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Jewish World Review Sept. 15, 2000/ 14 Elul, 5760

Marianne M. Jennings

Marianne M. Jennings
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Consumer Reports


The taming of the shrew: Gloria Steinem takes a husband


http://www.jewishworldreview.com -- WELL, LA DE DA. Little Gloria Steinem was a bride last week. So many comedic lines, so little column space. Was she registered for the Lorena Bobbitt steak knives? Abstinence got old at age 66? The Oklahoma wedding was held at the home of Ms. Steinem's friend, Wilma Mankiller. There's the stuff of romance novels: An Okie wedding at the Mankiller Bed, Breakfast and Feminist Wedding Chapel.

Yes, the Katharina of our times, the shrew herself, who eschewed marriage as an inequality, (In response to questions about her longstanding relationship with Mort Zuckerman, she replied she would "never" be "legally married" and equated it to "death") found her soul mate in David Bale, a male, which seems to be a source of irritation among NOW comrades and the tourism industry of Vermont. Mr. Bale, 61, is on his third soul mate, marriage-wise.

Ms. Steinem is an irritating activist, cut from the same cloth as Jane Fonda. They are icons for women and causes despite the fact that their lives have been a perpetual adolescence. Like inexperienced 16-year-olds with issues and attitudes, they weave their ways through social movements, fads and hairdos never once pausing for reflection on the wisdom of the ages nor comprehending the damage their feckless values and antics cause to institutions they will eventually embrace. They are clueless bimbos protected by a false mantle of revolution and adulation of social deviants who see them as justifications for doing whatever their little hearts desire.

Completely self-absorbed, they trot through life wreaking havoc. When their misguided follies dawn on them, they will offer the ditz's words of regret, "Never mind!"

Ms. Steinem did a stint as a Playboy bunny and railed about its wretchedness. There were those of us who had already gleaned, from discussions with parents, business travelers and street walkers, that trotting about a club serving drinks while clad in spike heels and a -length tube top might not be pleasant or fulfilling.

Ms. Steinem met the new Mr. Steinem at a pro-abortion rally, a cause she ranks as the cornerstone of civilization. Many of us figured long ago that taking the body from a state of reproduction to one cleansed of all moral responsibility by suction and dismemberment might not be good for the body or soul. Recent studies presented at the American Psychological Association document the psychological damage abortion causes young women. For years the studies on the relationship between abortion and increased breast cancer risk have been suppressed. When the truth about abortion's damage is permitted to surface, what will Gloria et al. do? Feign regret?

Steinem

After a decades long journey, Mrs. Bale, or is it Ms. Steinem-Bale? Or is it still Ms. Steinem? Mrs. Gloria Rodham Bale?, assures us that what she meant all along in her Ms. musings and NOW activism was, "We're at an age when marriage can be chosen and not expected. Marriage is also much more equal under the law. . . . I'm happy, surprised and one day will write about it, but for now, I hope this proves what feminists have always said --- that feminism is about the ability to choose what's right at each time of our lives." This from the woman who had this diddy read at her 50th birthday party:

Here are a couple of birthday wishes
May Jerry Falwell wash your dishes.
May Nancy Reagan say, "I get it."
And Phyllis Schlafly - ah, forget it.

Would that be the happily married Nancy Reagan and Phyllis Schlafly? Mrs. Bale has redrafted her principles of feminism for her current whim. After driving women into sexual promiscuity, children into lives of insecurity and often violence because of the lack of fathers in homes, and placing a pox upon women who chose marriage and family, this rampallian now tells us, "Never mind." If she tries to adopt a child at age 66, I shall campaign to eliminate women's suffrage.

Mrs. Bale would have my respect if she reflected thoughtfully, upon getting hitched, something that those of us who outgrew adolescence before Social Security kicked in already know: women and men need marriage and are better off as man and wife. The Bard understood this principle in penning his play about Katharina's taming. In common law England women were nothing more than chattels, but still fulfilled in marriage, and not as bitter spinsters with smart mouths.

It's a shame that in between books, lectures and other forms of self-righteous nagging, that Ms. Steinem-Bale didn't chat with a few folks other than NOW groupies. We could have filled her in on the benefits of marriage for women. Sometimes we old wives have the answer. It's just that Ms. Steinem cost us our credibility for years. Now, as it were, she joins us. She's one old wife, eh? As for her proposed book on marriage? Forget it! We've had the manual on marriage, happiness and fulfillment for centuries. We Biancas didn't need the shrew's conversion. We can dust off our marriage primer and bring it back into the light of day for the heartless wench is wed and now blesses it.


JWR contributor Marianne M. Jennings is a professor of legal and ethical studies at Arizona State University. Send your comments by clicking here.

Up

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08/28/00: Survival of the not-so-fit but conniving
08/25/00: Conventions: A study in contrasts
08/18/00: Resenting the accusations of racial prejudice
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04/25/00: Life's circle and tenderness
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04/11/00: The monsters we're raising with the ergo proposition
04/05/00: Endowing the Hooters Chair for Literature Appreciation
03/28/00: Dr. Laura: The passive/aggressive kid's mom
03/21/00: Dough and campaigns
03/14/00: The volunteerism of conscription and pomp
03/07/00: Hope and pray that religion remains a force in politics
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02/15/00: Those chameleon 60s activists
02/08/00: McCandidate McCain: Flirting with principles
02/01/00: The demise of marriage
01/25/00: Stroke of the pen, law of the land: Clinton's Camelot
01/18/00: Off the Rocker Rorschach Test
01/11/00: Oprah's lemmings
01/04/00: Struggling mightily amidst the comfort
12/23/99: Confused fathers
12/14/99: Drop-kicking the homeless
12/07/99: Turtles and teamsters, side-by-side in Seattle
11/29/99: When conservatives behave badly
11/22/99: Compassionate conservative: Timing and targets
11/18/99: The elusive human spirit and accountability
11/11/99: Succumbing to the intellectual child within with the help of crackpots and screwballs
10/28/99: Live by litigation, die by litigation
10/22/99: Jesse, Warren, Cybill, Donald and Oprah
10/14/99: Inequality and injustice: It's the big one
10/05/99: Dan Quayle, morals and schoolyard bullies
09/30/99: The monsters of epidermal parenting
09/21/99: The Diversity Hoax
09/15/99: Waco Wackos
09/09/99: Selective censorship
09/01/99: The village, the children, judicial imperialism and abortion
08/24/99: Naughty Newt?
08/17/99: In defense of Boy Scouts and judgment
08/10/99: Ruining the finest health care system in the world
08/03/99: Nihilism and politics: ethics on the lam
07/26/99: Of women, soccer and removed jerseys
07/23/99: Not in despair, a mere mortal doing just fine
07/20/99: "Why me?" How about "Why us?"
07/13/99: Bunk, junk & juries
07/06/99: An Amish woman in a Victoria's Secret store
06/30/99: That intellectually embarrassing Second Amendment
06/24/99: Patricia Ireland eat your heart out --- but check out the recipe in 'women's mags' first
06/22/99: Dems and the Creator coup
06/17/99: True courage is more than just admitting troubles

© 2000, Marianne M. Jennings