Take Back Feminism

When asked, "Are you a feminist?" most American women say no. Feminist activists blame the media for feminism's poor image, but I believe the activists themselves have turned the women's movement into a caricature. Within living memory, the American feminist movement was a vibrant, broad-based vehicle for social equality that had achieved momentous victories and enjoyed richly deserved prestige for its valor and success.

But today the movement has been taken over by aggrieved eccentrics. Marching under the banner of feminism, the current activists are fighting a gender war that few women support or understand. The potential for harm is enormous. Mainstream women are going to have to rescue feminism from the feminists.

We badly need a responsible, reality-based women's movement. Women in many parts of the developing world are still struggling for their basic rights. The classical style of feminism that made American women among the most liberated in the world offers a tried-and-true road map to emancipation. Even in the West, there are still unresolved equity issues.

Who needs feminism? We do. The world does. But not the feminism that prevails in the typical college "womyn's center."

Christina Hoff Sommers is a resident scholar at AEI.

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About the Author

 

Christina Hoff
Sommers
  • Christina Hoff Sommers, a former philosophy professor who taught ethics, is probably best known for her critique of late-twentieth-century feminism. She is also known for her extensive writings, among them Who Stole Feminism? (Touchstone Books, 1995), The War Against Boys (Touchstone Books, 2001), One Nation Under Therapy (St. Martin's Press, 2005), and The Science on Women and Science (AEI Press, 2009). Her textbook, Vice and Virtue in Everyday Life, a bestseller in college ethics, is currently in its ninth edition. Her new book Freedom Feminism—Its Surprising History and Why it Matters Today will be published in spring 2013 by AEI Press. A new and revised version of The War Against Boys: How Misguided Policies Are Harming our Young Men will be out in August 2013 (Simon and Schuster).


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