This is a pithy article from the newly established Feminist Times. It picks up on the backlash from the recent UN rapporteur’s criticism of the UK being, in her opinion, one of the most sexist countries in the world. Tabloids such as the Daily Mail are often criticised for sexist content, but we’ve shrugged and avoided the paper if it offends. This latest debate has, however, brought out the latent anger against the paper’s attitude towards women in particular and social media is beginning to reflect this.
It comes as no surprise to many that Britain has been labelled as sexist. It seems that projects such as Everyday Sexism is providing empirical evidence for this. Equally, the open misogyny is becoming louder as people begin to speak out about cultural sexism – propagated by, amongst others, the Daily Mail. Our legislation may on the surface be progressing equality, but it appears clear that women and right thinking men are entirely fed up with the chronic low-level sexism that permeates large swathes of our society.
‘All the Rebel Women’ by Kira Cochrane (Guardian Shorts) is a concise discussion about the current 4th wave of feminism. This is a fascinating reminder of recent history – Everyday Sexism and the No More Page Three campaign are noteworthy high profile activities.
This accessible book has pinpointed a modern feminism that is battling old prejudices. Social media particularly seems to magnify both misogyny and feminist campaigns. Those who are behind movements that quickly gain a wide currency are also subjected to online abuse to a degree that is more shockingly woman- hating than perhaps we in the UK are used to, because of its anonymous nature. But what these campaigners and public figures are telling us is that ‘vile’ misogyny is alive and well! Mary Beard has spoken publicly about this and how shocking it was the first time she discovered such enmity following an appearance on Question Time.
This book is grist to the mill for those seeking to become more active in feminist consciousness raising and campaigning. It points us to current high profile movements of women who are seeking to practically influence the world. Yes. We still need feminism and a fourth wave of activism is upon us.
Human rights are women’s rights, and women’s rights are human rights. Let us not forget that among those rights are the right to speak freely — and the right to be heard.
This sums up the need for women to write. To ensure the very notion of an ‘oppressed majority’ is consigned to the history of bad ideas, women should write and communicate how misogyny, subtle and outrageous, diminishes us and the entire world.