My late father once said that in the USA to be a feminist was to be a Marxist lesbian.
Well, steady on, Pops. It's a stretch to restrict feminist activity to the sisters of Sappho, but on the Marxism angle, he was spot on.
Marxism is a particularly loathsome philosophy that has been directly or indirectly responsible for the deaths of millions of men, women and children. When Bertrand Russell was writing about Marxism in his 'History of Western Philosophy', he was forced to issue disclaimers so he did not have to explore how it was put into practice. And he was writing some 70 years ago. By that time millions had died, and millions more have died since.
Marxism encourages democide by explicitly championing one section of society to conduct a war of extermination upon another. It made ordinary people around the globe prisoners of their governments. Every Marxist government was obliged to establish security forces to prevent emigration of the disaffected to the point of using lethal force.
British feminism, steeped in the culture of Marxism, also has its enemy demographic. It is the white, middle-class male.
Three examples serve to illustrate this hatred.
Last June, Professor Sir Tim Hunt, a Nobel Laureate, addressed a meeting n Seoul where he made some jocular remarks about the conduct of women in the laboratory. While the mainly female members of his audience took his words in good humour, the female members of the left-wing commentariat over here attacked Sir Tim mercilessly by distorting what he said to its worst possible interpretation. This poor man, whose work in medicine can only be of benefit to humanity, was hounded out of his positions and has now left the country to work in New Zealand. The feminists did not care. They had won against their enemy.
In November 2014, there was great celebration as the European Space Agency managed to land a craft on the surface of a comet. Comets remain mysterious objects that can tell us a lot about the origins of our solar system as well as the beginnings of life on Earth. However, all this was swept aside by the feminists when Dr Matt Taylor appeared at a press conference wearing a shirt with racy illustrations of women on it. This poor man, whose father was a bricklayer in East London, was subject to such online vilification that he had to make an apology where he broke down in tears. Devoting his life to science and exploration, he was not a person to worry about sartorial matters. To its credit, The Guardian did not make an issue of this, unlike the online sisterhood.
However, there was no quarter from The Guardian when solicitor Alexander Carter-Silk made a few flattering comments about a human rights barrister Charlotte Proudman's picture on a social media website. Instead of taking issue with poor Mr Carter-Silk through the site, Ms Proudman decided to share her outrage with the world through Twitter, where it was somehow taken up by the news media. For some reason, she believed that she had been a victim of sexual discrimination in her place of work, stating ''There is a continuum between receiving a sexist message on LinkedIn and being discriminated against in the workplace.” The horror. The precise nature of this so-called 'continuum' that this person, who is paid to provide reasoned and articulate advocacy, had pronounced into existence, does not seem to have been made clear, but it does seem to be as all-encompassing as the more famous Einsteinian counterpart. Perhaps Dr Matt Taylor could investigate it, if he dares.
Proudman is an archetype of the main beneficiary of modern British feminism, namely the white, middle-class female in employment. There are bonus points if said female works in the state sector or academia or specialises in law, the arts or humanities. Such people are seen as unimpeachable.
Feminism has no traction in the hard sciences. Since advancement is based on pure achievement and the peer-review process is gender-blind, it cannot be based on quotas or accusations of sexism. The Higgs-Boson was not discovered because the gender mix of the team was correct.
Feminism can provide no explanation for the rise and success of Margaret Thatcher. A wife and mother, she earned not one, but two university degrees in science and law, managed to be elected to a male-dominated parliament in 1959 and went on to have a ministerial career before becoming Prime Minister. And all this in an age which was, according to feminists, rife with sexism. Margaret Thatcher's success was due to her sheer ability and not to positive discrimination. It demonstrated that any woman could make it to the top with sheer talent. No wonder she is such a hate-figure for the left. Feminists also have no answer to why no woman has been elected leader of the Labour Party. Women have been the leader, but only because a man was temporarily incapable of doing the job and they have always been in an acting role. This omission has never been explained.
The further women are from this white middle-class archetype, the less favoured they are by modern British feminism. And this is a serious problem in our country. The feminists are, in a way, like Alexander the Great, who wept when he discovered there were no more worlds left for him to conquer. Women in the UK have achieved equality in the legal, economic, cultural, social and professional spheres. The legally-enforceable protections mean that there is always a remedy for an injustice or inequality. Violence against women, once brushed under the carpet, is a major issue of law enforcement. However, the fact remains that there are women and girls living in the UK who are less white, less middle-class, less employed and are thus are virtually ignored by activist left-wing feminism.
The most glaring omission by the feminists has to be the prevalence of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), a practice so odious and disgusting I simply cannot bear to describe it beyond the term. This practice of permanent maiming destroys or restricts a woman's physical pleasure when she engages in an act of attempted procreation by partially or totally eliminating the body parts that prompt nature's sensual reward for trying to perpetuate our species. It is clearly and obviously an activity to enforce fidelity by making infidelity unpleasurable, reducing a woman to a artificially numbed baby-making machine.
There are currently more women living in this country as victims of this primitive and barbaric practice than there are lesbians in a civil partnership. And yet which has had more media visibility, more demonstrations on our streets? Perhaps my late father was right after all.
There are regular articles in The Guardian and elsewhere on FGM. There are also pressure groups, notably Daughters of Eve, but they are not mainstream. FGM has been criminalised in the UK since 1985. However, despite there being nearly two hundred thousand women in Britain who have been victims of this barbaric crime, no-one has been successfully prosecuted. It is ironic that feminists, whose consciousness was apparently first raised by Dr Germaine Greer's book 'The Female Eunuch', have scant interest when one of their fellow women literally becomes one. Because it exclusively affects ethnic minorities, it is seen as a minority issue. Perhaps, according to the feminists, these British victims are not British enough. They are certainly not white middle-class women.
The barrier to action here by left-wing feminists is multiculturalism. This is the bogus belief that all cultures have equal merit and are thus all deserve equal respect. This takes no account of the fact that peoples from other cultures who settle here leave their places of origin because our culture has created an economic and social environment that will provide them with a better life than they could possibly enjoy had they stayed. It also means that, according to these feminists, our cultural values, including equal rights for women, can be safely ignored, because they only really apply to one of the many cultures in our country. Thus the only people who campaign against FGM are actual victims. There is no wider campaign or indeed greater visibility. And so frightened eight-year-old British girls go on getting cut in the back-streets in Britain and elsewhere while being held down by their parents.
Rather than wear a t-shirt stating 'No More FGM' which would have been a worthy cause, Caroline Lucas chose to grace Parliament in 2013 with the slogan 'No More Page 3'. Feminists have also protested about so-call 'lad's mags' featuring topless women. The timing of the protest was such that these media items were on the way out. Page 3 and the magazines are gone. A cheap, but pointless, easy win. The readership had already gone to the internet.
Lucas, however, will always be second fiddle to Britain's top feminist, Harriet Harman. Back in 2014, Harman wore a t-shirt to Prime Minister's Questions with the slogan 'This is what a feminist looks like' as part of a campaign by the Fawcett Society to force leading politicians to wear its t-shirt presumably to promote its work on women's rights in the workplace. It emerged that this £64 t-shirt was made by women in sweatshop working conditions who were paid £1 a day and slept 16 to a room. So what a feminist looks like is a cynical exploiter of cheap third-world labour for bogus ethical purposes. Sounds about right.
Another bogus assumption of feminism is that people who come from third-world countries with frankly third-world attitudes to women's rights will somehow become enlightened when they step on these shores. For some reason, the organised gang rapes perpetrated by men with frankly third-world cultural backgrounds that took place in Rotherham in South Yorkshire and elsewhere are not seen as a feminist issue. While feminists abhor violence of any kind against women, it does appear that once again, because the victims were not middle-class women in work, there has been no popular protest by any feminist group or writers on anything like the scale that targeted Sir Tim Hunt, Dr Matt Taylor or Mr Alexander Carter-Silk. This is despite the fact that politicians, state officials and police officers through their wilful inaction facilitated the rapes in the name of community cohesion. Indeed The Guardian stated that:
“In last May ’s local elections, Ukip won most votes and became the official opposition on the council. A march by the English Defence League during the campaign drew 500 supporters. On Tuesday, one of the first on Twitter with a gloating tweet was Nick Griffin of the BNP. In that context it is understandable that the Labour council was sensitive to the reputation of its Muslim community.”
This is actually a fiction designed to salve guilty consciences and to paper over the inconsistencies of political correctness. In Lancashire in 2011 there were one hundred prosecutions for organised gang rape. In South Yorkshire for the same period, there were zero. Zero. Not that the feminists would ever point something like that out. It is not 'understandable' by them.
Politics and reputation were more important than organised gang rape. On this the feminists said nothing. This has to be because the feminists have nothing to say. So what is the point of feminism? The Strategic Director of Children’s and Young People’s Services, Joyce Thacker, in Rotherham quit her job with a £40,000 payout after being on sick leave for a while. By my reckoning, Thacker was paid out about £5 per rape victim betrayed by Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council. No feminist protest there. No human chains around the offices in Riverside House. This may be because Joyce Thacker was a white, middle-class woman in work in the state sector. As I mentioned before, in the feminist canon, she is unimpeachable.
Domestic violence and rape in marriage would appear to be important feminist issues. However, again when the victims do not conform to the archetype, they are effectively ignored. The case of Shafilea Ahmed is an example. Shafilea was a 17-year-old British girl who was murdered by her parents because she refused to marry a man in her parent's home country that she had never met before. She attempted suicide by swallowing bleach which caused her to be rejected by her potential suitor. Back home, she was murdered by her parents in their living room. The body was not found for six months and it was only due to her sister being arrested for an unrelated crime nearly seven years after the murder that there was a break in the case. This is not the only example of parental murder. However it is not seen as a mainstream feminist issue, despite the fact that the victims are British girls, but not Charlotte-Proudman-British. And since the perpetrator is not a white, middle-class male, nothing is done by the feminists.
Compare the silence of the feminists here with the murder of Stephen Lawrence, where a racist gang of white youths knifed to death at a bus stop in South London a young man of Afro-Caribbean descent who had a promising career ahead of him in architecture. From the day of the murder, the pressure on the police was constant. After a change of government, there was a major public enquiry and major reforms in criminal investigation. There was a change in the law to facilitate double jeopardy prosecution and two of the killers are now behind bars.
By contrast, no laws were changed to protect future Shafileas, there were no protests, no inquiries. No-one stood up for her. It was not seen as a political issue. No change of government has improved things. No-one used her murder to discredit authority. Especially not the feminists. They were far too busy doing other things than to save lives or virtue.
There is a feminist organisation called 'Sisters Uncut', a militant organisation that drew attention to itself when it mounted a protest at the premier of the film 'Suffragette' in Leicester Square. It was as relevant to the proceedings as Dennis Skinner's outbursts are to Her Majesty's Gracious Speech, a humorous distraction and nothing more. Other demonstrations against domestic violence have not taken place outside Rotherham's council offices or indeed in Shafilea's Bradford, but instead have taken place on Westminster Bridge at the same time as Owen Jones' anti-austerity march last June and outside the offices of the Daily Mail. North of the Watford Gap is too far, then. The slogans chanted have been about immigration detention centres and how all men are sexist. Thus these militant feminists only really demonstrate their irrelevance.
British feminists have found an alternative to protesting about organised gang rape, FGM, community-based daughter-murder and forced marriage, which is to academicalise the issue. As women's rights have increased to the point where they have equal rights and protections, there has been a growth in gender studies in colleges, which substitute observation, theorising and comment for protest and action over the physical dangers that face British girls and women when they are in contact with third-world male attitudes. Numerous papers and tomes are produced on the topic. All sound and fury cataloguing numerous intersecting 'oppressions', but signifying nothing. This is gentrified militancy, arguing over ever-narrower issues like, for example, whether feminism can ever find in sado-masochism an acceptable expression of womanhood.
To understand the modern left-wing feminist mentality, it is useful to analyse the comments made by Labour MP Jess Phillips on the BBC's Question Time when she was forced to discuss the mass attacks by third-world migrants on German women in Cologne on New Year's Eve. Jess did not want to discuss for the reasons that modern feminism is always in second place to multiculturalism. She did not want to admit that men from other cultures are more sexist; according to her ideology that would be racist. So she clouded the issue, saying,
“There is violence against women and girls that you a describing, a very similar situation to what happened in Cologne could be described on Broad Street in Birmingham every week, where women are baited and heckled.”
Here she tries to trivialise the issue, trying say it is in fact the norm in Europe (it is not) and comparing acts of robbery, indecent assault, and rape in Cologne with women being 'baited and heckled' in Birmingham. This is typical muddled socialist thinking, trying to find equality where none exists. Police in Birmingham state that they had five instances over eight weeks of the kinds of crimes perpetrated in Cologne on one night.
“We have to attack what we perceive as being patriarchal culture coming into any culture that isn’t patriarchal, and making sure we tell people not to be like that.”
A direct, but rather mild attack against multiculturalism. But it has been sandwiched here between two pieces of nonsense. If Jess Phillips had just said this, she would not have attracted criticism. Note also, that despite years of Labour’s open-door immigration policy design to 'rub the Right's noses in diversity', it is only now that some Labour MPs are openly admitting that their party has imported third-world attitudes to women into this country.
“But we should be careful in this country before we rest on our laurels when two women are murdered every week.”
And then she throws this in. It is irrelevant in the context of the assaults by third-world migrants in Cologne. The statistic also makes no account for murders committed by the mentally ill. People were not being smug about violence against women in this country at all; there was no schadenfreude.
There are about five hundred homicides annually in the UK. It is not okay that about one hundred of these are women, but that does mean that four hundred murder victims are men. Who will speak up for the men? Jess Phillips was making a political point about a murder statistic that is favourable to women as a way to distract from a third-world problem that is coming to the first world. Murder is bad. It is morally dubious to turn a single bald statistic into a feminist argument to divert attention from rape and indecent assault.
Left-wing feminism has a terrific blind spot about women oppressed in this country due to diversity in cultural values. The blind spot extends to rape, mutilation and murder. Governments of all shades have some responsibility here as well, being hobbled by fear of being seen as racist by vocal left-wing opposition for cracking down on unacceptable cultural values.
The hard fact is that women now have equal rights in this country which have been won after successful campaigns. Modern feminism has no answers to the ongoing persecution of women and girls by imported cultural values practised by closed communities. If they had any decency, the feminists would admit their failure and work harder for universal women's rights in this country outside of their clear comfort zones instead of picking pointless political fights and non-stop virtue-signalling about bogus issues. But they cannot do so without being accused wrongly of being racists by opportunists. If they can't save British girls and women from rape, mutilation, and murder, they need to step aside and let more competent forces do the job.
David Cameron, in his most recent party conference speech, said the following:
“For too long, we’ve been so frightened of causing offence that we haven’t looked hard enough at what is going on in our communities.
This is passive tolerance. And I’ll tell you where it leads:
To children, British children, going to Pakistan in the summer holidays, before they’ve even started their GCSEs, and forced to marry a man they’ve never met…
…children, British children, having their genitals mutilated, not just in a clinic in Lagos but the backstreets in Britain.
This passive tolerance has turned us into a less integrated country; it’s put our children in danger. It is unforgivable.
So let me say it right here: no more passive tolerance in Britain.
We’ve passed the laws – now I want them enforced.
People who organise forced marriages – I want them prosecuted.
Parents who take their children for FGM – I want them arrested.”
Left-wing feminism has encouraged passive tolerance for their own narrow political ends. Hundreds of thousands of girls and women have suffered as a result. Left-wing feminism has no credibility left. The casualty list is too long.
It is perhaps time for a new One-Nation Conservative feminism to lead the way, based on universal values of a woman's right over her thoughts, her body and her economics that are currently undermined in the name of a bogus settlement of community relations. I do hope that, despite the tensions caused by the impending referendum, that David Cameron's call for all British girls and women, regardless of their background, to have equal rights and protection is heeded. There must be more arrests and prosecutions of people who would do harm to British girls and women. Despite differences in race, colour, creed and opinion, they are our people in our country and they deserve like everyone else, our protection. And this dangerous and obsolete left-wing feminism can go to hell.
(Image: Freedom House, Flickr)