Monday, 8 July 2013

Why we don't need feminism

So recently I was talking to a woman who told me about some incident, explaining to me that "this is why we need feminism". Now she's repeating an idea she's seen on the internet, "reasons why we still need feminism" is something of a meme on Twitter and Facebook. In one case, a bunch of naive students from Oxford University decided to have their pictures taken infront of the Radcliffe Camera with placards hung round their neck giving their own handwritten notes on why feminism was still needed. They looked exceptionally foolish.

No doubt men's rights activists have already responded in their own, inimitable fashion. But I'd like to give my own little rebuttal if I can. Here's why we don't need feminism.

  • We don't need another rabid political group of resentful crazies selectively picking statistics and then misrepresenting them, claiming they show discrimination when close analysis shows just the opposite, or talking about "patriarchical violence" whilst suppressing research showing symmetry in partner/domestic violence
  • We don't need young women to be told that if any man criticizes them, ever, then it is ok to call him a "misogynist" and to never listen to a single thing he has to say - and then to claim innocently that they weren't  implying that he hated women when that is precisely what they were doing.
  • We don't need good science undermined by people stupid enough to thing that if you want men and women to be the same psychologically, then the real world will magically be that way.
  • We don't need an army of amateur theorists on YouTube finding hidden (actually non-existent) patriarchical subtexts in TV drama, or making the ludicrous assertion that toy-manufacturers would rather sell to just boys, halving their profits, rather than marketing to girls (when the manufacturers have made strenuous efforts to sell to girls). We don't need the same theorist to baldly turn around 30 seconds later and find an example of hitherto invisible marketing to girls, and then complain about how it's being done, without offering any alternative
  • We don't, in short,  need every discussion, every aspect of life viewed from the narrow political point of view of writers whose only talent is to foster the maximum resentment between men and women - simply to acquire political support for a divisive, selfish cause.

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