I get really annoyed when anyone arguing against feminist matters uses the defence “I’m a woman and ….” or “XX <insert name of famous woman> does that / said this”.
Should we believe that, while many men unknowingly follow and conform to misogynistic societal norms (because they can’t all be premeditated chauvenistic b******s), women would be immune to these norms?
Sometimes these arguments are delivered with particular aplomb when the woman whose opinion is being used is a feminist herself. As if political parties all follow the same black and white party line at all times…. Should we bring in a feminist Whip to give us a more united front, or can we perhaps enjoy our different perspectives, and use them to properly debate the facts of an issue without trying to trump one opinion over the other?
When the editor of The Sun quoted Germaine Greer’s support for Page 3 during his Leveson enquiry hearing into the inappropriateness of the feature, did I recoil and think “Ah, well, she’s written SOME BOOKS, so boobs amid news must be EMPOWERING!” No. I did not.
I have a gay friend who believes that gay marriage is a bad thing. I think his opinions come from his religious beliefs. But can his opinion (with the added trump of his sexuality) hush the mouths of all the others, straight or gay, who believe that gay marriage is about equality and an all round Good Thing?
So for the record, for every woman you can find who thinks feminism is stupid and irrelevant, I can find another who also agrees with your naysayer. And yet I go on believing my point.
And if you are a woman and think that your chromosomal catalogue adds weight to your opinions of comfort with the status quo, read around a bit. Try to believe that a sample of one from a pool of 3.3 billion is not statistically representative. Get a few (statistically recognisable) facts into your arsenal of opinions.
Then let’s talk.