Many conservatives see our current polarization and political climate and may feel it is easier to stay quiet than to speak up against speech codes and “woke policies” that are invading our schools and medical system. However, on March 28 Bethany Mandel, contributing writer for Deseret News, an editor of the children’s book series Heroes of Liberty, a columnist for Fox News, and a homeschooling mother of six, shared why that is becoming impossible.
Bethany’s new book, Stolen Youth: How Radicals are Erasing Innocence and Indoctrinating a Generation, was the NeW book club pick for this spring. Fifteen women joined for a discussion on the wokeness of media, medical practices, and gender issues. Mandel shared how she and Karol Markowicz came up with the book as a play on Hillary Clinton’s, It Takes a Village, by wanting to create a counter point to “protect our children from the village.”
Mandel explained how the publishing process wasn’t all smooth sailing and the trials they faced. At one point during the process, Target and Amazon started banning books on similar topics by Abigail Shrier and Ryan Anderson. Mandel and Markowicz were asked to “tone down the book,” but they stood their ground. Due to their courage, the Daily Wire came forward to publish their book and it became a national best seller, proving that it’s important to stand for one’s convictions.
One of Mandel’s most concerning issues is the wokeness now prevalent in the medical field. She referenced a conference hosted by the American Surgical Society where a panel was canceled merely because it didn’t have any minority participants. Mandel said it sets the precedent that “you cannot set a panel on expertise alone” and will ultimately end up affecting patients’ health and medical advancement.
The audience was engaged and asked thoughtful questions. One attendee asked, “How far do I push back on medical experts when I want to maintain a patient relationship with them?” Mandel advised picking and choosing your battles, referencing how she never wore a mask to the doctor’s office but would wear it when given one, and tried not to make a ruckus. However, she didn’t fill out a questionnaire from the pediatrician that asked if there were guns in the home. When the doctor’s office called her to ask why she didn’t answer it, her response was, “Why didn’t you ask me which direction the car seat is facing in my car or do I have a pool at the house? Those are higher health risks.”
When asked how Mandel’s Jewish background shaped her politics, she said it generally hasn’t, but shared an anecdote of when she was fresh out of college and working at a synagogue. She was critical on Twitter regarding Obamacare, and someone told her that she was “tweeting herself out of a job.” She reflected on the mixed political views among the Jewish community in America and shared that the Orthodox community in particular is leaning more conservative because of issues like K-12 school choice.
In closing, Mandel said that this book highlights the idea that “feelings of adults matter more than the safety of children” when it comes to the culture wars of today. However, she left NeW members with encouragement. She said, “We are the ones having kids. We just have to prevent our children from becoming their [political] pawns.”