Should we all be feminists? That was the question Ann McElvoy posed for the second episode of her BBC Radio 4 series Across the Red Line. You may be tempted to ask why on earth would we be promoting this? Well, TCW’s Laura Perrins was the guest invited to say no and why not. For a change the BBC was giving a member of that highly dangerous species, the social conservatives, airtime to state the counter-feminist case – pretty much a first for the BBC.

The reason for this sally into unknown, if not enemy, territory was a ‘right-on’ attempt to find common ground between these conflicting political ideas. It is fascinating how keen the BBC have become to resolve this conflict. It can’t be anything to do with the threat posed to feminism by The Conservative Woman as we gain traction and our anti- and post-feminist ideas gain influence, can it?

Be that as it may, Laura set out her stall cogently and clearly to the obvious dismay of career feminist Joan Smith, who was left protesting: ‘I don’t recognise the world you [Laura] are living in’. Her own world, of course, is inhabited by discriminated-against and put-upon women, female victims of domestic violence and women who hardly dare brave the streets to go to work, such is the appallingly predatory nature of men. This is a woman for whom any diversion from total parity is proof of discrimination.

The full programme can be heard here. You can judge who won the argument if you can sit through its futile attempt to find common ground between Laura and Joan.

Martin Daubney, we have to acknowledge, has a point. He tweeted: ‘Why does this podcast entitled “Should we all be feminists?” last 43 minutes when it takes a split second to conclude “no”?’

Touché.

64 COMMENTS

  1. There’s a massive fallacy in the “violence against women” argument put forward by Mrs Smith — which is that acts of violence are FAR more commonly perpetrated against (usually between) men than against women.

    Just one stat : http://www.who.int/gho/violence/en/

    Globally, interpersonal violence resulted in some 475 000 homicides in 2012 (overall rate of 6.7 per 100 000 population), of which 60% were in males aged 15-44 years, making homicide the third leading cause of death for males in this age group

    So really, it’s a category error to single out violence against women — what should be fought against is violence generally, through education (civic and otherwise), and prevention and repression AKA civilised law & order.

  2. I am shocked and offended that the BBC would allow McElvoy to have a show with the title, ‘across the red line’. What about diversity? Everyone and everything being equal? Surely it should be ‘across the rainbow lines’.
    On a more serious note, the left a eating themselves with this sort of guff, the current Labour feminist comrades group complaining about Terfs or something. Then there is the pronoun debate with some non binary arguing with Professor Peterson that we should use Zee, Zim etc and it is ever so easy to have students’ preferred title as a look up table on a smart phone. Jesus! Thank goodness that at least the phone is smart.

  3. The first thing in any discussion about feminism as in all discussions with the Fascist Left should be to nail down what the definitions are.
    The Feminism of Pankhurst is nothing like the feminism of Greer, is nothing like the feminism of Sarkeesian.
    The second wave feminism summed up by I am woman hear me roar I am strong I am invincible has given way to third wave feminism summed up by I am woman hear me whine, I am weak I am vulnerable.

    So which feminism is it that the BBC are discussing? Second wave feminism – sisters are doing it for themselves, is great it’s about self starting go getting powerful women standing on their own merits as equal players. Third wave feminism is a disaster with jellyfish like creatures incapable of functioning in the modern world and blaming all their imagined ills on men.

    Without knowing what feminism the BBC is talking about it is impossible to make any response to it, and that I would suggest is the strength the left have an infinitely variable definition which makes any counter argument null & void.

    • The Pankhursts never called themselves feminists. The label was attached to them by feminists in the 50s/60s to distinguish their agenda from that of those who campaigned for votes for women. This projection of ideas onto historical figures (e.g Jesus was the first socialist) is typical of the ignorance and dishonesty of the left.

      • Even the early women’s liberation movement embraced the idea that women have been oppressed by men throughout history. They only limited themselves to campaigning on issues such as women’s votes early on because it was easier focus on one issue at a time and it made sense to pick the easiest issues first. Modern feminism is the logical progression from early women’s’ liberation.

        • “Modern feminism is the logical progression from early women’s’ liberation.”

          You’re just engaging in the Whig interpretation history, looking back to draw neat lines where none existed and picking and choosing what suits a contemporary movement to claim as part of its own. If you think Andrew Dworkin, Jessica Valenti et al are the ‘logical progression’ of anything then you aren’t logical or progressive.

          • 1848 Declaration of Sentiments:

            “The history of mankind is a history of repeated injuries and usurpation on the part of man toward woman, having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over her.”

            How else am I supposed to interpret that?

          • Signed by only 100 of 300 attendees of what is considered the first women’s rights conference, a number of whom subsequently withdrew their support for it (perhaps because the original document was lost and all we have is a version from someone’s notes of the meeting). So a minority view even among harden activists at the time.

          • None the less, the basic idea plainly existed even that far back within the women’s’ liberation movement.

            There have never been more than a few really hard-core activists within the feminist movement, despite their level of political influence, so the numbers don’t really mean that much.

    • it’s just my opinion, and not one that need draw abuse from anyone, but most women don’t actually bother about feminism of any wave at all. Most sensible women simply get on with their lives which tend to be very busy. Just one more point to test your patience: most women don’t have careers, they have jobs which are frequently dead boring… just like men in fact.

      • Well said. My friends are all getting on with their lives. Feminism is not part of it and it never crops up in discussions, they wouldn’t be my friends if it did – far too dreary for words..

      • My attractive wife had constant battles with these harridans because she wore make up & refused to wear dungarees 40 years back.
        She worked in an arts charity, so their noisy presence was inevitable.
        We have many female friends, including gay women, & the topic of feminism
        & its demands has never arisen.

        • If women are free, and may decide their own destiny, then they are free to wear whatever they like and live how they wish. If they have to obey the ‘harridans’ then how different is the situation to that endured by Victorian women?

          • I think you’ll enjoy this quote from yesterday’s Times.
            When men are being persecuted for things they may or may not have said
            in the internet age, this dates from the 1960s
            The President of Oxford dramatic society strongly opposed women having a role in the theatre.
            ‘If women were members we would feel an obligation to give them parts,
            no matter how bad they are”
            And “Where would you draw the line. One day you would have a woman president, the thought appals me”
            Why isn’t this mysoginistic dirt wad held to account ?
            Because he’s Ken Loach
            The man responsible for the most tedious leftist films ever.
            At least Eisenstein was a great director despite his politics.
            Ken Loach !

          • Oh I did enjoy. What fun. I love this mania for making people apologise for having an opinion that is not correct. If Ted Heath can be investigated long after his death why not demand long dead celebrities apologise? We could have real fun with all this nonsense.

          • As my old Gran used to say
            “what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander”
            Right now we live in a degenerate society where only persons to the right
            of Comrade Corbyn are held to account for jokes or bad manners they
            were responsible for in their youth.

          • Actually I think you will find that Victorian women had it pretty good. Husbands were legally responsible for paying any debts that their wives ran up. They were also responsible for any crimes their wives committed ( Mr Bumble is told this in Oliver Twist evoking the response “The law is an ass ,and the law is a bachelor” Just imagine what problems a troublesome wife could cause a husband.

      • Agreed, but the problem is that feminism has put a metaphorical gun into the hands of every woman, with which she can put an end to any man’s life any time she chooses.

    • AFAIK, it’s “fourth wave” now.

      tum-te-tum

      The whole business sounds like Queen Canuta versus the tide

    • Funny how feminists have vigorous opinions on glamour models & bra ads
      but no opinions on brutal Female Genital Mutilation.
      Sounds highly racist to me.

  4. You can be a feminist if you pay £70.00 for a T-shirt made in a sweat shop in Bangaladesh by a women who works 16 hours a day, 7 days a week for 20p a day.

    • Despite a huge potential market in the West the factory making the “This is what a hypocrite looks like” T-shirt went bust.

    • Yep! As worn by Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg.

      I didn’t trust him much but give him his dues, David Cameron refused to wear one – probably the only decision he got right during his premiership.

      • So you think that the decision to hold the Brexit Referendum wasn’t “right” ?

        Mr Cameron certainly was not perfect — and he certainly made several very bad decisions indeed — but I think that all of the PMs between Sir Ted Heath and himself were worse than they were.

        Cameron’s rather sensible policies regarding the Economy continue to contribute to the improvement of lives in Britain. To claim that refusing to wear some stupid t-shirt is the “only” thing he got right is very simply to be willfully stupid.

        • ‘So you think that the decision to hold the Brexit Referendum wasn’t “right” ?’

          Indeed. It was a colossal mistake that is already costing this country dearly in terms of lost international prestige, skilled workers moving out and massive and unnecessary polarisation on all sides. That is just the beginning.

          Yes, one can be conservative and also hold the opinion that all things considered the entire Brexit fiasco is, indeed, a fiasco and moreover objectively insane.

          • No conservative can think their country is best run by foreign unelected bureaucrats.
            Certainly, extreme right wing multi millionaires may think this for their personal financial gain, but they’re about 0.00001% of those who call themselves conservatives.
            Not unlike those so called conservatives who advocated Germany
            running the UK & Europe from the late 1930s until 1945

          • That is belied by the result. It was clear from the referendum result that a majority wanted out. Without the referendum those people would have been held in the EU against their will. The opinion of a minority holding sway over the majority is not a good situation and your objection also ignores the evolution of the EU. A vote to remain was not a vote to maintain the status quo but a vote for whatever more the EU has in store for us in the future.

            That combination, a majority held under duress and an unknown future, was more than enough to justify Cameron’s decision – in hindsight of course. He thought he was going to win and finalise the “modernisation” of his party, with the British government continuing as a regional rubber stamping executive to a Brussels federal government.

          • Funny isn’t it how you are great at detecting fake news in anything that your disagree with but the lies spouted by breibart and it’s editor you eat up like a blind sheep

          • The only mistake was joining the damn EU in the first place.

            I expect you think countries leaving the USSR was objectively insane.

    • As an aside, wasn’t dear Harriet pulled up once for shopping at Primark – who were flogging clothes made by sweated labour?

    • Can’t yet understand why Drudge hasn’t linked to it either.
      Hoping it will be either released or leaked soon. I expect Republicans are waiting for a tactical time to do so.

  5. ‘Her own world, of course, is inhabited by discriminated-against and put-upon women, female victims of domestic violence and women who hardly dare brave the streets to go to work, such is the appallingly predatory nature of men.’ I have been looking at twitter. A few people seem to think this!

  6. Joan Smith: “… the phenomenon of women who vote conservative”
    The incomprehension/condescension was total – Conservative Women, you are apparently the focus of studies by scores of perplexed lefties in academia – and long may you perplex them.
    So, never mind debating the issues on their merits, let’s treat it as if being conservative was a social disease, much like one would study hooliganism.

    • In reality the majority of ordinary women are probably conservative, even if they don’t vote Conservative. So the phenomenon is more of those women who constantly bleat or whine about feminism, usually the more privileged in society, and how they manage to attract so much attention.

  7. Laura Perrins was, as ever, stellar.
    Am curious to know just what got edited out but it did appear reasonably balanced by BBC standards.
    My one gripe, right at the start: If you have a motion “This house believes we should all be Feminists”, shouldn’t we hear arguments FOR the motion first? The order we had them allowed Joan Smith the last word. A small point maybe – perhaps that’s the conservative in me speaking!
    Laura, you may not have convinced Ms Smith, that was never likely, but I hope your ideas found an audience with anyone who is on the fence, wondering if it is acceptable in their social circles to say they’re not a feminist. As documented, hardly anyone identifies as feminist. Hopefully more can now shed this straight-jacket of correct thought.

  8. I listened to most of that last Tuesday – frightened the life out of me when the feminist said “we have come about half way along the feminist road”

      • It’s never been about equality, it’s been about liberating women from patriarchal oppression and the suppression of evidence & arguments that patriarchal oppression doesn’t exist and has never existed in any meaningful way.

  9. “It can’t be anything to do with the threat posed to feminism by The Conservative Woman as we gain traction and our anti- and post-feminist ideas gain influence, can it?”

    I blumin’ well hope that it is.

  10. It seems she has her own truth and that truth seems to be inhabited mainly by lefty men. I wonder if that is a factor in her outlook?

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