The really odd thing about Sommers is that she can be more reasonable. It’s puzzling that she finds it worthwhile or fun to be so belligerent and sneery on Twitter. Ordinarily feminists who disagree with each other disagree with each other as opposed to pissing all over feminism as such. Sommers keeps pissing all over feminism itself.
She tweeted a link to a January article of hers in Reason, so I read it. I don’t agree with it, but it’s not vulgarly insulting the way her Twitter output is.
She’s explaining her book Freedom Feminism in response to a review she says misrepresented it.
Freedom feminism stands for the moral, social, and legal equality of the sexes—and the freedom of women (and men) to employ their equal status to pursue happiness as they choose. Freedom feminism is not at war with femininity or masculinity and it does not view men and women as opposing tribes. Theories of universal patriarchal oppression or the inherent evils of capitalism are not in its founding tablets. Nor are partisan litmus tests: It welcomes women and men from across the political spectrum. Put simply, freedom feminism affirms for women what it affirms for everyone: dignity, opportunity, and personal liberty.
(“Founding tablets” is a little insulting, but only a little; mild compared to her Twitter personality.) The as they choose bit is a warning, because I know she considers preferences to be sacrosanct, and that’s one of the places where I disagree with her.
Freedom feminism shares with egalitarianism an aversion to prescribed gender roles: Women should be free to defect from the stereotypes of femininity if they so choose. At the same time, however, it respects the choices of free and self-determining women—when they choose to embrace conventional feminine roles. Nowhere do I say women should stay in the home or that women who defy convention are “aberrations.” I simply note that, to the consternation of hardline contemporary genderists, many women, when given their full set of Jeffersonian freedoms, continue to give priority to the domestic sphere. Somehow in Presley’s mind “giving priority” means a total rejection of the workplace. Not at all. But many women, especially when they have children at home, do appear to have a strong preference for working part-time.
I’m not really sure what she’s fighting with there. I don’t know of any feminists – however “hardline genderist” they may be – who think women should be forbidden to work part-time, or forced to work full-time. Maybe what she’s fighting with is the thought that if social arrangements were such that both parents could spend more time with their young children than is practical now, then maybe choices would start to change. Is that it? If it is…it doesn’t seem enough to explain her rage at feminists. That’s true not least because surely it could be a good thing for children to spend a lot of time with their fathers as well as their mothers when they’re small? (Once they’re not small they mostly just want to get away, let’s face it.) It could be a good thing for the fathers, too.
In other words the preferences people have now aren’t necessarily the preferences they would have no matter what, so what is so wrong with trying to change conditions so that people can try different possibilities?
That’s article-writing Sommers. Twitter Sommers is just a brawler. (Maybe it’s because Dawkins keeps sharing her tweets? Maybe she’s enjoying the popularity?) Like this from 3 hours ago:
Christina H. Sommers @CHSommers · 3h
Going on Michael Savage Show in few minutes to talk about feminist
Myths and Ms.Information.
See what she did there? Ms. Information? Isn’t that cute? Dawkins retweeted that one.
I don’t know. She claims to be a feminist but she’s devoting all her energies to helping people like Michael Savage piss on feminism. That’s a funny kind of feminism.