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tv   In Depth  CSPAN  December 25, 2013 8:00pm-11:01pm EST

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>> education historian dianne ravitch calls for an end to the education system in america the way it is. and for an extended list and links to other publications visit booktv's website
8:01 pm up next, christina hoff sommers talks about the policies she says harm young men. she is the co-author of four books and her newest book "the war against boys" >> christina hoff sommers, how did you define feminism? >> in the best sense, feminism is philosophy that says men and women are equal before the law. they deserve the same rights. the same liberties. and equal dignigity. >> you talk about the new feminism in your book, what is the new feminism? >> it emerges in the '80s and
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'90s. in the '70s, i believed in quality of opportunity, but in the '80s and '90s i was reading feminist writers and there were theories that were so aggressive in being one, harsh towards male. they were following the model women are from venus and men with from hell. i felt it was a reverse chauvinism. so i took exception to that. and many other things. i found that i even developed terms that i called myself an equity feminist.
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and the other school is gender feminism because they believed in the sex-gender system and they were a group of theorist that thoughts women were oppressed. it wasn't enough to change laws, the gender system had to be dismantled and that led to radical proposal. most women want rights. not liberated from the society. there maybe places in the world where there are such things, but by the '90s in the united states feminism was a story and asthi
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things were better the woman got a ang angrier. >> was the movement necessary in the united states? >> absolutely. there were jobs for men and women in the newspaper. it was like women could do a few things and men did everything else. that had to change because it was oppressive and held back women. schools were women were not welcome. hard to welcome them into the profession. you had women who could have been great biologist but they were not welcome. and we had to raise awareness of violence and sexual harassment.
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and i am grateful to the activist and the legislators that changed things for the better >> what are some of the laws that passed that you think were good for equality? >> the equal pay act first of all. and a series of hearing that you could not fire a women because she was pregnant. and laws against harassment in the work place. things that seemed like this is just life and people tease and proposition each other. but this was different with females in the work place. they were used to pressure and blackmail women. more laws protecting women from
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harassment. >> and if you would explain this from who stole feminism, you wrote promoting gyno is not the best way for females >> that is victimism feminism. they took a gynocentric view. i heard women that would not use the word seminar because the root was has to do with men.
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so the term was like they wanted to reject everything men did. i and many other feminist like this, many of us, we believed that the purpose of feminism was so that women could join men in creating culture and join men on equal footing as lawyers and doctors and all of the professions. it wasn't about rejecting all of the things men did. that is why i called it destruction. many young women would come to college and take classes were they were taught to have content for the achievements of the great philosophers. and i spent all of my time
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encouraging students to read and understand plato and then having colleagues telling me we needed a female version. they were replacing what men had done with what feminist were doing. but that wasn't equivalent. they left out women that were not hardliners or gynocentric. >> you have a report called the wesley report and who stole feminist. what is that group? >> it was a center that studied the wellbeing of girls in
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school. if we were to go back to the early and mid-90s you would think the schools treated girls like second-class citizens and they were held back in every way when in fact it was the opposite. the wealthy report was well-meaning women but they were less like to notice it was the boys more likely to drop out and not graduate. we had yale university said girls are drowning and disappearing in a sea of western culture. we had mary piper talking about ophelia and women in a state of disstress and falling behind.
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but the exact opposite was true. by the mid-90s, they were flourishing in ways. the classrooms were female dominated and getting better grades and thriving. and i started checking the facts. and tried to see how they came up when there was success for women. how did they turn this into bad news for women. and then you find a lot that has gone wrong with the women's movement. >> you talk about being on cbs and a follow-up on date line. what is that story? >> david stature and his wife had done research and they
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claimed in a classroom boys call out eight times mer than girls. and when a girl calls out an answer she is likely to be told sit down and wait until you are called on. whereas boys the teacher engages and entertains what they have to say. so the call out gap was the signature of the short change girl's movement. you could find this injustice to girls where girls are being silenced. i wanted to see the research because by the time i was writing the war against boys i learned you must check check the data. i could not find the research. it didn't appear there was anywhere where this was documented. he did a study for the department of education and
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submitted a report that was lost. a couple people tried to track it down. a follow-up was made and he admitted it wasn't 8-1. but the reporters at the time, including the "washington post" and "new york times" reported this. the parents and students were told boys are treated with more respect and assert themselves in the classroom. but exactly the opposite was true. boys are sitting in the back playing no one calls on them. and two boys may, in some classes get more attentiattenti
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it was negative attention because boys are more unruly. the teachers will say johnny who do you think is the the president of france and that is because johnny isn't listening. girls get far more positive engagement. and they feel from the department of education they have the right to express their opinion. >> and that leads to your second book. you just updated this book this year with a new edition. what is gender awareness education? >> well there are some educators who want to make gender salient in raising student's consciousness. reversing if they read a fairy tail they will point out the
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sexism and give them a fairy tail that reverses it. at the earliest age, making children aware that gender is a social invention. we are all born androgynus and society imposes on us. i think we are born with a gender identity that is strong. not all. there are exceptions. but as a rule, it is important that the critical part of your identity if you are boy or girl. it is a combination of biology and culture. if you have a gender aware classroom and the teacher is aware he should try to make
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gender less salient. in other words, you raise student's consciousness about gender while trying to take away stereotypical situations. the girls play different than the boys. the average little boy is playing mock fighting. girls do that, too, but a lot less. there are turn taking games. playing school and house. and there are a lot of exchanging confidences with a best friend. but there are educators who want to go in and change that. they want to girls to play more like the boys typically. because girls are the gold standard now in education and boys are defective. so increasingly, and this is very sad, there is an
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intolerance for typical youthful mascyulini masculinity. you will have the boys with super heroes and there is mock fighting but killing the bad guy and rescuing people. as soon as junior says bang he could violate the tolerance policy. and we have 5-6-year-old little boys violating the rule of firearms. i am very much in favor of zero firearms in school and that means a child brings a weapon. not little boys playing cops and robbers. one little boy was suspended for chewing a pop tart in the shape of a gun. he is just a little boy.
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not a criminal. anyway, in the playground there is an increasingly intolerance for little boys. >> you write little boys don't need to be rescued. they are not pathological. and american girls are not suffering a crisis of confidence or being silenced by the culture: >> we have to stop pathologizing children. they are not helped if they are treated like they are toxic in some ways. children do need to be civilized but that doesn't mean forcing
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boys like girls or treating girls like they are failing o'neioph ophelia. most of the children are healthy including most boys. and we have to preserve the distinction that is well between pathological masculinity and the other kind. a young man who is pathological shows it by tearing things apart. healthy masculinity doesn't detroy he builds. and he doesn't pray on weaker
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people, he protects. and the majority of men into the united states are displaying healthy masculinity. little boys playing cops and robbers it is terrible to confuse that with pathological. and an expert on playground dynamics says rough is tough play is the universal play of little boys. in other species even you find the males engaging in the chasing behavior and high spirited, mock fighting. and anthony pointed out that increasingly teachers and parents are not taking the di distinction between rough and tumble play and violence. there is joy, bonding and they
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are learning critical lessens about self-control and social skills. and when they finish playing their friendships are stronger. with violence, when kids are being violent it is different. you don't see signs of joy. there are tears. the kids are enemies. girls to it, too, but not as much. boys do it as much as you let them. so not making distinctions of e healthy and pathological. we have to identify if we have a young socio path we have to
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protect ourselves and everyone from the malice, but that is rare. society is making a confusion and there has been examples of pathological male behavior and there is a tendency to project that on the majority of healthy boys and young men. >> when it comes to the general problems, you write, that threaten their progress the heelers, social reformers -- healers -- and confidence builders don't have the answers and stand in the way of genuine solutions. >> yes, because i am not saying we don't have problems in our schools. even though i don't think boys are pathological, i think there is evidence they need
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characterization help. most societies invest a lot of effort into the humanizing and civilizing their young men. what i see is in our schools there has been a decline of character and moral education and replacing with it self-esteem programs. we have a tried and true method of civilizing boys. and through, you know, good sportsmanship they get from coaches and most of all from parents and reinforced by teachers, and i find we have moved away from that. the second problem with boys, and there are problems with girls, but i am talking about boys, and i believe now boys have become second-class citizens in your schools.
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a young man is less likely to go to college than his sister. and you look across all ethnic and racial groups and soc socioeconomic and you see they are behind. the average boy is reading a year and a half behind females and boys like school less, they are more disengaged. there may have been a time when this wasn't a big problem and we had an economy where you could get a high school degree, work hard and make it into the middle class. and educators said the passport to the middle class was the high school diploma. but not anymore. now it is education after high
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school. boys are getting it less and less, but girls are getting it. i cannot find major organizations or government groups, the department of education is still talking about the short-changed girl because they were influenced by the early research that said girls were short changed in the 1990s and they have not adjusted or adapted to the times. we have a whitehouse council on women and girls and concerned about the education of girls and making sure they don't fall behind, when it is boys behind. so we need a council on boys. >> christina hoff sommers in a recent article you write women in the united states earn 62% of associates, 57% of bachelors and 67% of masters and 52% of doc a
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doctodocto doctorates. if male enrollment and 40% or below, women begin to flee. schools near the tipping point are watching as their schools become retirement villages as women are battling for the surviving men. >> there are campuses that ad mission officers are looking at 62-65% female. and they are panicked. i think the administrator at the college of william and mary said we have to attract more men. we are the college of william and mary not mary and mary.
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there is a grain of truth to this. it is quite a mystery. why the girls could be so much more prepared in education. girls have higher aspirations now as well. and some say this is only in poorer kids. but it is across classes you see the girls outperforming the boys. the girls get more a's and take advancement classes. but they are also more ambiti s ambitious. i celebrate what happened with girls. it is inpiring. and some of it maybe the inis
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initiative of the short changed girl movement. i wish when they discovered there were gender differences, instead of being a girl partisan movement, it was a movement to improve the education prospect of all children and help girls were they were falling behind and boys were they were falling behind. and that would mean girls support in math and science. we managed to close that gap. but that would mean helping boys in reading, writing, school engagement and classroom comportment. we have research showing teachers have a bias against unruly students. that is understandable. but they can by 5-6 so i don't know if it is something we want
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to blame them for. we need to find a way to make the classroom happy and room for their personalities and high spiritedness. >> is there a shortage of male teachers? >> there are very few in elementary school. you have more in high school. but this maybe a slight exagg ereration but one critic says says the schools are run by women for girls. that might be an oversight and investigations -- that might be an overstatement but a group of researchers interviewed boy and asked why they dropped out and one student said i felt like no
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one wanted me there. and that is happening with many boys. >> christina hoff sommers back to atlantic article, young men maybe a vanishing breed on college campus, but there are some schools that include the letters tcth. >> georgia tech or any school like that you will find the boys are in large numbers. we are supposed to say girl and boys are the same and males and females are cognitively the same but i think there are a difference on average of what
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men and women find interesting. and we have a record and evidence with several decades of feminism and women are well aware fields are open to them. and mind you, many fields were closed, law and vet medicine, well not closed, but male-dominated. and now women have all but taken over vet education. and there are fields where you are not finds as many women. if you told women you should major in engineering and you will make more money if you become an engineer than early childhood education or study
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psychology. but you don't find too many, you find a new, but not too many going into engineering. and i want to child open to any child that defies stereotypes. if a guy wants to be an early childhood education, i want that to be possible. and a girl on an oil rig. that is the goal of qua opportunity. but not requiring sameness. i think we should knowledge that boys are more interested in technology on average. and you will find more boys wanting to major in engineering. so make a place for the young women, but allow this is something that boys are very interested in. what happened is we have wonderful programs with outreach to get young women to go into the technical fields and it is
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like we have forgotten the boys. there is a professor that notice all of these boys on the street in monteral and she formed a club where they can come together and build things. and what shocked her is these young men never held tools before. it was something that was new to them. and we withheld their birth right almost. young men are builders and tinkers. so it is like we have forgotten about boys and they don't have outreach programs or special programs to interest them in engineering when a lot of them would naturally take to it. so i want to introduce common
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sense into the this arena. you want to encourage boys and girls to go into the non-tradition fields and don't expect the same, we are equal but different. >> why are vocational schools going to lengths to protect girls to be welders than nurses because state equity officials require them to. the united states department of education disburses $1.1 annually through states and secondary colleges for vocational and technical training. >> yes. and what you find in technical school, for example, i visited a high school in new york called aviation high.
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and this is aviation high. and i went to the school and i thought i came on the wrong day because it seemed like no one was there. it was also one of the most inspiring places because i realized the students were in their classrooms and they were enthralled by what they were doing. this is a network of career and technical training high schools in new york and the focus in this school is obviously aviation. the kids spend half of the day on standard things like math and english and they have to do well to spend time on the playground working on, i think fed-ex donated an airplane they can
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tinker with, but you have to do well in other classes. and the kids will do anything to get there. they are learning about aeronautics and many of the kids are drawn from economically distre distressed home and broken homes and social problems and very large number of minorities and the school is about 86-87% male. there are girls there, and they are leaders, but they know they are different. and they know not all girls are interested in aviation or becoming pilots. well some become pilots and some
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mechanics. but, some of the women's groups, the national women's law center has a major initiative to investigate schools and impose a gender equity regime. and they do all they can to attract young women, but it is mostly men who are fixated on airplanes. there are schools like this across the country. i think one of the bests is in massachusetts. it is called the cadillac of the education and vocation schools. there was a time where they thought kids that failed went there, but not anymore. the pressure on them to take it
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possible to go to college whe whereas they used to be dead ends. they have a higher rate of gradation than many in massachusetts. and you can focus on a career in trucking, automobile repare, early childhood education and nursing. the girls don't go for the welding and that doesn't surprise me. i would be more interested in childhood education than welding. but the women's groups are frantic and think this is something is going on in the schools or sex stereotyping and
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they are trying to undo it. but an administrator says we bring in female electionritiorid we have girls coming in saying we don't want to do that. i want to go into early childhood education. so i think it is good they are telling the girls you will make money if you go into the these technical professions, but the girls want to do what is in their hearts. that isn't the same as the boys. i think as long as you make efforts to interest the kids, you stop at gender quoting. but the federal government is very involved because they do dispense a lot of funds that help pay for the schools, and they came in and imposed a quota
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regime and require schools show they are recruited, it isn't enough you have programs to interest children, but you have to get the girls to go into welding and refrigeration. it isn't working. you will get a few and most of them will not do it. and i ask why go to the lengths. and we have all of these boys who are dropping out of school. and these programs would be lifesavi lifesavi lifesaving. why are we not reaching out to them and bring them into the fields they would thrive in. and some girls. but let's not pretend that an inspiring educator is going to be easy to turn into a petroleum engineer. >> we have one author on to talk about his or her body of work
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and this month it is christina hoff sommers. her first book came out as a best seller. the war against boys came out 12 years ago. >> christina hoff sommers spends her day as a scholar. we will put the numbers on the screen if you live in the eastern central time zone and would like to participate in the conversation, 585-3811. if you live in the western mississippi dial in on those
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lines. and if you cannot get through on the phone lines. @booktv is our handle or our facebook page at facebook/booktv. so all kind of ways to connect with us. and we will cycle through the numbers so you can see them as we go on. christina hoff sommers, in the war against boys book, you write that the subtitle of the first edition was how misguided feminism is harming young men. why did you change the subtitle? >> my emphasis was on misguidan misguidance. i didn't think feminism harmed men. but it was misguided feminism
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that short-changed girl movement that was driven by there misguided politics. i thought that was misguided. but some people couldn't get past the subtitle and thought this is an attack on feminism. and i think it made it sound harsh and shrill. the last chapter of the become, and it is still there in the new edition, is about feminist mothers who have the experience of becoming mothers of son. they were feminist mothers and became mothers of boys. and what do you do? especially when you have a typical boy. one women sent her son to a feminist god worshiping school
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and every time they would play swords they would take them and plant them in the gardening. and they were constantly trying to play. they were policing her son actually and monitoring him and making him feel terrible about himself. so it was liberating for him to discover the goodness in boys and that they are not like girls. so the books in that sense is very positive toward these particularly feminist mothers were so humane. but because of the subtitle it didn't come through. >> your first books branded you
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as an anti-feminist. have you been unbranded? are you stuck with that? >> i think lately it has changed. i won an award from the national women's political caucucaucus. so that was very nice. and also, i think they will call me a conservative feminist and i don't think most people -- i have written so much in favor of feminism. i just wrote a book describing what feminism should be to attract more men and women. they can call me an
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anti-feminist but they would have to call most women that. if you ask most people if they are a feminist, most people say no. 23% of women and 17% of men say yes. the vast majority say no. 20% thought it was an insult according to people. how can a movement be something people don't identify with? if you ask the president of the national organization for women as someone did and she said the it is media's fault. the media depicts as angry and humorless. i think too many self-identified feminist are hardline. they seem to be willing to believe the worst about men.
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and dissatisfied about the society. and captive to false statistics about women's oppression. and a lot of young women are not angry at men. so you don't find african-americans as part of the movement. it has evolved into a white, upper middle class women's movement. and so when i say who stole feminism i am talking about the elites in the universities who defined it in extreme ways. there are articles in magazines for colleges for boys to avoid where you will go and they will have angry women and so forth. so i think that is all contributed to the bad name of feminism.
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i think people would think i was a dissonance in the theory, but i don't here the attack like in the past. >> what about women's studies programming in universities? >> there are many drawn from other fields teaching the classes. you have experts on socialology of women and they give straight-forward classes. what worries me is feminist theory and young women come into the classes and i have looked at the text book and the independent women forums asked
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for a look at the context of the books. and she found negative views of men, hostility to traditional femini feminity. what about women who want to stay home and raise children? that is an admirable choice and these books take a negative view. so in feminist theory classes i found when i was teaching philosophy you would get a text book and i enjoyed offering students they could read the best on some issue and it wasn't my job to give them a specific opinion if we were debating free will or what not. i wanted them to enjoy readings, learn to think and decide for
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themselv themselv themselves. i didn't find a balance in women's studies. i never found a text book that i would consider balanced. there maybe one. please send it it me if you are out there. but it is the gamut from a-b. there is a narrow range of views. they will disparage equity feminism. and then there are schools about lesbian separatrist and narrow and not appealing to most people let alone students. so there is too much of that in wom women's study. and students are almost taught a
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conspiracy theory. this is a harsh thing to say, but i am going to say it, the heart of feminist theory is a body of a false nfrninformation how their self-esteem is being battered. well, i tried to breakdown the statistics. first of all, they are not sourced, or if they are, it didn't say it was. i tried to present the reader with information we had. usually it was the justice department or the cdc or the
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national center for educational statistics that set the gold standard for research. and they found differences from the feminist studies. but most of the text books are eager to embrace studies that show women are loosing and second-class citizens and we're still the second sex and oppressed. they are eager to show that. and resistance to the research that comes with better news. and find that sad and man ipu i manipulative. i don't want to say this is all women's studies. there are serious scholars. and i was trying to uncover modern feminist and i depended on the women scholars at ucla
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and they were brilliant. and first-rate scholars. i never want to be guilty of indicting all of women's studies before there are great scholars. but they should speak out against the idealoist. >> you are a text book author, correct. >> yes. >> how many? >> there are two. right and wrong and verture in every day life. >> how did you get into that? >> i taught at the university of
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mass for one year and then i the job i stayed at for long time. i was teaching an introduction class and we were debating contemporary social issues. and the students would read the articles and we would have debates. i didn't raise them on whether or not they agreed with me. so i would present them and i remember one just struck me and unnerved me. i really enjoy this class. i learned there was no right or wrong just good or bad arguments. and i thought wait a minute. there is a right or wrong. and maybe i am conveying the wrong message.
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and then i thought if we are doing censorships, what about the responsibilities of the individuals? the students in my classroom? and issues like compassion. i wanted to text book that would engage the social policies because they were great and fantastic on both sides of the issue. but i wanted personal issues on virtue and vice. i put together with my husband, who is also a philosopher, and he taught at columbia university and taught in the great book series that all of the professors had to do, and he was
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acquainted for a lot of works in philosophy and literature. so we went back and found what we could on friendship, loyalty, etc. i tried to find meaningful and fun letters. i sent it to the editor and there have been so many changes and you can see the history by the different publishers, but when i first sent it to my editor he called me up and said i could not stop reading some of the articles. i have an essay in there where goodness happened and this
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wonderful philosopher wrote about a village in france and they managed to save all of the jews. it was the safest place for jews in the second world war. the author was studying cruelty and it was killing him. he wanted to study compassion and went to the village. and the story was moving. it is constantly changing and evolvr evolving. >> where did you grow up? >> southern california. >> how did you get to the coast? >> i majored in philosophy and one of my professes went out here. i liked for program and had a full scholarship.
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s >> why did you major in philosophy at nyu? >> i was interested and i loved -- the year before college i read russell's history of philosophy. professional philosophy is well-criticized because he was a historian and argued with them all. but it was so exciting and attractive. that was already in my mind when i arrived. they had a great philosophy department. and william barrett was there and he was encouraging. and several other professors that are memorable. i didn't have enough common sense to know it wasn't
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practical. my step-son, both my sons were english majors, which i encouraged them not to be because that is not practical. boys go into the economics and business. but i raised to english majors. my oldest stepson went into the philosophy. he has tenure at the university of houston so he made a profession. so now it is a family business. but i don't know it wasn't practical. >> why did you grow up in southern california? >> i am a second generation californian. my parents are from there. >> what did they do? >> they went to school in los
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angeles and there are not too many people like that. i went to junior high in long beach. and then moved to westwood. and went to university high school. and at both schools, i had great teachers. starting in 8th grade we had a special english and social studies. and i had a teacher, ms. lewis who taught the class like it were a college seminar. and i had teachers doing that in high school. so my education in the '60s in southern company, and i hope it is still true today, but wonderful teachers and curriculum. >> what kind of woorbg did your parents do? >> my father was a pharmacist.
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... pharmacist who i lost a few years ago. at st. john's hospital in santa monica. 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
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mother managed to turn this into a prep school and had a very 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.
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so long story short i came off the ship and wrote an essay called the professor at sea. especially since it was so 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
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journalist and then i wrote more and more and i wanted to do that 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
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individuals talking about 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
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tend to marry other doctors and engineers tend to marry other engineers and we are not finding 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.
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but you have been just beautiful. thank goodness you didn't do a practical education and i do 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.
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but i think it was good for us. >> host: what is your question? >> 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
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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 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
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policy and economics free market. but on social issues, we are quite diverse and there were 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
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schedule and have summers off and then i got involved with a math program in the state of texas put engineering into the 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
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times are just trying to get finished and get the grades and get done and i don't see them do anything otherwise. >> 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.
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but most girls, they're not going to find it that interesting compared to the other topics in the know very 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
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that we paid me to an english teacher compared to an engineer, society has tried that with a comparable worth or you have 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
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children pursue the interests rather than statistical. in. >> host: we should ask cheryl with a response is having a few 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,.
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>> host: christina hoff sommers is the author of transit. after almost four years of gender neutral pronouns, men are 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
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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 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
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them were two others. so they were debating, but it was full of humor. 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
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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 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
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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 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
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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. 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?
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i said, yeah, that's what reckon means. i get a c-and b+s from her, and 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
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south. i had had four years of latin in high school, and i had read shakespeare. i had read comte, i had read day 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
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hear women complain and cry sexism, if there's a double standard that works in favor of women but against men, women as 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
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lobby and the to lobby, whatever, whatsoever for men. there are areas where men are in serious trouble. men's health issues, education 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 --
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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 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.
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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, 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.
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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 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
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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. 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
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they are salvation. >> host: what about all women's schools? stwhrg same thing for many young girls. the research on single-sex 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.
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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, 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
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20 years behind. they're still reviving ophelia as if girls are -- a lot of young teachers. 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
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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 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
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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 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
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hard-line, gender expectations. so there's a dearth of information. and reporters who might be on 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
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books are, some of her influences. here's a look at that. >> 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
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arguments and evidence that supports what we already leave. challenges if you resist. and i know that i have that. 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. 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
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self-descriptions that she calls herself a green, but she has some skepticism about climate, 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
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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. 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
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institutions. and so she's able to speak the truth, but it's informed by this, as i said, kind of 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
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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 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
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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 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
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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 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.
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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 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,
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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 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
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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. 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?
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>> 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 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
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for what helps them become whole again. so we were simply questioning this view that you will, that 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
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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. 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 --
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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 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 agil children need to be wrapped in cotton wool and treated as if they are these fragile flowers. and that's actually harmful to children. a lot of experience with competition and failure.
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the critical lesson in life is not that you never fail and you are protected but how you respond to it and to have to learn that. we seem to have created schools were run everyone to feel good about themselves all the time and high self-esteem is about the highest ideals to which we can aspire but lots of psychologists and common sense will tell you there are many people who have higher self-esteem were not very good people. sociopaths have high health self-esteem and they are wonderful people. abraham lincoln and jon stewart mill who sometimes was riddled with self-doubt and a low opinion of himself. sometimes they're very great people who halve the deficit insults the this theme so we wanted to go question where we felt these dogmas have emerged and we are just too prevalent. >> host: you are not a supporter of everybody gets a trophy clacks. >> guest: know, and the kids know. the children keep score.
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>> host: annapolis maryland, please go ahead. >> caller: good afternoon dr. sommers. i was wondering if you would comment on the theme that to waste during the presidential election and the recent virginia governor's election and why it least it was rep ported that it did have an effect on women voters. >> host: what is your opinion first before we hear from dr. sommers? >> guest: my opinion is it was almost like preaching to the choir and the way it was reported it may have seemed to be emphasized by those who believed it anyway. but in the virginia governor's election in maryland it did seem to have an affect 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
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what i think about that is first of all, democrats have been far better at listening to women and being informed by the various women's centers that they correspond and they got their message. they fine-tuned that message for different age groups and it was very clear for example in the last presidential campaign to revoke instead not do that. i think for many conservatives as i said before there were all these women's groups that are supported and they tend to be fairly liberal to radical. where are the women's groups on the conservative side? there are a few. there's the independent women's forum in clare boothe luce and a student group called new. these groups are libertarian or more conservative but there are very few of them. i think republicans have a serious problem because they don't have the information. they don't have the scholars and they don't have the research and so i think if they want to win
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elections they are going to have to find a way to talk to women. and something to offer to women. i think democrats have been much better at that. >> host: ncj a tweets in i believe your country and is some most scholars disagree. extraordinary claims equals extraordinary evidence. we don't see it enough. >> guest: what does he mean? >> host: i think what he is saying is he thinks you're being contrary and most people disagree. >> guest: i have said a lot of things on a lot of topics. you have to be more specific. i'm trying to imagine. i don't, you know the honest truth when i give lectures and i talked to classrooms and things the comment i often get is some of what you are saying just commonsense? i do feel commonsense about men and women.
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i don't think it's a radical claim to say there are differences and there is such a thing as human nature and it most people that salient. and that boys are falling behind in school. i don't think anyone could deny that. i think we have to look at the evidence which is so obvious with the grades and attending college. so i guess i'm at a loss as to where i'm being contrary and not having evidence that i will tell you as an analytically trained philosopher as someone points out to me that i don't have good evidence for my argument is fallacious in some way i care about that so send me a particular complaint and i will investigate it. if i find out i'm wrong i will change my mind. >> host: nancy greenwood common chord virginia, e-mail. considered you waited until 30 years after women march for equality in education etc., why
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do you think you are negative hindsight look should be touted on c-span? anyone could try to rewrite history but not everyone can get c-span2 archive their revisionary history. >> guest: well, sorry you feel that way but first of all i was there in the late 60's early 70's and one of the first books i read was the second. my mother gave it to me in ninth grade. i'm not sure how much of that i understood but i have been there all along and sympathetic with the movement and began to write books on i could get appointed with how much i had felt they had changed. i think what worries me is that as i said before i do think i represent a kind of moderate voice on gender and on women's issues and education. that is the voice that doesn't get through in most classrooms.
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it tends to be the gender feminists and the victim conspiracy theorists who have a voice. that is taken seriously and that is why people have had a lot of experience with that. they will find what i have to say counterintuitive. but i think if gender studies and the scholarship were more inclusive and they were moderates with conservatives and we were all in there in the mix of a lot of women around the table representing different points of view than i think i would not sound that way to you. i think i sound that way to you because maybe what you have been reading is just limited and not conclusive. >> host: as he is calling from stock in california. you on booktv on c-span2. christina hoff sommers is our guest. >> caller: i would just like to say i'm intrigued with
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everything and you are kind of the pattern of the opinion first and then the question. my opinion is this. i grew up with a lot of voice and it was in birmingham alabama. we were out all day until mike when he came home. back to where you were saying with the political correctness, you know the boys sometimes doing things in daycare or in school. we have to sometimes find a way to politically correct them. when they are there with swords and talking about they want to be a sniper we have to say hold on just a moment here. maybe instead of that sword you will play paintball or laser tag we also have to look at while we were out here doing everything,
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we lost some boys. i have one friend who wanted to be superman with plastic on his back running around the chair and he died. those are the kinds of things that we have to watch but men, our young men are out there doing a lot of things but those things can also bring them danger. getting back to my question, my question is there are a lot of mentoring groups being born because there is money coming through the state, through the federal to look at various populations that are graduating. we are going through towns but a lady like myself who started a group called one of the color helping young ladies to develop themselves and go to college.
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these groups need men. they don't need women. that is where you have two opposite areas. someone who has been very active and as a political activist and helping humanity. we don't need women. these guys need men and then on the other side you have those who are around stirring up also because of their political affiliation, the democrats versus. >> host: already think we got the essence of what you are trying to say. thanks for calling in. christina hoff sommers. >> guest: yes, when he described the boys getting injured they do need supervision to a point and they can hurt themselves. we look at from the earliest age we look at hospital room
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admissions. as soon as children can move around the boys are more like you to get injured. they are greater risk-takers and they are just willing to explore and do crazy things. so if you find an example of someone doing something truly while that's probably a boy. we talked before about men being the extremes and they succeed spectacularly and they fail spectacularly. that risk-taking can we the boy to hurt himself and leaves other men to go on and become mentors and become leaders. it has to be nurtured but it has to be recognized. this is a quality that is more salient in boys than girls. the other question is, i'm sorry about your mentoring program because you were discouraged from a mentoring program for girls because one message especially in the new edition of "the war against boys" is we even have to take the gender partisanship out of this because
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what most americans want is fairness for all children. we want our friends to succeed but we want our daughters to succeed. i make this clear that in no way do i want to take anything away from the girls. more than that i want to look to see what works for the girls. if it's effectively should replicate it for boys and young men. >> host: heidi from palm springs e-mails into dr. sommers do you think there's discrimination or fear of the male team? it seems that the trayvon martin case was more about fear than race. >> guest: i think there's a lot of prejudice against, certainly african-americans teens but all boys, there is kind of an assumption that their antics and misbehaviors that that's connected to something
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dangerous that everything about them is potentially lethal and boys bear the prejudice. even being suspended from school it's an epidemic for african-american boys. all boys. voice or 70% of those suspended in preschool. it's four or five times more little girls were expelled but people have studied the suspension rates and tolerance policies. they had exactly the terrible toll on african-american boys and look carefully and found that most of them weren't doing anything. they were not running a file with zero tolerance policies. it was just acting out in typical boy weighs in no tolerance for it. especially young men of color. >> host: patrick tweets in to you using your background study and experience please write a
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book on zero tolerance and show whether it causes harm. >> guest: i now believe it causes harm. for one thing these policies, i don't have to write the book. there are dozens of studies. the american colleges head major front-page study about how ineffective it is. children are first of all suspended. they are sent out of school and if you have the disengaged and acting out that's the worst thing you could do. again the child doesn't always conceive it as punishment. he has free time where he may be unsupervised. it's the worst thing they could do. if you want to punish a boy may consider in the front row and asked him a lot of questions. engage in more in academia. but these policies are harmful and there are very good books and someone will write them but probably not me. >> host: the next call comes
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from paris and beverly hills california. hi ferris. >> caller: thank you c-span and our highest praise to dr. sommers, someone who is admired ever since she arrived on the scene with her books. excuse me for being nervous. i always get nervous in the presence of greatness. if you have trouble with this i apologize but dr. sommers earlier mentioned the phrase called separationist and i would love to call everyone's attention to "new york magazine" the cover story january 30, 2006 entitled the cuddle puddle in which a young courageous person went to stuyvesant high school with her camera and notepad. a as going on at that time, for a long time in new york city and now goes on to every
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schoolhouse throughout the plane throughout the exceptions. where the children are sent with 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
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separatists, there was a theory where it there was a movement, and you might have readings on 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
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when on the frontlines, front lines, do you think it plays a psychological effect on e-mail 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
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that we need this. i do worry that if people are 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
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are exceptions of extraordinary women and i think we may need them. >> host: david e-mails us and says do you consider the late 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
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barely keeping themselves alive in these male predators were everywhere and it was almost always experienced as something 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
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feminism with the 1984 overstatement. >> 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
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photograph that was once at a dinner and had a picture and we 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,
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not only in the media, but textbooks as well and i'm 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
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harshness towards young man in feminism and a kind of -- i mean, when i became a feminist, it was a humanitarian movement 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
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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 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
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fans in, however, on the boy's 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
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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 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
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to the 1 million plus who have said that they regret their abortions. >> 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
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women break down and i forget the exact same percentages, but 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
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life. and we don't tell young women enough about how important it is 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.
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but then you really are beginning to see the formation of a that is more tragic and 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.
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and women have kind of taken it by storm and men are left 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
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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 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
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thing that the no child left behind dead, it allowed schools to experience these academies 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
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different academies and they compete with one another. 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
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toxic. you are not denigrating anybody, kids are flourishing in some of the schools. 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
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people? >> guest: i don't own that much about her except she may be parents in the hearing. and i understand that. 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
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victimhood? >> guest: yes, there seems to be a fascination among gender 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,
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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 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
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we envy them because they do have far more protections and that sort of thing. 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
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love was published by international researchers and i think it was the journal of personality and social psychology, and they looked at 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
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so than the democratic postindustrial society. 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.
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>> guest: that's right, he loves boys and he's not afraid to 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?
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>> guest: i do believe that there are children, it's mostly boys, 75% or more that are 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
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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 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
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you've had a lot of families, are you there? >> host: we are listening. please go ahead. >> 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.
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and if you look at the many professions, i mean, we are working in mines or oil rigs or 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
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were women are working just as hard, but in a different way. and so i celebrate that. >> 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
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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 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
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these boys and we are at least 10 or 15 years behind. but we have to get started. >> host: in your book "the war 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
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this opportunity is twisted into her personality and a backed up 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
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have another idea. what if we are equal but a little different and then when it comes to certain locations, 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
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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 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
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get as many men now who will want to go into cosmetology. 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
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an epidemic and the average man was a play-doh battering and every woman sort of needed 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
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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 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.
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>> caller: hello. first of all, belated happy thanksgiving. >> guest: thank you. >> caller: i would also like to 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.
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>> i don't disagree with that. i think you ask t-- you should try to develop your child in all 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
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there is only so much you can do. if children are too wild we have to calm their natchurnature. 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
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think that should be the focus of the women's movement in the 21st centry. 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 to get women basic protection against violence and horrendous for iranian women. what a struggle. it's unbelievable. i think it's a natural alliance,
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a modern american feminist is the great struggle of the 21st century and in earlier centuries we had to fight the scourge of slavery in the 19th century and in the 20th century was fascism and totalitarianism. in the 21st century is liberating women across the developing world where as i said they have not had their basic liberation. i don't say we impose our style of feminism and heaven forbid there some versions of american feminism but there are indigenous movements and a wonderful liberation movements in these countries and they're asking for help. i just wonder where that is. in the 1980s you had a lot of activist groups on the campus who formed and the lions with forces in south africa who were opposed to apartheid, racial apartheid. that was a powerful movement on the campus. where's the movement on the american campus to bring down
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gender apartheid in the developing world? it's really not fair. in fact a young woman on american campuses more like you to spend your hour and a half and heard women study course learning how she is at risk, how she is held back which is absurd and wrong but also harmful because if you have that kind of world compassion than i think if you have compassion and good information that's moral progress. that would be forming that alliance across the globe. if you have misinformation and moral fervor about the american patriarchy i think that leads to to -- .. humanist movement. this isn't a man versus a woman.
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we are together in this. we cannot separate. it is artificial. 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 t


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