This is our truth, tell us yours
The awesome practitioner of self-importance as a journalistic art form that is Louise Mensch has been holding forth on the subject of feminism again.
Along the way she claimed that she had invented the word fauxminist, which was news to quite a few people, including the Collins English Dictionary.
Along the way Louise also referred us all back to this piece of organized stupidity that is her Guardian article that dismisses ‘check your privilege’ as ‘intersectional bollocks’. It provoked such a meaningless and unimportant debate that the Guardian drafted in Hadley Freeman, who normally writes deep and meaningful pieces like this, to referee.
Now, Mensch’s article doesn’t deserve too much attention, because it amounts to Mensch saying that feminism is what she does, to the exclusion of all other kinds of feminism.
On the other hand though, it prompted me to muse over whether ‘check your privilege’ has become such a cliche it has lost some of its meaning.
It’s a masterly example of two nations divided by a common language, although Louise Mensch can’t use that excuse since she lives a trans-Atlantic life.
Checking our privilege, to me, doesn’t mean patting yourself down after you’ve intervened and asking if what you’ve done is a product or a reflection of your privilege. You check your privilege at the door, like an expensive hat and coat that you leave in the cloakroom before you engage in debate.
Hilariously, Mensch demonstrates that she knows that in her final peroration; she states Aged 14 I had big glasses, was nerdy, feminist, ambitious, idolising Thatcher, and determined to be famous, to be an author, and to be rich. I was at private school my parents couldn’t really afford because I bust my ass and won a 100% academic scholarship. I always believed in myself and I had and have no intention of checking my privilege for anyone. I earned it. I hope the next generation of young women feel the same.
Dear reader, you now know all you need to know about Louise Mensch, and her kind of feminism. Privileged, rich and aloof, she’s never going to park her privilege and talk to you or me as if we’re her equal. God help the hat-check girl who tries to call out Louise on her elitism, her arrogance and her shallow, vapid assertion that wealth and power are all that matters.