Feminist Cultists and the myth of the ‘Broad Church’
One of the most common reactions to my criticisms of feminism in recent years has been along the lines of: ‘feminism is a broad church, there are many different perspectives within it. Don’t taint us all with the same brush!’
It is in my view, a way of trying to stamp on dissent. To pull the rug from under any serious challenge to the dogma. And often it works.
Roz Kaveney’s article in the Guardian this week is a case in point. She is distancing herself and feminism in general from the ‘cultist’ behaviour of the people organising the #radfem2012 conference in July. Their stipulation that trans women are not welcome at the event has been noted as exclusionary and plain wrong.
‘There are many debates within feminism, and the women’s movement ought not to be a monolith of orthodoxy. There are, for example, legitimate arguments on both sides of discussion of sex work – whether the stress should be placed on prohibition or harm reduction, say. But such a debate will not be allowed at RadFem2012. I hate to say this of other feminists, but aspects of their feminism – the anti-intellectualism, emphasis on innate knowledge, fetishisation of tiny ideological differences, heresy hunting, conspiracy theories, rhetorical use of images of disgust, talk of stabs in the back and romantic apocalypticism – smack less of feminism than of a cult.’
My retort to her is simple. Try leaving this ‘broad church’ and you might find it displays the exact qualities of a ‘cult’ you describe above.
We have been having a discussion about what it is like to be cast as a ‘heretic’ for being women daring to reject feminism as a dogma at QRG blog:
The radfems are in some ways only explicitly stating what ‘reasonable’ feminists express more subtly. That the supposed ‘enemies’ of the ‘women’s movement’ are actually …yes… men.
I have not seen one feminist in all the furore over this #radfem2012 ‘bigoted’ conference, suggest that maybe it should also be open to men delegates. In 2012. I suppose that feminists, radical, liberal, Tory or other, are all really good old fashioned girls at heart. Keeping the old misandrous traditions alive.
Well then fuck ‘em. Sheila’s not my sister. Neither is Julie. Neither is Suzanne. And neither, though it saddens me to say it, is Roz.*
*Roz Kaveney blocked me on twitter a while back for…arguing about feminism.