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THE election of women as leaders in Chile, Liberia and Germany may cause feminists to imagine an era where they will be standing toe to toe with their male enemies on the world stage.

The fantasy has even been fuelled by the promotion of Geena Davis to US President in the television series Commander in Chief.

Davis is seen as a Hollywood prelude to Hillary Clinton's run for the White House.

But the feminist euphoria in thinking women can solve all the world's problems could be shortlived. We have had many female prime ministers and presidents in the past.

There was Britain's "Iron Lady" Margaret Thatcher, Israel's Golda Meir, India's Indira Gandhi, Sri Lanka's Sirimavo Bandaranaike and Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan.

None was noted for advancing the feminist cause.

Indeed, Thatcher was loathed by the sisterhood, most of whom could barely acknowledge she was female.

"Grocer's daughter" was the epithet hurled at her, with the emphasis on grocer.

Why are feminists such professional snobs?

One Nation's Pauline Hanson was repeatedly described as running a fish-and-chip shop as if that was her main credential.

Of the new titleholders, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany is conservative and intent on repairing Germany's relationship with that bete noir of feminists, President George W. Bush.

She worked at one time as a barmaid in the former East Germany to put herself through university, rejecting both communism and feminism as dogma.

Liberia's President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf aims to eliminate the corruption plaguing her poverty-stricken country.

Her inauguration was attended by US First Lady Laura Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

This is not exactly a feminist scenario.

The only president who fits the feminist mould appears to be Michelle Bachelet of Chile.

Single mum, socialist-marxist, and former political prisoner during the Pinochet regime, she may indeed advance the feminist cause.

But will that make the women of Chile any happier? Are women anywhere in the world happier because of feminism?

Kate O'Beirne, a US National Review columnist, has a new book, Women Who Make the World Worse. This is a serious examination of 30- plus years of feminist policies.

O'Beirne recounts the hypocrisy of powerful feminist leaders during the Clinton years -- Bill, that is.

She compared them to battered spouses willing to endure any humiliation so long as they didn't lose their man.

"As long as Bill Clinton supported abortion rights, affirmative action, and federal child care, it didn't matter that he was a sexual predator," she writes.

Feminism, far from promoting the happiness and well-being of women and society, has instead left great swathes of melancholy in its wake.

O'Beirne mentions one large study of well-being data on 100,000 Americans and Britons from the early 1970s to the late 1990s.

It found that while US men had grown happier, women were 20 per cent less happy.

The so-called "women's movement" was and is a misnomer. Feminists honestly believe they speak for all women: "I think this way, I am a woman, I represent all women."

This is nonsense.

In 1984, feminist Bella Abzug confidently predicted the victory of the Walter Mondale-Geraldine Ferraro ticket as "women . . . join across all racial, social, and regional lines in stark opposition to President Reagan and his policies."

Women voted for the Ronald Reagan ticket over Mondale-Ferraro by 56 per cent per cent to 44 per cent.

Feminists now claim that they were never against marriage and family. Currently they are all for same-sex marriage and lesbian families.

BUT in 1971, Ms magazine founder Robin Morgan called marriage "a slavery-like practice -- we cannot destroy inequities between men and women until we destroy marriage".

Germaine Greer recommended all women leave their husbands in search of more satisfying "rambling organic structures". Seaweed perhaps?

Logic is not a feminist strong point and Kate O'Beirne's book is a useful reality check for those anticipating a feminist commander in chief.




BABETTE FRANCIS is co-ordinator of the Endeavour Forum, a counter- feminist, anti-abortion group



Member Organisation, World Council for Life and Family

NGO in Special Consultative Status with ECOSOC of the UN