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Combining philosophical rigor with detailed knowledge of a wide range of subjects, Michael Levin presents a thorough examination of feminism as both a theory and as a generator of social policy. His book provides a much-needed counterweight to uncritical feminist scholarship prevalent in so much social science writing.
Levin argues that feminists deny that innate sex differences have anything to do with the basic structure of society. He shows how this denial leads feminists to interpret observable differences between male and female roles as the result of discrimination and restrictive social conditioning rather than as the free expression of basic preferences. Levin concludes that feminist proposals for remedying this imaginary oppression systematically thwart individual liberty.
The first chapters of Feminism and Freedom show the conflict between feminist ideology and recent developments in anthropology, neurology, child psychology and behavioral genetics, as well as basic principles of scientific method. The author then moves to a wide-ranging discussion of affirmative action, comparable worth, and the impact of feminism on education, military manpower policy, language, family life and sports—showing in each case how feminist policies run counter to classical liberalism. Written in a lively, challenging, and accessible style, as controversial as it is timely, Feminism and Freedom is must reading for anyone interested in understanding society and preserving liberty.