What Is Wrong With Modern Feminism?

September 27, 2018 | No Comments » | Topics: TRUTH

Christina Hoff Sommers on feminism

Christina Hoff Sommers is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and former professor of philosophy at Clark University in Massachusetts

"I am a strong supporter of classical equity feminism — the sort of feminism that won women the vote, educational opportunities, and many other freedoms. But on today’s campus, equity feminism has been eclipsed by fainting-couch feminism. Fainting-couchers view women as psychically fragile and prone to trauma. They demand trigger warnings, safe spaces, and micro-aggression monitoring. Their primary focus is not equality with men—but rather protection from them. As an equity feminist from the 70s, I see this as a setback for feminism—and for women.  There was a battle for the soul of feminism in the 80s and 90s. The wrong side won. Catharine MacKinnon and Andrea Dworkin (precursors to today’s fainting-couchers) sought to protect women from the ravages of an implacable, all-encompassing patriarchy. Never mind that no such patriarchy existed. Another group, known as sex-positive or libertarian feminists, focused on female freedom, personal responsibility, and pleasure. They saw MacDworkinism (as it came to be called) as a reactionary social purity movement. The libertarians had better arguments, but the MacDworkinites won most of the assistant professorships. Over the years, MacDworkinism has melded with “intersectionality.” Today, undergraduate women are told (depending on their identities) that they are oppressed not only by sexism, but by racism, classism, ableism, etc. Conceptually, the theory is muddled. For one thing it fights sexism and racism by classifying everyone according to sex and race. But at the highly privileged intersections of American higher education, the theory is all the rage. For an equality feminist like myself, this is a sorry development. Our feminist foremothers viewed women as just as competent and mentally strong as men, so they fought and won a battle for equality. Trigger warnings, safe spaces and identity theatrics betray that tradition, and treat women like fragile little birds in need of protection. I see too many talented, idealistic young women turning inward—away from a world that needs them."

Christina Hoff Sommers on how Feminism went awry