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'Zero-sum struggle'

Feminists are ‘out of touch with reality,’ writer argues

December 7, 2016

The election of Donald Trump to the American presidency is evidence that “today’s feminism” is “out of touch with reality,” according to a Washington Post Op-Ed by author and former philosophy professor Christina Sommers.

Sommers, a famed critic of contemporary feminism, claims that issues such as the gender pay gap and the oft-cited statistic that one in four college women will endure sexual assault are “exaggerated.” Furthermore, she writes, feminists ignore the “mix of burdens and advantages” impacting each gender — while men dominate positions of power, she notes, they also take on a disproportionate share of the country’s most dangerous jobs.

Condemning what she calls a “zero-sum struggle” between men and women, Sommers argues that “feminism needs to take women as they are, not as it wishes they would be.” According to a 2013 Pew Research Center poll, Sommers observes, 61 percent of American mothers would prefer to work part-time or not at all. Quoting Women in the World founder Tina Brown’s assertion that more women “want to be Melania sitting by the pool” than “[pursuing] a Ph.D. in earnest self-improvement,” Sommers attacks feminists who she claims dismiss the life choices of non-working women as the product of “entrenched sexism and internalized misogyny.”

And lest anyone think that all of the above sums up her withering take on modern feminism, Sommers has a parting shot that may raise eyebrows. For the activists organizing the Women’s March on Washington, Sommers says she has “some unsolicited advice.”

Read the full Op-Ed at The Washington Post.


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