Author: Christina Hoff Sommers
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
CH Sommers’ classic, anti-feminist tome is to gender relations what Jared Taylor’s Paved with Good Intentions was to race relations; pointing out what many non-indoctrinated people are thinking, but won’t say aloud for fear of ostracism. In addition to the fact that gender is a considerably less controversial topic than race, Sommers has a pass to write this kind of book because she’s a woman and calls herself a feminist. But she’s made the distinction that she is an “equity feminist”, rather than a “gender feminist”, and it is the gender feminists that are the problem.
Let’s be clear; Sommers may call herself a feminist, as one of my good lady friends does, but both of them consider themselves feminists strictly in the 1920, suffragette sense; meaning that they agree with the notion that women can vote, own property and compete in a world that was essentially invented by men. I don’t call this a feminist, and I don’t see why they would want to either, especially since the hard line feminists that Sommers wonderfully takes down don’t distinguish themselves as “gender feminists”, but just feminists. That and one other reason, which I’ll get to later, are why I lop off half an iron cross in my final grading. The whole, “that’s not a real feminist, this is” argument is an example of the “no true Scotsman fallacy.”
One other thing I want to mention before getting to the nitty gritty is how there is another parallel between Who Stole Feminism? and Jared Taylor’s Paved with Good Intentions. In the rape chapter, the one where Sommers talks about how rape hysteria, that 1 in 4 women will be raped on a college campus myth, bogus “you were raped if you had one drop of alcohol and then had sex” surveys have caused government agencies to allocate rape prevention funds to college campuses, rather than to the inner cities, where women are far more likely to be raped. Of course, when Sommers says it’s more likely to happen in the inner city, she neglects to mention who the majority of these rapists are. Hey, you wouldn’t either if you didn’t want to lose a book deal.
In Who Stole Feminism?, Sommers breaks down chapter by chapter how the radical women’s (womyn’s?) movement, in typical Marxist fashion, sought to subvert academic and government institutions for the sole purpose of putting envious narcissists into power. The shocking thing about their endeavor is how easy it was to accomplish, how all of these organizations, such as the American Advancement of University Women (AAUW), had to do was release a few sensational reports about how women are starving themselves to death to be thin or how women are overwhelmingly victims of domestic abuse, especially on Superbowl Sunday, or how women’s self esteem drops when they enter high school or how 1 in 4 – actually the count dropped to 1 in 5, and then again to 1 in 7 – women are likely to raped at universities, and well meaning government officials will vote to allocate funds to “battle” these “societal ills.”
The fact that people still believe that there is a gender pay gap disparity shows how well these apparatCHICKS (heh, heh) managed to push their agenda. For the record, to my leftist friends, the reason women make $0.77 for every man’s dollar is because incomes are tallied for men and women in EVERY profession, ranging from janitor to rocket scientist and then are added up and averaged for both genders. That means that a 74 year old grandmother, who has nothing to do with her time and decides to get a fast food job, is compared with a male doctor. Women tend to work less hours, take less stressful and less dangerous jobs and go into less lucrative majors like sociology or English literature. That’s it.
Unfortunately Sommers neglects to mention how biology might drive some of these choices that women make and even implies that a bit of adjustment might need to be made in the way tenure is done at universities to accommodate women who have children, rather than let the free market do its thang. This is the other reason I chopped half an iron cross in the final grade of the book, but that’s such small part of the book, that it doesn’t undermine the rest of it.
Sommers goes on to describe how university classrooms have become less about education, and more about indoctrination. One student complained about how she went to an English writing class, but rather than learning how to write, was bombarded with feminist pedagogy. She further explains how many feminist activists are trying to eliminate objective truth and knowledge, claiming that objectivity is a “male creation”, and want to substitute it for a subjective, “all inclusive”, gynocentric viewpoint.
The most ridiculous examples of this, which would be laugh out loud funny if it wasn’t actually taken seriously, is Peggy McIntosh’s five phase approach to teaching method. Phase one, the good one, the one that she hates, the “hierarchical” one, is the “malecentric” one, the one where 2+2 is always going to be 4. Phase five is the one where 2+2 is whatever a woman wants it to be. I’m not kidding!
What would a curriculum that offers an inclusive vision of human experience and that attends as carefully to difference and genuine pluralism as to sameness and generalization actually look like?
Pretty damn stupid is how it would look like, and we’re finding out just how stupid every single day.
Sommers name drops some of the most important names in feminism; Naomi Wolf, Betty Friedan, Susan Faludi and a bunch of others who I’m too lazy to research, along with siting the important – and I mean important for the changes they caused, not because they did any particular good – studies, which fundamentally changed much of the educational structure. Keep in mind this book was first published in 1994, the year that the awesome movie PCU came out, back when people were making fun of this stuff. Now it’s all but accepted by students, faculty and much of the general populace.
In the introduction, Sommers says that her son persuaded her against making corny jokes, and this is a good thing. The entire book takes such a straight-forward, dry and academic tone, that it makes the material that much funnier; or at least as funny as it can be before you realize that people take this crap seriously. In other words, the fact that Sommers maintains a poker face while describing how the “vertical approach” to teaching – and I’m not kidding – 1 + 3 +5 to a young girl who had trouble adding would require her to “think vertically, thereby undermining her self-esteem and causing her to become discouraged. She [McIntosh] urged the Brookline teachers to find ways to ‘put… [students] off the right-wrong axis, the win-lose axis.'” Wow.
To answer Sommers question, nobody stole “feminism.” If you don’t want a completely outdated movement, one which accomplished every single goal it was intended to, to be ruined by annoying harpies who want to fundamentally change how America functions in order to increase their narcissistic supply, maybe it’s best to dissociate with “feminism”, and start going by a different term. How about “equalitarian” or just not a retard.