A rebuttal to ‘The Suffragettes Would Turn in their Graves’

“The suffragettes would turn in their graves”; amongst a sea of QMUL Memes and statuses warning me about the snow I could already see, these words stood out. But as I began to read further I realised that this wasn’t something pro-feminist, nor was it an article commenting on the setback of women’s rights; it was a poorly constructed critique of modern feminism.

According to the article’s author modern day feminists believe “possessing a penis is an admission of latent and suppressed sexual tendencies.” Last time I checked, I didn’t possess a vagina and yet magically I’m still a feminist. Claiming that modern day feminists are just sour faced, whining women is extremely myopic as one of the great victories of feminism in recent years is the persuasion of public opinion, including both the views of men and women. Apart from this, modern day, “third wave” feminism encompasses more kinds of people than ever before; with multicultural, lesbian and transsexual issues often rising to the forefront of the debate. Coincidentally, even though feminism is constantly evolving and becoming more educated as a movement, the writer of this article managed to confuse radical feminism with misandry; “radical feminists” are not anti-men, indeed there are many men who are themselves radicals.
To see modern day feminism as an unimportant topic, put forward only by a whinging minority is ridiculous. Within the UK there is still a gender related pay gap at the highest levels of business alongside a disproportionate representation of women at management levels, something akin to the lack of female MP’s. Aside from this however, more serious problems are ever present across the globe, with women in many countries under certain regimes being forced to wear certain clothing and those in the Congolese war facing particularly horrific hate crimes, some even sexually violated with knives. Indeed in the same week that rapper M.I.A released her music video “Bad Girls” (a seeming critique of the fact women are not allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia), it seems comical that anyone would argue modern day feminists are all wailing women creating problems which do not exist.
Women across the globe still face major prejudice because of their sex and there are many, many kinds of people who stand against this. To see modern day feminists as ridiculous, harpy-like figures is redundant and any attack made on those fighting for equality is a nasty, pointless waste of time.

by Séan Richardson

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