Thursday, 13 October 2016

Ladies, Strength Not Timidity Is Surely The Answer!


I've written before about how this hyper-sensitive 'generation snowflake' society that is being created is turning our young men and women into liberty-unfriendly, censorious whinge-bots that are thoroughly unprepared for reasoned critical debate and understanding the superlative qualities of free expression for all.

I also pointed out on Facebook the other day the sharp contrast between thin-skinned second rate MPs wanting sexism to be a hate crime, and women on the front line in Syria courageously doing battle with the sanguinary thugs of Islamic State.

It's not for me to tell others how they should fight their battles, but I can, I think, make a couple of suggestions on how all this is being perceived in some quarters, and on whether there may actually be a method of handling these situations that's possibly a teensy weensy bit better.

In a blog a few weeks ago I made a point about how exposed modern day socialists are when they shout in anger about issues in which free market economics has claimed victory long ago. This got me thinking about whether, just possibly, the same might be starting to be true in the UK about women’s liberation. It’s pretty clear that for most of our history men have dominated the landscape and oppressed women in all sorts of horrible ways.

As a consequence, women’s liberation has certainly been a necessary and laudable part of history. But now that brains are the key to a successful career, not brawn, and that from the years up to 40 women are now out-earning men, is it perhaps worth considering that in some cases women’s liberation is beginning to send its artillery into battles that have already been won?

I ask because if the answer is largely yes, then there are probably an awful lot of feminists expending energy in places in which such energy is no longer needed, which, by definition, means they are not expending energy in places where it might well be needed.

I'll leave it to feminists themselves to judge where best to devote time to causes - I shall not presume to know the battles they should pick better than they do. But I'd happily offer a couple of suggestions of battles that need a reappraisal.

First, as alluded to in the link above, a good example of poor use of energy is in a video like this one, with the reliably misinformed feminist Kate Smurthwaite arguing with the reliably well-informed Kate Andrews from the ASI about gender pay, and making a mess of things because she has her facts wrong, and is therefore pursuing something that needs no pursuance.

Second, I think when it comes to women facing negativity in the public arena - insults on Twitter, unpleasant comments on Facebook, or vile abuse at the bottom of the articles they write, the women who are saying the right things on this matter and doing the most for women are the women who absolutely refuse to be timid and self-pitying, and who repudiate the merest suggestion that women require any special treatment in the hostile world of Internet debating (contrast Ella Whelan's response at 7mins 38 compared with the feminists on the their side of the debate in this video clip here).

In my opinion, the women that do the most for the feminist cause are not the masochistic, whinging harpes with whom the word 'feminism' is most readily associated; rather they are the women who influence and inspire simply by doing what they do well - being smart, witty, intelligent, creative and (ideally) kind.

For just as it is one of those ironies that we rarely feel sorry for damaged people who are always moaning and feeling sorry for themselves - it is only when they stop that we actually feel sorry for them - so too it is the case that the women who are always running on about how much they are trying to do to fight the good fight for women are usually the ones doing far less good by imploring others to 'Look at me!', 'Look at me!', 'It's really about me!'.

In my opinion, the real champions of women are not the household name members of the witterati with those children's birthday party magic shows going on in their heads - the likes of, Julie Bindel, Polly Toynbee, Laurie Penny, Jack Monroe, Salma Yaqoob, Zoe Williams, Suzanne Moore, Kate Smurthwaite and Yasmin Alibhai-Brown. They are women like Janet Daley, Kate Andrews, Julia Hartley-Brewer, Dia Chakravarty, Gillian Tett, Camilla Cavendish, Claire Fox and Ella Whelan (who competently nails it in this interview on Sky News).
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