Author and feminism critic Christina Hoff Sommers addressed the state of modern feminism in an interview with HBO host Bill Maher on Friday's edition of 'Real Time.' Sommers, an American Enterprise Institute resident scholar, and the host discuss how she became persona non grata in the feminist community, how she is unable to speak on college campuses without security, the treatment of men and young boys, and why there is a gender pay gap.
Sommers, the author of "The Factual Feminist," told Maher what is going on is madness as American women are arguably the freest in history. She also contended that while men have privileges, so do women. Men commit suicide at higher rates, die earlier and take riskier jobs, Sommers said of privilege.
"American women, arguably, are among the freest, most self-determining in history," Sommers said.
She said college professors are telling women "they need not equality from men, but protection from these toxic masculine hegemons."
"Women are going to be helped by truth and accurate analysis of problems and we just don't have that right now," Sommers said.
Sommers said feminism is being trivialized when women get upset at the use of "you guys" to describe a group compromised of men and women. She shared an anecdote about a woman at UPenn who said she was "mini-raped" when she was told by a guy that she had nice legs.
On female privilege and "paranoid theories" about toxic masculinity:
CHRISTINA HOFF SOMMERS: This is not what feminism is supposed to be. There are these professors and they pass along these messages that we're all traumatized, we're all fragile, we're diminished under this patriarchal oppressive system. This is madness. American women, arguably, are among the freest, most self-determining in history...
At the very moment where we have this opportunity for just profound equality with men and to take on running the world with men, at that very moment we start giving -- especially undergraduate women at the more elite colleges -- them the message that they're victims, they're fragile, they need not equality from men, but protection from these toxic masculine hegemons...
CHRISTINA HOFF SOMMERS: I think men have privileges, but so do women. I think if you look at contemporary America what you see is a complicated mix of advantages and burdens for each sex.
For example, women are far more privileged in the classroom. Young women and girls are far more privileged than boys. Boys are barely tolerated these days in many classrooms... A lot of schools of education are captive to these paranoid theories about toxic masculinity and they think that the slightest show of male bravado -- so a little boy could be suspended because he bit a pop tart into the shape of a gun and he was thrown out of school.