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If men like a particular brand of feminism, it means it is not working.
'Thus feminism gleefully predicts that men will become utterly disempowered while blithely demanding that they continue to subsidize the process. While perpetrating this nonsense, feminism still finds time to demand any prerogatives it deems fit to invent, squabble childishly about toilet seats AND AT THE SAME TIME complain about men's reluctance to commit to marriage...'
Please can you direct me to the body of feminist work which contains these ideas? I have read much, much feminist work and have yet to come across this. I await your response, flexing my debit card, ready to purchase the feminist text which 'childishly complains about toilet seats'.
Just spotted your comment on 08 Aug - a much better explanation of your viewpoint than anything in this article.
" Gassing about what I should do with my pubic hair, or whether I should go on slutwalk. For those of us who walk home, getting abuse from men we have never met, justified by our dress- slutwalk was not 'feminism-lite'- it was rouundly decried by feminists though. "
I'm also a woman who has faced severe sexual harassment, as I take public transportation or walk, everywhere. Yet, I see it as an absolute joke to think women can "reclaim" a word that was never ours. Plus, I don't want to see other women start calling one another sluts.
Like the word "slut," the shaving of pubic hair comes straight from pornography, the center of women hatred, and where the most desperate women end up working.
I did not read Julie's column as telling heterosexual women what to do, but rather showing understanding for how hard it must be to be in a partnership with a man and also want to have feminist values. For many women, it works better to choose lesbianism, though some are able to find men who are truly supportive of them.
'Feminists are not concerned, for example, about the fact that four times as many men commit suicide as women, that women consistently receive lighter prison sentences than men or that fewer and fewer boys attend college or graduate from school relative to girls. '
Erm, the feminists i know are, it's about recognising that patriarchy hurts men too, that gender stereotyping hurts men too, and that unless we recognise how inequalities and privileges intersect with one another then we can never achieve equality for all.
But reading your comments, i doubt anything i say would convince you that feminism is a social revolution to make the world a better place. I think you've made your mind up. Which is a shame.
By Jim Thompson of MensRightsVideos:
Feminism is a dinosaur movement trying to justify itself in the modern world. Women have all the rights they could want. They can vote, divorce, abort, and study to be anything they want.
Oh, the oppression!
Now allow me to be totally honest: I am a man who supports Patriarchy. That's right, I support Positive Patriarchy and make no apologies for the notion of men making the final decisions in this world. I'm not a Christian nor a Muslim. I am not your cliched, toothless MRA (look it up) screaming epithets at women. I'm your "middle-of-the-road", Johnny Secular and atheist-leaning man on the street.
Feminism turned Patriarchy into a dirty word, but we men are reclaiming it. Patriarchy has been an undeniably effective at maintaining societies that are stable, orderly, and family-oriented.
Patriarchy built every single civilization, city, and major institution on this planet. Men do the hardest and toughest jobs, are turned to as rescuers and builders of infrastructure.
Feminism, in contrast, does not build anything. It's main purpose: to "convince" men that women have a moral superiority and that men are inherently evil (based on sex organs).
50 years of Feminism has done wonders: divorce, abortion, and single motherhood have soared off the charts. An entire generation of men feels that it is no big deal to walk away from their marriage and children.
Feminism has revealed itself as a cabal of prima donas who engage in endless academic navel-gazing about their vaginas and ovaries. Aside from this Negative Narcissim (self-absorbed hated of men), their wheel-spinning in echo chambers is of little positive consequence to the world. Feminism has behaved more like a virus. Infecting women with a permanent victim mentality and criminalizing many good men.
Feminism is finished and "Professional Feminists" know it. Men have watched for the last few decades as Feminists have run roughshod over marriage, pregnancy, family, and even the notion of "equality".
Divorce, abortion, and single motherhood are disasters that no sane person would want for their own daughter.
And yet, Feminists were their greatest champion.
Time to call the bluff on this silly game and revive a Positive Patriarchy that affirms gender roles for both men and women. We need to discard the Feminist Masturbatory Fantasy of "generic" human beings who do not exist.
Watch 64 videos by "Women Against Feminism" and read more at Mens Rights Videos:
Julie is absolutely right. I'm a 'younger feminist' (30) but I identify more with radical feminism than anything else. Unless we recognise that the colour of our lipstick/ vibrator/ hair matters not a jot in the face of rape, domestic violence, attacks on abortion rights, institutionalised sexism, then men like Jim Thompson will continue to feel they have the right to spout misogynist crap. The comments by Julie, Bidisha, and Sianushka tell it as it really is.
'Feminism' has never been a coherent movement. However the fractured fault lines between feminisims have always contained the radical V's liberal identity agenda as argued by Bindel. Indeed these fault lines make up (take up?) a significant portion of feminist discourse. I would also like to add that such discourse is to be found across all social / equality / human rights movements. To accuse someone of being a 'splitter' an 'uncle Tom' or a 'colluder' is to take a position of authority from which to claim (dictate?) the 'truth' of a reality and of an experience. (Neo) Liberal feminisms have made significant gains Julie that even the most die hard radical can not deny. If we are point scoring (are we?) one could also compile a fairly substantial list of boo boo's that radical feminists have made... Who do you align yourself with as a radical? Is this about the pro-sex feminist movement (as this seems to be more or less your main thrust??). If so, can you be more explicit instead of making random pot shots at straw 'fun feminists'... Individualism has co-opted most collectivist movements but to lay the blame at the feet of a few individuals (as you seem to) is at best oxymoronic at worst a mean, shallow and unempathetic analysis on what it means to live, to grow up and experience a life in an indivualised world. Individualism will not be challanged by more division... Instead of hating on 'fun feminists' why not enter into a dialogue about the affects of individualim, sexuality and subjectivity such as feminists like Jessica Ringrose do for example? It's these dialogues (that attempt to move away from authority / truth discourses and those age old fault lines) that will move us ALL toward a better appreciation of what it means to be feminists and, most importantly to the improved rights and realities of women and girls across all lines.
Julie, you only come across as an angry, misandric, childish woman isn't helping her cause in attacking men. You can't generalise that all men, or all women who are straight, are automatically against feminism and lesbianism - you're just trying to avoid the ones who support you but don't agree with you because you want to feel as if you're the only one who believes in equal rights. Get over yourself, and quit making rather profane and sexist remarks about men. You're the reason people like myself, your average man who gets moaned at for doing nothing, gets pissed off.
What a load of claptrap from Julie Bindel. As a man - and a feminist - I found Caitlin Moran's book enlightening, profoundly moving, hilarious and sad, often simultaneously. Unlike the inappropriate comparison with South Africa, this is not a black and white issue. There are shades of grey and feminism should celebrate its articulate and popular advocates, like Caitlin Moran. if it does not, it will be consigned to hector at the rest of us from what it perceives to be the moral high ground. Rather than having a go at "fun feminists" Julie Bindel should be taking on more insidious obstacles to equality.
There are no race, gender, minority, age, or sexual orientation problems. There are only HUMAN problems. Until we realize this and stop trying to separate everyone into a box, nothing will be accomplished. It's why progress has been so slow. No matter what group is being persecuted, it eventually becomes everyone's problem. Every oppressed person is one less person able to act to their full potential. Our society has been built on sand and the people have been conditioned to not notice.
So what is your type of radical feminism? Hey,'domesticated women' can also be strong - and can have a strong character and ethics. Are you stereotyping 'heterosexual' women? What are your views about morals and feminism? xx
I found reading this blog deeply annoying and depressing, as I am male Julie will probably see it as a good thing, but as someone who believes in equality between all groups it was deeply depressing.
Feminism is a movement to establish equality of rights and opportunities between men and women. I am not sure what Julie is for, but it is very clear she is strongly against many things including anyone who disagrees with her preferred methods, form that equality takes, political expression or even dress sense. Stupidly she is against any idea that men like.
Julie defines proper (not-faux) feminism by it being something men cannot like and making it clear that it is not about liberty and personel freedom.
This is sexist because it exclude half of the population from even having worthwhile opinions. It is self defeating because the more successful feminism is the more extreme it must become and it is deeply oppressive as only the approved views are considered valid and no weight is attached to personal freedom.
It seems to me that women living in Julies world would be as restricted in their choices as women before feminism existed. What right does Julie have to decide what is and isn't proper feminism especially when her version seems to involve restricting what women should do.
It seems to me that this is a political philosphy of hate and intolerance and I cannot understand why New Statesman gives it a platform. It cannot do anything but damage feminism.
"If men like a particular brand of feminism then it is not working"
That statement alone completely gives me little faith in your stance as a feminist and makes me wonder how sensible and workable your entire ideology is.
Most feminists, radical or otherwise, realise the necessity to break the overwhelming patriarchal upper-hand. The most effective way of doing this is to bring the other side (i.e. men) over to your way of thinking and implement change from within, both legislatively and morally.
Most men, don’t like being told what to do and certainly not what to think, which has been the downfall of radical feminism. If “fun feminists” (a term which is as patronising as it is insulting) appeal to men in a way which engages them (and this doesn’t mean quoting Andrea Dworkin whilst giving a lap dance) in discussion as fellow human beings and not The Enemy, then surely that can only be a good thing?
Additionally feminism has become such a dirty word to young women these days, who associate it with hairy legs, dungarees and shouty aggression, that an entire generation of girls and women are not empowering themselves and have no idea of any sexual identity outside that which is directed towards pleasing men.
What Ms Moran has very cleverly done is engage these women and make them re-consider what feminism is, which in turn has them re-consider their role in society today and how they can affect change on their own terms.
What it all boils down to is – our species has two sexes, male and female, who are pretty much reliant on each other for survival. Neither of us are going anywhere any time soon. Can’t we just all get along?
So what are your views on morals? What exactly is SELF-LOVE? Who promotes it? As a radical feminist, do you 'look like a man' or do you advocate that evil, vile WRETCH nicknamed 'Lady Gaga'? Which type of meat was on That Dress? Dianic Feminists, how low can you go?
When girls kiss, men are revolted. When males kiss, men are revolted. Where are the real women? Feminism wants society to turn away from the natural love between man and woman. Feminism has gotten out of hand, PINK is manipulating heterosexual society and they stereotype men. Do feminists contemptuously assume domesticated women are ignorant of their rights? In The Labour Party, I don't see any provision for domesticated women, only promotion of feminism. Is this discrimination against us? Allow women to choose. Don't tell me, a heterosexual domesticated woman and mother, that feminism is right. All I'm hit with is filth, are lesbians natural women? How many feminists are self-centred or promote abortion? That's horrible! We see the spread of Women's Rights throughout the third world, encouraging women to be self-supporting. But what will happen to all the men? Would improved Family Counselling be better? I am not a 'doormat', I certainly won't tolerate a man's nonsense or bad character! No excuses feminists, good men are nice and cuddly! :) xx
I am just about sick and tired of middle class feminists telling me what is and isn't feminism. I have watched this year as equality has been literally rolled back for millions of british mothers, and where have our leading light feminists been? Gassing about what I should do with my pubic hair, or whether I should go on slutwalk. For those of us who walk home, getting abuse from men we have never met, justified by our dress- slutwalk was not 'feminism-lite'- it was rouundly decried by feminists though.
I am less interested in what 'feminists' have to say about what I should be thinking, or doing, and more interested in equality and why it is that I don't have it, and never did. I am interested in why motherhood is still used to keep women in poverty, and am interested in why it is that I was raised to believe we had equality and it wasn't true.
THis nonsense is just that. Nonsense.
You've annoyed me so much actually that I've decided to gloat that you're ruining your own cause.
While women like you are opening their mouths you'll never get the power you so desperately crave.
It's not equality you want, it's Matriarchy.
I am not sure that Julie Bindel would recognize herself in the various paraphrases above of what she actually wrote.
Let's take the article's incendiary opening line: "If men like a particular brand of feminism, it means it is not working." I happen to love it and think the key word here is "particular" and that it is a straw man to paint her as excluding men when what she wrote was about some's obsession with including them (as cis or trans, the dynamic is almost the same), not risking hurting their feelings with something as inconvenient as the truth about their behaviour, etc. - which of course gives men back any control they may have risked losing for a teenie minute there...
To get back to the word "particular", it has been my experience that when men pointedly support ONE particular type of feminism, they are rather transparently putting down the rest of the movement, ALL of it but especially anything they deem "radical". OTOH, the feminism they like is generally pro-porn&prostitution, pro-men-as-they-are... with cleavage if possible.
I see most of those men who claim to support a "particular" feminism endorsing the kind of media-acclaimed "feminism" of convenience where, just because someone is a woman, the media hold her defense of men as great guys and/or advocacy of women as sluts as the "new" or "correct" feminism...
Because, as we well know, the media have quite an axe to grind themselves with those pesky standard feminists challenging their sales and sexist stereotypes... (not to mention the stink they tend to raise about '"innocent ribbing" in the newsroom).
So, like Ms. Bindel, I tend to wince and look askance at the "girls-gone-wild" type of antics that men pointedly applaud as that "feminism" which they support. And I have a few decades of experience dealing with men who use that ploy and trying to nudge them across that particular form of resistance in order to *really* get them onside with actual support for equality&justice demands.
This is how I read her sentence and it is absolutely not the same as excluding men. And if her in-your-face attitude serves to discourage a few pseudo-feminist unreconstructed Neandertals from climbing aboard and coopting (in support of their own ends) a dumbed-down version of the women's movement, all I can say is: "Thank you, Julie and The Guardian for daring to publish such rebellious words!!!"
Considering you are a lesbian I don't think you have a right to tell heterosexual women what is good for them. Heterosexual women live with men. By making men unhappy - you make the women who live with men unhappy. So your wish that men must not like feminism is not going to make women who live with men happy is it?
Of course this assumes that feminism aims to make women happy. ostensibly it did but in relity it was more about getting attention and emotional support.
The new laws that have been created by (mostly Labour) governments have created a politically correct society where there is tension and anxiety between the sexes where there was little before. Rape and violence towards women has increased massively. Men are more unhappy than ever. Women are more insecure particularly about appearence. Considering feminism was supposed to liberate women sexually - hard to do that now that a lot of women hate the way they look. Because? Thanks to feminist laws it is now sexual harrassment for a man to flirt and compliment a woman. We can't trust men to be emotionally intelligent enough to know when a woman wants attention. The state is watching you. The man fears being sent to jail - he doesn't risk it. He must stand at a distance and objectify her beauty instead. Before men felt comfortable with women now we feel under threat by the state.
Positive Patriachy (see my above comment)would solve all these problems.
Feminists made Patriarchy a dirty word when it is really the greatest builder of civilization and protector against dangers.
Under Positive Patriarchy:
1) Men would have the final decision-making power AND [[drum roll please]] bear the greatest burden of responsibilities for the well-being of their wives and children.
2) Men would be BLAMED for failing to provide their families with an decent lifestyle.
3) Women would be MORE protected from cat-calls, gropers, harrassers and immature men in public.
4) Women are affirmed as WOMEN, uniquely valuable to the human species.
5) Men are positively acknowledged for their strengths: societal order, physical strength, and positive aggression in the service of humanity.
6) Removing the wound of "victim" from women's identity. Promoting her self-esteem as a woman, not something to be bitter about.
7) Working together. Abandoning the "battle of the sexes".
P.S. I am NOT religious ("atheist").
Feminism isn't about being, it is about becoming.
What wonderful irony for JB to say “If men like a particular brand of feminism, it means it is not working”.
This from one of the small coterie of self aggrandising elitists who silence the diverse voices of feminism at the Guardian and on CiF, by prostituting themselves and “feminism” to be one of the Guardian’s girls allowed to work up at the big house.
The fun feminism that JB is so keen to dis is the direct product of the feminism lite that her and her small network of friends (via the privilege given to them by the Guardian patriarchy) have together reduced down the collective politics of women’s liberation to the bourgeoisie individualism of the male approved feminist leaders who flourished under Blair’s top down society.
It is JB’s male approved feminism that has allowed a small group of primarily white university educated middle class women to appropriate and privatise what was previously a movement based on small grass roots autonomous women’s groups.
Now we have the Guardian approved (and promoted because an employee is part of it) feminism lite of UK Feminista put on by women who have so little political analysis they didn’t even understand or recognise how insulting and detrimental their screening of Hardcore was. This one event alone is so symbolic not only of their disconnect from the theory and practice of the years of work that feminist support groups for victims of male violence and sexual exploitation have evolved, but also their superficial connection to life as really lived by women who are victims of male violence, by prioritising the male film maker over the woman objectified on the screen. (An example of the power of the Guardian girls to protect their position as the only ones allowed a voice is the speed with which any comment on CiF challenging their analysis by other women / feminists, are instantly deleted whilst clichéd denunciations by misogynists are allowed to stand.)
Is it any wonder that a more spontaneous reaction to men’s attitudes to rape has sprung up when there is so much effort by the male media to silence the ongoing work of rape crisis and other sexual violence support networks, through the stranglehold that Julie and her media sisters strive to maintain to advance their media careers (eg the pathetic name checking in this article, LFN of course, because it was set up by JB’s number one fan which continues to stultify genuine discussion although bizarrely promoted by a BBC documentary).
Virtually every reference in this article is to media events / commentators. Yet another example of how the Guardian girls consistently under mine and make invisible the real radical feminists, the ones working with other women to support and promote women.
Fun feminism may not bring about women’s liberation, but neither will articles like this which are little more than female mud wrestlers putting on a show for a male audience, as JB just takes hackneyed pops at other media feminists and fails to in any anyway even intimate the real issues that women’s groups are facing at the moment.
An interesting, well written article...what a refreshing change from Laurie Penny's interminable rants & systematic men bashing!
You're full of reasons why are people are feminist in the wrong way, or not feminist properly, or whatever. So what would you say are positive ways to be feminist, and can you even say there is a right way to be feminist?
At least books like 'How to be a woman' point a mass market of female readers in the right direction, surely? Sadly more radical texts (whatever they may be, because you don't define radical feminism and therefore I don't know what you mean) may not be commercially viable, which although it shouldn't be the point, is the point in publishing.
This whole article stinks of lack of conviction. Feminism is being adopted by people in all parts of society in various different ways whilst, as the commenter above points out, some middle class white woman rants about how she's still the only feminist in the village.
Thanks for the reminder Jim of why we need women like Julie. To those men and women who have focussed their comments on defending men, can't you see this is part of the issue? You are putting your efforts here into promoting men, and as so many of you seem to agree, we live in a patriarchal society, so don't you think enough effort has already went into ensuring men's representation? Please understand how tiring it is to repeatedly have this debate about the part men should play in feminism, and how frustrating it is that unless there is some caveat about not all men being abusive in an article then the content is dismissed. Making sure that men aren't offended often feels like a constant preface that prevents us getting to the main story. If you really want to challenge patriarchy then please stop being defensive, pay your feminist sisters the respect they deserve and stop putting your feelings and sensibilities above those of the feminist movement. Take the lead from your sisters and ask how you can help. You want to challenge male supremacy? Then listen to those that have been there, done that and who somehow continue to have the strength to keep challenging and fighting.
Just for the record, there are two separate "Jims" here.
Please note the difference in approaches.
Julie Bindel is so arrogant and cringe-worthy. She needs to get over herself.
It would be more accurate to describe the author as a "Lesbianist" more so than a "Feminist" (which implies the concerns of women married to men -- the 97% "irrelevant" heterosexual majority).
As for yourself, Joanna, didn't you know that staying at home and looking after your kids is the most ABUSIVE thing you could do?
You oppressive "MOMMY MONSTER".
Cathy Brennan and Elizabeth Hunger
Sweetheart, it sounds like you have very little regard for men's feelings. But feminism can't take off whilst alienating half the population...
I think your assertion that all men are oppressors and all women victims is simply absurd. I am male and agree that both sex's should be equal but this sort of feminism which attempts to paint all men as bad and all women as good is nonsense.
I think you're right. As an old '70s feminist I despaired for the equality cause when women started thinking that middle class stripping (aka Burlesque) and pole dancing for 'exercise' were empowering. I also sighed with sadness that a worthwhile protest against rape involved marching the streets in underwear (Slut Walk).
But I do think we've moved on from considering all men as the enemy. Please let's aim for compassion and equality all round and in all things.
Being a US based feminist I sure am curious who these radical feminists working with the Saudi/Iranian/Sudanese Governments to TAKE AWAY THE TRANS PEOPLE'S RIGHTS are. Sounds a lot like the "working with the religious right" lie that gets perpetuated over and over again. I've learned over time that the only men who get offended when feminists like Julie criticize fun feminism for being too male-centric and male focused are not decent, non-sexist men but men who enjoy their male privilege and don't want the heart of it attacked, which is ultimately the idea that women's lives should be focused around men instead of themselves.
On this there is no compromise, there is no placation and there is no need to stroke the male ego to make it feel important. This is ultimately about women's liberation, either you can be an ally or you can be a dickhead like the MRAs on this post.
I have long thought of radical feminism as a bold movement which I support (even being a bloke). It was a movement that took central insights from Marxism whilst turning on it with a powerful critique of its own.
I recognise none of this in modern feminist discourse and thus have long (ever since the Spice Girls spoke of the male invented concept of 'girl power') considered feminism as every bit as much a failed project as Marxism.
I wonder when feminism will realize that it is literally abusing men in its attempt to become superior. And if they did, they wouldn't care because it's all fair when attacking male oppressors.
Feminism hasn't been about equality since the 1960s.
Perhaps men need to stop playing around with feminists and stand up to say enough is enough.
Feminism isn't really receiving the brunt of the damage it's causing. It polarizes women against men and men against women. Is it any wonder abuse of women is so high? Feminists are creating enemies of men and women. I don't care how much you think "rights" will protect women. If you don't bring men into your movement, men will stop caring about your rights, and justify their own rights to themselves, and will eventually take it out on the ones whose "rights" oppress them.
Essentially, the feminism you propose is communism with women in charge of it.
If women abuse the influence they have over men, they will feel the abuse it causes come back to them in a generation or two.
Julie - brilliant article!
You are so right about all that feminism-lite crap spouted by Moran et al, and the justifications for burka-wearing or basque-wearing, both equally hideously oppressive.
Feminism should return to its roots as womens liberation, militant, radical, and ideological - idiots like Jim should start his own men's movement if he is so bothered by it all!
Fun feminism is gutless. Keep working under the heel of patriarchal controlled and shaped "sex" industry? Every sex worker i know has been abused, has real self esteem issues and has little to no choices as far as making a meaningful living. Try being an observer to the thousands of kids on the streets and see how fun the streets are these days. Sex work is THE most dangerous occupation for a child or woman. Most amerikkkans are too cowardly to really take a stand against the full spectrum of oppressive behaviors that feed upon the downtrodden. People who preach feel goodism are a major reason WHY we are NOT in the streets rebelling against the madness killing the planet and all of life. Sick of women's attachment to looking like soft porn in daily life. So inspiring ain't it? We have not gotten anywhere baby but more rapes, killings, hey we are on our way full tilt to femicide. Here comes Juarez and the Congo.....
Feminism is about equality between the sexes. Many men believe in feminism and there are men who are proper feminists just as there are women who are sexist against other women.
The goals of feminism are sensible and uncontoversial. To exclude men from helping to achieve those goals is to endanger the feminist movement.
Julie Bindel I salute you! What a great article.
I want to engage men but they must, at all times, stay on the periphery; otherwise they defeat their purpose in support - and those that do care know this!
To those 'Fun Fems' that posted I ask you this: why aren't you villifying the likes of Jim Thomson? Why do you not tell him that his particular viewpoint is poison to the true empowerment of women? I'd love to hear your views on this; in a non-judgemental way of course.