Talk:Christina Hoff Sommers/Archive 7

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Antifeminist references from scholars

This section is intended for scholarly sources that classify Hoff Sommers as antifeminist, or describe her as working against feminism. Anybody can add entries, but please follow the format established here, with a level 3 header containing the source scholar(s) name(s). Under that, fill out a citation template (cite book, cite journal) and include a quote which is lengthy enough to see the context. The quote here will be larger than one which might be used in the article itself. Follow this with a link showing the scholar's name and associated institution. Discussion of a source can take place within its section. Binksternet (talk) 22:03, 25 February 2016 (UTC)

Kimala Price

  • Price, Kimala (2002). "The Making of an Activist-Scholar, Or My Year as a Congressional Fellow". Feminist Teacher. University of Illinois Press. 14 (2): 134–145. Unfortunately, the Republican staffers' arguments reflect a growing sentiment in this era of backlash against feminism. Just a few months after that exchange, the Atlantic Monthly published an article by anti-feminist scholar Christina Hoff Sommers. In the article, Sommers argued that the federal educational initiatives established to help girls has inadvertently shortchanged and harmed boys. This most certainly added more fuel to the proverbial fire. Yes, girls and women have made strides in education, but we can hardly say that it has been to the detriment of boys and men. Women are enrolling in college at slightly higher rates than men. Girls' math scores are improving. However, boys still command and get more attention from teachers in the classroom than girls. Women are still under-represented in mathematics, science, technology, and engineering, which are occupational fields that command high salaries. Girls continue to be harassed in school hallways.
  • Kimala Price, Associate Professor, Women's Studies, San Diego State University[1]

Leola Johnson

  • Johnson, Leola A. (Spring 1995). "Forum on Feminism and the Media: Afterword". Signs. University of Chicago Press. 20 (3): 711–719. Even then, the press would not report feminist positions without also amplifying the voices of backlash (Faludi 1991). As the antifeminist New Right came to power in the 1980s and 1990s, avowed antifeminists such as Phyllis Schlafly became the darlings of the network news. The print media, although more balanced, also gave Schlafly plenty of space.
    Today the press continues to amplify antifeminist opinion, but in new and more subtle ways. One of the most important points to be made in this forum is that the new antifeminist deluge in the press is fueled by women who represent themselves as the 'loyal opposition.' They argue that they are the authentic feminists, not the 'radicals' whom they attack. This is a substantially different identity from the one embraced by Phyllis Schlafly, who made no secret of her opposition to everything feminism stands for.
    All over the nation, women who are critical of the feminist project are receiving media attention these days. The articles in this forum by McDermott and Rhode document the reach of these new antifeminists. Karen Lehrman, Katie Roiphe, and Christina Hoff Sommers have become central figures in a new wave of antifeminist reportage being carried out by the nation's largest commercial news media. They have replaced Schlafly as this decade's most visible antifeminists. These new antifeminists are being uncritically presented as conservative feminists, whatever that means...
  • Leola Johnson, Associate Professor and Chair, Media and Cultural Studies, Macalester College[2]

Caryl Rivers, Rosalind Barnett

  • Rivers, Caryl; Barnett, Rosalind (2013). The Truth About Girls and Boys: Challenging Toxic Stereotypes About Our Children. Columbia University Press. pp. 1–2, 80. ISBN 9780231151634. From the media, you'd think there is a scientific consensus that boys and girls are profoundly different from birth... 'proved' by many experts and many studies... The true story is exactly the opposite of the popular narrative. The overwhelming consensus, validated by dozens of researchers using well-designed samples, is that girls and boys are far more alike than different in their cognitive abilities and the differences that do exist are trivial... Unfortunately, the real (and complex) story line is generally missing from the popular media. It is buried in scholarly peer-reviewed journals and articles that seldom see the light of day. The stories that dominate the headlines frequently come from a few 'experts' and a few studies that are often deeply flawed.... Others see conspiracies everywhere—such as American Enterprise Institute scholar Christina Hoff Sommers, who claims in her book of the same title that there is a war against boys and that female teachers are deliberately destroying their male students. Such arguments are repeatedly debunked by serious scientists...
    In some quarters, there is a peculiar fear that girls' success equals boys' failure. That is one of the main themes of the popular book by Christina Hoff Sommers,19 The War Against Boys. Lacking much data and relying on a few anecdotes, she manages to spin a jeremiad about evil feminist teachers harming boys.
  • Caryl Rivers, Professor, Journalism, Boston University, College of Communication[3]
  • Rosalind Barnett, Senior Scientist at the Women's Studies Research Center, Brandeis University[4]

Toril Moi

  • Moi, Toril (October 2006). "'I Am Not a Feminist, but...': How Feminism Became the F-Word". PMLA. Modern Language Association. 121 (5): 1735–1741. In the same year, one of America's leading feminist bashers, Christina Hoff Sommers, went so far as to claim that feminists hate men so much that they also hate all the women who refuse to hate men... I have tried to show that in the 1990s a wave of books and essays by malcontent feminists and ex-feminists, or women with various ideas of how to change feminism, furthered the conservative feminist-bashing agenda. Some did it consciously; others simply played into antifeminist hands. The result is the situation we see today: feminism has been turned into the unspeakable F-word, not just among students, but in the media, too.
  • Toril Moi, Professor, English, Philosophy and Theatre Studies; Literature and Romance Studies, Duke University[5]
    She definitely "tried to show"... Arkon (talk) 00:25, 26 February 2016 (UTC)
This is disruptive behavior. Please stop. Binksternet (talk) 00:50, 26 February 2016 (UTC)
Looking at sources text, that you quoted, and quoting them back is disruptive. Got it. Arkon (talk) 00:51, 26 February 2016 (UTC)

John A. Weaver

  • Weaver, John A. (2001). Rethinking Academic Politics in (re)unified Germany and the United States. Routledge/Falmer studies in educational politics. 7. Taylor & Francis. p. 34. ISBN 9780815322849. This relationship between academics and foundations, political entities and think tanks is not one-dimensional. Just as these organizations attempt to influence the meaning of academic work, academics sometimes use their work to construct the goals of political organizations. Christina Hoff Sommers (1994) skilfully re-creates the way in which the American Association of University Women (AAUW) impacted legislation through their Wellesley Report in 1992... While Sommers charts and criticizes how women's studies departments, feminists, and their organizations such as the AAUW have become overtly political, she became political herself... Sommers has allowed herself, however, to be used by political organizations who want to discredit the feminist movement, and has since 1994 joined the neoconservative women's group, the Independent Women's Forum (IWF). She has appeared on conservative talk shows, and written in conservative journals (whose intent is to discredit the women's movement completely). Here, in her quest to 'get the truth out,' Sommers finds herself the patsy in a movement bent on twisting information and denying the existence of any gender problems. Her work is cited by conservatives and their organizations, serving as a symbol of conservative tolerance to opposing ideas (Sommers after all is a self-professed liberal).
  • John A. Weaver, University of Akron

Rhonda Hammer

  • Rhonda Hammer (2002). Antifeminism and Family Terrorism: A Critical Feminist Perspective. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 978-0-7425-1050-0. Although the betrayal feminists have participated in one of the most effective backlash campaigns launched against contemporary feminisms, Hoff Sommers begins her text with the classic projection -- shared by many of her pseudofemininst cohort -- that the gender feminists sow division in the movement. ... It is indeed fantastic that these antifeminist feminists, like Hoff Sommers, seem to be blind to ... Yet Hoff Sommers and many of the other antifeminist feminist would have us believe...
  • Rhonda Hammer, PhD, Lecturer at UCLA[6]

Amy Erdman Farrell

  • Farrell, Amy Erdman (Spring 1995). "Feminism and the media: Introduction". Signs. University of Chicago Press. 20 (3): 642. In contrast, critics like Roiphe and Sommers push for women to act as "adults," to acknowledge their free will in "choosing" to stay with battering partners, completely ignoring the context that Kozol highlights. Importantly, however, it is these antifeminist critics who have gained access to the mass media...
  • Amy Farrell, PHD, Professor of American Studies and Women's and Gender Studies at Dickinson College. [7]

Marcus Weaver-Hightower

  • Marcus B. Weaver-Hightower (2008). Boys’ Education in the United States: What Australia’s Example Tells Us. Palgrave Macmillan US. pp. 179–195. Second, the books’ conservative nature deserves scrutiny. Most rely on stereotyped or biological views of masculinity. Many, like Sommers, are explicitly antifeminist.
  • Marcus Weaver-Hightower, PhD "Marcus Weaver-Hightower is professor and chair of Educational Foundations and Research, University of North Dakota. His research focuses on boys and masculinity, food politics, the politics and sociology of education and policy, comics and graphic novels, and qualitative methods." [8]

Edward W. Morris

Bruce Robbins

  • Robbins, Bruce (1993). "Reviewing "Politics by Other Means: Higher Education and Group Thinking."". Modern Language Quarterly. 54 (4): 567–572. Defending professional antifeminist Christina Hoff Sommers against an “activist” administration urging curriculum reform, Bromwich writes...
  • Bruce Robbins, Professor of Humanities at Columbia University. [10]

General discussion about such references

Was going to comment on the size of the quote, worry about copyvio when citing to this extent. Any opposition to the introduction of bolding to highlight which portion of this we think this could be condensed to to make the argument? Am thinking "anti-feminist scholar Christina Hoff Sommers" for Price (we could actually drop Sommers... Hoff is enough eh?) and "Lehrman, Katie Roiphe, and Christina Hoff Sommers have become central figures in a new wave of antifeminist reportage" for Johnson. However I think another thing we should do here is have subsections under the cited people's names with the subsection explaining the basis for calling them a scholar, since I don't know where titles or degrees fit under the citation template. Also this should include years to compare with the date of the statement. Statements made in the 80s by Obama were not in presidential capacity, similarly we should be sure we don't represent statements as having coming from roles people assumed later after making a statement about Sommers. (talk) 22:45, 25 February 2016 (UTC)

Per the discussion below, why are we making this collection? I didn't think that there was any doubt that people call her anti-feminist, just as there is no doubt that people call her a feminist. We're not in a position to evaluate which stance is correct, as we can only report on the two views. So I'm not sure what we gain by extensive quotes supporting something we already know to be a valid viewpoint. - Bilby (talk) 23:28, 25 February 2016 (UTC)

Our coverage of her has to respect the weight appropriate to the coverage of her in high-quality reliable sources (especially, when discussing her views as they fit into academia, mainstream academic sources.) "Some people call her X, other people call her Y" isn't enough -- we need to look at who calls her what and, most importantly, what their credentials are so we can accord different perspectives the weight they have in academic literature. If you think that there are significant numbers of mainstream academics who accept her as a feminist (or want to delve into more nuanced coverage of how she's described), by all means, list them so we can compare the two lists and try to get a general sense of what the most reputable sources say about her. --Aquillion (talk) 08:41, 26 February 2016 (UTC)
What you are engaging in, though, isn't trying to evaluate the weight given by both sides. This is an exercise in trying to show that some people - who she criticizes - view her as an anti-feminist. If the intent was to evaluate the weight, this wouldn't be seeking to show only one side of the debate.
But be that as it may, we can't do make an evaluation of the value of these perspectives. We can, clearly, say that there is a view that she is anti-feminist, and we do so. We can't state the extent to which that view is held, as we are not in a position to make that evaluation. We lack the expertise, and it is running rapidly into original research territory. - Bilby (talk) 08:56, 26 February 2016 (UTC)
My assumption is that you are more familiar with the other side of the debate; obviously, we're on different sides of a dispute, and I'm much more familiar with the writings of people within the field of gender studies than elsewhere. Within that field she is, I think, viewed as an anti-feminist; the fact that she criticizes that field is mostly irrelevant. Anti-evolutionists criticize mainstream biology; proponents of alternative medicine criticize mainstream medicine. But (even within articles on people whose views are on the fringe of their field in that manner) we still have to go by the mainstream academic view, and the mainstream academic view among scholars of gender studies is, I think, that she is an anti-feminist. The exact wording we use for that can vary; but the point of the above list is to show that she is considered anti-feminist by mainstream scholars of gender studies, which absolutely does satisfy the level of sourcing necessary to say such in-text. Note the exact wording of many of the sources (not just the count); almost all of them call her an anti-feminist with little fanfare or hint that that labeling is controversial in the field -- in other words, they support the idea that the mainstream view is that she is anti-feminist; almost all of the sources above are, individually, valid sources to say that she is generally considered an anti-feminist by scholars of gender studies, because these are generally respected scholars who clearly state her anti-feminism as accepted fact. I am not saying that we need to count these and do some sort of synthesis with them; I am saying that any one of them would suffice, beyond the worry that that one might be giving that one person's views WP:UNDUE weight or that their views might be WP:FRINGE. Collecting a bunch of them suffices to eliminate that danger. Now, if you want to qualify that, in light of the capacious sources above, the burden is on you to present sources that show mainstream support (among scholars of gender studies, in particular) for the idea that she is a feminist -- although the most useful sources would be the ones specifically saying she is not anti-feminist, so we can qualify and describe the debate over that with appropriate weight by summarizing each side. Those sources ought to exist, given the frequency with which respected scholars call her an anti-feminist despite her own rejection of the term; but I legitimately didn't come across any. --Aquillion (talk) 09:45, 26 February 2016 (UTC)
First off, your assumption is incorrect, in that I'm not familiar with either side of the debate beyond trying to get a grasp of Sommers' views previously. :) The issue is that a count of "people who called her anti-feminist" does not equate to "the mainstream view of Sommers is that she is anti-feminist". She may well be, but just saying that a particular set of people described her as anti-feminist is not the same as showing that their view is the mainstream perspective. To evaluate what the mainstream view is, we would need to work out a methodology where we would be able to conduct a neutral review of the literature, survey the views of Sommers expressed in that literature, and then evaluate the results, none of which we can do by tossing up quotes of isolated (even presumably important) individuals.
The problem is that we're not trying to work out how often a view is mentioned with this process, but work out how often it is held in comparison to an alternate view. When we calculate due weight for a typical article, what we're asking is "how often is this thing mentioned, and, if it is mentioned a lot, should we therefore include it". I think we've already agreed that we should mention that she is viewed as being anti-feminist by people in the field. We can also ask how often an alternative thing is mentioned, as to do that we normally just conduct a second quick run through Google and come to a conclusion. But what we're asking here is not how often she is described as anti-feminist, nor how often she is described as feminist (the latter being very hard to evaluate anyway, and there is no attempt in the above process to do this), but how she is perceived in the field as a whole. And that is something that we can't evaluate by simply counting hits. - Bilby (talk) 10:14, 26 February 2016 (UTC)
Something caught my eye
Anti-evolutionists criticize mainstream biology; proponents of alternative medicine criticize mainstream medicine. .. she is generally considered an anti-feminist by scholars of gender studies, because these are generally respected scholars
Is the implication here that the field of gender studies is as respected as biology or medicine? A lot of people respect STEM fields more than humanities, and even among humanities, GS is a pretty recent field, not sure if new areas get as much respect as the longer-established ones. Does anyone know when the first Doctorate in Gender Studies was created? I'm gonna have to ask on that article's talk. (talk) 19:00, 4 March 2016 (UTC)
The comparison of Sommers to creationists is bizarre, as if that needed saying. Naturally, the article does have to reflect mainstream academic views, but it needs to reflect a wide range of academic views and it is disingenuous to claim that there are no supportive views of Sommers. The particular "scholars of gender studies" Aquillion may have in mind - eg, Sommers's ideological enemies, the people she criticizes - are definitely not the only people whose views the article should reflect. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 09:50, 26 February 2016 (UTC)
Well, then, produce the scholars of gender studies from the other side! This dispute seems like it's an easy one to resolve. I'll dredge up the sources critiquing her self-description, and you can dredge up the sources supporting it; then we can weigh their relative weight and come up with a lead (and text for within the article itself) that adequately encompasses both sides of the debate. The first step, though, is to come up with a list of good sources. Obviously the above is the list of sources that term her an anti-feminist; it's only half the argument, and not intended to be complete. But my assumption is that you're going to be better at coming up with sources to support your claims about the article's subject than I would be; the burden is on you to produce sources for your preferred version. (Granted that until we have more sources, it's going to be difficult to say exactly what the final version would look like.) My point in that comparison, though, is that we can't ignore or downplay sources simply because she criticizes them; if that were the case, we would never be able to cover controversial figures or topics in a balanced fashion. --Aquillion (talk) 10:10, 26 February 2016 (UTC)

Seems like a bit of wasted time to me. We know that the people she is critical of are critical of her, it's not exactly noteworthy, especially in a BLP. Arkon (talk) 22:09, 25 February 2016 (UTC)

If you're not going to help with the article then don't encumber others who are doing the work. Binksternet (talk) 5:24 pm, Today (UTC−5)
If you're gonna make snotty comments, don't expect to be taken seriously. It's becoming clear you don't need to be working on BLP's. Arkon (talk) 5:27 pm, Today (UTC−5)
Oh, that's unfair. But Binksternet probably should back away from this particular BLP, since his behavior sadly suggests an inability or unwillingness to edit with any sort of neutrality. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 23:10, 25 February 2016 (UTC)
A proper response belong elsewhere, but it's the "opponent" mentality, with history, that informs my comment. And I actually thought his last edit was good. Funny that. Arkon (talk) 23:20, 25 February 2016 (UTC)
I can understand how you folks are so worried about a nice, long list of critical references appearing here, since your collective behavior here has been to minimize the prominent criticism of Hoff Sommers. I'm here to make sure that WP:NPOV is followed, that prominent criticism is prominently told in the biography. We must balance the article according to the highest quality sources. Binksternet (talk) 23:29, 25 February 2016 (UTC)
If you want to balance the article, then do as much research as you possibly can to find commentators who have expressed supportive views of Sommers and her work and make sure that their views are fairly represented. You probably could find the time to make long lists of scholars and other authors supportive of Sommers. Why don't you, if you want other editors to believe you are able or willing to edit neutrally? FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 23:44, 25 February 2016 (UTC)
Misplaced comment? Arkon (talk) 23:51, 25 February 2016 (UTC)
No, I don't think so. The talk page is for discussing how the article can be improved. That is what I am doing. A list of scholars and other authors supportive of Sommers would definitely be helpful, and I'd encourage Binksternet (or anyone, really) to provide one. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 23:55, 25 February 2016 (UTC)
I consider rejecting potential bad changes helpful, do you not? I'm not here to balance negative with good, only keep biased agenda based nonsense out. To reiterate the point, do we care that a critic is disagreed with by the people they criticize? Arkon (talk) 00:02, 26 February 2016 (UTC)
I think readers hoping for a neutral article would reasonably expect both favorable and critical views of Sommers to be represented. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 00:07, 26 February 2016 (UTC)
And I said nothing different. Arkon (talk) 00:09, 26 February 2016 (UTC)
\What I don't understand is what the end goal is. What is this list of sources to be used for? How will they be employed in the article? - Bilby (talk) 23:41, 25 February 2016 (UTC)
  • With all due respect to the scholars creating the works listed below & elsewhere, a great deal of the criticism appears to be simple labeling or name-calling, and does not provide a significant critique of the subject or their works. Suggest a focus on works providing genuine critique would be preferred. I would also caution against equating criticism/critique of the works and of the subject; these are different things, and we should not suggest that they are equivalent. - Ryk72 'c.s.n.s.' 23:40, 25 February 2016 (UTC)
    • If Hoff Sommers is classified in passing as antifeminist, classified so by a respected source, then that's important to the balance of the article, important to whether some or many scholars think of her as antifeminist. If she is described in more detail as antifeminist, then a summary can be used to flesh out our article text. Both instances are important. Binksternet (talk) 00:24, 26 February 2016 (UTC)
      No, she is a critic of modern feminism, of course those she criticizes disagree. Arkon (talk) 00:27, 26 February 2016 (UTC)
That prominent feminists (esp. feminist academics and scholars) call her antifeminist is certainly notable and important to include. She is extremely contentious within feminist circles. DUE requires we at least acknowledge it and address it with due weight. We do not when certain people claim titles/labels but are rejected by the community at large, so I'm not sure why this is different. EvergreenFir (talk) Please {{re}} 00:43, 26 February 2016 (UTC)
That's totally fine to have somewhere in the article. It is not lede worthy for a BLP. Arkon (talk) 00:45, 26 February 2016 (UTC)
BTW the title argument is nonsense, but that's here nor there. I can't help but repeat this, because it's so simple: "The people she disagrees with disagree with her" is barely encyclopedic (even if the people were noteworthy, which most aren't), it's at most a sidenote in a Biography. Arkon (talk) 00:49, 26 February 2016 (UTC)
And with that said, it is included. That's why I'm confused. I didn't think anyone was saying that she isn't described as an antifeminist. We can argue lede or body, but there's no need to say that there is any doubt of this view.
What we're doing here is collecting a mass of quotes critical or outright insulting of her and her work, sticking them on the talk page, and not understanding why we're making this collection. - Bilby (talk) 01:00, 26 February 2016 (UTC)
Bilbyl is right. No article changes are being proposed, just a list to insult Sommers. This should be closed before it crosses the BLP line. (If it already hasn't) (talk) 01:04, 26 February 2016 (UTC)
To a certain degree, I share these concerns; and have collapsed the detailed list above while this aspect is discussed. - Ryk72 'c.s.n.s.' 01:15, 26 February 2016 (UTC)
(edit conflict) @Arkon: But it's not just "the people she disagrees with disagree with her". That's what Michael Kimmel and Murray Straus or Travis Hirschi and Robert Sampson have - a disagreement. Perhaps a better example is the debate around Beyonce. bell hooks literally called Beyonce a terrorist.[11] But those are disagreements, even if vitriolic and vehement. Hoff Sommers's case is different in history and scope. this is a wholesale rejection that's been published in books and academic journals. On par with a homeopathic practitioner calling themselves a doctor and the entire community rejecting that. Or maybe like the rivalry between Uri Geller and James Randi. They see her as a fraud trying to bring down feminism from within. EvergreenFir (talk) Please {{re}} 01:05, 26 February 2016 (UTC)
The collection is to show the weight of the issue. My reason for adding stuff is to show it's important enough to put in the lead. This is a major aspect of Hoff Sommers' profession career. EvergreenFir (talk) Please {{re}} 01:06, 26 February 2016 (UTC)
And yet there is no coverage of that "major" component. Just a bunch of OR. It is already in the lead so I don't know what your talking about. (talk) 01:08, 26 February 2016 (UTC)
Part of the dispute that locked the article is that aspect of the lead. And it's not OR to demonstrate the prevalence of a given opinion. We determine due weight that way. EvergreenFir (talk) Please {{re}} 01:10, 26 February 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────── The dispute was over leaving it as some feminists consider her anti feminist or to put in many/names. No one is trying to remove mention of an anti feminist view. So yes it is an issue of OR and Undue when there is no coverage of this position on Sommers, just individual accounts. We can say some feminists but we would need actual reliable coverage to say more. (talk) 01:15, 26 February 2016 (UTC)

Personally I'm fine with the current wording. Perhaps I am misreading Arkon? Seems they wanted the sentence removed from the lead. EvergreenFir (talk) Please {{re}} 01:20, 26 February 2016 (UTC)
I'm also fine with the current wording. I don't think they were but I can't speak for them. (talk) 01:22, 26 February 2016 (UTC)
I'm a bigger fan of naming the "scholars" if it's in the lede. But I ain't edit warring over it. Arkon (talk) 01:34, 26 February 2016 (UTC)
To elaborate, I liked Bink's edit like I said above. I generally think it's stupid to throw it in the lede, but apparently "John is critical of colors. Color Scholars are critical of John," is somehow considered illuminating by some. At least it names the critics so people can see the who/what/why of them. It also labeled the "scholars" with what they are supposedly a scholar of, which was nice. Arkon (talk) 01:39, 26 February 2016 (UTC)
How about we name people in the note at the end of the sentence? A ref with multiple references i guess. EvergreenFir (talk) Please {{re}} 03:53, 26 February 2016 (UTC)
No. There is absolutely no reason to do that. None of the critics one might name in such a note stands out from the pack, and who, in any case, do you imagine is even going to read the note? Certainly not most people who will look at the article. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 03:56, 26 February 2016 (UTC)
Fair enough I guess. See similar things on other articles, but your point about no single individual is notable above-and-beyond the others is a valid one. EvergreenFir (talk) Please {{re}} 04:05, 26 February 2016 (UTC)
Who says none of the critics stand out? As it's written right now, the lede singles out a single voice (the SEP) as more authoritative than others, leading to undue weight. We're supposed to balance conflicting voices, and give them appropriate weight, not throw up our hands and say "everybody's arguing, who knows who's worth listening to." including the perspectives of some prominent critics is the best way to do that. Fyddlestix (talk) 14:20, 26 February 2016 (UTC)
  • One thing worth pointing out (several people have mentioned it above, so I'll just reply to it down here.) We can't dismiss the views of WP:RSes simply because their academic focus is in gender studies. That is, after all, what Sommers is most notable for; nearly all of the best academic sources on her are going to be from people whose focus is gender studies. WP:BLP and WP:RS do not allow us to 'correct' the weight of reliable sources by saying eg. "well, she criticized gender studies, so we have to discount anything people who focus on gender studies say about her, because of course they're going to disagree." She's an academic contributing to the field; the core sources we use to describe her therefore have to be from her peers in that field. If they nearly all disagree with how she frames her views (or if she's only managed to convince a tiny percentage of them regarding it), that means that her self-description isn't generally accepted, and can't be given as much weight as the more mainstream view. Along those lines, I think that the sentence people are most focused on (regarding her description by academics as anti-feminist) should probably say something along the lines of scholars of gender studies in place of feminist. (I'm not even 100% certain all the people listed above are feminist; it's usually a safe bet for most academics in gender studies, but regardless, in this case it's their credentials in that field that makes them worth covering in the article, not their views.) --Aquillion (talk) 08:53, 26 February 2016 (UTC)
Can we clarify one thing? Is there any argument here that we should not say that she is viewed as anti-feminist? Is that an argument that has any degree of consensus on this talk page? Because I think this process is based on a straw man. There is no call to remove the line stating that she is perceived as an anti-feminist.
In regard to evaluating the mainstream view - we can't do that. We can't evaluate the extent of how people view her, because that requires a survey of the literature which goes well beyond calculating due weight, and certainly well beyond what can reasonably be conducted on a talk page. What we need is someone else who has published the results of such a survey so we can use them, but I doubt that such is available. We can say that feminists (or gender studies scholars, or whatever) have describe her as anti-feminist, but we can't on our own evaluate the extent to which that view is held. - Bilby (talk) 09:19, 26 February 2016 (UTC)
Your second paragraph is based on a misunderstanding of policy. WP:YESPOV and WP:DUE actually require us to assess and indicate the relative prominence of views; in other words, what we need to do is evaluate the sources for or against calling her an anti-feminist, and give appropriate weight to each opinion. If your assertion is that there are significant numbers of people within the field of gender studies who consider her a feminist (which is what you're arguing by suggesting a wording that would implies that is the case), then the burden is on you to provide sources supporting that view. Then our job as editors is to evaluate the relative weight and depth of the sources, and come up with a formulation for the lead (and the rest of the article) that gives each point of view an appropriate weight and prominence. --Aquillion (talk) 10:04, 26 February 2016 (UTC)
The only one misunderstanding policy is you with OR. We have with due weight that some/a number of feminist scholars view her as antifeminist. To say that somehow more needs to be added is ridiculous when these "scholars" presented are not very notable and there has been no sourcing provided that states there is a mainstream opinion about Sommers being antifeminist. So once again it is asked, do you have sourcing for a majority opinion or is it just OR. This is a BLP, so unsourced/poorly sourced accusations will not be tolerated. (talk) 12:07, 26 February 2016 (UTC)
The problem here is weight. Over time, fans of Sommers appear to have succeeded in putting a lot of positive assessments and responses to Sommers' work into the article, while either removing or minimizing the (much larger, much more reliable) number of more negative responses. It's undue weight on her own ideas and on the few academics/reviwers who take her seriously and support her views right now. If this article is to be NPOV, it needs to made it clear that Sommers' work has been heavily criticized, and the article needs to go into significant depth into what those criticisms are. It also needs to make clear that Sommers' self identification as a feminist is also heavily contested - which the current wording (ie, "some feminists contest this") does not do. We need a much stronger and more detailed statement than that. Right now cherry picked sources like the SEP and non-academic reviews are being used to give the impression that Sommers' ideas and self-identification have been more broadly accepted than they have - when the reality is that she's rarely taken seriously (and heavily criticized) by people outside a small circle of conservative writers and scholars who support her views. Fyddlestix (talk) 14:10, 26 February 2016 (UTC) illustrates Aquillion point well by using scare quotes around "scholars". We cannot dismiss scholars just because they're gender studies scholars. It is POV to pick and choose who we consider scholars. Aquillion is also right in their reading on DUE. We are tasked with determining due weight by surveying the writings on it. It's always nice when someone's done a meta analysis for us or a published lit review but that's the exception. EvergreenFir (talk) Please {{re}} 19:03, 26 February 2016 (UTC)
Excuse me? Don't put words in my mouth. In no way was I insinuating that. The inability to exercise good faith is disturbing. All I meant by that is not all are scholars, rather a some are academics in areas outside gender studies. I'd ask that retract that. My issue is notability. None of these scholars (happy?) are particularly notable, something you have admitted, and without sourcing to show a mainstream opinion( such as one required to say most), these opinions are being given too much weight. (talk) 19:22, 26 February 2016 (UTC)

──────────── After reading the reference examples provided by Binksternet I can pretty clearly see why these and similar refs haven't been incorporated into the body of the article. There is very little meat on the bone. They don't say much beyond calling Hoff-Sommers an anti-feminist whose work is used by political conservatives. It's all basically name-calling. I don't see anything here about what specific Sommers' criticisms or policy recommendations work against the best interests of women and why. Motsebboh (talk) 16:04, 26 February 2016 (UTC)

Are you maybe responding to the quotes that people have picked out, rather than the full sources themselves? Since we're talking about the feminist/anti-feminist label, it's not surprising that many of the passages people have picked out focus on labels. But (while I admit that this is not always the case), those passages are often part of a much longer/broader discussion of Sommers' work. I don't think the last sentence of your comment is accurate at all - if you look, I think you'll find that the sources are replete with specific criticisms. Fyddlestix (talk) 17:11, 26 February 2016 (UTC)

Let's stop reading more into the sources than they say. It's quite clear there are different viewpoints but virtually none of the sources say she is not a feminist. Sommers disagrees with many contemporary academic feminists but they all include her as a feminist even if they disagree. Tori Moi, for example, discusses Sommers in "disenchanted feminists" in the same way she discusses Rosalind Coward. Moi specifically calls Sommers a feminist On the back cover of Young’s Ceasefire!, Sommers thoughtfully provides an enemy, proclaiming the book a “brilliantly reasoned indictment of the radical feminist establishment.” Sommers, incidentally, is the only other feminist singled out for praise alongside Roiphe by Camille Paglia (Vamps and Tramps xvi).[12]. No need for WP to inject editors opinions about Sommers status as a feminist when we have sources that say she is. Go find more pressing things to do like arguing that Bernie Sanders isn't a democrat. --DHeyward (talk) 16:36, 26 February 2016 (UTC)

Please tone down the snark. And the statement that "virtually none of the sources say she is not a feminist" is very obviously inaccurate. Dozens of sources that say exactly that have been brought up already, and there are many more that could be brought to the table. Fyddlestix (talk) 17:11, 26 February 2016 (UTC)
Agreed. Almost all scholarly sources, and almost all sources that are not ideologically aligned with right-wing opposition to feminism, clearly regard the subject as an opponent of feminism. Upside-downism is fun and profitable, but let's keep it out of the encyclopedia. MarkBernstein (talk) 17:31, 26 February 2016 (UTC)
@Fyddlestix: Yes, I am going by what Binksternet has provided above. As to whether (or not) some of those sources have provided specific issue-based criticisms of Sommers's work, that would be the meat that would presumably go into the body of the article, giving the bare mention of the "anti-feminist" accusations in the lead some weight. As things now stand those accusations DON"T have sufficient weight to be in the lead because they are not expanded upon in the body. Motsebboh (talk) 17:31, 26 February 2016 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I agree that it needs to be in the body as well, and I would be happy to help expand on the body of the article using these sources - although I have a feeling that others who have been editing this page will not accept that. Fyddlestix (talk) 17:42, 26 February 2016 (UTC)
@MarkBernstein They regard her as an opponent of of left-wing feminism, they don't regard her as an opponent of female equality. Motsebboh (talk) 17:40, 26 February 2016 (UTC)
What you call "left-wing feminism" is, in point of fact, what the world outside movement conservativism (and much of the world inside) calls, and has always called, "feminism". Almost all scholarly sources, and almost all sources that are not ideologically aligned with right-wing opposition to feminism, clearly regard the subject as an opponent of feminism. MarkBernstein (talk) 17:55, 26 February 2016 (UTC)
@ Fyddlestix: Actually, I don't think that there would be much, if any, objection to material in the body that put some flesh on the lead's "anti-feminist" description, provided that this material is concisely and neutrally presented. @ MarkBernstein: At the dawn of the 20th century the great feminist sine qua non was the right to vote. At the the close of the 20th century it was (foolishly, in my view) the right to induced abortion. Sommers favors both. Motsebboh (talk) 22:23, 26 February 2016 (UTC)
We can't make up "most" or "anti-feminist" because this whole pointless section is synthesis. We have her ideological opponents still acknowledging she is a feminist, no sources for "most" or even "some." There is no scorecard. Sommers is a registered Democrat so it's kind of odd that people are throwing tags and labels of "left-wing" and "conservative" and is quite obviously the opinion of the editors here, not a reliably sourced observation. The feminists she disagrees with still call her a feminist just like they call trans-exclusive radical feminists "feminists" even if they disagree. Ideological warriors that ignore the fact she is a feminist because she doesn't share a WP editors particular philosophy should simply not edit here. It's as bad as the editors that insist on inserting "transgender" in certain other bios - they are women and these lists and identification challenges are just offensive. No one cares how many people have said it, "most" or "some" and a laundry list of people to support a synthesized view is not relevant and this section is pointless. As stated above, even those that disagree with her like Moi call Sommers a feminist but that list of synth fails to observe that Moi calls Sommers a femiist. --DHeyward (talk) 17:48, 27 February 2016 (UTC)
It's clear from this post that you are not reading the sources, and not even reading the discussion. As Aquillon and others pointed out, we are here as editors to summarize the sources. We are expected to survey the available literature and tell the reader about it. We are expected to tell the reader that a whole lot of scholars think a certain way, and very few scholars think another way. Binksternet (talk) 18:29, 27 February 2016 (UTC)
It's clear from your post that you can't distinguish ad hominem reactions vs. objective reasoning. We don't summarize sources into a synthesized view. As I quoted above in Moi, the sources disagree with Sommers views of feminism, but not that she is a feminist. Moi calls her a feminist. Explicitly and without reservation even if she disagrees with certain tenets. it seems the confirmation bias is a little too strong if the works being cited say the exact opposite of what the Wikipedia editor says. Sommers is a feminist, a democrat, a woman and an American. Those are facts even when she is criticized by others that believe certain views are anti-feminist, anti-democratic, anti-woman and un-American. Perhaps those who can't see this fundamental difference shouldn't be editing this BLP. The only reason anyone here knows about Sommers is because she is a feminist. --DHeyward (talk) 18:53, 27 February 2016 (UTC)
This is bordering on IDHT... how many dozens of people need to call her antifemininst? EvergreenFir (talk) Please {{re}} 19:30, 27 February 2016 (UTC)
More like a case of a lot of "I heard stuff that wasn't said." Toril Moi is listed as one of the dozens. Here's her quote on Sommers Sommers, incidentally, is the only other feminist singled out for praise alongside Roiphe by Camille Paglia (Vamps and Tramps xvi).[13]. No question that she disagrees with Sommers but being a feminist isn't one of them. It's aptly titled "“I Am Not a Feminist, But . . .”: How Feminism Became the F-Word." and discusses diversity of thought within feminism and how that has led to less women identifying as feminist at all. The problem on Wikipedia's article is that a number of editors have appeared and have the belief that she has already been discredited as a feminist and the only issue is how to work that "fact" into the article. The reality is far from that, though. The Stanford Encyclopedia uses her definition of "equity feminism" and cites her work. We don't even have to describe opposition to her feminist views or support for them in her bio - we can just state them. It's enough to state them without polemic judgements that are neither neutral nor supportable. The Moi misinterpretation that implies she is saying Sommers is anti-feminist is a case in point. The call for largely scholarly, academic academic sources would be okay if feminism were only academic. But it's also populist and political (note Moi's paper and concerns). Sommers is most critical of academia so searching there is not exactly neutral. It would be like saying an article on "Policing in minority neighborhoods" should be sourced largely to Police officers because they are the only ones that actually police the neighborhood. It's a myopic view because policing has broad reach and a spectrum of thought and response. There is no question that Sommers is an equity feminist. There is no question that her status as an equity feminist and her writing about those views her notable achievements. The description in her bio does not need support or criticism or determinism. As Moi notes: The fundamental assumptions of feminist theory in its various current guises (queer theory, postcolonial feminist theory, transnational feminist theory, psychoanalytic feminist theory, and so on) are still informed by some version of poststructuralism. No wonder, then, that so much feminist work today produces only tediously predictable lines of argument.. So let's get of the treadmill, leave the judgements on the side, tear up the scorecard and recognize this is a BLP of a living equity feminist, drop the notion she's been discredited as a feminist and simply present her views. There is no way to neutrally label her anti-feminist when feminists already acknowledge that such discussion only produces only tediously predictable lines of argument." --DHeyward (talk) 20:36, 27 February 2016 (UTC)

───────────────────────── You're cherry picking out one quote - which is in a footnote btw, not in the article text itself - which you think supports your position, while ignoring the fact that Moi calls Sommers "one of America’s leading feminist bashers" in the article itself. Does she "bash" herself? I read that footnote as suggesting that Camile Paglia classifies Sommers as a feminist, not as evidence that Moi considers her a feminist. I think if you read the whole article and consider that footnote in context, that's pretty clear. More generally, focusing on one or two sources that appear to take Sommers' self-identification as a feminist seriously is basically not seeing the forest for the trees - a much larger number of more reliable sources - including other tertiary ones, which hold just as much weight as the SEP, very clearly classify her as anti-feminist. No one is saying that Sommers' self-identification should be ignored - just that it needs to be properly contextualized and weighed against the (many) sources that take a different view. We're looking for balance here, I'm really not understanding why some of you are so resistant to including a perspective that is so obviously significant and weight-y. Fyddlestix (talk) 23:05, 27 February 2016 (UTC)

You're the one cherry picking. Moi clearly calls Sommers a feminist, saying she "is the only other feminist singled out for praise alongside Roiphe by Camille Paglia". It doesn't matter if it is a footnote, it's still there for you to read. You need to stop twisting/outright lying about a source especially on a BLP. (talk) 03:25, 28 February 2016 (UTC)

The issue - and the reason this isn't a useful process - is that we don't know how many dozens of people called her a feminist. Or regard her as one, and simply don't use the term. The process we're going through can be used to say "people call her anti-feminist", but it can't be used to evaluate if this is, or is not, the majority view. - Bilby (talk) 05:27, 28 February 2016 (UTC)

Okay, that's a fair point. I guess what would be better is to find secondary sources (or even tertiary ones) that call her such. Like an encyclopedia, book review database, or something. Basically see if others have made that evaluation for us and we can use their words. Or perhaps we find that none do and only have individual instances of scholars/academics calling her such. EvergreenFir (talk) Please {{re}} 05:53, 28 February 2016 (UTC)

Petaluma uncited

@Ryk72: in special:diff/708334073 you removed the request for a citation to support the claim she is from Petaluma, California. Why did you do that? The California Birth Index only says Sonoma County so that still needs verification so please restore it. (talk) 08:44, 5 March 2016 (UTC)

Done. Though I am considering that we need a better (Read: WP:BLPPRIMARY compliant) source for all of the birth details. - Ryk72 'c.s.n.s.' 09:14, 5 March 2016 (UTC)
I'm sure I read at least one source that confirmed her birthplace, but I've been reading a lot - will try to find it again. Fyddlestix (talk) 13:45, 5 March 2016 (UTC)


Those of you who keep removing Rotundo's criticism and/or trying to minimize his importance by labeling him a "high school teacher" need to cut it out. He's one of the pioneers of the field of masculinity studies, and is widely recognized as such.[14] When you suggest that he "isn't a noted critic, author or scholar" you're just showing your ignorance of the subject matter - and flat out wrong. Please stop. Fyddlestix (talk) 22:28, 25 February 2016 (UTC)

I think Spider-Man also teaches high-school but he also does more notable work on the side. Special:diff/706890447 highlights perhaps to pre-empt the 'high school' insertions that it would be good to pre-emptively define Rotundo's other attributes so his notability is clearer to readers. Simply being a Washington Post author doesn't seem to impress people. Highlighting that the Organization of American Historians say he helped create Masculinity as a historical field of study might be good to mention in helping readers understand why his input on Sommers' analysis of Masculinity is notable.
It is curious though how this particular record of this praise can only be traced back to September 2015. Considering we are talking about a newspaper article he wrote 15 years prior to this, it would be deal if we could find praise of his work prior to that. (talk) 22:39, 25 February 2016 (UTC)
The book mentioned in the link I already gave you was published in 1993, and there are many positive reviews of it from that time period on jstor and similar databases. I could also probably just whip up an article on him so that he can be wikilinked (he's obviously notable). But I don't think we need to go out of our way to reference that he's an expert when that's basically common knowledge to anyone with even a passing familiarity with the field of masculinity & gender studies. People just need to stop removing/minimizing his work because they don't like what he says about Sommers. Fyddlestix (talk) 13:49, 26 February 2016 (UTC)
There are feminists who disagree with her. We don't need to go into specific depths. The tone of this article and talk page is turning into a reflection of the editors, not the subject. It's literally akin to arguing that "conservative" is "un-American" and the counting and quoting people that call her "conservative" to synthesize she is "un-American." She's a libertarian feminist (or equity feminist or classically liberal feminist). There are certainly feminists that disagree with her and feminists that agree with her. There simply will never be enough to destroy the concept that they are "feminists" as well. Milton Friedman was an economist. So is Paul Krugman. No amount of support or criticism will change those facts. There are literally thousands of notablee schlars that disagree with one and agree with the other. But trying to prove that one is not considered an economist because of criticism or "he's wrong and all these other people disagree with him" is silly. Even this section which starts with criticism of a piece Sommers wrote in The Atlantic misses the entire point that The Atlantic (not a conservative, anti-feminist rag) published her column because of her notability as a feminist (which is also the reason for her other columns). They would publish pieces by Friedman or Krugman, too, not because it's propaganda but because both are notable in the field of economics. Even point/counterpoint doesn't destroy the fact that their views in their subject of expertise are sought out and it's incredibly short-sighted to miss that point and try to declare a winner and loser. Sommers is a well known feminist - that's her claim to notability and she is sought out for her viewpoints. Her views are both shared and rejected by other feminists but none of it dismisses the fact she is a feminist. Editors agreeing or disagreeing with her doesn't change that fact nor does a body count. We only know of her because of her feminist views. --DHeyward (talk) 18:43, 27 February 2016 (UTC)
As Orwell observed, a useful political strategy is to take your opponent’s term, invert the meaning, and claim that the inverted meaning is the real meaning. MarkBernstein (talk) 00:07, 28 February 2016 (UTC)
This talk page is not a forum for general chit-chat. Please refrain from making irrelevant comments, and direct your attention toward improving the article. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 00:29, 28 February 2016 (UTC)
Thanks, FreeKnowledgeCreator. I'm trying my best to be perfectly clear while also avoiding personalizing the discussion. The Atlantic, for example, published her article not because she is a feminist -- she is not -- but because her opinion was considered interesting. The effort to call her one is a last-ditch effort to call up, down. Whether you would prefer to describe this as Orwellian, Trumpist, or something else depends, in part, on how upsetting one wants to be; I'm doing my best not to upset people while doing my best not to allow Wikipedia to be made to look foolish. Were Wikipedia to call the subject a feminist, I’m confident that any number of publications would be waiting in line to laugh at us. MarkBernstein (talk) 22:43, 29 February 2016 (UTC)
The page has described her as a feminist in various forms for nearly the entire history of the article, going all the way back to the article's creation in 2003: 'Christina Hoff Sommers is a dissenting feminist and author.' I am not confident that 'any number of publications' are laughing at Wikipedia for that description, but I know for a fact that this particular edit war is drawing negative attention to the ability of Wikipedia to include generally accepted facts in the face of highly motivated attempts by individual members to politicize content. That's how I found my way here, incidentally. (talk) 23:02, 2 March 2016 (UTC)
That's nonsensical. Why is a non-feminists opinion about feminism "interesting" to The Atlantic? Sommers isn't the only libertarian writer or feminists. She was published because third-wave feminism opened up a number of avenues and ideas and feminists of all stripes have opinions about what feminists should address. Your astute observation regarding language is covered in third-wave feminism but it's academia that has redefined even what "gender" means. What's failing here though, is the ability to discern political ideology from "feminism." There are conservative feminists, libertarian feminists, democrats like Sommers and republican feminist like Carly Fiorina. In fact there are many branches of thought within feminism that not all feminists share. "TERF"s, for example, are feminists as well. Each faction criticizes points of other factions and is now so diverse in what "feminist" means, only 25% or so of women personally identify with the term "feminist." Sommers' views about equity feminism and the role that feminism should now play in the world is not a reason to claim she is not feminist. We don't have sources that say she isn't feminist, rather we have sources that say she is a feminist that dismisses or critiques certain views of other, principally academic, feminists. Her notability is directly tied to her feminist views and her non-feminist opinions are not sought out. --DHeyward (talk) 02:34, 1 March 2016 (UTC)
Do you believe the idea that The Atlantic would ever publish a non-feminists opinion about feminism is truly nonsensical, DHeyward? I'm not sure it is, on consideration. PeterTheFourth (talk) 02:37, 1 March 2016 (UTC)
The characterization that an academic and author of a book who's topic is feminism and is a self-described feminist only was sought out because she's an interesting non-feminist is non-sensical. Did the Atlantic have a large "non-feminist" disclosure? I don't see "interesting non-feminist" in her Atlantic page [15]. We do see two books including Freedom Feminism: Its Surprising History–and Why it Matters as well as a list of articles written for the Atlantic, all on feminism, and includes titles like How to Get More Women (and Men) to Call Themselves Feminists. Not sure how you can even read that article and conclude she's not a feminist or indeed anti-feminist with statements like Who needs feminism? We do. The world does. --DHeyward (talk) 04:22, 1 March 2016 (UTC)
Obviously she must be playing the long game, in a massive conspiracy, because through unknown means convincing more people to call themselves feminists harms feminism! Or something. (talk) 19:12, 5 March 2016 (UTC)

to say or not to say

@DHeyward: your recent special:diff/707891751 summary caught my eye:

"If we're not going to say she is a feminist" ...

Why do we not say this? Hasn't Sommers identified as one? Isn't she still categorized as a feminist at the bottom? If we more neutrally say "she describes herself as a feminist" then is this the language we should adopt for all biographies, and never call any people feminists, rather just state how they identify themselves?

In which case we should not have a Category:Feminists but rather "Category:People who call themselves feminists" in the interests of neutrality.

Basically what is the burden of proof for calling someone a feminist, and are other biographies of people described as feminists meeting it if people are declaring this doesn't? (talk) 05:51, 3 March 2016 (UTC)

Oh and if anyone asks 'where does she call herself a feminist' I would think hosting a blog called "The Factual Feminist" (last updated January 2016) is clear enough. As for when she began doing so, I'm not exactly sure but there is this interview where when discussing a 1988 she answers "yes" when asked "Did you consider yourself a feminist at that point?" This means according to her words, she's been a feminist at least 27 years (1988-2016) and for those who like the drop the 'feminist scholar' bomb, if we're going to do that for any critics we should also mention that Sommers is also described that way herself. This April 2015 interview on opens calling her this in the second sentence. Can we supply similar cites describing our references as feminist scholar to assure the label is not OR for them? (talk) 06:43, 3 March 2016 (UTC)

She is a feminist and it should say it in the lead but ideologues only see their own reflection. I think it's more harmful to have the weasel words of "Some group x thinks she's Y." and they are too misguided to understand how ridiculous it sounds to deny it. I outline above in The Atlantic where she is clearly a feminist. --DHeyward (talk) 06:47, 3 March 2016 (UTC)
I think the issue is differing definitions of feminism, or assumptions of bad faith. When speaking of opposition, Sommers still refers to them as feminists, and seems to have a broad/inclusive definition, applying adjectives to refer to variations. When opposition refers to Sommers, they seem to define feminism more narrowly in a way which excludes Sommers (thus calling her anti-feminist). Whether or not we state Sommers is or isn't would depend on whether the wide or narrow definition is how Wikipedia defines it. I edge on the broad definition myself, as there doesn't seem to be any way to get an authority on subjective matters. Calling someone anti-feminist gives the impression they're against ALL feminists/feminism whereas Sommers is only opposing particular feminists and particular branches of feminism. It's kind of like calling Roman Reigns "anti-male" because he wants to defeat Triple H for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania, when he is only anti a subset of males. (talk) 21:47, 3 March 2016 (UTC)
Wrong. Those who describe Sommers as antifeminist give their reasons which are nothing like your conjecture about what is feminism. Sommers works against the advances made by the women's movement and she has allied herself with social conservatives who are against the advancements made by the women's movement. She also makes ridiculous claims about 19th century feminists, saying that they align with Sommers and not the women's movement of today. If someone's concept of feminism includes rolling society back to an old status quo then it's not feminism. Binksternet (talk) 02:02, 4 March 2016 (UTC)
You might wish to review WP:NOTFORUM. I could dispute every part of what you have said, but I content myself with noting that this discussion appears to have little to nothing to do with improving the article, and resembles rather having an argument for the sake of having an argument. Cut it out. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 03:30, 4 March 2016 (UTC)
Yes, lots of conjecture all around here, and certainly moving into a discussion of the subject of the article rather than a discussion of how to make the article better. However, I can't help but ask Binksternet just what "ADVANCES made by the woman's movement" has Sommers worked against and what specific "ridiculous claims" has she made about 19th century feminists? Perhaps he could answer on my Talk page to avoid prolonging the forum here. Motsebboh (talk) 03:43, 4 March 2016 (UTC)
Let's not get off track, we're going round in circles here. Obviously people have different opinions about how Sommers should be described, and people are brining way too much of their own baggage and subjective opinions into that discussion. Normally, this sort of thing is resolved by concentrating on what reliable sources say, but the problem we're dealing with is that reliable sources don't agree on how Sommers (and her ideas) should be described. There are sources we can point to (including Sommers herself) that call her a feminist and assume that that's true, and there are sources that say she's not a feminist, or which say she's about as far form feminism as you can get (ie, an anti-feminist). There's a contradiction there, obviously - and this one is particularly hard to deal with since there's a strong base of highly reliable, weighty sources on both sides. A lot of you seem to be arguing that we need to resolve that conflict and either describe her as a feminist or anti-feminist - but that's not our job here - our job is to report and summarize what reliable sources say. Which means that we present both perspectives, and attribute them properly. Everyone involved needs to stop trying to "win" this argument (ie, have the article declare that Sommers is a feminist, or that she's an anti-feminist), and focus on how best to convey the fact that her relationship to feminism is controversial, and how to explain the different perspectives on that question. Fyddlestix (talk) 03:57, 4 March 2016 (UTC)
That seems sensible, Fyddlestix. At least this discussion isn't as contentious as "Is Bernie Sanders Jewish?" debate. Liz Read! Talk! 19:06, 4 March 2016 (UTC)
This seems like an issue which we could draw parallels to:
"Protestants aren't proper Christians, says Pope".
Although I don't want to reread either in full to check, I expect we don't bother to mention on the Protestant article stuff like this, instead taking them at their word that they are what they describe themselves to be, in spite of criticism from fore-runners who say they deviate too much. (talk) 18:47, 4 March 2016 (UTC)
We can't just accept someone's self-definition without question when there is such a large number of RS that challenge it. And the opinions of the reporters, academics, and others who've questioned whether Sommers is actually a feminist can't be brushed off by saying "well, if course they disagree, they're feminists." That argument would be OR, and whatever you might personally think of them, we're talking about legit experts - people with obviously notable, weighty opinions. What you suggest would not be NPOV in this case. Fyddlestix (talk) 19:17, 4 March 2016 (UTC)
Lost a larger reply, but what are you saying is OR? I'd be curious to see the proposed text you are referring to. Arkon (talk) 20:16, 4 March 2016 (UTC)
Apparently the counter-argument FS predicts in response is the OR. Of course that's arguing a straw man because "of course they disagree, they're feminists" would not be a sensible reply if you are interpreting the subject of criticism as a feminist herself. I have to question the 'legit experts' thing though. These cites I see are from all over the place. It's like "look, a person with a degree is talking". I can't help but wonder if equal effort is put forth in looking for supporters who also have degrees. Or ignoring the reputations of sources which do describe her as a feminist. To rely on a source as a notable objection it should come from a notable person, and the specificity of the degree to the issues should also be taken into account. Like do they have one of those PhDs in Gender Studies which were created 11 years after her 1994 book? Or one of those Women's Studies doctorates which debuted 4 years before her book and 11 years after Hoff got her PhD in Philosophy? Are we forgetting that she is an expert herself? A famous philosopher having another less famous philosopher disagree with her isn't automatically notable. (talk) 08:55, 5 March 2016 (UTC)
The argument that there are a large group that questions whether she is a feminist is false. It's mostly WP:SYNTH by editors here that interpret disagreement over Sommers support for certain contemporary feminist positions. As we've seen, the sources used actually call Sommers a "feminist." An example from Toril Moi's paper is here[16]. Editors have SYNTHed that Moi believes Sommers is not a feminist but Moi explicitly calls her a feminist in that paper. Why are we accepting and even promoting synthesized ideas? --DHeyward (talk) 21:11, 5 March 2016 (UTC)
Malarkey. You keep harping on Toril Moi who describes Sommers as a "feminist basher" working against feminism, working to roll back the advances made by the women's movement. Which makes your argument fall apart. Binksternet (talk) 22:01, 5 March 2016 (UTC)
Again, that's synthesis to say she is not a feminist. She criticizes certain feminists that have espoused views she believes move beyond the gains that feminists, such as herself, have fought for and creates inequity. Rejecting calls that Title IX be applied to academics is easily a debate between feminists. Moi describes Sommers as a feminist which is not incompatible with "feminist basher" nor is it incompatible with "rolling back" anything that isn't equitable. It's very easy to see that an "equity feminist" would object to the creation of inequities and that such inequities are not considered "gains" by feminists that hold those views. --DHeyward (talk) 22:33, 5 March 2016 (UTC)
It's not synthesis to say someone is not considered a feminist by this, that and the other sources. It's not synthesis to report to the reader what the most respected topic experts are saying. Binksternet (talk) 01:26, 6 March 2016 (UTC)
We can say exactly what they say. Moi directly states Sommers is a feminist. Yet you want to infer that Moi says she is not a feminist because of specific arguments she makes against ideas. That's classic synthesis and we are lucky to have direct quotes to refute the synthesized position. Sommers IS a feminist. Stated directly by those feminists that oppose her positions. There are lots of feminist issues argued by feminists. Again, the argument regarding equity, the arguments regarding sex-work and feminism, and whether cis/trans privilege is different than male/female privilege and which inequity represents feminism are current topics with many feminists on all sides, including Sommers. There are many "feminist" camps and even Wikipedia editors that consider themselves feminists have their views on all the current issues above and more. But for Sommers, it's clear that even those that oppose her particular stances on equity realize that she is a feminist. --DHeyward (talk) 06:19, 6 March 2016 (UTC)
Moi does not say that Sommers is a feminist. I don't know where you got that notion. Binksternet (talk) 07:04, 6 March 2016 (UTC)
He's getting that notion from this: On the back cover of Young’s Ceasefire!, Sommers thoughtfully provides an enemy, proclaiming the book a “brilliantly reasoned indictment of the radical feminist establishment.” Sommers, incidentally, is the only other feminist singled out for praise alongside Roiphe by Camille Paglia (Vamps and Tramps xvi).[17] It's pretty clear that Moi is calling Sommers a feminist. (talk) 07:32, 6 March 2016 (UTC)
No, Toril Moi is describing how Camille Paglia has chosen to praise Sommers. Binksternet (talk) 07:59, 6 March 2016 (UTC)
Not from that quote. If it was as you said it would have been attributed to Paglia such as "Paglia praised Sommers as a feminist" or maybe feminist would have been in quotes. It's quite clear Moi is calling Sommers a feminist as is. You can't change the quote so please stop misrepresenting Moi. (talk) 08:23, 6 March 2016 (UTC)
No, Moi is channeling Paglia who writes about both Roiphe and Sommers that they are feminists. This is just a footnote, anyway, not the place where Moi describes Sommers in full. When Moi describes Sommers in the text it is as a basher of feminists. Binksternet (talk) 09:24, 6 March 2016 (UTC)

───────────────────────── FWIW I agree with Binksternet here - but more generally, I think this narrow focus on Moi is not helpful. Even if we just set her article aside, that still leaves all the other sources that are linked above which describe Sommers as an anti feminist or non feminist. Insisting repeatedly (in caps) that Sommers "IS a feminist" does not change what those sources say. And the argument that it's SYNTH is obviously incorrect, the statements are there, in black and white, in the sources that were provided above.

To be clear: I'm not saying the article should declare Sommers an anti-feminist in wikipedia's voice. Nor should it state that she's a feminist, as if that were an unchallenged, uncontoversisl fact. Both perspectives should be included, properly sourced and attributed to the people and sources that take those positions. Fyddlestix (talk) 15:42, 6 March 2016 (UTC)

The footnote is still part of text, no matter how much it disagrees with what you think. Moi never describes her as antifeminist, just a basher of feminists, which is not incompatible with her being a feminist. To say it is incompatible is frankly OR. Your reading of the footnote is rather poor and shows you should take a step back as you aren't reading what Moi says, only what you want her to say. (talk) 17:46, 6 March 2016 (UTC)
When Moi describes Sommers in the text it is as a basher of feminists. And when you read further about feminist-bashing in 1990's she says directly that they include "feminists and and ex-feminists." She doesn't ever say Sommers is anti-feminist. That's made up in your head. --DHeyward (talk) 22:32, 6 March 2016 (UTC)
That's the nail in the coffin for your assertion: you have cherry-picked the quote, leaving off the end of it, the end which disproves your point. Here's the end of the quote: " the 1990s a wave of books and essays by malcontent feminists and ex-feminists, or women with various ideas of how to change feminism, furthered the conservative feminist-bashing agenda." I should think Moi was calling Sommers a woman with her own idea of "how to change feminism". At any rate, none of us can say that Moi was calling Sommers any particular one of these three things. Binksternet (talk) 23:07, 6 March 2016 (UTC)

─────────────────────────Actually we can say Moi called Sommers a feminist. Because that is what she did in her text. (talk) 23:18, 6 March 2016 (UTC)

The problem is that we have direct quotes saying she is a feminist but we only have a synthesis to say she is not. Find prominent feminists that make that claim rather than inferring it, and there would be a case. We have many groups and camps of feminists which are outlined in sources. Trans-exclusive feminists, libertarian feminists, third-wave feminists, etc, etc. There are many feminists with divergent viewpoints that they disagree with. It's simply not neutral to single out perceived conservative feminists for exclusion based on synth. --DHeyward (talk) 22:12, 6 March 2016 (UTC)

WSF tense

The tense in which this is written appears present instead of past. "Sommers outlines" .. "she regards" .. "she presents" .. etc.

Shouldn't this all be changed to past tense? It was published 22 years ago. Even if she still holds the opinions, describing what the book does is describing what was done in the past no the present.

War Against Boys doesn't seem to have this problem. "Sommers published" .. "Sommers challenged" .. "she called" .. "Sommers argued". Which is strange since it's 6 years more recent so if I expected anything to be worded more currently it would be that.

I think TWAB is the example we should follow in rephrasing WSF in the past tense. Any objection to this? (talk) 06:03, 7 March 2016 (UTC)

Well done

I looked at this article about a week ago after a well known Wiki-Rabbler brought his crusade here and just shook my head at the nonsense being spewed here. Today I read through it again and was pleasantly surprised that his efforts were shut down and the article is now free of editorials. Good job editors.That man from Nantucket (talk) 14:44, 10 March 2016 (UTC)

Would you be opposed to identifying which "rabbler" you're referring to and giving some diffs to point out what efforts/editorials you mean? Kinda vague. (talk) 08:11, 20 March 2016 (UTC)

contemporary feminism

Noting the lack of article about this phrase, is our prolonged use of it a good idea? The sources from this are from 1996 and 2005. Eventually what was 'contemporary feminism' at those times may no longer be considered 'contemporary'.

Is it possible to explain what kind of feminism the 'contemporary' feminism of 1996-2005 is considered to be? I'm trying to think of the long game here. In the year 2099 for example someone reading 'contemporary feminism' might not have any idea what was contemporary at the time, or might think it refers to the feminism of 2099 if they didn't pay close attention to the year of the sources. (talk) 06:16, 3 March 2016 (UTC)

I think ensuring that the lede is accurate and consistent with RS is a more important concern that how the article will read in 2099. It makes perfect sense, is accurate, and is well reference in the context of the present, that's what's important. Fyddlestix (talk) 03:48, 4 March 2016 (UTC)

@Fyddlestix: your recent quote serves to demonstrate what I'm talking about, the article says "best known for her critiques of late-twentieth-century feminism" but we are now in early-twenty-first-century, so should we still describe what she is best known for criticizing as "contemporary"? She may still be critical of feminism in the 2000s/2010s (present-contemporary) but this criticism may not be as well known for her criticism of the feminism in the 80s/90s (former-contemporary). Are there more recent sources we can use describing contemporary or post-1999 feminism? (talk) 18:40, 4 March 2016 (UTC)

The short answer is "yes," obviously. This source from 2014 describes her as "a former professor of philosophy who has made a name for herself as an outspoken critic of contemporary feminism," and [this] LA times op-ed (jointly written by 2 University presidents) refers to her as an "author and critic of contemporary feminism." T That's from last year. I can go on (though not right now, on mobile) - how many sources do you need to have linked before accepting that this is how she's commonly described? Fyddlestix (talk) 19:07, 4 March 2016 (UTC)
She's not critical of feminism at all, rather she disagrees with certain feminists about what is "feminist." Her argumnt regarding STEM application of Title IXis that the demographics don't support the application. Women are as intellectuslly capable as men and college demographics show that women outnumber men and receive more degrees. Further, for every field in STEM that is skeed male, there is a social or biological science that is skewed opposite. She relegates this to personal choice as opposed to athletics that have a clear dimorphic difference and a preference toward male sports (i.e., in the U.S. mens college football and mens basketball is overwhelmingly the largest sports revenue venue. women aren't prohibited from these teams but physical differences make success a difficult proposition. Whence, Title IX creates an equivalent opportunity for women in college by forcing the scholarships to be equal. In academics though, there is no difference as men and women compete in the same class. She also points out that women in STEM fields where they are in the minority, they earn more than men with same experience including straight out of college. There is more demand for women in STEM fields and salaries reflect it. Still, despite the compensation, women choose different fields. --DHeyward (talk) 08:19, 5 March 2016 (UTC)
I'm struggling to see how this comment relates to what we're discussing here - what you personally think Sommers stands for (or about Title IX) is irrelevant (see WP:NOTAFORUM). What matters is what the sources say. Fyddlestix (talk) 13:43, 5 March 2016 (UTC)
Struggle no longer [18]. Her view, reported in reliable sources, is what I presented. --DHeyward (talk) 21:00, 5 March 2016 (UTC)
That doesn't help, and again, does not relate to what's being discussed here. This discussion is over whether Sommers should be described as a "critic of contemporary feminism" or not. I've presented a number of sources that describe her as exactly that - the source you linked does not describe her at all, and does nothing to support your contention that that's an inaccurate description. Fyddlestix (talk) 14:17, 6 March 2016 (UTC)
Reliable sourcing doesn't matter if you're using a term which will date itself. If I found something published in 1995 saying "Bill Clinton is the best president of the century" that doesn't mean you should state that on Wikipedia, since it is only about the 20th century because as soon as the next century comes around, it is no longer accurate. For example from 2000-2007 Clinton and George W. Bush were the ONLY presidents of the (21st) century. "Contemporary" is not as specific a term but it is still time-linked. If I have an article saying "Legend of Zelda is the best selling game of the past 5 years" you would not adapt that to Wikipedia as "past 5 years" you would look when it was published and generate a range that does not change over time. Terms like "contemporary" are too loose to be of value in an encylopedia. If you MUST use it in lack of any other description it should be something like "considered temporary in XXXX" and state the year of the source. (talk) 08:18, 20 March 2016 (UTC)

@Fyddlestix: the issue was not the quantity of sources, but the currentness. The 2014 one you provided is good because it is actually recent. The problem is that you could have 100 sources all saying "X hates contemporary music" but 20 years later, your article should not say "X hates contemporary music" citing those sources because that music would no longer be contemporary. The term dates itself. (talk) 08:47, 5 March 2016 (UTC)

I don't think this is an issue. We're writing the article now not twenty years from now, it can be revised if and when RS start describing her work in more retrospective terms. Fyddlestix (talk) 13:43, 5 March 2016 (UTC)
Wrong, we should pre-empt time-sensitive terms, not wait for new sources to do that. If Isaac Newton wrote "the King hates modern theatre" it would be absurd for us to say "the king hates modern theatre", we would logically say "the king hated the music of his time". We should logically replace 'contemporary' with a reference to the actual time the statement was made. The 2014 cite deals with this, but assuming that 1996/2005 ideas of feminism corresponding to 2016 ideas of feminism is OR. This isn't that hard to understand, if in 1950 someone said "the recent decade is the best decade in history" we would not keep "recent decade". The only issue with contemporary is it's a time-based term which is not based in strict measurements, but it's still time-sensitive.
There is also a problem with us asserting "she is a critic of contemporary feminism" even based on 2014, for entirely different reasons. Namely, it implies she is a critic of ALL contemporary feminism. Given that Sommers herself is contemporary and views herself as a feminist, this is clearly taking the side that she is not a feminist. It should be rephrased to indicate that people DESCRIBE her as opposing contemporary feminism. Unless Sommers herself does that, we are weighting things in favour of opposition to parrot it. (talk) 05:53, 7 March 2016 (UTC)