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Feminism chat for right wingers

(266 Posts)
LeslieKnopefan Fri 09-Feb-18 04:01:02

Wondered if anyone else who is on the right like myself (see myself as centre right) wanted to chat about feminism.

I noticed there was a chat going for those in the Labour Party and thought it might be nice for anyone else like myself who is on the right but see them self as a feminist.

To introduce myself to begin... I’m in my mid 30s and always been right wing for as long as I can remember and am an active member of the Tory Party. I didn’t until recently see myself as a feminist because I always had negative connotations about the word and felt it wasn’t an issue that effected me.

But now that I’m older I’ve realised that feminism is a broad church and it is an issue that I’m not only interested in but actually there has been times in my life where being a woman has held me back or where I have been judged in a way that a man wouldn’t have been judged.

The areas that I’m currently most interested in are trans issues and how the Conservative party will deal with the many grey areas that trans rights brings with it.

I’m also concerned about the way we raise girls (and boys!!) such as the seperation of toys and the pinkness of everything for girls that we didn’t see when I was growing up. I know myself that I will say to little girls how pretty they look but wouldn’t say that to a boy, I am trying to stop myself saying such things but I realise how ingrained this is.

Finally, an issue that hasn’t really changed since I was growing up is the idea that men that have many sexual partners are great whilst women are sluts or slags. Again, I can’t say I’ve always been innocent of this especially at school where it seemed to be the norm to talk badly of girls who had lost their virginity but not boys.

Anyway that’s enough from me right now. If there is anyone else on the right here who wishes to join in please do smile

HarveyKietelRabbit Fri 09-Feb-18 04:03:38


ISaySteadyOn Fri 09-Feb-18 06:35:00

I don't consider myself right or left. But I do think that it is good to raise concerns. I worry about similar things. And I have started to bump against beliefs I grew up with. I just wanted to bump this for you because I think many feminists on this board can address some of what you worry about more eloquently than I.

SoulCister Fri 09-Feb-18 07:12:42

Hi Leslie - I'm very much left of centre and so not a Tory, but I agree with lots of your post. It would be great to have a conversation on here about feminism and trans from the perspective of the political right.

ApacheEchidna Fri 09-Feb-18 07:21:41

I think it's a really good and positive thing to have a thread for feminist chat for those of a tory persuasion. I can't really contribute to it, as I am firmly left wing myself, but more power to you sister OP.

Sohardtochooseausername Fri 09-Feb-18 07:23:45

I’m (slightly) left wing and agree with much of your post. Does feminism have to be party-specific?

Lweji Fri 09-Feb-18 07:41:00

The Tory party really has something to teach Labour on feminism. They're at 2 female leaders to zero.
(I'm left, BTW)

wrappedupinmyselflikeaspool Fri 09-Feb-18 07:41:09

Hi OP, I wouldn’t describe myself as being on the right but I’m certainly politicaly homeles and I grew up in a conservative family with some active Tory members. I recognise all of the attitudes you’ve written about and i wish that I’d had someone who was a feminist to help me see things from that perspective as a young person. I also didn’t think it was for me and tried hard to fit in to the conventional femininity that was expected of women and girls in my community. I think the main obstacle to this and the reason I have voted labour and followed progressive causes for three decades now is that I was one of those girls that was called a slut. This is because of rumours about me which were actually stories of abuse and child sexual exploitation. I knew back then this wasn’t fair but it took me quite a while to find feminism and work out why.

Recently I am so disappointed with the way the left are going Ive seriously considered voting conservative. I don’t think I will but this shows how much things have changed for me. Without changing a single one of my own lefty views - better economic fairness, free health and education, social care for those who need it, etc. I have apparently become a Terf a swerf and a Zio and all round persona non grata. I’m still masquerading as a lefty because I do love so many of my lovely, softy, peaceful, lefty friends but I am very much centre now. I agree with some conservative stuff, some labour, some green, some Lib Dem.

I’d be really interested to hear from Tory feminists because I don’t think feminism is incompatible with centre right positions.

HairyBallTheorem Fri 09-Feb-18 07:47:04

Welcome Leslie

I'm another leftie I'm afraid, but I'd like to second Lweji's comment - two women PMs to nil is certainly something worth thinking about (even if May is there in the classic move often made in industry of appointing a woman CEO only when the company is so badly in the shit none of the men want the job because it's career suicide).

JaimesGoldenHand Fri 09-Feb-18 07:57:18

I have historically voted Tory. My parents ran a small business and were Tory voters. I believe in a small state.

Until recently I believed that all Tories also cared deeply about injustice and poverty and wanted to work to relieve them but just believed in different approach to achieving that. Sort of give me a fish and I eat for a day, teach me to fish and I eat for a lifetime.

I have become disenchanted and believe that too many Tory voters are quite happy to preserve the status quo since they're doing alright. I don't think they realise the levels of poverty and suffering. Universal Credit has been a turning point for me.

OTOH, I also believe that there are pisstakers and freeloaders all over society. The difference being that those with family money, an education and connections can manage their freeloading more successfully. I believe we are in denial about social services and what they can achieve - we cannot afford the NHS and demand from it the huge range of treatments that just weren't scientifically possible when it was established. I don't support chucking more money into the bottomless pit.

On taxes, I don't avoid tax - apart from having ISAs and paying into a pension. But I would not willingly pay more because I don't trust any government to spend it well frankly.

So much for my political position. I am fiercely gender critical thanks to MN. I see the gender stereotypes forced on my DC in a way they weren't when I was growing up. I am terrified and fascinated by the power of the trans lobby and by the way politicians on all sides have fallen for it. I donated to the Go Fund Me and I may be attending the A Woman's Place event in London.

I don't want to vote for the Tories any more but will not vote for Labour and the power of the Unions. I don't see the point in the LibDems and I think the Greens (and UKIP for completeness) are batshit. My current hope is that the WEP will wake up and defend women's rights properly. I will vote for someone at the next election and at the moment it will be the Tories again through gritted teeth.

TheWizardofWas Fri 09-Feb-18 07:58:55

Contradiction much!

coffeecork Fri 09-Feb-18 07:59:35

I've never seen a thread like this before. Thank you for starting it.

I'm not on the right, but when I was a SAHP I drew comfort from some conservative politicians because they didn't dismiss or belittle that contribution to society in the way that the left did. I know that their motivation for this probably didn't match mine but it was appreciated. I was crushed when a Labour woman in government said that SAHMs wasted the money spent on our education and should get out to work.

I'm not familiar with advocacy for women on the right (although I know it takes place) and am looking forward to reading about it.

QuentinSummers Fri 09-Feb-18 08:01:00

I am a centre voter.
The conservatives have some very unfeminist policies aimed at getting women back in the home/caring unpaid (e.g. dementia tax). I don't see them as a party for women as a class.
If they moved to a more central position and implemented policies to get men to take more of the caring/housekeeping burden i would consider voting for them.

JaimesGoldenHand Fri 09-Feb-18 08:01:33

If that was aimed at me, then you're right. Life is full of contradictions. I feel very conflicted.

KnitFastDieWarm Fri 09-Feb-18 08:12:48

Welcome! I’m a lifelong labour voter until recently (i’m now pretty politically homeless) - but this issue needs to transcend our politics. We need to find our common ground as women and stand together.

SoulCister Fri 09-Feb-18 08:20:08

Wrapped I feel very similar to you... I describe myself as left wing almost instinctually, but actually have no idea anymore.

StinkPickle Fri 09-Feb-18 08:22:07

I completely agree with all you’ve said. Economically I’m very right wing. Socially I’m a feminist (TERF) and can see the Labour Party making the biggest disasterous ani feminist move of their existence. I hope the Tory party step up and “fill the gap” for feminist voters by making a clear stance for women’s rights.

Nickynackynoodle Fri 09-Feb-18 08:45:56

I’m centre right, a Conservative party member. I agree with everything you’ve said.
We shouldn’t be any more ashamed of our political leaning than we are of being feminists and it’s a shame that people (even on this thread) think we should.

I was in Bristol last night, yes it was overwhelmingly left wing but if we divide, we will lose. Feminism transcends blue and red, it’s far more important and do you know what? From what I’ve learnt as a member of a radical feminist group, male labour MPs are horrible misogynists. My male conservative MP couldn’t have been more understanding of our cause. His wife is a feminist within her profession. We need to work together.

leghairdontcare Fri 09-Feb-18 08:50:52

I think Theresa May is a great example of the glass cliff in action so I'm not sure we should celebrate her role as PM from a feminist perspective. I'm ok with Maggie from a feminist perspective. I would love a female labour leader.

LangCleg Fri 09-Feb-18 08:54:19

I am another leftie so won't have much to contribute but I also think it's great you started this thread, OP. I'd be interested to see how right-of-centre women think feminism can be applied through this prism.

wrappedupinmyselflikeaspool Fri 09-Feb-18 08:55:45

Agree very much we need to work together. I’m embarrassed at attitudes I’ve had in the past towards conservative voters. We can disagree but we mustn’t dismiss one another, which often happens on both sides I think. Certainly my grandmother, who was president of the Ladies Conservative Guild blush has some weird ideas about lefties. I grew up in the 80s when it was all about Thatcher so very polarised. She definitely wasn’t a feminist but I think there are contemporary Tory women that I would identify as being fairly feminist. Both sides have different blind spots. I’ve voted green in the past and that would be a good fit for me if it wasn’t for their stupidity over gender.

AstraiaLiberty Fri 09-Feb-18 09:04:32

I'm interested in this thread, too. I'd describe myself as economically centre-right, and socially libertarian. (I wouldn't vote Tory because they're further right than me and very authoritarian). I'm gender-critical because from a libertarian perspective I believe in people doing whatever they like as long as it doesn't harm others. Self-ID harms women. It's also profoundly anti-science and ontologically nonsensical.

Most gender-critical women I've come across have been left-wing, but I think you can be of any political persuasion and both be a feminist and disagree with the transactivists. Many of the women I admire are lefties - I don't have to agree with everything they say to value their contributions on particular issues. I think the 'ideological purity' stance is ultimately unhelpful when it stops people working together for a shared cause.

Lunarsey Fri 09-Feb-18 09:20:10

Interesting thread. Over the years I've voted across the spectrum (aside from UKIP obviously) and probably naturally sit in the centre ground.

I was only wondering last night if there is a party that we could all join and influence? Perhaps one that hasn't fully formed its thinking on this subject?

TheWizardofWas Fri 09-Feb-18 09:28:05

Thatcher as feminist! This thread reminds me of all those debates about the incompatibility of bourgeois feminism with Marxist feminism. Class versus sex, Lady Di as oppressed woman etc. Perfectly possible to be a BF, though Thatcher herself had not a shred of interest in it, but why would one really want to be, when we know what the market does to most women.

Rufustherenegadereindeer1 Fri 09-Feb-18 09:29:07

I probably haven't got much to contribute but very interesting thread

I would consider myself to be a centerist and was primarily a tory voter until the last two elections

I think that was probably down to laziness and upbringing more than any serious convictions...although the earlier labour leaders pre blair didnt really have an effect on me (that sounds really wrong but i cant think of a way of saying it)

I have always preferred conviction politicians (in my view) so john smith, gorden brown, nick clegg etc

I do feel politically homeless and i also think that no political parties seem to be supporting women at this time

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