Feminist philosopher Christina Hoff Sommers enjoys the way that she and her fellow philosophers can sharply, even angrily, disagree on various points and still be friends and go out for drinks later. When debate on a particular movement breaks up friendships, it seems probable that the movement has stopped moving and has become a religion in which either there are no new revelations, or new revelations have to pass through the vetting of the establishment to be acknowledged.

In 1988, Hoff Sommers spoke at the American Philosophical Association and shared her criticisms of modern academic feminism, and she saw that there was something different about this particular debate. She and her detractors didn’t go out for drinks or part in a friendly way, and this event ended up radically changing the course of her career. She hadn’t realized that feminism was a religion until she was excommunicated. She is now labeled as a “right-winger” even though she’s a registered Democrat.

Though I don’t have time to do justice to this topic today, I’d just love to hear everyone’s thoughts about what it means to be afraid of criticism — to feel like everything you believe in is a house of cards that will come crashing down with the slightest breeze. And of course, being open to criticism means that people I admire like Christina Hoff Sommers should be expected to weather it, too. I hope you’ll comment below.

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8 thoughts on “When a movement can’t survive criticism…(Click this title to read more.)

  1. In my experience, criticism is a sign that one is actually accomplishing something. To a certain degree, criticism is a response from individuals whose world views are challenged, making them uncomfortable. The harsher the criticism, especially from a small group who once included the person criticized, the less comfortable the critics are with things.
    In this instance and similar circumstance, overly harsh criticism from third-wave feminists is akin to the rancor raised by the heresy and apostasy in religion. Modern feminism has become a movement so dedicated to the promotion of women that the destruction of men ahs replaced the destruction of “barriers to equality” from second-wave feminism. Third wave no longer targets institutions deemed sexist; it attacks people deemed sexist, labelling them to marginalize them.
    These feminists should take note that intolerance of others is the root of institutionalized prejudice, and the hallmark of every group in history that has been accused of going too far. When a desire for equality becomes a determination to get even, the movement becomes a special interest group where, to quote George Orwell, “some pigs are more equal than others”.

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  2. One thing I’ve noted is, in this environment where people are normally berated if they draw statistical conclusions about any group of people, it’s okay to say stuff like “Men are more violent,” because of the statistics about violent crime. Men are the new “them” — the new “other.”

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    1. I’ve noticed that prejudice against social minorities is always wrong, but prejudice against social majorities is acceptable.
      It’s get-even, not gain equality, and it’s sickening.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, that stinks. Since there’s no true objectivism in journalism, we really need to read publications and authors coming from all different vantage points along the spectrum. But so many professors want to steer students to just one kind. Mind control.

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