Firstly, here’s an accurate summery of the book from Amazon:
Combining philosophical rigor with detailed knowledge of a wide range of subjects, Michael Levin presents a thorough examination of feminism as both a theory and as a generator of social policy. His book provides a much-needed counterweight to uncritical feminist scholarship prevalent in so much social science writing.
Levin argues that feminists deny that innate sex differences have anything to do with the basic structure of society. He shows how this denial leads feminists to interpret observable differences between male and female roles as the result of discrimination and restrictive social conditioning rather than as the free expression of basic preferences. Levin concludes that feminist proposals for remedying this imaginary oppression systematically thwart individual liberty.
The first chapters of Feminism and Freedom show the conflict between feminist ideology and recent developments in anthropology, neurology, child psychology and behavioral genetics, as well as basic principles of scientific method. The author then moves to a wide-ranging discussion of affirmative action, comparable worth, and the impact of feminism on education, military manpower policy, language, family life and sports—showing in each case how feminist policies run counter to classical liberalism. Written in a lively, challenging, and accessible style, as controversial as it is timely, Feminism and Freedom is must reading for anyone interested in understanding society and preserving liberty.
There’s no doubt that Prof. Levin is an exceptional author; his book “Why Race Matters” opened my eyes to the reality of race. Similarly, this book opened my eyes to the true nature of feminism. However, due to Levin’s broad (and academic) vocabulary, many readers will find themselves reaching for their dictionaries.
The book also has more typographical errors than one would expect from such an illustrious author.
What I gleaned from the book is that there is no such thing as “moderate feminism.” All feminism is radical – because, by definition, feminism is at war with nature. In any other age, feminism would never have gained traction, but because its advocates piggybacked the movement onto liberalism in general – and “civil rights” in particular – they were able to hijack government and education on all levels. The results have been catastrophic and tragic. Countless billions of dollars, of taxpayer money, have been wasted, and countless lives ruined due to the feminist agenda.
The book was published in 1987, so the statistics cited therein are dated, but still very relevant. This book was written ten years prior to “Why Race Matters,” and one can already see hints of the latter work in the former – though the author annoyingly gives sympathetic words to the black civil rights movement. Ostensibly to highlight the contrast between the struggle for blacks (which, he says, has merit) with the struggle for women (which, he says, does not have merit). He may have simply been trying to stay out of trouble in this way.
If he were to write the book today, he might have included a chapter on the role of Islam vis-a-vis feminism. But he didn’t, so I’ll claim the insight for myself:
Feminism paved the way for the advance of Islam in Europe. By pressuring women to be like men, and forcing men to be like women, feminist societies left many women feeling unhappy and unfulfilled. Many women simply do not WANT to be just like men; they want to be WOMEN. But Western society made this difficult, and sometimes even impossible.
Along comes Islam, with clearly defined roles for the sexes. In Islam, many Western women found a way to be women again – even with the blessings of the liberal establishment!
As for the unhappy men, some of them also convert to Islam – or commit suicide. Or both.