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Chapter 1: How Radical Feminists Have Weakened the Family

June 2, 2009 | NeW Staff

Why the family? Betty Friedan published her  book, The Feminist Mystique, in 1963; since then, the family, motherhood, and fatherhood have been under attack from specific groups of people – especially radical feminists.

From my little understanding of warfare, it seems to me that one side usually attacks only when they feel threatened or want to take over. Over the last few decades, the family, as a societal structure, has come under attack like never before. Why?

In the first chapter of her book, Women Who Make the World Worse: And How Their Radical Feminist Assault Is Ruining Our Schools, Families, Military, and Sports, Kate O’Beirne discusses how radical feminists have weakened the family.

“Influential feminists see two major problems with the family that inhibit women’s equality – husbands and fathers. Their advocacy and propaganda have eroded support for the family as an indispensable institution for both individuals and society.”


O’Beirne points out that in a radical feminist’s view, a woman’s husband and family are threats to her autonomy and self-actualization. Are autonomy and self-actualization the highest end? Can these be achieved in marriage?

O’Beirne also points to Edmund Leach, a renowned British anthropologist, as an example of anti-family thought:

“. . . far from being the basis of good society, the family, with its narrow privacy and tawdry secrets, is the source of all discontents.”


Whoopi Goldberg attacks the family by trying to redefine it.

“. . . if the people whom you live with are happy to see your face, that’s a family.”


Happiness is a feeling. Does that mean when they are not happy “to see your face” they stop being your family? One group quoted says marriage is the problem. Thus, if we get rid of marriage, we will get rid of conflict. O’Beirne cites studies reporting that people who are unhappy in a marriage, stay unhappy after they “dissolve” their marriage.

After reading this first chapter, O’Beirne’s point is clear: radical feminists have weakened the family.

What do you think is the driving force behind their agenda? Why do they want to weaken the family? What do the sociological and biological facts say about marriage and the family?

It’s true – everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not everyone is entitled to their own facts.

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