modern culture since 1991

Wings over Sealand


Debate, feminist-style

Posted on May 06, 2012 by RevStu

Over the last couple of years, I've been regretfully forced to the conclusion that feminism is the most intolerant ideology currently operating in the UK, leaving ultra-radical Islam trailing a distant second and looking on angrily. Disagree with the orthodox-feminist position on any gender-related subject, in even the most minor of ways, even if you're agreeing with the base principle, and you'll be first shouted down, then called a misogynist and/or "rape apologist" or similar, and then censored out of the debate entirely. (All three often occuring within the space of a few minutes.)

Veteran WoSland viewers may recall the Cara Fiasco, or the interesting "Dickwolves" discussion of last year, but by way of a milder illustration I present a recent Twitter exchange with "rebelgirl59", who appears from her comments to be some manner of activist for the Scottish Socialist Party. (Twitspeak tidied up, otherwise unaltered.)

————————————————————————

RG59: In [an independent] Scotland I'd like to see 50/50 representation of women 4 all elected positions, great or small – community orgs, TUs, boards, politics.

ME: And presumably also proportionate representation for gay people, black people etc. Do we need to equalise gay men/lesbians? If not, why not? Hardly an original question, I realise, but one I've never heard a rational answer to.

RG59: I can't speak for other oppressed groups, but yes I would actively support inclusion for those normally excluded fi democracy. if not, why not? Great slogan that would make :-)

ME: Would love to see your draft legislation for that.

RG59: I am not a lawyer, but if lawyers can write Tory legislation they can write socially just legislation. When SSP were in [the Scottish Parliament] we found, contrary to ruling class spin, it's easy to get bills drafted.

ME: I'm serious. Firstly, where do you draw the inclusion line? Just the big three – gender, race and orientation? What about religion? And for all of them, how many sub-divisions do you go down?

RG59: I'm advocating for women, who have been discriminated against for 4000 yrs but I'm open to supporting other oppressed groups :-)

ME: Blimey, didn't know we were holding grudges back to 2000BC… Point is, women aren't discriminated against now. They have 1 vote, the same as men do, and they're the majority. Nothing is stopping women from joining parties, selecting female candidates and voting for them. And if you can't be arsed putting the work in, you shouldn't be trying to cheat. "Positive discrimination" is an oxymoron.

RG59: Based on all the available evidence (which you can access easily if you care) I don't share your opinion :-)

ME: Sorry, am I missing some secret "evidence" that says women don't have the vote?

[/me gets blocked by rebelgirl59]

KATE HIGGINS: (Scottish political blogger and idiot, suddenly sticking her nose in unasked for no obvious reason) Ignore this guy.  Not worth engaging with.  He's a misogynist, as his tweets make clear.

(On questioning which of the comments above were the misogynist ones, I got the reply "All of them. You have a habit of bullying women on here who express desire for equality and fairness." The first exchange I had with Higgins which got me hit with the M-bomb was this one, to which her response was "Tweeted like a true misogynist".)

————————————————————————

And that's how it goes. Usually the "misogynist" bit comes in earlier, and sometimes I've been even less provocative and offensive than above, but the result is invariably the same and I could post another half-dozen examples. It is simply not permitted to question, in even the gentlest way, the fundamentalist feminist view of anything.

I'm absolutely, commitedly, unequivocally, 100% in favour of equality and fairness. That's why I don't believe in discrimination, and therefore why I'm not a feminist. (And fairly contemptuous of any man who describes himself as one.) I'm all in favour of people being allowed to campaign for their own benefit to the detriment of others – that's the nature of pretty much ALL campaigning, and therefore the essence of democracy. I'm just not in favour of unfairness being actually enshrined in law.

If feminists want privileged treatment, let them demand it by all means. I'm just not sure how much hysterically shrieking down all dissent with ridiculous smears and censorship aids their cause.

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  1. 30 03 15 13:28

    Against the tide. | The F-MoB

61 to “Debate, feminist-style”

  1. Cooper says:

    I'm a bloke who's been teaching feminism within a UK university for some time now.
    The kind of combative reaction you recieved is indicative of only a subset of feminists. The "vocal minority" of any group of scoiety is almost always the least appealing. As someone who's seen the kind of fucking awful crap that gets spouted about games from the minority of game-players out there should know that.

    Those women were bang out of order in their attitude. But this is not a reflection of 'mainstream feminism' by any means. Most of us are reasonable, many of us are men.
    You are, however, wrong about the lack of discrimination. It exists, even if such discrimination is enshrined in law. Equality under the law is only one – tiny – battle that has been won after decades of fighting. Equality under the law, equality in voting rights does not translate to no discrimination and equality more generally.
    Also "if you can't be arsed putting the work in" is a pretty nasty thing to say. If it was an issue oif hard work to become democratic representatives, there would be many more women in parliament. It's at that moment that you become easily dismissed as misogynist.
    Insinuating women, en mass, are somehow lazy, unwilling or unable to 'claim' their place in representational parliament is exactly the kind of sexist bullshit that is being fought. That was, to be frank, the reason you got the response you did. You spouted sexist nonsense; expect a feminist to get angry…
    Expecting deep, ingrained discrimination to be magicked away by equal voting rights and equal legal rights is naive. Preferential treatment  / positive discrimination is one solution.
     
    There are arguments against and for positive discrimination.
     
    but if the feminists you had this argument with represent a grotesque charicature of feminism, your comments about the mass laziness of women because they haven't magically turned legal equality into total equality is the flip side of such grotesque charicatures. You are as guilty of being close minded and absurd as those women were.

  2. RevStu says:

    “The kind of combative reaction you recieved is indicative of only a subset of feminists.”

    That’s my point, though. In my experience it absolutely isn’t. You might consider yourself the mainstream, but so far as I can see you’re the outlier.

    “If it was an issue oif hard work to become democratic representatives, there would be many more women in parliament.”

    Sorry, but I need the concept of an oppressed majority explained to me. Women have more votes (collectively) than men. If they really wanted to, they could join political parties in large numbers, select female candidates, and vote for them. That they choose not to, for whatever reasons, does not mean they’re being discriminated against. Of course there’s still discrimination by individuals – there always will be. But when you’re a majority and you have equal voting rights, you can overcome it. That’s what democracy is. In fact, it’s just about the only thing it’s good for.

    “Insinuating women, en mass, are somehow lazy, unwilling or unable to ‘claim’ their place in representational parliament is exactly the kind of sexist bullshit that is being fought.”

    I neither said nor insinuated any such thing. There are plenty of perfectly valid reasons why women wouldn’t want to become MPs. But none of them amount to “oppression”. They’re choices, made of free will. Most paths require sacrifices of some sort or another, and if you’re not prepared to make them then you don’t get to follow that path.

  3. Hypocee says:

    That’s nice. The other definition of ‘feminist’, by far the majority one, merely signifies opposition to oppression of women. But yours is certainly more convenient for feeling meta, so keep on truckin’.

  4. RevStu says:

    "The other definition of ‘feminist’, by far the majority one"

    Were that true, the world would be a much better place. The moderates have lost the war.

  5. Martin says:

    Rather like certain types of anti-fascist activist, some feminists appear to be so drunk on (self) righteousness that they think basic principles like intellectual honesty and freedom of speech are no longer applicable.

  6. RevStu says:

    In terms of whether fundamentalist feminism is now the dominant faction, incidentally, I got banned from the Guardian – without warning or explanation – for commenting on this story:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/mar/13/woman-retracted-rape-claim-husband?

    even though my position was that the woman SHOULDN'T have been sent to jail and that the husband SHOULD have been prosecuted for rape after it became clear that her retraction was false.

    All I said was that you can't expect to get off entirely scot-free for attempting to pervert the course of justice, because if you did it would be a licence for criminals to intimidate their victims. Even THAT level of dissent is simply not allowed.

  7. Cooper says:

    And if you can't be arsed putting the work in, you shouldn't be trying to cheat
    Is exactly the point you insinuate laziness.
    There are plenty of perfectly valid reasons why women wouldn’t want to become MPs. But none of them amount to “oppression”. They’re choices, made of free will. Most paths require sacrifices of some sort or another, and if you’re not prepared to make them then you don’t get to follow that path.
    Is an incredibly short sighted viewpoint, shows bugger all knowledge of the difficulties involved, shows no empathy or sympathy and is the reason you are met with anger.
    There is a myth. A sexist and misogynistic myth that is wilfully blind. A myth that you are perpetuating here. The myth is that women – or indeed anyone – are totally, entirely, free agents of their own destiny and choices. Only people in positions of power can believe that myth. Only people in positions that have never been coerced or forced into choices or wilfully denied opportunities can hold onto such a myth.
    Such denial of opportunities, such curtailing of options, such wilful discrimination is often hidden. It's not the outright sexism and discrimination of old, but a more insidious form, one that you are perpetuating here.
    Simple things like childcare. Women are still the most major providers of childcare. This is not always a straightforward 'option' of free choice. I'm not suggesting women are brutally forced into chilcare, just that things are not as straightfowardly a choice of that women, entirely by that woman, with all the onus upon her. Jobs like being an MP are totally incompatible with childcare. This does not have to be that way; this is systemic discrimination.

    Take too the fact that, to become MP, one must be voted for by existing members of a party. Our major parties are largely men. Men tend to vote for men. Systemic discrimination.
    Finally there is the continuing and occasionally publicly announced position that "women are not taken serisouly by the public", meaning that they tend to be less preferred when chosing an MP to put forward.
    A woman could, I suppose, stand as independent you might argue? But that eblies the kind of political system that exists; independents rarely stand a chance.
    Even if a woman choses to try to become MP, she will and does face more hurdles and challengesthan men do. You wilfully ignore this and claim to support fairness?
    We are not all true free agents where every decision we make is entirely our own, and the onus is somehow all upon us to 'make the right decision and get off of our arses'. We exist in a social and cultural and political context. You wilfully ignore that context; a conext that is often discriminatory. -That-, right there, is why it's disgusting you claim to side with 'equality and fairness' and yet wilfully ignore the deep levels of engrained unfairness that exist.
    Feminsim is NOT about preferential treatment. by suggesting it is you muddy the name many of us hold onto as a needed rallying call to fight exactly the kind of wilfull ignorance you expose.
    I understand why those women got angry at you. They could have done better to express their anger, but your form fo "I'm all for fairness but it's your problem for not making the right choices" is such a commonly held belief by privileged (often white, middle class and heterosexual) men that we have been fighting for so long now that's it's so fucking weary to challenge it, it's not wonder people just dismiss it outright.

  8. Soylent Dave says:

    I'm on principle opposed to 'positive' discrimination, because – as you said – it's still discrimination (it also throws up lots of negative consequences, which I'm sure we're all aware of)
    The ideal solution is to enforce equality of opportunity, so that minority groups (and women, who aren't a minority) can't be discriminated against for any reason other than 'competence'
    But this sort of equal opportunity legislation and enforcement does take a while to go through. In fact, as a lot of the discrimination really goes back to educational opportunities, it pretty much takes at least a generation for things to start changing. 
    So what do we do about the disenfranchised who are living in the UK now? Do we just say "sorry folks; it'll be better for your children" – or do we temporarily discriminate in favour of these groups (which may also solve the "part of the reason there are few women in politics is because there are so few women in politics" tautology)?
    As I said, I don't really like the idea of positive discrimination – but we have, in law, equal opportunities in the UK (for most people wanting to do most things).

    We don't have equal opportunity in reality, though – and that situation isn't going to resolve itself without some kind of intervention.

  9. RevStu says:

    “Take too the fact that, to become MP, one must be voted for by existing members of a party. Our major parties are largely men. Men tend to vote for men. Systemic discrimination.”

    Hngh. I already addressed that. Women are not banned from joining political parties. Most political parties currently have tiny memberships. Women could freely, if they so choose, join those parties and fairly easily determine their candidates by democratic weight of numbers. That they fail to do so, when they’re perfectly at liberty to, is NOT “discrimination”, of any sort.

  10. RevStu says:

    “So what do we do about the disenfranchised who are living in the UK now?”

    For goodness’ sake, women are NOT disenfranchised. Do you know what “enfranchised” means? It means having the vote. Women have the vote. If they want more women MPs, the mechanisms by which that can be achieved are all in place. Every single one of them. Positive discrimination means letting people win the raffle without buying a ticket.

  11. Cooper says:

    There's a complete naivitey of both the political system and the issues women face you're indicating here.
    Firstly the party-political system requires an absurd allegiance to a party. Many people are not "die hard" Labour or SNP supporters, so becomming a member is not appealing. Are you suggesting that the solution is for women to en mass subscribe as members to all parties that they think they might vote for in order to ensure that possible female candidates are put forward?
    That nonsense suggestion aside; you seem to imply that feminists care only about women getting posts as MPs. I fucking hate Nadine Dorris, for example, and would not vote for here – ever. Having ovaries does not equate to a certain politics.
    Furthermore, to be nominated as an MP for any party, you must be put forward by their nominating officer, who acts as gatekeeper. That aside, it helps to have been 'in the party' for a while; which equates to existing in an incredibly masculinist space.
    There are many reasons women (and many men) would be put off the idea of trying to become MP in the first place. Getting rid of these disincentives is bloody difficult; quotas force those disincentives away. I don't agree in positive discrimination, but I see the problem it addresses.
    You refuse to see the problem it addresses in the first place, so no wonder you don;t get it. (Let me spell it out: the problem is not "there are not enough women MPs" it is that "the current social, cultural and plitical context for becomming and MP is deeply masculinist")

  12. RevStu says:

    "Firstly the party-political system requires an absurd allegiance to a party. Many people are not "die hard" Labour or SNP supporters, so becomming a member is not appealing."

    Well then what the hell are they doing wanting to be MPs? If it were up to me we'd do away with the party system altogether, but that isn't going to happen, and its existence does not amount to discrimination against women.

    "Furthermore, to be nominated as an MP for any party, you must be put forward by their nominating officer, who acts as gatekeeper. That aside, it helps to have been 'in the party' for a while; which equates to existing in an incredibly masculinist space."

    Only if the party membership is dominated by men. Do I have to point out for a third time that there's absolutely no bar to women changing that fact? But if someone is so feeble that they can't handle being a room with a lot of men, they've got no business in politics anyway, whatever sex they are.

    "Having ovaries does not equate to a certain politics."

    Yes, I agree. Which is partly why the idea that it matters what sort of genitalia you have if you're an MP is such a stupid one in the first place. When I go to see my doctor I don't give a rat's bollock (or labia) what gender they are as long as they can do their job, and I feel the same way about my MP.

  13. daneel says:

    The point about debating with feminists on the internet (or anyone else, to be honest) is there isn't one.
    As a (presumedly) heterosexual white male, your thoughts on gender politics are irrelevant. They're rendered completely invalid by privilege.  Any point you try to make, or any opinion you hold will just be dismissed. There is literally no point getting involved. 
    These discussions  always go the same way. A genuine concern is raised (the treatment of female gamers online, for instance), everyone agrees that the perpetrators are total asshats, and then some guy makes the mistake of saying that while he sympathises, he and the men he knows aren't like that, at which point he gets insulted for being blinded by privilege and the whole thing descends into a cycle of vicious ad-hominem attacks. Totally pointless.
    Did anyone see the hole The Oatmeal managed to dig himself into the other day?
    http://oatmeal.tumblr.com/post/21330629429/update-from-the-author-a-lot-of-people-seem
     

  14. Cooper says:

    Do I have to point out for a third time that there's absolutely no bar to women changing that fact? But if someone is so feeble that they can't handle being a room with a lot of men, they've got no business in politics anyway, whatever sex they are.
    Why is the onus upon women to change this fact? Also "being in a room with a lot of men" is not what I meant when I suggested it was a masculinist environment. Men are not inherently masculinist. Your attitude reads as "their problem, they should deal with it"
     
    @daneel I am white, middle class, heterosexual and male, and therefore in a position of privilege. I rarely find myself dismissed outright by fellow feminists. Because I am not white, middle class, heterosexual, male and totally ignorant, blind and unwilling of the power that position affords me. I am not dismissed because I see the ONUS UPON MYSELF to change that position.
     
    I do not hate myself. I hate the society that provides me a position of privilege and power I did not earn. That is unfair.
     
    Stu's constant repetition of "women should fix this for themselves" ignores this fundamental fact: He is in position of power which he has not earned through effort. This is indicated by his ability to be blind to discrimination: one can only be blind to discrimination and demand those discriminated against sort it out for themselves if one is in a position of relative privilege…
     
    This is unfair. He claims that he is "100% in favour of fairness" and yet is unwilling to suggest that maybe – being in a position of unfair power – he should take some onus upon himself to change that. He instead repeats the mantra that seems to read as "women's problems are problems for women to deal with" – not the problems of a society that remains patriarchal in defaulting privilege in many situations to men.
     
    If he is truly in favour of fairness he would fight himself to make things fair (because things are most certainly not). Not simply shrug and tell women to get on with it.

  15. Cooper says:

    Put briefly for TL;DR:
    People who say they support equality and fairness then do bugger all to encourage equality and fairness and rather say that those people who find things unfair should just get off their lazy arses and sort it themselves are fucking hypocrites.
    One can be a misogynist by not taking action and by shifting the onus onto women to solve a problem that is a problem with a shared culture society and politics. That is why the anger directed against him was justified; for he was doing just that.

  16. RevStu says:

    "Why is the onus upon women to change this fact?"

    Because they're the ones complaining about it? As I've already said, I don't give a shit what sex my MP is.

    "I rarely find myself dismissed outright by fellow feminists"

    No, of course you don't, for the same reason I very rarely find myself victimised by Aberdeen supporters when I go to football matches. I mean, FFS.

    "He claims that he is "100% in favour of fairness""

    I am. I do not regard a democracy in which women are the majority and have equal voting rights as unfair in any way whatsoever. Therefore I have no interest in changing it, because it's already fair and changing it would make it less fair. Therefore with regard to your allegation of being a hypocrite, go fuck yourself.

    "shifting the onus onto women to solve a problem"

    I couldn't possibly give any less of a crap what sex an MP, or just about anyone else in any walk of life, is, as long as they can do whatever it is they're meant to do. In Scotland women are the majority of GPs, and soon will be in England too – is that, then, a "problem" in need of fixing with discrimination against women who want to be GPs until the numbers are 50-50 again? No, of course it isn't, and only a retard would say it was. You don't have to be the same to be equal.

  17. Cooper says:

    I do not regard a democracy in which women are the majority and have equal voting rights as unfair in any way whatsoever. Therefore I have no interest in changing it.

    Voting is not as powerful as you seem to suggest it is. One cannot 'vote away' the cultural context in which voting takes place.

    Your inability to see and recognise unfairness is the root of your hypocrisy. Sexism, which is as apparent amongst politics as it is elsewhere, cannot be "voted away" anymore than we can "vote away" racism.

    The root of the problem may be a misreading of the argument. The argument for positive discrimination is not "it is unfair that women are not proportionately represented as MPs" it is that "it is unfair that there still exist barriers to becomming MPs that make it more difficult for women than men". Getting rid of those barriers takes more than simply passing laws. You may not be able to see them, but they exist. At least I assume they do; I'm not arrogant enough to tell women who tell me that such barriers exist that they are wrong because somehow (even though I';m not a woman, even though I've not tried to become an MP) I somehow no better about discrimination about women than, well, women who experience discrimination…

    I've been reading your stuff for a while, and your blind faith in law, legislation and the power of the vote to cure social problems is something I'd not expect.

  18. Rob M says:

    Are you feeling nostalgic for internet barney's lately or something?
     
    From your example, there, I see RG being entirely pleasant for the entirety of her correspondence, and you tipping into the tediously provocative side of things with your fourth response.
     
    Her not being arsed to continue a debate with some random who's transparently trying to get a rise isn't exactly censorship, is it?

  19. Targaff says:

    “One can be a misogynist by not taking action and by shifting the onus onto women to solve a problem that is a problem with a shared culture society and politics.
    In your first comment you said that the respondents were bang out of order, and yet you're essentially now parroting them in saying that anyone who doesn't agree with that viewpoint is a misogynist. Notwithstanding the somewhat disconcerting fact that you teach feminism while not understanding what misogyny means, preferring instead to substitute your own definition of what constitutes hatred, can I assume that your coming here and essentially proving the point of the article that daring to challenge a feminist viewpoint is pointless was entirely unwitting?

  20. Lenny says:

    Can anyone explain to me what particular benefit there would be in having a 50/50 gender split in politics? The current debate has, so far, only touched on the perceived fairness or unfairness of not having more women in politics, but how would an increase in the representation of women in politics benefit the country?

  21. RevStu says:

    "The root of the problem may be a misreading of the argument. The argument for positive discrimination is not "it is unfair that women are not proportionately represented as MPs" it is that "it is unfair that there still exist barriers to becomming MPs that make it more difficult for women than men". Getting rid of those barriers takes more than simply passing laws. You may not be able to see them, but they exist. At least I assume they do; I'm not arrogant enough to tell women who tell me that such barriers exist that they are wrong because somehow (even though I';m not a woman, even though I've not tried to become an MP) I somehow no better about discrimination about women than, well, women who experience discrimination…"

    I'm getting enormously bored of these tedious screeds of boilerplate polemic that say absolutely nothing. What are these "barriers"? So far all we've got is that these poor delicate would-be MPs have to endure a "culture of masculinity" or something, which is a self-perpetuating whinge if ever I heard one.

    "your blind faith in law, legislation and the power of the vote to cure social problems"

    Hahahahahaha. If you've been reading this blog for a while and THAT'S the conclusion you've come up with, you need to work on your comprehension skills before you go teaching anyone anything.

  22. Cooper says:

    @Targaff Ok, yeah, you got me, anger, keyboard, little at the time between and  I slipped into using misogynist instead of sexist discrimination.
     
    I will give Stu that: There is an unfortunate tendency, one I shamefully became an example of, to slip into describing people who dismiss / are unable to see sexist discrimination as "women haters". It is a function of anger and frustration and does no help in fostering debate and I apologise for that; I don't think Stu hates women, but I'll maintain that he remains arrogant to suggest that he somehow knows better than women about discrimination against women; that it's really easy to overcome; just get of their arses and vote…
     
    Replace misogynyst with discrimination and I maintain my point; discrimination can be passive. One can discriminate by simply not doing anything and enjoying ones place of privilege. Especially if one couples that with a shioft of the onus upon those discriminated against to sort it out themselves.

    Also, what do you suggest is the "point" in challenging a feminist viewpoint. If you expect anyone to suddenly go "oh, yeah, I realise now, the discrimination we are fighting against just doesn't exist" then, yes, it is pointless.
     
    If the point was that arguing aginst feminists eventually leads to total dismissale then, no, it is not: not everyone is outright dismissive. I disagree with Stu, quite vehemently, but I'm not gonna ignore him and dismiss him outright. I would just like to understand how -given what I have rwead here – he seems to be suggesting a bit of voting can solve the problem?
     
    Although I did, admitedly, slip into hysterical name calling and prove at least one of his points… For that I am guilty and again apologise.

  23. Cooper says:

    "your blind faith in law, legislation and the power of the vote to cure social problems"
    Hahahahahaha. If you've been reading this blog for a while and THAT'S the conclusion you've come up with, you need to work on your comprehension skills before you go teaching anyone anything.
    That's my point.
    Your argument in the above posts suggests that no discrimination exists (your evidence for this is that women hgave equal voting rights… Which seems to equate discrimination with law) and that the solution is for women to vote for women. Which is just that: A blind faith in voting and in legislation on who can vote to be some kind of cure to widespread sexist discrimination.
    You state you can't see where discrimination happens. Maybe, just maybe, you can't see it because you don't experience it? (In the way a deaf person would be wrong to suggest sound doesn't exist…) Would not the best option here to be to defer to those who, you know, have direct experience of an issue before holding forth on it?

  24. RevStu says:

    "Also, what do you suggest is the "point" in challenging a feminist viewpoint?"

    I want someone to either explain it to me, or in the process of the debate realise that they're wrong through the power of reason. Or put another way, the same point as any argument ever anywhere in all of human history. Optimistic, but I’m an idealist.

    "how -given what I have read here – he seems to be suggesting a bit of voting can solve the problem?"

    I remain to have anyone tell me what the actual "problem" in need of solving is. That's not a facetious point. I don't see a problem. Explain it to me, in actual human words instead of a load of meaningless community-workshop wonkspeak.

    "Although I did, admitedly, slip into hysterical name calling and prove at least one of his points… For that I am guilty and again apologise."

    Accepted. We're all grown-ups here, and nobody on either side ought to be throwing a gigantic fainting fit if we get a little heated now and again. That is, after all, why I despise people like "rebelgirl59" so much. If I was her you’d have been banned after two posts, but I’m not scared to argue my position or have it challenged.

  25. RevStu says:

    "Would not the best option here to be to defer to those who, you know, have direct experience of an issue before holding forth on it?"

    No. "Shut up, I know best" has never been much of an argument for anything, unless a drunk bloke has just barged into a heart-bypass operation.

  26. RevStu says:

    "and you tipping into the tediously provocative side of things with your fourth response."

    It says something that I honestly can't tell if you've counted properly there. If ANY of those comments are over some sort of acceptable-debating line – on Twitter, of all things – then my mind boggles from wondering if I grew up on the same planet as everyone else. Seriously, when did everyone on Earth become such an utter blouse? I blame Jerry Springer The Opera.

  27. Cooper says:

    No. "Shut up, I know best" has never been much of an argument for anything
    Except it is an argument you are using. You dismiss claims of discrimination because you cannot see it. I suggest you cannot see it because you do not experience it. In anycase; if it was as simple as getting off arses and voting, would 80 years of partity in voting not have, you know, made a bit of difference?
    As for an explanation; it is, like many matters of discrimination, nuanced. Try here for a start:
    http://www.womensviewsonnews.org/2012/04/women-in-westminster-tackling-the-gender-divide/
    Which is a bloody conservative holding forth on the issue. She's wrong, misses the point on occasion, but even a tory can highlight some major reasons why there are not a proprotional number of MPs who are women which is not a result of women being somehow politically lazy or not voting…

  28. RevStu says:

    "The Liberal Democrats, by contrast, do not support quotas. In 2001 at their conference the party debated proposals to improve the gender balance at Westminster. Plans for all-women shortlists were rejected on the basis that rather than sexism being the central problem, the real barrier to equal representation was a lack of women coming forward for political roles at all levels."

    "I personally don’t support all women shortlists. A meritocratic system is essential when selecting candidates. No one in this country should want someone chosen only because of their sex; we need the best person for the job regardless of their gender."

    Well, that showed ME.

    It’s like we’re speaking a different language. You don’t even understand the question I’m asking, and as such we’re wasting our breath.

  29. daneel says:

    "I remain to have anyone tell me what the actual "problem" in need of solving is. That's not a facetious point. I don't see a problem. Explain it to me, in actual human words instead of a load of meaningless community-workshop wonkspeak."

    Apparently you're meant to research that yourself. 
    http://www.derailingfordummies.com/education.html

  30. Targaff says:

    Cooper: Also, what do you suggest is the "point" in challenging a feminist viewpoint. If you expect anyone to suddenly go "oh, yeah, I realise now, the discrimination we are fighting against just doesn't exist" then, yes, it is pointless.

    Well, let me rephrase, because that's not really what I'm getting at: I mean, and I'm trying to remain concise, challenging the world view that arises out of such a viewpoint. Case in point: Stu's response to RG's comment was firstly to point out that there are other interest groups who are no less entitled to expect PR within an ideal government, and secondly to highlight that the fact they don't already is not actually a legislative issue (My wife suggested that a less combatative "How do you suggest we legislate for that?" might have got a more productive response, though from the respondent's somewhat blasé replies I'm inclined to think that she's really a one-issue gal).

    Neither of those are unreasonable issues to raise, and I don't see why they should be sidelined in the first instance with what essentially amounts to party-political spin, and subsequently based on a spurious argument of duration – we all know, after all, that discrimination based on race and orientation are really new-fangled concepts.

    There are lots of things that I would like to come about in the world, and equal representation for all ranks fairly highly above them. But if I were publicly throwing out ideological ideas that show only a vague understanding of reality, I would fully expect someone to point out the flaws in those ideas and to challenge me on how I envision making that happen. I don't really see why someone with a specific viewpoint should be exempted from backing up their opinions just because they have a name to put to them.

  31. RevStu says:

    "Except it is an argument you are using. You dismiss claims of discrimination because you cannot see it."

    I've asked you time and again to explain it, rather than just vomiting a load of student Anti-Sexism Action Society leaflets at me.

    "I suggest you cannot see it because you do not experience it."

    You seriously can't have been reading this blog for very long if you think I have no experience of being discriminated against.

  32. Erchie says:

    In his original exchange, RevStu was bang on. Any "positive discrimination" is difficult, and saying "it should be" and when asked for details doing some mystic hand waving about not being the proposer's problem is abrogating responsibility.
    It may be up to policy staff to help draft such legislation, but the proposers shoud, at least, set terms of reference. RevStu was right to point that out.
    There is getting a worrying habit of some in politics/blogging that, if the person being criticised is female, then the person criticising is a misogynist.
    Not so, not as an invariable, and not in RevStu's case

  33. DG says:

    In anycase; if it was as simple as getting off arses and voting, would 80 years of partity in voting not have, you know, made a bit of difference?
    Absolutely and if we address it we might even have a female Prime Minister one day.
    Oh wait.

  34. RevStu says:

    "Absolutely and if we address it we might even have a female Prime Minister one day."

    Perhaps more pertinently, when the Scottish Parliament was set up over a decade ago, it was specifically designed to be more female-friendly. It operates more or less normal working hours compared to Westminster's all-night sittings, and it even has its own creche (open to members of the public visiting the Parliament as well as MSPs).

    http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/newsandmediacentre/26109.aspx

    The result? After 13 years, the Parliament still only has around 30% female MSPs. The fact is, there are some jobs men just want to do more than women (and vice versa). All the parties are actively trying to get more female representatives, but they just don't come forward. (Apparently every single woman who applied to be an SNP council-election candidate for last week's elections was selected to stand, and it still only came to something like 24%.)

    For feminists, though, "women don't want to do this job even when it asks for normal hours, pays extremely well and provides on-site childcare" isn't good enough. Square pegs MUST be forced into round holes, in the name of ideology.

    Frankly, I’m not prepared to stand by and watch this brutal rape of poor defenceless round holes by a systemic squareiarchy.

  35. Lenny says:

    I still want to know why I, or anybody else, should want more women in politics. How will it benefit us all?

  36. Cooper says:

    The thing is, I take no issue with the stance that positive discrimination is not necessarily the answer. My issue has – all along – been with your attitude; the arrogancy and dismissive attitude you adopt and then complain is the attitude you are met with.

    There is real debate to be had about women’s role in parliament. The “get off your arses, apply and vote” line was just unnecessarily dismissive and rude: unwilling to engage in the opinions of others. EXACTLY the kind of attitude you are trying to poke fun at. It was an example of the kind of blind, wilful ignorance that causes such anger.

    I’m not suggesting that you have not been at the end of -any- discrimination, but the rather I doubt you’ve met with any discrimination as a woman trying to join parliament?

    You asked to be educated. I suggest this. Pages 11-13 (or, the whole lot if you so feel) http://www.ucl.ac.uk/spp/publications/unit-publications/89.pdf

    The MSP issue is a worthwhile discussion point. It -is- the case that few women are putting themselves forward for candidacy. Even if situations are changed (although child care alone is not enough, as the above report suggests). The Welsh Assembly too is worth a look at. Try here:
    http://www.socresonline.org.uk/14/2/1.html
    Just section 2 is enough to give you some idea of the level of discrimination found through research (you know; ASKING AND LISTENING to women who have tried, tried and failed, tried and succeeded. Rather than, well, telling them no such discrimination exists…)

    I don’t think it’s fair to say “women just don’t want to do this job”. Partly that’s just a gross over generalisation, partly that’s again shifting the onus. A masculine culture is not just about men being involved, it’s about a way of organising and ‘doing’ politics. It’s also a way of doing things that simply favours men. “The old boys club” is a shorthand for it, but it’s actually much more nuanced than that.

    I do not believe quotas are necessarily the answer. I don’t, however, think it’s as simple as women just giving it a go or just voting. Suggesting it is that simple is just arrogant and wilfully ignorant.

    It’s about getting women to apply in the first place. Hollyrood went a long way towards that, but it hasn’t addressed things such as women being put off political careers right from the off from outdated notions of what is and is not “womens’ work” or for dealing with the men-favouring politics at a national level. Or dealing with other masculinist cultures (some of the quotes from male welsh assembly members in the above link are interesting in that regards).

    The issue is about making the role of MP and working in politics appealing to women. If “women don’t want to do the job” we should not stop there. The qeustions should be “why not and how can we change the job so that they do”. Because there’s not something about having ovaries that makes someone non-political…

  37. RevStu says:

    "I still want to know why I, or anybody else, should want more women in politics. How will it benefit us all?"

    Because women are good and men are bad, duh.

  38. RevStu says:

    "The issue is about making the role of MP and working in politics appealing to women. If “women don’t want to do the job” we should not stop there. The questions should be “why not and how can we change the job so that they do”"

    Hmm. I think the problem we have here is that you're so deep into the culture that you genuinely have absolutely no idea how completely batshit-mental that sounds to any remotely normal human more concerned with paying next quarter's gas bill before the entire economy implodes.

    We've had a woman Prime Minister and plenty of female ministers, and they brought little if any discernible difference to the way things were done. The Scottish Parliament currently has two female party leaders and one deputy leader, and there's precious little sign of a new politics. As Lenny has asked to no response, why is it axiomatic that having more women is better? Because before you get anywhere near "How?", you really do have to deal with "Why?"

    (For clarity: I'm not saying they're not. As you doubtless recall, my position is that I don't give a toss what sex politicians are, and I’m still waiting for a reason why I should.)

  39. RevStu says:

    "Try here: http://www.socresonline.org.uk/14/2/1.html"

    Really? THAT'S your answer to "please explain what you're talking about in human terms rather than bombarding us with community-workshop wonkspeak"? Random example:

    "Legislative assemblies are similarly marked by a masculinist culture and have been characterised as 'institutionally sexist'. This institutional sexism is clear from the experiences of women political representatives. Thus women in the UK House of Commons are faced by a level of sexual harassment that has been outlawed for decades in other places of work and similar practices have been noted elsewhere. Moreover, 'the declamatory, adversarial style of Westminster debate… favours rhetoric, speechifying, posturing and arcane practice in the House of Commons rather then cooperation, consensus-seeking and real discussion of alternatives. Political practices involving demagoguery, ruthlessness and aggression require qualities that are culturally accepted in men but not women'"

    Jesus Christ almighty. I would seriously rather be shot through the face than plough to the end of that.

  40. RevStu says:

    And from the other:

    "UK political parties are notoriously inhospitable to
    women. The majority of individuals in positions of
    power within parties have been, and remain, men
    and culturally these organisations have tended to
    be excessively masculine. Candidate selection
    processes have been devised with men in mind,
    and have been especially difficult for women to
    negotiate. When local parties select their
    candidates for public office, maleness appears to
    be an implicit qualification."

    What the actual fuck does any of that mean? Unless the selection process is “Whoever pisses highest against this wall gets the nomination”, how in the name of crap is it “devised with men in mind”? And in what sense does “appears to be” count as evidence of anything?

  41. Cooper says:

    To be honest you kinda have me there, because I don’t hold that there’s anything “intrinsically good” about women. The same way there’s nothing “intrinsically bad” about men. People are different people, regardless of gender.

    Which is why I think it’s absurd there’s a system which systematically excludes / becomes unviable or unappealing to people based upon their gender. When deciding how good someone is at something like politics, what they have between their legs should be neither here nor there.

    Thing is, what people have between their legs does matter. I’d rather it didn’t; not because having ovaries makes you great, but because I’m against systematic denial of peoples based upon largely unsalient characteristics.

    Having more women is not necessarily better because women are naturally gonna make things great. Women can be arseholes too. The goal is not “more women will make it all better” in my own opinion, but that “politics should not be such an unequal system”.

    Fostering equal access, fostering an undiscriminatory environment open to all, fostering a system that everyone – regardless of gender, race sexuality etc. – wants to be part of is in itself the goal. What happens after that is not dterminable, nor necessary to make it a valuable goal.

  42. RevStu says:

    "I’m against systematic denial of peoples"

    We all are. 40-odd comments in I'm still waiting for an explanation of why you believe any such thing is happening in a democratic country where all sexes, races, orientations and faiths have the vote, and where it would therefore self-evidently appear NOT to be the case.

    "Fostering equal access, fostering an undiscriminatory environment open to all"

    There IS equal access. There IS no discrimination in any material, “systemic” sense. Anyone can stand, and anyone can be elected. Otherwise we’d have no woman MPs, no Asian MPs, no gay MPs and no barking-mad lunatic MPs.

  43. Rob M says:

    Christ, this is tedious, I'm not reading all of it.  But I've kind of missed these internet arguments a bit myself, so I'll deal with my bit.
     
    It says something that I honestly can't tell if you've counted properly there. If ANY of those comments are over some sort of acceptable-debating line


     
    I didn't say they were.  I counted properly – the fourth response, which was presumably delivered over three or four separate tweets, was provocative.  AS YOU KNOW, you mental.  Let's go through it, for no good reason:
     
    Blimey, didn't know we were holding grudges back to 2000BC…
    Facetious.
     
    Point is, women aren't discriminated against now.
    Sure they are.
     
    They have 1 vote, the same as men do, and they're the majority.
    Irrelevant.  If suffrage is your cornerstone, no one is discriminated against.  "There is no discrimination in the UK!  At all!" – A. N. Idiot.
     
    Nothing is stopping women from joining parties, selecting female candidates and voting for them.
    Facile.
     
    And if you can't be arsed putting the work in, you shouldn't be trying to cheat
    Tediously provocative.
     
    "Positive discrimination" is an oxymoron.
    And finally we reach an actual debating point.
     
    Wanting representative representation is hardly a radical thought.  The idea that men on some spurious biological basis (as your argument apparently rests on discounting all societal pressures) are four times more inclined to being MPs than women is a bag of old sexist balls.
     
    Looking at the cunts in charge now, I guess posh cunts who went to Eton have some inherent greater propensity to go into politics than others.  Not societal, though.  Must be the lay-lines in Windsor.

  44. RevStu says:

    "Facetious."

    Oh for fuck's sake. If you're going to say anything as UTTERLY RIDICULOUS, in the context of a discussion about Parliamentary representation, as "women have been discriminated against for 4000 years", then you better expect a tiny bit of light piss-taking.

    " If suffrage is your cornerstone, no one is discriminated against."

    It IS the cornerstone of this particular debate, yes.

    " "There is no discrimination in the UK!  At all!" – A. N. Idiot."

    You got that this argument took place on Twitter, yes? There isn't a lot of room for terms and conditions and qualifiers and disclaimers in 140 characters. Sometimes you have to credit people with the intelligence to make certain assumptions in context. The trouble with that, of course, is that a lot of people are cretins.

    "Tediously provocative."

    Personally I’d go with “enormously restrained”, given how massively fucking angry the attitude in question makes me. I’m a gamer. I don’t like cheats, never have and never will. And I utterly loathe discrimination in ALL its forms. You can’t, after all, rationally discriminate between forms of discrimination – it’s either bad or it’s not. If it’s okay for you to do it, you’ve got no business whining about other people doing it TO you.

    "And finally we reach an actual debating point."

    Even though we've subsequently been dragged down that path, that ISN'T actually the point of this feature. The point of the feature, pretty unmistakeably, was the way it's impossible to have the discussion at all, because feminists – if they have any level of control over the debate – will shout you down, call you names and then ban or block you so no debate is possible, however ludicrously mild your conduct.

    Cooper – who let’s remember expressly painted himself as the rational, moderate and mainstream voice of feminism, not the ranting extremist – proved that point comprehensively by calling me a misogynist within two posts. Fair play to him for subsequently apologising, but the point is if it had been a feminist website we'd never have got that far, because I'd have been banned by then. You were there for CaraGate, so you know perfectly well that's true.

    We can only debate it here because unlike them, I'm not scared of having people challenge my views, and my reaction to dissent is to try to engage with it, not to instantly crush it.

    "The idea that men on some spurious biological basis (as your argument apparently rests on discounting all societal pressures) are four times more inclined to being MPs than women is a bag of old sexist balls."

    Except it appears to be inconveniently true. Making a Parliament enormously more female-friendly has had basically zero effect on how many women want to work there.

    "Looking at the cunts in charge now, I guess posh cunts who went to Eton have some inherent greater propensity to go into politics than others."

    Jesus. Do you have any idea how many posh cunts go to Eton and DON'T go into politics? Not only are you now clumsily conflating gender issues with class issues, you're also spectacularly missing the point. Being a posh cunt who went to Eton is a handicap when it comes to getting people to vote for you in a democracy, not an advantage, certainly in 90% of the country. There are very, very few Old Etonians in the Scottish or Welsh parliaments.

    Private schools are also not a gender-discrimination issue anyway. There are plenty of private schools for girls too, and mixed ones. David Cameron enjoyed the benefit of a private education because he was posh, not because he was a man.

  45. Erchie says:

    Firstly, this comment things doesn't work on Android
     
    I think I have sussedcCooper's line of reasoning.
     
    Say, just for illustrative purposes that of those seeking office, 20% are female & 80% are male.
     
    Despite that imbalance of input, the end result should be balanced according to population.
     
     
    So,a much higher proportion of the female input will be successful than the male, who will be discriminated against
     

  46. DG says:

    Yep that's basically it.
    His secondary point is that only 20% of women wanting to is in itself discriminatory.  You know, as opposed to just being a fact that certain jobs appeal more to certain genders.  There are considerably fewer female racing drivers for instance.  
    He will argue that's because motor racing is a masculine closed shop, except that I race in grassroots karting where the only barrier to participation is a few hundred quid a year and the ability to fill in an entry form.  And yet, out of near 100 entries to my specific championship there are 3 women.
    Incidentally it's only just occured to me typing this that I voted for women in both the London mayor and assembly elections. 

  47. Erchie says:

    Editor doesn’t seem that happy on IE9 either

    I voted for two women in my ward.

    Two women succeeded in a 4 person ward, only 1 of which I voted for

  48. romanista says:

    @daneel, great link.. costing me the afternoon

  49. Paul R says:

    "I still want to know why I, or anybody else, should want more women in politics. How will it benefit us all?"
    Because it would make parliament more representative of the people who actually live, work and die in this country. The same is true across class, race, sexuality, religion… whatever line you care to identify. I don't think Rob M is clumsily conflating gender with class issues; rather he's making the point that this thread has pulled the gender issue out of the wider context of how appallingly unrepresentative the British parliament currently is.
    Will more women in politics solve all the problems? Of course not, for the same reason that more Asians, or more (open) homosexuals, or more atheists in politics would not solve all the problems. But surely the whole point of a parliamentary democracy is that it mirrors the society for which it stands – and since quotas are pretty awful, then by the sort of grass-roots engineering Cooper advocates to help local and national government slowly become equally accessible for all.
    Pointing to other professions and saying: Well women are more represented here, or: There are no barriers to female access here and yet still women are underrepresented in this field; misses the point that politics is special and important because they are people constantly making decisions that affect everybody's lives – yet often with a completely fictional, perverted or uncomprehending view or how our lives actually work.

  50. daneel says:

    Admittedly, the plural of anecdote isn't data, yet my MPs over the course of my life have split equally, gender-wise; 4 women and 4 men. These have included 1 male cabinet minister and 1 female cabinet minister.

    In terms of diversity, they have, however, all been white, heterosexual (or at least not openly homosexual) and mostly middle class. Certainly all degree-educated. So maybe there should be rather more concern there, inclusiveness-wise (OTOH, the makeup of the areas I've lived in have basically followed the same pattern as the MPs, so perhaps not).

    On the plus side for diversity (and/or comedy value), they've included 1 Vulcan, one mad as a bucket of frogs conspiracy theorist who got deselected by her own party, and one serial adulterer. 

  51. romanista says:

    Quite a lot of parties here in holland have a strict 1 man, 1 one women policy, especially among the parties on the left side of the political spectrum. It seems to work, women often vote here for the "first women on the list", which led to a painful situation in 2006 when the nr. 2 of the conservative-liberal VVD had more votes than the nr 1. (this wasn't only because of gender).. and it was the first time a nr. 2 had more votes… leaving the leadership of the nr.1 (current demissionary prime minister rutte) 
    (ofcourse bear in mind that this is done under propertional representation which makes it a bit different)..
    not that many of the problems mentioned here are solved by the way.. we're still not quite to scandinavian standards.. furthere more the problem shifts a bit.. you see often that when forming a cabinet, when the posts are divided and the persons high in the hierarchy have claimed there spots, there are always a few women short, leading to searches for a good women at the final hour, sometimes leading to hilarious results see here: http://www.scholieren.com/werkstukken/12885 (in the chapter on the "failure of the lpf") 
    not that in  i'm commenting here on the availability of good women but on the way this kind of searches seem to happen…

  52. Soylent Dave says:

    The best thing I've read recently on why gender discrimination is bad for society was by Max Barry:  http://maxbarry.com/2011/07/08/news.html 

    He also makes the point that it's very definitely men – or parents of boys, at least – who need to worry about it; women already have to adapt to a world where they're treated as less-than-equal. Men don't naturally adapt to anything, because we're already better off.
    Politically, the problem with having few women in politics is that few women are able to get involved in politics – not because "they don't want to sit in a room with men", but because the men don't let the women into the room, and don't take them seriously when they're there. 

    This also applies in boardrooms, on TV (just watch female TV presenters get talked over, watch female comedians get edited down to 'laughing at the jokes men say') – for a current example, look at Lauren Laverne's role on 10 O'clock Live; she's the only woman on there, and her job is to link between the men and ask them what they think – even though she's a talented comedian and experienced presenter in her own right.
    I don't think quota-filling helps with the 'taking women seriously' part; I'd like there to be a better way – but it's better than doing nothing, and we do need to do something – it's a good idea in politics, because there are things which are important to women (52% of the country) but are not important to (a majority of) men, and without female politicians of note, those things are minimised and sidelined. 
    It's not just the job of women to fix this embarrassing situation where men (usually men in power) are stopping women achieving things by denying them a voice. 

  53. RevStu says:

    “Lauren Laverne… a talented comedian in her own right”

    Cough splutter cough.

  54. daneel says:

    Lauren Laverne doesn't have much to do on 10 O'Clock live because a) she isn't funny and b) there's at least twice as many presenters on that show as necessary.
    However, I take the point that they don't really need three identical white 40 year old middle class male comedians sharing the majority of the work.

  55. daneel says:

    "…because the men don't let the women into the room, and don't take them seriously when they're there"
    This is definitely true. Not sure how much this hit the news over in Blighty, but it seems a good example from the US, at least (for some reason, the Republican party seems recently to be on a mission to exclude all women, all atheists, all scientists, all moderates, hell, anyone with a three-digit IQ…).
    http://www.thenation.com/blog/166311/republican-hearing-contraception-no-women-allowed
    The best result from this whole debacle was arch-arsehole Rush Limbaugh shooting himself in the foot quite spectacularly. Now, if you want to see real misogyny…
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rush_Limbaugh%E2%80%93Sandra_Fluke_controversy
    In the UK, I wonder if the struggle for women to be taken seriously by men as politicians leads to only the most strident of women succeeding, leading to the scenario whereby women are most clearly represented by easily-dismissed people like Nadine Dorries and Harriet Harman. Which can't be in their best interests.

  56. Marc Forrester says:

    Here's a facetious thought that amused me: The fact that women are disinterested in political power is in itself a bloody good reason to encourage more to stand for election.  Unfortunately, female MPs will not be representative of women in general however you tweak the rules, since the majority of women are nothing remotely like Thatcher.  Thank fuck.
    If you really want fair representation for all people, you should abandon elections entirely and return to the ancient Greek system of parliament randomly selected from all eligible citizens, akin to jury service.

  57. RevStu says:

    Man, I’m signing up to your party right now. Although in that case I may have misunderstood the concept.

  58. Lenny says:

    I'm not particularly persuaded by any of the arguments put forwards that more women (or any other group for that matter) in politics would be beneficial.
     
    Firstly there's the derogatory idea that these groups are somehow homogeneous and that they'd all vote the same way, if the evil white men didn't deny them.
     
    Secondly there's the idea that one can only represent one's own sex, race and class. If this was really the case we'd still have slavery, women wouldn't have the vote – in fact nobody would because we'd still be a feudal society, there'd be massive religious persecution and probably our entire species would have died of plague hundreds of years ago.
     
    Thirdly there's the idea that "consensus" government would be better. I don't want lowest common denominator policies, decided over a cup of coffee and a Rich-tea. I want people of conviction, courage and gumption to put themselves forwards to lead and to bring change. If I don't agree with their policies I won't vote for them, but if I do agree with them it won't matter to me if they're men, women, black, asian, chinese,  disabled or from Mars – they'll get my vote.
     
    Fourthly: "fairness". Equality of opportunity is a fine thing and to be encouraged. Equality through "political correctness" is not. Positive-discrimination, as an example of the latter, has nothing to do with fairness and is nothing more than an anti-democratic move to shoe-horn "politically correct" (and possibly shit) candidates onto an unsuspecting public. But who cares? They're safe seats, right? It's bullshit.  
     
      

  59. DrugCrazed says:

    I think you may be drawing a final conclusion from a small sample size.

  60. RevStu says:

    Possibly. But in fairness, the sample size is a lot bigger than the examples I’ve listed in the post.

  61. Archie says:

    So basically nutty Cooper here not only wants "positive discrimination" but he thinks that if there aren't AT LEAST 50% women in a job then the JOB  ITSELF must be changed and changed until there are 50%+ women in it….whatever "it" will actually be by that point what with the job being changed and twisted to fit that round peg in the square hole… Do we then need to make a new job to make up for the last one being changed from what was acutally wanted and had a wage offered for it? Or will that replacement or filler job then end up a victim to the same process, ad infinitum?
     
    So basically we need to make special new jobs for these special flowers who can't actually do the jobs we need to be done and are therefore offering wages for? If someone said that at the job centre they'd either laugh at them or punish them somehow. That isn't a positive example of feminism. That's saying that women are weak and pathetic and can't do a job properly and that's why men are doing it. Despite this view espoused by Cooper women do manage to do the job and are taken on in these roles. Imagine that. Without even having to bend over backwards and change the job to suit.
     
    "The issue is about making the role of MP and working in politics appealing to women. If “women don’t want to do the job” we should not stop there. The questions should be “why not and how can we change the job so that they do”"
     
    This man is batshit insane and so out of touch with reality he probably tries to brush his teeth with a spoon while insisting that the world should simply redifine "brushing teeth" until his spoon somehow, magically does the same job. He's so deep into his nutjob culture of self-flagellation and submission he's lost the plot. This is why they have a lost cause. Feminism died long ago thanks to these sorts of wonks. These are not nearly on a par with the human rights activists of generations ago, despite their dreams of grandeur.
     
    I don't know how you do it. Cooper is such a classic gem of a terrible feminist (And a man apparently paid to teach feminism no, less. Oh dear) a tiny part of me is wondering if he's a plant.
     
    Nowadays the real sensible feminists are people of all types who are simply against bigotry of any sort or unfair discrimination of any sort and stand up for it when someone really is out of order. It's common sense and backed up by the law as it stands. Equally the women making a real difference and contribution are the ones who aren't going to feminist classes (or men teaching them) and actually make the world a better place or do their bit proving themselves in their 9-5. Twitter twats or batshit insane dreamers like these so-called feminists will wash over and out without making much more of a mark than annoying people and wasting time and resources.
     
    You get the same heated accusations of being a monster for even slightly disagreeing or questioning a single point with virtually all emotionally-charged popular topics that feature in the mainstream media so everyone has an opinion – sexism, racism (other 'isms), religious bigotry, popular politics, global warming, anything to do with WW2 or Jews or Israel, etc., the list goes on. Shouting everyone down and refusing to accept anything other than exact repeats of your own thoughts and opinions is absurdly intolerant and discriminatory itself, on a par with religious fanatics of old. It's very much in the minority of encounters when I find someone who approves of bigory and likes dishonesty or bullying (which is why they stand out so much and make such noticable trolls), but with these activist (and self-proclaimed representatives and freedom fighter) groups, if you dare to do anything other than regurgitate whatever pamphlets the loudest segments of the internet activists have read then you are the very devil incarnate and are to be censored, silenced, cut out of any "debate" (actually lots of yes-men nodding and back slapping) and insulted (likely after you've been banned or barred from the discussion) . Hardly winning hearts and minds with such attitudes. No one is going to change their opinion when they are confronted with frothing fanatics or wonks with their own made up language instead of English or the language of the common tongue. Zero sympathy gained.



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  • Tall, Thin Game Of The Month

    Lightforce (FTL, 1986)


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