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Fem. Fatale

Bernard Chapin

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An interview with post-feminist author Carrie Lukas.

Carrie Lukas is not your typical feminist. For one thing, she believes that the original goals of feminism—equal rights and equal pay—have already been realized. And now, as evidenced by her most recent book, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Women, Sex, and Feminism, Lukas is departing even further from feminist orthodoxy, arguing that feminism itself is often a woman's worst enemy when it comes to achieving autonomy. Here we talk briefly with the author and Vice President of Policy at the Independent Women's Forum about what true female empowerment really entails.

Your book is a volume within Regnery's Politically Incorrect Guide collection. First off, what would you say to those who dispute that such a thing as political correctness even exists?

I would tell them that they haven't been on a college campus in a very long time! Anyone familiar with academia knows that within it some things simply aren't considered appropriate topics of discussion. Think about what happened to Larry Summers, the former president of Harvard: He merely mentioned the possibility that innate differences could partially explain why there are fewer women than men in the hard sciences. He was censured by Harvard's faculty and eventually lost his job. Political correctness is definitely no myth.

Early in your book you make the argument that women were the losers of the sexual revolution. How so?

During the sexual revolution, many feminists pushed the idea that women and men are the same when it comes to sexuality. Basically, they argued that the social conventions that had made women's chastity more prized than men's were tools of the patriarchy meant to keep women from having fun. But the truth is that women are very different from men when it comes to sex. First of all, women are more vulnerable physically to the consequences of sex: Not only do we get pregnant, but women are more likely to contract STDs, and many STDs have more serious consequences for women. Women are also more vulnerable emotionally. Women release different hormones than men during sex, which makes it harder for women to keep it casual.

We find out in the "Fertility Facts” chapter that many women are quite confused about their own biology. Is this due to their being misled by the media?

I don't think the media has purposefully set out to confuse women about their biology, but I definitely think that women often get the wrong impression from what they hear and read. For example, you sometimes read stories about a 50-year-old woman giving birth or about celebrities having babies late in life. What these stories don't mention is the extreme measures needed to help these women get pregnant. There are fertility treatments that can certainly address some problems, but it's important for women to know that they are often costly and not foolproof.


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