Who Stole Feminism?: How Women Have Betrayed Women

Who Stole Feminism?: How Women Have Betrayed Women

3.5 4
by Christina Hoff Sommers

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Sommers presents a controversial viewpoint, accusing feminists of using unsubstantiated information in portraying women as victims. (May)
Library Journal
In this jeremiad, Sommers (philosophy, Clark Univ.) takes out after antimale ``gender feminists'' who willfully, she contends, distort information on women's status to keep their lock on government and foundation money. Their dark agenda includes silencing sensible ``equity feminists,'' who celebrate women's achievements and who seek, in partnership with men, to make the few minor adjustments needed for perfect equity. Her chief disagreement with ``gender feminists'' concerns their belief that gender bias is so ingrained that we are frequently unaware of its influence. Unfortunately, Sommers's scornful tone makes her reporting suspect; she mocks the arguments she opposes rather than engaging and refuting them. She is strongest when she criticizes the methodology of some well-known feminist research, but she undermines her credibility when she fails to apply her own standards to studies that suit her position. This book will have as an audience readers who share her politics. [BOMC alternate.]-Cynthia Harrison, Federal Judicial Ctr., Washington, D.C.
Stuart Whitwell
Though several women have begun to speak out against the shrill and paranoic "backlash" feminism that has left many feeling slightly alienated from the term itself, it is hard to imagine a critique of that position more devastating than this from philosopher and "equity" feminist Sommers. In essence, it is a patient account of the heavy boots of propaganda crushing truth and stirring the young into a frenzy of anger. It rejects the dangerously totalitarian "gender" feminism of Susan Faludi, (early) Naomi Wolf, Gloria Steinem, Catherine MacKinnon, and the like, in favor of a more classic, "equity" feminism Sommers believes is represented by women as diverse as Betty Friedan, Susan Sontag, and Camille Paglia. Gender feminists, she argues, have an influence well beyond their numbers. They not only control a great many administrative institutions in academia, they have also found ways of manipulating a gullible news media and eager-to-please politicians Most dangerously, they play fast and loose with the truth. Remember those reports about the so-called rise of violence on Superbowl Sunday? A total fabrication. Remember how we were told that teenage girls suffer a humiliating drop in self-esteem? Well, the data from this study is guarded by the American Association of University Women, but if you can get hold of it, you will find that the same data "proves" that African Americans have higher self-esteem than whites! What about the alleged high incidence of depression in women? Distorted data. How about the oft-reported "unequal" treatment of girls in school and the 59 cents women are supposed to earn to every dollar earned by men? Look at the truth and weep at how we're deceived. Time and again, Sommers went beyond the media reports and the press-releases of the advocate-scientists and found that the original data had been controversially interpreted or flat-out turned on its head Not surprisingly, most of these findings come from a small cabal of like-minded academics who are almost never questioned by a press constitutionally disposed to prefer wild claims over fair ones. These women form the core of a gender-feminist party that proclaims itself bent on ridding the world of logic, science, exact thinking, romance, the concept of beauty, hierarchies, history, art, and all the other chains and opiates that "even today" blind most women to their brutal subjugation. Sommers' work is a study in totalitarian methodology and self-justification. No wonder women in the street feel uneasy. But maybe everybody will read this book, and the civil transfer of power to women can proceed.

Product Details

Simon & Schuster
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.52(w) x 9.49(h) x 0.97(d)

Meet the Author

Christina Hoff Sommers is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise institute in Washington, D.C. She has a PhD in philosophy from Brandeis University and was formerly a professor of philosophy at Clark University. Sommers has written for numerous publications and is the author of Who Stole Feminism? How Women Have Betrayed Women. She is married with two sons and lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

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Who Stole Feminism? 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I disagree with the other reviewers' assertions that the book is written unintelligently and in an angry, ranting tone. Her tone can more accurately be described as critical and humorous... I liked the book-- I found it to be interesting and the author isnt afraid to mention flaws that she sees in other works. Her anecdotes about the conference are funny.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Unfortunately, Hoff Sommers doesn't seem to acknowledge an entire body of information available, but rather picks and chooses to support her argument. She raises many intersting and provocative points, all of which fall somewhat flat due to her unusual and incomplete use of sources. As a former student at the College of Wooster, I was a bit dismayed that ALL of the students she spoke with regarding the first year program were upper level students and not in the program. She criticizes numerous rape and domestic violence statistics without mentioning that many of those statistics are, in fact, corrobated and accurate in certain age groups and localities. I think she raises some interesting 'food for thought' but handled the issues poorly and incompletely.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The oversimplified and unproven rant in this book is just as angry and one sided as the oversimplified and unproven rant of the ultra-feminists she disvows. I loved the idea of the book; too bad she didn't choose to write it intelligently.