March 08, 2013

What Happened to Feminism?

Yesterday I read this story about a San Diego teacher who was ousted from her job for becoming pregnant out of wedlock, while the school in question subsequently hired the impregnator, irrespective of his premarital sowing. It is retrograde, despicable, and utterly unsurprising. In January, eminent professor Mary Beard suffered a torrent of misogynistic abuse after her appearance espousing progressive politics on the BBC. And it seems that however vile the abuse gets, veiled under the anonymity of the ethereal realm, there is some brute in a suit prepared to apologise for it. Meanwhile, the most popular ‘news’ website in the world, the Daily Mail online, is one long screed of misogyny, salivating over tits and ass while scorning the weight tribulations of minor celebrities. 

What is so shocking about it all is that it is so commonplace than nobody is shocked. Worse still, there is an abundance of women who will deride feminists, stubbornly refusing to engage in their own interests or to see the structural chauvinism that continually works against them, whether it be their exclusion from the top ranks of the corporate world, discrimination in the workplace and unequal pay, lack of suitable maternity benefits, sexual objectification, domestic violence, or a host of other malignancies that continue to blight our society. It is International Women’s Day. If you’re a half decent man, you’ll stand up to be counted among those who want to end the injustice. You’ll encourage the female naysayers to show solidarity, and you’ll do this not just today, but tomorrow and everyday, so long as is necessary. 

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