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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:
ChristmasSpirtsOnTheRocksPleas · 10/12/2019 13:07

There isn’t a good vote on this front though. A vote for Tory is decreased state aid resulting in lesser services, financial help etc. A vote for Labour is a vote for increased state intervention resulting in increasing numbers of women dependant on the government. There is no good vote on this front, it’s a question of whether you think it’s more important to prevent more women from falling through the net into abject conditions or to prevent more women from falling into the jaws of the state loosing their power of self determination. I’d rather face poverty than dependence but I wouldn’t presume to put my preference on other women or to say it’s the right answer even (both are but there in no party that wants to maintain the status quo).

OunceOfFlounce · 10/12/2019 13:24


It does feel like people are disputing the fact that working class and bame women face unique challenges:

  • The OP is nothing but whataboutism in fancy dress, fooling nobody.
  • When it comes to helping the most vulnerable, I would not seek to treat one section of society more or less favourably than another, they should all be treated equally.
  • Exactly, well said @WorraLiberty. I'm not about to start apologising for having the "privilege" of freely exercising my democratic right.
  • Yeah, that’s what it sounded like to me too. More thinking about everyone ahead of myself, more being told to be nicer.

Just from the 1st page because I don't want to spend my whole life on this thread.


GCAcademic, can you envision any working class or woc who genuinely feel their concerns aren't important to the majority of feminists?

You literally dismissed their concerns yourself as being less important than those of the majority, two posts up.
Self ID will affect BAME women in ways that are unique to BAME women, by removing their right to their cultural identity, and to their women only spaces.

Everyone below a certain income level is affected by austerity, but not everyone is affected by having women only spaces removed.*

My reply two posts up was to someone else explaining why I'd assumed this is a debate among leftwing women. My post to 57academic before that was saying I resigned my Labour membership because of their self id. So...? Don't think I dismissed them.

I think self id will be far worse for bame women than 'removing their right to their cultural identity, and to their women only spaces'. But, again, I think Johnson/Trump will be worse still by far.
womanaf · 10/12/2019 13:57

One of those quotes was me.

I’m not at all disputing that working class and bame women face unique challenges.

I’m disputing that it’s feminism’s job (or indeed feminists’) to fix.

Why is not humanity’s job, or society’s job, or.... , why feminism exactly?
A: Because women.

CuriousaboutSamphire · 10/12/2019 14:04

Ounce I have read it all back in context and think you may have read those posts quite differently from me! I don't make the same conclusions.

That's the problem with the written word.

ALl of my repsonses have stemmed frot he OP, where a divison was set up. Posters, including myself have decried this. NOT denied the additional discrimination of BAME women.

Put as bluntly as I can:

As a white, middle aged, middle class woman I WILL NOT be set up as a distraction. I AM NOT THE PROBLEM. Stop looking at women to be both the cause and solution to all world ills!

MorrisZapp · 10/12/2019 14:50

I second that, curious. I'm neither the cause nor the solution to every womans oppression.

peachgreen · 10/12/2019 15:04

Big difference between not working to fix something and actively making it worse though.

OunceOfFlounce · 10/12/2019 15:06

I’m not at all disputing that working class and bame women face unique challenges.

I’m disputing that it’s feminism’s job (or indeed feminists’) to fix.

This seems to confirm that there is a feminism for privileged women that doesn't care about less priviliged women. Not feminism job to fix the problems of working class and bame women.

Curious, it's the above kind of sentiment that makes me think the division is already there and I'm being blamed for pointing it out.

Tanith · 10/12/2019 15:29

I’m more and more convinced that the Conservative party deliberately introduced their GRA amendment nonsense in order to hamstring the Left.
No-one now recalls that it was Maria Miller who instigated it all and Theresa May who endorsed it as a sitting PM. They’ve quietly let it drop for now, but it’ll be back. It’s too useful a distraction device for them.

CuriousaboutSamphire · 10/12/2019 15:38

It's the above kind of sentiment that makes me think the division is already there and I'm being blamed for pointing it out. Oh!

Then we are doomed to forever be at the opposite ends of any understanding of many posts!

I don't get how you can read that to mean "So there you go, a privileged woman who doesn't care about BAME women" That seems to be so anathema to what was posted I can't see the connection.

Peachgreen's interjection almost makes more sense, at a reach, with arm extensions and bucketful of determination!

My post and MorrisZap's post mean that it is not for women to fix the issues that patriarchy, social mores and centuries of discrimination have caused. We cannot fix it as we have no influence over it.

Look to those who did cause it, look at our resolutely patriarchal society and place blame there. When you have properly identified your oppressor you can start to work on an effective strategly to overcome it. Until then you / we (as in all people, women) are doomed to tilt at windmills, straw women, false idols etc!

ArnoldWhatshisknickers · 10/12/2019 15:53

I don't call myself a feminist but am posting from my working class community, where I work, every day with vulnerable women. Elderly women with dementia, learning disabled women, women from minority religious groups, refugee women, women who have spent time in prison, women with mental health issues.

One thing all these women have in common, and indeed in common with all the women in my family, friendship group and neighbourhood, is the knowledge that transwomen are NOT women.

None of us believe in trans ideology. None of us want XY trans people in our spaces. Parents of learning disabled women are particularly worried that they will have to curtail their daughters' already very limited freedom if they cannot guarantee toilets and changing facilities will be penis free (including free of surgically altered penises). People caring for elderly relatives are particularly concerned about mixed sex wards. They don't want them. They want their frail and elderly mothers' dignity protected in penis free wards.

I could go on, but won't. I don't call myself 'feminist' because of liberal feminists putting the feelings of predominantly middle and upper class XY people ahead of the needs of working class women.

If you are not fighting self ID tooth and nail you are not helping working class women and you should not claim to speak for them.

CuriousaboutSamphire · 10/12/2019 15:58

I don't call myself 'feminist' because of liberal feminists putting the feelings of predominantly middle and upper class XY people ahead of the needs of working class women. You forgot the young.... lots of young women mired in TWAW.

And as this thread illustrates, we middle aged, middle class women may not all have 'fallen' Smile

Though I do have a few contemporaries who inexplicably do spout such weird cant on the fb pages! Sad

CuriousaboutSamphire · 10/12/2019 15:59

.... and I do now have to wonder when even I accepted I am no longer working class? When did that sneak up on me?

OunceOfFlounce · 10/12/2019 16:19

It's not for women to fix the problems caused by patriarchy? Were going to be waiting a helluva long time for men to fix them!

CuriousaboutSamphire · 10/12/2019 16:23

Clearly! But we, women, don't have own that issue.

Just as family members don't have to feel any guilt or responsibility for the alcoholic in their life

Littlelamp456 · 10/12/2019 16:25


Your post confused me a bit. The one thing all those women have in common is knowing transwomen are not women?

Not that they’ve all probably been affected by austerity, lack of services, lack of support?

I think most people understand XY people do not grow another X chromosome but the people you’ve described are the people that have been hung out to dry the most in this government.

I work with a similar group of people to you and you can bet your ass if I came face to face with this prime minister, I’d have a lot more anger because of it than just ‘TWANW’

womanaf · 10/12/2019 16:28

Feminism is about equality of the sexes, not about fixing all ills everywhere. Don’t let men off the hook for that shit!

Obviously it needs women to speak up about issues that affect women and feminism is important for facilitating that and trying to make sure women can be heard, but the problems, they’re for all of us to fix.

AdultHumanWithOvaries · 10/12/2019 16:30

How can you better the lives of women if you can't define what a woman is?

Littlelamp456 · 10/12/2019 16:47

Austerity is a feminist issue, it disproportionately effects women.

It’s not an ‘extra’ that feminists don’t have time for.

Men need to do their bit too of course but this is huge. And with BJ sitting firmly in trumps pocket, you can prepare for a huge step back for women’s rights.

How can you better the lives of women if you can't define what a woman is
Sorry but this is a cop out. If I have to accept a few men calling themselves women for a bit to avoid women dying and starving on the streets, unable to access healthcare or services, I’ll take it for now.

Self ID is a big issue but as we’ve seen in other countries, it’s not killing people and nothing has really changed much because of it. Austerity is and has.

ArnoldWhatshisknickers · 10/12/2019 16:55

No, they have very different views on austerity and have been impacted to very different degrees.

Surely you are aware many working class people don't vote Labour? Aren't particularly left wing? Think Corbyn is an IRA supporting arsehole?

There are many disagreements politically among the working class people I live and work with.

The fact that transwomen are NOT women and should use the damn gents is not one of them. It's a point of agreement in a sea of difference.

AdultHumanWithOvaries · 10/12/2019 17:14


How are you going to formulate policy for women when women means 'anyone who says they are' like on the census?

How are you going to improve women's health care when you can't specify biology?

How are you going to help prevent DV when you can't name the problem (men)?

How are you going to protect some of the most vulnerable women in our prison system from sexual violence when any violent male offender can say they're a woman and get transferred into a woman's prison?

IMO you are being very short sighted.

Littlelamp456 · 10/12/2019 17:15

I’m aware not all WC people vote labour.

I’m shocked at your statement as I work with similar vulnerable women and the main concerns I hear are ‘how am I going to feed my children’ ‘I can’t get support for my MH’ ‘I can’t get carers in’ ‘I can’t pay the gas bill’ ‘I can’t get a property’ ‘my benefits have been sanctioned and I have no money’ ‘I have to wait 6 weeks for UC to start’ ‘I called an ambulance when I fell and it took 8 hours’

But you’re clearly having very different conversations if they are all telling you how concerned they are about self ID instead.

I’m no Corbyn fan but personally I couldn’t look them in the eye if I knew I’d voted for more of the same for them.

Thelnebriati · 10/12/2019 17:34

There are women in prison who are confined with male bodied convicted sex offenders as a result of self ID, right now.

If you don't care about them because you cant see them, that's your privilege.


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TheDevilsPedicure · 10/12/2019 17:37

I always vote labour but was considering spoiling my ballot paper over self ID.

But then I thought of 5 more years of the tories and I just cannot do it. I hate them so much, I'm so angry with labour for being such weak opposition- this is the most stupid, cruel and ineffective government we've ever had so labour should be wiping the floor with them.

I'll be voting labour. Sadly I think the scum will get back in. But my thought was it's better to get rid of the tories then deal with the self ID thing.

HeIenaDove · 10/12/2019 17:47

@Littlelamp456 I hear you. Homeless women are vulnerable to attacks and rape by ALL men not just those who want to self ID into the opposite sex.

AdultHumanWithOvaries · 10/12/2019 17:55

HelenaDove does that include men that have vaginas?

It's not just men who rape you know. What about the women with penises?

In fact, what are the group of people called that are more likely to assault.... Erm.. People with vaginas?

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