Has feminism gone too far? — with Christina Hoff Sommers and Camille Paglia (1994) | THINK TANK

Has feminism gone too far? — with Christina Hoff Sommers and Camille Paglia (1994) | THINK TANK

Ben Wattenberg: Hello, I’m Ben Wattenberg. There are many feminists and scholars who
contend that America is still a patriarchal place where women are victims and adversaries
of men. We will hear that point of view in a future
program. But for the next half-hour we will hear a
different idea from two prominent and controversial feminists: Camille Paglia and Christina Sommers. The topic before this house: Has feminism
gone too far? This week on “Think Tank.” Joining us on this special edition of “Think
Tank” are two authors who have made themselves unpopular with much of the modern feminist
movement. Camille Paglia is professor of humanities
at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and bestselling author most recently of “Vamps
and Tramps.” Her criticisms of modern feminism caused one
author to refer to her as the spokeswoman for the anti-feminist backlash. Our other guest, Christina Sommers, is an
associate professor of philosophy at Clark University. In her recent book, “Who Stole Feminism,”
she accuses activist women of betraying the women’s movement. She wrote the book, she says, because she
is a feminist who does not like what feminism has become. Christina Sommers, what has feminism become? Christina Hoff Sommers: The orthodox feminists
are so carried away with victimology, with a rhetoric of male-bashing, that it’s full
of female chauvinists, if you will. Also, women are quite eager to censor, to
silence. And what concerns me most as a philosopher
is it’s become very anti-intellectual, and I think it poses a serious risk to young women
in the universities. Women’s studies classes are increasingly
a kind of initiation into the most radical wing, the most intolerant wing, of the feminist
movement. And I consider myself a whistle-blower. I’m from inside the campus. I teach philosophy. I’ve seen what’s been going on. Ben Wattenberg: Camille, what has feminism
become? Camille Paglia: Well, I have been an ardent
feminist since the rebirth of the current feminist movement. I’m on the record as being — as rebelling
against my gender role, as being an open lesbian and so on. In the early 1960s, I was researching Amelia
Earhart, who for me symbolized the great period of feminism of the ’20s and ’30s just
after women won the right to vote. When this phase of feminism kicked back in
the late ‘60s, it was very positive at first. Women drew the line against men and demanded
equal rights. I am an equal opportunity feminist. But very soon it degenerated into a kind of
totalitarian groupthink that we are only now rectifying 20 years later. Ben Wattenberg: Is this the distinction between
equity feminism and gender feminism? Is that what we’re talking about? Christina Hoff Sommers: That’s right. Yes. Ben Wattenberg: Could you sort of explain
that so that we get our terms right? Christina Hoff Sommers: An equity feminist
— and Camille and I both are equity feminists — is you want for women what you want for
everyone: fair treatment, no discrimination. A gender feminist, on the other hand, is someone
like the current leaders in the feminist movement: Patricia Ireland and Gloria Steinem and Susan
Faludi and Eleanor Smeal. They believe that women are trapped in what
they call a sex-gender system, a patriarchal hegemony; that contemporary American women
are in the thrall to men, to male culture. And it’s so silly. It has no basis in American reality. No women have ever had more opportunities,
more freedom, and more equality than contemporary American women. And at that moment the movement becomes more
bitter and more angry. Why are they so angry? Camille Paglia: Mmm-hmm. This is correct. In other words, I think that the current feminist
movement has taken credit for a lot of the enormous changes in women’s lives that my
generation of the ’60s wrought. There were women in the mid-’60s when I
was in college who did not go on to become feminists. They were baudy and feisty and robust. Barbra Streisand is a kind of example of a
kind of prefeminist woman that changed the modern world and so on. Now, I think that again what we need to do
now is to get rid of the totalitarians, get rid of the Kremlin mentality — Ben Wattenberg: Now, hang on, when you say
— Camille Paglia: Wait — and here are the
aims of my program. We’ve got to get back to a pro-art, all
right, pro-beauty, pro-men kind of feminism. And — Christina Hoff Sommers: I think she’s right
to call it a kind of totalitarianism. Many young women on campuses combine two very
dangerous things: moral fervor and misinformation. On the campuses they’re fed a kind of catechism
of oppression. They’re taught “one in four of you have
been victims of rape or attempted rape; you’re earning 59 cents on the dollar; you’re suffering
a massive loss of self-esteem; that you’re battered especially on Super Bowl Sunday.” All of these things are myths, grotesque exaggerations. Ben Wattenberg: Well, why don’t you go through
some of those myths with some specificity? Christina Hoff Sommers: Well, for example,
a few years ago feminist activists held a news conference and announced that on Super
Bowl Sunday battery against women increases 40 percent. And, in fact, NBC was moved to use a public
service announcement to, you know, encourage men “remain calm during the game.” Well — Ben Wattenberg: How can you remain calm during
the Super Bowl? [Laughter.] Christina Hoff Sommers: Well, they might explode
like mad linemen and attack their wives and so forth. The New York Times began to refer to it as
the “day of dread.” One reporter, Ken Ringle at The Washington
Post, did something very unusual in this roiling sea of media credulity: He checked the facts
— and within a few hours discovered that it was a hoax. No such research, no — there’s no data
about a 40 percent increase. And this is just one of so many myths. You’ll hear — Ben Wattenberg: Give me some others. Christina Hoff Sommers: According to the March
of Dimes, battery is the number — the leading cause of birth defects. Patricia Ireland repeats this. It was in Time magazine. It was in newspapers across the country. I called the March of Dimes, and they said,
“We’ve never seen this research before.” This is preposterous. There’s no such research. And yet this is being taught to young women
in the colleges. They’re basically learning that they live
in a kind of violent — almost a Bosnian rape camp. Now, naturally, the more sensitive young women
— Ben Wattenberg: What about rape? Is that exaggerated by the modern feminists? Christina Hoff Sommers: Completely. This idea of one in four girls victims of
rape or attempted rape? That’s preposterous! And there’s also a kind of gentrification
of rape. You’re much more likely to be a victim of
rape or attempted rape if you’re in a high-crime neighborhood. The chances of being raped at Princeton are
remote. Katie Roiphe talked about being at Princeton. She said she was more afraid — she would
walk across a dark golf course and was more afraid of being attacked by wild geese than
by a rapist. And yet the young women at Princeton have
more programs and whistles are given out and blue lights. There’s more services to protect these young
women from rape than for women in, you know, downtown Newark. Ben Wattenberg: Where do you come out on this? Camille Paglia: Well, one of the things that
got me pilloried from coast to coast was when I wrote a piece on date rape for Newsday in
January of 1991. It got picked up by the wire services, and
the torrent of abuse that poured in. I want women to fend for themselves. That essay that I wrote on rape begins with
the line “Rape is an outrage that cannot be tolerated in civilized society.” I absolutely abhor this broadening of the
idea of rape, which is an atrocity, to those things that go wrong on a date — acquaintances,
you know, little things, miscommunications — on pampered elite college campuses. Christina Hoff Sommers: I interviewed a young
women at the University of Pennsylvania who came in in a short skirt, and she was in the
Women’s Center. And I think she thought I was one of the sisterhood. And she said, “Oh, I just suffered a mini-rape.” And I said, “What happened?” And she said, “A boy walked by me and said,
‘Nice legs.’” You know? And that — and this young woman considers
this a form of rape! Camille Paglia: That’s right. Ben Wattenberg: What role in the development
of this kind of thought that the idea of sexual harassment and whole Anita Hill thing have? Was that sort of a — Camille Paglia: That’s fairly recent, actually. It was in the late ’80s that started. I mean, that was a late phase. I think probably the backlash against the
excesses of sexual harassment have — you know, have really finally weakened the hold
of PC. I believe, for example, in moderate sexual
harassment guidelines. I lobbied for their adoption at my university
in 1986. But I put into my proposal a strict penalty
for false accusation. All right? I don’t like the situation where the word
of any woman is weighed above the testimony of any man. And I was the only leading feminist that went
out against Anita Hill. I think that that whole case was pile of crap. Ben Wattenberg: Why? Camille Paglia: Well, I think it was absurd. First of all, again, totalitarian regime,
okay, is where 10 years after the fact you’re nominated now for a top position in your country
and you are being asked to reconstruct lunch conversations that you had with someone who
never uttered a peep. Okay? This is to Anita Hill: “All right, when
he started to talk again about this pornographic films at lunch in the government cafeteria,
what did you do?” “I tried to change the subject.” Excuse me! I mean, that is ridiculous. I mean, so many of these cases — Christina Hoff Sommers: He never touched her. Camille Paglia: He never touched her. Okay? That was such a trumped-up case by the feminist
establishment. Ben Wattenberg: Do you sign onto that? Christina Hoff Sommers: Well, I’ve changed. I mean, initially I was just carried away
with the media and thought, “Oh, Saint Anita.” And later I thought about it and actually
learned from some experts on sexual harassment that her behavior was completely untypical. She did not act — the career lechers. Usually a woman is repulsed and will not follow
him from place to place, and usually there are many women who will come forward who have
had the same experience. These things were not true in his case. It now seems to me quite likely that he was
innocent of these charges. Camille Paglia: Completely innocent. And I must say, as a teacher of 23 years,
if someone offends you by speech, we must train women to defend themselves by speech. You cannot be always running to tribunals. Okay? Running to parent figures, authority figures
after the fact because you want to preserve your perfect, decorous, middle-class persona. Ben Wattenberg: This is Catherine MacKinnon,
who says speech is rape? Camille Paglia: Yes, I’m on the opposite
wing. Catherine McKinnon is the anti-porn wing of
feminism. I am on the radically pro-porn wing. I’m more radical than Christina. I — Ben Wattenberg: Are you pro-pornography? Christina Hoff Sommers: For adults. I’m trying to be very careful about it for
— you know, I feel in our society — for children. But I’m horrified at the puritanism and
the sex phobia of feminism. How did that happen? I mean, feminism — it used to be fun to
be a feminist, and it used to have a lot of — it attracted all sorts of lively women. Now you ask a group of young women on the
college campus, “How many of you are feminists?” Very few will raise their hands because young
women don’t want to be associated with it anymore because they know it means male-bashing,
it means being a victim, and it means being bitter and angry. And young women are not naturally bitter and
angry. Camille Paglia: We had a case at Penn State
where an English instructor who was assigned to teach in an arts building where there had
been a print of Goya’s “Naked Maja,” a great classic artwork, on the wall for 40
years. All right? She demanded it be taken down because she
felt sexually harassed by it, because the students in the classroom were looking at
it instead of her. Okay? Now, this is ridiculous. This is part of the puritanism of our culture. I want a kind of feminism that is pro-beauty,
pro-sensuality. Okay? That is not embarrassed and upset by a spectacle
of the beauty of the human body! Ben Wattenberg: What about this argument that
came up recently that girls in elementary and high school are neglected by their teachers? Is that — have either of you — Camille Paglia: A bunch of crap. Christina Hoff Sommers: It’s a hoax. Camille Paglia: A bunch of crap. Christina Hoff Sommers: I mean, it’s all
— it’s really an incredible case of just junk science. The American Association of University Women
hastily threw together a survey of 3,000 children and asked them about their sense of well-being
and their self-esteem, and they never published it. It’s not — it hasn’t been replicated
by scholars. Adolescents don’t see significant differences
— the majority don’t see significant differences — between levels of self-esteem between
young men and young women. Yet the AAUW said it was true. It’s an advocacy group. Their membership was drying up. They were losing, you know, several thousand
members a year. They needed an issue. They brought in a new group, and they got
on the gender-bias bandwagon and basically struck gold. They now — you can call an 800-number. They have short-changing girls mugs and T-shirts. [Laughter.] And they were so positively reviewed in the
media that they can use — Camille Paglia: Oh, the media was utterly
credulous. I couldn’t believe it when MacNeil/Lehrer
totally — they fell for it like suckers that night. Christina Hoff Sommers: Well, they would ask
young men, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” And boys would say things like rock star or
sports star. And girls would say lawyer and doctor. So they declared a glamor gap and said that
there’s a glamor gap, that girls don’t dream their dreams. Well, most children don’t have the talent
to be rock stars. The sensible ones know this. So the way I would interpret those findings
is that girls mature earlier and boys suffer a reality gap. Camille Paglia: Right, right. Christina Hoff Sommers: But this was the kind
of question that was asked. Yet not one journalist that I’m aware of
— except The Sacramento Bee, because they wrote to me and said, “We question this”
— they didn’t do what Ken Ringle did at The Washington Post. They didn’t send away for the data. They relied on the glossy brochures. Ben Wattenberg: Let me — Camille Paglia: And the question of attention
in the classroom, too. As experienced teachers, okay, this idea that
you measure, okay, how much attention the teacher is paying to the boys and girls to
determine how much that the student is valued, and it was discovered that the teacher was
making more remarks to the boys. You’re keeping them in line! Okay? The boys you have to say, “Shut up, be quiet! Do this thing. Are you doing your homework?” Like this. The girls, all right, they do their homework. They’re very mature. And girls at that age are rather sensitive. And I as a teacher am very aware — as a
teacher of freshmen, all right — that the girls are sitting there pleading with you
with their eyes, “Don’t embarrass me in front of the entire class.” Okay? I’m very aware that I seem to be talking
often to the boys. But that is just because they’re so — their
egos are completely — I mean, they’re so un-conflicted. Okay? They love attention. They’re like yapping puppies. You know what I mean? They don’t care about making fools of themselves
once they start. Ben Wattenberg: The boys? Camille Paglia: The boys make fools of themselves,
blah, blah, blah, blah! Okay? The most intelligent students hang back. All right? I was very silent in class, myself. Okay? And so I — and I like to just take notes. All right? Ben Wattenberg: That sounds like you’re
anti-male now. You’re saying, “Now I’m offended.” Camille Paglia: No, no! Christina Hoff Sommers: But they can be immature. Camille Paglia: The boys are immature. Christina Hoff Sommers: The AAUW would ask
children: “I’m good at a lot of things.” And you could say, all the time, some of the
time, usually, but you know — and a lot of little boys, the 11 to — would say, “All
the time, I’m good at everything all the time.” And girls, being a little more reflective,
will give a more nuanced answer. The AAUW counted everything except “always
true” meaning that they were suffering from a dangerous lack of self-esteem. They declared an American tragedy. American girls don’t believe in themselves. Camille Paglia: Right, and the girls are doing
better in school. Christina Hoff Sommers: Girls are getting
better grades. Camille Paglia: Right. Christina Hoff Sommers: More go to college. Camille Paglia: Right. Christina Hoff Sommers: More boys drop out. More boys are getting into drugs and alcohol. Ben Wattenberg: And most of the teachers are
women in any event — Christina Hoff Sommers: Yes. And to add to that, it’s supposed to be
unconscious — [Cross talk.] Ben Wattenberg: — a point you made, I guess,
in that. Christina Hoff Sommers: Yeah. Ben Wattenberg: The — what about the argument
— you hear less about it now, and perhaps the data has changed, but that women only
make 59 cents for every dollar that — Camille Paglia: First of all, what was omitted
from that is what kind of jobs are women gravitating toward? I mean, Warren Farrell, in his book, “The
Myth of Male Power,” has a lot of statistics that show men are taking the dangerous, dirty
jobs like roofing, okay, the kind of gritty things that pay more — commissioned sales
that are very unstable. Okay? It appears that a lot of women — where the
real biases occur, okay, those barriers must be removed. But this is an inadequate kind of a figure. It doesn’t allow for the fact that most
women, in fact, in my experience, too, like nice, clean, safe offices, nice predictable
hours, and so on. And they don’t want to, like, knock themselves
out in that kind of way. I mean, every time I pass — after reading
Warren Farrell’s book, every time I pass men doing that roofing tar, okay, breathing
those toxic fumes and so on, okay, I have a renewed respect for the kind of sacrifices
that men have made. Ben Wattenberg: That 59-cent number — Christina Hoff Sommers: It hasn’t been for
— Ben Wattenberg: — is now 71, but even that
was — Christina Hoff Sommers: It’s now 71 cents,
and that is not correct because you have to control for age, length of time in the workplace. And if you look at younger women now, the
age — the wage gap is closed. It’s now — when they have children, it’s
90 cents. But if they don’t have children, it’s
now closer to what — Camille Paglia: It would be outrageous if
people were doing exactly the same thing and being paid a different wage. Okay? But that is not at all the basis for this
figure. Ben Wattenberg: Legalized abortion has come
to be viewed as the central issue of the feminist movement. Is that an appropriate spot for it to be? That — Christina Hoff Sommers: It’s an important
issue. I believe in choice, but I think there’s
an obsession with feminists with that issue, which is — and it’s also very — it leaves
a lot of women out of the movement. There should be a place in women’s studies
— there should be a place in women’s scholarship for traditionally religious women. There are Christian — conservative Christian
women who are scholars, Orthodox Jewish women who are scholars, Islamic women who are scholars. Why don’t — why isn’t there any place
for them in women’s studies? Because there’s a litmus test — Camille Paglia: Yes. Christina Hoff Sommers: — and you have to
be pro-choice or you need not apply. Camille Paglia: I’m radically pro-choice,
unrestricted right to abortion. However, I have respect for the pro-life side,
and I am disgusted by the kind of rhetoric that I get. I support the abortion rights groups with
money and so on, but I cannot stand the kind of stuff that comes in my mailbox, right,
which stereotypes all pro-life people as being fanatics, misogynists, and so on, radical
and far, you know, right and so on. I mean, it is — Christina Hoff Sommers: It is so condescending
and so elitist. Camille Paglia: It’s condescending. It’s insulting. It’s elitist. It’s anti-intellectual. It’s a deformed — Christina Hoff Sommers: It’s very anti-intellectual. The arguments on abortion philosophically
— and I teach applied ethics — if you really understand the issues, you have to
have some questions, especially about second trimester abortions where you are quite likely
dealing with an individual. Ben Wattenberg: What is your view today? How would the average American woman, if we
could ever distill such a body, how does she view this new feminism? Christina Hoff Sommers: Well, the average
American women, first of all, is rather fond of men. Okay? She has a husband or a father or a brother
or — you know? So the male-bashing is out of control right
now. I mean — and if you look at a lot of the
statistics that I deconstruct in my book. You know, that men are responsible for birth
defects, that men — Naomi Wolff has a factoid she has since corrected, but she says 150,000
girls die every year starving themselves to death from anorexia. This was in Gloria Steinem’s book. It got into Ann Lander’s column. It’s in women’s studies textbooks. The correct figure, according to the Center
for Disease Control, is closer to 100 deaths a year, not 150,000. Camille Paglia: Three thousand times exaggerated
or something. Christina Hoff Sommers: It’s, you know — so
Naomi Wolff put it this way. She said young — it’s a holocaust against
women’s bodies. We’re being starved not by nature, but by
men. And — Camille Paglia: They want to blame the media
for anorexia, when in point of fact anorexia plagues white middle-class households. It is a response to something incestuous going
on within these nuclear families. Christina Hoff Sommers: Mainly upper-middle-class
— Camille Paglia: Yes, right. Christina Hoff Sommers: — overachieving
white girls. Camille Paglia: Yeah. Christina Hoff Sommers: And by the way, if
150,000 of these girls where dying, you would need — it would be — you would need to
have ambulances on hand at places where they gather like Wellesley College graduation and
like you do at major sporting events. [Laughter.] But why didn’t anyone — it’s funny,
but no one caught the error. Camille Paglia: No one caught it. The media was totally servile! Every word that came out of Gloria Steinem’s
mouth or Patricia Ireland’s mouth is treated as gospel truth. For 20 years the major media, when they want
“what is the women’s view?” they turn to NOW. Okay? NOW does not speak for American women. It does not speak even for all feminists. Ben Wattenberg: NOW is the National Organization
— Camille Paglia: National Organization for
Women, which — Ben Wattenberg: National Organization for
Women. Camille Paglia: — for Women, which Betty
Friedan founded, but which soon expelled even her. Okay? They’ve been taken over by a certain kind
of ideology. All right? I’m in constant war with them as a dissident
feminist and so on, and — you know, and it’s taken me a long time, you know, to
fight my way into the public eye. Ben Wattenberg: All right, let me ask this
question: What are the policy implications of this idea of feminine victimhood? Christina Hoff Sommers: It’s a disaster. These women are — I will give them one thing. They’re brilliant work-shoppers, networkers,
organizers, moving in, taking over infrastructure. They’re busybodies. There has never been a more effective, you
know, army of busybodies. And they know how to work the system. So they will hastily throw together a study
designed to show women are medically neglected or women have a massive loss of self-esteem
— one in four. And then they move to key senators. Sen. Biden seems to be especially vulnerable. Camille Paglia: Oh! What a weak link. What a weak link. Christina Hoff Sommers: Patricia Schroeder,
Sen. Kennedy. But it’s Republicans, too. They’re quite carried away. Congressman Ramstad from Minneapolis. Ben Wattenberg: Yeah, they’re afraid of
the TV commercials running against them, which is — Christina Hoff Sommers: That’s right. Camille Paglia: Yeah, that’s right. Christina Hoff Sommers: And then we’re getting
— we now have a gender-bias bill that went through Congress that’s going to provide
millions of dollars for gender-bias workshops. What the politicians don’t realize is that
feminism is a multimillion-dollar industry. The gender-bias industry is thriving. They’re the work-shoppers and the networkers
out there. Camille Paglia: The bureaucrats are really
profiting — Christina Hoff Sommers: Consultants and bureaucrats. Camille Paglia: It’s a tremendous waste
of money. Christina Hoff Sommers: And it’s not based
on truth. Camille Paglia: It should go into education. That money should go directly into education
to improve the system. Christina Hoff Sommers: I spoke to a teacher
yesterday who taught in Brooklyn, and there were no books to teach English. Camille Paglia: Oh, pathetic! Christina Hoff Sommers: And yet there are
going to be — there’s going to be $5 million now, plus a lot more from the education bill,
for workshops on gender-bias in the classroom, which is a nonproblem compared to far more
serious problems. So I consider many feminists to be opportunists. They move in on real problems. There is a problem of violence in our schools. They’ll turn it into a problem of sexual
harassment — Camille Paglia: Yes. Christina Hoff Sommers: — which is nothing
compared to the problem of violence and instability. They’ll move into underperformance of our
kids. Camille Paglia: All this money should be going
into keeping public libraries open so that the poor can go in and take out a book the
way my immigrants, you know, parents were able to and the way I was able to. It’s outrageous that we have the closing
down of public libraries, and the conditions of inner-city schools is disgraceful. And all this money wasted going to bureaucrats? Ben Wattenberg: Camille, let me ask you this:
Does the case you make undermine traditional family values? Would a conservative listening to what you
are talking about in terms of sensuality and sexuality and pornography and so on, would
they say you are undermining and corroding family values in America? Camille Paglia: Probably they would, but my
argument in all my books is rather large. I say that Western culture was formed as two
great traditions — the Judeo-Christian and the Greco-Roman — and they have contributed
to each other, and they’re in conflict with each other. And I — what I — my libertarian theory
is of a public sphere/private sphere. Government must remain out of the private
sphere for abortion and drug use and sodomy and so on. The public sphere is shared by both traditions. I have respect for the Judeo-Christian side. I’m calling in “The Activism in Feminism”
for a renewed respect for religion, even though I’m an atheist. So I think that there is much in my thinking
that I think would reassure people of traditional family values. Ben Wattenberg: Let me ask you this question
to close of both of you: What should the 1990s equity feminist believe in and believe remains
to be done for women? Christina Hoff Sommers: The first thing, I
think we have to save young women from the feminists. That’s at the top of my agenda. And I say that as a very committed feminist
philosopher. I went into philosophy. It was a field traditionally dominated by
males. I got my job as a professor to encourage more
young women to enter this field, to be analytic thinkers, to be logicians and metaphysicians. And, instead, in feminist philosophy classes
you’ll often have young women sitting around honoring emotions and denigrating the great
thinkers instead of, you know, studying them, mastering them, and benefiting from them. Ben Wattenberg: So you — Christina Hoff Sommers: That’s one thing. The other thing, more traditional feminist
issue, is probably the double-shift. As women, we’re doing a lot of things men
traditionally did; they’re not doing what we traditionally did. And so women do bear more responsibility at
home. But if we’re going to solve that problem,
I think we have to approach men as friends — Camille Paglia: We have to — yes — Christina Hoff Sommers: — in a spirit of
respect instead of calling them proto-rapists and harassers and — Camille Paglia: The time for hostility to
men is past. There was that moment. I was part of it. I have punched men, kicked men, hit them over
the head with umbrellas. Okay? I am openly confrontational with men. As an open lesbian, I have been — you know,
I express my anger to men directly. I don’t get in a group and whine about men. So, oddly, I give men a break and admit the
greatness of male, you know, achievements and so on. What we have to do now is get over that anger
toward men, all right, and we have to bring the sexes back together. Reconciliation between the sexes is the first
order of business. Ben Wattenberg: Okay. Thank you, Christina Sommers and Camille Paglia,
for your critique of modern feminism. We will be hearing an opposing view on a future
program. And thank you. Announcer: We at Think tank depend on your views to make our show better. Please send your questions and comments to New
River Media, 1150 17th Street, NW, Washington, DC, 20036. Or email us at [email protected] To learn more about Think Tank, visit PBS online at www.PBS.org, and please let us know where you watch Think Tank. Ben Wattenberg: For Think Tank, I’m Ben Wattenberg. Announcer: This has been a production of BJW
Inc., in association with New River Media, which are solely for its content.


  1. So these 2 are the "nice" feminists –Hegelian dialectic yet again/always. American Enterprise Institute=druiydic think tank.

  2. A great program.. God it's been so long… I remember watching Think Tank in the 1990s… Great program, though Wattenberg was more of a neocon if I remember correctly..

  3. Third-wave feminists and fourth-wave feminists trivialise both rape and sexual assault. Even second-wave feminists failed with abortion. Equal opportunity to education (qualification/credential), equal opportunity to employment, family rights (mother/maternal parental rights), personal property rights, maternity (possibly paternal pay leave) pay leave, equal pay for equal work/labor, annulment/divorce rights and anti-sexual violence, such as anti-rape (including anti-sexual assault) laws championed by mostly by first-wave feminists and some by second-wave feminists

  4. Feminism is just an ideology imposed on young men and women and should be terminated. It's nobody's fault if women are insecure and males excel in a lot of fields. It has NOTHING to do with other inequalities like racism.

  5. Nothing changed, absolutely nothing:
    – The condescendent media;
    – The universities;
    – The arguments;

    Feminism is officially a prostate cancer and with more than two decades nothing changed… Wonder how many decades we should wait and fight with chemotherapy

    Because now the State (with capital letter) is going full misandric, a lot of laws against man…

  6. Like all prophets, these women warned us and we didn't listen. Now look. I find both Paglia and Sommers a breath of fresh intellectual air, two people who don't conform to ANY dogma or rhetoric and think FOR THEMSELVES. The fact that this is called women-bashing or anti-feminism says everything about the so-called representatives of feminism and nothing about Paglia or Sommers. These two women represent the very potential and capabilities of the strongest, most autonomous women. Yet the Steinem branch of orthodox feminism calls them Nazis. Hhhmmm. I wonder why.

  7. The fact that this conversation occurred in 1994 … and yet, everything's that's being talked about is just as – if not more – relevant today is so indicative of what's happened to society.

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