It’s been a record 16+ days of rain in the Washington D.C. area. It’s perfect weather for staying in to read, or to dream of reading on a sunny beach. I tend to gravitate toward chicklit (I did write one, after all), but I’m open to all kinds of genres. That’s why I was excited to see Good Housekeeping magazine’s list of “50 Books Every Woman Should Read Before She Turns 40.” (Also, I’m not far from 40.)
Good Housekeeping says women should “consider this your life’s library.” If that’s the case, women will be facing a depressing, lonely and scary life.
To be fair, the list contains classics like Little Women, Pride and Prejudice, and Little House on the Prairie, as well as mass-market bestsellers like 50 Shades of Grey, The Color Purple, Eat Pray Love, and Bridget Jones’ Diary. Those are to be expected, regardless of how you feel about them. But, what stood out to me was the number of radical feminist books in a magazine titled Good Housekeeping.
Good Housekeeping includes the typical Women Studies reading list of feminist, anti-male, anti-traditional gender roles screeds:
- The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan
- Fear of Flying by Erica Jong
- The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf
- The Second Shift by Arlie Russell Hochschild
- Our Bodies, Ourselves (a collection of essays)
Virtue signaling at its finest and most transparent! Feminists’ takeover of women-centered media is nothing new, but the juxtaposition of this list of books and Good Housekeeping cover article titles made me chuckle. Here are a few:
- Joyce Brothers: Why Liz Taylor Can’t Stay Married (March 1982)
- What You Can Do About Obscene Telephone Calls (September 1967)
- Hearty Dinners He’s Sure to Love You For (February 1970)
- The Way to a Man’s Heart: Decadent Recipes for Dinner a Deux (February 2014)
- Marriage Rehab: Last-Chance Methods That Work (April 1998)
- Child Watching: How to Tell If They’re Truly Happy (June 1978)
- Have You Let Yourself Go? Try Our Instant Makeover! (September 2007)
Good Housekeeping shouldn’t feel shame for its magazine’s title or content. Empowering women doesn’t mean spouting feminist talking points or promoting their books. The magazine should drop the virtue signaling and add these books to their list:
Who Stole Feminism? How Women Betrayed Women by Christina Hoff Sommers
This book was instrumental in arming me with the truth about the information feminists disseminate and that the media take as fact. Ever hear that stat about domestic violence being high on the Super Bowl? False. That one in four females are sexually assaulted during college? False. Sommers also gives a critical eye to the various types of feminism. Her book, The War Against Boys, is also worth reading.
Tied Up in Knots: How Getting What We Wanted Made Women Miserable by Andrea Tantaros
Tied Up in Knots unties the lies of self-centered radical feminism. It is a great response to the effects of the radical feminist books from the Good Housekeeping list. Tantaros explores the effect their philosophy had on our parents, and the consequences for our generation and future generations of women. We were told traditional gender roles should be ignored, which led to blurred lines and failed “starter” marriages. We were told motherhood wasn’t as important as our careers, which led to heartbreaking stories of single women and couples desperate for IVF and adoption miracles.
Bitter is the New Black by Jen Lancaster
In Lancaster’s first book she recounts her story of going from the perfect job to the unemployment line. She’s snarky, but it’s often directed back at herself. It’s an important read for any woman who has experienced unemployment and needs inspiration for getting through it.
Blyth’s book sheds light on the world of women’s media. She was the editor-in-chief of Ladies’ Home Journal and was part of the elite women’s media for over 20 years. This book provides great insight, especially on the phony “science” reporting meant to scare women in order to sell magazines.
She’s written 11 New York Times bestsellers. Pick one on a subject that interests you. One of my favorites is How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must) because it has some of her early essays from the late John F. Kennedy, Jr’s George magazine. One reason to read Coulter is because it showcases a female writer who does well-researched, witty books that don’t rely on gimmicks (see: every I’m a _____, But Also a Conservative! book).
The Pioneer Woman Cooks by Ree Drummond
Drummond has several cookbooks under this title (Holidays, Dinnertime) and they’re all really good. Many people know her from her cooking show on Food Network. I love seeing her family’s adventures on the ranch and every recipe I’ve made from her cookbooks has been fantastic. Good Housekeeping has been right for 40+ years – there’s nothing wrong with cooking for your man (or anyone else).
In Men On Strike, Smith tackles how men got to the point of not even trying to achieve the societal goals associated with success. Popular wisdom keeps telling us that men are stuck in an adolescent stage of non-committal relationships, video games and beer pong. However, Smith writes that men are putting off marriage and fatherhood as a rational, not immature, choice. As a single woman, I’m hoping either societal trends change or there are a few “scabs” out there willing to cross the picket line for women who still appreciate them. The key is for women to reject the empty promises of radical feminism and become the partners the good men want.