This is our truth, tell us yours
During my time at university, I joined the feminist society. No big deal, you might think – but you’d be wrong. My membership, as a centre-right self-identifying crusader for gender equality, was welcomed by one as the appearance of ‘a Tory feminist #drumrollplease’. Almost immediately I was jumped on by a group of hostile members who thought that I couldn’t be a real, bonafide feminist because I didn’t believe aligning feminism with a social revolution and trade union discussion was the way to go.
Reading this utter tripe is one of the moments I think of as a John Major having sex with Edwina Currie moment; it’s hard to know who to loath more. The idea of a Tory feminist is repellent, since the devil take the hindmost philosophy of modern conservatism takes no account of gender. The idea of Bindel being the arbiter of equality when she’s so keen to throw trans women and sex workers under the bus is equally repellent.
What’s hilarious about the feminist campaign against the tampon tax of course is that it parks the big issues of inequality for a small one that disregards the big gender issues; it’s banknote feminism in action. If you want a primer on banknote feminism, take a look here. Julie Bindel’s attack on Tory feminists as not really feminists has all the intellectual depth of feminist lingerie, and none of the utility.
I’ma socialist, and I oppose the tampon tax. Not because it is gendered, but because I oppose all regressive taxes that hit hardest on the poorest in our society. Of course, income inequality means all regressive taxes are a gender issue – women have the lowest incomes in our society, but the logic of that is to criticise all regressive taxes (e.g. all VAT, not just VAT on tampons, and, arguably, fuel and alcohol duties.)
I can’t believe Julie BIndel doesn’t get that, but she doesn’t seem to, and until she does, she’s ill-qualified to set herself up as arbiter of what is or isn’t left wing.