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Mon Dec 3, 2012, 10:18 PM

Christina Hoff Sommers, MRA enabler and Radical Anti-Feminist in group tied to ALEC

In light of our current crop of "guests" out and about in greater DU, I thought I would google some of these same repetitive memes that anti-feminists write. It looks like a great deal of them have a main source, Christina Hoff Sommers--she's a self-proclaimed Libertarian, a Resident Scholar of AEI (American Enterprise Institute, a very right-wing think tank), and her themes may look familiar to people who have travelled in recent threads.

This will be a working research thread and I hope people will add more to highlight the sources of her anti-feminist and anti-progressive web, and also add debunking material.

"Sommers explicitly identifies herself as a "libertarian." The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy categorizes Sommers' equity feminist views as classical liberal or libertarian and socially conservative. Sommers has criticized how "conservative scholars have effectively been marginalized, silenced, and rendered invisible on most campuses." In an article for the text book, Moral Soundings, Sommers makes the case for moral conservation and traditional values."

http://www.aei.org/scholar/christina-hoff-sommers/

"Christina Hoff Sommers, a former philosophy professor who taught ethics, is probably best known for her critique of late-twentieth-century feminism. She is also known for her extensive writings, among them Who Stole Feminism? (Touchstone Books, 1995) and The War Against Boys (Touchstone Books, 2001). Her textbook, Vice and Virtue in Everyday Life, a bestseller in college ethics, is currently in its eighth edition. She recently edited The Science on Women and Science (AEI Press, 2009) and is preparing a second edition of The War Against Boys."

AEI has ties to ALEC: http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=American_Enterprise_Institute


Sommers thesis: Feminism is anti-male student and education is biased toward girl students.

"
http://www.amazon.com/The-War-Against-Boys-Misguided/dp/0684849569

The War Against Boys: How Misguided Feminism Is Harming Our Young Men
Christina Hoff Sommers (Author)

Sommers thesis: The wage-gap is a myth

Wage Gap Myth Exposed -- By Feminists
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/christina-hoff-sommers/wage-gap_b_2073804.html

Sommers thesis: Sexual violence against women is overstated

How the CDC is overstating sexual violence in the U.S.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/cdc-study-on-sexual-violence-in-the-us-overstates-the-problem/2012/01/25/gIQAHRKPWQ_story.html

Sommers' views touted by racist and anti-feminist mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik:

http://gynocraticgrrl.tumblr.com/post/35150492243/this-is-what-a-privilege-denying-patriarch-sounds



{He also quotes female anti-feminist Christina Hoff Sommers (pg. 339), an author and MRA whose book has been recommended reading for me from numerous MRAs I’ve interacted with.The fact that she is positively referred to by a mass murderer didn’t seem to bother them much}.



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Reply Christina Hoff Sommers, MRA enabler and Radical Anti-Feminist in group tied to ALEC (Original post)
Starry Messenger Dec 2012 OP
obamanut2012 Dec 2012 #1
Starry Messenger Dec 2012 #4
obamanut2012 Dec 2012 #7
Dawson Leery Dec 2012 #2
Starry Messenger Dec 2012 #3
Starry Messenger Dec 2012 #5
Starry Messenger Dec 2012 #6
Starry Messenger Dec 2012 #8
obamanut2012 Dec 2012 #9
Starry Messenger Dec 2012 #10
Starry Messenger Dec 2012 #11
yardwork Dec 2012 #12
Starry Messenger Dec 2012 #13
JoeyT Dec 2012 #15
Starry Messenger Dec 2012 #16
obamanut2012 Dec 2012 #17
Starry Messenger Dec 2012 #19
obamanut2012 Dec 2012 #21
Starry Messenger Dec 2012 #14
sufrommich Dec 2012 #18
Starry Messenger Dec 2012 #20
MadrasT Dec 2012 #22
Starry Messenger Dec 2012 #23
Starry Messenger Dec 2012 #24
Zorra Dec 2012 #25
obamanut2012 Dec 2012 #29
devilgrrl Dec 2012 #26
bluestateguy Dec 2012 #27
obamanut2012 Dec 2012 #30
Warren Stupidity Dec 2012 #28
obamanut2012 Dec 2012 #31
Starry Messenger Dec 2012 #32
Name removed May 2014 #33

Response to Starry Messenger (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 10:22 PM

1. Excellent OP, Starry -- am making tea and reading all the links

Very interesting she is directly tied to so many debunked MRA talking points.

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Response to obamanut2012 (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 10:30 PM

4. Thank you obamanut2012.

She's really very widely quoted on right-wing journals. She must be the "face" for their anti-woman program.

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Response to Starry Messenger (Reply #4)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 12:00 AM

7. yes, an educated "appropriate" looking woman

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Response to Starry Messenger (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 10:26 PM

2. AEI and Heritage LIE when they claim they are for "freedom".

They are for preserving the social structure which gives a few males power over everyone else.

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Response to Dawson Leery (Reply #2)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 10:29 PM

3. Well said, Dawson Leery.

Sad that a woman is their "useful idiot" pushing these memes. I'm sure she's well-compensated for her tasks though.

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Response to Starry Messenger (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 10:45 PM

5. "The fake feminism of Sarah Palin"

http://thescarletwoman.tumblr.com/post/834915001/the-fake-feminism-of-sarah-palin



<snip>

These “Mama Grizzly” (a term that I take issue with because it automatically assumes that women taking place in the movement are doing so BECAUSE they mothers and wives, as opposed to women joining the movement for their OWN benefit) feminists (or fauxminists, if you will) reject the last 40 years of feminism and link themselves to the original feminists - the suffragettes.

Now, Valenti goes on to describe the significance of that link, but just from my own perspective I think the link is also significant because of the way these first fighters for suffrage marketed themselves. The fight for suffrage was fought originally not on the basis that men and women are equal and that women are just as capable of making political decisions as men, but on the basis that men and women are fundamentally different - that the world would be a better place if women were able to vote, as they would bring their kindness and charity and soft gentle ‘feminine’ qualities to the table. Just an interesting little detour there. MOVING ON!

By tying their “feminism” to the suffragists, whose goal was realized nearly 100 years ago, they’re not-so-subtly saying that women in America have achieved equality. In fact, they don’t believe that systemic sexism exists. The conservative writer Christina Hoff Sommers, for example, says that women aren’t oppressed and that “it is no longer reasonable to say that as a group, women are worse off than men.” If you believe women have made it, you’re not going to fight very hard on their behalf. But it’s difficult to rally women’s support behind a message of inaction, so Palin is doing her best to frame this nonmovement as proactive and, of course, “empowering.”


That is the crazy part!! These women do not believe that sexism wards women is prevalent in our society anymore. They don’t believe that cultural norms harm women anymore. I don’t understand how you can call yourself a feminist if you DON’T INTEND TO FIGHT FOR WOMEN’S RIGHTS. Plus, you all know my hatred of Christina Hoff Sommers, who is basically the antichrist, so any movement she is involved with is automatically off my list of things to join.



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Response to Starry Messenger (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 10:53 PM

6. "Examined carefully, Sommers's case does not hold up well."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/style/books/reviews/waragainstboys0703.htm



<snip>

Examined carefully, Sommers's case does not hold up well. She persistently misrepresents scholarly debate, ignores evidence that contradicts her assertions, and directs intense scrutiny at studies she opposes while giving a free critical ride to research she supports. A few examples of her style of argument will have to stand for a much larger pattern.

Let's look first at education. Sommers says that feminists have ignored the educational problems of boys, starting with How Schools Shortchange Girls. This argument runs into the inconvenient fact that the first and best-known study documenting patterns of male underachievement in school was sponsored by none other than the AAUW, in a follow-up to their study of girls' performance. It's an inconvenient fact that a women's organization led the way in studying the problems of boys, so Sommers attacks the AAUW for underpublicizing the study (she cites no data to support this charge). As for Sommers's claim that "girls and young women are thriving" academically, there have been many studies since Shortchange that contradict her, but she does not examine them. She describes studies that support her position but does not subject them to the same critical scrutiny to which she subjects Shortchange. Indeed, the AAUW follow-up study that included boys (and which Sommers strongly approves) reached the following conclusion, as quoted by Sommers: "Inequity can (and does) work in both directions." Sommers's own Table 2 shows that girls lag behind boys in percentages taking calculus, physics, AP/honors chemistry, engineering and astronomy at the high school level. Sommers applies a zero-sum model to gender concerns in education. It doesn't seem to occur to her that each sex faces significant problems that need redress.

<snip>

In the end, Sommers fails to prove either claim in the title of her book. She does not show that there is a "war against boys." All she can show is that feminists are attacking her "boys-will-be-boys" concept of boyhood, just as she attacks their more flexible notion. The difference between attacking a concept and attacking millions of real children is both enormous and patently obvious. Sommers's title, then, is not just wrong but inexcusably misleading. For the claim in her subtitle that "misguided feminism is harming our young men," she does not present a shred of credible supporting evidence but rather advances her position by assertion and abstract argumentation.

Had Sommers written a calm, factual presentation of boys' academic and social problems, this could have been a valuable book. Boys do lag behind girls in reading and writing, and they do trail in extracurricular participation. They are both perpetrators and victims of violence more often than girls are. But Sommers's book is a work of neither dispassionate social science nor reflective scholarship; it is a conservative polemic. Sommers focuses less on boys than on the feminists and cultural liberals against whom she has a long-standing animus. As a society, we sorely need a discussion of boyhood that is thoughtful and searching. This intemperate book is a hindrance to such conversation.



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Response to Starry Messenger (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 12:17 AM

8. "Men's Health presents misinformation about sexual assault."

http://fair.org/take-action/action-alerts/are-sexual-assault-and-alcohol-abuse-good-for-quotmens-healthquot/



<snip>

Disturbingly, the Men's Health article counsels men to avoid colleges with strong policies against sexual assault; such schools "redefine rape so that all men are guilty" and have disciplinary systems that are "rigged against men." The magazine attacks schools that "parrot the feminist myths" about sexual assault. Bates College, for example, distributed a sexual violence handbook "repeating a long-discredited feminist canard--that one in four college women has been the victim of a rape or an attempted rape."

Actually, the 1-in-4 statistic came from a scientific survey conducted in 1987 by Dr. Mary Koss for the National Institute of Mental Health, which found that 28 percent of women in college experienced rape or attempted rape, and 15 percent had experienced rape, since age 14. While Koss' work has been attacked (Extra!, 11-12/93; Extra!, 9-10/94) by anti-feminist writers like Christina Hoff Sommers-- whose opinions are prominently featured by Men's Health-- Koss' findings, far from being"long-discredited," are corroborated by a 1999 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study that found that 1 in 5 female undergraduates had been raped in their lifetimes and 15 percent had been raped since age 15.

Men's Health goes on to cite Department of Education statistics from 1994 showing that "there was actually less than one forcible sex offense for every 1,000 students." This is an apples-to-oranges comparison, counting only reported, completed assaults that took place at college--not all attempts since age 14. Most law enforcement agencies agree that sexual assault is a vastly underreported crime; the Senate Judiciary Committee has estimated 84 percent of rapes never get reported. Moreover, the Department of Education's one-time survey was hampered by many colleges tallying only those rapes brought to the attention of campus police, disregarding assaults disclosed to counselors or health services providers.

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Response to Starry Messenger (Reply #8)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 12:38 AM

9. Men's Health is mainstream, too

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Response to obamanut2012 (Reply #9)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 12:47 AM

10. Yeah, that's really alarming.

The things I've been finding have been in mainstream media, with very little pushback given equal time. This stuff was heavily funded by ALEC and related organizations and allowed to distill into public thought.

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Response to Starry Messenger (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 12:50 AM

11. "Girls RULE. Or Do They?"

http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/ejournals/old-WILLA/fall00/elementary.html



A year ago in this report, I summarized National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) results to give elementary teachers an overview of gender differences in academic achievement by subject area. At that time, I was pleased by girls' gains in math and science scores because improved scores suggested that long-standing gender gaps favoring boys might be closing in these areas. Less positive were results showing that boys continued to score lower than girls did on national assessments in reading and writing and had lower performance than girls had in the first round of tests for the arts. At that time I was encouraged but concerned about inequities in NAEP scores, but now I am alarmed--not about the NAEP results themselves or the fact that educators still have progress to make toward gender equity in education. What alarms me is selective reporting of "facts" from NAEP statistics used to back up proclamations such as "Girls RULE! Mythmakers to the contrary, it's boys who are in deep trouble!" These headlines blazed across the cover of The Atlantic Monthly's lead issue for Summer, 2000, highlighting a classroom scene dominated by a triumphantly smiling girl with book in hand, arm raised to get a turn, and a sullen-faced boy slumped at a desk in the background.

In the publication's featured article, "The War Against Boys," Christina Hoff Sommers launches an attack to debunk "the myth of the downtrodden girl" (p. 70) and declare, "only in sports are boys ahead" (p. 60). Sommer asks, "How did we come to believe in a picture of American boys and girls that is the opposite of the truth?" (p. 62). Then she fires a volley of charges naming Carol Gilligan, professor of gender studies at Harvard University, the American Association of University Women, the Wellesley College Center for Research on Women, and a score of other scholars, researchers, and journalists as perpetrators of a great hoax convincing the public and educators that schools have shortchanged girls. To support the thesis that girls are the advantaged lot and plead the plight of boys as the group with odds stacked against them Sommers cites NAEP statistics in ways that fall short of telling the truth that she invokes in the article. Sommers did not report, for example, NAEP 1999 Trends in Academic Progress that examine achievement for both genders by comparing performance on national assessments given across three decades. These results show similar performance for males and females across all the assessment years for most subjects and levels. There were significant differences in some subjects, especially reading. Even in reading, however, differences for genders were smaller than those for different ethnic groups. NAEP trends also show that boys, ages 9 and 13, have increased their reading scores and that the gender gap in reading for 9-year-olds narrowed substantially between 1971 and1999.

Sommers also neglected to report achievement by gender for social sciences. On the 1998 civics tests, 4th grade boys scored higher than girls did. On geography assessments last administered in 1994, males performed better than females at all three grade levels. On U.S. history tests, also given in 1994, there were no significant differences between male and female students at grades 4 and 8, but males outperformed females at 12 grade.

In The Atlantic Monthly article, Sommers heralded girls improved achievement on 1996 math and science tests to support claims that "parents, teachers, and administrators now pay more attention to girls' deficits in math and science" (p. 74). She did not tell readers that gender differences in science were insignificant at grades 4 and 8 or that 12th grade males continued to outperform females. Neither did she mention that scores in math for males and females in 8th and 12th grades were not significantly different and that males scored higher than females at 4th grade level

The 17-point advantage reported by Sommers for girls over boys on the 1996 NAEP writing assessments were accurate for the oldest students. For 4th and 8th graders, girls scored higher than boys did by 14 and 15 points. Large gender differences in writing have persisted since the first writing assessments were given in 1984, and boys' scores decreased significantly from 1984 to 1996 in grades 8 and 11. If there is an area in which boys are academically at risk, writing is it.

Downward trends in writing achievement for males should be a source of concern for all educators, but they hardly justify headlines such as "Girls Rule!" or "The War against Boys!" Contrary to Sommers' assertion that boys outperform girls only in sports, most academic areas with a history of assessments show that boys continue to perform better than girls or, as in reading, their performance is improving. NAEP evidence of positive trends in achievement for both genders are well established. I hope that elementary teachers will congratulate themselves on the progress they are making toward gender equity in academics instead of being misled by selectively reported "facts" that have the potential to impede or reverse efforts to make education more equitable for both boys and girls. Check out NAEP trends and recent results for yourself at http://nces.ed.gov/commissioner/remarks2000/8_24_2000.asp and http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/site/home.asp and get your own view of the facts.

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Response to Starry Messenger (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 01:41 AM

12. I'm pretty sure that she posts on DU. /nt

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Response to yardwork (Reply #12)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 01:51 AM

13. Phyllis Schlafly seems to too.

Last edited Tue Dec 4, 2012, 02:24 AM - Edit history (1)

I know I've read sentences like this here on DU:

http://www.creators.com/opinion/phyllis-schlafly/where-are-the-men.html



<snip>

The AAUW report was fully debunked by researcher Christina Hoff Sommers, who proved that feminist claims that girls are shortchanged in school are "riddled with errors" and not "published in peer-reviewed professional journals."

Elementary schools are not only ruled by females — they are dominated by feminists who make school unpleasant for boys from the get-go. Fewer than 10 percent of elementary school teachers are men, giving boys the distinct impression that school is not for them.

Elementary school teachers used to understand that boys will be boys, but teachers now look upon boys as just unruly girls. Feminists manifest hostility to males and to masculine traits such as competitiveness and aggressiveness, and instead reward typical female behaviors such as non-assertiveness and group cooperation.

<snip>

It's no wonder that boys are more likely to have academic or behavior problems, repeat a grade, get suspended, be enrolled in special education programs or become involved in drugs, alcohol or crime. Little boys make the calculation that school (and college) is not an environment where they want to remain.

The solution to the college 40-60 male-female problem is certainly not to let the feminist bureaucrats force colleges to admit an even higher percentage of women. One solution is for colleges to be told (by regulation or statute) that a 50-50 male-female ratio is not, by definition, "sex discrimination."



Gosh, that Phyllis.

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Response to Starry Messenger (Reply #13)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 02:36 AM

15. She inadvertently makes the point

that the patriarchy hurts men too.

The vast majority of boys are probably thrilled that "Boys will be boys" is going away. All it was ever invoked for was to defend bullies the administration was fond of or whose parents were connected.

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Response to JoeyT (Reply #15)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 03:00 AM

16. Yes.

Most of the men in my life have never been "top dog" types--they loathe the guys who get passes in life for just being "boys will be boys" approved.

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Response to yardwork (Reply #12)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 08:25 AM

17. I have read all of what Starry ha sposted on DU

And, not as criticism of the positions, but in support of them. Wow.

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Response to obamanut2012 (Reply #17)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 09:22 AM

19. Scary, isn't it?

I think some were word for word.

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Response to Starry Messenger (Reply #19)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 09:40 AM

21. cut and paste

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Response to Starry Messenger (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 02:30 AM

14. “Girls’ gains have not come at boys’ expense,”

http://www.schoolsmatter.info/2008/05/more-debunking-of-boys-crisis.html



<snip>

The American Association of University Women, whose 1992 report on how girls are shortchanged in the classroom caused a national debate over gender equity, has turned its attention to debunking the idea of a “boys’ crisis.”

“Girls’ gains have not come at boys’ expense,” says a new report by the group, to be released on Tuesday in Washington.

Echoing research released two years ago by the American Council on Education and other groups, the report says that while girls have for years graduated from high school and college at a higher rate than boys, the largest disparities in educational achievement are not between boys and girls, but between those of different races, ethnicities and income levels.

<snip>

Linda Hallman, who became executive director of the university women’s group in January, when the work was well under way, said the report was an effort to refocus attention on what she said were the real problems of education for poor and minority children, and away from a distracting debate about a so-called boys’ crisis. Ms. Hallman said the group’s members were concerned about arguments by conservative commentators that boys had become disadvantaged and were being discriminated against in schools intended to favor girls.

“Many people remain uncomfortable with the educational and professional advances of girls and women, especially when they threaten to outdistance their male peers,” the report says , citing Christina Hoff Sommers’s 2000 book, “The War Against Boys: How Misguided Feminism is Harming Our Young Men.”

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Response to Starry Messenger (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 09:21 AM

18. This is exceptional research. Well done. nt

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Response to sufrommich (Reply #18)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 09:28 AM

20. Thank you sufrommich.

I was starting to suspect DU was being astroturfed. I hope the links help rebut some of it.

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Response to Starry Messenger (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 04:21 PM

22. Thank you for all this information.

(Don't have time to investigate all this now, bookmarked for future reference.)

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Response to MadrasT (Reply #22)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 06:05 PM

23. Nice to see you, MadrasT!

Hopefully it will be helpful!

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Response to Starry Messenger (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 02:15 PM

24. Christina Hoff Sommers, against paycheck fairness

http://www.usnews.com/debate-club/should-the-senate-pass-the-paycheck-fairness-act/the-case-against-the-paycheck-fairness-act

Her thesis:



Groups like the National Organization for Women insist that women are being cheated out of 24 percent of their salary. The pay equity bill is driven by indignation at this supposed injustice. Yet no competent labor economist takes the NOW perspective seriously. An analysis of more than 50 peer-reviewed papers, commissioned by the Labor Department, found that the so-called wage gap is mostly, and perhaps entirely, an artifact of the different choices men and women make—different fields of study, different professions, different balances between home and work. Wage-gap activists argue that even when we control for relevant variables, women still earn less. But it always turns out that they have omitted one or two crucial variables. Congress should ignore the discredited claims of activist groups.

The misnamed Paycheck Fairness Act is a special-interest bill for litigators and aggrieved women's groups. A core provision would encourage class-action lawsuits and force defendants to settle under threat of uncapped punitive damages. Employers would be liable not only for intentional discrimination (banned long ago) but for the "lingering effects of past discrimination." What does that mean? Employers have no idea. Universities, for example, typically pay professors in the business school more than those in the school of social work. That's a fair outcome of market demand. But according to the gender theory permeating this bill, market forces are tainted by "past discrimination." Gender "experts" will testify that sexist attitudes led society to place a higher value on male-centered fields like business than female-centered fields like social work. Faced with multimillion-dollar lawsuits and attendant publicity, innocent employers will settle. They will soon be begging for the safe harbor of federally determined occupational wage scales.

This bill also authorizes the secretary of labor to award grants to organizations to teach women and girls how to negotiate better salaries and compensation packages. Where is the justice in that? The current recession has hit men harder than women. Census data from 2008 show that single, childless women in their 20s now earn 8 percent more on average than their male counterparts in metropolitan areas. If Congress is going to enact labor legislation with the word "fair" in it, it cannot limit the benefits to women. Senators may be tempted to vote for the Paycheck Fairness Act out in the mistaken belief that it is a common-sense equity bill. It is not. It won't help women, but it will create havoc in an already precarious job market.



The Myth of the Mancession? Women & the Jobs Crisis -- Fact, Fiction, and Female Unemployment

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alice-oconnor/fact-fiction-and-female-u_b_773564.html



<snip>

As an analysis, the myth of the "mancession" may have started out as an overly-stylized reading of labor market statistics. Men lost a larger share of jobs than women at the outset of the Great Recession in 2007, according to widely-reported Bureau of Labor Statistics measures tracking trends through spring 2009. This led University of Michigan economist and American Enterprise Institute scholar Mark J. Perry to conclude that there was a "historic" and "unprecedented" gender gap in unemployment favoring women by as much as two percentage points -- a gap that actually has been closing more recently as cutbacks shift from the male-dominated construction and manufacturing sectors to education, human services, and other areas where women predominate.

But as an idea, the myth of the mancession has assumed a staying power beyond what those initial numbers appeared to support: it taps into larger cultural and economic anxieties that predate the Great Recession and that have to do with changing relations between men and women. This is revealed nowhere more powerfully than in the late, great passing of the "traditional" two-parent family, in which men could expect to be the chief -- if not the solo -- breadwinners.

Of course, there is rarely just one way to read statistical measures, and on these grounds alone the "mancession" has been subject to much dispute. More fine-grained analyses of the data, for example, show considerable differences in the impact of male job loss across lines of class, race, age, and region; not all men have been affected equally by the downturn, nor women for that matter, suggesting at the very least that there is more to the so-called gender gap than meets the eye. Nor has the Great Recession shown any "favor" to women when it comes to wage losses and poverty rates, both of which are on the rise. <snip>

The myth of the mancession may not take us back to the dark days of cultural denial, but its exaggerated claims echo the old stereotype-laden, zero-sum ways of thinking that pit the fortunes of female earners against those of men. In recent months, it has stirred a minor skirmish in the ongoing culture wars between feminists and the right. Echoing the idea that men were the chief victims of the Great Recession, AEI resident scholar and author of "The War Against Boys" Christina Hoff Sommers accused feminists of "skewing" President Obama's initial stimulus plan by insisting on equal treatment for women, who in "mancession" logic did not need the jobs as much as men. Writing more recently on the AEI blog, Mark Perry similarly criticized the Obama National Economic Council for issuing its report on "Jobs and Economic Security for America's Women" in the midst of what he now refers to as the "Great Mancession", calling it "one-sided and misguided" to focus on women, when they are doing "so much better than men."

<snip>






http://www.stanford.edu/group/knowledgebase/cgi-bin/2011/04/07/women-are-shortchanged-by-the-wealth-gap/

Women Are Shortchanged By Wealth Gap



<snip>

In fact, the gender wealth disparity has been on the rise since 1998 despite the recent decline in the income gap. According to Chang, “The gender revolution has stalled, and the ways it has stalled are reflected in the wealth gap.”

The story is especially grim for particular groups of women. Never-married women own only 6% of the wealth of never-married men. More than half of all single Hispanic women in the US are what Chang calls “wealth poor,” possessing no assets or suffering from debts that outweigh the value of their assets. Single black and Hispanic women own a penny of wealth for every dollar owned by men of their race, and they own a fraction of a penny compared to white men. Because these racial inequalities are intertwined with gender, Chang warned, “Unless the gender wealth gap closes, the racial wealth gap cannot close.”

Also, marriage does not solve the wealth problem. Women often become economically dependent on their husbands and have less control over shared finances. According to Chang, men frequently manage the finances due to “deep rooted assumptions about which gender is better suited for these tasks,” and women’s economic self-sufficiency before marriage often impacts their relative power in the marriage. These disadvantages can be difficult to quantify, as marital wealth is often considered equally shared among spouses. Furthermore, women tend to outlive their husbands, and they experience more negative financial consequences from divorce than men. Half of all households are non-married, half of all marriages end in divorce, and women now spend more of their lives single than married.

What factors contribute to this troubling gender wealth gap? According to Chang, men enjoy greater access to the “wealth escalator,” which translates income into wealth at a faster rate. This wealth escalator includes perks like fringe benefits (paid vacation days, health insurance, stock options, etc.), favorable tax codes (capital gains tax, tax credits, etc.), and government benefits (unemployment insurance, social security, welfare, etc.). Women are systematically less likely to tap into the wealth escalator because of the jobs they work in and their greater propensity to work part-time. Men are more likely to attain jobs with benefits, receive higher incomes that allow them to save more, work full-time throughout their adult lives, and possess the types of assets that receive preferential tax treatment. Even if the income gap closed today, women would not be able to turn their incomes into wealth as effectively as men.

<snip>



Closing the wealth gap between men and women

http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2010/01/28/closing-the-wealth-gap-between-men-and-women/



<snip>

You may recall that Ledbetter was a supervisor at a tire factory in Alabama who, after almost 20 years of employment, received an anonymous note containing the salaries of three other male supervisors. The sole woman among 16 supervisors, Ledbetter was the lowest paid person in her position, earning $3,727 per month. Salaries for the men in the same position ranged from $4,286 to $5,236 per month, despite some having less seniority and experience. Over 19 years, cumulative salary discrepancies cost Ledbetter more than $200,000 in wages.

Sadly, Ledbetter is not an exception. The wage gap costs an average woman almost a half a million dollars in income over her working years, according to Lifetime Losses, a report by Jessica Arons of the Center for American Progress. But this lifetime earnings gap is only the tip of the iceberg because it creates further inequities as lower wages translate into lower pension and Social Security benefits.

There is no doubt we need to keep working to close the pay gap between women and men. But there is equally important, if not more important, work to be done to close the wealth gap between them.

While women ages 18-64 make 77 percent of what men make, Federal Reserve data reveals they have only 36 percent as much wealth. Wealth, which is the value of your assets minus your debts, translates into your ability to take an unpaid sick day, to buy a home, and secure a comfortable retirement. Many people have no wealth at all, and some even have what sociologists call “negative wealth” — meaning the value of their debts surpasses the value of their assets. Almost one in three single women ages 18-64 has no wealth or negative wealth. In comparison, about 12 percent of married couples and 24 percent of single men fall into this category.

<snip>



Rich men still control household investment decisions

http://money.cnn.com/2012/08/28/pf/investment-rich-men/index.html



Among the rich, gender equality is still far out of reach when it comes to investing the family's money.

Nearly three-quarters of wealthy men say they are better qualified to make investment decisions than their spouse, according to a survey of some 650 adults with $3 million or more in investable assets conducted by U.S. Trust, Bank of America's private wealth management division. That compares with a mere 18% of wealthy women who believe they could do a better job.

Similarly, 73% of rich men say they have a greater say in household investments like retirement funds, stocks and other assets -- compared to 15% of women.



Fact Sheet: Women and Wealth in the United States

http://www.socwomen.org/web/images/stories/resources/fact_sheets/fact_2-2010-wealth.pdf

Bonus fun fact:

Do Women Really Control 80% of Household Spending?

http://blogs.wsj.com/numbersguy/do-women-really-control-80-of-household-spending-1054/



My print column this week examines the basis for the often-repeated stat that women in the U.S. control 80% of consumer spending. It turns out that there isn’t much of a basis for it.

I found that articles and websites that include the claim either don’t attribute the information, or if they do, the sources cited said they aren’t sure where the numbers come from. For instance, some cite the management consultancy A.T. Kearney, but a spokesperson for the company said, “We have been trying to track down that source for years, but no one in the firm knows anything about it.” Others have attributed the number to Yankelovich, but Emily Parenti, director of marketing for the Futures Co., which was the result of a merger between Henley Centre HeadlightVision and Yankelovich in 2008, said that the statistic “did not originate with our research, but appears to have been manufactured by a source we haven’t yet been able to identify.” And others cite the Bureau of Labor Statistics or the Census Bureau, but spokesmen for both organizations said they don’t collect such data.

“It is not possible to say how much spending women control because so much spending is done at the household rather than the individual level,” Cheryl Russell, editorial director for New Strategist Publications, wrote in an email. “My own personal estimate, based on my analysis of the Consumer Expenditure Survey, is that women are involved in 78 percent of consumer spending. This figure is based on the share of households headed by married couples, female-headed single parent families, and women who live alone multiplied by the average spending levels of each of those household types. By the same measure, men are involved in 76 percent. There is not much difference because married couples account for the bulk of spending, and both men and women are involved in those spending decisions.”

The numbers typically originate with companies and writers who specialize in emphasizing the importance of marketing to women — who do seem to control more than half of household spending, according to some surveys, but not 80%. This isn’t academic research, and a half dozen economists contacted said they aren’t familiar with any studies that quantify women-controlled spending. “The notion of spending under ‘control’ of one group just does not make much conceptual sense to me,” Harvard University economist Lawrence Katz wrote in an email.



Challenging Popular Myths about Who Controls Household Spending

http://nonesnotes.com/2011/04/24/challenging-popular-myths-about-who-controls-household-spending/



<snip>

Indeed, the Futures survey is one of the first ones that actually goes so far as to quantify the issue. Ira Mayer, president of EPM Communications which publishes the newsletter Marketing to Women, has attempted to find the origin of the accepted 80% figure – but has come up empty.

“There is never any sourcing of the number,” Mayer says. And yet, “it’s become accepted folklore.”

When challenged to cite corroboration, students of marketing point to the book Marketing to Women, published in 2002 by Marti Barletta, wherein the claim is made that women “handle 80% to 90% of spending and purchasing for the household.”

And yet … Barletta has never been able to cite the source for this claim, either. Instead, she considers it “one of those rules-of-thumb numbers that everyone in the industry uses.”

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Response to Starry Messenger (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 09:30 PM

25. Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute? Bwaahaahaa!

She's like a walking oxymoron.

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Response to Zorra (Reply #25)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 09:47 PM

29. I don't why anyone lends credence to a self-expressed conservative

Who believes in "traditional values." Unless someone was a conservative or Randian/Paulite, of course.

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Response to Starry Messenger (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 09:38 PM

26. That woman is a total fraud and I'm not surprised that society is forced to deal with her.

eom

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Response to Starry Messenger (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 09:39 PM

27. CHS has unfortunately become too right wing for my taste

Her book "Who Stole Feminism" was a book that I enjoyed, but that was a long time ago and she has since gone off the rails.

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Response to bluestateguy (Reply #27)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 09:48 PM

30. She was already off the rails

As was that book.

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Response to Starry Messenger (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 09:45 PM

28. Now I know where the source of the bullshit stream comes from.

Every last one of those arguments has been uttered, almost word for word, right here on du.

Thanks for the research.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #28)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 09:48 PM

31. It is interesting how she is the origin of some much of that stuff

Floating around the internet and "Dr. Phil."

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #28)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 10:17 PM

32. Thank you Warren. I found that rather eye-opening as well.

Last edited Fri Dec 7, 2012, 09:15 AM - Edit history (1)

Sad that ALEC found this way to put its nose under the tent in progressive circles.

Edit: http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1114&pid=5821 Exhibit A.

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Response to Starry Messenger (Original post)

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