You Guys I’m Starting to Like “Factual Feminist” Christina Hoff Sommers

Last night I was rolling my face off and thinking about “Factual Feminist” Christina Hoff Sommers, as you do. It all started about five days ago when I started listening to her recent interview on the Joe Rogan Experience Podcast. I’m not sure why I didn’t skip that one. I am, let’s just say, not a fan of hers. I’ve actually written what I wanted to be a scathing critique of her antics.

Still, I hit play for a good old fashioned hate listen. Rogan kept talking about how how calm and reasonable and polite she sounded. And I’m like, “But listen to the content!” Yet as I listened something weird happened. A little bud of empathy welled up inside me, before I could snuff it out with righteous indignation. She seemed authentic, humble. I understood where she was coming from, more than I ever thought possible. She was in a world and saw something wrong, and wanted to help make it right. And was cast out and shamed for trying. Which is very close to what’s happened to me several times. Her world was academia and she was trying to correct misandry. My world was libertarianism and I was trying to correct misogyny. But, like, we’re both well-intended. Yes, she needs to make a career to get her message out. And she needs an audience. And some in that audience, like gamer gate people, are vile and horrible people. Just as some people who read me are vile, horrible people. Just look at my Facebook comments. And that’s after extensive blocking.

But that doesn’t mean she’s busting feminist myths to gather up her army of MRA trolls. Like, who the fuck would want that? She honestly loves men, and hates the way that some feminists cherry pick facts to make it seem like they’re the enemy. I get that. I respect that, frankly.

Then I saw her latest video in my Facebook timeline. Great, I thought. I can watch this and go back to hating her.

But I didn’t! Because I realized another thing. Feminism is classist. I mean, I knew that. White feminism and all. But the REASON it seems like feminists ignore men is that they’re ignoring the men AT THE BOTTOM. Yes, there is a patriarchy, but only at the top. At the bottom, men are fucking fucked in a lot of ways, which Sommers points out, correctly.

It used to annoy me that she was hijacking feminism for some regressive gender-norm bullshit. But now I like that she’s reclaiming feminism and making it something that cares deeply about and addresses the plight of low-income, low-education men. Because, she’s right. They are oppressed by sexism too. And we need to fight for them as well. I do wish she would have corrected Rogan when he said he’s not a feminist but actually a humanist and attributed the definition of feminism to humanism which actually already has a definition and she’s a feminist and a former philosophy professor so really why in the fuck would she not gently let him know that he isn’t doing philosophy right?

It still like kinda gets me that she downplays the plight of women. But she comes from a world where she was surrounded by hatred of men. I come from a world where I have been surrounded by hatred of women. Well, more just patronizing, downplaying, ignoring, and mocking. But still. I’ve gotten plenty of straight up hate simply for saying I’m a feminist. Misogyny is felt when you realize how many people hate a woman who is unashamed. So to claim that gender equality has been achieved to the point where we can forget about women’s advancement just doesn’t sit well when I have hateful, gendered messages from men sitting in my inbox for the crime of speaking my mind while having a vagina.

YET, I can’t say who is more oppressed. And I wouldn’t want to. Because it’s a stupid contest no one should want to win. We are all oppressed by sexism.

39 Comments

  1. Thank you for writing this article. Christina Hoff Sommers seems like a step in the right direction. I also would like to commend you for being willing to share your change of mind openly and frankly.

    Kudos!

    • Great article! CHS did a great critique of Anita Sarkeesian’s new HS carriculum that’s how I found her. We need more people like this, with perspective. Most of the severe issues still facing women happen in countries where women are second class citizens. It still takes more finesse to be a woman than a man in the US, but we are moving in the right direction.

      I was raised surrounded by strong women. Friends and people in my life who tried to generalize women as a sex mostly just look stupid. I date very intelligent upwardly mobile women, and I’ve yet to meet a single one who agrees with Sarkeesian’s ideas- mainly because she takes all power away from female gamers and puts the entirety of their fate in the hands of developers.

      I have never once felt pressured to look like a badass buff video game character. I refuse to believe women are weaker than I am. So there’s no reason they should feel that pressure either. There’s a type of game for everyone, and the medium is more diverse now than it ever has been. Let’s celebrate that diversity.

  2. Perhaps #GamerGate is a group of horrible people and perhaps the only thing we did wrong was tell some uncomfortable truths about a rather rotten press company (Gawker.)

    Could it be that a company caught in some pretty wild improprieties would then go to press with anything and everything they could to discredit those calling out that impropriety?

    Would it be impossible to believe that that same press company used a secret email list just like Groundswell to convince their friends to write the exact same opinion?

    Could it be that maybe they didn’t find misogyny but instead a group of people saying things they didn’t want people to hear?

    Nah, every accusation of misogyny is real. Just like every accusation of misandry. In fact, every accusation made should just be taken at face value. Of course, I’m not expecting you to believe my accusation uncritically (even though that does seem to be exactly what you did in my case) I’m simply asking you to watch Christina’s videos on the matter of #GamerGate

    And you might want to check out deepfreeze.it That’s our compiled source of every misdeed we’ve been able to uncover regarding the gaming press. (Though there’s plenty more being vetted. They are quite the disaster.)

    #GamerGate had little to do with ‘women’ but quite a lot to do with one over-privileged white male gaming journalist who got caught with his ‘hand’ in the ‘cookie jar.’

    I’ll leave this with one final point which up until recently I would expect to be seen as self-evident – people lie about sex.

  3. I’m a first time visitor and would like to read more about “I come from a world where I have been surrounded by hatred of women.” I always thought misogyny was mostly a function of class, so am curious if this aligns with your experience and in whose company you find the most problematic behavior. Have you written on this anywhere?

  4. Guillaume Bérubé

    Based Mom has been embraced by GamerGate, not only because of her defense of us, but because she uses logic and rationality to debunk the myths of her opponents instead of relying on insults and personal attacks. Very glad to see that someone who started in a position of hatred/mistrust towards her could give her the benefit of the doubt. That’s refreshing, to say the least.

    But I’m a selfish bastard, and here’s why I’m writing:
    I’d like to see that open-mindedness be expanded to the folks of GamerGate.

    If you’re interested in discussing with someone about it, I’m part of the consumer revolt since pretty much the beginning. I didn’t associate with it when it started because of the media coverage painting them as a bunch of right-wing mysoginistic hate group. Considering myself an egalitarian, I didn’t want anything to do with it!!! 😀 But my girlfriend did some research, found out how GamerGate were being vilified by the media and she’s the one who actually got me on board.

    Now, almost a year and a half later, we’re still both part of the consumer revolt. We’ve never engaged in any act that can be considered harassment (even if you consider ”disagreeing politely with Anita Sarkeesian or other of prominent antiGamerGate people”) and have participated in 2 crowdfunding events, one that provided a wheelchair-bound disabled woman with an automated stairlift and another where we gave out socks for the homeless.

    I don’t really think you’ll get in touch with me, but it’s worth a try.

    And to try and gently nudge you in my direction, I’ll leave you with this:

    Take a look at what the usual feminist websites/leaders are saying about Christina Hoff Summers. They’re demonizing her, trying to paint her as an abominable being who hates women. Mostly because what she’s saying runs opposite to what these websites/leaders are saying… Yet you went in with an open mind and you saw something else.

    Imagine, for a single second, the possibility that the same exact situation is what’s happening with GamerGate: GamerGate is saying that there’s a lot of ethical problems with games journalism and pointing them out, and games media turned around, writing articles demonizing GamerGate because what we’re saying runs opposite to what THEY’re saying…

    If you’re AT ALL interested in discussing this topic with someone (who is not a teen, I’m 30 BTW 😀 ) who will respect your opinions even when he disagrees with them and wants to share his views on the subject, hit me up.
    ardordude at hotmail

    I can put you in touch with my girlfriend if you’d rather have a feminine perspective on the subject.

    Anyway, my rambling’s done!

    Nice post, keep your mind open!!!

  5. Jane Ria

    Have you considered that maybe if she’s right on this thing that she is right on a lot more things? Feminism has told you that Gamergate is evil, everyone hates women and that Christina is a terrible MRA bigot.

    But you found 1 of those 3 wasn’t true. Doesn’t that make you want to reflect on the other 2? Follow Christina’s sources, read from them, compare the data presented with the data feminists are giving you.

    Remember there is a billion dollar industry built around feminism. It was willing to ban a woman saying men needed help from taking part. Do you think it would be above lying to you in other areas such as the MRA? I mean if I was trying to get rich through feminism, would I say “yes, lets discuss men’s issues with these people” or would I say “No, I’m the one in charge of equality, by opposing me you’re a hate group. I’ll sit on this table alone thank you very much”. Warren Farrel is the only man to ever serve on the NOW board, and when he turned away from feminism he lost everything, was labeled a bigot and quickly blacklisted. How do you go from being the biggest man in feminism to a bigot over night by saying “boys need help” if feminists are for gender equality?

    I’m not saying go jump on board with the MRA or read AVFM or whatever else. All I’m saying is you have a chance to self reflect on your sacred cows right now. If you’re looking to help gender equality, you need to reflect on what you believe constantly, because small changes can tip the entire scale in another direction. You saw that men at the bottom are treated poorly, the majority of men are at the bottom. So in your past feminism you have been working against 99% of men because of 1% of them. If you’re still misguided in the same way, wouldn’t you be causing more harm to gender equality rather than less?

  6. Mark Drury

    Thanks for this, it’s sad to think that these ‘gender wars’ have become so polarised, most men don’t hate women and most women don’t hate men, unfortunately those that shout loudest are the ones that should be ignored, they are the radicals that create the news stories.
    CHS has a real passion for equality, she has taken the time to research the detrimental effects that radical and sometimes mainstream feminism has had on men and boys, well intentioned actions have had unintended consequences. Boys are made to feel guilty simply because of their birth, that’s not really fair is it? Schools have changed rightly because girls were biased against, unfortunately it has gone the other way now, and boys are falling behind, and all too quickly.

  7. Adin

    I think you may be exiled for these thoughts…from what I have seen the modern feminist movement is nothing but misandry which only tolerate pathetically submissive eternally kneeling men as if they are in the presence of a god. Your familiars seem to hate individual thought as much as they love to scream mysoginy, rape and patriarchy.

    I want to make a few points and hope you will read this;
    the only people that hate women are religious zealots who want to impose their books rules to make women property like they are in many Islamic countries.

    Gamer gate members do not hate women(please watch Christina hoff summers videos on gamer gate.) gamer gate is a consumer revolt against corruption in media and sadly, Anita sarkeesian is a symptom of the corruption

    People do not hate women however feminists hate men with a vile zeal only rivalled by isis’s hate for everyone else. In response to modern feminist hate people return the same hate to those modern feminists(not to all women!!)

    It is my firm belief that if the modern feminists got complete control of any country they would commit a genocide worse than hitler, they would enslave all men with the same cruelty the pre civil war blacks were subject to with genocide in hot persuit, this is why I personally despise the modern feminist movement. I hope you read this far without the hate goggles turning you away

    P.s. Campus rape and wage gaps are myth(looking at someone is not forces PIV and wage stats do not take into account men in higher responsibility positions and increased hours worked. It is ILLEGAL for men to be paid more than women)

    Thank you for your time and I hope you will see your fellow male relatives, friends and colleges as who they are, not as not as savage rapists in future.

  8. keithist

    Awesome! So rad of you to acknowledge how genuine Sommers is and we can’t all agree on every little detail, especially when there are merely theories and individualistic perceptions involved. Tweeting your article! Xoxoxo

  9. Mark Neil

    ” And some in that audience, like gamer gate people, are vile and horrible people”

    You mean,vile and horrible people like CHS was before you actually listened? Before you failed to snuff out your empathy with righteous indignation (the fact you seem proud of doing this is a little unsettling)? Perhapsyou should consider empathizing with people more, and practicing less righteous indignation.

  10. Alex Cockell

    Most of that “hatred” is blowback from powerless men – it was also observed over on AskWomen.

    Most of the guys in the MHRM and MGTOW are hit by splash damage against “Chad Thundercock”, a Jock Bully stereotype.

    reddit PPD is a good area to watch as is feMRADebates

  11. Steersman

    “East is east, and West is west. And never the twain shall meet, until two strong (wo)men meet face to face”. So to speak. 🙂

    But you’re to be commended for exhibiting a willingness to consider the other side of the coin, for exhibiting some commitment to “honest engagement”. Don’t know if you’ve seen the SMBC cartoon on Internet Fighting, but it argues that, on any side of any given issue, there is some 20% assholes and some 80% honest and fair people. And that the prospect for progress would be greatly enhanced if we – at least that 80% of us – were to acknowledge that “honest people may disagree”, and make some efforts to repudiate or challenge those assholes within our own camps.

  12. Sy Beck

    Thank you for sharing your honest thoughts with us. Honest in the sense that you expressed some of the biased emotions we all have when dealing with counter arguments for causes that we care deeply about. More importantly for the intellectual honesty of acknowledging that an opponent may have some very valid points which are overlooked or ignored in the grand arc of an ideology or belief that you or anyone holds dear.
    These are issues that I have struggled with myself in challenging many 3rd Wave feminists proclamations, in that the noise and accusations are drowning out and diluting some core issues and beliefs that should be common between all genders and egalitarians.
    I somewhat fear the backlash that your honesty may incur given past precedents of this nature, but you are to be applauded for your integrity and honesty and intellectual openness to opposing ideas. You are a credit to women, liberalism, egalitarianism and intellectualism.

  13. Gary

    I really don’t see what the grounds for disliking her in the first place are?
    She’s clearly a very nice woman who puts forward her positions in calm and clear arguments and evidence.
    I think it says a lot more about modern feminism, which at this point is indistinguishable from a religion, than it does about her, that you think disliking people for disagreeing with you is a healthy attitude.

  14. Gary

    You hated Christina Hoff Sommers until you actually listened and gave her position some unbiased thought.

    I have a feeling you’ll have the same experience if you listen to gamer gate people. You really think they’re vile and horrible? If so, honestly, you haven’t listened to them.

  15. EH

    I do not know you. This is all I’ve read of yours. And still, I’d like to thank you for this, and let you know that I appreciate it – as well, to tell you a bit of my story, if you’re willing to lend me the time.

    My first encounter with modern feminism occurred entirely without my knowledge. I was in college and majoring in Criminal Justice. I wanted to be a public defender – I valued due process of law and was frightened by what I saw as Republican contempt for it in the wake of 9/11. I wanted to defend people on the bottom rung of society from overzealous authoritarians that firmly believed in “guilty until proven innocent.” I wanted to do these things, because I wished someone had been there to do that for me.

    I grew up phenomenally poor – homeless at 13, parents in prison, stealing food and clean water, working manual labor under the table and doing meth and oxy in order to keep going every day. I was stabbed, robbed at gunpoint, beaten by police – my everyday existence was one of pain and fear, but hard work and determination pulled me out of it. I had become used to a right-wing establishment that held contempt for the poor, disdained jurisprudence, and hated me for having the audacity to not be born one of them.

    So, when I was at college and began hearing about a movement to lower the standard of proof in rape cases, I assumed it was coming from the right. After all, rape is the one violent crime more likely to affect a rich white woman than a poor black man, of course they want special consideration. I heard moral panic about something called a “rape culture,” and I had memories of Pam Lychner – the upper class white woman who ignited an inferno of suburban pearl-clutching and an insistence that politicians “get tough on crime” (which, always, necessarily, means getting lax on due process).

    Perhaps a year went by before I realized that these people were not, in fact, conservatives, but rather “liberals” (they do not deserve the term, as they have forsaken liberal values) espousing what were once conservative talking points. I tried to explain to them that, just as how the Patriot Act’s relaxed provisions toward due process were increasingly being misused and applied toward drug crimes, which disproportionately affected minorities, so too would a relaxed standard of proof for rape be misused to abuse minorities and the poor.

    It didn’t matter. Apparently, I and Atticus Finch were both rape apologists.

    I tried to ignore these people, and did so successfully until about a year and a half ago. I rationalized that they were merely a vocal minority of misguided and powerless kooks, like many others before them. But since then, they have started gaining power, and it truly, deeply frightens me. It frightens me because, historically, calls for regression, restriction, and the abandonment of liberal values like due process of law, freedom of speech, and concern for the poor were the domain of the older generation – it was the young people who fought against them. And yet now it was the young people, the people who will shape the world to come, calling for these things. It scares me, as the left has lost its liberalism, and now there remains no major mainstream political voice that advocates for the poor. Instead, they try to reframe class issues as race or gender issues in an attempt to barter out from under the guillotine. I see them chant “black lives matter,” and I, a white man who walks with a cane and can’t breathe through his nose because of a beating from police, try to explain that police abuse the poor, and blacks are disproportionately represented because they are disproportionately poor, and am shouted down by people who can afford their own private security.

    I saw the world go mad with hate and fear after 9/11, and I gave up hope on much of the news media. I watched them peddle easily disproven lies that lead to countless innocent deaths, without remorse or even the lip-service of an apology once the dust had settled. Few outlets retained my trust – NPR, the BBC, Al-Jazeera, and later VICE.

    In August 2014, huge swathes of the internet lit up in censorship, franticly shutting down any discussion of a particular topic. It was natural of my inquisitive nature to try and learn what it was that so many did not want me to hear.

    What I found was a blog post – 15,000 words or so – that detailed domestic abuse involving a game developer named Zoe Quinn. I read about how the abuser used their victim’s anxiety disorder to convince the victim that they were losing their grip on reality when the victim caught the abuser in one of their many lies. I read how the abuser would threaten suicide in attempts to control their victim. I read how the abuser would regularly blame their victim for the abuser’s abusive behavior. I read how the abuser had many close friends in video game journalism.

    And then I read the articles about this incident. I saw words like “jilted ex-boyfriend” used to refer to a survivor of domestic abuse. I saw how everyone involved in the first wave of articles on the subject had some sort of personal or financial interest in this story not being made public.

    A few months later, I read an email leak between several of these journalists – a leak in which they explicitly discussed playing up the angle of the abuser being a victim of harassment and demanding that no one cover any other aspect. I read how they explicitly hoped that covering the story in this way would financially benefit the abuser. I read them describe “[the victim]’s pissy little feelings.”

    And then I saw the news media, in lock-step, just like they did but Iraq and al-Qaeda, just like they did about yellowcake uranium, just like they did about “aluminum tubes,” just like when “the smoking gun could be a mushroom cloud,” declare anyone who criticized the abuse, or the relationship between the press and the abuser, or any ethical malfeasance by members of the press at all, to be misogynistic terrorists “worse than ISIS.” I watched as they attributed anonymous, unsigned comments by the random shitheels that exist everywhere on the internet to the people asking why, for instance, the Guardian was having someone involved in a controversy direct their coverage about that controversy.

    I’m watching the rich and privileged exercise their power to get away with whatever they want AGAIN, and instead of calling me un-American or a terrorist-sympathizer this time, now I’m a racist, a misogynist, a rape-apologist – when nothing I’ve said has changed. Due process of law is paramount. Freedom of speech is sacrosanct. The press have an inappropriate relationship with their subjects.

    The teams have switched playbooks, but from down here at the bottom, it still looks like the same old shit to me.

    • Tickletock

      EH, I found your story incredibly moving and your reasoning very close to my own views, particularly in relation to Mr. Gjoni. I’ve been lucky not to have the hard life you’ve had but perhaps it is the once-liberal-now-not-sure-what-to-call-myself lawyer in both of us that took us down the same path. Cathy, thank you for your article. I hope your experience leads others to setting aside pre-judgement and a disqualifying attitude to the opinions of those with whom they disagree more frequently.

  16. Gary

    Men and women ARE DIFFERENT and that’s okay.

    Instead of fighting for equality we should be recognizing these differences and improve the lives of BOTH sexes.

  17. BinaryExplosion

    Another GamerGater here… although I certainly didn’t intend to take that moniker when I started following the hashtag. I came at it expecting to side with the feminist / progressive side and mostly followed them to start with, but it wasn’t long before I found myself swaying the other way.

    A year later and I was somewhat nervously attending a GamerGate meet up in Birmingham, UK with 100+ others in attendance and…. they were all lovely. And diverse. So very diverse!

    Over the course of the meetup I spoke to people who were:

    Men
    Women
    Straight
    Gay
    Trans
    White
    Black
    Brown
    Asian
    English
    Scottish
    Welsh
    Irish
    German
    Dutch
    American
    Atheists
    Christians
    A Muslim in a french maid’s outfit
    A brony in a leather t-shirt
    Probably other irrelevant labels I’m forgetting.

    In various combinations. The very concept that the core of GG is a bunch of straight, white males who want to keep women and minorities out of gaming is comical once you’ve spent a day hanging out with a hundred of them. Interestingly, I noticed the diversity a lot more than I would have otherwise done because of the narrative. I never normally bother with labelling people like that, so the anti-gg feminists have, in some small way, made me more sexist and racist than I naturally am 😉

    So yeah, I’d commend you for thinking for yourself and adopting an open mind. If you want to extend that to GamerGate people you’ll probably find that they also have a lot to offer.

  18. Venkata

    You mention that you receive horrible comments from men regarding your feminist stance. I am curious about that, as I know many women who also oppose modern feminist ideologies. I am curious if you truly only have men posting against you, or you also have women. Ultimately, my point is that not all men are “horrible” as you might allude, and certainly not all women are feminists. Even among the feminists, only some are radical.

    But as it comes to the term “feminism” – while many try to bring up the definition “as equality for all” — pop culture or an urban dictionary does not see it that, hence the dissent from both men and women, and refusal by many women to “accept the label”. Whatever discrimination you have truly felt, is indeed unfortunate, but we see today is lot is felt “psychosomatic” – as a result of exaggerated stats, false data, and sometimes simple lies. Further to that, I have pointed out some of the lies, such as those made in pink tax or the wage gap, exposing undeniable black and white facts – (like Liz Plank said the men and women’s ingredients were identical, yet the labels show less than a 50% match), and the counter I get is “It’s ok to lie in this case, to draw attention to the underlying issue that women are oppressed”. This is where my mind just blows – in that feminists (some) feel like it is completely ok, to make up whatever, because they feel they are oppressed – even if what they are making up, has to do with quantifying or describing the oppression itself.

    I appreciate that you are beginning to see that both sides are oppressed – and that is the reality. The reason is, it’s a “vicious cycle”. It’s honestly in part, because we measure, and want to correct, perhaps in places where it need not be done. For example, we decide to measure, by statistics, the number of women software engineers. We find the % is less than men, and begin: “this is an absolute outrage, it’s 2015, why aren’t there more women…patriarchy..blah blah”. Ok, so fine, I’ll be liberal and say we need more women and maybe there is some intrinsic feeling of it being a boys club that deters women. So to produce more competent engineers – schools lower the admission requirements, just for women to Computer Science programs. What is the result – the quota system, now discriminates against men/boys, who have to be significantly more competent than female counterparts, just to get admission. Reality is, we spend so much focus on trying to get things 50-50, that are we perhaps losing sight that we might not really be making anyone happier, and might just be adding to oppression on both sides? The question I ask is, are/were there ever really girls who cared about software, but felt deterred? Is it the role of random women on the internet, to inject their own philosophy of 50-50, and force it on all the professions — or would this decision, be better off, left in the hands of leaders of that profession itself? And before you assume, I am being slanted here – the opposite is likely true for Nursing as well. Some assert it’s easier for men to get into Nursing school. Does the term equality mean Equal Representation, or does it just mean equal opportunity? I am not saying we have achieved the latter, but it is important to understand the problem, if you want to solve it.

  19. Hello,

    I describe myself as an egalitarian anti-feminist. I imagine that you probably are able to understand why I could possibly say this – as opposed to many feminists who would simply think I just said something akin to “I’m against racism, but I’m not an anti-racist”.

    Anyhow, I agreed w/ some of the things you said and disagreed w/ others. But I wanted to at tip my hat to you for your efforts to see the other side, to recognize the problems within feminism, and the make a genuine effort at balance. As I said, there are several things that I disagree w/ you on. But I appreciate your openness, good faith and willingness to to commend and criticize elements from both sides.

  20. Corlyss

    You might try not reacting to so much with canned “isms” critiques. People are not symbols. They are people. Frames are what get one into trouble.

  21. Terry

    Thank you and respect to you for having the courage to acknowledge your change of view and the intelligence to allow your thoughts to control your instincts. This really is a class issue, not a gender issue and if more people had your ability to think, then we would have a far more united aproach to issues of inequality rather than the divisive approach promulgated by almost all media.

  22. UnicycleBloke

    Have you read any of Sommer’s books? I can definitely recommend Who Stole Feminism. It is very clear from the outset that she is not attacking the women’s movement for greater equality, but rather the ideologically motivated extremists who have hijacked that movement, and whose actions actually undermine it. She uses logic and reason throughout, and has clearly done her research.

    Regarding the misunderstandings about the plight of men at the bottom, you might want to give Warren Farrell’s Myth of Male Power a go. No doubt a lot of feminists hate him, but I doubt they have done him the courtesy of actually finding out what he has to say.

  23. Shinkada

    Nice post, but I can’t help but critique the whole ‘I don’t like humanism’ thing. It may just be semantics but it’s an important semantic. How would you feel if a bunch of men calling themselves masculists said that their movement is what would end discrimination against you, then chewed you out every time you called yourself a feminist because ‘that isn’t real, that’s dumb, masculism is true equality’?

    You probably wouldn’t like it much. The idea of someone wielding a banner that is also a significant source of your discrimination claiming they want to rescue you while burning your own banner is eye-roll-inducing at best and insulting at worst. That’s why people are trying to push for humanism. It’s gender neutral, it doesn’t exclude anyone or have shadowed ties to hate-speech, it’s simply a term for anyone who thinks humanity comes before all else.

  24. Mike

    Why does humanism or any other joint movement need to be focused on gender? Many feminists make arguments like, “Why be an MRA/humanist/egalitarian when feminism helps men too!?” but they never provide any reasoning aside from that.

    Feminism is essentially a WRA movement with an end game of equality, and the plight of men in modern feminism is essentially ignored, minimized, or attributed to issues of the “patriarchy”. Since feminism is already “fighting the patriarchy”, men just need to be patient and let feminism take care of it while supporting them in any arbitrary goal they have.

    Some of those goals are fighting cyberviolence against women and girls, which isn’t any different than the trash talking faced by men and boys since the inception of the Internet (see your average Call of Duty, League of Legends, DotA2, etc match where you have to depend on random people on the Internet for success), fighting against the 23% wage gap, which exists as an overall average in the census and not a comparison of people with similar job, experience, responsibilities, hours worked etc.

    When some people hear that someone is a feminist, Anita Sarkeesian, Brianna Wu, Zoe Quinn, Laci Green, etc come to mind. They are essentially known outside the feminist community for twisting facts/statistics, misrepresenting issues, and painting good people with legitimate concerns (gamergaters and critics being the best examples) as evil and hateful.

    When you try to have a discussion with many feminists and share evidence contrary to their own opinion they generally either ignore it, tell you you’re wrong, tell you the source is bad without looking at the information itself, or block you without providing any real rebuttal. Recently I tried to have such a discussion and was called ignorant, told to go look it up myself (I had already researched BOTH sides and was presenting my conclusions), and in the end was told that I would have to either pay her to “tutor” me or shut up. She said she would only treat me as an equal if I met her for an academic debate, which I’m confused how that has anything to do with having a discussion and being civil. Not once did I insult her or her position, but was constantly called stupid, ignorant, deluded, etc by her and other feminists that saw the discussion.

    Gamergaters aren’t sexist, misogynist, pigs fighting against and harassing women, they’re just gamers tired of the corruption and bullshit in gaming who began coming together. Part of the problem with saying gamergate is about harassment/misogyny is there is no official members list and people can create many social media accounts. Trolls do what they do best, whatever will cause the biggest outrage. They can harass feminists pretending to be part of gamergate, which leads to feminists lashing back at gamergate, which results in gamergaters lashing back at feminists in an endless cycle. People who are actually misogynist but identify with the goals of gamergaters end up having their own words and actions associated with the movement.

    Me personally, I don’t care one way or the other about women in gaming. If they wanna play, cool. If they don’t wanna play, cool. The gender of the protagonist is also a non-issue, I own every game of the tomb raider series and spent ungodly amounts of time playing them as a kid. I was 10 years old when the first one came out. The “video game misogyny” fight is just an evolution of the “video game violence” fight, which never had ground to stand on. I grew up playing games like Doom, Quake, Mortal Kombat, etc just like so many other people my age yet the vast majority of us have managed to not be serial killers like the fight against video games used to insist would happen. To go even farther I was heavily abused after my dad died when I was 11, I joined the Army at 18 and spent 15 months getting blown up by rockets and mortars. Outside of some depression and anxiety with a little PTSD, I came out of it all in one piece and treat EVERYONE with respect.

    At this point I feel like I’m starting to ramble a bit, so I’m just gonna stop there lol.

  25. Clay

    I liked this article. I have been a fan of CHS for a long time. My only beef is that she does focus on men a lot…which initially I thought was disingenuous. But, she was a strong supporter of the 2nd and much needed wave of Feminism – so I respect her roots.
    I haven’t liked the word Feminism for a long time because it doesn’t really seem like it’s truly about equality – just the promotion and apology of women and the vilification of being male.
    She is a strong woman, wants women to be strong and equal in an environment of equality while recognizing there are differences between men and women which should be seen as genders complimenting each other versus vilifying any gender.

  26. Tan

    Speaking from personal experience, I think it takes a very great amount of bravery to properly address (both internally and externally on your web platform) the cognitive dissonance on such a high level that you have faced. I respect your courage in this article. Cheers!

    A Feminist Fan of Hoff Sommers

  27. Jess

    I’m not really a GGer, but I have watched some videos and read some articles by people who identify with the movement and I honestly don’t think they’re all horrible people.

    Personally I respect Sommers and the hope she brings to men who don’t feel as though feminism has their best interests at heart. But I come from a place where I prefer to see both men and women as having problems and thus don’t like that alot of her arguments downplay this and make it seem asthough one side has it worse than the other.

    I don’t think she’s a misogynist but I do think she has values that roughly coincide with a behind the times Kindly Albeit Slightly Backwards Grandmother. And like a slightly backwards grandmother I sometimes get embarassed on her behalf.

    I’m glad to see an article by a feminist that has a more balanced perspective. Lately I’ve been too embarassed to read or watch feminist stuff for much the same reason I get embarassed when I watch Sommers.

    It’s always so one-sided. But while it sounds like you are usually focused on one-side yourself or in one “world” as you call it. The fact that you acknowledged another world makes me hopeful that the pendulumn is finally swinging back and this bloody VS Zeitgeist I’ve been watching unfold for the past four years is finally going to settle down.

    And I’m not saying you or Sommers, feminism or gamergate have to give up on your “worlds” for that to happen either. But you do have to acknowledge that the other “world” isn’t inherently out to get you. Which is something I’ve noticed everyone has been having trouble with these past few years.

    Thank god its finally settling back down.

  28. Kristie

    I am a feminist and I find Sommers thoughtful and rational, though occasionally problematic in her philosophy. What strikes me in these comments is the preconceptions the gamergaters responding here have about feminism (some use it like its a team name or dirty word) and the use of language like “opponent”. This is not a game. The issues feminism is addressing are real. Like you said, sexism hurts everyone. I would ask them to keep an open mind. It’s not a completion for who is more oppressed. Intersectionality is an important concept for everyone to understand.

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