Andrea Tantaros joined Breitbart News Daily on Wednesday to discuss her new bestselling book Tied Up in Knots: How Getting What We Wanted Made Women Miserable.
Tantaros explained to SiriusXM host and Breitbart Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon that her “provocative” pose on the book’s cover was intentional.
“The culture is very provocative,” she said. “I mean, if you look at what’s going on today, the entire culture has coarsened; it’s been sexualized; it is raunchy, and it is raw. So, the cover reflects a society that has frankly devolved and not evolved. But it is a metaphor, a play of off Wonder Woman’s power pose… You remember she put her hands above her head, and she’d cross her hands, and she did all of her powerful superhero work with her lasso of truth. So, I’m pretty tied up in the lasso of truth in the power pose, which many women are today.”
“I thought women’s liberation was that everybody could have it all, you could do it all, you could be it all… You’re saying that that might have happened and women are more miserable today than they’ve ever been?” Bannon asked.
“Yes, if you look at the numbers it’s incredible,” she replied. “There’s a declining paradox of female happiness, as the New York Times put it. Every study that you see, women are less happy than they used to be. Men are actually more happy, and there are a number of theories for this, but mostly because men used to have the power and all the responsibility, women did what I like to call the power trade, where we gave up everything that was powerful about being a woman – our femininity, the fact that we can procreate, basically keep civilization alive and well. We gave all that up to act more like men, to emulate men in a covetous quest for their careers, the way that they work, the way that they play, the way that they date.”
“We were told to emulate men, and it’s caused this sort of rise of the lady bro,” she continued. “We were also told to sort of shirk our feminine desires. So, women don’t really speak up nowadays, especially young women, to say I want to get married, I want to have kids.”
Tantaros said this was a natural result of “decades of listening to women like Hillary Clinton who besmirched motherhood and stay-at-home moms.” Tantaros called this “the subtle brainwashing of the culture” through popular mediums like television that reinforced the message that “women can have it all, you don’t need a man, you can do it yourself.”
“And that was the other piece of feminism — convincing women that they don’t need men,” she added.
“But this is where you’re losing me,” Bannon interjected. “I can hear all the women on social media right now. I can hear their heads blowing up. You’re not saying go back to Victorian times because, I mean, you’re a modern woman, right? You’ve kind of made your way in the world. You’re on Fox. You’re beating guys up every day. I mean, you take no prisoners. In your own life, haven’t you [lived] this modern concept of womanhood? Hasn’t it worked for you where you can compete everywhere and you can kind of compete with guys and it’s a level playing field or at least try to be a level playing field and you’re a living personification of that?”
Tantaros explained that she has no desire to turn back the advances the feminists made for women. This isn’t a typical book by a conservative “tearing down feminists,” she stressed.
“In this book I give a lot of credit to the feminists,” she said. “I myself am a feminist, and they did a ton of good. This book is not the typical book that most conservative women write. I mean, you can tell just by looking at the cover.”
“This isn’t an ‘I hate you, feminist’ book at all,” she said. “In fact, I tip my hat to them over and over and over in the book because, as you point out, I could never do what I’m doing — I could never be on the radio with you — if it wasn’t for the early feminists that pushed for equal rights. And it was rightful. And it was noble.”
“The problem is we don’t talk about the downside in an honest way,” she explained. “Conservatives don’t show up to the culture war like Breitbart does. And Andrew Breitbart, he knew this instinctively. The culture is [where] the battle lines are drawn and the real wars are won.”
Tantaros noted how the culture war issues will affect the 2016 presidential election. “This isn’t going to be an election about Obamacare. It’s not going to be an election about ISIS. It’s going to be fought on the culture, in the culture,” she said.
Democrats used to be the party of “the working man” and “the party of unions,” she said, but “that is all gone. You see that voting bloc breaking with Trump and breaking with Sanders, especially last night” after the West Virginia primary.
“So, where do Democrats go? They go to the social issues. They go to the culture,” Tantaros asserted. “Last election, it was birth control and women’s issues. Now it’s bathrooms, Everything is about women and men – transgender, birth control, all the abortion. Everything is about women and men, and this is shaping up to be a battle of the sexes… everything is taking place in the culture, which is where I squarely placed myself in this book because women or men, whether you’re right or left, you’re going to have natural biological wiring. There’s gender roles, there’s realities about men and women. We are equal, and I’m glad that we have equal rights, but we’re not the same and that was a big miscalculation of feminists.”
Tantaros described her book as a “an honest look at what feminism has done.”
She listed some of the candid questions her books asks: “Why are more women logging on to Tinder? Why are they giving up monogamy and joining men on Tinder? I explore that. What happens when you have more women making more than their husbands with this rise of the female breadwinner boom? We’ll talk about these issues on the radio, we’ll read an article in the Wall Street Journal, and then we move on. My book doesn’t do that. It says okay, what are the cultural effects of women making more money than their partners? There’s got to be effects to that, so let’s dig into it. What happens when men don’t man up and ask women on dates — when dating rituals are gone because women said they don’t need men? That’s what I get into in the book.”
Bannon asked her to explain “what happens to this generation of millennials that have been kind of raised in the latter stages of the feminist movement?”
Tantaros said delves into that answer in the second half of her book where she discusses how pornography has been mainstreamed. In particular, she highlights the thinking of feminists like Cosmopolitan Magazine editor Helen Gurley Brown, who “encouraged women to put your sexuality out there.”
Tantaros explained that Brown told women, “Listen, you’re never going to tear down the patriarchy if, you man-haters Gloria Steinem and Betty Freidan. So, just use your sexuality to navigate it.”
What we have now is young girls completely taking monogamy off the table. They feel pressure if they don’t say, according to a study, give up the milk on the first, second, or third date. They’re petrified that they’re going to get dumped, and a man’s just going to go back on Tinder and find another 12 women, and they’re going to be cast to the side. That is not to me the definition of female empowerment. Fear and playing by a man’s rules? How did this all backfire? So you see these young girls dealing with revenge porn. You see them dealing with men opting out of marriage in staggering numbers.
Men are just checking out of society. I believe Breitbart called it the sex-odus. Really, really great reporting that Breitbart has done on this issue. So again, this tackles some uncomfortable issues, some jaw-dropping issues, provocative issues, but that is the reality, folks.
We can bury our heads in the sand as conservatives and ignore it, or we can weigh in and turn that wheel just a little bit to the right, so we can move people culturally to the right. Conservatives lose that fight every single time.
And I have to tell you this. The founder of Jezebel, and we all know Jezebel, it’s a very liberal website, she called me up and she said, ‘I’m reading your book and I agree with 95 percent of it.’ … She said, ‘I’m doggy-earing pages, I’m nodding.’ She said there’s a couple parts where ‘I’m going, oh come on,’ she said, but… she said, ‘I love it,’ and we’re actually — we bonded over that. But to have her praise and to have her say ‘I love this book’ meant a lot.
When I wrote this book I thought there’s no way that feminists can disagree with this because as women, it’s not about being right or left. And men — I defend men fervently in this book. Lot of stuff for guys in this book. It’s not about male or female. It’s not about right or left. Anyone can read this book. It’s just about being a human being and seeing what’s happening to the culture and how women in all these wonderful positions of power, how it’s affected our relationships between men and women, and it’s staggering to see the results.
Tantaros noted that we can see this “gender war” taking shape in the 2016 presidential election.
The men voters who have “checked out of society” are also struggling economically. “These are the Trump voters,” she said. “These are the Sanders voters that are eventually I think going to move over to Trump’s side. So, you’re seeing the effects of feminism playing out in a presidential election because the men are fighting back with a vote for Trump — finally a candidate that they feel actually speaks for them, speaks up for them.”
On the other side, Tantaros said, “You have Hillary Clinton, whose campaign is frankly unraveling, hoping that she can play the woman card, rally women while Trump plays the man card and challenges her on her accusations that he’s a misogynist with Bill Clinton as her husband. So, this is a war of the sexes that is shaping up, which is why everyone should go get my book and see the cultural effects of all of this.”
Breitbart News Daily airs on SiriusXM Patriot 125 weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Eastern.
Listen to the full interview below: