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Feminism: Sex & gender discussions

Louise Mensch in the Guardian

6 replies

curryeater · 30/05/2013 13:43

  1. how funny to see someone called "mensch" having a beef with feminism. Does this belong on the nominative determinism thread?

  1. annoying in various ways (esp the bit about "breadwinners", which got my goat, because I am one and my mother was one and anyone who doesn't recognise the male breadwinner as non-universal is just talking insulting guff as far as I am concerned, and eliding me, and my mother)

  1. And yet. And yet....

there is something in it, an impatience with some trodden on toes, that a part of me guiltily sympathises with. Not because I believe in stupid categories like PO, made up in order to mock the already downtrodden trying to stand up for themselves; but because I feel we are somehow hamstrung. I feel we have too many small arguments, on this board at least, and it makes me feel as if we have had thrown marbles under our feet, like in the Beano, and some Menace (called Dennis or otherwise) is for all I know sniggering behind a hedge. I think that laudable qualities like gentleness, an openness to listening and hearing the other story, can somehow become out of control, and we get all hung up and guilty and ineffective and wordy and emotions-led. I am not expressing this very well.

any thoughts?
OP posts:
Meringue33 · 30/05/2013 14:05


curryeater · 30/05/2013 14:10

Oh goodness the link....

In the Kira Cochrane piece also in the Guardian today: "sweetness is overrated". Perhaps that is the thing. Perhaps I grow impatient with trying to be sweet to everyone at every level all the time, at the same time as change the world. Considerate, yes; polite, yes; cloying overbearing constant earnest sweetness, oh god we are wading through treacle, are we ever going to get anywhere?

OP posts:
drater · 30/05/2013 16:43

Yup, privilege checking is one of the most toxic developments of modern feminism in my mind - we should be focusing on equality, not shutting down all discussion on the grounds of privilege.

WhentheRed · 30/05/2013 17:34

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

rubyanddiamond · 30/05/2013 21:06

There seems to be a lot of back-story and jargon in that article, none of which I know much about, except that it sounds like there's a lot of boring in-fighting amongst women who roughly believe in the same thing.

But, when successful white middle/upper class men give advice to other men, very few people suggest that they are speaking from a position of privilege. Instead, there's the belief that the men have earned their position, should be listened to, and have interesting and informative things to say. There are a few exceptions, David Cameron/Boris Johnson etc do come in for criticism for being 'elite', but it's not a standard response to an opinion given by a successful man.

When successful white middle/upper class women give advice to other women, the main put-down is "she can't possibly speak to/for all women, she's too smart/privileged/attractive/rich/posh/...". Whole articles can be written about how privileged these successful women are, how they don't realise it, and that therefore their opinions and advice are somehow invalid.

This difference in treatment really annoys me!

bigkidsdidit · 31/05/2013 09:35

I agreed with it, which I was a bit annoyed about as I don't rate Louise Mensch much. But I agree with 'when the red' that this is a silencing tactic.

For eg, I loved Lean In. It is speaking to privileged women, yes, and dealing with one single problem - how can we get more women onto boards and in positions of power in companies? But there were legions of articles saying that because she wasn't speaking about working class women, she shouldn't speak at all. it infuriated me. You don't have to solve all problems, just have a go at one!

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