Reader M.C. heard IWF National Advisory Board member Christina Hoff Sommers (and author of the best-selling Who Stole Feminism? How Women Have Betrayed Women and The War Against Boys: How Misguided Feminism Is Harming Our Young Men) speak on Sex, Lies, and Feminism at Washington, D.C.?s American University on March 31. He sends this e-mail:

“I think it is good that the feminist lies and anti-male indoctrination protocol in universities today is being challenged. While I am glad that IWF is openly seeking to challenge this sorry state of affairs, I must also point out that Ms. Sommers’s way of doing it will not likely to be effective. What I heard last night was not an open refutation of feminist doctrine, which places men somewhere in the non-human category (Ms. Sommers herself used the phrase ‘male animal’ on more than one occasion, a common dehumanization of men), or an open discussion of the ways in which men are discriminated against in society and have their opportunities and personalities curbed or derided for the supposed benefit of women.

“What I heard was largely a complaint that the conservative feminist notion of the place of women in society was not being permitted into ‘women’s studies’ courses. This complaint smacks largely of an expression of an internal struggle for power within the confines of feminist associations, which is why it lacks the necessary basis of appeal to challenge effectively the entire basis of the misandry that now permeates campus culture. Additionally, this approach suffers from the same fundamental underlying false assumption that other forms of feminism suffers from: the notion that men exist largely to serve women and our role in society is thus to be determined by them, and that men are somehow inferior to women. For example, Ms. Sommers on several occasions mentioned how boys needed to be civilized by women. Perhaps she fails to comprehend the role men have played in creating the very civilizations that have led to the greatness, comfort, and convenience that surrounds her daily life, in most cases without the guidance of women…

“Decades ago and to this day, men are found openly advocating for all sorts of pro-woman policies in our society. Where are the women to demand pro-man policies? Goodness knows there is plenty of room and opportunity for it, as any many man knows who has been assaulted by a woman and later laughed at and ignored by police or others around him, drafted into military service, been presumed guilty of any crime involving a woman, been terminated from work upon even the slightest and least even unreasonable complaint from a woman, denied contact with his own children after child custody was denied him based on lies and prejudice, or made to pay for someone else’s child or had child support foisted on him against his will, be able to tell you.”

Does M.C. have a point? I’d love to hear comments from other readers on this. I for one have often noted with dismay that manifestos from “men’s rights” advocates usually end with a complaint about being forced to pay child support–and my sympathy for these guys tends to wane. And I couldn’t help but notice that in yesterday’s newspaper photos of gleeful Iraqis in Fallujah kicking the burnt sticks that used to be human beings, there wasn’t a single female face to be seen. There might be something to this business about the civilizing effect of women. Do other readers have thoughts about M.C.’s letter?

Meanwhile, here’s a nice fan letter for the IWF from reader J.P.:

“This organization is amazing. It’s such a breath of fresh air to have some independent thinking women amongst all the babbling liberals that seem to be taking over society. Thank you for all you do!!”

And thank you, J.P.