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Ms. Information: Making Women Angry and Afraid
April 7, 2004
by Carey Roberts

An American woman is beaten by her husband or boyfriend every 15 seconds. Domestic violence against pregnant women is responsible for more birth defects than all other causes combined. And violence against women rises by 40% on Super Bowl Sunday.

Everyone knew those domestic violence "facts" were true -- until Christina Hoff Sommers came along. In her 1994 book, Who Stole Feminism?, Sommers showed that these familiar feminist fables bore no relationship to the truth.

The Sommers book was so persuasive that no one could refute her disturbing conclusion: the American public had been hoodwinked.

One would have expected the Sommers book to have put a stop to the lies. But somehow the myths kept on re-appearing. Obviously someone wanted to keep women misinformed and angry. But who?

That question is answered in a new book by Myrna Blyth with the provocative title, Spin Sisters: How the Women of the Media Sell Unhappiness and Liberalism. As the editor-in-chief of Ladies Home Journal for 21 years, Blyth writes from first-hand experience.

The $7-billion a year women's magazine industry is the target of this eye-opening tale. Blyth introduces us to the Media Mavens, the top editors of the glossy magazines that 50 million American women read religiously every month. Let's get to know two of these editors:

First, there's Cathie Black, president of the Hearst Magazines, the billion-dollar media empire that publishes Good Housekeeping and O, the Oprah magazine. Black's charitable organization of choice: the radical NOW Legal Defense Fund.

Then there's Frances Lear. Using her $100 million divorce settlement, she started up Lear's, a magazine so laced with feminist dogma and man-hating articles that it folded within six years.

Susan Winston, former executive producer of Good Morning America, describes the Spin Sisters this way: "We were feminists. We were liberals, and most of us still are." They are all the very best of friends. And of course they're all on a first name basis with Hillary.

But don't the ethics of journalism dictate that a reporter's personal beliefs not bias the content of her articles? Yes. But remember, the women's magazine industry is not about journalism.

So tucked in among the beauty tips and dating advice columns, you will find articles that reflect the worldview of hard-edged radical feminism.

After George W. Bush became president, Vogue ran an interview of Jane Fonda in its March 2001 issue. Fonda made the Chicken-Little claim that "The forces of darkness that are now in Washington are absolutely opposed to the empowerment of women."

Does anyone really believe that stuff?

In 2002 Glamour named liberal Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi as Woman of the Year. Marie Claire tilts even more to the lunatic left. In November of that same year, it featured an article that regurgitated the misleading statistics about the gender wage gap.

Above all, these magazines exploit what Blyth calls the Female Fear Factor. And here, domestic violence garners top billing.

Take Glamour magazine. Long after Christina Sommers had debunked the DV myths, the Glamour editors conspired to convince women that it was just a matter of time until they became victims: "Could He Be a Stalker? Danger Signals You Might Discuss" (June 1997), "Glamour Investigates the Gunning Down of American Women" (January 2000), and "Meet the Women Stalkers Love to Target" (September 2002).

In November 2002 Cosmo ran this uplifting article: "The Surprising Thing That Can Make You a Target for Rape." And in its March 2003 issue, Marie Claire published a hysterical rant by Eve Ensler, author of The Vagina Monologues.

Blyth points out that American women are arguably the most fortunate and most prosperous group in history. So when these women are misled about imminent threats of stalking and physical abuse, they are being victimized by a greatly exaggerated feelings of fear and insecurity.

Blyth concludes her account with this warning to women about feminist Ms. Information: "I want you to realize how often you are being manipulated..there is one thing I really hope you will stop buying - and that's the spoiled goods of unhappiness."

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