by John Moloney 9/30/14
I’m a feminist! Emma Watson’s UN speech has opened my eyes. In the dark ages before I watched the Hollywood starlet’s very affecting attempt to win men over to the cause, I’d assumed that “feminism” was just about hustling for special treatment for women at the expense of men.
If you’d pushed me for a specific definition, I’d probably have defined the word feminist as a “spoiled, whining, left-wing harpy”.
But as Emma pointed out feminism is simply: “The belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities”.
If that’s feminism and my dictionary agrees then count me in. As a matter of fact no position is easier for a conservative to hold. After all equality under the law is a bedrock belief for us righties. So I’m a feminist.
But I’m not sure about Emma.
Firstly, though, it has to be said that there’s a lot to like in Emma’s speech. It was refreshing to hear from a passionate feminist who wasn’t angry or just plain nasty. Then there was the unanswerable plea for equality and the call for an end to “man-hating”. She was also so obviously sincere and well intentioned that people were moved in a way that no feminist has achieved in decades.
That said, most of the substance of the speech was informed by the usual weird sister cackling of contemporary feminism. In short it is mad, bad, sad … and according to Emma’s own definition not even feminist.
Emma’s address to the UN was unhinged because underlying all her thoughts is the mad old feminist idea that “man” and “woman” are simply social constructs. If only girls and boys were treated the same they would divide up the world and each profession with it 50:50. Take away the Barbie dolls and little Charlotte would want to be a coal miner, and take away the toy gun and little Matt would want to grow up to be a kindergarten teacher.
This is the original sin of feminism. A good half of the idiocy spouted by feminists is due to this premise that men and women are essentially identical.
Paradoxically, the rest of their idiocy arises from their other foundation belief ─ that women are superior to men.
Schizoid? You would be too if like Emma you’ve been gathering pearls of wisdom at the feet of the sisterhood for the last 6 months.
The darkest moment in Emma’s speech came for me when she said the following:
“I think it is right that women be involved on my behalf in the policies and decisions that will affect my life. I think it is right that socially I am afforded the same respect as men. But sadly I can say that there is no one country in the world where all women can expect to receive these rights.
No country in the world can yet say that they have achieved gender equality.”
This is worse than mad, it is bad.
Bad because it’s blind to the vast gap between the situation of women in the West and that in the rest of the world. It is bad because of the dishonest reason for that blindness. It’s the same blindness that causes British feminists to have apoplexy over Barbie dolls while ignoring “honour” killings or the hundreds of thousands of cases of FGM in Britain. So just as with the paleo-sisterhood Emma’s multiculturalism trumps her feminism, which is sad because they are usually contradictory.
It’s also bad because it’s a lie. There is a country in which women have achieved gender equality ─ her own, Britain. There are a third more women undergraduates than men in Britain these days, and women in their twenties now earn more than men.
In the real Britain of today, rather than in feminists’ dark fantasies, a woman has at least as much opportunity as a man and possibly more. The reason that there are fewer women MPs than men is that Britain is a free society. And in the real world men are more interested in politics and it plays more to their general strengths.
Later on she drops a rare fact into her speech:
“Because the reality is that if we do nothing it will take 75 years, or for me to be nearly a hundred, before women can expect to be paid the same as men for the same work.”
This once again bears the hallmarks of feminist reality because it has been against the law for 40 years to pay women less for doing the same work. Every so often a woman will quite rightly take a case to court and win substantial compensation from any employer breaking this law. Yes, women still earn less than men on average, but this is entirely due to choice of occupation, education level and career disruption through child bearing.
This is the worst aspect of Emma’s speech.
To personalise the speech she gave instances of her own path to feminism in a sexist culture:
“I started questioning gender-based assumptions a long time ago. When I was eight I was confused at being called “bossy,” because I wanted to direct the plays we would put on for our parents—but the boys were not.
When at 14 I started to be sexualized by certain elements of the media.
When at 15 my girlfriends started dropping out of their beloved sports teams because they didn’t want to appear ‘muscly.’
When at 18 my male friends were unable to express their feelings.”
Obviously self knowledge is not Emma’s strong point. Presumably this pathetic litany is supposed to convince us of her own victimhood. Could she possibly not realise that everybody, man or woman, no matter how privileged and fortunate their upbringing could come up with such a list? In reality this pathetic list of irritations and minor slights proves the opposite of her intention. Anyone man or women whose life was marred by such trivial stuff is truly blessed. She should be performing cartwheels of delight.
Does she also not realise how offensive these sufferings sound to millions upon millions of women who live in real as opposed to imaginary sexist societies? I guess not, because she gives no indication in her speech that gender inequality might be more of a problem in India than it is in Britain. Presumably, to Emma an eight-year-old Emma being called “bossy” in Oxford equates to Anji in Bombay being burned to death because her dowry hasn’t arrived.
It’s sad because in the context of the liberated equality that women in Britain enjoy it leads to the inescapable conclusion that no matter what men do, they will never appease this resentment. And if the opinion and comments pages of British newspapers are any guide at all the resentment of a privileged Hollywood star is typical of women across Britain.
But let’s take seriously as very many commentators did the validity of her sufferings in patriarchal Britain. How exactly do you go about achieving the Nirvana where no one ever calls an eight-year-old “bossy”? And how exactly do you go about making people appreciate the beauty of muscly women? To achieve that sort of precision social engineering would even tax the creativity of a Kim Jong Un?
Clearly Emma’s beef along with the rest of the sisterhood is with free societies.
Freedom is all very well just as long as no eight-year-old should ever suffer the catastrophic loss of self-esteem from being called “bossy”.
Thanks Emma for the reminder that I am a feminist. But I don’t want to brag about it, because in truth it doesn’t make me at all remarkable among British men. In fact I have met very few men who believe in the inferiority of women. I’d say that a higher proportion of British men agree on this than almost anything else. Very likely more men believe in women’s equality than women who return the favour.
That’s why the sexual revolution was so bloodless in the West. Western men have accepted the obvious truth that women are equal and should have equal rights.
Compare that to what has happened in Turkey since the Islamists came to power in 2003. Murders of women have increased more than 10 times. And that’s merely the tip of an iceberg of suffering.
Consider that in the Palestinian authority area that two thirds of murders are “honour killings”. Maybe it’s those evil Joos that put them up to it?
Perhaps religiously inspired misogyny should have had a mention in your speech, Emma?
So we western men are feminists. But I can’t say the same for Emma. Her equal position in a western society and the fabulous success it enabled was not enough to wean her from the delights of victimhood and resentment. For Emma and her fellow pretend feminists pedestrian equality will always be a glass half full.
The vast monolithic western patriarchy of our grandfathers suffered the same fate as the plains bison. It has been hunted almost to extinction. But then the very success of the sharpshooters threatened their own livelihood. Somehow the remaining few dozen bison have to support thousands of great white feminist hunters. Last week brought a hilarious example of the result.
Emma’s speech was preceded by an internet threat to release nude photos of her. Any Google search will reveal dozens of feminists gunning for this particular bison. As one put it “It makes me furious that these men, these boys, are attempting to grind you down.” The feminist feeding frenzy resulted from just one not very credible post on a message board. That’s what the patriarchy amounts to these days. One saddo in his underpants tapping away naughty things on his keyboard in his mummy’s basement. One lonely bison staring extinction in the face.
But I can’t bring myself to condemn Emma entirely. Whether she knows it or not her popularity and idealism are being exploited by the hard-faced great white misogynist hunting ideologues of feminism. In short she’s just a cat’s paw for the whining harpies in the background.
John blogs at Ruthless Truth. • (1536 views)