July 21 2014
Ravishly Magazine Talks to Christina Hoff Sommers
Quote of the Day:
We know your interests are random, remarkable and far-reaching — you care about the world and you care about your shoes. And we believe it’s the sum of our beautifully disparate parts that makes us a force to be reckoned with. You might pine for Real Housewives and read Kafka. You might rock climb, drink like a fish and knit sweaters. You might be married and you might have six lovers; you might have kids and you might have iguanas. You may be a couture connoisseur, a stamp collector and a news junkie.
--Ravishly, the online magazine for women, describing its target audience
Well, I don’t have any pet iguanas, but I know iconoclasm when I see it and want to commend to your attention Ravishly’s fascinating interview with Factual Feminist vlogger Christina Hoff Sommers, who is also a philosopher at the American Enterprise Institute and an IWF friend.
Not only did the interviewer ask genuinely interesting questions (I’ve known Christina for years and yet I learned some new things about her), but the magazine let Christina have the space to explain her ideas clearly. The interview ranges from Christina’s groundbreaking book Who Stole Feminism?, which was published in 1994, to her latest book, Freedom Feminism—Its Surprising History and Why It Matters Today.
A few nuggets:
Classical equality of opportunity feminism (I call it “freedom feminism”) is a legitimate human rights movement. There were arbitrary laws holding women back. Women organized and set things right. But, as I try to show in my writings, that reality-based movement has been hijacked by male-averse, conspiracy-minded activists. (I call them “gender feminists"). American women happen to be among the freest, most self-determining people in the world, but the gender feminists seek to liberate them from an all-encompassing “patriarchal rape culture.” What is their evidence that such a culture exits? They point to their own research as proof. But most of that research, including their famous statistics on women’s victimization, is spurious. Gender feminism is the opposite of an evidence-based movement—it’s propaganda based. Social movements fueled by paranoia and fantasy tend to be toxic. …
Hashtag feminism (e.g. #YesAllWomen) is a scourge. It brings out the worst in contemporary feminism: injustice-collecting, trauma-valorizing, male-bashing. It also encourages group think and vigilanteeism. Other than that, it’s fine.
I urge you to read the entire interview.