March 25, 2002


The Wall Street Journal's Best of the Web notes this story of a typically idiotic public appearance by Gloria Steinem : Inequality breeds violence, feminist says (Ron Hayes, March 23, 2002, Palm Beach Post)
"Let's not forget that Hitler was elected from a society with a strong, patriarchal, authoritative structure," she said. Such societies create boys who grow up with an expectation of control over women and children.

"We can't begin to know how much less violence there could be in the world if one generation of children was raised without violence," she asserted.

Perhaps it's also helpful to note that the totalitarian phenomenon followed close on the heels of female suffrage. Nor is this necessarily a coincidence. History and public polling both amply demonstrate that men tend to place a higher priority on freedom than women, who tend to favor security. Thus men typically favor parties that seek to minimize government involvement in our lives while women favor parties that seek an expansive role for government. In the wake of votes for women (and the Depression) the West experienced a long period of rapid government growth which at its most benign gave us the economy killing programs of the New Deal and Great Society and at its worst gave us the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. These trends were only reversed with the rise to power of conservatism in the US under men like Ronald Reagan and Newt Gingrich. The much-discussed gender gap simply reflected the fact that they were politicians whose distinct appeal was to men. Not coincidentally they defeated the USSR (Reagan) and began the process of dismantling the Welfare State (Gingrich).

Before Ms Steinem wrenches her arm out of joint patting herself on the back, she might want to consider whether greater political power for women has led to greater freedom or more repression in the West.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 25, 2002 4:05 PM
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