Lights, Camera, Hypocrisy!

Just in time for the Christmas season, there's a hideous little movie being advertised online by the Gunn brothers, the celebrated cinematic duo that brought us Shaky Town (on how marauding bands of San Francisco-based gay terrorists want to burn your churches and eat your children). The film is The Monstrous Regiment of Women and the title is just the beginning. With the stated goal of "blasting feminism" and "extolling femininity" (since they are mutually exclusive, natch), The Monstrous Regiment of Women seeks to set the record straight on feminism, which, in case you hadn't heard, has "restricted choices for all women, brought heartache to the lives of many, and perpetuated the largest holocaust since the beginning of time."

Make no mistake: this is not a bunch of men telling women how they should act. This is a bunch of women telling women how they should act. So, if you were planning on challenging the filmmakers' credibility, you can stop right there. In the trailer alone, we hear from the full gamut of womanhood: an anti-feminist campaigner, spokesperson, and author; an anti-feminist homemaker; an anti-abortion ex-abortion provider who has had an abortion; another anti-feminist homemaker; another anti-feminist author; a lady academic; and a former lady soldier. What views could possibly be left unrepresented by this group? Highlights follow.

First up, there's celebrated anti-feminist and Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly, who's made a decades-long career out of condemning career women. She trots out the now-familiar argument that feminism actually oppresses women, because it convinces them that they're victims of an oppressive, patriarchal regime. But who needs patriarchy when you've got Phyllis Schlafly? She keeps women in their place more effectively than centuries of male domination ever could.

Then there's Carol Everett, who shudders to recall her days in the "abortion industry," spent trying to push girls into sexual activity so that they would later need abortions. Everett got involved in the abortion promotion racket after her husband and her doctor forced her to have an abortion herself (Don't tell Phyllis Schlafly, you self-victimizing patriarchy-imaginer!). Today, Everett runs the Heidi Group, which offers "support services" in the form of anti-abortion counseling to young, poor, unwed mothers and mothers-to-be (From their online FAQ: Q: "Can I bring my children with me to my appointments or classes? A: At this time, child care is not provided. To serve you better, we encourage you to make arrangements for your children when you come to an appointment or class."). The full testimony of Everett's abortion-profiteering days is available from Priests for Life.

Moving on, we get the obligatory anti-Hillary screed from celebrated authoress F. Carolyn Graglia, who informs us that real women have more than one child. Graglia penned On Domestic Tranquility: A Brief Against Feminism, which, according to a Library Journal review, blames the following on social ills on the f word: "the demise of the traditional family, the degradation of the homemaker, the spread of venereal disease, the growth of income disparity, and the defeat of the United States in Vietnam." According to a reader, Graglia also believes that when a father sexually abuses his daughter, it's actually the mother's fault for not doing a good enough job of sexually satisfying her husband. Obviously.

In another clip, author-homemaker Stacy McDonald gently admonishes us not to dress like whores ("If you wear a uniform that says you're a police officer, you shouldn't be surprised if people think you're a police officer"). Here's what has to say about her book, Raising Maidens of Virtue: A Study of Feminine Loveliness for Mothers and Daughters: "[McDonald's] studies stress control of mouth, hospitality, modesty in dress and manners, faithfulness to the future husband in thought and deed, family relationships, and maintaining purity in a fallen, sinful world…College is not recommended for girls, but rather homemaking skills and preparation for marriage should be their focus." Yes, higher education will only corrupt women. Unless, of course, you're Phyllis Schlafly, who has a B.A. from Washington University, a J.D. from Washington University Law School, and a Master's in Political Science from Harvard; or F. Carolyn Graglia, who has a B.A. from Cornell and a J.D. from Columbia.

Most distressingly, the Gunn brothers interview Jane Doe, an ex-cadet who describes how women are verbally and sexually assaulted during U.S. military training (from which the viewer is to conclude that women should not be allowed to serve in the military, though I had to watch it a few times to figure that one out). I'm not even sure that "Jane" intends us to draw that particular conclusion from her interview, since I wouldn't be surprised if the Gunn brothers told her she was being interviewed for a film about sexism in the military. I was alerted to the existence of this film by some friends who met the filmmakers at the Southern Girls' Convention (an annual feminist student conference), where they claimed to be interviewing participants for a film on the history of feminism and young women's views on feminism. Ethical filmmaking incarnate.

Then again, when you're working toward the higher purpose of "demolish[ing] the feminist worldview," who needs ethics? With so many lessons to keep track of from the trailer alone, I think we need a review checklist. So, ladies, do make a point of avoiding the following activities, as they may disqualify you from being a real woman:

  • Working
  • Having only one child
  • Getting raped
  • Crying
  • Wearing clothes that brand you as "loose"
  • Believing you're a victim of an oppressive, patriarchal male-dominated society (this will lead to a "chip on your shoulder," which is very unwomanly)

Of course, it's okay to write books, go to graduate school, edit magazines, maintain websites, and go on lecture tours. As long as you focus your numerous public activities on condemning women who work outside the home, you should still safely count as a homemaker. Do the Academy Awards have a special category for hypocrisy?

Play Feministing's Monstrous Regiment of Women-inspired anti-feminist drinking game here.

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