Cultural critic and Atlantic contributor Christina Hoff Sommers has been finding fault with feminism for years. Now, though, as she reports along with Christine Rosen in Politico, she finds herself impressed with a new feminist icon: Carly Fiorina.
Sommers and Rosen praise the former CEO and current presidential candidate for a variety of feminism that meshes well with capitalism: “Fiorina is not blind to the challenges women still face, but she comes to them with an understanding of the history of women’s progress as a bipartisan movement of expanding opportunity.” Fiorina believes that “the best thing for women is a meritocracy that rewards workers’ performance regardless of sex and doesn’t promote aggressive government intervention.”
In other words, a woman can rise in business as long as she pulls herself up by her straps of her chic but sensible work boots. That is hardly radical. Highly educated and privileged white women have always had more access than others; since they can be relatively self-sufficient, they need—and value—government intervention less.
In this way of thinking, the onus is not on the office and certainly not on the government to make a situation more accommodating. Instead, the responsibility lies with the individual. If women take responsibility for themselves, they can succeed.