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”?’