Sex, Lies and Feminism

by Kathleen Reeder | 5/2/03 5:00am

Yesterday evening, feminist author Dr. Christina Hoff Sommers gave a speech to the Dartmouth community called, "Sex, Lies, and Feminism," sponsored by the College Republicans and the Independent Women's Forum. Hoff addressed a host of issues relating to feminism and brought to the table many viewpoints not traditionally promoted on liberal college campuses. The speech gave the audience much to ponder, and I've outlined some of my thoughts below.

I don't hate men. I don't think I am oppressed. I don't believe women are worse off then men, and I don't want any special treatment because of my sex. But I do call myself a feminist. Instead of a radical leftist woman who complains that females are victims and wants to rid the world of all evil creatures (i.e. men), I am a conservative feminist who believes in equality for both sexes.

It doesn't really seem fair if I'm given an immediate advantage for a job or a raise simply because of my sex. I for one think I'm capable enough of getting the promotion based on my own merit, experience and determination.

Basically, I don't need any favors -- I can do it on my own, thank you very much. I certainly don't want to be held back because I'm a woman, but I don't want my male counterpart to be held back simply because he's a man, either.

At a time when young women need good information, common senseand fairness, the failed feminist movement is feeding them grossly inflated statistics and half-truths. A closer look at the statistics shows that the so-called wage gap doesn't really exist for women our age; battery is not the most common injury to women; and one in four college women has not been raped. We shouldn't discount the huge and necessary strides the feminist movement made for women, but the movement overall has taken a sad and reactionary turn.

Radical feminists scream equality and fairness. But in reality, women and men are different. Think back to last weekend. With the alcohol flowing, the dance floor spinning and the temperature rising, maybe you ended up behind a closed door hooking up. I'm willing to bet that any guy reading this saw his rendezvous as a great time -- the end. The girl, on the other hand, finds herself thinking about it, mulling over it -- and maybe wants to know why the guy hasn't blitzed or called.

Women and men are different. Emotionally, women become much more involved than men. For the most part, girls want the guy to call the next day, ask her out to dinner and begin a relationship. The Washington, D.C. based Independent Women's Forum conducted an 18 month long study of college students. It found 83% of women questioned said getting married was an important goal, and 63 % agreed they wanted to meet their future husband at college. Guys, on the other hand, tended to want to move on to the next fling. And who can blame them? It's not like there's a shortage of women willing to follow the guy into his room, and tiptoe out the next morning, never to be heard from again.

Because I hold all these views, there doesn't seem to be room for me at the "feminist" table. But I am a feminist and wear the word with pride " because I believe in true equality of the sexes while understanding their inherent differences.

With the help of the Independent Women's Forum, our goal is to form an independent women's group at Dartmouth. It will be a place for students to discuss ideas and exchange truthful information about women's issues. For those of you who are outraged by my views, I invite you to share your views. The only way for both sides to form opinions and make progress is to hear both sides of the argument.