Minutes after I posted this article, the ludicrous Jess Phillips published an article in the Guardian which could not have been better designed to prove my thesis. A number of people have posted comments on the Guardian article pointing this out, and they have all been immediately deleted by the Guardian. I just tried it myself and was also deleted. I should be grateful if readers could now also try posting comments there, in order to make a point about censorship on the Guardian.
Catching up on a fortnight’s news, I have spent five hours searching in vain for criticism of Simon Danczuk from prominent or even just declared feminists. The Guardian was the obvious place to start, but while they had two articles by feminist writers condemning Chris Gayle’s clumsy attempt to chat up a presenter, their legion of feminist columnists were entirely silent on Danczuk. The only opinion piece was strongly defending him.
This is very peculiar. The allegation against Danczuk which is under police investigation – of initiating sex with a sleeping woman – is identical to the worst interpretation of the worst accusation against Julian Assange. The Assange allegation brought literally hundreds, probably thousands of condemnatory articles from feminist writers across the entire range of the mainstream media. I have dug up 57 in the Guardian alone with a simple and far from exhaustive search. In the case of Danczuk I can find nothing, zilch, nada. Not a single feminist peep.
The Assange case is not isolated. Tommy Sheridan has been pursuing a lone legal battle against the Murdoch empire for a decade, some of it in prison when the judicial system decided his “perjury” was imprisonable but Andy Coulson’s admitted perjury on the Murdoch side in the same case was not. I personally witnessed in court in Edinburgh last month Tommy Sheridan, with no lawyer (he has no money) arguing against a seven man Murdoch legal team including three QCs, that a letter from the husband of Jackie Bird of BBC Scotland should be admitted in evidence. Bird was working for Murdoch and suggested in his letter that a witness should be “got out of the country” to avoid giving evidence. The bias exhibited by the leading judge I found astonishing beyond belief. I was the only media in the court.
Yet even though the Murdoch allegations against Sheridan were of consensual sexual conduct, Sheridan’s fight against Murdoch has been undermined from the start by the massive and concerted attack he has faced from the forces of feminism. Just as the vital messages WikiLeaks and Assange have put out about war crimes, corruption and the relentless state attack on civil liberties have been undermined by the concerted feminist campaign promoting the self-evidently ludicrous claims of sexual offence against Assange.
As soon as the radical left pose the slightest threat to the neo-con establishment, an army of feminists can be relied upon to run a concerted campaign to undermine any progress the left wing might make. The attack on Jeremy Corbyn over the makeup of his shadow cabinet was a classic example. It is the first ever gender equal shadow cabinet, but the entire media for a 96 hour period last September ran headline news that the lack of women in the “top” posts was anti-feminist. Every feminist commentator in the UK piled in.
Among the obvious dishonesties of this campaign was the fact that Defence, Chancellor, Foreign Affairs and Home Secretary have always been considered the “great offices of State” and the argument only could be made by simply ignoring Defence. The other great irony was the “feminist” attack was led by Blairites like Harman and Cooper, and failed to address the fact that Blair had NO women in any of these posts for a full ten years as Prime Minister.
But facts did not matter in deploying the organised feminist lobby against Corbyn.
Which is why it is an important test to see what the feminists, both inside and outside the Labour Party, would do when the leading anti-Corbyn rent-a-gob, Simon Danczuk, was alleged to have some attitudes to women that seem very dubious indeed, including forcing an ex-wife into non-consensual s&m and that rape allegation.
And the answer is …nothing. Feminists who criticised Assange, Sheridan and Corbyn in droves were utterly silent on the subject of Danczuk. Because the purpose of established and paid feminism is to undermine the left in the service of the neo-cons, not to attack neo-cons like Danczuk.
Identity politics has been used to shatter any attempt to campaign for broader social justice for everybody. Instead it becomes about the rights of particular groups, and that is soon morphed into the neo-con language of opportunity. What is needed, modern feminism argues, is not a reduction of the vast gap between rich and poor, but a chance for some women to become Michelle Mone or Ann Gloag. It is not about good conditions for all, but the removal of glass ceilings for high paid feminist journalists or political hacks.
Feminism has become the main attack tool in the neo-con ideological arsenal. I am sceptical the concept can be redeemed from this.