Talk:Christina Hoff Sommers/Archive 6

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"Anti-feminist" redundancy

Per WP:LEDE the bare mention of the fact that feminists "have called her works and positions anti-feminist" should not appear in BOTH the lead and the body of the article unless it is further explained or detailed in the body; which, of course, it presently is not. Specifically, according to WP:LEDE, "Apart from basic facts, significant information should not appear in the lead if it is not covered in the remainder of the article." As, it now stands, the lead invites the reader to think that material in the body will explain this criticism when none actually exists there. Instead, there is basically just a repetition of the "feminist scholars have called . . " statement. Since the lead does not preview an explanation in the body as to the basis for this criticism by feminist scholars', the basic fact of it, along with Sommers's bare denial of it, should stay in the body but should not stay in the lead. Motsebboh (talk) 19:41, 15 February 2016 (UTC)

So easy to solve your concern by writing about the 34+ scholars who say that Sommers is working against feminism. Feel free to start. Binksternet (talk) 02:46, 16 February 2016 (UTC)
What you should not do is to remove the information from the lead section since it is so vitally important to Sommers career. Rather than removing it, let's tell the reader that dozens of scholars reject her work. Binksternet (talk) 02:47, 16 February 2016 (UTC)
That 34+ scholars say that Sommers is an anti-feminist is obviously more important to you than it is to me, so I would suggest that you would be a more likely candidate to provide the specifics . As of now, however, though we do have some criticism of Sommers, we have only a general statement that some (or lots of, or most) feminists call her works anti-feminist, so the same statement needn't be made twice. Apparently no editor has yet thought the specifics of any of those 34+ "anti-feminist" critiques important enough, or cogent enough, to place into the article. But, as I said before, you might be good candidate for the job. However, if you do, don't confuse someone calling Sommers's works and positions anti-feminist with "reject(ing) her work". They may be trying to compliment it. Motsebboh (talk) 05:27, 16 February 2016 (UTC)
I too find this article quite weird and short of discussion by scholars, feminist or otherwise. That said, the way to resolve the discrepancy between the article and the lead is to expand the article. Kingsindian   11:59, 16 February 2016 (UTC)
Actually, the lead should be written to fit the body of the article as it presently exists . If the body is expanded then the lead can be changed to fit it. However, I like your reference to "scholars, feminist or otherwise" I haven't spent much time on a college campus since the 1970s but the last I knew there were no professors of liberalism, professors of conservatism, professors of socialism, or professors of feminism. Because an academic considers herself/himself a feminists (or one of our editors considers that person to be a feminist) doesn't mean that her/his opinion is any more valuable than another academic as to whether or not some third party is an anti-feminist. Motsebboh (talk) 15:42, 16 February 2016 (UTC)
Your information is outdated. Scholars of feminism exist. We aren't talking about the beliefs held by individual scholars, we are talking about scholars who study the topic of feminism. Call them topic experts. Binksternet (talk) 16:05, 16 February 2016 (UTC)
I believe the more common term is something like "women's studies". However, by all means, tell us what they have to say about Hoff-Sommers other than what we already have, that they think she is an anti-feminist. Motsebboh (talk) 16:57, 16 February 2016 (UTC)
There is indeed a sentence in the body of the article which states While some feminist scholars have called her works and positions anti-feminist, Sommers rejects such claims.. So I do not see any reason to exclude this from the lead. This lone sentence should be expanded as to why these scholars call the position anti-feminist. As MOS:LEAD states about relative emphasis between the lead and the body, This admonition should not be taken as a reason to exclude information from the lead, but rather to harmonize coverage in the lead with material in the body of the article. Kingsindian   14:20, 17 February 2016 (UTC)
Yes, we were already well aware that there was almost an identical sentence in the body, which simply adds the fact that Hoff-Sommers rejects the description. Notice that the MOS asks us to harmonize the lead with the body rather than the body with the lead. As I said before, the lead sentence about professional feminists calling Hoff-Sommers an anti-feminist invites the reader to expect an expansion on this point in the body which presently doesn't exist except for the bare rejection by Hoff-Sommers. Binksternet, who has already impressively tracked down 34 professional references describing Hoff-Sommers as a an antifeminist would seem to be the right man editor for this task but he hasn't come across with the details yet. I recommend removing (or suspending) the "antifeminist" sentence from the lead until he or some other editor does. When that happens we should probably include Hoff-Sommers denial in the lead as well, since that would also , presumably, be expanded in the body. Motsebboh (talk) 15:55, 17 February 2016 (UTC)
We are asked here to endorse an extreme political ideology in which an individual’s specious and self-serving redefinition of feminism -- a redefinition that have been broadly rejected -- is required to be taken at face value. Up is down, patriarchy is feminist, and we have always been at war with eastasia. As soon as Binksternet compiles the requested list of 30 or 40 reference, that list will doubtless be reverted from the article as WP:UNDUE. We all know this, and so volunteer editors are naturally reluctant to waste their time. It is clear from the sources in the article and a cursory reading of the discussion of the subject's work -- and indeed from the discussion here -- that most feminists disagree with the subject’s esoteric and self-serving redefinition of feminism, and the article should reflect that. MarkBernstein (talk) 18:01, 17 February 2016 (UTC)
If the fear is WP:UNDUE removals then we could still keep a record of the full list here on the talk page to deal with arguments. Is it possible to have a sub-page on the article for listing this stuff to refer people to? We should also focus on the quality of cites rather than the quantity. With only 3 cites next to the "antifeminist" sentence it doesn't seem clear that they represent "most" feminists. Although really no realistic amount of sources could count as "most" feminist since there are millions of them. Probably the best way to do it is to quote a reliable source who makes a "most feminists" claim if it's necessary to include that, and just rely on them as an expert to support "most". The difficulty is of course is if another reliable sources says "no, not most feminists" because then we'd have to resolve the contradiction. Settling the number of scholars who say something about her should be easier since scholars inherently publish things as authors and can be cited, and exist in more manageable numbers than non-scholars. (talk) 18:24, 17 February 2016 (UTC)
@Motsebboh: regarding the "34 professional references", those are a bit murky and could benefit from more thoroughness and presentation via the citation templates. Perhaps userspace would be a good place for Bink to compile them for consideration? A good first step is to convey in excerpt exactly what the source says of Sommers, and then we should also discuss whether it is appropriate to refer to an individual as a scholar or not. Wikipedia:Notability (academics) (aka WP:ACADEMIC / WP:PROF / WP:SCHOLAR / WP:TEACHER) seems like the guide to consult for that. The second shortcut makes me wonder: should we by-default consider anyone who holds a professorship to be considered a scholar at the time of that professorship? That could make things easier. What about statements made by someone before they became a professor or after they stopped being one? (talk) 18:30, 17 February 2016 (UTC)

@MarkBernstein: Your "we are asked here to endorse an extreme an extreme ideology . . " utterly loses me. First, because we editors are not being asked to endorse anything at all here (Where did that notion even come from?) and second, because Hoff-Sommers ideas are quite mainstream; pretty close, in fact, to where the average, relatively thoughtful, person-on-the-street would be on gender equality. As for 184's comments, to me the important thing is not verifying that a certain number or percentage of feminist scholars have called Hoff-Sommers ideas anti-feminist, because I'm sure that a significant number have, rather, if the lead statement in question is to remain in any form, we should have some examples of their specific reasons for calling Hoff-Sommers's work anti-feminist in the body of the article. Motsebboh (talk) 19:14, 17 February 2016 (UTC)

I can't think in terms like that, what exactly is a "significant" number? I can't really know what a significant percentage is until I know what the total number of feminist scholars is and then the total number who have said this. How about instead of a "significant number" we instead look for "significant scholars"? Sarah Projansky is a significant person since she has an article, not sure about the other two. Are there other references from people with articles about them to show their opinion is significant? Also if we're to describe her as a "feminist scholar" we ought to create a Category:Feminist scholars for her article and any others who share such a label. Right now checking out her page she is classed under Category:Women's studies academics so what if we used the WSA term? (talk) 01:13, 18 February 2016 (UTC)

Percentages will always be difficult to assess and necessarily involve original research. It is clear, though, that the preponderance of significant scholars of feminism -- that is to say, scholars who are not primarily known for their opposition to feminism -- regard this subject’s views as contrary to prevailing feminist thought. Efforts to redefine feminism for political convenience may amuse some editors, but if they persist they would (a) make the project appear ridiculous when the matter, as it inevitably would, is subjected to broader scrutiny in the press, and (b) further discredit the project’s reputation for following the consensus of reliable sources. It should be clear to all the the subject dissents from many facets of the thought of Simone de Beauvoir, Gloria Steinem, bell hooks, Germaine Greer, or Judith Butler; these and related thinkers are what people in general understand to be meant by "feminism". MarkBernstein (talk) 19:43, 18 February 2016 (UTC)

If there was intended to be a sound, reasoned, policy & source based argument as to why we should dispense with WP:BLP and WP:NOR to disparage this article's subject, I could not, in faith, find it amongst the bald assertion, appeal to emotion, appeal to authority and hyperbolic slippery slope.
Of course there will be disreputable persons who seek to discredit Wikipedia by peddling mendacity in the press; but if someone wants to email their friends at The Grauniad with invented nonsense, then who are we to try to stop them. If the The Grauniad wants to have to print another retraction, then they should also feel free to fill their boots.
If the Project's reputation rests on one biographical article stating "most Feminist scholars" instead of "many" or "some", then I'll sit in the corner wearing a funny hat. - Ryk72 'c.s.n.s.' 21:43, 18 February 2016 (UTC)
Why is it lede worthy that people the subject is critical of, are critical of the subject? A bit like calling politicians RINO's or DINO's in their lede. Arkon (talk) 22:52, 18 February 2016 (UTC)
Wow! That's quite a rogues gallery that MarkBerstein has presented as typical feminists; mainly Marxists or anarchists with one democratic-socialist (Steinem) thrown in for balance. No, someone at odds with those people is not necessarily an anti-feminist. Motsebboh (talk) 03:13, 19 February 2016 (UTC)
"Efforts to redefine feminism for political convenience" Man...I wish I could find an example around here somewhere... LCrowter (talk) 12:53, 19 February 2016 (UTC)
What seems like a preponderance to some may not seem like that to others. Considering that Christina's writers accuse some opposition of redefining feminism for political purposes, the accusation coming back at her isn't unique. You insist something should be "clear to all" but that's appealing to OR. We are not feminism experts, it is much less OR to take strict tallies when wanting to discuss numbers than to insert ourselves as experts on judging who is the real feminist and who is not. If reliable sources are supporting and opposing then it seems like there's not a consensus among experts and we can just show there are conflicting views. MB you mention Beauvoir/Steinem/Hooks/Greer/Butler. If Sommers has said she agrees universally with one of these and then makes a statement which contradicts one of them, I can see value in presenting the quotes side by side for readers to analyze and draw their own conclusions from. Just so long as we don't draw conclusions for them, that would only be appropriate if we're citing a source which comes to those conclusions. (talk) 17:40, 24 February 2016 (UTC)

Name change

Can we list somewhere when she went from being Christina Hoff to Christina Hoff Sommers? I don't see that listed anywhere. Nor was it listed on the Frederic Sommers article. (talk) 01:06, 18 February 2016 (UTC)

The easy assumption would, of course, be that it was at marriage; but, without a reliable source, we would be remiss to include a date. - Ryk72 'c.s.n.s.' 02:33, 20 February 2016 (UTC)

Even operating on this assumption I'm still not sure when they got married, neither article mentions it. (talk) 18:11, 24 February 2016 (UTC)

Accomplishments of authors at time of publication

Sarah Projansky appears to presently be a professor of gender studies, what was she in 2001?

Sherryl Vint appears to presently be a professor of English, what was she in 2010?

Kristin J. Anderson appears to presently be a professor of psychology, what was she in 2014?

I think it would be good to explore this to see if there is a more specific collective label that can be applied to describe them at the time of their citations.

Anything at for example I would not feel comfortable saying "a president has said" since Obama was not a president in the 90s. I would have to describe him in terms of what he was at that time. I guess it would be okay to mention as an afterthought that the person became president just so long as it is not implied that those things were not said during a term of presidency.

I have the same concern for professors. My being able to find out these 3 women are presently professors doesn't educate me much on whether they were when they wrote these things. I could see Anderson, possibly Vint, since that's only 2-6 years, but I'm more skeptical about Projansky since that's 15 years.

Just anything better than this vague "scholar" which I'm not even sure what degree/position it is supposed to mean. Do you need a doctorate? A bachelor's degree? A teaching position?

It occurred to me that a simple starting point would be to consult the "about the author" sections in the respective sources. In Watching Rape page 311 Projansky refers to herself as "assistant professor of women and gender studies" and a 1995 PhD in film studies. There is apparently a "Contributors" section of "on Joanna Russ" but I'm not able to view it in the preview for more info on Vint. Modern Misogyny has Acknowledgements/Introduction/Conclusion, the first 2 don't appear to mention credentials and I can't view the conclusion in the preview so I don't know if she gets around to it then. Willing to assume she was a prof 2 years ago though, more interested in the first 2. (talk) 18:58, 24 February 2016 (UTC)

Coining of terms

I found a source which credits Sommers for coining "gender feminism" in her 1994 book. I read the cited PDF speech and I don't see anything in it saying that she coined the term "equity feminism", so I changed it to "uses the term". She in fact in the speech said that equity feminism is not something new.

Are there any sources out there which do credit her with coining equity feminism? Any reliable ones? Has she ever claimed to have coined the word? Seeing as how I found 2 uses of it in 1989/1990 preceding her 1994 book, the topic is certainly bigger than her book (why I created equity feminism article) this should call into doubt any claims that she coined the word.

That this claim has sat on Wikipedia for so long makes me wonder how many later sources this could have influenced. Does anyone know when this was added? Did people just assume that because she used it in her speech that she coined it? Did someone misremember the claim that she coined gender feminism as her coining equity feminism?

If any sources do credit her with coining equity feminism in 1994 I think we should cite them if only to Snopes them by showing this is a false claim, but perhaps a persistent rumor, one Wikipedia may have contributed to fostering. If she did coin it, it would have had to have been in some publication prior to the 1994 book. The Hamilton College speech transcribed in the PDF is date 2008 so it certainly wasn't there either. (talk) 20:45, 24 February 2016 (UTC)

I've removed the material about "equity feminism" not being a new term. I don't consider that relevant or appropriate, and your addition may violate WP:NOR; one of the sources you added did not even mention Sommers. Also, some of the language you added to the lead ("She is described as an equity feminist and by extension a classical-liberal and libertarian feminist") is questionable and stilted. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 21:40, 24 February 2016 (UTC)

Citing sources to show that "equity feminism" was used in 1989 and 1990 is not original research. Consider this claim:

Sommers coined the term "equity feminist"

Until 23 February 2016 this claim has been present in some form ever since it was added in 2005. That's 11 years of people reading Wikipedia and coming to believe that Sommer coined "equity feminism". So leaving a note that it was in use by other authors in 89/90 is an entirely rational precaution. People are going to be very prone to adding this back and I want to disourage that unless there's some pre-89 sources coming along with it. (talk) 23:05, 24 February 2016 (UTC)

It's totally irrelevant that the term "equity feminism" was used in 1989 and 1990. That has nothing to do with Sommers, and there is no reason why the article should point it out. If Sommers did not coin the term "equity feminism", then by all means remove that claim - but don't add material that has nothing to do with her. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 23:08, 24 February 2016 (UTC)
It does have something to do with her, clearly some people think she coined the term, Wikipedia's been endorsing that claim for over a decade. Having a commented-out disclaimer to prevent people from adding it back is a logical deterrent. (talk) 00:42, 25 February 2016 (UTC)
No. The overwhelming majority of readers are never even going to see a commented-out disclaimer, because they won't open the article to edit it. It's inappropriate and serves no useful purpose. Aside from that, it's not the purpose of a Wikipedia article to counter any possible misconception readers may have about its topic. Maybe some people do wrongly believe that Sommers coined the term "equity feminism" - but the lead is meant to be only a summary of the basic facts about Sommers and it's not appropriate for the lead to state that "equity feminism" was already in use in the 1980s. That isn't one of the basic facts about her. While it might perhaps cause people to view Sommers's work differently, it really isn't a fact about her at all. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 00:49, 25 February 2016 (UTC)
Considering it just got changed from "used" to "defined" the need is still present. A very low-cost compromise here is my addition of "80s" before term. This is non-confrontational but should give readers pause if they're assuming it got introduced in 1994. (talk) 20:21, 25 February 2016 (UTC)
Perhaps we should simply omit mention of so-called “equity feminism”, since (a) it appears the subject did not, as had been claimed, invent the term, and (b) the term is sufficiently obscure anyway that we can't find who did invent it. MarkBernstein (talk) 01:29, 25 February 2016 (UTC)
It might be possible to figure it out some day if more sources show up, 89 is simply the earliest I found in two books (not sure which came first since one only has the year) looking through sources that others mentioned, I haven't even tried digging for earlier books yet. (talk) 20:21, 25 February 2016 (UTC)

Whether she coined it or defined it is just word games. Stanford Encyclopedia gives her credit [1]. It's the prevailing and cited definition. She also juxtaposed it against gender feminists. --DHeyward (talk) 02:18, 25 February 2016 (UTC)

There's a difference between citing a reference for a term's meaning and giving that reference credit for coming up with the definition. (talk) 20:21, 25 February 2016 (UTC)

Equity feminist or individualist feminist in lead.

The Stanford Encyclopedia describes her position. We have an article on Individualist feminist where she is listed. She is sought out and published in a number of outlets because of her view of feminism. It's nonsensical to deprive her of her own label and the the label of neutral sources. She isn't writing solicited columns for TIME or The Atlantic because of her wardrobe. She is clearly sought out for her position as an equity feminist or individualist feminist. That such a nit claim is disputed is beyond the pale of POV pushing. If she claimed to be transgender, the announcement would be be enough. What thought process denies "equity feminist" or "individualist feminist" or "classically liberal feminist?" Reliable sources recognise it. We should too. --DHeyward (talk) 02:27, 23 February 2016 (UTC)

Actually, a great many, very high quality RS describe her primarily as anti feminist, and dismiss the "equity" label as spin/window dressing. I see no reason why Sommers' preferred label for herself should trump what very large numbers of high quality RS say. If you're suggesting that the sources which describe her as an individualist or equity feminist should be given greater weight that's fine, but you're incorrect to suggest that that is an uncontroversial or straightforward fact. It's been very clearly and very strongly challenged by a large number of RS. Treating that as an simple fact would be massively undue weight. Fyddlestix (talk) 02:53, 23 February 2016 (UTC)
Fyddlestix, could you give two or three of the best sources that describe her as anti-feminist? Motsebboh (talk) 04:48, 23 February 2016 (UTC)
Here are a few, just from spending a couple minutes on google books: 12345. All of those are peer-reviewed, academic monographs by experts in related fields, and published by major presses such as Oxford, NYU, and Routledge. I'm sure I could find you a lot more/better sources given time (can't access my usual library resources atm). But you might also want to check out this previous talk page discussion, where Binksternet linked a large number of scholars/sources who define Sommers as anti-feminist. Fyddlestix (talk) 06:05, 23 February 2016 (UTC)
And those views are covered. They don't refute that she is an individualist feminist or equity feminist or libertarian feminist, rather they argue their belief that those schools of feminist thought are "anti-feminist." There are many schools of thought regarding feminism and we wouldn't use Wendy McElroy's or Sommer's assessment for others. --DHeyward (talk) 06:24, 23 February 2016 (UTC)
I am not sure what exactly you are arguing for. "Equity feminist" is already used in the lead isn't it? Kingsindian   06:51, 23 February 2016 (UTC)
Her identity is individualist feminist which we have an article on. We list "equity feminist" as a term she coined but the argument that she shouldn't be identified as an "individualist feminist" obtusely denies why she is so prominent and so prevalent in a number of publishing outlet. --DHeyward (talk) 07:03, 23 February 2016 (UTC)
Sommers herself is described as working against feminism. It's not just the feminists complaining about "equity feminism" or whatever you call it. Toril Moi writes that Sommers is "one of America's leading feminist bashers."[2] Philosophy professor Tom Digby writes puts Sommers' self-described feminism in scare quotes, saying that she wrote "a series of antifeminist articles."[3] Sue Hatt, Linda Watson-Brown et al write that Sommers is among the so-called "free market feminists" who advocate women to "stay in their place and maintain the accustomed distinction between the public world of paid employment and the private world of domestic caring labour."[4] Leola A. Johnson writes that Sommers is one of the "new antifeminists" who have replaced Phyllis Schlafly as the "most visible antifeminists" in the U.S.[5] Elisabeth Armstrong of Smith College says that Sommers reports but ignores critically important statistics which disprove her whole theory: "Sommers cites statistics which reveal most young women's support for a strong women's movement to fight for women's equal rights and equal pay. Even in the face of this evidence, she draws the assumption that feminism is a movement dying a natural death, though she simultaneously credits its demise to the favorable conditions faced by women in the United States."[6] There's a ton of these; I could go on and on. Binksternet (talk) 07:57, 23 February 2016 (UTC)
Quote from DH "They don't refute that she is an individualist feminist or equity feminist or libertarian feminist, rather they argue their belief that those schools of feminist thought are "anti-feminist."" Do you have anything saying she isn't an individualist feminist? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:20, 23 February 2016 (UTC)
My own feeling is that she is more well known for the idea of "equity feminism", rather than "individualist feminism". Perhaps I'm wrong, if so, I don't really have a problem with adding that moniker. The "anti-feminism" description is already present in the lead. Kingsindian   13:34, 23 February 2016 (UTC)
The qualifier isn't at issue. "Equity feminist" or "individualist feminist" or "classically liberal feminist" is fine. The distinction is less important than noting why she is sought for her opinion in so many outlets. It's inherently libertarian which is why so many publications seek her out. She is set apart from entitlement feminism as well as radical feminism. There is quite a diversity of thought in what feminism is and what it is not - and views from every facet are published as "feminist." --DHeyward (talk) 14:34, 24 February 2016 (UTC)
She is sought because she espouses the social conservative position on gender roles, the old status quo where women were supposed to stay home while men had a career. Reactionaries such as Rush Limbaugh love Sommers. Toril Moi says as much in her scholarly article "'I Am Not a Feminist, but...': How Feminism Became the F-Word".[7] Binksternet (talk) 20:00, 24 February 2016 (UTC)
That's nonsense and outlets like The Atlantic and Slate show otherwise. Her own life does not reflect the demeaning and uninformed stereotype you depict. Her disagreement with other feminists is not anywhere close to the gender roles you depict. It is so far off that you shouldn't even be writing about her. Competence is required. --DHeyward (talk) 20:42, 24 February 2016 (UTC)
I'm sorry that you are offended by the depiction in the scholarly literature of Sommers as a cynical political tool. Competence includes seeing past one's preferred stance, being objective. Binksternet (talk) 03:23, 25 February 2016 (UTC)
I'm not offended, just aghast at the ignorance you spewed. No one with scholarly understanding dismisses her view as "old status quo where women were supposed to stay home."Her view doesn't come close to your imagintation. That you fail to see that is part of your problem with editing this BLP. --DHeyward (talk) 04:35, 25 February 2016 (UTC)
You'd be surprised at what's in the literature, if you bothered to look. The scholarly editors of Market, State and Feminism: The Economics of Feminist Policy decided that the writer Linda Watson-Brown was worthy of a chapter in their book, the chapter called "Gender, Economic Life and Politics". Watson-Brown says that a handful of "those writing from a free market feminist perspective", including Sommers, describe how women should "keep the home fires burning, stay in their place", and maintain traditional gender roles.[8] Sommers is writing for reactionaries. Binksternet (talk) 05:55, 25 February 2016 (UTC)
Perhaps someone needs to be reminded of WP:NOTFORUM? The talk page of this article isn't a place for editors to repeat over and over and over and over again, drearily, boringly, and (to other editors) wearyingly that they don't like Sommers; it is meant to be for discussing improving the article. Binksternet, if you have any actual proposals to make, then make them. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 06:12, 25 February 2016 (UTC)

Our own article explains that (Redacted). We are asked to take it at face value and to endorse this doubtful proposition. MarkBernstein (talk) 14:20, 23 February 2016 (UTC)

All of my comments here are intended to remind editors of how Sommers is not respected by most academics. Those editors who would rather have a hagiography need to be reminded, as they are violating WP:NPOV if they put forward too much praise and not enough criticism. The criticism must be presented strongly as it comes from a very respected source: academic experts. Binksternet (talk) 17:36, 25 February 2016 (UTC)
I must have missed that somehow. Where does our own article explain that (Redacted)? Motsebboh (talk) 18:19, 23 February 2016 (UTC)
It doesn't. Redacted per WP:BLP. - Ryk72 'c.s.n.s.' 23:41, 23 February 2016 (UTC)

According to Wikipedia:

Wendy McElroy and Christina Hoff Sommers define individualist feminism in opposition to what they call political or gender feminism.[9][10] Some scholars and critics have commented that the label "feminist" is often used cynically in this context, as a way to co-opt general feminism rather than actually be part of feminism.[11][12]

In other words. Wikipedia says that the subject's purported identification with individualist feminism is widely considered a cynical ruse, if you believe saying this is a BLP violation, AE is that away. --> A whole heap of press ridicule and scorn lies in that direction, too. MarkBernstein (talk) 00:44, 24 February 2016 (UTC)

For those not able to find the information in Christina Hoff Sommers, the text above is from Individualist feminism; it would perhaps be better for quotations or references from other articles to be explicitly identified; resolving in part the BLP question a priori.
I note that of the sources used at that page - one, an NPR transcript[9], does not mention this article's subject; and the second, a WaPost review[10], does not appear to mention the claim. I am not certain that the redacted claim, including the qualifier "most", is sustainable. - Ryk72 'c.s.n.s.' 01:18, 24 February 2016 (UTC)

Personal views on the merits of individualist or equity feminism are not relevant. To take a current topic - "Resolved:Applying title IX to academics is necessary" can be debated by feminists without one side losing the label of "feminist." One side can argue a patriarchal institution requires special redress, another can argue that women can and do compete equitably within the system. Arguing that one side is "feminist" and not the other is nonsense. Either position can be argued by feminists and mansplaining why one is not feminist is rather degrading. --DHeyward (talk) 14:19, 24 February 2016 (UTC)

If Sommers has called herself both equity/individualist then we could defer to chronological order (what did she call herself first?) or if not that, alphabetical or by brevity. I expect those who object to her use of one term and its implications (ie calling herself equity implies opposition is not equitable, calling herself individualist implies opposition are not individuals) probably object to the other, so it doesn't seem like it should weigh in on things. Criticisms to her use of either label could be put in a criticism section, I think an opening paragraph should be limited to self-definition. It's too controversial for there to be academic consensus about whether her choices of words are appropriate or not. (talk) 20:25, 25 February 2016 (UTC)

Feb 25 teeter totter

I'm still reading over trying to understand exactly what was changed. Fyddlestix/MarkBernstein/Binksternet would it be possible to break this into smaller edits (like the addition of the third paragraph as one, the modification of the opening paragraph as another, the changing of the second paragraph as a third) so that it is clearer which part / DHeyward are objecting to?

Also DHeyward I removed the bit you added about how Christina defines the term because that is followed by her speech as the cite and I don't see anything in that speech supporting the definition. If I missed it then please expand the quote to illustrate this. Is this definition of equity feminism from her from some other source that could be added?

Either way if we're going to talk about her defining a term, this will compound the decade+ illusion of her coining it unless we clearly preface it with it having been in use in 1989/1990.

Of course, if a source for this definition comes from 88 or earlier I'd be happy to assume her the term-coiner once more. (talk) 19:57, 25 February 2016 (UTC)

I'll implement these edits in sections. That seems like a fairly reasonable request. If the IPs/DHeyward find individual parts objectionable, they can revert those individual parts of the edit. PeterTheFourth (talk) 21:01, 25 February 2016 (UTC)
Only DHeyward would be capable of doing that, I don't know if the IPs (not sure if one or two people, thinking one due to similarity) have accounts. I do (User:Ranze) but until I'm informed/invested enough on this particular aspect of the dispute to move from talk feedback to page interaction (so far I've mostly just focused on highlighting that Sommers did not introduce equity feminism in '94) I don't want to have to go through that added step on and off every time I grab this shared tablet. The complexity of having to constantly inform people of IP/User parity when overlap happens is exhausting. (talk) 22:49, 25 February 2016 (UTC)

Individual critics in the lead

This edit by Fyddlestix names individual critics of Sommers in the lead. I consider that inappropriate. Toril Moi, Alison Jaggar, and the other person mentioned would hardly be Sommers most prominent critics, and there is no valid reason for them to be mentioned by name in the lead. "Some feminist scholars" was the right level of detail for a summary. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 07:31, 25 February 2016 (UTC)

Kimmel is without question one of Sommers' most prominent critics, I'm surprised that you would not know that. I would argue that the others are certainly "up there" as well - although I could easily cite any number of about 10 or 12 others if you prefer. More to the point, I don't see how your objection has any basis in policy, since WP:NPOV requires us to give all perspectives their due weight, and these scholars (among others, admittedly) carry a lot of weight. Naming them gives their perspective on Sommers (which, again, really is the perspective shared by most mainstream feminists) appropriate significance and weight, and ensures that a claim which has proven controversial (here, if not in the real world) is attributed. "Some" sounds like we're talking about a minority, which is emphatically not the case. By naming the scholars, we ensure that Sommers' own view is not given undue weight, and let the reader know that her viewpoint has been challenged by people whose opinion carries significant weight. Fyddlestix (talk) 07:54, 25 February 2016 (UTC)
Thank you, Fyddlestix, but the lead does not need to mention ten or twelve critics of Sommers. That you could easily cite ten or twelve people as Sommers's most prominent critics simply proves my point: there is no valid purpose to mentioning individual critics of Sommers in the lead, because there really is no prominent person who stands out. There might be some purpose to mentioning one particular critic if he or she were especially relevant or significant. I do not believe that you could demonstrate that. Your comment that "naming them gives their perspective on Sommers...appropriate significance and weight" is a piece of nonsense. Rather, what you've done is to give individuals (Moi, etc) more notice than they deserve; the importance of their "perspective" is not shown by naming these persons, and can appropriately be done by other means (eg, noting that it is a common view). WP:NPOV requires that we not give individual critics a prominence that their actual importance does not entitle them to. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 08:14, 25 February 2016 (UTC)
That's precisely my point - these scholars' perspective (and the perspective of literally dozens of other scholars who hold a similar view) carries more weight than Sommers' own definition of herself, or the SEP (which is just one source, really the only source out there that lends Sommers' self-identificatuon much academic credibility - and which I note you don't seem to object to naming/attributing in a similar matter). As it was written before, the lede gave undue weight to their view while minimizing/ignoring a broad scholarly consensus that Sommers is in fact anti-feminist. If yall continue to drag your heels on this I will either bring it to NPOVN or launch an RFC, which I'm about 95% certain would result in an even stronger statement about Sommers' anti-feminism. Trying to meet you folks halfway here but I'm seeing a troubling refusal to recognize and accept what the vast majority of the most reliable sources say about this subject. Fyddlestix (talk) 13:59, 25 February 2016 (UTC)
Many of us are interested in seeing these dozens of scholars properly cited, perhaps on userspace if you don't want to add them to the article or talk due to space concerns, rather than being alluded to as an absent authority all the time. Considering the controversiality I think it would also be good to include secondary sources for each scholar supporting why we should assess them as scholars at the time of their writing the cite (those who become scholars later don't count) (talk) 20:13, 25 February 2016 (UTC)
"Some feminist scholars have called her works and positions anti-feminist." This is proper weight. There is no reason to name those individuals in the lead unless you want to make this a hit piece. Besides, you need reliable sourcing to say most. So put up or shut up. (talk) 09:41, 25 February 2016 (UTC)
My revision doesn't say most so that's neither here nor there. And accurately representing the academic literature is not even remotely the same thing as making the article a hit piece. Fyddlestix (talk) 13:59, 25 February 2016 (UTC)
Your saying saying numerous isn't the same POV tactic as most? You need reliable sourcing which you can't provide. Some is NPOV and there is no reason to name random academics in the lead. None of them are prominent and with no reason to say anything beyond some, all you are doing is creating a hit piece. (talk) 19:44, 25 February 2016 (UTC)

"Scholar" is being terribly cheapened in these instances. "Feminist Academic" would be far more accurate. Arkon (talk) 17:31, 25 February 2016 (UTC)

Malarkey. Scholars of Women's Studies are topic experts. Binksternet (talk) 17:37, 25 February 2016 (UTC)
Yes, I've looked at the language that several these 'scholars" use about Sommers and other female writers that they dislike. Often no real difference than what one would see in a Slate or HuffPo opinion piece. Motsebboh (talk) 17:40, 25 February 2016 (UTC)
(edit conflict) They are all peer reviewed studies, written by experts, and published by major academic journals and presses. Which means they cannot be ignored or swept under the rug because you don't like what they say (or their tone). They are inherently reliable, and represent a perspective that must be highlighted in the article if it's going to be even remotely NPOV. Fyddlestix (talk) 17:53, 25 February 2016 (UTC)
There is a lot to read here, and I really may have missed it, but what are these "Peer reviewed studies" you speak of? Sorry if it's obvious and I missed it. Arkon (talk) 18:05, 25 February 2016 (UTC)
Right, feminist academics are critical of people critical of modern feminism, big whoop. But they aren't scholars. Arkon (talk) 17:43, 25 February 2016 (UTC)
That's obviously not the case. Can we please focus on content and cut down on the snide remarks that add nothing to the conversation? Fyddlestix (talk) 17:53, 25 February 2016 (UTC)
Nothing snide about it, they are quite clearly only "scholars" in the dictionary sense. If you are keen on insisting to use the label in that way, it must at least have the qualifier of what they are supposedly "scholars" of. Arkon (talk) 17:57, 25 February 2016 (UTC)
Your personal opinion about who is or isn't a "scholar" is irrelevant here, and has no bearing on the discussion at hand. Can we get back on track please? Fyddlestix (talk) 18:03, 25 February 2016 (UTC)
So is it my personal opinion versus your personal opinion, or would you like to point to an agreed standard? Our article redirects to Scholarly Method, which the people you are referring to don't appear to meet. And you didn't address the second point. Stop handwaiving, it's not going to get you anywhere. Arkon (talk) 18:06, 25 February 2016 (UTC)
Actually, to add, I'm not going to bother with if these people meet the above article. But if these people are scholars by your standard, so is CHS. You should add that. Arkon (talk) 18:11, 25 February 2016 (UTC)

If you can't admit that someone like Michael Kimmell (a distinguished professor of sociology who has published multiple, widely-praised monographs) is a "scholar" then I'm not going to waste further time arguing about it with you. But you asked what studies I was referring to, and I do want to respond to that. For a start, check out the sources I added in my edit, the ones I linked here, and the ones Binksternet linked at the bottom of this discussion. I am working on an more complete list of sources in my Sandbox at the moment as well, but that's a work in progress. Those of you trying to scrub mentions of Sommers' antifeminism or to minimize the article's treatment sources really don't have a leg to stand on here - there are tons of sources like this, all of them extremely high quality sources by wikipedia's accepted standard. Fyddlestix (talk) 18:33, 25 February 2016 (UTC)

You again, only address 1 tiny point of a comment, you added more than Kimmel, still have no idea what your standard for "scholar" is. I already looked at what you added, those aren't "studies" much less peer reviewed. I don't feel like running down the rabbit hole further after such a deep drop at the start. I'm sure you meant "supposed" anti-feminism in your above edit too. Arkon (talk) 18:43, 25 February 2016 (UTC)

Bink's edit looks pretty good btw, nice job. Arkon (talk) 18:47, 25 February 2016 (UTC)

It gives undue weight in the lead. We don't need to mention names in the lead. Just that some argue she is anti feminist. (talk) 19:44, 25 February 2016 (UTC)

I agree that no names should be dropped in the intro except perhaps Christina's husband. Names of prominent critics could certainly be mentioned in the criticism... but I would not go congratulating them as 'prominent' unless we have a reliable source singling them out as that. Otherwise, they can just be part of whatever critics we cite.

Considering that cite web/book has author-link=, the best way to show a critic is prominent is to show they have a Wikipedia article. That alone is enough to make them stand out and I don't see why we should have to do more than that.

"Scholars" is an annoyingly wide and vague umbrella so where possible if we could group people into more specific categories (as of the time of their writing the criticism, mind you, NOT at present time) like "professor" or "doctor" or "bachelor" or whatever (things actually tied to accomplishments and not vague labels I could use to describe a kidergarten student) that would be ideal. Personally I think if everything is using 'cite book' that 'author' would be the best starting point to build on. (talk) 20:03, 25 February 2016 (UTC)

Not disagreeing strongly, it's just that I think seeing the people's names makes it readily identifiable with a little research where their ax is. Arkon (talk) 21:28, 25 February 2016 (UTC)
Motsebboh makes a good point regarding these "criticisms" being localized to the lead. Arkon (talk) 21:32, 25 February 2016 (UTC)
  • I think Fyddlestix's version is fine: sometimes "some" is fine, sometimes naming is better, if the name carries obvious weight. That someone called Rubio a lightweight is trivial; that Trump did so is not. Also, suggesting that "feminist academics" are somehow not "scholars" is an insult to feminist academics, no matter where the term redirects to. Drmies (talk) 00:05, 27 February 2016 (UTC)
    • No, it isn't fine. Several editors by now have observed that naming a whole series of critics in the lead effectively turns the article into a hit-piece directed against Sommers. There is little reason to think that consensus is going to be reached for Fyddlestix's version. I pointed out immediately after Fyddlestix added that list of names that there was no reason to single out any of those people from the pack of Sommers critics; that still stands. The comparison to Donald Trump is completely inappropriate; none of the Sommers critics is a publicly recognized figure to the extent that Trump is. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 00:17, 27 February 2016 (UTC)
Of course, naming individual critics who call Sommers an anti-feminist is undue in the lead unless their criticisms are explained in the body which, at present, they are not. Naturally, if such criticisms are included in the body her response is also appropriate. Otherwise we have a case of undue, POV hit and run. Motsebboh (talk) 04:37, 27 February 2016 (UTC)

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Binksternet, I do suggest you stop edit warring over the lead of this article. You should be familiar with WP:BRD, don't act as though you aren't. You are trying to make two changes at once here. I think one of them may be acceptable; the other is not. The possibly acceptable change is altering "some" to "most" - you could be correct about that. The unacceptable changing is removing Sommers's self-description of her own views and positions. To my knowledge, Wikipedia does not have a rule such as "What someone says about their own views or opinions on Twitter must never be mentioned in the lead of their article" - and it would make for a pretty ridiculous rule if it did. Maybe you think that Sommers's description of her own views shouldn't be mentioned because in your opinion it is fringe. For purposes of comparison, the article on David Duke states that, "Duke describes himself as a racial realist, asserting that 'all people have a basic human right to preserve their own heritage'." If David Duke is allowed to have his self-description of himself mentioned in his article (and I'm pretty sure it is not the mainstream view of him), why is Christina Hoff Sommers to be denied the privilege? FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 05:14, 12 February 2016 (UTC)

Looks like a classic case of WP:OTHERSTUFF. I don't see the reason to be citing a tweet in the lede for such a pointless thing 'no I'm not'. Find something better. PeterTheFourth (talk) 05:28, 12 February 2016 (UTC)
My sentiments exactly, Peter. David Duke's tweets should also be removed if they are given as a rebuttal to reliable publications by respected authors.
Sommers should be able to get her side of the story in print, somewhere. Let's find that and put the resulting back-and-forth into its own section in the body of the article rather than inserting this stuff into the lead. Binksternet (talk) 06:13, 12 February 2016 (UTC)
PeterTheFourth's comment shows a lack of understanding of BLP (or a lack of interest?). If Sommers considers herself a feminist, and someone insists on defaming her by calling her anti-feminist, then for her to reply that she does not consider herself an anti-feminist is hardly pointless. It is a rational act of self-defense in the face of an ideologically driven attack. If, PeterTheFourth, someone were to defame you by calling you an opponent of something that you support, would it be equally "pointless" of you to protest that your critic is incorrect? There is absolutely no reason why Sommers's view that she is a feminist should not be mentioned in the lead, and trying to exclude it is a blatant example of biased editing. I note again that Binksternet made two changes to the lead, and has so far attempted to defend only one of them. Is there actually a source stating that most feminists consider Sommers anti-feminist? If not, that's a BLP violation, and must be removed. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 07:39, 12 February 2016 (UTC)
Yeah, I think somebody citing my tweets for anything would be pretty pointless. PeterTheFourth (talk) 08:56, 12 February 2016 (UTC)
If anything is pointless, it is immature comments such as the one above. It does not even reflect what I wrote correctly. I asked whether you responding to someone who defamed you would be pointless. You were the one who brought twitter into it, not me. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 09:00, 12 February 2016 (UTC)
WP:OTHERSTUFF (Wikipedia:Arguments to avoid in deletion discussions#What about article x?) is a fantastic essay on deletion discussions; serving to focus such discussions on the merits of the individual article being considered.
It is not; is not intended as; and should not be used as; a refutation of valid arguments that we should be consistent in our approach to other aspects of the Wikipedia Project, and therefore eschew hypocrisy.
A consistent approach is the underpinning of our content policies & guidelines; is the foundation of the WikiProjects and WP:MOS; and is vital to producing a quality encyclopedia.
See also essay Wikipedia:Other stuff exists: When used correctly, these comparisons are important as the encyclopedia should be consistent in the content that it provides or excludes. - Ryk72 'c.s.n.s.' 08:02, 12 February 2016 (UTC)

I have gone through two of the three sources in the lead that support the statement about feminist scholars calling Sommers anti-feminist. The sources do indeed call Sommers anti-feminist, but neither states that most feminist scholars consider Sommers anti-feminist (the claim that most feminist scholars see Sommers as anti-feminist of course could hardly be proven in reality - did anyone do an opinion survey of feminist scholars to find out what most of them think of Sommers?). The change of "some" to "most" seems to be original research on the part of Binksternet, and as such likely a serious violation of WP:BLP. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 08:18, 12 February 2016 (UTC) Binksternet, you are going to have to stop changing "some" to "most" without evidence the change is correct. Simply put, content in BLPs needs to be carefully sourced, and "most" is unacceptable unless there is a source directly supporting it. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 06:08, 13 February 2016 (UTC)

Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, and encyclopedias summarize the existing literature. The word "most" is a summary of all the mentions of Sommers that were written by feminist scholars. We could source exactly how many known feminist scholars have called her antifeminist, and then cite them all, or we could summarize what is generally true, in fact quite well known in the field, thus being a sky-is-blue statement, a statement not needing a reference.
Note that "some feminist scholars" is not sourced, either. I would be happy with telling the reader that "feminist scholars" describe Sommers as antifeminist, absent of any attempt to assess what kind of majority. Binksternet (talk) 07:14, 13 February 2016 (UTC)
Wikipedia has a policy called WP:BLP, which requires that articles on living people be sourced carefully, so "not needing a reference" doesn't cut it. Wikipedia also has a policy called WP:NOR, which essentially means "don't make stuff up", which is what you are doing. If you have three sources calling Sommers anti-feminist, then one can reasonably say that "some" critics have called Sommers anti-feminist, but one cannot reasonably say that "most" feminist scholars call Sommers anti-feminist. How would you, or anyone, know that those three particular feminists speak for all or most feminists? WP:NOR exists precisely to prevent editors jumping beyond the sources that way, which you euphemistically refer to as "summarize[ing] the existing literature". "Feminist scholars describe Sommers as antifeminist" also is clearly biased, as it ignores feminist scholars who may have a different opinion (Daphne Patai and Noretta Koertge would be examples). FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 01:15, 14 February 2016 (UTC)
You've got Patai and Koertge going against the mass of feminist scholarship. Those two don't even constitute a minority opinion against the dozens of other scholars who say Sommers is antifeminist. Binksternet (talk) 02:17, 14 February 2016 (UTC)
Patai and Koertge are only examples. If you are asserting that they are the only scholars who support Sommers, then that's disingenuous, to put it mildly. Besides that, your comment doesn't in any way respond to my objection to your edit: you are engaged in original research by stating that most feminist scholars see Sommers as anti-feminist when you have no source actually stating as much. WP:NOR is clear that's unacceptable. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 02:27, 14 February 2016 (UTC)
@ Binksternet: One of the problems that you run into (and it would take quite some time to check) is that by using the specific words "most" and "antifeminist" you are obliged to show that a substantial majority of ALL feminists, or, at least, ALL feminists who have ever commented on Sommers, have described her specifically as an antifeminist. Some, for instance, might have said that her ideas are not those of a true feminist, but that isn't the same as calling someone an antifeminist. I would suggest that we use wording that is easily demonstrable. Motsebboh (talk) 02:35, 14 February 2016 (UTC)

How about "Of those feminist scholars who have engaged with CHS's works and positions, most have called her an anti-feminist"? Of course this raises the next 17 problems, but at least it goes some way to break the present deadlock.

T (talk) 21:01, 14 February 2016 (UTC)
The 'deadlock' has been caused by Binksternet's insistence on trying to justify original research. The solution would be for him to respect WP:NOR, and include in the article only what reliable sources can really justify (thus excluding the statement about what "most" feminist scholars claim). FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 00:28, 15 February 2016 (UTC)
  • The underlying issue is that "most" requires a level of original research which is not permitted by WP:NOR & WP:BLP, in that it is a WP:SYNTHesis of sources producing a conclusion not stated by any of those sources. WP:SYNTH - Do not combine material from multiple sources to reach or imply a conclusion not explicitly stated by any of the sources.; WP:BLP - ... any material challenged or likely to be challenged must be explicitly attributed to a reliable, published source, ...; WP:BLPREMOVE - Remove immediately any contentious material about a living person that: 1. is unsourced or poorly sourced; 2. is a conjectural interpretation of a source (see No original research). I am of the opinion that an absence of a qualifier also requires the same synthesis, as is implies the same conclusion.
    On the assumption that the list of feminist scholars provided by Binksternet previously (linked above) is correct (and I have no reason to doubt that it is), and that "anti-feminist" is a fair & accurate summary of the union (not intersection) of those sources (which I again have no reason to doubt), could we find compromise on "many"? - Ryk72 'c.s.n.s.' 01:14, 15 February 2016 (UTC)
    • There would be a variety of ways to compromise. This edit by PeterTheFourth is not one I would have made, but I can see why he would have considered it a reasonable compromise. It might be more acceptable than it is if the article mentioned more supportive views of Sommers - such as those of Patai and Koertge. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 01:22, 15 February 2016 (UTC)
Yes, Peter's removal of the quantity is fine with me. The word "some" is not, because it implies that a minority of feminist scholars classify Sommers as antifeminist, when a great majority do so, a great majority of the ones that mention her at all. Otherwise we can cite all of the 30+ scholars in my list and tell the reader how many have been cited saying Sommers works against feminism which is in stark contrast to the few who agree with Sommers, or represent Sommers in a positive light. Binksternet (talk) 13:49, 15 February 2016 (UTC)
This seems like a reasonable solution to me as well. Strongly agree that it belongs in the lede though, this is one of the most important and significant facts that the article needs to convey. Fyddlestix (talk) 15:01, 15 February 2016 (UTC)
Well, it doesn't seem reasonable to me. Agreement was never reached to remove "some", and Binksternet should not be doing in so in the absence of proper discussion. Actually, I wouldn't have any further objection to the removal of "some" provided that it can be mentioned somewhere that some scholars - such as Patai and Koertge - have more supportive views of Sommers. I assume no one would object to that? It can easily be cited. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 21:02, 15 February 2016 (UTC)
If Patai and Koertge are represented then it must be as a distinct minority viewpoint. If you try to equate Patai and Koertge's opinions with the 34 or more scholars who have written negatively about Sommers then you are violating WP:NPOV. Please don't construct a false equivalence. Binksternet (talk) 02:44, 16 February 2016 (UTC)
Ah, this is a revealing statement, Binksternet. You could have said "scholars who have written about Sommers" but instead you said scholars who have written negatively about Sommers. Why the "negatively" if the scholars are being used to determine where Sommers stands on an ideological scale. I get the impression that this is more about pushing a POV, yours and theirs, than it is about a NPOV assessment of Sommers's ideas and positions. Motsebboh (talk) 17:18, 16 February 2016 (UTC)
Malarkey. We have about 36 scholars listed here, all of which have written about Sommers, two of which have written that she is a feminist, the rest writing that she works against feminism. "Against" being negative. Your fishing expedition came up empty. Binksternet (talk) 19:15, 17 February 2016 (UTC)
Well it got you to bite, didn't it? What all this reinforces is that your "experts" on feminism are actually more aptly advocates of various, and often quite left-wing, varieties of feminism. Experts on socialism, for example, wouldn't necessarily write negatively about someone who sharply criricized socialism, but socialists probably would. Motsebboh (talk) 19:54, 17 February 2016 (UTC)
Conjecture. Binksternet (talk) 21:47, 17 February 2016 (UTC)
{Hey @Binksternet: where is "here", do you mean in the archive? Could you pretty up the list with proper citation templates and host it on your userspace or something? Also how many of the cites are from people notable enough to have pages like projansky? If we're going to describe cites using labels, having them go through a categorization process is a decent way of making sure the choice of labels are properly sourced and not OR. (talk) 01:16, 18 February 2016 (UTC)
I concur with FreeKnowledgeCreator that simply removing the qualifier is not a reasonable solution. The remaining, unqualified Feminist scholars have called her works and positions anti-feminist suffers from the same WP:OR issues as the "most" qualifier, in that implies a uniform, totality of opinion which is not supported by any source. The fundamental difference between these and a qualified ("some" or "many") phrasing is that the latter does not require the same level of transformation & interpretation as the former. - Ryk72 'c.s.n.s.' 03:37, 19 February 2016 (UTC)
What a wearying discussion. I tried to suggest above how "feminist scholars have called her works and positions anti-feminist" might potentially be acceptable if it were followed by a statement to the effect that at least some-self identified feminist authors have views sympathetic to Sommers (which could be cited, and quite easily too). "Feminist scholars have called her works..." ceases to imply a uniform totality of opinion if balancing material is also present. Yet Binksternet has accused me of proposing a biased wording ("If Patai and Koertge are represented then it must be as a distinct minority viewpoint. If you try to equate Patai and Koertge's opinions with the 34 or more scholars who have written negatively about Sommers then you are violating WP:NPOV. Please don't construct a false equivalence"), even though I had not suggested any particular wording. Binksternet should try avoiding ideological warfare and accusing others of violating WP:NPOV (an accusation that others might just as well make against him) and make the best of a good faith suggestion. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 03:48, 19 February 2016 (UTC)
The quid pro quo you suggested is where I got the idea you were looking for a false equivalence, one in which the many scholars are contradicted by the few, with equivalent weight given to both views. You are free to prove me wrong in this regard by writing one or more paragraphs describing how and why Sommers is considered antifeminist by a large number of Women's Studies scholars, followed by a brief mention of the few scholars who think Sommers is truly feminist. Binksternet (talk) 04:33, 19 February 2016 (UTC)
I have to give you credit, Binksternet. You have enormous cajones. What you are asking FreeknowledgeCreator to do is EXACTLY what YOU should be doing if you want mention of feminist "scholars" calling Hoff-Sommers "anti-feminist" to stay in the lead. As the body of the article now stands, of course, it should not be in the lead per WP:LEDE because it is not detailed at all in the body. What you have asked me, and now FreeknowledgeCreator, to do is to provide these details for you, even though YOU are the gung-ho guy who has found so many sources for it. Very odd, that! Could it be because their criticisms of Sommers would not cast these "scholars of feminism" in a sympathetic light, at least not for most readers, and that you really prefer that the hit-and-run on Sommers remain in the lead WITHOUT being detailed in the body. Motsebboh (talk) 05:53, 19 February 2016 (UTC)
You'll forgive me if all of my Wikipedia activity is "hit and run" these days. Because of the nature of my recent assignments in real life I don't have the time for the intense research, study and concentration that this topic deserves—the juggling of many sources, the striking of an appropriate balance as found in the literature. When I have time I will want to perform the needed expansion, if none here have already done so. Binksternet (talk) 07:49, 19 February 2016 (UTC)
Until the idea of "feminist scholars" is more clearly defined (scholars of feminism who may not be feminist? scholars of any discipline who calls themselves a feminist?), I think "feminist author" makes more sense. The cites are from books so they are certainly authors, "scholar" is a weighty term to throw around meant to impress people. Since only one of the authors even has a Wikipedia article (which doesn't mention scholar) one has to ask how notable these opinions are and how scholarly these people are. (talk) 17:44, 24 February 2016 (UTC)
Referring to C.H.S as an anti-feminist would be inappropriate, and would serve to discredit Wikipedia as an encyclopedia. It would be like referring to pro-Choice activists as baby-killers in an article on abortion; it is loaded language, and Binksternet should know better. Winged Ape (talk) 04:39, 3 March 2016 (UTC)

The War Against Boys

I suggest that the material being added about Sommers's book The War Against Boys is perhaps undue for this article. A solution might be to create a dedicated article about the book and move most of the material there, leaving only basic information at this article. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 22:08, 29 February 2016 (UTC)

Why would it be undue? The book (along with Who Stole Feminism) are basically the only reason she's even notable - what else would the article discuss if not her works and other people's response to them? A lot of folks seemed quite happy with the (misleadingly sourced, unbalanced) treatment of the book that was there before. I am simply ensuring that the discussion of the book is NPOV. Note that I can (and will) add to the other sections of the article as well. It just takes time, and you have to start somewhere. Fyddlestix (talk) 22:32, 29 February 2016 (UTC)
The article isn't about The War Against Boys. It's about Christina Hoff Sommers. The article is there to discuss her as a person, not her books; the information you have added (in good faith) about The War Against Boys seems excessive to me. To discuss Sommers personally, one really only needs a brief account of a book like The War Against Boys, which isn't even her best-known book. The book is probably independently notable and deserves its own article; most of the content should be shifted there. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 22:42, 29 February 2016 (UTC)
OK. I'll be interested to see what others think. Personally I can't imagine what this article would have to discuss if not her works. Fyddlestix (talk) 22:50, 29 February 2016 (UTC)
The books and their attendant publicity campaigns account for the subject’s notability. Since the books have attracted praise from ideologues and censure from scholars, that must be made clear in the article. Whether the book deserves its own article is an interesting proposition; indeed, I think we might perhaps want to delete the biography of this non-notable polemicist and redirect the a discussion of her two best-known books. MarkBernstein (talk) 22:47, 29 February 2016 (UTC)
There is no source that says they received censure from scholars. In fact, the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy uses the books as the reference for the definition of "equity feminist." Books that receive scholarly attention for citations, criticism, and discussion are generally seminal works in the field ant the review by scholars is often through the lens of how feminism transitioned from a mainstream, populist movement and into a fragmented, academic walled-garden with the descriptor "third-wave feminism." --DHeyward (talk) 04:00, 1 March 2016 (UTC)
I think exporting elaborations about a book to its own article makes sense. If such a book is a reason for her notability then the book would be notable in and of itself, so that's all the more reason to export it and only include a brief explanation of book contents under her bibliography. I don't agree that the 2 books are her only reasons for notability, there's also the interviews she's given and issues she's involved with. (talk) 05:46, 3 March 2016 (UTC)

Additional Grist David Sadker, "Where The Girls Are", Education Week, September 4, 1996

A colorful (and well-financed) writer for right-wing causes, Ms. Sommers paints sexism as a sort of media hype, promoted by tainted researchers and liberal organizations such as the American Association of University Women. As she sees it, girls are thriving in school, and all this talk about sexism distracts us from the more serious problems faced by boys. En route to her spirited defense of boys, Ms. Sommers leaves a trail of inaccuracies and misleading research findings which need to be corrected if anyone is to move forward.
Entire issues of journals have been devoted to correcting her misstatements. Two years ago, my late wife Myra and I experienced her "research methods" on a personal level. In her 1994 book Who Stole Feminism?, Ms. Sommers offers a negative summary of our research, quoting a series of derogatory statements from a teacher who had appeared with us on a segment of NBC's "Dateline." We were dumbfounded. We immediately called the teacher quoted to find out why she had said such negative things. The teacher explained that the statements did not reflect her views. Moreover, she went on to say that she had no recollection of ever talking with Christina Hoff Sommers. A graduate student, quoted by Ms. Sommers as saying some pretty terrible things about gender-equity research, also never remembered being interviewed by Ms. Sommers. Elizabeth S. Anderson Appendix to Elizabeth Anderson’s Review of Scrutinizing Feminist Epistemology (Pinnick, Koertge, and Almeder 2003): Christina Hoff Sommers’ “Where the Boys Are”

Christina Hoff Sommers’ chapter, “Where the Boys Are” has nothing to say about feminist epistemology, feminist philosophy of science, or feminist science studies. It engages no philosophical issues. Instead, it is an attack on a few pieces of feminist research that claim to find gender differences in mental health and gender inequity in the schools. Presumably it is intended as a case study in how feminist-inspired research is done, attempting to demonstrate that it is false and politically biased.
The editors of SFE presumably included Sommers’ paper because they took it to demonstrate that feminist research is dishonest, biased, and geared to reach “politically correct” conclusions. Sommers’ paper demonstrates none of these claims. Rather, it exemplifies the very flaws it claims to find in feminist research. Beyond that, its tone is hostile and contemptuous. Sommers is quick to infer insidious motives behind innocent phenomena. Her work has been subject to numerous searching critiques, sometimes occupying an entire issue of a journal (Sadker 1996; Auerbach et al 1994). The editors of SFE seem to be unaware of this. The also don’t seem to regard a harshly partisan tone and malicious accusations as a warning sign that the work in question may be unreliable. Perhaps this is because they fell victim to their own political correctness: assuming that, because a paper reached conclusions they found congenial to their own political agenda, it must be right.

Are you proposing something? I'm assuming adding additional/ swapping criticism of her book? (talk) 19:48, 25 February 2016 (UTC)

Several editors have proposed above that we provide more complete and fuller referencing for the widespread interpretation of the subject's views as anti-feminist. These sources each argue the case, and each also provides many useful references -- references that will be especially useful for those with JSTOR access. In addition, Anderson provides a number of references and examples regarding (Redacted), a topic which appears to be well represented in the journal literature regarding the subject but which for some reason the Wikipedia article overlooks. MarkBernstein (talk) 19:58, 25 February 2016 (UTC)
The Anderson source[11] is self-published, and consequently not suitable for a BLP, per WP:BLPSPS. - Ryk72 'c.s.n.s.' 22:37, 25 February 2016 (UTC)
I'd be okay with these being mentioned in the book sections that they apply to, of course with due weight to not create an overabundance of criticism.
Also redacted that. The author doesn't mention that phrase and neither should you without reliable sourcing. You are already at a notice board for blp violations. Stop pushing it. (talk) 20:14, 25 February 2016 (UTC)
Is there even a point in redacting something when I can just find out by reading the history ? If there is thorough concern about what someone says on the talk you should get an admin to scrub the history, otherwise it's just interfering with understanding MB's argument. (talk) 20:53, 25 February 2016 (UTC)
@MarkBernstein: if stuff behind a paywall is going to be cited to support claims on a controversial subject, I hope some brief excerpts could be included in quote= so people can easily verify that it is being correctly adapted. The adaptation of info from sources is of particular concern to me considering the page has hosted the claim of her coining equity feminism for 11 years without being reliably sourced (and evidence existing to the contrary). With all the critics of CHS who exist, you'd think something so praising of her would have been culled if unsourced. If even that didn't, one shudders to think how much uncited negative stuff could sneak in. I'm worried someone could claim "Christina can overhead press a three thousand pound barbell" and cite a paywall and it will be difficult to change or remove it. Fair-use quotes would allow more open consideration of such sources. (talk) 20:53, 25 February 2016 (UTC)
We could, of course, limit Wikipedia to covering only material published in open access journals, or indeed in journals sanctioned by the right-wing press. If you'd like to propose that, the policy pages are thataway --> Until policy changes, reliable sources are reliable sources, and a good deal of the literature in sociology, education, and philosophy is to be found in journals and monographs. Fortunately, many Wikipedians have access to that wonderful invention, the library. MarkBernstein (talk) 22:21, 25 February 2016 (UTC)
We should of course, realize that this is a biography. Reliable != noteworthy, even assuming you are accurate in your summaries. Arkon (talk) 22:23, 25 February 2016 (UTC)
@MarkBernstein: if you would re-read my comment more closely, I was not saying we should only cite open-access journals, just requesting that whoever actually cites closed-access ones ought to include an appropriate quote from them. Obviously it's not an obligation but it's certainly good manners.
I don't think I brought up anything about 'sanctioned by the right-wing press' so I am not sure why you made that comment. In cases where |subscrition=yes is filled out, so long as I hadn't met my 2-week limit for citing that journals cite I would probably borrow a look to be able to cite the specific parts which relate to whatever statements in our article the reference is purporting to support. (talk) 05:55, 3 March 2016 (UTC)

Criticism of Sommers' research methods

For some reason, rejects my characterization above of the issues raised by Elizabeth Anderson and by David Sadker as (Redacted) and sees fit to redact the word. This strikes me as strange; concise and accurate summarization of a source is not original research. What the sources do say, precisely, is that:

  • “While she calls herself a feminist, her background reflects a very different story, and a long history of promoting ultraconservative causes. ”
  • “Entire issues of journals have been devoted to correcting her misstatements.”
  • Sommers misrepresented sources: “Ms. Sommers offers a negative summary of our research, quoting a series of derogatory statements from a teacher who had appeared with us on a segment of NBC's "Dateline." We were dumbfounded. We immediately called the teacher quoted to find out why she had said such negative things. The teacher explained that the statements did not reflect her views Moreover, she went on to say that she had no recollection of ever talking with Christina Hoff Sommers..”
  • Sommers had not interviewed people she claimed to quote: "A graduate student, quoted by Ms. Sommers as saying some pretty terrible things about gender-equity research, also never remembered being interviewed by Ms. Sommers."
  • Sommers published "misleading suggestions of data suppression."
  • Sommers omitted “contextual facts that make sense of feminist concerns. ”
  • Sommers’ work has “ a harshly partisan tone and malicious accusations” and that "the work in question may be unreliable.”

Wikipedia is not Zagat’s; not every word needs to be a direct quote. Rather than cite the entire list, I thought it would be desirable to summarize it with a phrase. But since prefers to efface that phrase, we may contemplate the list. In addition to calling into question the reception of her books and papers, note that both these authors cast doubt on the validity of the subject’s purported identification as a feminist, the matter originally under discussion above. MarkBernstein (talk) 22:18, 25 February 2016 (UTC)

The IP is right, that's a whole bunch of nonsense to be in a BLP, and your synth makes it no better. Arkon (talk) 22:20, 25 February 2016 (UTC)
Nothing of what you have posted is enough to say that. You could write that they have raised issues with her research methods, but it would have to be notable, which it isn't. But you would need a lot more to say she is doing what I redacted. (talk) 22:32, 25 February 2016 (UTC) (Same
The Anderson source[12] is self-published, and consequently not suitable for a BLP, per WP:BLPSPS. - Ryk72 'c.s.n.s.' 22:37, 25 February 2016 (UTC)
Great, another Anderson, guess we have to use first names now to distinguish between Kristin Anderson and Elizabeth S. Anderson now. Given that it appears EA is a professor at Michigan U we could look around to see if her review ever got included in one of those massive "each chapter is by a different author" things which sometimes get compiled. (talk) 22:52, 25 February 2016 (UTC)

Accusations of (Redacted) are not characterized at criticism of "research methods", save perhaps on right-wing blogs and of course on Wikipedia.As for notability, we have published reliable sources; would you like additional sources? I should also note that self published sources are reliable when they are published by experts, and Anderson is of course an expert I believe you'll also find this was published in a journal or perhaps in a monograph; I don't doubt we can find additional references if the IP editors like . 02:26, 26 February 2016 (UTC)

Editors should note that the sources provided do not make the accusation redacted from the preceding comment; this is a serious allegation of wrongdoing which requires quality sourcing; it needs something far better than a self-published appendix to a book review. See also WP:BLPTALK for suggested methods of referencing such matters without violating WP:BLP. - Ryk72 'c.s.n.s.' 03:27, 26 February 2016 (UTC)
Editors should note policy WP:BLP@WP:BLPSPS - Never use self-published sources – including but not limited to books, zines, websites, blogs, and tweets – as sources of material about a living person, unless written or published by the subject; no provision is made for experts to be excepted. If the material has been published in a journal, then present the journal as a source. - Ryk72 'c.s.n.s.' 02:38, 26 February 2016 (UTC)
On top of what Ryk72 said, reliability≠notability. There has been no widespread coverage of these accusations concerning her research, at least none have been presented so far, especially with the strength needed to make such statements. (talk) 02:53, 26 February 2016 (UTC)

Title IX

Fyddlestix (talk · contribs) removed a section concerning Title IX on the basis that the cited sources are not secondary/independent. That's a valid concern, but its very easy to verify that Ms. Sommer's opinions on Title IX have secondary notability.[13][14][15][16][17] Pending improvement of the citations, I'm restoring the the section as it previously appeared, per WP:PRESERVE. No article is perfect, but this article is under intense scrutiny from certain quarters - enraged by women's independent political expression. Take care not to let policy become their agent. Rhoark (talk) 01:51, 2 March 2016 (UTC)

Nathan Glazer reviews her book, her take on Title IX (particularly gender disparities in Social Sciences, Health Sciences, etc, where Title IX, if applied as written, would need to recruit many more men in addition to just general demographics in college and graduate school where women outnumber men - but sommers argues that such pursuits are pointless because there is no intellectual inequity) and other issues [18]. --DHeyward (talk) 06:44, 3 March 2016 (UTC)