a normal sexual relationship with their husband, they had to work through the negative aftereffects of early promiscuity — not trusting men, feeling used, seeing sex as unrelated to love, and disdaining their husband’s sexual overtures. And many said they still couldn’t have a normal sex life with their husband.”

    That’s probably why the bible warns against marrying a divorced woman aswell.

    Mary Beth Bonacci, a speaker and writer on the topic of pre-marital sex and real love, says that sex speaks the language of permanence (because of its nature and purpose from God). Women therefore end up with permanent damage. In my opinion they are feeling torn rather than separated. Plus the experience of being repeatedly emotionally abused, by being physically used and emotionally abandoned is something that requires healing. If we understand this, then we understand that many women find themselves in this situation for varying reasons, but definitely stemming from the feminist agenda. Love and marriage have become disposable commodities in this culture and women are both themselves the victims and the perpetrators.

    It’s also important that Christian men in loving married relationships recognize their wife’s emotional needs to make sure that when the two are one, that those two are of one mind.


  4. Rachel is spewing false dilemmas like no man’s business!

    So it’s either washing dishes and watching children versus a career, is it? So, are careers genetically determined then, if watching children isn’t? What poppycock! This nonsensical idea of a patriarchy really takes the biscuit. When was the last time, Rachel, some “patriarch” ordered you around? As for the women who *decide* on their own to watch children and wash dishes over careers? How do you classify those women? My wife would LOVE nothing more than to stay home with our son and (gasp!) she decided this on her own. Then again, I may just be saying that while I have my boot on her throat.

    You have, of course, since you so adamantly assert it, taken a poll of all feminists and drawn the conclusions you have?

    Yes, of course, open communication and equality is what feminism is only about. Don’t look now, but no one is making the argument that women need to be “subordinates,” but I’ll just let you dance the jig with your Straw Man because obviously you can’t handle the real arguments being put forward.


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