Christina Hoff Sommers
American philosopher
Christina Hoff Sommers
Christina Hoff Sommers is an American author and former philosophy professor who is known for her critique of late 20th century feminism, and her writings about feminism in contemporary American culture. Her most widely discussed books are Who Stole Feminism?: How Women Have Betrayed Women and The War Against Boys: How Misguided Feminism Is Harming Our Young Men.
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Are We Raising Sexist Sons?
NYTimes - over 1 year
Jane McManus, a sportswriter, recently wrote about her frustration at hearing that a boy mocked her daughter in school for wanting to learn how to play football. We've come so far -- thanks in part to Title IX -- in redefining gender roles and raising our daughters' expectations, McManus lamented, and yet we have failed to teach inclusion to our sons. Do we need to do more to change the way we raise boys? Responses: Many Boys Today Define Masculinity Negatively Leonard Sax, physician and psychologist Moms, and Dads, Need to Say Something Kate Lombardi, author, "The Mama's Boy Myth" Encourage Individuality, So They Can Respect It in Others Tim King, Urban Prep Academies Work With Boys — Not Against Their Nature Christina Hoff Sommers, author, "The War Against Boys" Model and Show I ...
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NYTimes article
Baby Boomers, Don't Be So Quick to Mock Colleges on 'Trigger Warnings' and 'Micro-aggressions'
Huffington Post - over 1 year
Co-authored with Morton Schapiro Everyone knows that kids find their elders deeply uncool. We'll reveal our own uncoolness by citing John Sebastian's 1969 song "Younger Generation" to prove the point. "Why must every generation think their folks are square?" he asks. The lyrics go on to offer an uncomfortable futuristic scenario: a child who tells his dad about taking LSD and riding a toy vehicle that goes 200 miles an hour. But as college presidents, we've noticed an odd trend. Turning the Sebastian lyric on its head, baby boomer pundits are accusing the younger generation of, in effect, being square. They ridicule students for asking professors to provide advance warning about disturbing materials -- so-called trigger warnings -- and mock administrators trying to better protect students on campus. Commentators portray students who make such requests as hypersensitive, self-involved and censorial -- which is to say, the uncool opposite of the tolerant and communal, anything-goes ...
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Huffington Post article
Video: Megyn Kelly offers helpful advice to students seeking “safe space” from opinions
Hot Air - almost 2 years
"Toughen up, buttercup." “Life doesn’t only involve the people who think the way you think,” Megyn Kelly told college students toward the end of her interview with Christina Hoff Sommers. Kelly and Sommers discuss the latter’s recent experiences at college campus events, where the mere presence of her fact-based critiques of “rape culture” hysteria are enough to send […] View the video »
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Hot Air article
Sleepwalker statue on college campus scares female students
Fox News - about 3 years
Christina Hoff Sommers on controversy
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Fox News article
No, Women Don't Make Less Money Than Men (Christina Hoff Sommers/The Daily Beast)
Memeorandum - about 3 years
Christina Hoff Sommers / The Daily Beast: No, Women Don't Make Less Money Than Men  —  It's the bogus statistic that won't die—and president deployed it during the State of the Union—but women do not make 77 cents to every dollar a man earns.  —  President Obama repeated the spurious gender wage gap statistic in his State of the Union address.
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Memeorandum article
Update on Eric Holder and the false information that remains on the DOJ website
The American - about 3 years
Here’s a recap and update of the nearly three-year quest for truth and justice at the Department of Justice: 1. In a speech on August 3, 2009 in Long Beach, CA at a conference sponsored by The University of Minnesota’s Institute on Domestic Violence in the African-American Community, Attorney General Eric Holder made the following claim: “Intimate partner homicide is the leading cause of death for African-American women ages 15 to 45. These statistics are shocking and completely unacceptable.” 2. In a subsequent speech on October 19, 2009 at a Domestic Violence Awareness Month Event in Washington, D.C., Holder repeated the same statistic: “Disturbingly, intimate partner homicide is the leading cause of death for African-American women ages 15 to 45.” 3. In a February 4, 2011 op-ed in USAToday, AEI scholar Christina Hoff-Sommers pointed out that Holder’s statistic on the leading cause of death for African-American women ages 15 to 45 was in fact false. Very false. Data from the Ce ...
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The American article
Is masculine culture toxic for boys?
The American - about 3 years
A popular trailer for a new documentary by filmmaker Jennifer Siebel Newsom portrays boys as isolated, violent and depressed. According to the film, boys are driven to violent and destructive behavior by societal pressure to conform to a rigid code of masculinity. In this video, Christina Hoff Sommers responds to Newsom’s documentary and offers a defense of healthy masculinity. Rather than seeking to reengineer their masculinity, Sommers argues that we should appreciate boys’ distinctive traits and encourage them to channel their maleness towards constructive ends. Sommers’ written response to “The Mask You Live In” was published in TIME. For more information on the plight of boys, see her most recent book, The War Against Boys: How Misguided Policies are Harming Our Young Men. Follow her on twitter @CHSommers. See more AEI videos here. Follow AEIdeas on Twitter at @AEIdeas.
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The American article
Tuesday afternoon links
The American - over 3 years
1. The 4×6 index card above has all the financial advice you’ll ever need, from Harold Pollack (via Ezra Klein). 2. From Law Enforcement Against Prohibition: US police arrested more people for marijuana in 2012 than for all violent crimes combined, according to FBI data released this week. “Every time a police officer makes an arrest for drugs, that’s several hours out of his or her day not spent going after real criminals. As the country has been investing more and more of its resources into prosecuting drug ‘crime,’ the rate of unsolved violent crime has been steadily increasing. Where are our priorities here?” asked retired lieutenant commander Diane Goldstein. 3. Why does California Jail Unlicensed Landscapers When Its Jobless Rate is So High? Don’t Cops Have Better Things to Do – Like Arrest People for Violent Crimes? 4. Markets in Everything: Vending machines for live crabs in China and hot french fries and mayonnaise in Belgium. 5. What About Our Boys? An inte ...
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The American article
Gender Segregation and Civil Rights
Huffington Post - over 3 years
Last week, I had the strange experience of debating Christina Hoff Sommers on the topic of single-sex schooling just a few miles from where the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s historic march for civil rights was being celebrated. If you were not aware, single-sex classrooms have experienced a revival in the last few years due to a 2006 reinterpretation of Title IX that was implemented in spite of considerable opposition from civil rights groups. If you are also wondering why a neuroscientist (me) would be debating such a topic, I should mention that among the hundreds of American schools that now routinely segregate boys and girls for some or all of their academic classes, a large number base their new pedagogy on erroneous claims about gender differences in children's brains. Elsewhere, I and other scientists have debunked these claims, which derive from a few pop psychologists who do a lot of teacher training in our public and private schools. And I'm happy to say tha ...
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Huffington Post article
Christina Hoff Sommers: Close the Wage Gap by Changing Your Major
Huffington Post - over 3 years
If today's young women want to close the wage gap, they should change their college majors. Aspiring early childhood educators or social workers should reconsider: the median earnings in these fields are $36,000 and $39,000, respectively. By contrast, petroleum engineering and metallurgy degrees promise far more money: median earnings are $120,000 and $80,000. Here is a list of the 10 most remunerative majors compiled by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. Note that men overwhelmingly outnumber women in all but one major. Petroleum Engineering: 87% Male Pharmacy Pharmaceutical Sciences and Administration: 48% Male Mathematics and Computer Science: 67% Male Aerospace Engineering: 88% Male Chemical Engineering: 72% Male Electrical Engineering: 89% Male Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering: 97% Male Mechanical Engineering: 90% Male Metallurgical Engineering: 83% Male Mining and Mineral Engineering: 90% Male And here are th ...
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Huffington Post article
Christina Hoff Sommers: Lessons from a Feminist Paradise on Equal Pay Day
Huffington Post - almost 4 years
Sweden seems to be an egalitarian, feminist utopia. So why are American women ahead of their Swedish counterparts in breaking through the glass ceiling? On the surface, Sweden appears to be a feminist paradise. Look at any global survey of gender equity and Sweden will be near the top. Family-friendly policies are its norm -- with 16 months of paid parental leave, special protections for part-time workers and state-subsidized preschools where, according to a government website, "gender-awareness education is increasingly common." Due to an unofficial quota system, women hold 45 percent of positions in the Swedish parliament. They have enjoyed the protection of government agencies with titles like the Ministry of Integration and Gender Equality and the Secretariat of Gender Research. So, why are American women so far ahead of their Swedish counterparts in breaking through the glass ceiling? In a 2012 report, the World Economic Forum found that when it comes to closing the ...
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Huffington Post article
Michael Kimmel: Do Boys Face More Sexism Than Girls?
Huffington Post - about 4 years
When it comes to education, are boys the new girls? Are they facing more discrimination than their female peers, just because they are sexually different? According to recent studies, boys score as well as or better than girls on most standardized tests, yet they are far less likely to get good grades, take advanced classes or attend college. We asked prominent gender warriors, Michael Kimmel and Christina Hoff Sommers, to hash this one through in HuffPost's latest "Let's Talk" feature. Michael: Christina, I was really impressed with your recent op-ed in the Times. The first edition of your book, The War Against Boys: How Misguided Policies Are Harming Our Young Men, came out in 2000. Maybe I've optimistically misread, but it seemed to me that the change in your subtitle from "misguided feminism" (2000) to "misguided policies" indicates a real shift in your thinking? Does it? What's changed for boys in the ensuing decade? Have things gotten worse? Why revise it now? ...
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Huffington Post article
Dads Weigh In On Why Boys Fall Behind
NPR - about 4 years
Host Michel Martin continues the conversation about why boys fall behind in school. She speaks with a group of parents and experts: author Christina Hoff Sommers, New York University education professor Pedro Noguera, University of Virginia Dean Bob Pianta, and Glenn Ivey, father of five boys. » E-Mail This     » Add to
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NPR article
Are Schools 'Boy-Averse'?
Education Week - about 4 years
In The New York Times, Christina Hoff Sommers, author of The War Against Boys, discusses a new study looking at why boys tend to get lower grades than girls. A central cause identified by the study, she says, is that teachers tend to factor behavior into grades: The study's authors analyzed data from more than 5,800 students from kindergarten through fifth grade and found that boys across all racial groups and in all major subject areas received lower grades than their test scores would have predicted. The scholars attributed this "misalignment" to differences in "noncognitive skills": attentiveness, persistence, eagerness to learn, the ability to sit still and work independently. As most parents know, girls tend to develop these skills earlier and more naturally than boys. The solution, Sommers argues, is not for teachers simply to turn a blind eye on some boys' tendencies toward inattentiveness or disruptive behavior. Rather, she calls for a "concerted effort" to ...
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Education Week article
Barbara & Shannon Kelley: Enough Already With the End of Men
Huffington Post - about 4 years
Something has been nagging at me ever since I read Christina Hoff Sommers' Opinionator piece in Sunday's New York Times. Did you catch it? It's yet another essay lamenting the disconnect between today's school system and, well, the nature of boys. Her piece, which links declining male achievement with grade school culture, is pegged to a new study that found that, despite the fact that boys do just as well as girls on standardized tests, they are less likely to "get good grades, take advanced classes or attend college." No previous study, to my knowledge, has demonstrated that the well-known gender gap in school grades begins so early and is almost entirely attributable to differences in behavior. The researchers found that teachers rated boys as less proficient even when the boys did just as well as the girls on tests of reading, math and science. (The teachers did not know the test scores in advance.) If the teachers had not accounted for classroom behavior, the boys' ...
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Huffington Post article
Alisa Valdes: Anti-feminist romance not so romantic - about 4 years
It's a romance-memoir about a hardcore feminist who falls in love with a cowboy who teaches her to reconnect with her "femininity" — and to never talk back, open her own car door or walk on the street side of the sidewalk. The book, which features a cover image of a woman's bare legs tossed high with a cowboy hat perched atop one foot, has been heavily marketed to the anti-feminist crowd, even earning a plug from Christina Hoff Sommers, who called it a "riveting tale about how a brilliant, strong-minded woman liberated herself from a dreary, male-bashing, reality-denying feminism." But now the author, Alisa Valdes, a prolific romance novelist, alleges that the man who taught her to "submit," and to enjoy it, turned out — after she wrote this love letter of a book about him — to be an abuser. Yesterday, Valdes published a blog post claiming that after she turned in the manuscript for "The Feminist and the Cowboy: An Unlikely Love Story," said cowboy became emotionally and physically a ...
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Work Less, Make Less. It All Adds Up To Me
Mens News Daily - almost 5 years
Work Less, Make Less. It All Adds Up To Me I write seven days a week, often well into the evenings, and do a radio show on Sunday nights. My stay-at-home mom neighbor is writing a middle-grade novel -- and it's good -- but she just had her third baby, and I came over the other day and she was tapping out notes about a character on her cell phone before the baby woke up (because she had no place to put the computer). Most of her time is kid-time, and she steals away an hour here or there to write. Let's say we write the same sort of stuff, and work for a company. Should we be paid the same amount of money? On what planet would that be fair? Christina Hoff Sommers blogs at US News about the unfairness of the Paycheck Fairness Act: Groups like the National Organization for Women insist that women are being cheated out of 24 percent of their salary. The pay equity bill is driven by indignation at this supposed injustice. Yet no competent labor economist takes the NOW perspective se ...
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Mens News Daily article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Christina Hoff Sommers
  • 2013
    Age 63
    The National Women's Political Caucus (NWPC) awarded Sommers with one of its twelve 2013 Exceptional Merit in Media Awards for her New York Times article, "The Boys at the Back".
    More Details Hide Details In their description of the winners, NWPC states, "Author Christina Sommers asks whether we should allow girls to reap the advantages of a new knowledge based service economy and take the mantle from boys, or should we acknowledge the roots of feminism and strive for equal education for all?"
  • 2000
    Age 50
    In 2000, Sommers published The War Against Boys: How Misguided Feminism Is Harming Our Young Men.
    More Details Hide Details In the book, Sommers challenged what she called the "myth of shortchanged girls" and the "new and equally corrosive fiction" that "boys as a group are disturbed." Criticizing programs which had been set up in the 1980s to encourage girls and young women - largely in response to studies which had suggested that girls "suffering through neglect in the classroom and the indifference of male-dominated society" - Sommers argued in The War Against Boys that such programs were based on flawed research, arguing that it was just the other way around: boys were a year and a half behind girls in reading and writing and less likely to go to college. She blamed Carol Gilligan as well as organizations such as the National Organization for Women (NOW) for creating a situation in which "boys are resented, both as the unfairly privileged sex and as obstacles on the path to gender justice for girls." According to Sommers, "a review of the facts shows boys, not girls, on the weak side of an education gender gap."
  • 1988
    Age 38
    Beginning in the late 1980s, Sommers published a series of articles in which she strongly criticized feminist philosophers and American feminism in general In a 1988 Public Affairs Quarterly article titled "Should the Academy Support Academic Feminism," Sommers wrote that "the intellectual and moral credentials of academic feminism badly want scrutiny," and asserted that "the tactics used by academic feminists have all been employed at one time or another to further other forms of academic imperialism."
    More Details Hide Details In articles titled "The Feminist Revelation" and "Philosophers against the Family," which she published during the early 1990s, Sommers argued that many academic feminists were "radical philosophers" who sought dramatic social and cultural change - such as the abolition of the nuclear family - and thus revealed their contempt for the actual wishes of the "average woman." These articles would form the basis for Who Stole Feminism. In Who Stole Feminism, Sommers outlines her distinction between "gender feminism", which she regards as being the dominant contemporary approach to feminism, and "equity feminism", which she presents as more akin to first-wave feminism. She uses the work to argue that contemporary feminism is too radical and disconnected from the lives of typical American women, presenting her equity feminism alternative as a better match for their needs. In criticizing contemporary feminism, Sommers writes that an often-mentioned March of Dimes study which says that "domestic violence is the leading cause of birth defects", does not exist, and that violence against women does not peak during the Super Bowl, which she describes as an urban legend, arguing that such statements about domestic violence helped shape the Violence Against Women Act, which initially allocated $1.6 billion a year in federal funds for ending domestic violence against women. Similarly, she argues that feminists assert that approximately 150,000 women die each year from anorexia, an apparent distortion of the American Anorexia and Bulimia Association's figure that 150,000 females have some degree of anorexia.
  • 1981
    Age 31
    Sommers married the Harry A. Wolfson Chair in Philosophy at Brandeis University, Fred Sommers, in 1981, and was widowed in 2014.
    More Details Hide Details She has two sons. Sommers is a member of the Board of Advisors of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. She has appeared on numerous television programs including Nightline, 60 Minutes, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and Comedy Central's The Daily Show, and has lectured and taken part in debates on more than 100 college campuses. and served on the national advisory board of the Independent Women's Forum and the Center of the American Experiment. Sommers has written articles for Time, The Huffington Post, The Atlantic, Slate, and The New York Times. At the AEI she currently makes the weekly "Factual Feminist" video blog. Sommers describes equity feminism as the struggle based upon Enlightenment principles of individual justice for equal legal and civil rights and many of the original goals of the early feminists, as in the first wave of the women's movement. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy categorizes equity feminism as libertarian or classically liberal. She characterizes gender feminism as having transcended the liberalism of early feminists so that instead of focusing on rights for all, gender feminists view society through the sex/gender prism and focus on recruiting women to join the struggle against patriarchy. Reason reviewed Who Stole Feminism?: How Women Have Betrayed Women and characterized gender feminism as the action of accenting the differences of genders in order to create what Sommers believes is privilege for women in academia, government, industry, or the advancement of personal agendas.
  • 1980
    Age 30
    In 1980, she became an assistant professor of philosophy at Clark University, and was promoted to associate professor in 1986.
    More Details Hide Details Sommers remained at Clark until 1997, when she became the W.H Brady fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.
  • 1978
    Age 28
    From 1978 to 1980, Sommers was an instructor at the University of Massachusetts at Boston.
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  • 1971
    Age 21
    Sommers was born in Petaluma, California, to Dolores and Kenneth Hoff. She is Jewish. She earned a BA at New York University in 1971, and a PhD in philosophy from Brandeis University in 1979.
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  • 1950
    Age 0
    Born on September 28, 1950.
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Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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