Reflections on Mona Charen

Recently, the Buckley Program hosted best selling author, Mona Charen, to discuss her new book, Sex Matters: How Modern Feminism Lost Touch with Science, Love, and Common Sense. One Fellow, reflected on the dinner.

For 40 years, Mona Charen has been a vocal and respected conservative presence in Washington. Known widely for her pro-Israel views, along with her two bestselling books “Useful Idiots” and “Do-Gooders,” Charen has had an illustrious career that has included stints at the National Review, the Reagan White House, and CNN. Recently, she has come under attack for her anti-Trump views.

While all fascinating, none of those topics were what she came to speak with the Buckley Program about. At an intimate dinner with 15 Buckley Fellows at Union League Café, Mrs. Charen sat down to discuss her new book, “Sex Matters: How Modern Feminism Lost Touch with Science, Love, and Common Sense.” Throughout our discussion she examined one central question: “Has the feminist movement made women happier?” She believes the answer is a resounding no, attributing the weakening of the American family and today’s broken dating culture to the overly-aggressive feminist movement.

She started the discussion by examining one of the largest stories of the past year: the “Me Too” movement. In particular, the case of Aziz Ansari. Charen believes, unequivocally, that what he did was not wrong. While she admits he did in fact slightly pressure the anonymous “Grace,” what he did was not out of line and he definitely did not commit sexual assault. Instead, Charen alleges that “Grace” is throwing around that term in order to be noticed. What “Grace” did in coming forward was not a feminist act; it was a lie, and what happened with Ansari was simply a product of the hookup culture that the feminist movement itself has caused.

As the conversation continued, Charen discussed the fundamental differences between men and women. A major flaw with the feminist movement that Charen points out is that feminists believe equality and sameness are synonyms. They believe that, in order for men and women to be equal, everyone must act as though they are identical. Instead, Charen thinks that the differences between the sexes should be recognized. In one example, she asserts that just because men are better at reading maps and women are better at reading faces, that does not mean that one is better than the other.

The fascinating discussion lamented the loss of chivalry, explored the dark side of the liberal feminist movement, and taught us all that equality does not mean ignoring differences, it means celebrating them. We look forward to hosting Mrs. Charen again in the future!