Boise State University political-science Professor Scott Yenor has some very interesting ideas about women folk and their newfangled gumption to have things like jobs and careers. While speaking at the National Conservatism Conference, he called on women to be barred from fields like engineering, medical school and law so that they’ll focus on “feminine goals” like “homemaking and having children.”
“Young men must be respectable and responsible to inspire young women to be secure with feminine goals of homemaking and having children,” Yenor told his audience, according to the Idaho Statesman. “Every effort must be made not to recruit women into engineering, but rather to recruit and demand more of men who become engineers. Ditto for med school, and the law and every trade,” he said. Remarkably, the Statesman reports that he gave these comments on October 31st of this year, and not 1845.
The comments went viral and attracted some outrage from normal people, but Yenor doubled down on Twitter. “Our independent women are more medicated, meddlesome, and quarrelsome than women need to be,” he said. “Without connections to eternity delivered through their family, such women gain their meaning through their seeming participation in the global project.” In a further recorded statement, Yenor argues that when feminists fight to be independent and empowered, what they really mean is “this woman is independent of the family” and she is empowered “because her identity is career based.” The notion that women may be seeking independence from, say, outdated restrictions about what life options are available to them and empowerment to have the same opportunities as men does not appear to be consideration.
— Scott Yenor (@scottyenor) November 30, 2021
“Sure, the weakening of the family has been good for some,” he continues. “But for others it has brought addiction, suicide, misery, crime, pain and purposelessness.” It would be very interesting to see the citations for the laying all this at the feet of the feminist revolution, but Yenor does not offer any. Interesting! It’s true that suicide rates have been on the rise in the U.S. since roughly 2000, though the climb has been disproportionately fueled by men. Meanwhile, the U.S. violent crime rate has been dropping since colonial times and, following a post-WWII increase that lasted through the 1990s, declined ever since.
The best you could maybe argue is that more women in the workplace has led to a greater number of women feeling dissatisfied with their professional careers, but this would not be unique to women. About 43 percent of Americans are dissatisfied with their jobs, with women’s general dissatisfaction ticking up slightly higher than men’s during the COVID-19 pandemic. And although job satisfaction has thankfully rising in recent years, the fact remains that a huge number of both men and women in this country don’t like their careers. That’s a serious issue, but it clearly transcends gender.
Too long; didn’t read: What is Yenor talking about?
Whatever it is, he’s talked about it on a number of Christian platforms such as the Christian Post and First Things. He’s also written about Christianity in the public space for the Claremont Review of Books and published a paper of how “The Framers intended the nation to be based on Christian values” for BSU.
At the end of the recorded clip, Yenor says that “We should be building a country where young girls are encouraged to be mothers and wives, as well as enjoying fulfilling jobs, if they choose.” For starters, the question of where this leaves women who are single or childless either by choice or otherwise is, as you might expect, not here addressed. But even tabling that significant caveat, there is simply no reason these two paths have to be a zero-sum game. The needs of every family are different, as are the personal and professional dreams of every woman. We, as a nation, have the resources to make sure women and families are free to pursue such dreams. We should use them.
Tyler Huckabee is RELEVANT's senior editor. He lives in Nashville with his wife, dog and Twitter account.