Radical feminist coming to New Zealand

Christina Hoff Sommers claims to be a feminist but she sounds radical to me – she says that men should not be seen as the enemy just because of the actions of a “few outliers”.

Well, radical for a prominent feminist – some if not many silent feminists could think similar.

The Spinoff: ‘Most boys don’t rape and murder’: Christina Hoff Sommers and her unique brand of feminism

With the self designed nickname “factual feminist”, Christina Hoff Sommers has defined her brand by criticising modern feminist ideas, particularly ideas stemming from the academic realm. In her books Who Stole Feminism? and The War Against Boys, and on her YouTube channel, she claims to “debunk” feminist facts and statistics. She has criticised the term “rape culture” and says that men should not be seen as the enemy just because of the actions of a “few outliers”.

She has claimed college campuses, especially those in the US, have become unsafe for young men because of “exaggerated claims of victimization”.

This is a difficult one. I think there are certainly “exaggerated claims of victimization” by some, but we have to be careful we don’t ignore the valid claims of victims. The extremists, the exaggerators, make it more difficult for justified victims from being taken as seriously as they deserve.

And she has argued that modern feminism possesses an “inability to take seriously the possibility that the sexes are equal but different”, an idea that many other feminists reject.

In March 2019 The Spinoff is proud to present #Feminist, featuring Hoff Sommers and writer Roxane Gay. Coming from very different sides of the feminist spectrum, the two will meet live on stage to discuss topics like the gender pay gap, political correctness, and the #MeToo movement.

Get your tickets here.

Just like men should not all be lumped into one group of offenders and oppressors, feminists should also not be pigeon holed.

On different brands of feminism:

I consider myself an equity feminist. An equity feminist wants for women what she wants for everyone – equality, dignity, liberty.

There’s a group of feminists, largely in the academy, who believe that we are captive to a sex-gender system, and that democratic reform is not enough and they don’t have any particular confidence that democratic freedoms will protect women, and so they’re much more radical. They think that women are a subordinate class.

They subscribe to a sort of conflict period in history of oppressors and the oppressed and I just don’t accept that model.

Patriarchy versus a complicated mix:

I think it’s become associated in people’s minds with this radical view, this idea that we have to ‘bring down the patriarchy.’

What patriarchy? I’m not saying there aren’t areas where women need to and can improve, but if you look at men and women in the United States and probably in New Zealand, it’s a complicated mix of benefits and burdens, and in some ways women are doing better, in some ways men are doing better.

You also have to look at different classes and ethnicities and what you end up with is not a simple picture of male equals oppressor, female equals oppressed.

She says that the pay gap “has very little to do with discrimination and employers deliberately paying women over 25% less than they’re paying men”:

Most of the gap is based on the choices people make. What professions they enter, what they study in school, how many hours a week they work. Many many variables determine pay and when you take account of those variables the wage gap narrows to just a few cents and we don’t even know if those are because of discrimination.

She is partly right, but there is no doubt that professions dominated by female employees have been undervalued and under payed in New Zealand. The previous government started to address this by boosting aged care worker pay, and that has continued in other sectors under the current government.

We constantly hear stories online and on the news about females who have been attacked, raped, murdered, and these stories are always followed up with messages for women about how to better protect ourselves. Do you think this is a fair and appropriate response?

Most boys don’t rape and murder. Most boys are as horrified as we are. It’s horrific. But I hesitate to take a pathological violent criminal and use that person as an exemplar for men, because there are far more instances of goodness and heroism. It’s bigotry.

The way people will see a Muslim who commits a crime and then that criminal becomes the symbol for all Muslims. That’s bigotry.

People have done that to women in the past, taken some case and generalised it. We have to stop doing that. That’s why I want a feminism that’s not only evidence based and reality based, but generous and fair to men and not implicating the average male in an atrocity. It’s not fair, it’s not reasonable, and it’s not sound.

The average man should not be implicated in an atrocity, just as the average Muslim should not be blamed for the atrocious actions of a few.

To tell women how to protect themselves? I would do everything possible. I would try to have better policing so these criminals can’t do what they do, I would try to teach women and men. Men are more likely to be murdered – at least in the United States, there’s no comparison. So you want to teach your children how to take care of yourselves, that’s just common sense.

Ultimately, we’ve got to figure out what we can do about social situations that create criminality, some of it is mental health. I don’t know. It’s an age-old problem. How do you stop a small percentage of people from becoming sociopathic or just criminal? It’s a big question.

It is a big question, and it is not answered by dividing men from women.

And feminism should also not be generalised, with all feminists being branded with the views of a radical few.

Society and the sexes are complicated.

It is good to hear different feminist views from Sommers.

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment

49 Comments

  1. Corky

     /  October 5, 2018

    Feminism comes up against reality. A hard lesson…not learnt.

    At 9.58.

    Reply
  2. robertguyton

     /  October 5, 2018

    “It is a big question, and it is not answered by dividing men from women.”
    Are men and women divided? My understanding is that there’s a transition between genders, not a cut-off point (sorry about the imagery) between male and female, a gradual morphing populated by variations on the theme. Yes?

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  October 5, 2018

      Nup. There are two genders. Plus androgynes. There are people who want to transition from one sex to the other because they feel they are the wrong gender.

      Then there are some freaks and weirdos. A very tiny number who are making an awful lot of noise and demands and should probably just sit down and shut up.

      Reply
    • Griff.

       /  October 5, 2018

      Most traits we view as feminine or masculine are not about sex
      There is a range of behavour we view as appropriate for gender and others we view as outside of the norm.
      Being a girly man or a tom girl often results in persons being marginalized or persecuted and treated by society lessor in some way .

      This is the two normal distributions for height by sex.

      The traits we assignee to gender, girls and women are generally expected to be polite, accommodating, and nurturing. Men are generally expected to be strong, aggressive, and bold. also have over lapping normal distributions.

      Gender identity is not necessarily about sexual identity .

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  October 5, 2018

        Exactly. Some peploe get gender (or sex) muddled with personality characteristics and sexual proclivities. Weirdos and freaks are exploiting this confusion. I have no idea why.

        Reply
        • Griff.

           /  October 5, 2018

          Weirdos and freaks
          Look at your self.
          The same thing is also true of biological sexual attributes.
          Biological Sex is not binary male or female
          The sexes overlap both genetically and in physical manifestation.
          http://newsroom.ucla.edu/stories/male-or-female

          I have a friend who is a cross dresser.
          He chooses to wear woman’s clothing and is ostracized by society because of this.
          I dont care what he wears if he likes wearing heels, skirts and blouses it is not my business. He is not a freak or a weirdo he is just different. I actually respect him for having the balls to stand and say this is me in the face of all the abuse he receives dally.

          Reply
          • robertguyton

             /  October 5, 2018

            That’s what I was saying/meaning.

            Reply
            • robertguyton

               /  October 5, 2018

              This bit:
              “The same thing is also true of biological sexual attributes.
              Biological Sex is not binary male or female
              The sexes overlap both genetically and in physical manifestation.”

          • Gezza

             /  October 5, 2018

            You’re missing the point because of the way you have become hyper-sensitive & react aggressively to perceived criticism of you where none is present because of how you were treated by others as weird when young. I don’t think you’re weird. I understand.

            I have a friend who is a cross dresser.
            He chooses to wear woman’s clothing and is ostracized by society because of this.

            This is exactly my point. You call your friend “he”. He is of the male sex or gender.

            I called out cross-dresser at work – Leonie- she – because that is what she wanted to be called, even though she had a pronounced 5 o’clock shadow by noon and wasn’t interested in transitioning to the female gender.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  October 5, 2018

              *our

            • PDB

               /  October 5, 2018

              Gezza: “You’re missing the point” – Griff doesn’t care what others think, Griff is always right and is the best at/ has the best of….everything.

              You should just be grateful he has given some of his precious time to be angry with you underling.

            • Griff.

               /  October 5, 2018

              You poor little butt hurt thing you.
              id give ya a hug .
              but its not my thing.

            • Gezza

               /  October 5, 2018

              I think Griff means you there, PDB.

            • PDB

               /  October 5, 2018

              If he’s feeling sorry for somebody he must be talking to himself.

  3. sorethumb

     /  October 5, 2018

    Reply
  4. sorethumb

     /  October 5, 2018

    Reply
  5. PartisanZ

     /  October 5, 2018

    It was a relatively small number of radical feminist “outliers” who gave us “rape culture” and man-is-the-enemy to begin with …

    This never became mainstream except in the minds of the population cohort paranoid, misogynist metathesio-homo-xenophobes … (a relatively minuscule percentage of the population) …

    Hence IMHO, Christina Hoff Summers views are hardly radical – if she’s speaking for the silent majority of feminists who have existed all along – but more likely a publicity-grabbing, hyper-reactionary self-marketing exercise exploiting the fears of the paranoid misogynist metathesio-homo-xenophobes …

    Reply
  6. PDB

     /  October 5, 2018

    PG: “She is partly right, but there is no doubt that professions dominated by female employees have been undervalued and under payed in New Zealand.”

    That’s not true either in the sense that being paid less is particular only to women dominated professions – it’s more the case that the work they do is undervalued by society in general. For example Kitty has pointed out that there are multitudes of men-dominated jobs (mainly laboring type) that are also probably ‘undervalued and underpaid in New Zealand’.

    Not to mean that these women-dominated professions don’t deserve a pay rise – it’s just the reason given is wrong and/or misleading as there are many men-dominated professions in exactly the same boat that just ain’t getting the publicity.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  October 5, 2018

      I couldn’t believe how little dustmen are paid, less than checkout operators.

      Busdrivers are poorly paid, and they are all paid the same.

      Miners are well paid now, but at one time a secretary was paid more than a miner, for fewer hours and much safer and pleasanter work.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  October 5, 2018

        M/F busdrivers

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  October 5, 2018

          That’s not a very nice thing to call them.

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  October 5, 2018

            Boy and girl then, fusspot.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  October 5, 2018

              Oh, sorry. I thought you meant something else. Look – forget I said anything.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  October 5, 2018

              😀 What WAS it ? I thought that you were being facetious, but couldn’t think what you meant 😀

            • High Flying Duck

               /  October 5, 2018

              M/F = Female Parent / Person who has Intercourse 🙂

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  October 5, 2018

              The penny finally dropped….I have a very innocent mind.

  7. God

     /  October 5, 2018

    “She is partly right, but there is no doubt that professions dominated by female employees have been undervalued and under payed in New Zealand.”

    Perhaps they should be forced to work in the professions that are more dangerous, require long hours and involve being dirty.

    A quota that requires 50% ofl nurses, social works and teachers should be men would also help.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  October 5, 2018

      I never hear of anyone demanding 50/50 in rubbish removal, mining, furniture moving, road digging, drainlaying, work that means going down sewers, logging, heavy work generally….I wonder why this is ?

      Reply
      • PartisanZ

         /  October 5, 2018

        Ummm … Perhaps because the 50/50 quota mindset – and its corollary the anti-50/50 quota mindset – are both complete and absolute friggin’ RED HERRINGS!!??

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  October 5, 2018

          Will you be emailing JAG?

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  October 5, 2018

            IN CAPITALS?

            Reply
            • PartisanZ

               /  October 5, 2018

              I use caps because I don’t know how to make words & phrases bold on here Gezza … that’s all … I know you feel SHOUTED AT … but that’s your problem …

            • Gezza

               /  October 5, 2018

              Ok, if that’s what you think, i’m happy for you – but will you be emailing JAG to tell her that her 50/50 quota for public service executive managers is a complete and absolute RED HERRING !!??

              PS:
              https://yournz.org/help/
              HTML Help (to make comments work a bit better):

            • Griff.

               /  October 5, 2018

              How to bold italic strike and subscript script Here.

              Blockquote works the same within if you want to show you are quoting something .

              To embed a link as i did above.

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  October 5, 2018

          No, they are real….but only at the top, of course, nobody demands that women be given half the hard and unpleasant jobs – I can’t think why.

          Reply
          • PartisanZ

             /  October 5, 2018

            I can … I think its because the real issue is equal pay for equal work in the jobs women do do … not the one’s they don’t do …

            Reply
            • PartisanZ

               /  October 5, 2018

              And perhaps access to the jobs women want to do … and not the ones they don’t want to do …???

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  October 5, 2018

              I think it’s because equality is wanted at the top, not the bottom.

              Equal pay for a job was in before I started work. Equal pay and equal earnings are not synonymous.

              I wonder if the DPB is taken into account when it comes to women’s incomes. It makes no sense to just say that (totally unrealistic, easy to calculate figures coming) that there are 1000 women and 1000 men in the NZ workforce. The women take home 10,000 in total, the men take home 11,000 in total.

              But as some women work p/t when they have small children, some are on the DPB, some will be on maternity leave, even if every person in NZ was paid the same hourly rate at work, women would never earn the same unless they did the same hours.

              If people want the big money, they should do the work that pays this. I don’t see why a shopworker should earn the same as a miner when the work is so different.

  8. Rickmann

     /  October 5, 2018

    Yes, women are grossly unrepresented in military cemetaries, the horrendously war wounded (physical and mental) still lingering forgotten (except by their comrades) in hospitals and elsewhere and the overly male dangerous work casualty lists.

    Reply
    • PartisanZ

       /  October 5, 2018

      Don Quixote-style tilting at windmills IMHO Rickmann … This quota/representation thing is not what the whole conversation is about, except insomuch as some women wanted, and eventually won, the right to serve as front line soldiers …

      They never demanded that 50% of front line soldiers be women …

      Reply
  9. Rickmann

     /  October 5, 2018

    How the hell do you get to call Sommers a “radical feminist” ? I recommend to all that you actually read at least “Who Stole Feminism” and “The War on Boys”, especially the first chapter in the latter book on the mind boggling bias and outright lies in the media. And I mean, the whole books by the way. She is a traditional feminist who actually likes men, especially her two sons and husband. A founder member of NOW, (National Organisation of WOMEN in the U.S.) with a P.hD in Psychology (I think) she has been savagely attacked by the third wave gender feminists. If you think feminists hate men, you should witness some of their docrtrinal scraps.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  October 5, 2018

      You need to reread the blog post and not just the sardonic headline.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s