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Who Stole Feminism?: How Women Have Betrayed Women Hardcover – May 1, 1994
From Publishers Weekly
Despite its author's claims to the contrary, this book reads like a right-wing, antifeminist call to arms. The feminist movement, announces Sommers, who teaches philosophy at Clark University, has been "stolen" by radical extremists, whom she dubs "gender feminists," whose ranks include Susan Faludi, Catharine MacKinnon, Naomi Wolf and Gloria Steinem. As Sommers would have it, gender feminists hate men, believe women are systematically oppressed by American culture and have waged a highly successful campaign to effect harmful changes in society, from weakening university curricula to censoring dissent to their agenda. She distinguishes them from "equity feminists"--like Sommers herself--who care about women's issues but refuse to acknowledge ideological oppression of women. One of the greatest flaws in her polemic is the simplistic assertion that feminists can be slotted neatly into two camps. Nowhere does she seriously consider why gender feminists are so angry, nor does she offer an agenda of her own except in the vaguest terms. Sommers convincingly accuses some feminist scholars of shoddy research and distorted reporting of statistical data, but she too slings statistics around in an equally suspicious manner, and her prose is so sensationalized that sophisticated readers will take much of it with a grain of salt. First serial to Allure magazine; BOMC and QPB alternates; author tour.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From 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.
--Cynthia Harrison, Federal Judicial Ctr., Washington, D.C.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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The author's experiences and analysis ring true with the irrational, postmodern, and pseudoscientific nonsense I have encounter in nursing academia from aggressive "gender feminists." Thirty years ago, 15% of nurses were male; today it's half that many. It may have something to do with academia's hostility towards men. One nurse academic even published a paper explaining why male nurses should never do nursing research because they could never understand this female profession. Argh.
The author makes a convincing argument that gender feminism is academically lazy, undisciplined, overbearing, and has no respect for science/reason. I hope in the years since this book was written that this destructive trend has waned.
Much more disturbing perhaps is the blacklisting on U.S campuses of actual scholars (Shakespearean expert Richard Levin, expressing bemused alarm at feminist interpretations of Shakespeare's tragedies, was viciously attacked by a group - they travel in groups- of "feminist" denouncing his credentials and personality; writer Cynthia Ozyck isn't spared either...While Camille Paglia's "Sexual Personae" was compared to "Mein Kampf.") As Susan Sontag wrote in 1975, this is the reign of anti-intellectualism, but, from what I read here, it is wearing boots of lead.
And by the way, I consider myself to be both a liberal and a feminist.
Having spent most of my formative years in a Femino-propagandized town, I can only
agree with her findings. Along with "THE MYTH OF MALE POWER" these two works could
serve as a manual for deprogramming the sadly brainwashed products of Feminist
"conditioning/indoctrination.The Myth of Male Power
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And a lot of what she says is on target.Read more