A shoddy and dishonest claim

Christina Hoff Sommers is bragging about being at the top of Amanda Marcotte’s list of seven anti-feminist women in Salon.

Christina H. Sommers @CHSommers · 10h
Cathy Young & I at top of SALON enemy list. We are both pro-choice, pro-LGBT,libertarian-leaning feminists. Our crime? We check feminist facts.

No, that’s not it. If she just did that I’d be all for it. Fact-checking is good. She does much more than that. Amanda summarizes a little of it:

A lot of people assume the term “female misogynist” is an oxymoron. How can a woman be opposed to the fight to help women achieve equality? The sad fact of the matter is, as long as there has been feminism, there have been women who find it personally advantageous to reject feminism and instead argue for continuing social systems that perpetuate women’s inequality, male dominance, and even violence against women. (There were even plenty of women who were willing to argue against women’s suffrage back in the day.) Here is a list of nine* women who have made a career out of opposing women’s struggle for social, political and economic equality.

1. Christina Hoff Sommers. Sommers is a pioneer in the art of arguing that it’s men who are actually the oppressed class in modern society. Her 2000 book The War Against Boys tried to argue, falsely, that feminists are ruining young men’s lives by oppressing them through the educational system. (Somehow those distressed young men continue to graduate and go on to have better job opportunities and make more money than their female peers.) She was most recently spotted offering her support to an organized online campaign to harass a young video game developer over her sex life.

That link? It goes here. [whistles casually]

2. Cathy Young. While Christina Hoff Sommers specializes in facetious claims about imaginary feminist oppressors, Young focuses on minimizing the problems of sexual abuse and harassment of women. Recently, she made a shoddy and dishonest claim that men get harassed more than women online, a claim that necessarily leads to the conclusion that women’s greater stress over harassment must be the result of their inferior constitution. Young also objects to the new movement to pass laws requiring men only to have sex with women who want the sex, on the grounds that men can’t be expected to handle something as simple as reciprocity.

That first link? It goes to Stephanie’s blog. [jazz hands]

I didn’t know all of this about Janet Bloomfield:

5. Janet Bloomfield. Bloomfield is supposedly the PR representative for the anti-feminist website A Voice For Men, but her take on public relations is much different than the way most people understand the term, as she spends most of her time harassing and abusing other women online. Indeed, her Twitter harassment got so bad Twitter actually banned her account, though she immediately started a new one and began her harassment anew. Bloomfield’s hatred of feminists has also led to her making up fake quotes she attributes to feminists in order to make it look like feminists hate men. Despite this unhinged behavior, she has a lot of status in the misogynist movement, because she provides cover for men who want to deny they hate women.

Definitely not just fact-checking. In fact, check your facts, Christina Hoff Sommers.

*It’s actually seven.


  1. John Morales says

    R Johnston @1, good point — it’s a misleading claim.

    From the link:
    “4. The Politichicks. Ann-Marie Murrell, Morgan Brittany and Dr. Gina Loudon are Internet video hosts who run a show called Politichicks and have a new book out arguing that women don’t actually want the equality feminists are fighting for.”

  2. leni says

    ..have a new book out arguing that women don’t actually want the equality feminists are fighting for.

    Why? Why would they do this? They are as free to not fucking vote and shut the fuck up as anyone is.

    I don’t understand why they would do this. You don’t want to vote? You don’t want to work? You don’t want to have a voice? Then don’t. Just shut the fuck up and enjoy being an unpaid slave with no vote on your own time. If you really think your place is only in the home and that this doesn’t translate to the wider world and that you shouldn’t have a voice, then FEEL FREE TO SHUT THE FUCK UP. This is what they say should happen, then why doesn’t it? Why do we hear from them at all, ever? Why did they even evolve vocal chords?

    Could it be because they don’t even believe the total bullshit they are trying to sell?

    Grr. *tableflip*

  3. Jeremy Shaffer says

    leni at 5- Some people seem to think that their choices and opinions can only be validated if no one else can choose differently.

  4. says

    @#6 Some people seem to think that their choices and opinions can only be validated if no one else can choose differently.

    I think it’s sort of a confirmation bias thing. If nobody can choose differently, then it must mean that I am “right” all the time, yes?
    Check one box below, please:
    ( ) Marcus, that’s awesome and insightful
    ( ) I agree
    ( ) All of the above

  5. leni says

    Some people seem to think that their choices and opinions can only be validated if no one else can choose differently.

    But if their choice is to shut the fuck up then why don’t they?

  6. Jeremy Shaffer says

    Marcus Ranum at 7- Oh, I’m definitely going with the third “choice”!

    leni at 8- As with so many that espouse such beliefs there is probably an underlying, unstated part of their thinking that in some way gives them an exemption to act counter to how they claim others should act, though they unlikely think of it that way. No, most likely they justified in their minds as some noble sacrifice on their part, a denial of their own reward so that others can live free and happy lives. Ultimately they’re modern day sin-eaters.

  7. Kevin Kehres says

    The saddest part is that Hoff Sommers seems to think that it was some sort of contest that she won.

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