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When I hear women my age proudly claim they are defiantly NOT feminists, I am taken aback. Ms. Sommers does an excellent job of showing just why so many young women are running away from the feminist label. They don't want to be associated with man-haters: women who view every man as a potential rapist and every woman a potential survivor. She highlights many of the events from the late eighties and early nineties that ended up giving feminism a very bad name. Rather than trying to promote equal rights for all humanity (the so-called equity feminists), some feminists (gender feminists) are trying to supplant the patriarchy with a matriarchy. To do so, they overblow poorly done studies and try to silence maleness wherever it rears its ugly head (pun, unfortunately, intended). She does such a good job of pointing out the hysteria and rancor of this sect of feminists, I had to remind myself constantly that I agree with her thesis-those kinds of feminists are bad for feminism. They take away from the social justice that generations of women have fought for; they stray from the goals of the Seneca Falls Convention and forget that many sisters around the world really are being suppressed; they devalue the terms sexual harassment and rape by having them apply to everything. I'm grateful she kept repeating the goals of equality through her book or I would have completely forgotten I wasn't reading the transcripts of a Rush Limbaugh show (a mistake none of us ever wants to make!).
This book was written in 1995, so I was still in junior high and high school when most of these events were unfolding. I wonder how much of her arguments are simply overblown to give evidence to her thesis, how much was relegated only to certain university campuses, and how much has mercifully blown over in the past decade. I would love to see an updated version of this book. In the meantime, I'll read books like The Mommy Myth and Selling Anxiety.
14 of 16 people found this review helpful
Wow. I knew they were distorting things but didn't know it was this bad and this organized. This book shows how badly feminism got derailed by malicious misandrists and aided by gullible journalists and politicians and highlights why it needs to return to reality so we can fix what is actually wrong instead of diverting funds to the wrong causes of hateful idealogs. It's no wonder few women call themselves feminists anymore. I thought at first that it was a shame that Sommers didn't narrate it herself, but the narrator does an excellent job and it was a joy to listen to.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Any additional comments?
Hoff Sommers seminal 1994 book, although written from within feminism, still remains essential reading for anyone interested in properly understanding the ideology. As a philosophy professor she brings logical argument and evidence to her critique of feminism, and she has the integrity to expose many of its hypocrisies. Her exposure of the dishonesty of feminist research methods was particularly courageous and enlightening for someone writing in the 1990s. This book would be a very useful introduction to the critique of feminism for any reader who has only read pro-feminist books in their life thus far because Hoff Sommers is attempting to revise feminism rather than oppose it outright and so her critique may be more acceptable to a reader who is conventionally feminist but nonetheless willing to listen to criticism of it. Any pro-equality/anti-feminist readers may find her persistent loyalty to feminism a little irksome but the book is a landmark in equality literature and it is still a valuable and rewarding read/listen.
5 of 8 people found this review helpful
Should have used a younger sounding narrator. This one sounds like a stuffy, annoying, school mistress, and it makes me switch off despite the content.