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Mark Ellse: No difference between men and women? Then why make such a fuss?

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In these technology-dependent days, it is far too easy to let the machine do the thinking. A colleague of mine driving from the Midlands arrived for a meeting in Kent was delighted to find that the sat-nav had planned a journey much faster than expected…and avoiding the M25. Sadly the driver had selected the first option offered by the device on entering the destination – Maidenhead, rather than Maidstone – and a hurried extra couple of hours’ driving ensued. It was a useful reminder that, whoever (or whatever) is navigating, it is no bad thing to have a rough idea where on the map you are and which way you are going.

I have been very careful so far not to reveal the gender of the colleague. Were it female, it might engender quips about sense of direction. Were it male…well we all know how dozy men are. But, even in the Midlands, a long way from metropolitan political correctness, feminism has resulted in a tremendous shift in attitudes over the last fifty years and one would be rash, or need to know one’s company very well, before engaging in any gender-related badinage.

It’s hard to criticise feminism. Who could possibly not want equal rights for women? We all know of situations in which people have been unfairly treated because of their gender, sometimes grossly so. How could one not object to the injustice caused? To oppose feminism would seem to be unfair – particularly in view of the high value our society places on equality. To believe in equal rights for all is a mark of one’s civilisation. Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband wore the T-shirt but David Cameron certainly approves.

Most of us drift along with feminism, rarely thinking about exactly where it is taking us. I confess to doing so myself. But one signpost I could not ignore convinced me that feminism is taking us in quite the wrong direction and that our Government is incredibly foolish in going along with it.

The key issue is that of the difference between male and female and exactly what is the nature of any difference? The radical feminist has a quick answer to this question, as this post by Heather McNamara shows us.

Radical feminism is a platform for gender equality which includes, among other things, the belief that most gender is performed. As a radical feminist, I believe that gender roles are artificially created, that most dimorphism is affected rather than mandated by nature, and that the divide has been pushed beyond all reason to the express benefit of men. This is what we call the patriarchy.

When we bother to read such things and take time to digest what they are saying, we realise that they are complete nonsense. Ms McNamara is saying, ‘There is no real difference between men and women’. And then, having demolished the difference between men and women, she proceeds to say that the divide has been pushed by men!! It’s baloney of course. Women are either, in some ways, weaker than men and in need of protection; or they are no different and certainly cannot claim to be a victim of men’s self-interest. One simply has to come down on one side of the fence or the other. No sane person can believe both sides, can they?

Of course, one does need to be tolerant, especially in an atmosphere in which we wish to promote women’s rights. But we don’t really think that women are just as strong, and just as capable, as men in the front line of battle or in the Manchester United team, do we? However equally we think we should treat men and women, surely none of us believe that there aren’t fundamental differences between them. After all, it’s not so long ago that feminists wanted women on the boards of the banks because their female abilities would strengthen decision making. If women and men are just the same, such mixing up of bank boards would make no difference at all. Surely one would need to be mad to erode the value of having two quite different types of human being?

In fact, the lunatics have taken over. Maria Miller, who chairs parliament’s Women and Equalities Committee, is promoting a radical feminist agenda. She proposes to remove gender from official documents like driving licences and passports. As a society and a government we should be looking at ways of trying to strip back talking about gender.

Really? Is there no value in, for instance, womanhood? May we not delight in our daughters and their ability to bear children who will build upon our own works, continue our civilisation and support us in our old age? Do we not realise that, by denigrating the role of producing the next generation, we are destroying the future of our civilisation?

Parliament was, of course, silent…on autopilot…blithely heading in the wrong direction. Any criticism of feminism, however rational, however wise, is regarded as being unkind to women and, as such, is unsayable.

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Mark Ellse
Mark Ellse is a physicist and author. He is a former headmaster, independent school inspector and A level chief examiner.

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