How to Choose a Husband by Suzanne Venker – book review by Evan Marc Katz

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What I’m about to say may not be very popular with my readership. That’s okay. I’m not here to win any popularity contests.

I’m here to give solid reality-based relationship advice. Such advice is not based on what I want personally; rather, it’s based on what is most effective in relating to the opposite sex.

So it’s with considerable ambivalence that I decided to review Suzanne Venker’s “How to Choose a Husband” today. It’s an easy read – I finished the book in one night – and Venker’s got a decidedly colloquial writing style. The reason I’m ambivalent about it is that while Venker’s actual relationship advice is really good, her judgmental opinions may blind you to her wisdom. Which is a shame. Like Lori Gottlieb, who got raked over the coals for writing a book for smart women who want to get married and have kids, Venker has taken a ton of heat herself – some of it deserved, some undeserved.

She holds special contempt for feminists, Hollywood, liberals, atheists, and casual sex, and since I believe in all five of those things, I could feel the heat rising when I learned how folks like me are unable to have successful and meaningful relationships. This is, on the surface, not true, and it’s a shame that Venker couldn’t have found a little more subtlety and nuance in making her case. Because her case is actually quite a compelling one. And it’s one I’ve been making on the pages of this blog for six years.

Like Lori Gottlieb, who got raked over the coals for writing a book for smart women who want to get married and have kids, Venker has taken a ton of heat herself – some of it deserved, some undeserved.

-Marriage isn’t always a passionfest.

-Men aren’t bad, or even worse than women.

-Being too busy, too difficult, too opinionated, and too arrogant are big problems for women (and men) looking for love.

-There are many women who have spent so much time working that they’ve lost touch with what makes them appealing to men. It’s not that we don’t love your fertile minds; it’s that if you’re working 60 hours a week, training for a marathon, and telling us how we need to change for you, we might just choose women who are a little more available, warm and supportive.

Any arguments so far? No? Then you should have no trouble with Venker’s relationship advice either (except for the fact that it comes from a very judgmental conservative):

From p. 9 “Marriage isn’t a power struggle; it’s a partnership. Unless your husband’s a Neanderthal — in which case, why’d you marry him in the first place? — he’s not the least bit interested in seizing your identity. Most men don’t want a doormat for a wife. One of the greatest ironies of feminism is that it never even occurs to the average husband to do the thing his wife is steeling herself against. In most cases, all that energy spent putting up a shield is for naught”.

From p. 32 “People’s priorities change when they get married. When you’re single, life outside of work is largely without obligations or sacrifice. When you’re married with children, you learn the art of compromise and unconditional love…. Growth hand in hand with a like minded person is the point — not growth in order to meet a like minded person. Unless the goal is to marry a mirror image of yourself (with a penis), there’s no need to become the person you want to attract.”

From p. 36 “No other role in your life will require more selflessness than being a wife an mother. If you want to be successful at it, you need to start thinking about other people’s needs. You need to ignore all that coddling you’ve been given and stop thinking in terms of what you think you deserve or are entitled to. To have a fulfilling, beautiful life — the best life you can have — you don’t need to find yourself. You need to get over yourself.”

There is much to disagree with in “How to Choose a Husband”, particularly the author’s distaste for anyone who is not like her, but the one thing I don’t disagree with is her advice.

This is so true. And if this sounds offensive being told to women, if you saw this exact same advice for men, you’d say HELL YEAH. Wouldn’t you?

“Guys, get over yourself. Be self-aware. Don’t be so selfish. Communicate more. Give us women what we need!”

From p. 45 “Women have no idea how to use their femininity to their advantage, so they end up rearing their heads, trying to be something they’re not. Instead of becoming wives, they become competitors. This is the number one mistake women make… Men like to chase women and women like to be chased — that’s just the way it is. Don’t become the hunter. Don’t call a guy or make the first move. Don’t try to take charge or be in control. That’s what men are supposed to do. Let them.

A woman’s femininity is unique and powerful. It does not lower a woman’s status, nor does it preclude her from being an independent woman. In fact, many men prefer their wives are independent. So, go. Do what you want with your life — no one’s stopping you. Just don’t try to compete with your husband. He doesn’t want a competitor; he has plenty of those. At the end of the day, what a man wants is a partner and companion who’s concerned with his needs as much as her own, maybe even more.”

From p. 55 “Please read this carefully: you can never, ever, change your man. Ever. Did I say ever? Ever. You can’t love a man so hard and so well that your problems will magically disappear. You can’t convince him to see life your way if he doesn’t… Bottom line: if you don’t love a man exactly as he is, even if he never changes a stinkin’ thing, get out.

From p. 70 “We must stop instilling in women this idea that their lives have in store for them something profound, something magical, something so great it belies description. Unrealistic expectations set up a false reality, and real life can only be disappointing.”

I said nearly the exact same thing in “Marry Him”: “If you didn’t have the fantasy, reality would be just fine”. It’s the “Eat, Pray, Love” model of relationships: holding out for some fantasy man who is perfect and transcendent and feeling that anything less is settling. It’s simply not true.

Venker continues about the principles of having a happy marriage.

From p. 119 “Unless you marry a cad, what you bring to the marriage table may very likely determine the fate of your marriage. Put another way: it’s not what your guy can do for you, but what you can do for your guy? That’s the attitude you need going forward…. (I would give this exact same advice to men, by the way – EMK) Being married isn’t nearly as difficult as you’ve been led to believe — most men are supremely easy to get along with. If you treat your husband well, he will be your greatest support and defender. If you treat him poorly, he’ll either bark or hang his head and walk away. Wives have much more power than they realize.”

From p. 122 “I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “you’ll attract more bees with honey than you will with vinegar.” This is the very aspect of human nature against which feminists have rebelled. To them, being sweet means being a doormat. They are wrong. Being feminine — kind, soft, nurturing, or whatever adjective you prefer — is only suffocating if you’re in love with a Neanderthal…. Most men are much nicer than feminists would have you believe. And if you treat them with honey as opposed to vinegar, you’d be surprised what you’ll get in return.”

From p. 132 “Bottom line: there are more important things in life than work. Like love. I have the most loving husband in the world. He’s as committed to the message of this book as I am (and to my writing career in general) but like me, gets frustrated with the lack of time to get it all done. Time —not men, employers, or the way the system is rigged — is the real culprit when it comes to having it all.”

There is much to disagree with in “How to Choose a Husband”, particularly the author’s distaste for anyone who is not like her, but the one thing I don’t disagree with is her advice.

You may want to shoot the messenger, but don’t ignore the message.

To read the book, click here.

Your respectful comments are appreciated below.

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Comments:

  1. 41
    Julia

    Evan-I don’t want to ignore her biases and listen to her message. The  messenger  matters as much as the message. You are a better  messenger   You  genuinely  appreciate strong women and don’t hate on us for being feminist/secular/liberal. I will take you any day of the week!

  2. 42
    Amelia2.0

    Count me in as someone who enjoys the discussions here, even if some do go off the rails on occasion when a touchy topic comes up.   I am dating someone wonderful right now, life is still a journey and I appreciate the chance to discover and think about my blind spots.   Though there is no excuse for being rude to the host, dating is terribly frustrating so I get that that frustration is bound to come out.  
      
    To comment on the original topic, I have to say that I too am greatly put off by conservative “scolding”, but I think Venker is right on about putting the Hollywood/Disney flavor of bullshit to bed.   Chasing a fantasy is all well and good and is totally human, but one may chase their entire lives if they don’t root themselves in reality and get a grip on what they can reasonably achieve.   Sadly, consumerism counts on us fooling ourselves into wanting more.   I can’t get no satisfaction, indeed.
      
    I also agree that a relationship is pure hell when one or both people feel the need to make everything a competition.   One of the worst dating experiences I ever had was with a guy who consistently felt the need to prove how right he (believed) he was, as if conversations were something to “win” no matter what, causing him to casually insult my intelligence in order to “win” (and thus justify not listening to my POV).   This crap became a pattern only after we started dating and I was rather inexperienced.   In the end, I learned that the only way I “win” with someone like that is by dumping their ass– and to never be that kind of person.

  3. 43
    Zina

    Evan, I think Speed @41 hit the nail on the head. State your opinion and let folks comment. You don’t often see truly powerful and confident people defending their opinions . They don’t feel the need to. Being challenged is part of stating your opinion. Dont get down and dirty, ain’t worth your time and energy.  
    You do a wonderful job, and a great public service. You’ve changed MY life for the   better, for sure, and lives of many others.  

  4. 44
    Steve

    Kudos to Evan.
      
    Not many people would read or finish a book by an author with several political biases against their own.   Let alone being willing to extract useful content from it.

  5. 45
    Karmic Equation

    Evan# 18

    “I don’t need a man! Men are the problem!” etc

    I think most women on this blog don’t believe that they don’t need a man, but rather that the man they have (or the man they would like to have) has behaviors she wants him to change, so change it he must! ie., “I love my man, but HE is causing issues in our relationship with his behavior!” (i.e., going to strip clubs when she doesn’t like it, keeping exes phone numbers and pix on his phone when I doesn’t like it, wants me to wear sexier underwear when she has other priorities, etc). Women fail to accept their own power (aka responsibility) in the relationship — “If my bf loves me, then he needs to change his behavior to suit me” is what they believe instead of “If I love my bf, I need to change my expectations to accept him as he is. Am I willing to do this?”  

    I think the women who would be the first to discount Vencker’s advice because she is anti-feminist, anti-liberal, etc, are the ones who would benefit the most from it. Ironic. Essentially the good advice would be thrown out with the bathwater. When it comes to advice, just because you don’t like the author, doesn’t mean the advice is unsound (a Genetic Fallacy:

    I think your comment section is awesome. I visit other coaching sites and never stay for long. I find their continual pushing of their products too commercial and I question whether they really want to help women or just really want to make money. I don’t question that on your site. Your free advice and allowing different viewpoints through help those who are open minded and want it and can apply it. Those who are not open-minded can’t be helped by anyone, but their extreme perspectives provide the perfect backdrop to show YOUR advice to be sensible and realistic.

    Thanks for the vote of confidence. Our opinions are similar, but I recognize I’m not as tactful as either you or Tom10.

    ———

    @Lady Z #6

    Reality is just accepting that being a woman
    – doesn’t automatically make you right when you and your man’s opinions and wants collide
    – doesn’t automatically make what you want more important than what a guy wants
    – doesn’t automatically mean your sense of morality “better” than his

    Accept that you, yourself, are not perfect, so he’s not going to be perfect. The only time you can expect a perfect man is if you yourself are perfect woman (10, not crazy, no insecurities, can cook, nurturing, feminine, sweet, nice, no hang ups in bed, love sports, hate shopping, accepts a “guy being a guy”, LOL). Assume you have just as many imperfections that he has to tolerate as you have to.

    Accept that what you want is not more important than what he wants. Compromise doesn’t mean he does what YOU want. Compromise doesn’t mean you do what HE wants. Compromise means you both do something you both don’t want to do.

    If you DO feel that you’re always righter, your views are more important than his, your morals are better, etc, then he is not the guy for you or you’re not the gal for him. Accept that, end the relationship, and move on rather than try to change him.

    Expecting a man to change is part of the fantasy. So don’t expect it.

    #38
    “…there is an aspect of suffering in love. What do I mean by suffering? I mean holding my tounge when I want to lash out, getting up early after being up all night partying to make my husbands lunch for work ( I am a stay at home wife- no kids!) Not always having to have the last word…. Self restraint is PAINFUL!…”

    I agree, although I think the word “suffering” is too strong. I think it’s more accurate to say that “there is an aspect of self-denial in love” — I guess to some folks self-denial and self-restraint do feel like suffering. To me self-denial is a necessary part of a relationship. Men deny themselves other women when in a monagomous relationship; women need to find something equally difficult to deny in themselves. Perhaps their sense of entitlement? That seems equivalent to me.

    ———

    Fusee, I agree with Tom10. I like the concept of “radical gratitude.”

  6. 46
    nathan

    Evan, having spent a few years reading and commenting here now, it seems to me that you’ve gotten less tolerant of dissent. Sure, there’s still a lot of dissent in the comments section. You don’t seem to be censoring folks, which is a real positive. But more recently you seem to feel the need to either offer a point by point rebuttal or point out that you’re the expert, and that those of us who disagree with you are wrong, not experts, or part of a tiny minority – all of which are ways to undermine our credibility. Something I didn’t see you do as much back in 2011, when I first started coming here. You seemed more loose, and more willing to entertain different ideas, even if you disagreed with them. Which is why I supported the idea that you end the comments section. It wasn’t some mean spirited nastiness. It was because I sense the higher level of stress you seem to have, for whatever reason, and wonder if dealing with all of this is worth it.
      
    Clearly, you have a lot of supporters. And many of your commenters will stand by your views because they’ve either benefited from them, and/or think you’re right. This is only one of numerous threads where the bulk of the comments are generally supportive of your work, even if some of the folks disagree with individual points. Having regularly read dozens of dating and relationships columns, I’d actually say that you’re readers on the whole are far more respectful and supportive than many other audiences. Go read a few posts from Moxie’s And that’s Why You’re Single blog, for example. Her tone often encourages more hostility, but some of her readers are downright brutal to her and to other commenters. And that kind of stuff is even more common on some of the PUA sites.
      
    I may not be the dating expert you are, but I’ve been writing blogs for nearly as long as you. And as such, have been dealing with dissent and attacks almost as long as well. I think you have it fairly good here. You write very directly. You have very strong opinions. And sometimes offer controversial advice, and for the most part, things stay pretty even keel. So, I don’t think it’s as bad as it might seem. Furthermore, this idea of having a few readers help with the comments isn’t a bad plan. One thing I do know, as a long time blogger, is that sometimes it’s just too much to be the only one dealing with comments. There have been more than a few times, I’ve written something and just let people say whatever because I didn’t feel like responding to every little thing being debated. Blogging burnout happens. Whatever you end up doing, you’re going to have supporters, dissenters, and detractors. That’s just how it goes.
      
      

  7. 47
    Lady Z

    @Karmic Equation- In sharing my own experience- The word “suffering” is nearly an understatement– but that’s myself as an individual based on my subjective experience. Self-Denial, self-restraint, self-control- All cause pain, for me at least. Seeking pleasure and trying to avoid pain, in a relationship— and in life. I know it’s not the proper way to live, yet I see it in my culture– AVOID PAIN- SEEK PLEASURE! Well, if this wasn’t the basis for how most people seek relationships, Evans work would not even exist. Its probably why so many people get mad at the advice- it goes against the fantasy- that we can “have it all”– Entitlement? If so it certainly isn’t conscious, I don’t think anyone OWES me shit. I know this is a harsh fact of life, however this acceptance hasn’t stopped me from wishing it to be so, and it is this wishing, this longing for what I can’t have that is unhealthy– Really everyone, I am sharing myself not so much as to solicit advice- but in hopes that for those who can relate to my situation and journey- won’t feel so alone and can let go of self-judgement.
    I am insecure, immature, afraid, greedy and selfish. I’m not JUST those things, but there is such shame with admitting characteristics that EVERYONE has anyway! Maybe they don’t have them with the same amounts, but show me someone who says that they are not in any way selfish or insecure and I’ll show you a LIAR.
    With that said, I’m just another broken human being trying to make my way through life and love.

  8. 48
    Julia

    @Karmic #50
      
    I think the women who would be the first to discount Vencker’s advice because she is anti-feminist, anti-liberal, etc, are the ones who would benefit the most from it. Ironic. Essentially the good advice would be thrown out with the bathwater.  
    Funny how you just shove stereotypes out there and act like they have some credibility to it. Just because I believe that all people should be treated equally DOES NOT mean I am somehow mean to or dislike men. I would say that my belief in the inherent goodness of people and my desire for equality is probably what makes me an empathetic and caring person. You don’t know a thing about how I treat men, so please, stop throwing around BS you grab from PUA sites. I can choose to ignore people because they hate other people. People like that don’t deserve my money. Evan doesn’t hate and is fair, which is why I chose to spend my money with him.

  9. 49
    amydk

    Evan, I vote to leave the comments! I love the comments!
    Let someone monitor it for you. Only respond to direct questions, not people who misread or disagree with you. The rest of us are smart enough to understand how those people got it wrong.
      
    Good luck on your new website!!

  10. 50
    Karmic Equation

    @Julia
      
    Get over yourself. I don’t read your posts, except when they’re directed to me.

  11. 51
    Joe

    @Evan – please keep the comments. As others have said, great learning has come from the comments (especially from some of the notables, i.e. Karmic, Karl R, Starthrower, Goldie, etc).
      
    Also, thanks for defending yourself when commentors intentionally misconstrue and misrepresent you – the clarification is often very insightful (and has meant I haven’t felt the need to step in and defend you myself).
      
    Perhaps getting a couple interns would be useful?
      
      
    And now to defend Evan, because he deserves it for helping all of us.
    @Nathan #51 and #21
    You continue to do just what Evan is defending himself against – you are misconstruing his statements just like the original posters whom Evan is correcting – in other words using a “strawman”.
      
    All Evan’s done is correct people when they misrepresent him and what he’s said – something he MUST do to protect his professional image. That you don’t understand this makes me question your appeal to your own supposed “blogger” authority. Frankly I don’t find that much of a claim to authority anyway, although clearly you do.
      
    It’s disingenuous to use argumentation techniques such as these to misrepresent Evan – and demonstrates the commenter’s purpose is to obfuscate useful ideas and concepts rather than expose them to be dicussed.
      
      

  12. 52
    Karmic Equation

    Wow. Lady Z, I hope that you’re exaggerating. Because if you’re not, your life sounds so sad.

    While one should practice self-denial and self-restraint situationally and for good purpose…if you feel “loving” = “suffering”, then that doesn’t sound at all healthy.

    Loving someone should feel good overall. And I would even say that when one practices self-denial and self-restraint during the times that it’s needed, after that situation has passed, and upon reflection, one should feel good about having practiced it. If in the aftermath of exhibiting self-control, you still feel bad, then that’s not good.

    Sometimes when I tell people to seek therapy they get all huffy because they think I’m telling them they’re crazy (and sometimes, yes, I am saying exactly that). But I’m going to say it to you not because I think you’re crazy, but rather because therapy does help people whose perspective have been too skewed by abnormal life experiences. I think having been in 26 foster homes is bound to have had a skewing effect.

    Love feels good almost all the time. And yes one sometimes needs to sacrifice for it. But that sacrifice feels good when seen through hindsight. If that isn’t how you feel, please consider talking to someone who is in a good relationship or who can guide you into feeling good about yourself and love. Good luck.

  13. 53
    Lady Z

    @ Karmic Equation #57
    I am actually shopping around for a good old-fashioned analyst/psychiatrst now. I appreciate your perspoective and the tactful delivery of your suggestion. My life has been sad—- Thanks for the empathic response. I intend to work towards healing, so that I can someday help others who are in the same place as myself.
      
    Best!

  14. 54
    Karl S

    I stumbled across your blog accidentally sometime about a year ago and have been hooked ever since. I don’t doubt it gets exhausting having to address people who constantly misconstrue your arguments in the comments section, but I’m also sure that a large amount of readers besides myself get excited whenever your red-outlined box appears as we scroll down the screen, because we know that you’re about to lay the smack-down on somebody using reason and practical thinking in the same way comedian David Mitchell tears foolish notions to shreds with his own laser sharp logic.

  15. 55
    Suzanne Venker

    Hello All,
    I don’t usually respond much to comments re my work–bc of time, not bc I wouldn’t like to engage with each and every person who has something to say about what I’ve written. But I feel compelled to this time.
    To Ruby and Goldie: I don’t know which aspect of my “politics” you find reprehensible. Have you actually read my articles and books? Like Evan, one of the things I find shocking is how much extrapolation people do, or assumptions people make, about writers without ever having read anything they’ve written. If I haven’t done my homework, I make it a point to say nothing–and I’m always surprised at how few people do the same thing.  I do not work closely with Phyllis Schlafly, nor am I involved in her organization in any way. She and I simply collaborated on one book several years ago. That’s it. I also have no opinion about how many children women have or if they even have them.  
    To Lady Z: I offer consultations if you’re interested. Not sure if Evan allows links on his comment section or not, but you can find the page at the top of my own site. (www.suzannevenker.com) The ‘getting over oneself’ is so important for any marriage.
    To Cat5: I believe Evan overstates the political piece. I understand he’s just defending himself, but I honestly don’t believe the book is very political. For instance: the Hollywood thing. Here’s an excerpt from the book:
    “When it comes to making good decisions in life, particularly big ones, it is absolutely essential that you surround yourself with positive influences. The more you surround yourself with people or messages that support your goal, the more successful you will be in your mission.  
    As an example, suppose you wanted to lose a bunch of weight and had a choice between two doors you could open to help you accomplish your goal. Behind the first door is a roomful of obese people, and behind the second door is a roomful of strong, healthy, fit people–Dr. Oz types. Which door would you want to open? It’s a no-brainer, isn’t it? If you’re serious about losing weight, you need to be around people who can help you get there. The same is true with marriage.”
    From there I explain that the cultural messages people get re sex, men, marriage, etc. are counterproductive to long-term unions. As Lena Dunham of the hit HBO series Girls told the New York Times: “I heard so many of my friends saying, ‘Why can’t I have sex and feel nothing?’ It was amazing: that this was the new goal. There’s a biological reason why women feel about sex the way they do and why men feel about sex the way they do. It’s not as simple as divesting yourself of your gender roles.”
    Yet this is the exact message coming thru our screens via Hollywood today. Which means people have to be able to ignore those messages if they want to understand gender relations.  So that’s just one example. I don’t think that’s a political statement–it’s just a fact.
    I would invite anyone who’s interested in my work to be a subscriber on my site. You’ll learn a lot more about who I really am and what I really think. Plus you get free stuff!
    Suzanne Venker
      

  16. 56
    Karl T

    Karl S #59,
    I think you read my mind.   I feel the exact same way about those red-outlined boxes!! LOL.   Well said!

  17. 57
    Gina

    From p. 55 “Please read this carefully: you can never, ever, change your man. Ever. Did I say ever? Ever. You can’t love a man so hard and so well that your problems will magically disappear. You can’t convince him to see life your way if he doesn’t… Bottom line: if you don’t love a man exactly as he is, even if he never changes a stinkin’ thing, get out.
    It is probably some sort of evolution on my part, but I realized that, some things really are not worth fighting for.   Seriously, a man leaving a toilet seat up is not a big deal.   A man cheating, being disrespectful and not being there for me is.   In my new relationship I had to ask, will I accept that he likes to ride motorcycles, although it was new information into dating for a month? My answer is yes.  
    Perhaps dissatisfaction in previous dating situations, being single for most of the past years due to getting my life back on track made me appreciate a man, and I love being treated like a women, for instance him opening car doors, or holding grocery bags for me (not because I can’t) but its nice to be treated feminine.  

  18. 58
    Fusee

    @LadyZ #52 and #58: although I have no qualification to recommend psychotherapy, it does look like you could benefit from more help than dating coaching and commenter’s suggestions (although a practice of gratitude is beneficial to everyone, really). Sometimes one needs a bit of help to find harmony within oneself, and it’s okay. It does not make you “broken”.
      
    But since you also look for DIY ideas, I would really recommend you to study the Enneagram, especially from authors Riso and Hudson who developed the part on the Levels of Developments. Look at for a valuable, easy, (and free) start.
      
    @Karmic Equation #57: “And I would even say that when one practices self-denial and self-restraint during the times that it’s needed, after that situation has passed, and upon reflection, one should feel good about having practiced it. If in the aftermath of exhibiting self-control, you still feel bad, then that’s not good.”
      
    Thank you for this comment! You put in clear words something I certainly feel in my relationship and would have been unable to verbalize. Most relationships will indeed involve a certain amount of self-control, amount depending on the people’s personalities and characters. The more chill/easy-going one or both parties are, the less self-control will be needed. But if one/both are more intense/reactive, there will be need for more self-restraint from at least one party. In that case it should feel like an uncomfortable “stretch”, but as soon as it’s over, the feeling should be satisfying because of the immediate benefit of having shown self-control in the situation that needed it. A little bit like the comforting endorphins after an adequate work-out that was not too easy, but not too taxing either. Feeling too much “stretching” and it might be a signal for non-readiness for a relationship and/or not enough compatibility, which requires too much self-denial in the relationship.
      
    When I succeed in biting my tongue and refrain from saying something unproductive (too much chatter or something unpleasant), I feel the “stretch” of the burning desire to say it nevertheless. When I succeed in self-control, and realize that the interaction benefited from me not saying what I SO wanted to say, I feel good, and I give myself a brownie point : )

  19. 59
    Rose

    Susan
    “Hello All,
    I don’t usually respond much to comments re my work–bc of time, not bc I wouldn’t like to engage with each and every person who has something to say about what I’ve written. But I feel compelled to this time.
    To Ruby and Goldie: I don’t know which aspect of my “politics” you find reprehensible. Have you actually read my articles and books? Like Evan, one of the things I find shocking is how much extrapolation people do, or assumptions people make, about writers without ever having read anything they’ve written. If I haven’t done my homework, I make it a point to say nothing–and I’m always surprised at how few people do the same thing. I do not work closely with Phyllis Schlafly, nor am I involved in her organization in any way. She and I simply collaborated on one book several years ago. That’s it. I also have no opinion about how many children women have or if they even have them. “

    From my research it appears that you are basing your assumptions and opinions are your own individual experience and perspective as a wife and Mother with no scientifically researched or relationship qualifications to validate your individual opinion. So I feel surprised at your comment “If I haven’t done my homework, I make it a point to say nothing–” That statement feels ironic tom me.
    I also feel curious to why you do not mention that Phylis Schafly whom you previously collaborated and co wrote a book with is in fact you Aunt. As such she has played a part in your development of how you experience and perceive the world and the formation of your opinion and perspective on relationships.

  20. 60
    Ruby

    SV #60
      
    “I do not work closely with Phyllis Schlafly, nor am I involved in her organization in any way. She and I simply collaborated on one book several years ago. That’s it.”
      
    Several years ago? The book came out in March of 2011. You and Schlafly have done several (more than two) interviews together since then, to talk about the book. The most recent one I saw was actually last month on American History TV (C-Span), sponsored by the conservative think tank, The Heritage Foundation. But I suppose you see nothing wrong with disavowing any relationship with your aunt in order to gain a wider audience for your work.
      

      
    ” I don’t know which aspect of my “politics” you find reprehensible. Have you actually read my articles and books?
      
    The direct quotations in my post come from your own words; I didn’t make them up, and yes, I’ve read articles you’ve written, as well as interviews you’ve given.  
      
    Here’s a well-written piece about you in the St Louis Riverfront Times: http://www.riverfronttimes.com/2011-05-26/news/suzanne-venker-phyllis-schlafly-flipside-of-feminism/full/
      
    “I honestly don’t believe the book is very political.”
      
    At the end of the Riverfront Times piece, you are quoted as saying, “”How other people raise their children does affect my family,” she insists. “My kids are gonna marry your kids. We’re all in it together. This is why we get so involved in the politics of it.””

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