Book Review

Who Stole Feminism: How Women Have Betrayed Women

EW's GRADE
A-

Details Writer: Christina Hoff Sommers; Genre: Women's Studies

Christina Hoff Sommers (Simon & Schuster, $23) Don't be fooled by the title, Who Stole Feminism: How Women Have Betrayed Women. This is not a mystery. It is, rather, a concise, clearheaded call to rationality and moderation-a breath of cool air in what has become the overheated genre of books known as ''Women's Studies.'' Christina Hoff Sommers, an associate professor of philosophy at Clark University, has systematically set about to demythologize the claims of what she calls the ''gender feminists''-i.e., those women (Naomi Wolf, Susan Faludi, Patricia Ireland, Catharine MacKinnon, and Gloria Steinem) who believe not that women should get equal treatment, but that women should get special treatment. It's not that Sommers believes women should just shut up and sit down, it's that she believes that by antagonizing and intimidating most men, and employing questionable studies as proof, the gender feminists are doing more harm to their cause than good. Whether or not you ultimately agree with Sommers' conclusions, this is a very readable, well-reasoned representation of today's moderate feminist — a voice that, despite its inherent moderate volume, deserves to be heard. A-

Originally posted Jun 17, 1994 Published in issue #227 Jun 17, 1994 Order article reprints