Who stole feminism? My take on Christina Hoff Sommers’s position

I am a great admirer of Christina Hoff Sommers. She is an intelligent, articulate and brave woman, who stands implacably opposed to what she calls ‘Gender Feminism’, as I do . However, increasingly, her position is becoming untenable in my respectful submission.

When she wrote Who Stole Feminism, around twenty years ago now, the zeitgeist was different. Her so-called ‘Equity Feminism’, seemed like a valid alternative to the Gender Feminism she so castigates, but time has shown that Gender Feminism is the real deal that we have bought lock, stock and barrel.

As time has gone by, we are now seeing what feminism has been all along. It’s real intent is to overthrow the basic framework of our lives and re-shape society – all as Marx and Engels intended from the outset. “The woman question’ was always a key element in the development of Marxist revolutionary theory, and so was the creation of ‘an openly legalised community of women’. It is there for all to see in the 1848 Communist Manifesto.

Feminism in all its forms nowadays is revolutionary. It has set women against men. CHS herself has said many times that feminism has ‘divided society along the fault-line of gender’, and it stands to reason that you cannot set one half of the human race against the other and not expect serious consequences.

The most important thing to acknowledge about feminism, however it is labelled, is its results in society. It has brought about is the breakdown of the institution of marriage and the family, that stable means by which children are brought up in an individual economic unit, by two heterosexual parents who are committed to each other, as well as to the task of bringing up children, so those children can grow up to become fully-functioning adults, and then go on to build a future stable society.

Feminism (which is really another expression of communism), is deeply embedded in utopianism. It is fundamentally opposed to all forms of society built on the nuclear family. It wants – well, communism – community living, no private property, children in common ownership of the community not their parents, women in the workforce rather than being homemakers, and all so it can shape society to be communists. The ‘bourgeois’ nuclear family blocks this.

The fight against patriarchy is really the fight against fathers – and the father as head of the family (the very term means the ‘rule of the father’, not the rule of men as many people believe). It is a ‘straw man’ argument (one put up to be shot down) and it is a pure Marxian construct that conflates the ideas of the struggle between the proletariat (the working classes aka the underdog) and capitalism with the alleged struggle between women (the underdog) and men (the powerful).

This was a deliberately and openly contrived construct of Frederich Engels (it is in his papers) intended to provide a coherent central message for ‘the revolution’ against marriage and social stability that he and Marx hatched in a window seat in Chetham’s Library in Manchester in the nineteenth century.

It was part of the cause to which women could rally, but they were duped. Anyone who believes feminism is about righting the historical wrongs perpetrated by men against women has bought a lie, and anyone who thinks feminism has actually improved society is a dupe.

My reading of CHS is that she is a traditional conservative. She might even be seen as a Neocon. Yet she still seems to hold to the view that there is a ‘good’ feminism and a ‘bad’ one. When it is all boiled down, and the residue at the bottom of the pan is examined, however, the truth is, all feminism is anathema to her values (which I, and many others share).

In the interim between Who Stole Feminism and now, that boiling down has taken place. With the changes to society that feminism has wrought (changes that have become embedded through political policy that has marginalised and demeaned men, especially men as fathers) we now see all the false faces of feminism fully exposed for what they are.

With the perspective of time, we can see how ‘Equity Feminism’ was a sweetener for the bitter medicine that was being poured down our throats (now men are being water-boarded by it, and we’re gagging). The snake oil really was snake oil in its most literal sense, a slithering viper that has wormed its way into the very innards of society, into every aspect of our lives, causing untold damage from the inside.

It is high time we made the word ‘Feminism’ a pejorative term. Something to be ashamed of. There is no ‘good’ feminism. The term no longer has any place on the lips of civilised people.


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  • Mark

    A trad con would be looking to revert to traditional narrowly defined conjugal roles. The expansion of roles has been beneficial to both men and women, what hasn’t been beneficial is the inevitable conflict and distrust that comes from one gender seeing themselves as the oppressed and the other as the oppressor. That antagonism together with an “ends justify the means” and “noble lies” ethos led to gender feminism having a repressive effect on society. I think what Sommers is offering is a compromise – maintaining the freedoms of women, but treating the rights and freedoms of men as equally worthy of defending, and with neither gender seeing the other as the enemy but instead treating individuals as individuals. Whether that should or shouldn’t be called feminism is open to debate – there are certainly people who call themselves “feminist” who think just that, but they need sufficient scepticism to not be affected by the toxic memes the gender feminists circulate into the culture.

    • Herbert Purdy

      Hi Mark. Thanks for this. I appreciate constructive engagement. I understand what you are saying, but wonder what benefits have accrued from what you call the expansion of roles? Could you suggest some?

      And as to equally defending the rights and freedoms of men and women – that sounds like egalitarianism to me -and if it is, then how can so-called Equity Feminism fit in with that? Surely its one-sidedness militates against equality for all, doesn’t it?

      That is why I think Christina’s position is ultimately indefensible – even thought she is undoubtedly full of integrity and intelligence.

      • Mark

        I consider myself an equity MRA! If feminism isn’t pissing on my shoes it can do what it likes! But if it still believes in patriarchy theory, rape culture, the gendering of issues that aren’t gendered, the idea that masculinity is toxic or the ongoing use of disinformation (or the unskeptical receiving of disinformation) then it is going to repeatedly piss on my shoes and I’ll carry on calling it out. But Sommers is one of the rare few that manages to avoid all those pitfalls. I can think of one or two others.

        • Herbert Purdy

          I guess I’m just a plain old simple egalitarian, still intrigued by your assertion that the expansion of roles has been beneficial to both men and women. No need to answer, of course, I’m just interested in exploring all ideas.

          • Belinda Brown

            hmmm I’m just looking at this – I think I would describe myself as an MRA and am against feminism. But I do get the impression that men seem quite happy about getting more involved in the childcare role and that women maybe do have more work opportunities and that is a good thing? Flexible employment might be bad for business but is potentially good for quality of life in other ways? So I feel that feminism did have some sort of useful role – nothing that could compensate for the damage it wreaked but it did have a useful role by expanding roles and now it should just stop. Well it should have stopped ages ago. I do have some ambivalences in my opposition to feminism.

          • Nickel

            If a woman wants a good provider, he is most likely be busy providing, and her priority will be to nurture, even if she contributes financially too.

            You can’t be a strong man, wake up at nights, work longs hours in office or in construction, bring the toddlers to childcare, and be the best provider.

            Men and women have to choose. Feminism teach women they don’t have to, and put the blame on men.

  • Alex Cockell

    If CHS and Warren Farrell were able to head up a pushback.. which is in progress… maybe eventually we could get out of this mess…

    But regrettably MGTOW is the safest option..