Talk

Advanced search

Lebedev says he will use seat in HoL to protect free speech including JKR. Gender critical feminism getting lost in right wing agenda?

(39 Posts)
stumbledin Mon 10-Aug-20 15:10:44

irtually anything one says on gender, race or sex can now be seen as an act of violence of some sort. The problem is that this leads to an impoverishment of discussion and debate.

The personal consequences, whether online or actual, can be a huge deterrent against speaking freely. Just look at the lengthy denunciations of J.K. Rowling and Professor Steven Pinker for sharing opinions online about gender, racial justice and sexism.

Equally shameful are the condemnations of Halle Berry for accepting a role as a transgender man and of fellow actress Zoe Saldana for darkening her skin to play a character, and their public renouncements followed by disturbing apologies.

Isn’t the point of acting precisely to portray someone you are not?

We would surely be poorer without these people, but some are determined to drive all diverse voices out of the public sphere.

(Not surprisingly this was written for the Daily Mail with other papers reporting what he said) www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-8608179/EVGENY-LEBEDEV-Im-proud-Russian-lord.html

OP’s posts: |
Goosefoot Mon 10-Aug-20 15:24:13

Do you mean it's becoming associated with the larger issue of free speech?

That's probably true, and a lot of people, especially academics, come into the gender discussion from that direction.

The fact that free speech is seen as a right wing issue is flipping pathetic, though.

stumbledin Mon 10-Aug-20 15:29:06

Not saying free speech is a right wing issue, but there are more and more articles in papers about how people with right wing politics are getting silenced / cancelled eg in universities.

Its more that the only people speaking up are more likely to be right wing or conservative, eg the Times, and so the actual feminist politics of being gender critical are lost in the wider debate.

OP’s posts: |
BovaryX Mon 10-Aug-20 15:31:16

The fact that free speech is seen as a right wing issue is flipping pathetic, though

The serious, relentless attacks on freedom of speech, on both sides of the Atlantic, are coming from the political left. The paradigm of #no debate and cancel culture is coming from the political left. The Guardian has lost left wing feminists because it refuses to print problematic news. It isn't 'pathetic' that freedom of speech is being presented as a 'right wing' issue. What's pathetic is that the shoutiest section of the left wing regard freedom of speech as a road bump on their journey to total narrative control.

teawamutu Mon 10-Aug-20 15:34:30

My first thought is, given the treatment of women's rights as a niche issue, I'm quite pleased to see it being treated as part of a bigger picture.

Goosefoot Mon 10-Aug-20 15:36:41

I think there are a few things going on there.

One is that conservative viewpoints are in fact being shut out of some of those institutions, and that is a problem. Conservatism has a respectable intellectual tradition that's offered a lot to western society.

Another is many ideas that are pretty moderate, or may actually be leftist, are being called right wing, or even alt-right.

But I guess I think it is a larger debate, really, and it's probably important for feminists in this to understand that. Because you can argue and take action around GC causes all day, or try and figure out where gender ideology come s from. The answer is, it's part of a bigger movement and gains a lot of strength from other parts of that movement. It's like a hydra, it probably won't work just to cut off the genderism head and leave the rest of the thing alive.

Goosefoot Mon 10-Aug-20 15:42:18

BovaryX

^The fact that free speech is seen as a right wing issue is flipping pathetic, though^

The serious, relentless attacks on freedom of speech, on both sides of the Atlantic, are coming from the political left. The paradigm of #no debate and cancel culture is coming from the political left. The Guardian has lost left wing feminists because it refuses to print problematic news. It isn't 'pathetic' that freedom of speech is being presented as a 'right wing' issue. What's pathetic is that the shoutiest section of the left wing regard freedom of speech as a road bump on their journey to total narrative control.

My point is that freedom of thought, and expression, is at the heart of any liberal democracy, and so it should be seen as not being part of any "wing".

It's interesting that 30 years ago, a lot of the discussion around control of thought was from the other direction. It was a common thing for evangelicals in the US, for example, to want to keep their kids out of public schools in order to prevent them learning about evolution, and the right wing press tended to be very sympathetic to that sort of viewpoint, even when they didn't totally embrace it. The right was also associated with wariness about school sex ed, and such.

There has been a real flip, but it's part of the reason many older people on the left have been slow to recognise what's happened - in their minds, the left has long been the one fighting for ideas to be heard while the right tries to shut them down.

BovaryX Mon 10-Aug-20 15:46:03

The answer is, it's part of a bigger movement and gains a lot of strength from other parts of that movement. It's like a hydra

I agree Goosefoot The trans movement is part of a relentless attack on freedom of speech. The architects of this attack have an absolute certainty about their moral righteousness and they are profoundly totalitarian. They have contempt for debate, for democracy if it delivers the 'wrong' result and they regard freedom of speech as an inconvenient obstacle. Every day this becomes more explicit.

Goosefoot Mon 10-Aug-20 15:52:09

I don't know that freedom of speech is really the heart of the issue either. More another symptom.

andyoldlabour Mon 10-Aug-20 16:06:16

BovaryX

"The architects of this attack have an absolute certainty about their moral righteousness and they are profoundly totalitarian. They have contempt for debate, for democracy if it delivers the 'wrong' result and they regard freedom of speech as an inconvenient obstacle."

I wish I had written that, it is spot on. It sums up everything that I think about the Labour/Liberal Democrat/Green political zone at the moment. I am sure that there are politicians, activists in these parties, who are more traditional in their views, more down to earth, have credible opinions on important current issues. They will however be shouted down by the champions of identity politics, mostly young, ideological people, with no life experience, no "skin in the game", the beardy "wokebros" and their "handmaidens", who couldn't give a stuff about anything which disadvantages women, or for that matter, older white "dudes" - BOOMER - such as myself.
The ones in the Labour party, probably have never experienced hard, manual labour. I read an article the other week, where someone was explaining this, saying that there was a failure amongst many late teens and twenty somethings, to make the journey into adult life. maybe it is because so many are going to college or university, rather than working (which is what I did aged 16), so that they stay in the moody teenager mode for many years, well after leaving their teens.
It probably doesn't help that those years will probably be spent in an echo chamber of immature views with their peer group.

Tanith Mon 10-Aug-20 16:07:44

I don't agree that this is a Left vs Right debate, although I know it suits many to try to frame it as such.

The Morning Star has repeatedly published GC views. They are further Left than the Guardian.

The proposals to introduce self id came from the Conservatives. It was Theresa May who actually attended a Stonewall AGM and declared that they could rely on the Conservative party to push their agenda.

My own opinion is that this actually originates from the alt-right and is being used successfully to side-track and divide opposition. I think people on all areas of the political spectrum support GC, and those who want self id and insist that TWAW are also from Left, Right and Central.

My reason for believing this is what's actually happening and, more importantly, who appears to be benefitting.
I believe Boris Johnson and the Conservatives will appear GC just as long as it suits them. They could declare right now if they wanted to. Instead, it suits them to stay out of it for now.

It's why I'd never use GC arguments on which to base my vote. It's a waste when the only parties that appear reliably GC are the minor faction parties who stand not a chance in hell of ever being in Government. I thought it was a waste when so many GC women left Labour because all it's done is to dilute the GC voice from the party.

BovaryX Mon 10-Aug-20 16:12:37

Cheers andy I absolutely agree with your analysis here:

The ones in the Labour party, probably have never experienced hard, manual labour. I read an article the other week, where someone was explaining this, saying that there was a failure amongst many late teens and twenty somethings, to make the journey into adult life. maybe it is because so many are going to college or university, rather than working (which is what I did aged 16), so that they stay in the moody teenager mode for many years, well after leaving their teens

The Labour party has shed its traditional voter base like a desert cat sheds its fur in summer....

highame Mon 10-Aug-20 16:21:38

Tanith - hard left Trots have been let into the Labour Party by Corbyn. They are not interested in Labour, they want a platform for the revolution - sounds like Citizen Smith. Momentum have swelled the numbers and the aim is to sew mayhem and anarchy.

All this stuff sounds really old fashioned, but you have to remember the hard left have been waiting for a revolution opportunity since 1917

highame Mon 10-Aug-20 16:22:19

didn't finish

GC is neither here nor there, it's a division

nauticant Mon 10-Aug-20 16:52:01

In its broadest sense I think what's going on is that some people have spotted that there are all kinds of different identities up for grabs and that some of them come with the feature of being able to opt out of certain responsibilities about acceptable behaviour and what society can expect of the individual. This naturally conveys power.

In an environment in which, inexplicably, parts of this have captured, and are being enabled by, the majority of government departments, institutions, and companies, the main obstacle to the resultant use of the conveyed power is free speech.

nauticant Mon 10-Aug-20 16:56:57

I also meant to say, that therefore focusing too much on the left vs right aspect of this saps energy and leads to a dead end.

QuarantineDream Mon 10-Aug-20 17:14:58

Haven't read the piece yet but don't forget that as a middle-aged Russian Lebedev grew up under the Soviet Union - where free speech was anathema. My family is Eastern European and one of them said recently they feel cancel culture reminds them of the regime they fled.

QuarantineDream Mon 10-Aug-20 17:17:47

Btw for those interested in free speech this from a few years ago - and the initial column (which he links to) - are eye opening https://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/29/opinion/sunday/the-liberal-blind-spot.html

Floisme Mon 10-Aug-20 17:36:20

So we've had:
Labour leadership candidates endorsing a pledge to expel GC women from the party.
The treatment meted out to women attending the WPUK meeting in Brighton - applauded from the Labour Party conference floor the following day.
The ongoing abuse of Rosie Duffield.

And yet it's women leaving the Labour Party who have diluted the GC voice?

Give me strength.

Tanith Mon 10-Aug-20 18:20:00

"Tanith - hard left Trots have been let into the Labour Party by Corbyn."

Not quite true. Everyone was let into the party by Milliband. Local Conservatives were delightedly signing up to cause chaos and boasting openly about what they'd done.
Personally, I think any Conservative that did this should be thrown out of their own party, but there you go.

And Floisme, aren't you a Conservative voter yourself? I'd expect you to make an analysis that, incidentally, isn't entirely correct, either. Of course less GC people as party members will mean they can't voice their views. Did you imagine it would strengthen their voice?

I agree with what nauticant is saying. Like many things at the moment, this really isn't a Left vs Right debate.

Floisme Mon 10-Aug-20 18:22:05

And Floisme, aren't you a Conservative voter yourself?
No.

Floisme Mon 10-Aug-20 18:23:28

I have voted Labour my entire life, including the December 2019 debacle.
But I am sick and tired of them refusing to own their shit.

Floisme Mon 10-Aug-20 18:28:41

You know the other thing that enrages me about Labour?
The way they go for the player instead of the ball.
Learn to tackle.

Goosefoot Tue 11-Aug-20 02:31:24

highame

Tanith - hard left Trots have been let into the Labour Party by Corbyn. They are not interested in Labour, they want a platform for the revolution - sounds like Citizen Smith. Momentum have swelled the numbers and the aim is to sew mayhem and anarchy.

All this stuff sounds really old fashioned, but you have to remember the hard left have been waiting for a revolution opportunity since 1917

I'm not sure I think the Momentum types were really hard left.

For one thing they don't seem to give two shits about workers, which is kind of an existential issue for a leftist in the most basic way.

But they also have latched onto identity politics like its nobody's business, and that replaces their class politics. And undermines the possibility of a class politics. The whole program of any kind of Marxism is to explode class, and they are instead replacing it with identity which they then essentialise.

That doesn't serve any kind of leftist program.

The only way this could masquerade as leftism is in the way it gives a lot of power to the state to administer social programs. But that isn't inherently leftist, you can have social programs administered by the state in all kinds of systems, from feudalism to fascism.

I think in this case it serves a neoliberal/right libertarian agenda, maintaining without real challenge the actual stratification of class so long as it reflects demographics. Even the state programs end up amounting to the corporate sector using the state as an arm dedicated to maintaining their worker base and their consumer base.

highame Tue 11-Aug-20 20:11:32

@Goosefoot here's something to add to the mix....Labour is now predominantly a m/c metropolitan party. It's been a long time since it was a party for labour, in fact the intellectual Labour was never fond of the w/c.

It has become a melting pot of woke/socialist worker party idealism that looks like hard left when I watch from the sidelines (because Labour hasn't been my party for the last 2 elections, spoilt ballot was the best I could do) because woke has the same overarching need to control without debate or dissent as yer average Marxist.

The working class is still the working class I knew as a kid but Labour has changed. I think Lisa Nandy was the closest to recognising just how far away the party is from it's roots. I don't know how Labour can adjust because it will have to square quite a few circles before getting back on track. I think it will only be able to centralise itself without tackling some very difficult issues, otherwise the party will just split

I think this is a bit Janet and John but I hope you get the feel of how I'm thinking

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in