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Feminism is divisive and needs to be confined to history

Published 13 November 2015 Associated Categories Ways forward
Don't shout at the telly. Feminism

WORLDbytes* volunteers hear the case against feminism put by spiked education editor, Joanna Williams.

She touches on and discusses a wide range of issues: the commonly held view that men are the problem, (as are some women’s choices), rape/lad culture, the obsession with gender, the belief that the personal is political and its negative consequences, patriarchy, victimhood, abortion, the elision of girls and women’s problems, women’s sense of entitlement, interference in people’s lives overseas etc.

She argues that feminists are very selective about the issues they choose to focus on and derides what feminism now stands for and what is being done in its name. She believes that in reality there’s never been a better time to be female.

While not everyone agrees, the arguments are compelling!

Further analysis of the ignoble role that feminists have played in  campaigning against what used to be known as female genital cutting or circumcision, now called mutilation, can be accessed here.

‘It’s a real indictment of today’s feminists that they are actively calling on and colluding with the state in restricting people’s freedom of movement, removing passports, supporting racist finger-pointing to identify ‘at risk’ children, girls and young women, and supporting mandatory examination of girls’ genitals. In the form of safe houses, they are also encouraging the state to ‘protect’ young girls from the people who love them the most: their families and communities.’


Meet the feminists who don’t like men‘ is the title of a review of Freedom Fallacy written by Joanna Williams. The book brings together some 20 writers and academics all intent on exposing ‘the limits of liberal feminism’.

She suggests the central argument of Freedom Fallacy is that so-called ‘choice’ or ‘liberal’ feminists propagate falsehoods about female autonomy while ignoring the structural inequalities that limit the freedom of women.

Freedom Fallacy’s assertion that women are still victims of oppression hinges on a concept of ‘patriarchy’ which is evoked repeatedly throughout the book. We are told that when it comes to patriarchy, ‘we need to bear in mind that the main problem is men: men’s choices, men’s ways of seeing and treating women’. Exploring the material conditions that shape women’s choices is entirely laudable; however, when it is done with minimal evidence and with a predetermined conclusion — women are victims of patriarchy — the focus shifts immediately from structural inequalities to the behaviour of men.

Drawing an equivalence in the experiences of women around the world, she suggests, masks the huge differences in the economic circumstances between people in different countries.

The authors ask no questions about the causes of global poverty and make no suggestions as to how poor countries can become more prosperous. Instead, they complain about the behaviour of men.

Changing the behaviour of men might mean, at best, that disadvantage is distributed a little more equally, but it will do little to lift whole nations out of the poverty that so restricts individual freedom and choice.

*WORLDbytes is a unique online Citizen TV channel set up and run by the education charity WORLDwrite. Dedicated to advancing new knowledge, skills and ideas, the charity promotes excellence in citizen reporting and provides free training to volunteer-learners which combines practical film making with tackling challenging issues.

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