Caveat . This is not a comment or insinuation on the character OR motives of ANYONE concerned , let me be clear on that .
The way this has been spun by the opposition was inevitable and I’m getting pretty bored with people trying to place that on feminists voicing misgivings . It’s the nature of the actors and events themselves , which have drawn fire . Whichever position you take , that’s the nature of politics . It was bound to be portrayed a certain way by the inevitable cohort , and an omertà on women having opinions wouldn’t have made any difference . Honestly , it’s like people saying Brexit will be all unicorns and roses if people were just happier about it . Whatever you believe , you gotta know events don’t change just because .
What also bother me – though – is the way people have reacted to/addressed other women’s concerns . The snide Facebook posts , – and tweets – suggesting that women with concerns , would rather see frantic mothers have nobody to go to . The frankly astonishing invocation of Nuremberg , to a Jewish feminist, Julie Bindel
Nobody suggests that. Nobody . To make it a binary choice of accepting a hosting by the HF (and being seen as concurring everything the HF stands for ) or you’re literally “throwing women under the bus” is spiteful and simplistic . It’s divisive . And Nuremberg? I’m hoping both were unintentional .
Was there not a single other organisation that could’ve hosted this ? Maybe there weren’t any , any offering? Certainly transparency about this – from the get go – would’ve allayed or prevented a lot of people’s consternation, because c’est la guerre.
Now , accusations of “policing women” flung at those expressing concern , are simply nonsensical . Firstly , you can’t police anything after the event . That’s called opining on a fait accomplé , not “policing”.
In fact ,it’s the telling of people where , when and how they can express an opinion about a public event which IS policing , in and of itself .
And the terminology . Accusing women of jealousy , backstabbing and gossip are just cheap , silencing shots . Just because a person may be jealous , it doesn’t mean they are wrong . They may be , they may not . Ad-hominem accusations won’t alter that . The straw man attributing of motive , doesn’t erase the validity of a concern , that’s evaluated by its face value . That’s why logical fallacies are called logical fallacies .
Just because a person doesn’t feel safe expressing their feelings in a more open forum , doesn’t mean they’re backstabbing (they might be , but does that make those concerns less valid?) Calling women gossips ? Really . Because patriarchy never used *that* to devalue or silence the voices of women ?“Shut up ladies” , it says.
And- TBH- I think that Julie Bindel and Helen Lewis (etc) being public figures , are allowed to publicly disassociate themselves from a public action , they’re not asking us to agree and grant permission because that is not ours to give . Public action draws public discussion . We do not have to agree with what’s being said, but people are allowed to speak , because that’s politics .
PS , let me repeat at no point is any of this any insinuation as regards anyone character or motives , merely comment on events and conversations surrounding.
The action itself ? There’s merit in the argument that whatever we do , we will be slurred as fascist nutcases from the Christian Right . Because it suits that oft reactionary – aforementioned- cohort .
There’s also merit in the opinion that such actions as being hosted by the Christian Right , for whatever motive (and I am ascribing NONE) (so don’t ) , WILL be seen as the above – which has transpired and NOT because feminists were reacting (shhh ladies you’re only jealous gossips policing ….) but because it was inevitable – as I’ve said before – and some are worried about potential damage . Are we really insinuating the Julie Bindel , for instance – who’s drawn more fire than most of us could bear – is some silly woman with a personal agenda ? I hope not. Merit can also be attached to an argument for lack of transparency re hosts …announcing such details in advance would certainly have thrown petrol on certain fires , unavoidably .
Whatever transpires , narrative and counter narrative . Let’s hope ours is stronger .