Feminists are concerned at the number of citizens - of both sexes - who refuse to identify themselves as feminists. In the US less than 20% of woman accept the label and here in the UK it is under 10%. The reaction from leading feminist mouthpieces is both entirely predictable - first say that women are feminists really, they just don't know it. Anyone who supports gender equality, they argue, is a feminist by definition.
The sensible and informative approach would be to acknowledge the fact and ask both women and men WHY they are reluctant to identify as a feminist. Most people could have a decent guess, but if one searches hard enough there are reasons.
This posting is going to be uncomfortable to write, and probably to read.
First the background. The Australian government have tabled a bill which would make sex between a man and a childlike sex doll illegal and subject to the same sort of legal sanctions reserved for child sex abusers. The argument, such as it is, states that this type of sex doll leads the user to engage in real life paedophilic sexual abuse, although no credible evidence for this assertion has been presented.
I have nothing new to add to the Brexit debate which is why I have generally steered clear. Obviously I cast my vote in the referendum - I voted remain - based on a variety of factors. I think that if we stick purely to economics then remain is the better option. I don't, however, like the EEC as an institution - it is corrupt in the banal form of that vice, but more importantly it is democratic only in a way which stretches the definition to breaking point.
Most people will be aware of Greta Thunberg - the new spokesperson for climate change activism. Friends of mine have been surprised, some even shocked, that I neither admire nor support Greta.
I'll try to explain why in this posting.
Firstly a bit of background. Greta is a 14yr old Swedish girl. She has (by her own account) clinical depression and is on the Aspergers spectrum. She has stopped attending school so that she can concentrate on her activism.
I have written in the past about my concerns over the concentration of power within the tech sector. Google, for example, has tremendous power with no real accountability. Most people know that the ubiquitous search engine deals with user searches in a 'less than straightforward' manner. It is fairly common knowledge that companies willing to pay can have their listings advanced up the list of search results. This, however, is the tip of the iceberg.
In these articles I intend to examine and roundly mock some of the funnier and more ignorant attempts to appear scientifically literate I know of. These are the Post-structuralist French bunch of poseurs responsible for much of the ills of higher education, intersectional feminism and post-modern idiocy in general.In this article I will concentrate on one of the founders and leading lights - Luce Irigaray.
Some time ago I promised to post something on this issue - the claimed gap in pay between women and men. So, here is the promised article. The image heading the article is typical of the general claim made. Obviously most of the fuss is coming from the US - hence the currency - but a similar story of woe is articulated by UK feminists. Is it correct?
We are currently in the middle of a moral panic based on historic wrongdoing (or perceived wrong doing) of some famous men. Events began with allegations against a famous Hollywood mogul - Harvey Weinstein dating back a couple of decades or so. There is little question that Weinstein is a wretched character. Whether he broke any laws is still open to question and will not be answered until we see a proper trial. There is little doubt, however, that his behaviour was unacceptable - then as now - and few people, me included, would take issue with that. Pretty soon, however, scores of women came forward (to the press in most cases) with their stories of historic sexual abuse, and a campaign to encourage others, called Me Too, was started. Here is where the problems began.
The amount of misinformation originating from feminist sources that has now become part of 'common knowledge' is scary. A credulous media seems all to willing to print or repeat the most outrageous nonsense as long as it comes from a 'genuine feminist source'.
As I have demonstrated in previous articles, the idea of a credible feminist source is problematic. Modern feminism relies heavily on the Gallic Postmodernist philosophy which essentially holds that feelings are more valid than statistics or other empirical measures. What might be 'evidence' to a feminist is unlikely to be so to anyone who is not indoctrinated into feminist dogma. The aim of this posting is to correct some of the more egregious and persistent of the lies that are routinely trotted out by those either unwilling or incapable of doing even the most elementary fact checking.
If you are contemplating spending a great deal of money on a University course for yourself, or for your child(ren), then I think you should check whether the University of choice is one which supports and encourages free speech. If not it is probably following the trend first seen on US campuses, but now spreading through UK universities - namely, the idea that it is the role of the University to train activists in social justice.
In the UK the Labour party is currently a shambles. In the US the democrats managed to loose an election to a reality-show host. Clearly there are some serious issues with left wing politics in general. In this article I try to explain what the problem is and how it arose.
Before I go on I will define what I mean here by 'left wing'. In broad terms there are two viewpoints regarding society and politics. One view is that we should strive to arrange society according to a historical blueprint or a past ideal. The other view is that society is better than it has ever been but needs to progress further by looking to the future, not the past. We can call the first conservatism and the second progressivism.
In the first article, I looked at how the regressive left arose from the remnants of the revolutionary radical left, after most decided that they could no longer openly cling to classical Marxist theory. I explained that having abandoned Marxism, with the promised utopian communist state that it predicted, the regressives no longer had a specific utopian end-point to talk about, but most still remain committed to the overthrow of the state in a Marxist-style revolution, even though they cannot say what, exactly, they would put in its place. Finally, we saw that the modified version of identity politics adopted by the regressives is toxic and actually undoes all the progress made by the liberal left in addressing equality of minorities and reducing both the importance and the awareness of identity differences such as gender, race and sexuality. I finished by explaining that it is for this reason in particular that many people, including me, label this destructive mutation of left-progressive politics the regressive left.
In this article, I want to explain the dangers that I think regressives pose to society, and offer some thoughts on how we might address these dangers.
Emma Watson is the latest in a growing line of celebrities who suddenly feel qualified to lecture on the meaning and goals of feminism.
How she suddenly discovered this expertise is left to our imagination but presumably it involved some weird and wonderful arcane mysticism and waving a magic twig around. It certainly didn't involve reading the relevant studies and papers.
Emma has broken her instructions into a handy seven bullet points so that the audience can take the bit-sized message without getting hopelessly lost or confused. I'll take each point individually and respond. This is NOT a rant and I will not be seeking to fire off cutting put-downs or to 'destroy' her. It is a reasoned explanation of why I think she is misguided, misinformed and misdirected.