Feminist scholar hits ‘fainting-couch’ sisters: ‘We are not fragile little birds’

by WorldTribune Staff, April 25, 2017

Feminists in 2017 aren’t interested in equality with men – they want “protection from them,” feminist scholar Christina Hoff Sommers said.

In an interview with the American Enterprise Institute resident scholar posted on April 23, the Washington Free Beacon said Sommers “is concerned that classical equity feminism has been eclipsed by what she calls ‘fainting-couch feminism,’ an ideology overplaying victimhood that has leaked from college campuses and celebrity activists into the mainstream.”

Christina Hoff Sommers: ‘I see this new feminism — which is more heavily influenced by Marxism than anything else — as a setback for women.’

Sommers told the Beacon that “the fainting-couch feminists are like those delicate Victorian ladies who retreated to an elegant chaise when overcome by emotion. These fainting-couchers view women as fragile creatures who need safe spaces and trigger warnings to protect them from the big, bad world. Their main goal is not equality with men; it’s protection from them.

“As an equity feminist from the ’70s, I see this new feminism — which is more heavily influenced by Marxism than anything else — as a setback for women. We are not children. We are not fragile little birds.”

Sommers said she “was amazed by the laundry list of grievances” at the Women’s March on Washington in January.

“Sure, there are standard (justifiable) feminist demands like affordable childcare, but the mission statement also calls for ending war, free migration for trans people, and an end to police militarization,” she said.

“Basically, the mission statement was a grab-bag of random, sometimes dubious causes. I recognize that millions of women were distressed by Trump’s victory – I’m one of them – and came together in D.C. and across the country to express dismay and disappointment. The march itself was a success. But it succeeded despite, not because of, the distracting politics of its organizers.”

Sommers added that pro-Sharia Palestinian-American activist Linda Sarsour’s claim that feminists can’t be Zionists is “complete rubbish.”

“Israel is a democracy that had a female prime minister before most other nations. Jewish and Arab women serve in parliament, teach at world-class universities, and have equal protection under the law.

“Certainly, things aren’t perfect. I’m not naive. But the exclusion of Zionism from feminism really has nothing to do with women; rather, the extreme left has a sorry history of demonizing democracies and glorifying authoritarian states. Sarsour fits right in.”

Asked about the recent “Day Without a Woman” strike in the U.S., which implied that women live in a patriarchal society and are oppressed or unappreciated, Sommers responded:

“Oppressed? American women? That is absurd. Taken as a group, we are probably the least oppressed people on earth. America is far from perfect – and there is much room for improvement – but if there is a country out there where women have more freedom and opportunity for advancement, I’d like to know about it.

“And don’t say Sweden or Norway. Those countries are admirable in many ways, but studies have demonstrated time and again that the U.S. is far ahead of them when it comes to breaking the glass ceiling.”

Sommers concluded that “feminism is at its best when it remains true to its classical liberal humanistic roots in the European Enlightenment. It’s at its best when it affirms for women what it affirms for everyone: dignity, fairness, and liberty.

“When it drifts, and allies itself with Marxism, it goes wrong. The intersectionalists pretend they have something better to offer than classical equality feminism. They don’t. To paraphrase an old saying: Equity feminism is the worst form of feminism – except for all the rest.”