The Fabulous 'Factual Feminist'
9:10 AM, Apr 29, 2014 • By CLAUDIA ANDERSON
No one has done more than American Enterprise Institute scholar Christina Hoff Sommers to watchdog the perennially unreliable claims of activist feminism. Ever since her Who Stole Feminism: How Women Have Betrayed Women (1994), Sommers, a former professor of philosophy, has been performing the invaluable service of fact checking assertions about the oppression of women that seemed on their face incredible but were nonetheless endlessly repeated by supposedly reputable writers, publications, and politicians. And time and again, when she took the trouble to trace such a claim to its source, she found it collapsed.
In Who Stole Feminism, for instance, Sommers debunks the hysterical assertion that domestic violence against pregnant women was the leading cause of birth defects in the United States–more birth defects, some fumed, than all other causes combined. She discovered this absurd claim sprouted from the entirely different statement by a child care specialist introducing a speaker at a conference in 1989 that “we screen for battery far less than we screen for birth defects.” Yet once garbled and put into a manuscript and circulated among credulous activists, the phony claim was transmuted into a feminist “fact.”
Sommers’s latest venture is her Monday morning video podcast, "The Factual Feminist." She’s already taken on the gender wage gap, the Ban Bossy campaign, and bogus statistics on sexual assault. Watch the series here, and watch for future links at THE WEEKLY STANDARD. Better yet, subscribe to "The Factual Feminist" and send it to your friends.
And while you’re at it, don’t miss Sommers’s latest book, a positive take on feminism, Freedom Feminism—Its Surprising History and Why it Matters Today, and the updated edition of The War Against Boys: How Misguided Policies Are Harming our Young Men.
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