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tv   In Depth  CSPAN  December 25, 2013 1:00am-4:01am EST

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fashion. rather, read through hundreds, probably more than hundreds, of unpublished memoirs, primarily collected by a foundation. ... today at noon eastern on c-span2 and sunday at 5:00 on c-span3. up next, author and scholar christina hoff summers, feminism critic and former philosophy professor talk about ethics in everyday life, the current state of feminism and policies she says harm young men. the resident scholar of the
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american enterprise institute is the author or co-author of four nonfiction books including "who stole feminism?: how women have betrayed women," mcnerney king and the revised war against boys: how misguided policies are harming our young men". >> christina hoff summers, how do you define feminism? >> in the best sense feminism is the philosophy is that says the plant women are equal before the law. they deserve the same rights, the same liberties, equal dignity end basically a philosophy of basic fairness. >> host: in your book "who stole feminism?: how women have betrayed women" you talk about the new feminism. what is the new feminism? >> the new feminism emerged especially in thes and 90s and is a hard-line version. i became a feminist in the 70s. i did not appreciate male chauvinism and believed in equality of opportunity.
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however, in the 80s and 90s, i was reading a feminist the arrests and feminist philosophers and there were furious that were so aggressive in their harshly anti mail. as i read these textbooks it was as if they were following the model women are from venus, are from hell. i didn't become a feminist to denigrate men. was a reverse chauvinism. we have antagonism to men. so i took exception to that. many other things. i found i even developed terms. i called myself and equity feminists, who once for women what she wants for every one. basic respect and equality. the other school law called gender feminism because they believed in the sex gender system and there were a group of
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the arrests who thought that women wear an oppressed class and the oppression was systemic and every major institution was the patriarchy. it was not enough to improve the condition of women or change laws, the system, the gender system had to be dismantled. that led to some very radical proposals that very few women wanted. most women want their right. they want to be liberated from the capitalist patriarchal oppressive society if there is such a thing. there may be places in the world where there is such a thing but the united states, feminism was a great success story and i didn't find my colleagues in feminist philosophy celebrating that success. almost as if things got better for women, they became more resentful and angry and to what me appear to be a conspiracy theory about the patriarch. >> host: was the feminism movement of the 60s necessary in
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the u.s. in your view? >> guest: absolutely. before feminism, it started in nearly 60s and there were arbitrary barriers holding women back. you could look at a newspaper and there were jobs for men and jobs for women. it was as if women could do a few things and men could do everything else. that had to change. it had to change. was oppressive for some many women, held back so many women. there were schools where women weren't welcome, hard for women to enter professions. women who could have been biologist, philosophers, were simply not welcome. a very rare woman could break through. that had to change. had to raise consciousness about violence against women, sexual harassment. there were legitimate equity issues and i am very grateful, all women must be grateful to
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the activists and legislators that changed things very much for the better. >> host: what are some of the laws that passed the that you think were good for more equality? >> guest: the equal pay act, a series of supreme court hearings you could fire woman because she was pregnant, eventually had laws against harassment in the workplace, things that had once seemed this is just life, people proposition each other in the workplace, it turned out there was a disparate impact on women in the workplace with this kind of sexual overtures that were sometimes used to pressure women, almost blackmail women. that needed to shane and more laws protecting women from discrimination and harassment so certainly a strong proponent, almost all the equity legislation in the 60s and 70s.
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>> host: if you were to explain from your book "who stole feminism?: how women have betrayed women," it is unworthy of dignified feminism and educationally harmful. >> yes. introducing you to a new vocabulary. came from the gender feminists, synonymous with victim feminism or hardline feminism. they took what they called a dino centric view, some young women wanted to be called dino americans. i had colleagues who referred to the dish they didn't like the word seminar because it is associated with emphasis on power so they came up with a feminist equivalent. that was funny but they weren't kidding. it was almost as if they wanted to reject everything men had done. i and many other equity feminists, wonderful women who
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have been dissidents like me, cathy young, many of us believe that the purpose of feminism was so women could win men in creating culture, women could join men is = on an equal footing as lawyers and doctors and businesses and all the professions. wasn't about rejecting all the things men had done. that is why i called it destructive. there were many young women who had come to college especially -- they would take courses where they were taught to have contempt for the achievements of the great male philosophers. and as a philosophy professor who spend all my time trying to encourage students to read and understand and appreciate plato and aristotle and descartes and
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to have my colleagues telling students these were males and we need a female versions of it was almost as if they were replacing what men had done with what hard-line feminists were doing. that wasn't equivalent because they left out most women because we want our rights bill we are not hard-liners, we don't think of ourselves as biocentric. >> host: you have a chapter caldwell we report in "who stole feminism?: how women have betrayed women". what is that? >> guest: the american association of university women in the mid 90s commission wellesley center for research on women to study the well-being of girls in school and was intitled how schools change girls, and if we were to go back into the mid 90s you would think that our schools were hospital environments for girls, they
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were second-class citizens, they were held back in every way which was important when in fact it was the exact opposite. the wellesley report was a very well-meaning -- they were so carried away with his victim agenda they failed to notice it was actually boys who had lower grades, boys who were more likely to drop out and less likely to go to college and yet not only did we have the wellesley report, but carol gilligan at harvard university debating girls as she said a are drowning and disappearing in a sea of western culture, that was her quotation, mary piper talking about revising ophelia, young women were in a state of extreme duress and suffering and falling behind, the exact opposite was true. girls by the mid 90s were flourishing in ways which were unprecedented. as a philosophy professor i
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would look at my classroom, increasingly female dominated. the girls were getting the better grades and rising. i began to check these facts to find out how did they come a -- there was so much success for women, women were getting better grades and more likely to go to college how do they turn that into bad news for women? and there you find a lot of what has gone wrong. >> host: you talk about being on pbs in your book and there was discussion on feminism and what happened there, the follow-up on dateline. what is that story? >> guest: they had done research on they claimed in a classroom boys call out eight times more than girls and when a girl will call out an answer she is likely
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to be told sit-down and waiting till you are called on. boys, the teacher will engage and respectfully entertain what they have to say. this call out gap became a signature factoid of the shortchange girls movement. you could google it and find it in nearly every news report, this injustice to girls, boys are dominating the classroom. i wanted to see the research, human stall laius check the data and in the case of this research i couldn't find it. it didn't appear there was anywhere where this factoid was documented. it turned out he had done a study for the department of education and submitted a report which was lost somewhere in the department of education. later, u.s. news and world report tried to track it down.
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wasn't able to do it. professor judith kleinfilled called and it wasn't exactly 8-1, reporters at the time, the boston globe, as they reported the statistic that is true, parents were told -- much more voluble, and shrinking violence. exactly the opposite is true. the typical classroom, no one calls on them. it is true boys get more attention, more careful research, it was negative attention. boys are more unruly or the teacher will say the president of france, johnny is not
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listening, there are more reprimands but more positive engagement comment in fact fairly good data from the department of education that they feel they have a right to express their opinions and if the teacher wants to hear what they have to say and far fewer boys feel that way. >> host: that leads into your second book "the war against boys: how misguided policies are harming our young men". just updated this year. the new edition came out this year. what is gender awareness education? >> some educators want to make gender salient in raising student consciousness and reversing if they read a fairy tale they will say sexism and have a fairy tale that reverses that and also the earliest age by making children aware what i
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think isn't true, want to make formal engenders a social invention. we are all just bore an androgynous and society imposes masculinity and femininity. most people have a gender identity that is feminine or masculine. not all, there are exceptions. as a rule is important, the critical part of your identity if you are a girl or boy and it is not something that is easily changed and there are differences and it is accommodation of biology and culture. we don't know the exact balance, being determined to deny biology is playing a role and feel that you have a gender aware classroom and the teacher is aware she should try to raise and try to make genderless salient. you raised through consciousness about gender while trying to
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diminish stereotypical expressions like little girls that they should you go to a to the playground little girls play differently from boys. the average little boy in cages in rough-and-tumble play, not fighting, sound effects, noise iran rowdier the better. girls do that too but they do it a lot less. for little girls there are turn taking games, theatrical imaginative games, playing school, playing house and exchanging confidencess with a best friend. there are educators, they want to go in and change that. typically they want boys to play more like barrels because for some reason it is as if as one psychologists at barrels of the gold standard in education. boys are viewed as defective girls, very often, increasingly berries and intolerance for useful masculinity. the high spirited play of little boys, 6 and 7-year-olds who
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engage in a lot of imaginative narrative involving superheros, rescuing people and killing the bad guys, jr. says bang bang he could be held to have run afoul of the school's zero tolerance policy. quote kids as young as 5 or 6 have been suspended for violating the rule against having firearms in school. i am in favor of zero tolerance. in my mind that is the child brings a weapon, not little boys playing cops and robbers but that is happening across the country. one little boy was suspended because he shoots a pop tart into the shape of a gun. he was suspended. his parents were appalled. he is a little boy, not a criminal. anyway, in the playground there is increasing in tolerance for a
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little bullies. >> host: in "the war against boys: how misguided policies are harming our young men" you write american boys do not need to be rescued. they are not pathological. they are not seething with repressed rage or imprisoned in straitjackets of masculinity. american girls are not suffering a crisis of confidence, nor are they being silenced by the culture. >> guest: we have to stop apologizing children, boys and girls. children are not helped if they are treated as though they are defective or deviant or in the case of boys toxic in some way. i do believe children need to be civilized, need to open their hearts and minds and teach them to be caring, considerate human beings. that does not mean forcing boys to be exactly like girls and it doesn't mean treating girls as if they are shrinking and
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flowering and failing ophelias. there is too much apologizing, children of resilience and for the most part this is a radical thing to say, most of them are quite healthy including most bullish. we have to freeze their distinction among sociologists, have to preserve a distinction between pathological masculinity and healthy masculinity. a young man who displays pathological masculinity shows his manhood by being destructive, by preying on weaker people, by tearing things apart, basically a reign of terror and. aa who is displaying healthy masculinity is the opposite, he doesn't destroy. he doesn't prey on weaker people, he protects. i believe that is a majority of men i have known. if i look at the date of the majority of men in united states
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are displaying healthy masculinity. little boy is running around a playground playing cops and robbers, terrible to confuse that with pathology but in many schools that is what we are doing. there's a wonderful researcher at the university of minnesota who is an expert on playground dynamics says rough-and-tumble play is the universal play of little boys, cross-cultural, you find males will engage in a lot of chasing behavior, high spirited fighting and so forth. teachers and parents are not making the distinction between rough-and-tumble play and violence. they are letting critical lessons about self control, and
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friendships, it is quite violent. they part as enemies. of very unhappy thing to see. a joyful dispirited natural play of little boys. boys do it, most of them, not all but most, as much as you let them, not making distinctions, healthy masculinity, pathological masculinity. small percentage of boilers are pathological. they want to be careful, a young sociopath in our midst we do everything we can to protect ourselves and everyone, that is rare. as a society we are making
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confusion, there have been shocking examples of pathological male behavior and to project that on to the majority of healthy boys and young men. >> host: when it comes to the genuine problems that do threaten childrens' prospects, their moral drift, cognitive and scholastic deficits, the healers, social reformers and confidence builders don't have the answers. on the contrary they stand in the way of genuine solutions. >> yes. i am not saying we don't have problems in our school. i don't thing boils are pathological but there is good evidence that they need character education and girls do too. most societies know that it takes more effort to socialize a young man and young boys who are morally neglected. very unpleasant ways of doing this, i have noticed. most societies in just a lot of effort into humanizing,
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civilizing young men. what i have seen is in our school there has been a decline of character education and moral education, move replacing it with things like self-esteem programs, various therapeutic approaches that are -- we have a tried and true method of civilizing boys. it is through good sportsmanship, they can get from their coaches and moral guidance from parents, but reinforced by teachers and moved away from that. i believe now boys have become second-class citizens in our schools and their problems i neglected. a young man today is less likely to go to college than his
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sister. across all ethnic groups and racial groups and socioeconomic groups you find boys are behind their female counterparts, far less literate, the average 15-year-old boy has the writing skills of a 13-year-old girl, he is reading a year-and-a-half behind her, most importantly boys like school lot less, are more disengaged. there may have been a time this wasn't a big problem, we had an economy where you could get a high school degree and work hard and make it into the middle class and educators at harvard graduate school of education said the passport to the middle classes to be the high school diploma. not anymore. there is the new passport to the middle class which is education beyond high school and girls are getting it less and less. that problem, i can't find major organizations or government
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groups, the department of education is still talking about a short changed girl because they were influenced by the early research that said girls were shortchanged in the 1990s. they haven't adjusted or adapted to the times. we have a white house council on women and girls that is concerned about the education of girls and girls don't fall behind and went it is bullies who by almost every significant metric significantly behind girls. we need a white house council on bullies as well. >> host: in a recent article you wrote women in the u.s. earn 62% of associate's degrees, 57% of bachelor's degrees, 60% of master's degrees, 52% of doctorate, college emissions officers, first baffled and concerned and finally panicked over the deaths of male applicants. if male enrollment falls below
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40% or below female students begin to fully. officials at schools at or near that tipping point are helplessly watching as campuses become like retirement villages, women competing for a handful of surviving men. >> there are campuses admissions officers are looking at, 62%, 65%, it gets worse each year. they are panicked. the administrator at the college of william and mary said we have to do something where the college of william and mary, not the college of mary and mary. educational statisticians, trends continue by 26 g-8, the last day will graduate from college. a grain of truth.
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it is quite a mystery and why girls would be, so much more aware of the importance of the education and girls have higher aspirations and some people say this is only -- manifest in the working class. it is across class you see girls outperforming the boys and this year a new study shows among the hottest performers the girls are not only far more as and a-pluss and kate ward vance placement classes but are more ambitious, a higher percentage go to graduate school and law school. again, i celebrate what has happened with girls. it is inspiring. some of it may be because of the initiatives of the shortchange girls movement. i don't say everything they did was wrong but i wish when they discovered there were gender differences in education, i wish
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it happened instead of becoming a girl partisan movement it had become a movement to improve the educational prospect of all children and help girls when they were behind and held boys where they were falling behind girls and that would have meant more support for girls in math and science because they were not doing as well as boys at one time and we managed to close that gap, that would have meant helping boys despite everything else, reading, writing, school engagement, classroom comportment, pretty good research, teachers have a bias against unruly students. understandable but these students can be 5 or 6 years old. i don't know if it is something we want to blame the boys for or punish them for, we want to make a classroom happy place for the manned room for their
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personalities and high spiritedness. we haven't done a good enough job with that. >> host: is there a shortage of male teachers and does this have an effect if there is? >> guest: there are few male teachers in elementary school. you have slightly more in high school but still this is a slight exaggeration but one critic of the current school system said schools are run by women for girls. an overstatement not my much. a lot feel that way. researchers interviewed boys, why did you leave school? why did you drop out? one little boy said i thought nobody wanted me there. it is heartbreaking. someone should make it clear they want him there. some much going on in our schools even at a level of what is girlfriend lee and not so
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friendly towards boilers. >> host: christina hoff summers back to the atlantic article, young men are vanishing breed of a college campus but there are some colleges that have no trouble attracting them. schools whose names include the letters t e c h. >> guest: georgia tech, almost any of the -- carnegie development tech schools, you'll find boys turn up in large numbers. again, we're supposed to say girls and boys are exactly the same. males and females are cognitively interchangeable. that is the politically correct view among certain educators and politicians and gender scholars and i do think there is a difference on average what men and women find interesting and we probably have a anthropological records and more recently evidence we had several
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decades of feminism. women are well aware of the field is open to them and many fields were closed to women. law and veterinarian medicine, they were male-dominated. once the doors were open, up women have taken over veterinarian medicine. taken over social sciences, english department and humanities there was always something but more than ever, there are fields where you are not finding as many women. if you told young women you want to close the pay gap major in petroleum engineering. you will make far more money as a petroleum engineer or metallurgist than early childhood education or sociology, studying psychology and yet young women persist in majoring, you don't find many, i
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became an equity feminist. any child who defies the stereotyped, anyone who wants to be a childhood in educator, i want the society where that is possible and we do have a society, there are some barriers but overall that is the goal, equal opportunity. not requiring it is some sort of injustice. we should acknowledge boys are more interested in technology and you will find more boys wanting to major in injun nearing. make a place for the young women but allowed that this is something boys are very interested in but what happened is we have wonderful programs with out reach to young women to get them to go into technical fields and it is almost as if we have forgot my boys. there is a wonderful professor at mcgil university, a professor of biomechanics and noticed all these boys on the streets of montreal with high dropout
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rates. a little club where they can come together and build things, they made a sterling engine out of coke cans and straws and something like that. doctor that these young men never held tools before. she gave them, they began to learn to use screwdrivers and hammers but it was something new to them and she realized something that was their birthright, young men tend to be tinkers and builders and acknowledging that there are those who are tinkerers and builders is as if many boys don't have access to these tools, they don't have outreach programs, they don't have special programs to interest them in engineering and a lot of them naturally take to it. i simply want to introduce some common sense into this arena. you want to do all you can to encourage boys to go into
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non-traditional fields and girls in nontraditional fields. don't expect absolute parity. we are different. >> host: from "the war against boys: how misguided policies are harming our young men" while vocational schools going to such lengths to persuade girls to become welder's rather than nurses? state and federal equity officials require them to. under the carl perkins' career and technical education act first enacted in 1984 the u.s. department of education disburses $1.1 billion annually through the state, the secondary schools and colleges for vocational and technical training. >> guest: what you find in technical schools, i visited a high school in queens, new york called aviation high. it is in a gritty section of new york. i was in an industrial area. this was aviation high. i went into a school and it was
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2,000 students and i thought i had come on the wrong day because it seemed no one was there. the quietest place in new york city and one of the most inspiring places. i realized the students were in their classrooms and they were in thrall to buy what they were doing. and aviation high, a network of career and technical training high schools in new york and in this school aviation, and the kids had to spend half of the day, standard academics, math, history and english and have to do well in those courses in order to spend time in the playground working on -- fedex donated an airplane, says the 411 and kids tinker with it and you have to do well in your class. kids will do anything to go and be able to work on that airplane and classes in the afternoon, they work on these shops and
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build and disassemble a jet engine, learning about all about aeronautics, many of the kids are drawn from economically distressed homes and broken homes and all sorts of social problems, very large number of latino, asian and african american children, all over the school, 87% male. there are girls at aviation high and they are fantastic, they are leaders in the school but they know they are different. not all girls are interested in aviation or becoming aviation pilots at jfk. some become pilots and some become mechanics. they produce huge numbers of airplane mechanics at that school. some of the women's groups, national women's law center has a major initiative that has been going on for years to
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investigate schools like aviation and get the federal government to come down and assist in some kind of title line gender equity regime. i questions this. wonderful principal and vice principal doing all they can to attract young women but mostly young men who turn out to be fixated on airplanes and think it would be fun to spend four years of high school learning about jet engines and taking up re-engineering program. there are schools like this across the country. one of the best programs is in massachusetts. it is called a cadillac of the career and technical education schools. there was a time these vocations schools attracted kids, they were thought to be places where kids can go and bad students could go there. now these schools, the pressure on them to make it possible for kids to go to college where they used to be dead ends and a lot
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go to college with higher graduation rates than many other high schools in massachusetts and some of the schools in massachusetts you can major -- i don't know major, focus on a career in trucking or refrigeration, automobile repair, aviation, you bid do cosmetology, early childhood education, nursing, the girls overall tends to go for the cosmetology, it doesn't surprise me, as a girl i would be more interested in cosmetology or early childhood education than welding. however, this -- the women's groups think that this is something pernicious going on at these schools, sex stereotyping, they are trying to undo it. i spoke to an administrator who says we do everything we can, we bring in female electricians or
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welders, really great role models, women making a fortune, we show them the role models and everything we can, but she says we will have girls coming in saying i don't want to do that, don't want to be an electrician, i want to go into early childhood education. what i think is good as they are telling the girls you will make more money if you go into some of these technical professions but the girls want to do in their hearts is not the same as the boys. as long as you make efforts to interest the kids you stop at gender quotass. the federal government is very involved because they spend a lot of funds that helped pay for these schools. they have coming and imposed a sort of gender -- quota regime and requiring schools shows that they have recruited. is not enough to show that you have programs to interest the children.
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you have to successfully get the girls to go into the welding and refrigeration and it is not working. get a few but most of them will not do it. and i asked why go to those lengths? why not do what we can? all these boys who dropped out of school, these programs would be life saving. the professor of by a mechanics at mcgill university, why aren't we reaching out to the boys and trying to bring them into fields they would love and thrive in? yet some girls, let's not pretend an aspiring cosmetologists work early childhood educator is easy to turn her into a petroleum engineer? >> host: welcome to booktv's monthly "in depth" program. we have one author on to talk about his or her body of work. this month is author and scholar christina hoff summers. her first book came out in 1994,
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best feminism?: how women have betrayed women," "the war against boys: how misguided policies are harming our young men" came out 12 years ago. a new edition this year. and "1 nation under therapy: how the helping culture is eroding self-reliance". came out in 2005. dr. sally said tell is the co-author. christina hoff summers spends her day job as a scholar at american enterprise institute. we want to get you involved in our discussion as well. we will put the numbers up on screen, 2 is your 2-585-3880. in the east and central time zones and would like to participate, 585-3881. if you would like to live in the west of the mississippi dial in those lines. @booktv is our twitter handle.
1:41 am, is our e-mail. all sorts of ways to connect with us and go ahead and we will cycled through those so you can see those numbers and different ways of contacting us as we go. christina hoff summers, in "the war against boys: how misguided policies are harming our young men," you write that the subtitle of the first edition was how misguided feminism is harming our young men. why did you change the subtitle? >> guest: my emphasis was misguided. was not feminism harming young men. what i call equity feminism that i described earlier, it helps everyone, to make a more ethical and healthy society. misguided feminism is what i was talking about earlier that for change girl movement that i felt was driven by advocacy research, misguided victim politics coming
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out of groups like the american association of university women, national women's law center, the center for research on women, that was misguided but some people couldn't get past the subtitle and thought this was an attack on feminism and made it sound harsh. i didn't mean it to be that. the last chapter of the book is still there in the new edition, one of my favorite chapter is about feminist mothers who have been surprising experience of becoming mothers of sons. these are feminist women who had little boys and what you do if you have a typical little boy coot who as one mother said, a wonderful writer sent her son to a feminist goddess worshiping co-op children's day care in cape cod. what happens when you send sort
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wielding high spirited little boy? it did not work out well. every time they played swards they take away the sticks and have the children celebrate growing tomatoes. they were constantly trying -- they were policing her son and monitoring and making him feel terrible about himself. it was liberating for her to discover the goodness in ruble is and they are not exactly like girls so the book in that sense was very positive towards these feminist mothers who were so humane and humaneness of feminism was so much a part how they approach their sons but because of the subtitle it done come through some i dropped it. >> host: your first two "who stole feminism?: how women have betrayed women" and "the war against boys: how misguided policies are harming our young men" you got branded an anti feminist. have you ever been unbranded? are you stuck with that?
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>> guest: lately it has changed. i recently won an award from the national women's political caucus, an article i wrote about boys in the new york times, and i felt it was gracious of them because they know i have been critical not so much of that organization but always been fairly mainstream and made an effort to be quite reasonable so that is very nice. also i think someone will call me a dissident feminist or conservative feminist. i don't think -- i have been so much in favor of feminism. just wrote a book called freedom feminism describing what it should be to attract more men and women because they can call me at feminist but they have to call almost everyone. if you ask most americans are you a feminist almost everyone says no. hardly anyone.
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lower -- the last study i saw 23% of women, 17% of men. the vast majority say no. one poll showed almost 20% thought it was an insult. how could a movement that stands for liberation, of the great cat is in the history of liberty, how can that be something people don't identify with? if you ask the president of the national organization for women, if someone did, he said it is the media's fault, the media keeps us as angry and humorless and so forth. i wouldn't say angry and humorless but i do think too many self identified feminists are as i said before fairly hard line, they seem to be willing to believe the worst things about men, very dissatisfied with society and i do think a captive to statistics about women's suppression and a lot of young
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women are not angry at young men, they are rather fond of them so keep their distance. you don't find many african-american women or latino women as part of the movement, largely evolve into a fairly elite white working upper middle -- not upper -- upper-middle-class women's movement. when i say who stole feminism i am talking about some elites at the university who define it in very extreme ways. doesn't appeal to many people. there have been notable in magazines the young men, colleges to avoid where it is a really hostile environment for boys, you will go there and they will have angry women and so forth. that is contributed to that bad name of feminism. people would still think i was a dissident in feminist theory, but i don't hear the attack as often as in the past.
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>> host: what about women's studies programs at university? >> guest: women's studies programs are a mix of good and bad and here is why. there are many professors of women's studies drawn from other fields. they are historians with expertise on when and in specific periods and women who are experts on women's psychology and sociology. women writers, those professors give straightforward academic classes. what worries me is what typically happens in women's studies 101 which is feminist theory and when young women coming to these classes and look at the text books and christine rosen did studies of the text books and found a lot of
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misinformation. and gary negative views of men, hostility to traditional femininity. a women forced to stay home and raise children but what about women that want to do that? that is a very admirable choice in these books take a very negative view. in feminist theory classes what i found when i was teaching philosophy you would get a textbook and i always enjoy offering students pro and con, the best that was said about a contentious issue or controversial issue and wasn't my job to give specific opinions if we were debating a metaphysical -- metaphysical issue. i didn't want to turn them into someone who believes in free will, i wanted them to enjoy reading them learn to think and decide for themselves. almost as if in these women study classes i did not find a balance, rarely have i seen a textbook in women's studies that
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i would consider balance. there may be one, please send it to me if you are out there but what i find is the gamut from a to b, the full gamut, very narrow range of views that disparage equity feminism, they will despaired that and there will be different schools, very arcane, freudian, separatists or echo feminists or post modernists, on and on. again very narrow and esoteric and not going to appeal to most people live alone students. there is too much of that in women studies. to put it more generally, in many women's studies courses the students are almost tossed a kind of conspiracy theory about the patriarch. they master rest that of statistics but their propaganda because -- this is a harsh thing to say but i will say it, the
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hard of feminist theory on campus is somebody of egregiously false information and most about how oppressed women are. how they are being cheated out of their salaries and their self-esteem is being devastated on all quarters and are put upon by men and very high chance they will be battered and raped. that is if they are not dead from anorexia in a desperate effort to meet patriarchal standards of beauty. i try to break down these statistics and they are not sourced and if they are it didn't say what it said. that was a large part of "who stole feminism?: how women have betrayed women". i tried to track down and present the vote reader with the best information we had. usually it would be the justice department or the cdc or national center for education statistics, said the gold standard for good research and
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what they found was so different from what was happening with these feminist studies that it tends to be, most of the text books are very eager to embrace studies that showed that women are losing, women are second-class citizens, we are still the second sex, we are oppressed, they are very eager to show fat and very resistant to research that comes with better news. i find that sad and manipulative more than somewhat. that is why i took exception. i do not want to implicate all women's studies. there are serious scholars and when i wrote my book freedom feminism, it was uncovering the secret history of a more moderate feminism the tribe in the 18th-century and nineteenth century and i depended on these women's studies scholars at ucla, these historians who are brilliant and imaginative and
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indispensable and first-rate scholars. i never want to be guilty of indicting all women's studies because there are great scholars of those scholars should speak out against the ideologues, the hard-liners, more vocal, set the tone and given women studies of bad name. >> host: you were a textbook author. how many text books? what are the names? >> guest: there are ethics" and "vice & virtue in everyday life: introductory readings in ethics". >> host: how did you get involved in this line of work? >> guest: by accident. i was teaching, a beginning teacher and at clark university, got my ph.d. and i talked at university of massachusetts, part time for one year and then got a job at clark and stayed there a long time, almost 20 years. i was teaching an introductory ethics class and at the time, it
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is not new any more but it was new at the time, we were debating contemporary social issues and a lot of philosophers, we were writing about abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment, censorship, and just bore, students would read these articles and we would have a debate and i would not grade them on whether they would agree with me. i was persuaded by their sides as well. i would present them. i noticed students would write reviews and i remember one struck me and and nervous me. i really enjoy this class, and learned there was no right or wrong, just good or bad argument. and i thought wait a minute, that is not exactly, there is a right or wrong. maybe i am conveying the wrong message that if we are only going to study basically censorship and capital punishment and euthanasia you a
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talking about moral responsibility to the institutions. .. about the responsibilities of institutions and society as a whole and what about the responsibilities of the individual and the students in my classroom and issues like hypocrisy and self deception and compassion. so i wanted to have a textbook that engaged them. i wanted to do all of the social policy issues because those are fantastic with great philosophers on both sides of these controversial issues. but i wanted to find personal ethics and virtue and vice and i have put together with my husband who taught for many years, and he taught at columbia university and it was all professors at columbia had to do it and he was acquainted with works and philosophy and he
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brought this into the text and would find what we could on friendship and loyalty and wisdom and generosity and i tried to make the readings accessible in one reason was i try to find articles that would be meaningful to students and accessible and at that time there were so many changes and you could see the history of the publishing and when i first sent it to my editor he called me up i couldn't stop reading these articles and we have this wonderful philosophy and a village in france was written about when he managed to save all the jews that were in safety
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there. and it was sort of thing he wanted to study goodness and he went to this village and tells the story and it's very moving and we've had in the book ever since. and so it is part now of the ninth edition. >> host: were juvenile? >> guest: are up in southern california. i went to new york university. and some of me loves the program, i had a full scholarship that. >> host: why did you major in philosophy? >> guest: i was just always
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interested. i love the history of philosophy and professional philosophies will criticize some of the things, both a historian and it was so beautifully written and exciting. it made it so attractive and that was in my mind when i arrived at nyu. and william barrett was there and he wrote on exceptionalism and so i just really love these classes. i didn't have enough common sense to know that it was impractical.
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both were english majors, my sons, which i encourage them to do. and then one has a phd in philosophy. but he is serving the success of a and it is sort of a family business, i guess. it was the early 70s. >> host: why did you grow up in southern california? >> guest: i am a second-generation californian and my parents grew up there. i went to junior high school in long beach and then moved to
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westwood and went to university high school and both schools, i had excellent teachers and a specialized english and social studies, i had a teacher who taught the classes and then teachers again in high school as well. and i hope that it is still true today, that wonderful teachers and the wonderful curriculum still exist. things were pretty well behaved. >> host: what kind of work did your parents do? >> guest: my father was a pharmacist who i lost a few years ago. at st. john's hospital in santa monica.
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he met elizabeth taylor and people like that. and he met richard burton and he was very excited about that. and my mother mostly stayed home and took care of us. but she was and is a passionate reader and a great lover of science and philosophy and i think that was an early influence. and they were all sorts of influences in the late 60s and i took latin and french and violin lessons and i think we had a fight with the school system. and they said no one can take three languages and somehow my mother managed to turn this into a prep school and had a very
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strong influence postmark before we go to call, how did you end up at the american enterprise university? >> guest: once i was on tenure, i went on a ship that went around the world and it's about 30 professors in the wonderful program. i was friends with all of them. i liked all of the teachers but they were certainly didn't radical. it was marxist, and this was in 1988. the soviet union was intact and yugoslavia was celebrated as a model society. so long story short i came off the ship and wrote an essay called the professor at sea. especially since it was so
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colorful. teaching these young women that they were oppressed and again, i found it remarkable. so i wrote abo@ found it remarkable. so i wrote about it sent it to the atlantic. and they said we can't use this article, but here's this one. it was in 1989, fairly early to be criticizing. it was the early political correctness and exposés of the crazy politics on campus. and so the commission had me write an article on us and i went from being a philosophy professor who had been publishing fairly standard philosophies, i became a journalist and then i wrote more and more and i wanted to do that
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and i found that i was competing with my teaching. so the american enterprise invited me to come and i went there for a lecture and we visited people and i was invited to join them and stayed there since 1997. >> host: christina hoff sommers is our guest. we have a call from jay in boise, idaho. you are on the air with christina hoff sommers. >> caller: doctor, thank you for doing the program. i read your book, "the war against boys: how misguided policies are harming our young men", and it was the first edition. but i guess having this answer to my question, there a lot of individuals talking about
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basically marrying their secretaries. and this includes -- now that there are women out there and basically doing the same thing. >> guest: i think what is happening now, people tend to marry someone, fall in love with someone, more or less the same level of education and intelligence and now that women are as educated or more so than men, you do find that doctors tend to marry other doctors and engineers tend to marry other engineers and we are not finding
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so much that pattern and we're not finding that women are necessarily marrying men that are less educated than they are. however, marie dowd pointed out this may have to happen that women will have to settle for men that are less educated just because of demographics. i'm not certain the women will be happy about that,. >> host: we have tim in beaver falls, pennsylvania. >> caller: thank you for the great show. it's a really great show. a new year with the american enterprise institute and i thought that we are going to disagree like crazy. but you have been just beautiful. thank goodness you didn't do a practical education and i do
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want to ask you a question and what i see with my grandchildren , my grandson is five years old and he has two sisters and all he gets to play with his girls. finally now he is in kindergarten and i'm like, okay, he will be with some boys. because kids don't run around nowadays like they did when i was young. when i was young, my parents and nowhere was until dark. they didn't need to know because it was safe. and all the boys to be off exploring on whatever and you know, because a we tried to do. but i think it was good for us. >> host: what is your question?
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>> caller: how much effect do you think it has but everything sort of organized today, boys don't have the freedom to explore like they did in my generation. >> host: thank you, sir. >> guest: i think it's called a nature deficit disorder. so many kids are denied just the opportunity to explore and they were always -- they're always places in the neighborhood, things that kids would find an adult didn't care. i mean, we had a rule to be home by dark but now there is so much concern in confinement and also a lot of boys, especially growing up without dads. so you might have thought that they would've been out in the garage, but mostly boys that would be building things and a lot of that is gone now from the life of a boy. what we are seeing is less, and
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exposure of obesity, and session with video games, because kids are not getting a chance to be outdoors and this gentleman talks about sending his child to kindergarten. many of our schools have become risk-averse, feelings centered, and as they move in that direction, they are really not moving those needs. so i think that we have a problem and i'm glad that he doesn't hold it against me being at the american enterprise institute. because it is diverse. we have a lot of libertarians as well as conservatives and norm ornstein is there and works very closely with the obama administration and there is no political litmus test on foreign policy and economics free market. but on social issues, we are quite diverse and there were
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many obama voters the reason for selection. >> host: cheryl is in texas. please go ahead with your question. >> caller: yes, i am a high school engineering teacher and i find most girls don't necessarily want to take my class. his pay and quality the reason we are pushing girls and two boys traditional occupations? and if we increase the pay, would that solve the problem? >> host: can you tell us about your experience as an engineer and an engineering teacher? >> caller: yes, i was an engineer for it 12 years and i wanted to be on their schedule and wanted to be on their schedule and have summers off and then i got involved with a math program in the state of texas put engineering into the
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high school and so i was recruited into that field as well. and teaching mostly engineering now. a lot of hands-on projects that traditional math and science teachers don't have time to do. but i do feel this pressure that we want to get the girls involved in engineering and that is why i have this question. >> host: what is the typical response? is there a typical response from girls or young women about your program? >> they just say that they don't want to be an engineer. and if they don't, why would they take engineering. and i do get a few girls in my classes and i find that they are not as enthusiastic about the project. the boys are very enthusiastic and want to one up each other, they are trying to think outside the box and the girls, a lot of times are just trying to get finished and get the grades and get done and i don't see them do anything otherwise.
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>> host: thank you, can you respond about pay inequality? >> guest: first of all, teachers that are honest with the u.s. everywhere, it is try as he may. it is almost utterly impossible because as many as 20% of the girls could become interested and even then you have to do something different to attract them. this is a stereotype, but there is some truth. a lot of it is generalizations about that and you have to share how it helps people. how can we build something that can withstand earthquakes and a narrative about how many people have died in the south american earthquake and something to connect it to this compassion. which just seems to be stronger than on average. but most girls, they're not going to find it that interesting compared to the other topics in the know very
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well that they won't burn as much. but that doesn't mean that they don't care about that. women were more willing to sacrifice the earnings than men are. they may have been interested in being musicians or artists they may have abandoned that work on an oil rig or be an engineer and men are more likely to do that and abandon what their passion and interest is in a field where they make more money in the more likely to major in something that they love and i want them to acknowledge that and see that there are payoffs for both of the sides. as far as both of those increasing the amount of money that we paid me to an english teacher compared to an engineer, society has tried that with a comparable worth or you have
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this with the government and so forth and it tends not to work with the market, if you move too far away and then you tend to bring on more problems and it's actually changing what the men and women will do. there is a limit and why should we be so obsessed with a? why should this wonderful teacher real pressured. she is inspiring as many kids as she can without doing the counting. and i suspect not in her class, but many programs, a lot of boys are left out because there are programs to get more girls than. or they will have out reach for special camps and we should have these poor kids and unlike children pursue the interests rather than statistical. in. >> host: we should ask cheryl with a response is having a few
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non-engineer to it. >> guest: i have seen an impact on studies and some show that they do better with a male teacher but there is an exception, if there's a female teacher who really likes the boys, that works as well. but not all teachers do, the boys know it. and again, it is understandable. the boys are almost always more of a challenge. and their artificial policies in the schools where i said, i said,. >> host: christina hoff sommers is the author of transit. after almost four years of gender neutral pronouns, men are
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more likely than women to run for political office, start business and tell jokes more males get mobile laureates and more are also in maximum-security prisons and they commit acts of violence. ..
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>> caller: that people are beginning to realize that media does have an influence on the way men see themselves as well. but i was wondering if you have any thoughts along those lines. thank you. >> guest: well, yes. feminists have complained about how women are depicted this the made ya and -- in the media and denigrated and, you know, always showing certainly in fashion magazines very thin women, impossibly thin. but the caller is correct that it's a huge problem for men now being denigrated in the media. you can turn on almost any program you care to choose, and the men are baffoons. fathers especially seem to be -- the mother's sort of wise and
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all knowing. it's kind of a reverse of "father knows best" of the '60s. now we have, you know, the father's a fool, and the mother is, you know, a very competent and effective human being. so i worry about little boys watching that and seeing this denigration. you can say almost anything negative about a man, and it's a joke. people find be it funny. and if you do it against women, it's immediately seen as being sexist and misogynyst. now, i think that we should allow a place for joking about the sexes. i was just in a debate in toronto, i think the thesis you under debate was men are obsolete. so you had maureen dowd and hannah rosen arguing that men were obsolete, and defending them were two others. so they were debating, but it was full of humor.
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and maureen dowd brought back a kind of 1940s, you know, style of where men and women, i don't know, like you would see katherine hepburn, spencer tracy, you know, joshing and jeering -- jousting with one another. so that, it was fun to see, and i hope we can bring that back, but no the maligning and the denigration. and there's the too much of that in today's men who are the targets far more than women. >> host: sharon asks a question via e-mail, have you ever been interviewed regarding your books on npr? >> guest: oh, yes. i was for my first book. i've been on npr quite a few times. recently -- well, npr has different outlets in different states, and so i've been on a lot of the states. i had never been with perry gross, and i would love to go on this because i like her and the
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way she interviews. but other than that, i can't -- >> host: i think she had a political, that was kind of a political question she was asking. >> guest: right. right. i do think, yeah, i've been on quite a few npr shows. i can't complain about that. and especially i was on toed show with katie couric, and she was very nice. with the boy book, the war against boys, i had one hostile interview on health care snbc. -- msnbc. they didn't like the idea that boys were this trouble. they were still back in, i don't know, the 1950s thinking that women were an oppressed class, we sparred about that. but i've been on a number of shows, and the hosts are sympathetic to the point of almost going beyond me, they're panicked about what's happening with boys. >> host: christina hoff sommers, vicki jo e-mails in: what do you
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think of rush lick ball's term -- rush limbaugh's term, ", femi nazis? >> guest: i don't like it. it should be left to cover the specific evil that it encompasses, so it should just be with there. there are other ways. he's part entertainer, so he's doing, you know, overstating and so forth. that's part of the humor. but it's not a word i use. >> host: jim, gadsden, alabama. good afternoon to you, you're on with author christina hoff sommers. >> caller: oh, she's wonderful. i'll tell you a little story. i come from gadsden high school. i didn't know i was smart, i thought if you read the work, the teacher's going to give you a test on friday, you just read the answers. well, at one time i was interviewed by this gray-haired fellow about a scholarship, and i ended up at harvard.
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and it was like amazing to me. however, i'll tell you about my freshnd essay class. every freshman had to take a yearlong essay class to learn how to write an essay. well, my grandmother started reading me shakespeare and various interpretations of the bible since i was 3 years old. well, i don't express myself like dr. rosenfeld who was 23 years old my freshman year getting her master's at harvard because she was from the lower east side new york. and she kept correcting my expressions, not the thought content. one time i used the term i had reckoned and so and so, and in office hours she chat chastised me did you mean you determined, mr. connor, have you concluded? i said, yeah, that's what reckon means. i get a c-and b+s from her, and
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it harmed me in the scholarship committee because i didn't stay the whole three hours in chemistry lab. i got my psychological to lahrship -- scholarship cut in half. but 50 years later at my 50th anniversary i want to go and see dr. rosenfeld who never married, always taught at harvard, got her ph.d., and i got up enough nerve to talk to her about that freshman class 50 years later. and, oh, i called her office and she had passed away. but now i take it that dr. somers the is talking about some things her attitudes toward me. she was very pretty, and i was only 19, and she was only 23. i was going to ask her out to dinner -- [laughter] until she was so nasty to me about the way i expressed myself. but, listen, i'm from the deep south. i had had four years of latin in high school, and i had read shakespeare. i had read comte, i had read day
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cart -- >> jim, there's a lot out there. anything there you want to respond to? >> guest: oh, i imagine that if the professor had been alive and met him, she would be sorry. i think as a young professor you are often sort of harsh with students, and i remember when i first started teaching, i was worried i looked younger than they did, and i remember wearing glasses, anything i could do to make myself look older. after a while i realized i did look older than them, i was the age of their parents, and then suddenly i was older than their parents. but i think you mellow a little bit, and i think it may be that she was a beginning professor, and you're sometimes too strict just to prove that you belong there. >> host: e-mail, when a double standard affects women negatively, you almost always hear women complain and cry sexism, if there's a double standard that works in favor of women but against men, women as
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well as men rarely complain about it. why do you think this is? i don't know if that came from a man or a woman. >> guest: it's very true. and it's true at so many levels. for example, we have a vast network of women's organizations who monitor the atmosphere, anything, any hint of sexism, a scintilla of injustice, they are right there with programs, projects, reports, they attack it. what do men have in almost nothing. there are a few but just fledgling groups here and there. women have now almost an empire. now, there was a good reason that we built that up because as we talked about before in the '40s, '50s, '60s there were genuine equity issues. we needed organizations to cement change. but now there's such an imbalance between the women's lobby and the to lobby, whatever, whatsoever for men. there are areas where men are in serious trouble. men's health issues, education
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issues and workplace issues. there's something else the caller said, though, that's important, that women are more likely to want to talk about problems and complain. look at women's magazines. we talk about everything and talk about like one with caller had mentioned that there's a lot about, you know, women's bodies, the media makes women insecure. so women are constantly talking about. but you won't find men talking very much about how they feel insecure about what the media's doing because it's not just what men do. and they certainly don't organize around their own victimization, men will organize for all sorts of purposes, but not to complain about how they're being treated. so i despire of how to solve these problems. because you can't depend on men to do it, because it's just republican as if it's not -- almost as if it's not in their nature to organize around the problems that they have. for example, young men if college, if there were colleges
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that saw these disparities and that almost every year, you know, the ratios kept getting worse and worse for guys -- for girls, if it were girls, you know, there would be a national outcry, and the young women on campus would be -- the boys on campus, they're happy about it. if you tell them, you know, there's only 35% male here, the boys on that ship i told you about, ss universe, far fewer than the girls, and they loved it. doesn't bring out the best in boys when they have, you know, surrounded by so many girls. but that's what's happening on our colleges. you don't find the boy withs organizing. and one other thing, if boys, young men do caseally organize in toronto they tried to to have a group organize around men's problems and some injustices that were happening in the campus, and the women's groups called it a hate crime. and you can see this. it's a shocking video, if you google university of toronto men's rights organization. and you can see the women were,
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they basically did not -- they had a former member of the national organization for women but now he's a men's rights activist and is a very sensible, reasonable, lovely man, and's shouted down. they could not have the event. so if men do speak out, they can be -- they'll be called misogynyst. but it's a bad situation. >> host: jeff is calling from san jose, california. hi, jeff. >> caller: yes, hi. my question is this: is there any type of civil society or informal movement for boys that are at risk of dropping out of school with mentors as far as career guidance and any other type of guidance is concerned? thank you. >> guest: the good news is for boys there are now a number of fledgling organizations. unfortunately, we are getting almost no leadership from the government, but there are these groups. and there is something called the boys' initiative. it's actually run by warren
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farrell, whom i mentioned before, and if you go to the web site of the boys' initiative, you will find the best research, solutions, organizations, where to go, and i'm sure there are -- i read there are far more programs like this in england and canada. we don't have as many mere here, but male mentorship programs. especially to get boys to be readers and to get boys to remain engaged in school. male mentors are very important, especially a boy growing up without a father. >> host: sassy tweets in: if you had a young son today, would you send him to public school? what if it was your only option? how would you advocate for it? >> guest: oh, boy. i would -- my first choice to would probably be with a coed school, but there are certain things i'd want to know. i would be very worried if there were what i have found in some schools a kind of toxic environment for boys.
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you can look at the bulletin board. is there anything in there that represents his interests? is it all just for the girls? the reading lists, you can tell by reading lists, the teacher's attitude. what can they play on the playground? are they allowed to run around at recess? do they have recess? there are many schools that have cut back. so i would want to do a kind of assessment for boy-friendliness, as i said, in terms of reading list, attitudes, recess. just the environment, because there are some schools it's almost as if they've put up a sign to boys, you are not welcome. and i would not want my son to go to a school like that. and then i would look into a private school or an all boys' school. all boys' schools are wonderful for many, many boys. not all boys, but for many boys they are salvation. >> host: what about all women's schools? stwhrg same thing for many young girls. the research on single-sex
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education is a complicated mix, and advocates can come in and insist they're all bad or all good. depends on the child, but there are kids for whom there are salvation. there are girls that will go to the schools, they will become simply more engaged and more interested in math and science, and is some studies that show girls are more likely if they take fizz bics in an all girls' school, they're more likely to like it and to want to go on. so i would very seriously consider. there are drawbacks. you know, you worry that it's a can co-ed world, you want your children in a co-ed school. you worry about the long-term effects but, in fact, the data shows in some ways these schools better rare them because they become -- prepare them because they become more well rounded. girls can't in a biology class go, oh, i'm not going to dissect the frog, let the boys do it. at an all boys' school, they have to be in the school plays,
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the school newspaper, the editor, they can't leave it to the girls to take on all the organization and the writing and so forth. so in some ways children become more well rounded. overall, i'm more open minded, and i would certainly if i thought that the local school was hostile to my son, i would be very unhappy, and i would, you know, and i must say i don't think -- i think the average teacher likes her male and female students, and she wants them to succeed, but she may not be aware that these differences are not simply invented by culture, that it is a different job to educate a typical little boy and a the typical little girl. and this is not something teachers lesh in graduate schools -- learn in graduate schools. not all of them, but many of the schools of education are still 20 years behind. they're still reviving ophelia as if girls are -- a lot of young teachers.
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by then, you know, they may not have developed the skills. and just to give a quick example. 6 or 7-year-old boys, they will be action narratives, you know, give a specific example, i read recently a little boy in california e had a story and illustrated it, and his parents would tell you he just loved action and sword fights and war -- he was obsessed with star wars, and his parents were called in by the teacher. she was very worried about justin's story. it was a sword fight, and there were even decapitated heads. well, his father was shocked because he knew justin was a perfectly healthy, sweet little boy, that he just loved action and these kinds of stories, and he knew this was a typical drawing of a 6 or 7-year-old
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boy, and he asked himself how can this teacher who has so little sympathy with my son's imagination, how is she going to be able to reach him? how is he going to be able to succeed? >> host: robert is calling from castro valley, california. you're on booktv on c-span2 with christina of sommers. >> caller: thank you very much. i think this is a great top you can, and -- topic, and i guarantee you that after watching this i'm going to go out and buy a couple of your books because i just think they're really important nowadays. my question is why do you suppose that this is a topic that's rarely covered in mass media, the network news? i know it is some way, but it sort of pops up on the radar, then it goes away real quick, and you don't hear about it for quite some time. i think in general there are some topics that have a higher rate of frequency, there are a lot of topics that tend to fall into the category of political
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correctness. what is your perspective about why this is not covered? >> guest: well, i think that there's a serious problem in just the knowledge base about men and women and boys and girls, a lot of information about sex and gender come from women's sents or something called the national council for research on women. it's 116 women's organizations. and that's kind of the brain trust on gender. and so when a journalist reads a report or wants a fact, even members of congress, republicans and democrats, if they need information about the workplace, work-life balance, any issue, they're likely to go to one of these scholars or one of these reports. but they all -- i don't want to say all of them, many of them tend to be coming from hard-line, gender expectations. so there's a dearth of information. and reporters who might be on
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deadline, they don't have a lot of time, they'll just call up the welfare center or the national women's law center for information about the workplace. so i think journalists are not well served by a brain trust that's so ideological. and i certainly think that men and women are not well served, and our children -- especially boys. so we have to do something about in this. there's this asymmetry just in terms of the structural asymmetry. all these organizations for women, almost nothing for hen and boys. >> host: you're watching booktv on c-span2. this is our monthly "in depth" program with christina hoff sommers, author and scholar, is our guest this month. we visited her recently in her home to learn about her writing style and some other information, and we also asked her what some of her favorite books are, some of her influences. here's a look at that.
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>> originally i was writing as a philosopher professor, and i was writing on technical philosophical topics. and i became interested in more cultural social issues and would write about them when i found no one else was addressing them. and so, you know, i started to write about boys when i saw that it was a neglected topic. i'm usually upset about something and think that this is wrong, and this is not going to help people, and this is going to send us in the wrong direction. so i'm almost always motivated by concern that it's important to get this down right. all of us are susceptible to confirmation bias. we are much more open to arguments and evidence that supports what we already leave. challenges if you resist. and i know that i have that.
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so i tried very hard to compensate for that. i know from people that i've heard there are let's say on some positions, someone that holds a very different position from mine, single-sex education, and there are ways they can rent their position which is respectful of what i believe, and i can listen to them. but if they just come in loaded for bear and, obviously, with some kind of sick, you know, set of fixed ideas and rigid ideology, then i don't listen. i don't want to be like that. for so many reasons. i just think it's not good intellectually, it's not persuasive, you don't make, you don't change minds.
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>> host: christina hoff sommers, you listed camilla paglia as one of your greatest influences.
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why? >> guest: a friend of mine as well as an ally and dissident feminist. i got to know her in the early '90s when she seemed to come out of nowhere. i felt sort of alone in protesting the excesses of my colleagues, and she wrote this brilliant book, "sexual persona." she has a degree, a air d in english -- ph.d. in english, and she's one of the most erudite and intellectual people you'll ever meet, and she has this sweeping knowledge of history of art and history of fashion, the history of literature. a self-described lesbian who likes men. she has all these paradox call self-descriptions that she calls herself a green, but she has some skepticism about climate,
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about global warming. she's a democrat, but she's more libertarian. but hostly she's just a fan -- mostly, she's just a fantastic intellectual and a brilliant, original person, and she writes about gender. she showed me that you could write about these things in a completely free and un, you know, in a way which wasn't confined by rigid ideology. she just blew the ideology out and wrote what she saw and thinks. and she does believe there are male ask female differences -- and female differences that are biologicalically based. of course it's part of culture, but it's biology s. and she rejects what she considers an anti-intellectual tendency among many academics to dismiss nature in the construction of gender. and she, she also loves fashion and drag queens and rock stars, and she writes about them, soap operas. so she kind of puts it all together and has written books on the history of art, the history of poetry.
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each one is a classic. so i think when i encountered her, i saw -- i was both thrilled and saddened. thrilled just to meet someone like her, and i urge everyone to google camille paglia and read everything you can because you will have a good time. she's an exciting thinker. why do i say it was also sad? in her i saw what women's studied could have been. if it hadn't been constrained by ideology and sort of a dreary politics and victimology. it attracted free thinkers who were just able to speculate and with the benefit of a classical education and to speculate freely. men and women and social institutions. and so she's able to speak the truth, but it's informed by this, as i said, kind of
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comprehensive knowledge of our history and world history and poetry and painting. and so i think the gender scholars didn't know what to make of her because she was, you know, as i said, paradox. she was a feminist, but she was to-pornography, and -- pro-pornography, and as i said she's libertarian and sex, drugs, rock and roll, that's fine. but on the other hand, she has very old-fashioned views about education, that young people should be brought up on the classics. i don't think she wants anything assigned that was written after 1850, maybe before, maybe 1700. so she's very, very conservative when it comes to education. but then she's free. i mean, she's this free thinker. so she's just been a very positive influence and very encouraging, and she's also optimistic. and she thinks that the berlin wall is going to fall even in gender studies, that there are
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going to be free spirits that are going to come out, young pill that have studied, you know, feminist majors and then realize they've been misled and maybe even swindled out of a good education, but many of them are very bright, and they will rebel. and she and i are both waiting for that. >> host: where is she based now, and is she teaching? >> guest: yes, she's been teaching for years in pennsylvania, in philadelphia, and she's just written a book, "glittering images on art history," that you should give to every student you know. anybody could read it, but especially helping young people understand art. that's another thing she doesn't like about the postmodernists is the denigration of genius. she's a great believer in genius and has, you know, studied the great masters in art and poetry and literature and thinks that's what education should be, acquainting students with greatness. and, yes, so young women can stand on the shoulders of great
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writers ask artists of the past. and not to tell them, oh, you don't have to respect them. she has no patience with that. >> host: well, march cuts tweets in to you -- marcus feets in to you -- betweens in to you asking you to comment on the "lean in" activism based on the book by author sheryl sandberg. >> guest: yes, i reviewed that book -- sort of a review essay -- in the atlantic, and i liked part of it. i liked that she wasn't whine think and, you know, blaming everyone -- whiny and blaming everyone, there's one of that, and i think it's a great book if you have, you know, a young woman -- or even a young man, there's a lot of good career advice in there -- who is very ambitious and wants to break through to the top, lots of good advice. it's partly that. but then part of the book it was as if she went and read a 1975 feminist textbook and kind of
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incorporated it into her text. is -- she starts talking about how we have to raise boys to play with dolls and girls to play with trucks and all this sort of thing that has been tried and the results are mixed at best, probably a complete failure because children more than any age group insist on gendered play. so she -- and i think also she didn't allow enough place for women who make different choices. because there are about 20% of women -- the best data i've seen from the pew research center or london school of economics, about 20% of women are high-powered careers comparable to any man. watch out, they are sheryl sandbergs. but at about 20%, today want to stay home with children, and they do not wish to work. they want to be full-time moms. that's just the way we are. 60% women want both, in and out of the workplace, maybe pull back when they have kids, maybe
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work part time. and i think sandberg's book was great for that 20%, but like a lot of the women's movement, the majority of women are left out, those of us who want a combination or those women who want to stay home full time. >> host: sally in delray beach, florida, you've been very patient. you're on with christina hoff sommers. >> caller: yes, hello. pleasure to speak with you. my daughter was a ph.d. graduate in psych from clark, she probably took some of your courses, and my question to you is don't you believe that gloria steinem and the rest had sent a message to the males in our society that they were less because we wanted to be more? thank you. >> guest: well, remember -- i'm not sure stein them in said this, it may be an urban legend, but it's always attributed to her that women need men like a fish needs a bicycle. we don't need you. and she once wrote in her book on self-esteem, she said, you
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know, the most dangerous woman -- the most dangerous man in your life is, you know, your husband sitting next to you on the couch in the living room. >> she depicted men as predators and made it seem as though women were just fighting for their lives in this society. and she was just too credulous when it came to advocacy research and false statistics and paranoid theories. so i admire her because every time i see her, she's sort of gracious, and she laughs, and she has a lovely smile. and sometimes she says encouraging things, but then there's this subtext which is male bashing and full of all the things i've been describing that went wrong with feminism. so i think she's an example, and to quote california kneel p be aglia again, she once said there was a time we needed gloria steinem and after a while we couldn't get rid of her. so i think that, you know, she never changed her message.
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so the message -- it was really the message we couldn't get rid of. we were stuck with that 970s message -- 970s message of complaining and denigrating men. >> host: jason, dublin, ohio. e-mail: one of my favorite books of the last decade i have read is "unnation under therapy -- one nation under therapy." the theme runs through this book like the war against boys is the pathologizing of what used to be considered normal behavior. instead of seeing sadness as a normal reflection of grief, people can be diagnosed with depression if a close loved one has died. is it possible for us to reverse this tide of pathologizing normalcy, and if so, what can be done to accomplish that? >> guest: well, thank you for the compliment to "one nation under therapy." i wrote that book with my colleague, a psychiatrist, and i'll preface it by saying we
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strongly believe there are people who have genuine, you know, who are genuine mental problems and need help as a professional, and sally satel is a practicing psychiatrist, and she works with patients. however, the average man or woman, certainly the average child is not a fragile flower, is not pathological, in need of a diagnosis. and it's almost as if all of life has become an occasion for a diagnosis and clinical intervention. and people aren't expected to cope in their own way with adversity and failure, and of course there are some people who fall apart if something, you know, some kind of horrible event in their life, but most people are incredibly resilient. and there's not a single recipe for what helps them become whole again. so we were simply questioning this view that you will, that
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you'll find salvation through therapy. it's useful as a tool when needed, but as a life thros my, it's limited. you should check out other sources and find other inspirations. the last thing i'll say is being too self-involved in ruminating, you know, women do more than men is actually depression, to be that self-ab a sobbed. and -- absorbed. and we call it therapyism, we should all talk about our feelings and just get it out there. there's very good data that shows sometimes talking about feelings or letting out your anger just makes you angrier. and talking too much about your problems makes you more depressed. so it shouldn't be taken as just a simple, obviously truism of life that you're going to be talking about your problems and carrying on. it may be a sign that you're depressed. and a lot of women try to get men to do it, but men have less depression. so it may be that there's a healthy stow by schism.
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and it may be that men hide their depression -- [laughter] thousand that i think about it. we're not sure. but women turn up at the doctor saying they're depressed far more than men. but still, this constantly talking about your feelings, there are a number of studies that show it's maybe not the best way to go and not the road to happiness. >> host: and, christina hoff sommers and dr. sally satel write in "one nation under therapy," that healthy young people are shortchanged, even endangered when the adults in their lives take the view that what is most important is to keep them happy in the conviction that they should be judged by no one's standards but their own. >> guest: right. the self-esteem generation. i'm not sure that all hi eleven y'alls are like that -- millennials are like that. i see these articles, i don't think that's true. but i think we had a lot of kids that were raised with too many trophies and where they weren't
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allowed to play games in the playground that were thought to be too injurious to their self-concept, games like dodgeball and musical chairs. they were put in what's called a hall of shame by an education writer because they were hurtful to feelings. and i remember a sports writer at "sports illustrated" said, you know, kids can handle dodgeball, they can handle musical chairs, but how did we -- where did these adults come from that think that children need to be, you know, wrapped in cotton wool and treated as the they're these fragile flowers? that is actually harmful to children, to not let them have experiences with competition, with failure. i mean, critical lesson in life is not that you never fail, that you're protected, but how you respond to it. and children have to learn that, but we seem to have created schools where we want everyone to feel good about themselves all the time and high
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self-esteem is thought to be the highest ideal towards which we can aspire, but lots of psychologists and even common sense will tell you there are many people with higher self-esteem who are not good people. in fact, even sociopaths have high self-esteem. and they're wonderful people. abraham lincoln, john stewart mill who was riddled with self-doubt and a low opinion of themselves. so sometimes there are very great people who have a deficit of self-esteem. so we wanted to question what we felt were these dogmas that had emerged and were just too prevalent, too widely believed. >> host: so not a supporter of the everybody gets a trophy theory. >> guest: no. [laughter] and the kids know. if you don't keep score and you think, well, that'll make everyone feel good, the children keep score. >> host: a call from annapolis, maryland. please go ahead. >> caller: good afternoon, dr. somers. i was wondering if you would comment on the one-woman theme that took place during the
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presidential election and also the recent virginia governor's election and why at least it was reported it did have an effect on women voters. >> host: what's your opinion first before we hear from dr. sommers? >> caller: my opinion, it was almost like preaching to the choir, and the way it was reported and may have seemed to be emphasized by those who believed it anyway. but in the virginia governor's election, i lived in maryland, it did seem to have an effect at least on those going to the polls, the women going to the polls. >> host: thank you, sir. >> guest: yes. the war on women theme was very effective, and what i think about that is, first of all, i mean, democrats have been far better at listening to women, being informed by various women's centers that they, with whom they correspond be, and they got their message, and they
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fine-tuned that message for different age groups. it was fairly clear, for example, in the last presidential campaign that the republicans did not do that. and i think that for many conservatives as i said before, there are all these women's groups that are supported. they tend to be fairly liberal to radical. and where are the women's groups on the conservative side? there are a few. there's the independent women's forum and the clare boothe luce, a great student group called new. these groups are either libertarian or more conservative, but there are very few of them. so i think that republicans have a serious problem because they don't have the information base. they don't have the scholars, they don't have the research. so i think if they want to win elections, they're going to have to find a way to talk to women and something to offer directly to women. and i think democrats have been much better at that. ..
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>> guest: i don't think it is a radical claim to say that there are differences, but there is such a huge thing as human
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nature and most people are salient. and that boys are falling behind in school, i don't think anyone can deny that. you simply have to look at the hard evidence, which is so obvious in attending college and i'm at a loss of where i'm comfortable and not having evidence but i will tell you that is a trained philosopher, if someone points out to me that i don't have good evidence order that my argument is fallacious in some way, i certainly care about that. if it's a particular complaint, i will investigate it and if i find out that i'm i'm wrong, i change my mind. >> host: we have nancy greenwood . she says in an e-mail, why do you think bigger negative hindsight book should be touted on c-span? anyone can try to rewrite
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history, but not everyone can get c-span2 revise their history. >> guest: well, i'm sorry you feel that way. one of the first books i read when i was there in the 60s and early 70s was by simone de beauvoir and i'm not stir sure how much i understood at age 14, but i've been there all along ai began to write books when i became acquainted and felt that that much had changed. what worries me is that as i said before, i think i represent a moderate voice and perhaps that was one of the first things that we had in common, tends to be the gender feminist, the
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victim who has a voice, and that is taken seriously. and i believe that people who have had a lot of experience with that, they will find what i have to say is strident and counterintuitive. but i think that the gender studies departments in the scholarships were more inclusive and there were moderates, libertarians, conservatives, a lot of women were around the table representing these different points of view and i think that i would not sign on. it could be because what you have been reading is limited and not conclusive. >> host: we have essie on the phone. christina hoff sommers is our guest. >> caller: i would like to just say that i am intrigued with everything and with the pattern.
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i grew up, in my opinion, here in alabama, we route the whole day until night and with the political correctness in school and we have to sometimes politically correct than and they will be there with swords and talking that they want to deal with snipers and it's like, hold on, wait a moment here. maybe you should play another game like paintball or laser tag and we have to look at how when we're out there, we lost some boys. i have one friend who wants to
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be superman or the plastic tape on his back and running around and those are the kinds of things that we have to watch with young men and women after doing a lot of things, but those things can also bring in. my question is there's a lot of groups being formed. there's money coming to the state, money coming to the federal, looking at various populations that are not graduating and a lady like myself who started a group called women of color, we are helping young ladies who develop themselves and to go to college and i am being told that they
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don't need women. they need man. and that is when you have someone who has been very active as a political activist and you hear on one side about these women and men and then on the other side, stirring things up also because of their political affiliation. >> host: okay, thank you for calling in we've got the essence of what you are saying. >> guest: yes, when you describe the boys getting injured. they do need supervision up to a point and they can hurt themselves and we look at the hospital room admissions. as soon as children can move around, boys are more likely to be injured. they take risks, they're willing
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to explore and do crazy things. so if you find an example of someone doing something truly wild, we talked before about this, men being at the extremes and they succeed spectacular and fail spectacularly spectacular. i could leave a void to think he superman turn it could lead other men to become inventors and leaders. so it must be nurtured and recognized. this is quality that is more boys than girls. and i'm sorry about your mentoring program because you were discouraged from the program for girls because one message, especially in the new edition is that you really have to take the gender partisanship out of this. because what most americans want is fairness for all children and we want our friends to succeed
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in our sons to succeed in our daughters to succeed. in the weight i want to take anything away from the girls and more than not, a lot of it worked and whatever it was that was effective, we should try to replicate it for the boys and young men. >> host: we have heidi from palm springs. she says, do you think that there is discrimination or fear? since the trayvon martin case was more about fear than race. >> guest: i think that there is a lot of prejudice against african-american teens and all boys. there is a kind of assumption that the antics than ms. behavior are connected to something that is dangerous that everything about them is potentially lethal. and i've think that the boys do bear the prejudice.
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even being suspended from school, it's an epidemic for african-american boys and technically all boys. all of those suspended, about four or five times more livable and people have studied the suspension rates and they have exacted a terrible toll for african-american boys and they found that most of them were not doing anything that were not a zero-tolerance policy. it was nothing like that. it was just acting out in typical boy ways and no tolerance for it. it's all boys, but especially young men of color. >> guest: patrick sends a tweet, please write a book on zero-tolerance and show whether it causes harm. >> guest: i now believe it causes harm.
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the book has been written and there are dozens of studies. the american psychologists have a major front-page story about how ineffective it is because children are suspended and sent out of school and if you have a disengaged kid who is acting up, that's the worst thing you can do. again, the child is always perceive it as a punishment. there is scott to be free time, if he could be unsupervised for its the worst thing you can do. they can sit in the front row and ask a lot of questions, and engage more in academia. but these policies are harmful and there are very good books and someone will write them, but probably not me. [laughter] >> host: our next call comes from an individual who has a
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question. >> caller: yes, we have admired her ever since she has come on the scene with her books. if i fumble with this question, i apologize. but it was earlier mention the phrase called separationist and i would like to call everyone's attention to your magazine and the cover story was january 2010 entitled [inaudible] , in which a courageous reporter said that they have documented what was going on at that time, for a long time in new york city and now goes on to every schoolhouse throughout the plane throughout the exceptions. where the children are sent with
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members of their own sex only. there was no heterosexual environment, same-sex in the puddle of every school, and this includes kevin jennings in the west wing of the white house under the leadership of valerie jarrett, and i'm wondering if doctor summers took notice of the january 2006 magazine and realizes that every school has a poll today where children are assigned to go and disrobe with members of their own sex only. >> host: okay, i believe we've got the point. let's get a response. >> guest: i have not heard of that. when we mentioned lesbian separatists, there was a theory where it there was a movement, and you might have readings on
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this but it didn't have anything to do with this. i'm afraid to find out. >> host: kenny, you are on c-span. >> guest: thank you for your call. >> caller: thank you for everything you said. my question is do you talk about how some boys are destructive and some are more, not destructive, has anyone done a study in this service? and a second part of this, as far as the women's liberation type of thing, do you feel that when on the frontlines, front lines, do you think it plays a psychological effect on e-mail
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pending to be a protector and provider for women? i will hang up and let you comment. thank you. >> guest: i will answer your last question first. i know that there are, as an equity feminist, equal opportunity, also a person concerned about the well-being of the military, i know that there are women who we have ample evidence of and there are so many things that they could do even in combat. of course the majority of women probably don't want to be in combat. but some women actually do. and if it is workable, then i see no reason why we would have to do it. but with one caveat, i do think that we need this. i do worry that if people are
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ideological, it will be research that is slanted in one way or another and we have to be careful that because this is a sensitive subject. and i say this a lot. integrating women in the military and women into the passion or eating disorders or any of that, they will all benefit from the honest research carefully done and design studies and we have this. so i would like to see in the military is to allow the combat units and integration and see how it works. my guess is that the women will do pretty well. it will be a minority. and on average, a typical woman is not a lawyer and does not wish to be in combat, but there are exceptions of extraordinary women and i think we may need them. >> host: david e-mails us and says do you consider the late
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feminist ideology to have been proto- typical of what you object to in this so-called movement? >> yes, sort of. she was a very committed mail of verse, maybe not in her personal life, but i did know her personally, but i would see her interact personally and she had a lovely voice and was so compassionate, but she was such an individual that was brought up on this sort of rampaging and male bashing feminism that depicted american society as sort of wars in the congo. it's just as though women were barely keeping themselves alive in these male predators were everywhere and it was almost always experienced as something
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negative and horrible and they launched a campaign against photography, which included playboy magazine and the centerfold in sports illustrated. to me, that is so wrong. and it doesn't help women and there's no evidence that the centerfold in sports illustrated, it is a cover of it, that it causes of violence, but they were certain that it did in the works were responsible for an anti-sex feminism that had to be overthrown, and it was. and she was very much an opponent of that, an opponent as a kind of puritanical repressive feminism with the 1984 overstatement.
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>> host: you write that by now feminists have a well-deserved reputation for dishing it out, but completely unable to take it and many are known to deal with opponents by ad hominem or feminine counter attacks and opposition to diversity or inclusiveness. >> that's right. and again, we are talking about all feminists, and i wasn't careful enough, but i did try to make it clear. but i'm very much talking about those who do view all criticism as backlash. i've been called a traitor, and even a non-woman in some ways. indicating that and i have a photograph that was once at a dinner and had a picture and we
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are not -- i'm not. but yes, women are supposed to be nicer and kinder but when you object to something written by the hard-line feminists, they react rather aggressively and unkindly. >> host: we have trade from fresno, california. >> guest: thank you for taking my call. i appreciate your response. as a young black man, i have to say that i very much feel that coded language can create oppression and misconceptions, not only in the media, but textbooks as well and i'm
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wondering if you can bring any legitimacy to my concern in the same attitudes which you have mentioned that existed and i think you. >> guest: okay, that was a lot. i didn't hear all of it, but angela davis, she was a philosophy professor there. she was kind of a fierce revolutionary in the 60s. my problem with her is that she held onto a marxist philosophy, and maybe she still does, maybe not. so i am not overly sympathetic to that. it was a bit too extreme. but if i understood you, the harshness towards young man in feminism and a kind of -- i mean, when i became a feminist, it was a humanitarian movement
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and a compassionate movement to help people and improve the world, and now i think that we see something new, which is a kind of feminism without heart, which just doesn't seem to care about boys and young men. most of the phenomenon that i have been talking about boys of color is that most of them are most affected. and with the intolerance for young boys, underperforming, ignoring it, some latinos are doing fabulous in school than their male counterparts. yet the girls overall compared to the boys are considerably better and far more likely to go to college and someone commented that most of the benefits and education are approved for women and not for the men. so would be good if we had a women's movement that was just
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more open. to understanding. and this includes young boys and young boys of color. >> host: margret sends an e-mail about the over emphasis on sports, even little boys are pulled in to the spider big sports fans fathers because it's something that the dads like and they have very slim choice and opportunities, but they spend a lot of time and no more watching sports than they could be learning more diverse subjects. >> guest: yes, that is a very good topic. as a group, it they tend to be sports obsessed and despite everything, watching the red sox fans in, however, on the boy's
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behalf, i worry about some of the claims about how terrible it is. it's a source of enjoyment and that's what they love to do. and you can attract far more voice to your school. if you want to get one of boys into your college, start a sports team and they will come in much greater numbers. if you have a football team, he will come with all his friends and "the new york times" wrote about this. so again, this is the difference that we do not admit that there are certainly enough not to love the sports and there are far more voice who are sports addled and i don't want to be that disapproving. because i am sure that there are horrible examples of terrible parents. i think that lucy will we have
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our kids that are forging friendships and getting outdoors and having great experiences and a lot of fun as adults as well. >> host: we have laura from erie, pennsylvania. >> caller: good afternoon, it takes a lot to go up against the liberal feminists and all of this, the girls on campus that will attack you for your views. especially, i wanted to ask why you'd be that they don't tolerate any discussion of life when it comes to the abortion issue. i worked work in a clinic and we show abortion minded women free ultrasound and many of them after seeing the baby with the fingers and toes will choose life. and there is such an opposition to the 1 million plus who have said that they regret their abortions.
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>> host: okay, we got the point. how does that fit in everything that we are talking about? >> well, i am pro-choice and however, i have spoken to enough people who are pro-life and have read enough about it and taught philosophy talk philosophy class where we debated these issues back and forth, that there is a core philosophical disagreement and it is a very big moral dilemma in a respectful of those who hold the view of the sanctity of life beginning at conception and it's grounded in a religious view that they hold and i understand that and respect it. but i have a different opinion and what i will tell you is that you look at the data on men and women in america and it's not that different and the men and women break down and i forget the exact same percentages, but
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equal numbers are for or against. so it's not really a men versus women thing, but those who believe that as the caller said, when you see a sonogram and you see the diggers and toes and so forth and i found out i was pregnant, i was immediately bonded and felt that this was a person and you have those experiences and it makes me sympathetic to those who fight for all the rights to life, but on the other side, i still think that a woman i think that having a baby, when you have that baby, it's probably the best experience of your life and make sure that you organize your life. and we don't tell young women enough about how important it is
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on the other hand, if you don't want it and heaven forbid it was, it's just -- that you're 15 years old or something, i have to come down on this side of choice. they respect the other side and i have been moved and the more i study the philosophical issues and it was michael lockwood, who is not religious, it is probably an atheist, but his tough-minded and analyzed it and you thought that after the first trimester, he thought that it was morally very dicey and hard to defend. sort of pushing me back the first two weeks or something. but then you really are beginning to see the formation of a that is more tragic and
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more all. >> host: the next call comes from diane in florida. >> caller: i appreciate your interview. doctor christina hoff sommers, that last question just got me thinking about this issue. and i wanted to ask you what your opinion is on late john paul the second, because i think your take on the need for boys to have the same type of, just attention, maybe, and men even today. it is so important. and women have kind of taken it by storm and men are left
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standing there and they have natural desire in everything i am trying to reach on equal ground is kind of muddled up with the wonderful differences. and you really have to understand that there is something there and i was wondering if you have read about this, simplicity has made it not >> guest: you know, i haven't read it. you're not the first person that suggested that i do, so i will. especially if he is talking about the need to honor the soul of the boy and acknowledge his need, a kind of need of young men to be heroes and little boys casting themselves in these narratives and their imaginative play and i worry now we are not
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allowing them to do it, but now they are be ashamed being ashamed for that and they could pay a high price. >> host: we have an e-mail, my facts are fuzzy, but i think it was geoffrey canada who wanted to start an academy for black young men and boys and this was so turned down by the new york feminists, including many of my own very liberal friends, that what seems like a great idea to me was completely buried and were you watching when this happened and what would you say about it now? >> i know about the efforts and the good news is that there are such academies across the country, as are the 2006 -- one thing that the no child left behind dead, it allowed schools to experience these academies
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and a lot of them have grown up in urban areas and some coed high schools as well experimenting with these classes. i think some of these programs, a lot of them don't don't don't have dads and they go to these economies that are modeled on the prep schools and the boys are just -- they are thriving. there is a school in dallas, texas. they have a school for girls, a leadership academy, and it just opened up two years ago. the barack obama leadership academy for boys. and these kids, and inspired principle, he understands this and i think he got this from harry potter and invited them to different academies and they compete with one another.
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so if you participate in sports and if you do poorly, then you have to explain to your team, what you can do and the kids react so well and they have such high expectations and great role models with teachers and principals and i think that schools are great, but i'm sorry to say that the aclu is on a campaign to shut down single-sex education in the private sector and they don't even like it in the public sector, they don't even like it better. they call it gender segregation in may compared to racial segregation, but that is absurd. first of all, when you racially segregate the kids in schools, it is demeaning and it harms the children that were segregated and the whole society and it was toxic. you are not denigrating anybody, kids are flourishing in some of the schools.
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and it's not a form of discrimination but enhancement, enhancement to their lives. so i have had some debates recently with opponents and i've done not at the american enterprise institute. and i'm the champion of them and a supporter and they have been very effective with kids in the inner city. >> host: what do you think of think of sandra fluke? and seems like she's getting free scholarships to a prestigious law school on a fast-track and successfully portrayed as a noble victim standing up for the republican war on women and why does this happen and why his victimhood a comforting blanket for so many people? >> guest: i don't own that much about her except she may be parents in the hearing. and i understand that.
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there was a hearing in congress that involve the funding for contraception and there were no women there. so she questions that and it's not a bad question. but then would happen if she was insulted and profane terms by rush limbaugh and that -- she became a sort of celebrity. and that happens that we can become a kind of representative. and i don't know how. i'm not sure because i don't know that much about the other topics, i would have to know more. >> host: what about the issue of victimhood? >> guest: yes, there seems to be a fascination among gender
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feminist to prove that women are victims and find data to seal the deal. so it evolved in the 80s and 90s and they would depict american society as hostile to women and they would then find statistics that show a third of women were being battered and most of us are being harassed in the workplace and high levels of rape and i couldn't find the data for this. when i looked at american society, i saw a great feminist success story in women's flourishing. i don't think that things are perfect, even today there are some unresolved equity issues, but they're not perfect or not either, but overall this is a highly successful society for men and women and even though i am complaining about the boys right now, compared to the rest
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of the world, we are still so far ahead in we try so hard and we have these constant conflicts, but it's just a healthy part of the democracy, where overall terms of basic rights and well-being, if it continues as it has for several decades, one is fortunate to have been born here. several scholars including myself have looked at these very good things for women if you want to work part-time. if you are a full-time and ambitious woman, you are probably better off being here. many have a high managerial position, just to be ahead and we envy them because they do have far more protections and that sort of thing.
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but just in terms of opportunity, it is here. so the feminist, they took such a grim and negative view of american society and they were just, you know, trying to knock down doors or artery open and they would not admit that all the problems that men had, just moving along with the times and there is was a time when it was appropriate and today is a new world and millennium and what we should be working on, or we can be together and in terms of this, men and women together running the world. i don't think that we will be the same, and a string of another study, then study that i love was published by international researchers and i think it was the journal of personality and social psychology, and they looked at
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this between men and women across 50 cultures and rural couples in botswana, the philippines, as well as a dutch couple, french and american couples, washington dc, what they found as they took basic personality traits and on the men and women, the more educated and prosperous, the larger the personality difference. and they said, how can this be. the difference of minimization of prosperity and they have this idea that in a society where we are all having an opportunity, there is greater self actualization and you can be who you want to be. so becomes more salient and more so than the democratic postindustrial society.
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and many times they don't have the opportunities to lawyers. so it turns out the difference of sex can be a manifestation of well-being. >> host: as a mother of four boys, paul comments ages 14 to 23 are the ages of her children, i agree with everything you are saying, my sons have been shortchanged in the catholic school system and teachers have required them to be medicated so they would still for long. the program of study is literary base, excuse me, literacy based and as christmas gifts, i gave some of the teachers the book the wonder of boys and some are offended and boys are definitely being shortchanged. >> guest: that's right, he loves boys and he's not afraid to
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admit the differences and this book is full of inspiring ideas on how to help boys and i recommend a book -- any book by ralph fletcher, and he is an expert on writing and has all sorts of ideas on how to improve literacy skills. but there are innovators and certainly in the private sector. and there's a website called guys i urge everyone to go there, it proves irresistible to boys. >> host: what about the medication issue? >> guest: i do believe that there are children, it's mostly boys, 75% or more that are
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generally afflicted with this disorder and major kids are bouncing off the wall and they can't sit still and other children reject them and they are not invited to any social type of things. they are isolated and that's the exception. the majority of kids have said in both the book, they don't need to be medicated. there are a lot of little boys with perfectly healthy lives but they are high spirited. and what the school needs to do is channel that energy and imagination and the risk-taking and to engage that. i'm afraid in too many schools that there are -- they are replacing a challenging this with medication. and i think that the parents should get a second or third opinion before you put your child on the drug. there could be boys who need it. i don't want to be dead set
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against it or anything. and there are children who need it. but even the majority of psychiatrists agree that it is overprescribed and one psychologist recently wrote that if you want to reduce the amount of ritalin, offer more recess. because it's known that kids can find is not good for girls and undermine their effectiveness in the classroom and it is especially bad for boys. it's bad and i think that this kind of epidemic of the prescriptions is a symptom. >> host: have 15 minutes left with our guest christina hoff sommers. please go ahead. >> caller: it's great to have her on the program. let me also say, and i know you've had a lot of families, are you there? >> host: we are listening. please go ahead.
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>> caller: he has written a lot of books that fit into this kind of shauna for me to say that i have started thinking about this and there are more men than women, he could go to alaska and you do all this work that won't do, and i really don't think that men are so detrimental to the system if you look at the statistics. >> guest: i totally agree. are men necessary? yes, they are. and if you look at the many professions, i mean, we are working in mines or oil rigs or
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cleaning windows and neither do other things as well in his look something like 90% of the patents. because i do think that there is a tendency for certain males could become focused on the little obsessive. and maybe women's brains are more balanced. and depending on these men, we have that kind of singular focus on one thing, that seems to be the source of so much creativity. i like what my friend want content once wrote that she said it is sublime male poetry. she thinks that men will does, and i think that there is a poetry that goes on. and it's not unacknowledged. all of the work has been a part of this in their other remains were women are working just as hard, but in a different way. and so i celebrate that.
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>> host: we have another e-mail, i would like to know if the trends do you see are found in other countries. >> guest: that's a very interesting question. i wrote about how i looked at other countries and what are they doing. and in england and canada and australia, they are unconflicted and trying to help the boys. they move right in at the highest level of government in england on male literacy and all sorts of resources for the teachers to help them. and they do share with us the problem of educating boys. and the british acknowledge this and they know that boys and girls don't have the same interest when it comes to reading material and boys preferred nonfiction in comic books and girls are more likely
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to read fiction and poetry and they are making an accommodation for that. they are doing it in canada and australia and for two reason come they worry about the well-being of the boys and the national economy because if you have a large cohort young people that are not succeeding educationally, that does not alter the future of your workforce and you have to pay attention because i keep reminding people who keep saying the boys will get along, they always have, no, they won't. because we have a different knowledge-based economy we need better education than they are looking and they are moving mountains in england and australia and trying to improve the educational prospects of these boys and we are at least 10 or 15 years behind. but we have to get started. >> host: in your book "the war
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against boys: how misguided policies are harming our young men", you say 60% of the athletes should be female, even if far fewer women than men are interested in playing sports at the college level. the many athletic directors have been unable to attract the same proportions to avoid government harassment and loss of funding and lawsuits and they have simply eliminated this. >> guest: yes, absolutely. and it's horrible. what we needed and going back to this, we wanted equality of opportunity and we needed to change things the way that they were done in sports. there are girls who are great athletes and it was just wrong that they didn't have the same opportunities. so we have changed that employ this opportunity is twisted into her personality and a backed up
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60 because they have so few men. but one way to attract young man is to have a sports team that keeps them interested and get them into college. it doesn't have to be professional. it can be just where they can play and the fact is that there are far more males that are interested in females. and so why can't we just allow them to be driven in this way? and i will tell you why. because we do have a commitment to this idea that the sexes are the same. so any difference must be a manifestation of discrimination and need to rule it out and i have another idea. what if we are equal but a little different and then when it comes to certain locations,
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professions, pursuits, we take somewhat different paths. and i think we should include things, i would vastly prefer that. many women would not do that. but many men would. so we have to account for this, what people want, and that is what i have been calling for is a kind of preference humanism, probably a better word, where you can satisfy the aspirations and this path to happiness and it's not the same for everyone. it's not the same for most men and women in sports is a perfect example and they have really hurt young men. personally harmed lots of them and i think that a lot of people see this as mean-spirited and there were schools where they
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had to disband a wrestling team even though the alums would say that we would pay for them money and it was just a symbol. they wanted the parity because they seemed to have these forces. but most of us don't want to be men and we're not going to do exactly the same things. or to participate in a collegiate sport. but of course, with all due respect, i know that some of them are fantastic athletes but there just are not as many bits as saving them talking about engineering and the military and you're not going to get parity. i could be talking about things for women and you are going to get as many men now who will want to go into cosmetology.
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you find more women in these fields and a fine man. i don't think that's a problem in a free society. >> host: what about the violence against women and the legislation? you also write about that. >> guest: that is interesting because it does a lot of good things and i have -- had i been in charge, i might have called it the violence in families act. family violence is often complicated and involves children and the stomach and in that legislation, i don't know the weight carried out, but certainly in the way it was written in the time it was written, it was informed by a lot of feminists statistics that made it seem like we were facing an epidemic and the average man was a play-doh battering and every woman sort of needed
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protection and they made it seem as though the women were turning up in emergency rooms and this was a claim that i think was even part of this testimony in favor of the bill that no woman in an emergency room, car crashes and diseases combined or something like that, it was absurd and false and i've talked to several people, and it's a small percentage of people and anyway, it was reckless and that bothered me that there was misinformation and however it has gone on to do good things. does fund shelters and redundant work on educating people and violence is ndant work on educating people and violence is going down and it's still a serious problem even though it's gone down, but sometimes men are victims of violence as well and we know
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that in gay couples, levels of violence or about about the same. so it suggests that this is a pathology of intimacy, not necessarily patriarchy and to the extent that the bill represents a out-of-state feminism and i think it should be changed and as vigorous because i think that's a huge problem and we seem to have a lot -- there's a lot of optimism, but nothing compared to this with the neglect of children and the violence against children and i would have liked to have seen this be different. >> host: we have another call from ed in sacramento. >> caller: hello. first of all, belated happy thanksgiving. >> guest: thank you. >> caller: i would also like to
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thank booktv. my vote is that the show should be once a week and not once a month. my question has to do with parenting and i' >> i have experience studding -- studying species and i don't know what extent the stereotype exist, but i was wondering if you recommend or refer us to read other sources to have parents help promote and support both expressive and asserti assertiveness for boys and girls. >> i don't disagree with that. i think you ask t-- you should try to develop your child in all
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of the lessons and try to develop the creative side as well as the side of your child that is interested in building and construction. i would love to see that, but i am saying the child is going to go his or her own way. you can give a little girl a fire engine or a daughter gave the daughter a toy train and he came downstairs and she was playing with the train and said daddy, i am putting it to sleep. you try as best as you can to get your child to develop in another direction, it doesn't always work. the child comes with a nature and knows who he or she is and there is only so much you can do. if children are too wild we have to calm their natchurnature.
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we want boys to become gentlemen and we have to influence them. but that doesn't mean turning them to girls. that will not happen. they will find ways to avoid it. it is futile to attempt that. >> our western feminist too accepting of islamic countries and the plight of their women? >> you have some women's organization who have made common cause in the developing world and muslim nations. i am disappointed because i think that should be the focus of the women's movement in the 21st centry.
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we have had our feminist revolution. we won. it was successful and you are self-defining in the society. but there are other societies where they have not had a ripple of femnisniinifeminism. i meet women trying to get women to vote and protection against violence. and for iranian woman, what a struggle. that is the natural alliance modern women should make. it is the fight of the centry i think.
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i think the 21st century is liberating women across the developing world where they have not had their basic liberation. i don't think we should go there and impose our version of fem i femini feminism but there are liberation movements asking for our help. you find alliances in the 1980s who were opposed to the par tide in africa. where is the movement on the american campus to bring down gender par tides? it isn't there. a young woman on an american campus is more likely to learn
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how she is a risk and held back. which is wrongful. if you have compassion and good information, that is moral progress. but if you have bad information, and propaganda about the american patriotic, that is wrong. >> will we see a men's movement? >> i hope to see a humanist movement. this isn't a man versus a woman. we are together in this. we cannot separate. it is artificial.
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another thing that is wrong is it a mars versus venus. i think we should form a movement where we are concerned for one another and all florish. >> we have been talking with hoff sommers. she has written several books and has an a new book out that was reissued. she wrote that with a colleague. she is the author of textbooks as well. including


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