Sommers, Christina Hoff
Christina Hoff Sommers 1950-
American nonfiction writer.
The following entry provides criticism on Sommers's career through 2002.
Sommers attracted wide attention with her controversial Who Stole Feminism? (1994), an indictment of the contemporary feminist movement, and The War against Boys (2000), a polemical critique of feminist influence on the American educational system. A teacher of ethics, history, and feminist theory, Sommers has also compiled two volumes of readings on ethics. While many feminists regard Sommers as a right-wing reactionary, she identifies herself as a liberal feminist. Sommers criticizes what she calls “gender” feminism, which, in her view, portrays women as powerless victims of sexism. She advocates instead a form of “equity” feminism that harkens back to the “first wave” feminism of the nineteenth century. Sommers complains that “American feminism is currently dominated by a group of women who seek to persuade the public that American women are not the free creatures we think we are.”
Sommers was born in Petaluma, California, in 1950. She received a B.A. in philosophy from New York University in 1971 and a Ph.D. in philosophy from Brandeis University in 1979. In 1981 she married Fred Sommers, a professor, with whom she has two sons. From 1980 to 1997 she served as a professor of philosophy at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, during which time she was appointed to a government advisory committee on cultural diversity requirements in the college-accrediting process. Since 1997 she has worked as a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C. With the popular success of Who Stole Feminism? and The War against Boys, Sommers became well-known as a public speaker and a frequent guest on such television talk shows as Nightline, 20/20, The Oprah Winfrey Show, 60 Minutes, Donahue, and Crossfire.
In Who Stole Feminism? Sommers criticizes what she views as the dominant discourse of the feminist movement that emerged in the 1960s and then developed a strong presence in both academia and the popular media during the 1980s and '90s. Sommers refers to this brand of feminism as “gender feminism” which she says portrays women as powerless victims of a patriarchal society. Sommers examines academic and popular-press feminist tracts and points out what she calls “feminist fictions”—myths based on unreliable or nonexistent evidence, put forth by feminists and disseminated by the media. She focuses her critique on such feminist issues as anorexia, domestic violence, rape, and self-esteem, arguing that these concerns have been overblown by feminist writers who misrepresent the facts. Sommers argues against viewing women as victims and is particularly harsh in her criticism of academic feminists, whom she accuses of formulating and purveying fallacious views regarding women's status in today's society. She advocates instead of “gender feminism” a return to “equity feminism,” which focuses on equal opportunity and legal protection for women. Sommers associates “equity feminism” with nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century suffragettes such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton and early post-World War II feminists such as Betty Friedan. Sommers ultimately draws a distinction between the “good old feminism” she advocates and the “bad new feminism” put forth by academic feminists. In The War against Boys Sommers reexamines current attitudes about the quality of public education for boys compared to girls. She begins The War against Boys with the statement, “It's a bad time to be a boy in America.” Sommers asserts that feminist influences, in the process of seeking to redress supposed inequalities against girls, have turned the tide of the American education system against boys. She argues that the notion that the education system is biased in favor of boys and against girls is entirely inaccurate and that, in fact, the reverse has become true.
As an author of polemical tracts highly critical of feminism, Sommers has received both widespread praise and harsh criticism. Many reviewers found that Who Stole Feminism? convincingly rebuts widely disseminated theories put forth by feminists about ongoing gender inequalities in American culture. These critics applauded Sommers's meticulous investigative reporting and her presentation of specific evidence to refute commonly-held feminist beliefs about the status of women. Others, however, criticized Sommers for oversimplifying the wide variety of viewpoints encompassed by feminism. These critics asserted that Sommers overgeneralizes and inaccurately presents feminism as a unified discourse. Sommers has also been censured for quoting many prominent feminist scholars out of context and distorting their ideas in order to make them appear ridiculous. Further, many reviewers criticized Sommers for failing to examine current trends in feminism in a broader social, cultural, and historical context. Many reviewers applauded Sommers's statistical evidence and overall argument in The War against Boys, but some felt that Sommers merely exacerbates the gender war in evaluating education. These critics asserted that greater attention should be paid to the needs of both boys and girls in education, and that Sommers's polemic fails to provide a constructive solution to the problems facing all children.
Vice and Virtue in Everyday Life: Introductory Readings in Ethics [compiler; edited by Robert J. Fogelin] (nonfiction) 1985
Right and Wrong: Basic Readings in Ethics [compiler; edited by Fogelin] (nonfiction) 1986
Who Stole Feminism?: How Women Have Betrayed Women (nonfiction) 1994
The War against Boys: How Misguided Feminism Is Harming Our Young Men (nonfiction) 2000
Scott Jaschik (essay date 15 January 1992)
SOURCE: Jaschik, Scott. “Philosophy Professor Portrays Her Feminist Colleagues as Out of Touch and ‘Relentlessly Hostile to the Family.’” Chronicle of Higher Education 38, no. 19 (15 January 1992): A1, A16, A18.
[In the following essay, Jaschik discusses Sommers's criticisms of feminist scholars, and offers counter-viewpoints of some of the scholars she criticizes.]
Christina Hoff Sommers has “a singular talent for skewering people with their own words,” says her department chairman at Clark University here.
Ms. Sommers, an associate professor of philosophy, has skewered quite a few people lately. Her prime targets are feminist philosophers, who Ms. Sommers says are doing shoddy academic work and are out of touch with most women.
A FOCUS ON EXCESSES
In a series of articles in academic journals and the popular press alike, Ms. Sommers uses quotes from their work to make her points. In the process, she has become a key player in the national debates on “political correctness” and the curriculum. She has also prompted a less-publicized but equally divisive battle in her scholarly discipline.
Her supporters call her courageous for drawing attention to what they consider the excesses of feminist scholarship and political correctness. Her critics say the quotes them out of context and engages in a form of right-wing political correctness in which the ideas of radical scholars, and the scholars themselves, are made to seem silly so that they will never receive a fair hearing from academe or the public.
“She is parasitic,” says Allison M. Jaggar, a professor of philosophy at the University of Colorado at Boulder. “She is sniping from the sidelines, taking things out of context, and attacking people. She doesn't have any positive views to put forward.”
Love her or hate her (and few people familiar with her work fall in between), Ms. Sommers is a force to be reckoned with. Her articles are widely printed and she speaks on many campuses. The chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, Lynne V. Cheney, quotes her in speeches. Education Secretary Lamar Alexander recently appointed her to the federal committee that oversees accrediting agencies. And several foundations have just provided her with grants so that she can take a year off from Clark to write a book about her ideas on feminist philosophy and political correctness.
NEVER INTENDED TO BE AN ‘ACTIVIST’
For all the attention she is attracting, Ms. Sommers insists she never intended to be “an activist” but wanted only to be a teacher and researcher. She got her start studying philosophy at New York University, where she received a bachelor's degree in 1971.
While at NYU in the late 1960's, she joined feminist support groups and helped take over buildings to protest the Vietnam War. “People say I've changed,” she says, “but I don't feel that I've changed. I was protesting hypocrisy, and in those days it was coming from college administrators and the United States government. And now I feel it's coming from college administrators.”
During a junior year in France, Ms. Sommers says she was attracted to the ideas of such philosophers as Jacques Derrida and Michel Foucault. But on her return to New York, she says, her professors were not impressed and urged her to read A. J. Ayer's Language, Truth and Logic.
The book, which she calls “a manifesto of truth and clarity,” had “a profound effect,” Ms. Sommers says. “After I read it, I started to be skeptical of intellectual fashions.”
After graduating, Ms. Sommers worked on her Ph.D., which she received from Brandeis University in 1979. Since then she's been at Clark, where she has a reputation as a popular teacher, but also as a divisive force.
She has published articles on moral education, animal rights, ethics, and Kant.
She led a successful fight at Clark to end the university's policy of asking faculty members proposing new courses to discuss “how pluralistic (minority, women, etc.) views and concerns are explored and integrated into the course.” Ms. Sommers said the question was “intrusive and offensively moralistic.” While many colleagues praise her stance on that issue, many also say she seeks to polarize the campus on various issues, rather than working to resolve differences amicably.
EXPLORING RESEARCH ON THE FAMILY
Ms. Sommers first started to examine feminist philosophy—almost by accident—when in 1986 she started to write papers on the responsibilities of adult children to their parents. She says she was interested in exploring how Kantian and utilitarian philosophers deal with family bonds.
As part of her study, she began to explore what various modern philosophers were writing about the family. When she came to feminist theory, she was stunned. “I started to run into this amazing literature by feminists, which was so relentlessly hostile to the family, revolutionary, and patronizing to most women,” she says.
Ms. Sommers stresses that—despite what her critics say—she is no Phyllis Schlafly. She is a registered Democrat, favors abortion rights, and does not spend all her time with her children. “As a liberal, I say live and let live. If people want to live in revolutionary family communes, that's fine with me,” Ms. Sommers says.
What bothers her, she says, is that feminist philosophers in her opinion are denying choice to women who want traditional families. As she examined feminist theory, Ms. Sommers says she was struck by how it had evolved over time away from ideas she supports.
A ‘LIBERAL FEMINIST’
Ms. Sommers classifies herself as a “liberal feminist.” Such feminists she says, are in the philosophical tradition of John Stuart Mill...
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Heather Mac Donald (review date June 1994)
SOURCE: Mac Donald, Heather. “Women Beware Women.” New Criterion 12, no. 10 (June 1994): 66-70.
[In the following review, Mac Donald calls Sommers's Who Stole Feminism? a lucidly written, compellingly argued, and brilliant book.]
By most any measure of success, the Eighties were a very good decade for American women. Their earnings relative to men continued to rise; indeed, women made more economic progress during the last decade than during the entire postwar period before that. Women now earn more bachelor's and master's degrees than men and continue to increase their share of doctorates. They have broken down virtually all barriers to the professions and...
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Mary Lefkowitz (review date 11 July 1994)
SOURCE: Lefkowitz, Mary. “Robbery in Progress.” National Review 46, no. 13 (11 July 1994): 55-7.
[In the following review, Lefkowitz, who aligns herself with Sommers as a “pro-equity feminist,” asserts that Who Stole Feminism? is an excellent book which everyone interested in the subject should read.]
Twenty-five years ago women who wanted to become academics had to overcome the hostility and disbelief of men. In my field (Classics), the Enemy consisted mainly of sympathetic male professors who were willing to encourage female graduate students, but only to the point of getting a degree. When I got my PhD, my thesis advisor asked me why I didn't settle...
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Jean Bethke Elshtain (review date 11 July 1994)
SOURCE: Elshtain, Jean Bethke. “Sic Transit Gloria.” New Republic 211, no. 2 (11 July 1994): 32-6.
[In the following review, Elshtain discusses Sommers's Who Stole Feminism? and Gloria Steinem's Moving Beyond Words. Elshtain praises Sommers for identifying and exposing misinformation put forth by feminist scholars, but criticizes her for failing to place feminism in a broader cultural and historical context or offer a viable alternative to current trends in feminist thought.]
It seems that Simon & Schuster wishes to cover all the bases, producing more or less simultaneously a book whose thesis is that feminists have betrayed women and a book whose...
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Deirdre English (review date 17 July 1994)
SOURCE: English, Deirdre. “Their Own Worst Enemies.” Washington Post Book World 24, no. 29 (17 July 1994): 1, 11.
[In the following review, English asserts that the greatest strength of Who Stole Feminism? is Sommers's critical reporting, commenting that her analysis of feminism is unconvincing.]
Christine Hoff Sommers, a philosophy professor at Clark University and well-published conservative, is itching for a fight. One will be necessary, she tells us, in order to combat the current crop of feminist leaders, the doctrinaire “gender feminists,” and replace them with fair-minded “equity feminists” like herself.
Sommers's voice is...
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Lisa Schiffren (review date October 1994)
SOURCE: Schiffren, Lisa. Review of Who Stole Feminism?, by Christina Hoff Sommers. American Spectator 27, no. 10 (October 1994): 69-71.
[In the following review, Schiffren asserts that Who Stole Feminism? is a brilliant and informative book, but comments that Sommers fails to place feminism in a larger political context.]
Christina Hoff Sommers's Who Stole Feminism? is a long overdue correction in the marketplace of ideas, which in recent years has been glutted with feminist cant masquerading as statistics. This book brilliantly describes the currently dominant feminism—Sommers calls it “gender feminism”—which comes largely from the network...
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Tama Starr (review date October 1994)
SOURCE: Starr, Tama. “Reactionary Feminism.” Reason 26, no. 5 (October 1994): 62-6.
[In the following review, Starr notes that Who Stole Feminism? is an entertaining, informative, and well-researched book, but comments that Sommers fails to place her subject matter in a broader political context.]
Ten years late, but we're nearly there. War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. “Objective reality” is an invidious myth employed by evil oppressors (men) to maintain their phallohegemonic dominance. Big Sister Is Watching for instances of heteropatriarchal discourse, and punishment is swift and severe. A futuristic nightmare? No, the all-too-real world of your high...
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Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen (review date 24 October 1994)
SOURCE: “Whose Feminism?” Christianity Today (24 October 1994): 102-05.
[In the following review, Van Leeuwen evaluates Sommers's Who Stole Feminism? from a Christian feminist perspective.]
Philosopher and feminist scholar Christina Hoff Sommers, who teaches ethics at Clark University, is no stranger to the pages of CT [Christianity Today]. In her article “How to Teach Right and Wrong: A Blueprint for Moral Education in a Pluralistic Age” (CT, Dec. 13, 1993, pp. 33-37), Sommers made a timely plea to resurrect the teaching of personal or “virtue” ethics alongside the more standard curriculum of “applied” ethics. While the latter focuses...
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Diana Schaub (review date winter 1995)
SOURCE: Schaub, Diana. “Sisters at Odds.” Public Interest 118 (winter 1995): 100-05.
[In the following review, Schaub compares the representation of feminism in Sommers's Who Stole Feminism? with the representation of feminism in Henry James's 19th-century novel The Bostonians. Schaub comments that Sommers's book is disappointing in that it fails to take into account a broader social and cultural context.]
Just as the movement for “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity” had its Jacobins, so too the feminist movement, with its parallel call for women's liberation, the equality of the sexes, and politically conceived sisterhood. According to Christina Hoff...
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Anne Manne (review date April 1995)
SOURCE: Manne, Anne. “Liberal Versus Illiberal Feminism.” Quadrant 39, no. 4 (April 1995): 82-5.
[In the following review, Manne asserts that Who Stole Feminism? is an important book, and that Sommers is an important voice in liberal feminism. Manne, however, argues that Sommers's distinction between “equity feminism” and “gender feminism” is overly simplistic.]
If the Chinese communists' route to political revolution was via The Long March, in my more mischievous moments I sometimes think that feminism's path to social revolution might be described as The Long Whinge. As a young and politically curious student (I had surveyed the lot of women under...
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Susan Dwyer (review date spring 1996)
SOURCE: Dwyer, Susan. “Who's Afraid of Feminism?” Dialogue 35, no. 2 (spring 1996): 327-42.
[In the following review of Who Stole Feminism?, Dwyer examines the philosophical basis of Sommers's attack on gender feminism and her treatment of feminist philosophy. Dwyer comments that, while Sommers has accurately exposed misinformation, the book as a whole is “heavy on polemic and light on argument.”]
… moral philosophers should be paying far more attention to the social consequences of their views than they are.
—Christina Sommers, “Philosophers against the Family”1
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Elizabeth Kamarck Minnich (review date spring 1998)
SOURCE: Minnich, Elizabeth Kamarck. “Feminist Attacks on Feminisms: Patriarchy's Prodigal Daughters.” Feminist Studies 24, no. 1 (spring 1998): 159-75.
[In the following review, Minnich discusses Sommers's Who Stole Feminism? along with three other popular books that criticize feminism. Minnich asserts that all four authors “thoroughly contradict what they say are their values by what they do in their books.”]
Mounting the hard-won feminist platform built against great odds by so many differing women, Christina Hoff Sommers, Daphne Patai and Noretta Koertge, Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, and Katie Roiphe announce, each on her own behalf but in...
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Wilson Quarterly (review date summer 2000)
SOURCE: “Jack Versus Jill.” Wilson Quarterly 24, no. 3 (summer 2000): 103-04.
[In the following review of The War against Boys, the critic summarizes Sommers's central arguments about the status of boys in the American education system.]
A decade ago, Harvard University's Carol Gilligan, author of the influential In a Different Voice (1982), announced that America's adolescent girls were in crisis. Soon, with the help of two studies by the American Association of University Women, it became the conventional wisdom among educators that schools shortchange girls. Yet there is almost no solid empirical support for that conclusion, asserts Sommers, a...
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Richard Lowry (review date 3 July 2000)
SOURCE: Lowry, Richard. “The Male Eunuch.” National Review 52, no. 12 (3 July 2000): 41, 45.
[In the following review, Lowry praises Sommers's The War against Boys as an important conservative intervention against liberal trends in education.]
A couple of kindergarten boys were recently suspended from school in New Jersey after being caught red-handed playing cops and robbers at recess. Finger-pointing, shouting “bang,” running, playing dead—the incident involved the whole sorry litany of playground mock aggression. School officials were enforcing a Columbine-inspired “zero tolerance” policy against firearms at school, even the thumb-and-forefinger...
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Marilyn Gardner (review date 20 July 2000)
SOURCE: Gardner, Marilyn. “If We're Not Careful, Boys Won't Be Boys Much Longer.” Christian Science Monitor (20 July 2000): 16.
[In the following review of Sommers's The War against Boys, Gardner advocates a non-polemical approach to supporting and encouraging both boys and girls in education.]
The 1990s may go down in history as the Decade of Girls. In countless books, studies, and programs, American girls were portrayed as being “in crisis” and “at risk,” hapless “victims” of a culture that supposedly favors boys.
Now, in a new century, the spotlight is shifting. Authors and social scientists are turning their attention to...
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Tom Regan (review date 24 July 2000)
SOURCE: Regan, Tom. “Let's Lose Our ‘Toxic’ Image of Boys.” Christian Science Monitor (24 July 2000): 9.
[In the following review of The War against Boys, Regan criticizes Sommers's perspective on education, and asserts that society needs to find “meaningful ways that we can help boys to be more complete human beings.”]
When I first heard of the fight between two fathers at a hockey rink near Boston recently, which resulted in one father killing the other, the first person I thought of was Christina Hoff Sommers. That might seem like a strange connection on first glance—I don't know if Ms. Sommers has ever been near a hockey rink, for...
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Stephen Goode (review date 21 August 2000)
SOURCE: Goode, Stephen. “Detailing the Abuse of Boys.” Insight on the News (21 August 2000): 22-3.
[In the following review, Goode asserts that Sommers's arguments in The War against Boys are solid, and critiques liberal reviewers who have criticized it.]
In 1994, Christina Hoff Sommers published her book Who Stole Feminism? and all hell broke loose. An unrelenting attack on the radical elements of the women's movement, the book earned Sommers, then a professor of philosophy at Clark University in Worcester, Mass., a very bad name among many feminists. But it won admiration from conservatives and such maverick culture critics as Camille Paglia, who...
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Lisa M. Gring-Pemble and Diane M. Blair (review date fall 2000)
SOURCE: Gring-Pemble, Lisa M., and Diane M. Blair. “Best-Selling Feminisms: The Rhetorical Production of Popular Press Feminists' Romantic Quest.” Communication Quarterly 48, no. 4 (fall 2000): 360-79.
[In the following review, Gring-Pemble and Blair argue that writings by “popular press feminists” such as Sommers “derive their powerful appeal from assuming the form of archetypal romantic quest narratives,” which ultimately “limit possibilities for critical assessments as well as honest debate and exchange.”]
On the open highway, battling stormy nature and dodging mammoth eighteen-wheelers (today's piratical tramp freighters), woman...
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John Attarian (review date October 2000)
SOURCE: Attarian, John. “Let Boys Be Boys.” World and I 15, no. 10 (October 2000): 238-43.
[In the following review, Attarian calls Sommers's The War against Boys a timely, persuasive, and well-argued book.]
American girls, mainstream belief has it, are shortchanged by our educational system and socially silenced, while boys are favored. Moreover, our society dragoons boys into a brutalizing model of manhood that forces them to become macho. Hence, boys must be reconstructed to be like girls. Shootings and predatory violence against girls in our schools underscore the need to feminize boys.
In The War against Boys, a well-argued,...
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Mark Edmundson (review date 9 October 2000)
SOURCE: Edmundson, Mark. “Bad Boys, Whatcha Gonna Do …” Nation 271, no. 10 (9 October 2000): 39-43.
[In the following review of The War against Boys, Edmundson remarks that Sommers's argument essentially addresses the age-old question of nature vs. nurture in regard to gender differences. Edmundson criticizes Sommers for oversimplifying a “quiet, complex gender revolution” that is taking place in today's society.]
Not too long ago, the members of the Ms. Foundation for Women, the feminist group that inaugurated Take Our Daughters to Work Day, began concocting a comparable holiday for boys. They planned the first “Son's Day” for October 20, 1996, a...
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Cherie Harder (review date 24 November 2000)
SOURCE: Harder, Cherie. “Kiss the Boys and Make Them Die.” Human Events 56, no. 43 (24 November 2000): 14, 19.
[In the following review of The War against Boys, Harder comments that Sommers fails to take into account the influence of parents and popular culture on the socialization of children.]
If you think winning the presidency is hard these days, you should try being a boy. The banal tortures of forced play with dolls, “noncompetitive tag,” the abolition of recess, prohibitions against running, discipline imposed by “princessipals”—are but the tip of the iceberg of the “reconditioning” that author Christina Hoff Sommers describes and...
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Miriam Karmel (review date November-December 2000)
SOURCE: Karmel, Miriam. “Save the Males: It's Boys, Not Girls, Who Are Struggling in School.” Utne Reader 102 (November-December 2000): 28, 30.
[In the following review of The War against Boys, Karmel discusses various aspects of Sommers's arguments about gender and the American education system.]
When a male student at Scarsdale (New York) High School told teachers attending a gender-equity meeting three years ago that girls do better than boys in the classroom, teachers were incredulous. Weren't they gathered to discuss how girls are shortchanged in the classroom? But when some of the teachers later looked at grading patterns, they found that the student...
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Cathy Young (review date February 2001)
SOURCE: Young, Cathy. “Where the Boys Are.” Reason 32, no. 9 (February 2001): 24-31.
[In the following review of The War against Boys, Young examines various sides of the debate about gender differences and the education system.]
IS AMERICA SHORTCHANGING MALE CHILDREN?
One day last September, there were two back-to-back events in adjacent rooms at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. “Beyond the ‘Gender Wars,’” a symposium organized by the American Association of University Women (AAUW), was followed by a rejoinder from the Independent Women's Forum (IWF), “The XY Files: The Truth Is Out There … About the...
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Christina Hoff Sommers and Stephen Goode (interview date 12 March 2001)
SOURCE: Sommers, Christina Hoff, and Stephen Goode. “Philosopher Advocate for American Boys.” Insight on the News (12 March 2001): 36-9.
[In the following interview, Sommers discusses The War against Boys and the status of boys in the American education system.]
Philosopher Christina Hoff Sommers is an old-fashioned feminist who believes in voting rights for women and a level playing field for both genders, but parts company when it comes to radical feminism and its disparagement of men. Five years ago she took on the feminist establishment in her book, Who Stole Feminism? How Women Have Betrayed Women, which widely was pilloried by the establishment...
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Virginia Quarterly Review (review date spring 2001)
SOURCE: Review of The War against Boys, by Christina Hoff Sommers. Virginia Quarterly Review 77, no. 2 (spring 2001): 62-3.
[In the following review, the critic calls The War against Boys a startling, convincing, and thought-provoking book.]
The assertion that girls have been harmed, and in some cases outright scarred, by an environment of neglect and what could be termed an “anti-girl gender bias” in our schools and in society as a whole has long been accepted as true. Christina Hoff Sommers explodes this notion in her latest book. Exposed as myth and a manipulation of facts contained in pseudo-scientific studies conducted by groups she pejoratively...
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Melanie Phillips (review date 6 April 2001)
SOURCE: Phillips, Melanie. “In a Gendered Salem.” Times Literary Supplement, no. 5114 (6 April 2001): 9.
[In the following review of The War against Boys, Phillips applauds Sommers's assessment that there is a “war against boys” in the American education system.]
In her previous book Who Stole Feminism? (1994), the American professor of philosophy Christina Hoff Sommers took on the academic feminists who, she claimed, demonized men and so had betrayed the women they claimed to represent. That book was an act of some bravery in a country where academic freedom has been all but incinerated in the white heat of political correctness. Indeed, Hoff...
(The entire section is 785 words.)
Andrew Hacker (review date 11 April 2002)
SOURCE: Hacker, Andrew. “How Are Women Doing?” New York Review of Books 49, no. 6 (11 April 2002): 63-6.
[In the following review, Hacker discusses Sommers's The War against Boys and several books on feminist issues by other authors, citing various statistics on gender and higher education in relation to Sommers's arguments.]
“Choice” has been an effective watchword for those who would allow women to decide whether to continue a pregnancy—especially since it implies that the alternative is forcing people to have children they do not want. In fact, many women who become pregnant have chosen to do so; they are happy they have...
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Finn, Jr., Chester E. “Puppy-Dogs' Tails.” Commentary 110, no. 2 (September 2000): 68-71.
Asserts that The War against Boys forms a comprehensive reassessment of issues of gender-inequality within the educational system, as well as accurately identifies a problem that urgently needs solutions.
Fuehrer, Natalie. Review of The War against Boys, by Christina Hoff Sommers. Society 39, no. 2 (January-February 2002): 89-90.
Contends that The War against Boys is overly preoccupied with discussing statistics, and fails to address the importance of “moral guidance” in education....
(The entire section is 195 words.)