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AIBU?

The privileged feminist vote

177 replies

Home2018 · 09/12/2019 23:33

So, there have been many conversations about intersectionality, always approached from a theoretical standpoint.

However, I think this GE and the focus of the vast majority of threads referring to the GE on the feminism boards may be a good example to highlight some of the points being made by woc.

For comparison, I was listing to a BBC R4 talk the other day and a young northerner spoke about his vote. The interviewer asked him about Brexit, as they did with all interviewees, and he said that focusing on Brexit in comparison to the NHS, welfare state and education as a low paid father of a disabled child in an underfunded state system was a privilege.

Which, sort of brings me to my point.

Many woc feel that the mainstream feminist narrative is centred on privileged women trying to seek equality alongside privileged men, rather than female allegiance focused on trying to ensure equality for those that need the voices of those more fortunate to level thier even lesser playing field.

In the run up to this GE, in comparison to issues such as the NHS, education for the poorest children in our society - half of them being the least privileged girls, state benefits for the poorest, the disabled, carers (again, most of which are women), racism against all minorities etc, can many on these boards say that thier focus has been on using their vote for the most vulnerable, most in need women? Or, unfortunately, themselves and the quest for equality among two of societies most privileged groups?

Whilst self ID is an extremely important issues which needs to be explored, during an election which literally comes down to protecting the rights of the haves and have nots, is spoiling your vote on an issue which isnt affecting women to the same extent to which issues as above are, as we speak, the true, sisterly, inclusive and non self centred feminist way to go?

I speak as a women whose neighbor's cancer suffering aunt was deported as part of the windrush debacle. She was a woman who devoted her life to caring for others. Men and women included. In an election such as this, do we not stand up for the elderly, less politically and educationally astute? For many of whom this election equals life and death. Or do we make a point?Is self ID and the focus on that the same? Is it more important? Does the suffering of those less able in society even feature?

Or, do you spoil you ballot over this one issue over many others that are here, right now, and the poorest most vulnerable women in society are left to suffer from alone?

Do you vote (or abstain from voting) to make a single point knowing fully well that the party that will win will literally disregard the human rights of societies most vulnerable people.

Disproportionately affecting women as result?

Honest question!

OP posts:
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BanKittenHeels · 10/12/2019 03:03

Feminists are women and women have to consider all people ahead of themselves so no, selfish feminists aren't allowed.

This.

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StreetwiseHercules · 10/12/2019 06:11

I think often the feminist argument for equality is a fallacy as it is always framed as “more women in the boardroom”, “more women in cabinet etc”. That is obviously part of equality but always the part which receives most attention.

We never hear feminists arguing for 50/50 on bin lorries or construction sites or in nursing.

That would also significantly change society, from grass roots up, but doesn’t seem to be a priority.

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OunceOfFlounce · 10/12/2019 06:33

I resigned my Labour membership over self id but will definitely be voting Labour. I am not white.

People obviously won't want to hear this OP but I think you're absolutely, and very obviously, right.

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AwkwardSquad · 10/12/2019 06:41

I’ve thought long and hard about this, and I agree with the OP.

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ChickenNuggetsChipsAndBeans · 10/12/2019 06:44

Oh the irony if being categorised a privileged feminist. My life is bloody tough, I didn't sleep last night over financial worries and I am reliant on the NHS for my long term health (survival). I am also a carer.

But this self-id stuff is important. Some organisations are already not using the word 'women' when describing women.

How are we meant to advocate for womens rights if we are not allowed to define women.

For fucks sake, I wish I had privilege.

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Vulpine · 10/12/2019 06:46

Streetwise, whilst there may be a physical impediment to some women becoming bin men or construction workers, there isnt to them becoming politicians and ceos

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Ibloodylovewomen · 10/12/2019 06:51

I'll reluctantly be voting Labour rather than spoiling my ballot for some of the reasons mentioned. But I also see that self id will negatively the most vulnerable women in society, and they will bear the worst brunt of allowing men into prisons, refuges, hospital wards, psychiatric wards etc. Most of the women I've heard talking about this are at least familiar with intersectionality (before it became coopted by the trans lobby to tell us that transwomen are the most vulnerable 'women' Hmm) so aren't just thinking about all this in a one dimensional way Confused.

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Bloodybridget · 10/12/2019 07:02

You know, OP, when second wave feminism took off in the UK in the early 70s, men on the Left slated women's rights activists for diverting attention from the class struggle.

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bigvig · 10/12/2019 07:05

I agree OP. Women have disproportionately been negatively affected by austerity. How many times on here do women advise other women to contact women's aid and seek other support which is increasingly non existent. I will vote Labour and will fight against the eradication of women's sex based rights.

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DeathStare · 10/12/2019 07:15

I get your point. And as a feminist who is white I do agree that the feminist movement has not always been good at valuing the perspectives and issues of woc.

However I'd also add two issues:
Firstly, self-ID is an issue that many feminists feel strongly about, including woc.
Secondly, most people don't vote on a single issue. Most people take many different issues into account when deciding who to vote for.

I feel very strongly about self-ID. I also feel very strongly about the NHS, education, poverty, life-chances.... LOTS OF THINGS. No party really says what I would hope they would say on self-ID. One party does (for the most part) say what I would want them to say on the other issues.

I'm not going to sell all my other beliefs down the river by voting for a party entirely based on the self-ID issue who would abandon everything else I feel is important. Nor am I going to risk them getting into power by not voting. It's an imperfect choice, but it's one I can live with and I'm sure many other people feel, and will do, similarly. if the party I vote for gets into power I will continue to campaign for them to take note of the self-ID issue.

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Smileyaxolotl1 · 10/12/2019 07:22

Yanbu - I am a conservative voter, however if you are strongly supportive of social justice, higher spending and higher taxes it seems weird to let a Tory government in because of single issues such as self Id or brexit.
However I also agree that people can vote how they choose for whatever reasons they wish.

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InfiniteSheldon · 10/12/2019 07:24

We are 51% of the population if we lose our hard won sex based rights all our lives will be harder and more dangerous. All our lives.

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JellyfishAndShells · 10/12/2019 07:39

Intersectionality - another form of trying to define what women can think and do, telling us we can’t be allowed to consider ourselves feminists if we don’t also take on a whole portfolio of political stances that may or may not accord with what we actually believe.

It’s one thing to theorise with this, in order to seem ‘nice’ or ‘ the right sort’ but it is dangerous now when there is a very real issue of women’s safety a stake.

I think your little essay is disingenuous at best, OP, but more likely to be a cynical co-opting of other issues in order to guilt women away from a subject that is really important to them.

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Home2018 · 10/12/2019 09:23

Well no. I'm a woman. I'm a feminist.

I think think/feel that the linear focus on SI over real, tangible, and life threatening issues that societies most vulnerable women are facing now is disingenuous for so called feminists.

The responses have largely proven those that speak about intersectionality, or the lack of it, correct!

This collective idea of sisterhood doesn't seem to exist here, unless its looking to seek equality with those ahead of you, men, rather than bring up other women behind.

The accusation is that this is feminism for some. And, I think the replies here have highlighted a perspective that I was on the fence about to be pretty absolute.

What about the solidarity with your letterbox sisters, of single mothers, carers, this rasint disabled children, or the disabled? Piccanannies even?

Is allowing our very own version of Donald Trump into office going to make the lives of the most vunerable women better?

If SI was an issue that the Tory's did pick up, would it be for your benefit or would it be to serve the rightwing they're intentionally appealing to, one who on all other issues will throw rights for all women under the bus!

Of course anyone can vote how they want. I'm not at all saying that women should be held to standards that men arent. However, I think that feminists should be. I think that in order to hold the title correctly, you should be collective and fight for those less fortunate than you, not just you. There is a difference between a female and a feminist, and if those that had walked before you focused on thier own rights before the collective rights of all, half of the freedoms we all.enjoy today wouldn't be here!

I think some of these responses have actually been shameful. And, I think some of you need to reflect on whether your feminism is driven by equality for ego's sake or equality for empathy sake.

When people speak on intersectionality, I will say that Mumsnet is a great place to see such a tone deaf, closed, privileged approach to feminism live in action.

OP posts:
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CuriousaboutSamphire · 10/12/2019 09:34

What about the solidarity with your letterbox sisters, of single mothers, carers, this rasint disabled children, or the disabled? Piccanannies even

Really? You lost me there! How am I responsible for something some privileged white man said? Why are your assumptions to be taken as some sort of truth, a beacon of light etc?

As for the 'check your feminism' bollocks, how am I responsible for the heavy door closing of any discussion on race here?

If you want to discuss racism, intersectionality etc start with not doing the very thing you seem to decry! That is to single out one 'kind' of woman and have at her. Othering at its best. Self defeating, patronising and hypocritical!

Signed
A white, middle aged, once working, but now middle, class woman who has fuck all idea on how to join in any discussion on intersectionality as posters like OP here just call me a racist and piss all over any possible debate!

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Home2018 · 10/12/2019 09:37

The replies which reference 'intersectionality' as a silencing tool highlight the point being made exactly!

You're defending your right to your self focused, narrow approach to feminism.

And the primary focus is... guess who, you!

How can anyone belonging to a group made up to better the lives of women think that it is okay to disregard issues that effect the most vulnerable women?

Maybe you should leave the title of feminist for those that are working towards equality for all women. Or risk the accusations being made against the privileged few rendering you all useless and bigoted in a generation to come.

OP posts:
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CuriousaboutSamphire · 10/12/2019 09:40

Fucking hell! How self absorbed can you get?

Can you not see the ypocracy in your posts?

Weirder and weirder, as some man once had a woman say!

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GCAcademic · 10/12/2019 09:41

I think think/feel that the linear focus on SI over real, tangible, and life threatening issues that societies most vulnerable women are facing now is disingenuous for so called feminists.

The responses have largely proven those that speak about intersectionality, or the lack of it, correct!

Given that your one contribution to the feminist board to date has been to point out that boys get sexually assaulted too, forgive me if I don’t take your feminist credentials too seriously. There are certainly some who think that intersectional feminism means prioritising males, but I am not one of them.

Maybe you should leave the title of feminist for those that are working towards equality for all women. Or risk the accusations being made against the privileged few rendering you all useless and bigoted in a generation to come.

Ah, OK. TRA language coming out now.

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HandsOffMyRights · 10/12/2019 09:44

The OP's mask is slipping...

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xChristmasJumperx · 10/12/2019 09:45

What bollox! Demonise feminism because not every group of women is networking with every other group of women?!

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StealthPolarBear · 10/12/2019 09:48

" In an election such as this, do we not stand up for the elderly, less politically and educationally astute?"
Can you see how patronising that is?
And from someone so educationally astute as yourself?

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GCAcademic · 10/12/2019 09:49

Perhaps someone should tell Labour activists that insulting people into voting for them is not an effective tactic. At least when the Lib Dems insult women they keep it consistent and tell us not to vote for them.

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xChristmasJumperx · 10/12/2019 09:49

Feminists are women and women have to consider all people ahead of themselves so no, selfish feminists aren't allowed.

This.

Great summary

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WorraLiberty · 10/12/2019 09:50

You BAD BAD feminists, doing it all wrong because you're not doing it like the OP!

Go and sit in the corner and await further instructions but whatever you do, don't call yourself a feminist anymore Grin

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BarbaraStrozzi · 10/12/2019 09:52

This is yet another "women, you're not feministing right" post, isn't it?

I refer the OP to the celebrated Arkell Vs Pressdram correspondence.

I will vote how I want, based on the issues I think are of greatest importance, thank you very much.

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