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How feminism ate itself The call for intersectionality was the beginning of the movement's end

Feminism is over because women can't agree. Credit: Homer/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Feminism is over because women can't agree. Credit: Homer/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images


September 22, 2021   5 mins

More than anything, the social justice landscape is defined by one alchemical process. A viral essay is condensed to a catchphrase, which makes its way onto everything from T-shirts to coffee mugs to embroidery samplers — until all of us see it and think we know what it means. Ten years ago, this process worked its magic on a piece written by Flavia Dzodan, giving a wave of up-and-coming feminists their new motto. “My feminism will be intersectional,” they declared, “or it will be bullshit.”

The concept of intersectionality — a shorthand for the ways that multiple minority statuses can overlap to create unique forms of oppression — is relatively easy to understand, which explains its sudden ubiquity in the sphere of extremely online activism. Twitter, after all, doesn’t generally allow for much complexity. But 10 years after its feminist incursion, the motto could use an update. “My feminism will be intersectional,” the new version might read, “and it will be the most ineffective flailing spectacle the world has ever seen.”

Turns out intersectionality is a concept that’s basic in theory but wildly divisive in application, especially when — as with feminism — you’re trying to get a coalition of activists with diverse identities to rally around a single shared goal. Whether it was getting the vote, reforming discriminatory laws, or even just pushing the so-called radical notion that women are people, feminism’s aim has always been to advocate for women because they are women. Once it was declared “bullshit” to focus on that commonality, the feminist cause fragmented with alarming swiftness. Since then, it’s had one crisis after another.

There were the toxic Twitter wars documented by Michelle Goldberg in 2014, as feminists eagerly trashed each other online over perceived political incorrectness. There was the implosion of the anti-Trump Women’s March over racial tensions, starting with complaints that the movement was too focused on pink-pussy-hatted white feminism, and ending with the diverse new leadership melting down amid allegations of anti-Semitism. There was Planned Parenthood’s astonishing apology this spring for focusing “too narrowly on women’s health,” closely followed by the schadenfreude-ridden girlboss downfalls in which powerful women, once feminist icons, were suddenly ousted from their own companies in the name of social justice.

Amid this ongoing feminist mission creep, those who attempted to bring the conversation back on the rails were accused of intersectional failure, centring white feelings, and inadequate attention (or even aggression) toward this or that marginalised group. The resulting chaos, apathy, and infighting caused the movement to basically stop moving — unless you count the numerous think pieces and half-dozen books devoted to the newfound scourge of “white feminism.”

Against this stagnant backdrop, Julie Bindel’s new book, Feminism for Women, promises to breathe life back into the movement. “As feminists,” the veteran activist writes in her introduction, “we are sick of the differences between women being rammed down our throats and used to divide us.” Her book aims to save the cause by reviving the sisterhood and giving feminists permission to re-commit themselves to fighting for the rights of women full stop. “Feminism,” she writes, “has to refocus so that women are the centre of the movement.”

In a feminist culture dominated by online flame wars, Feminism for Women says that what we need are “tangible solutions that will help women move forward to achieve our goal.” Bindel takes aim at the rifts within the movement over trans rights, racism, sex work, pornography — and the incursion of men into positions of feminist influence — with a radical call for unity. If you felt pushed out of the movement during its intersectional moment, this book’s evident goal is to coax you back in.

At its best, Feminism for Women is a righteous expression of solidarity with women, by women, for women. Bindel writes with compelling fury about issues like intimate partner violence, corrupt police who make it fraught and difficult for women to report rape, the systems set up to privilege abusers over victims.

At its worst, though, all this coaxing becomes overwhelming, and this is never truer than when Bindel turns her focus to men, and the women who love them. This is not to say that Bindel’s identity as a lesbian precludes her from talking to and about heterosexual women. Indeed, the notion of identity as a be-all-end-all litmus test for determining who does and doesn’t get to speak on a given topic is just the sort of nonsense that this book rightly pushes back against.

But having established herself as a person who finds the desirability of men incomprehensible, Bindel could perhaps approach the topic with a bit more humility — and to avoid, say, doubling down on insisting that women who enjoy kinky sex are suffering from false consciousness, or that a substantial number of straight women are simply deluded by patriarchy into imagining that they desire men. Feminism for Women delves at length into the concept of “compulsory sexuality,” with Bindel roundly asserting that if patriarchy were to be defeated, “there would be a significantly higher number of women who choose to be lesbians.”

I suspect that Bindel is probably wrong about this. Heteropessimism is already trendy among millennial-and-younger women. In 2019, Buzzfeed even suggested that straight relationships might be “a doomed project,” hopelessly passĂ©. The new wave of feminists earnestly and publicly insist that they would choose to be lesbians — if only they could escape the siren song of their pesky, innate heterosexual orientation. But the choice, they lament, is not theirs.

The accuracy of Bindel’s hypothesis, though, is less interesting than her choice to assert it within the pages of a book that claims, in all caps, to be FOR WOMAN. In the name of solidarity, why lean so immediately and heavily into rhetoric that a substantial portion of your readership are bound to find alienating? Especially when, as the book itself notes, women are already fatigued by just this sort of identity-based shaming from the woke Left?

The answer may be that Bindel’s book, despite its best efforts, is still a product of its time. The intersectional feminist literature of the moment instructs women that they’ve been hoodwinked into false consciousness by “whiteness”; Feminism for Women similarly condescends to its readership by replacing “whiteness” with “porn” and “patriarchy.” In both cases, the point is not to find common cause. It’s to fight against a common enemy.

This need to rally against a villainous antagonist is endemic to much contemporary activism, which tends to define itself by what it’s against rather than what it’s for. (Notice how the struggle for civil rights has lately rebranded itself as “anti-racism”; notice how much activist rhetoric focuses on dismantling and tearing-down without any mention of what might be built.) Of course, so many of these movements turn into circular firing squads, as some people invariably become more interested in ejecting apostates from within than advocating for change in the wider world. Consider how many more feminists want to defenestrate J. K. Rowling for her perceived transphobia than to set aside their differences in the name of advocating for shared policy goals.

Early on in Feminism for Women, Bindel asks: are we nearly there yet? Is the work of feminism almost done? The answer, of course, is no: globally, the subjugation of women remains a problem. And even in the western world, one can point to things like the recent Texas abortion statute as evidence that the battle for women’s bodily autonomy is hardly a thing of the past.

And yet feminism may be over anyway — not because there’s no work left to do, but because the necessary coalition-building has become impossible. Of course, Bindel wants this not to be the case. She writes of getting offline, taking to the streets: “It is crucial that we demand to be heard when we speak of what bonds and unites women, not only that which fragments us”. But women, and particularly those who call themselves feminists, no longer agree about what unites us. And the fractures in the movement run so deep that not even Julie Bindel can avoid tumbling between the cracks.

Julie Bindel‘s Feminism for Women is published by Little, Brown


Kat Rosenfield is an UnHerd columnist and co-host of the Feminine Chaos podcast. Her latest novel is You Must Remember This.

katrosenfield

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Jane Watson
Jane Watson
2 years ago

The ‘man hating’ aspect to some current ‘feminist’ thinking is completely repulsive to most women. Men are victims of the ‘patriarchy’ and its expectations too. Those of us who adored our dads, dearly love our brothers and fancy the pants off our lovers (and expect all of them to be able to do useful stuff) respect the opposite sex and feel in no way inferior or deluded for doing so.

Eddie Johnson
Eddie Johnson
2 years ago
Reply to  Jane Watson

I genuinely didn’t realise that women think like this anymore.
Most feminists, or at least those we read in media, seem to regard their heterosexuality as a terrible curse or embarrassment over which they’d rather remain apologetically silent.
It’s as if they’ve contracted herpes or something.

Last edited 2 years ago by Eddie Johnson
Lennon Ó Náraigh
Lennon Ó Náraigh
2 years ago
Reply to  Eddie Johnson

As the great Titania McGrath has said, future generations will thank us when we eliminate heterosexuality.

Romi Elnagar
Romi Elnagar
1 year ago

“… future generations will thank us…”
There will be NO generations after “we” “eliminate” heterosexuality.
Except, of course, for a few whose mothers were impregnated artificially.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
2 years ago
Reply to  Eddie Johnson

It must be a source of intense pain to Ms Bindel that she had a father. Of course this too was an invention of the patriarchy

MJ Reid
MJ Reid
2 years ago

Except it doesn’t. We don’t hate men. We just wish men were less dominant, less narcissitic and a wee bit more sympathetic to how society treats women and treats women who love women, lesbians.

T. Lister
T. Lister
1 year ago
Reply to  MJ Reid

Some men just want to bash feminists but there are decent, secure men who understand that some of their insecure brethren are too fragile to see their own misogyny. These fragile men are the ones who must dominate women and who take pathetic joy in demeaning them and they will not be women’s allies and will not be the allies of the men who actually do care about all women.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
2 years ago
Reply to  Jane Watson

We also sort out spiders.

Eddie Johnson
Eddie Johnson
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Speak for yourself!

Tom Krehbiel
Tom Krehbiel
2 years ago
Reply to  Jane Watson

You “fancy the pants off our lovers”: love it!

MJ Reid
MJ Reid
2 years ago
Reply to  Jane Watson

What man hating aspect? You mean the calling out of transwomen who have no desire to have their bits chopped off or see the need to take hormones? The calling out is because wearing a dress and putting on lippie does not a woman make. It does not matter that the man thinks he should be called woman in this circumstance, they are not as any great feminist knows. That person(s) remain a biological man. There are transwomen who present as women but again, they remain biologically male.
We do not hate them. We need them to recognise biology and what it does to vulnerable women to see biological makes in their safe spaces.
If you have not come across these men in your safe spaces do not call out women who have. It is a scary place to be.
I have 2 very close friends who are transsexual who remind me on a regular basis that they are men who present as women. Both have had surgery (more than 50 years ago) but both recognise that they might scare biological women and that they need to be aware and to make changes to their behaviour to ensure women and girls feel safe when they are about. I just wish younger transwomen got it. Rather than the sense of validation that so many seek.

Jane Watson
Jane Watson
2 years ago
Reply to  MJ Reid

a substantial number of straight women are simply deluded by patriarchy into imagining that they desire men. Feminism for Women delves at length into the concept of “compulsory sexuality,” with Bindel roundly asserting that if patriarchy were to be defeated, “there would be a significantly higher number of women who choose to be a substantial number of straight women are simply deluded by patriarchy into imagining that they desire men. Feminism for Women delves at length into the concept of “compulsory sexuality,” with Bindel roundly asserting that if patriarchy were to be defeated, “there would be a significantly higher number of women who choose to be lesbians.”

Jane Watson
Jane Watson
2 years ago
Reply to  MJ Reid

I’m sorry if I’ve misconstrued the book because of the review. If it’s largely concerned with trans activism, then that is a whole different argument but one I would be very hesitant to engage with here. I don’t disagree with anything you say in this regard and have particular concern that young women on the autism spectrum are especially vulnerable.

Lord Rochester
Lord Rochester
2 years ago
Reply to  Jane Watson

No, I think MJ Reid has misconstrued your point. At length. You really have nothing to apologise for.

Kat Rosenfield highlighted that Bindel piles into men in this book – in precisely the same way Bindel also does in every article she publishes on Unherd – and it is clear to me that that is the ‘man hating’ to which you contextually refer as you echo Rosenfield’s comments about “heterosexuality”.

I’m not sure why you were ranted at about trans issues at all. You even said “some” (e.g. Bindel), not ‘all’…

Chin up.

Jane Watson
Jane Watson
2 years ago
Reply to  Lord Rochester

Ta

Penny Adrian
Penny Adrian
2 years ago
Reply to  Jane Watson

The anti-male attitudes remind me of the anti-white attitudes expressed by anti-racism. They are emotionally satisfying in the moment to vent frustration, but they alienate people who otherwise might support the fight against sexism and racism. It’s extremely self-defeating.

Ludo Roessen
Ludo Roessen
2 years ago

As long as feminist in the west don’t give full unconditional solidarity to all women around the world it stays a western middle class hobby….
The suppression of women, still in these days, is absolutely shocking…. just look what is going on in Africa, Middle East and most parts of Asia….
Until you drop the politics and really stand up for women worldwide you will not be taken seriously.

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
2 years ago
Reply to  Ludo Roessen

Feminists don’t have to leave these shores. They could start by opposing the practice of FGM in Britain or honour killings or the rape of vulnerable women regardless of the ethnicity of the rapist.

MJ Reid
MJ Reid
2 years ago
Reply to  Ludo Roessen

Feminists in the UK support our sisters across the world. We fight against cultures that stop girls getting an education. We fight FGM. We fight child marriage. We fight for the right to abort an unwanted foetus. We fight for women who want to work, own property, have sexual relationships with other women.

We have been doing this all the time I have been a feminist and for a good many years before. I have been a feminist for 44 years.

Ellen Finkle
Ellen Finkle
2 years ago
Reply to  MJ Reid

So when is the Women’s Brigade going to parachute into Afghanistan to save their sisters? But maybe men are better at that sort of thing.

Penny Adrian
Penny Adrian
2 years ago
Reply to  Ellen Finkle

The men have utterly failed at “that sort of thing” which is why we brought them home.

Jonathan Weil
Jonathan Weil
2 years ago

Bindel lost me when she wrote, on here I think, that pregnancy was “literally” an act of male colonisation inflicted on the female body


Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
2 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan Weil

It’s just too funny, too dumb to take seriously.

Sheryl Rhodes
Sheryl Rhodes
2 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan Weil

I view my pregnancies as me appropriating my husband’s sperm by various luring tactics—colonizing his furry body and extracting valuable natural resources without even paying him fair market-value.

Ludo Roessen
Ludo Roessen
2 years ago
Reply to  Sheryl Rhodes

This put a smile on my face for the rest of the day….

Sheryl Rhodes
Sheryl Rhodes
2 years ago
Reply to  Ludo Roessen

And your comment put a smile on MY face this morning! Thanks!!

J Hop
J Hop
2 years ago

The narccisism of Bindal is just astounding. Didn’t we used to live in a world where gay people were considered defective and the goal was to convert them to desiring the opposite sex. So now women who desire men are wrong and need to be converted? The projection and lack of self awareness here is impresssive.

Last edited 2 years ago by J Hop
Sharon Overy
Sharon Overy
2 years ago
Reply to  J Hop

I’ve found that the majority of Julie Bindel’s articles, over the years, are mostly repeated displays of solipsism. She seems genuinely baffled that all women don’t have, what would be in effect, minds that are clones of her own.

She appears to put this down to men somehow preventing women from thinking and feeling exactly the same way that she does about everything. Women being utterly devoid of agency, you see.

Michael O'Donnell
Michael O'Donnell
2 years ago
Reply to  Sharon Overy

It’s the same mentality as those communists and socialists that we disagree with he tell us it’s because we are either uneducated or deluded. The failure to see the reasoning behind a different point of view than one’s own has become endemic in all political discourse.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
2 years ago
Reply to  J Hop

Feminists want to be men.

MJ Reid
MJ Reid
2 years ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

No we don’t.

Eddie Johnson
Eddie Johnson
2 years ago
Reply to  MJ Reid

No, you prefer to luxuriate in your self-declared passive-aggressive victimhood.

Last edited 2 years ago by Eddie Johnson
A Spetzari
A Spetzari
2 years ago

Good article.
The book sounds a lot like a long read of Julie’s articles on here.
She correctly identifies problems, even sometimes approximates on a possible solution, but ultimately then falls back on blaming the patriarchy and other dubious constructs from her era.
She reminds me of communists in the 50s and 60s, upon realising the true horrors of their beliefs playing out in the USSR and China, falling back on their source doctrine as if it was just misunderstood and misrepresented.

Last edited 2 years ago by A Spetzari
Jon Redman
Jon Redman
2 years ago

Bindel’s problem is that she’s suffocating in hatred not only of men, of whom she does not see the point, but also of the 98% or so of women who are inexplicably, disgustingly heterosexual.
Essentially, she hates, really viscerally hates, 99% of the population: all the men, and all the straight women.
I cannot think why anyone would pay her a nanosecond’s attention.

MJ Reid
MJ Reid
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

One word. Crap.

Malcolm Knott
Malcolm Knott
2 years ago

This would be a good book to discuss if you were a junior lecturer at the University of the North Circular Road (formerly Sofas ‘R’ us).

John Montague
John Montague
2 years ago
Reply to  Malcolm Knott

ah yes – that’s the university with the humanities outreach campus based in a vegan cafe in islington.

Franz Von Peppercorn
Franz Von Peppercorn
2 years ago
Reply to  Malcolm Knott

Unfortunately this kind of book, and far worse, are taught in the highest institutions.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago

So there is the realization that feminists are not homogeneous? Well no surprises there. It is clear that the more intelligent feminists would have figured out that the theory of intersectionality was going to be divisive in practice.
Bindel must be part of the unintelligent if she wrote a book that is sure to alienate a large percentage of women in respect of their sexuality. This is apart from her tour into wokeness, which will alienate another chunk of women.
I will not be buying the book.

Alison Tyler
Alison Tyler
2 years ago

Does the discussion have to be so unremittingly misogynist? I only ask as an aged heterosexual grandmother – how shall I advise my granddaughter? I have always believed being a human being trumped all other labels – we do after all have to share the planet respectfully.

MJ Reid
MJ Reid
2 years ago
Reply to  Alison Tyler

I find the men on here to be very misogynistic. And that most like the sound of their own voice. Women should not be writing here and if they do they should be prepared to be shouted down by these men as being stupid, uneducated or even unwell. Show me I am wrong…

Gordon Black
Gordon Black
2 years ago
Reply to  MJ Reid

I am reading this in ‘newest first’ format and your moan is sandwiched between Alison and Caroline, both of whom I and many others up-ticked … you’re wrong.

Karl Juhnke
Karl Juhnke
2 years ago

Feminism has been used to divide and weaken the West through it’s hatred of men. Especially white men. What was it that white men did that was so terrible? They fought for human and workers rights. Two things governments and corporations have been unravelling for decades. The patriarchy and feminism are two peas in a pod.

Last edited 2 years ago by Karl Juhnke
Mo Brown
Mo Brown
2 years ago

What exactly is the purpose of feminism in 2021? I’m lost here. Someone throw me a bone.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  Mo Brown

There are plenty of feminists fighting AGAINST wokeness.

David McDowell
David McDowell
2 years ago

Bindel’s book isn’t just a product of its time it’s also a product of false consciousness. False consciousness on the attractiveness of lesbianism and also failing to properly distinguish the factual biology of sex and the theology social genderism.

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
2 years ago

Too many feminists claim to speak for all women, despite their own life experiences. The childless woman denies the centrality of raising children in many women’s lives. The lesbian denies the enjoyment many women find in heterosexual sex.

Lennon Ó Náraigh
Lennon Ó Náraigh
2 years ago

Feminism is not that popular. Only 27% of people in Great Britain identify as feminist. The number is 8% in Germany. Among the young, fewer than one in five young women in the UK and the USA call themselves feminist.
https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-47006912
So a dash of intersectionality theory here or there is unlikely to change things that much.

Karl Juhnke
Karl Juhnke
2 years ago

Yet it is.

Caroline Watson
Caroline Watson
2 years ago

Second wave feminism has not splintered. It is for women. That is what Julie Bindel’s book is primarily about. It is not for men of any kind, however they dress up or ‘identify’. Being female is a sex and a biological reality, not a costume. There is no such thing as ‘gender’ and mammals cannot change sex. A biological male can never, ever be a woman.
Connected to that is the belief that women should not have to sell their bodies to men, either in prostitution or marriage, in order to live. Relationships should not be economic transactions. There is also the knowledge that pornography is degrading, involves powerless, often trafficked and addicted women, as does prostitution, and encourages violence and rape.
’Gender’ ideology, marriage, prostitution, pornography and spin offs such as ‘Love Island’ encourage a belief in ‘gender’ stereotypes, female powerlessness and dependence and compulsory heterosexuality. So do most religions and the view of men on the Right that it is acceptable to pay women less than men and encourage them to be housewives.
There is nothing ‘Left’ at all about ‘gender’ ideology, which is why it is so stupid and frustrating that the Left has become its useful idiots. It is regressive, misogynistic and homophobic and is driven by capitalism.
There is nothing ‘splintered’ about my feminism. I know exactly where I stand.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
2 years ago

There is also the knowledge that pornography is degrading, involves powerless, often trafficked and addicted women, as does prostitution, and encourages violence and rape.

That’s not knowledge. That’s dogma; it’s just opinion.
If women think pornography is degrading why do they create so much of it? Why have they created so much that the supply exceeds the demand and it’s now free?

Franz Von Peppercorn
Franz Von Peppercorn
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

That’s no kind of argument. Most women don’t produce any kind of porn.

David Morley
David Morley
2 years ago

Relationships should not be economic transactions

Agreed. But so many of them are.
Believe it or not, most men would love to be loved for themselves alone – but how many are? You only have to listen to women talking nowadays to pick up on their enormous sense of entitlement – and their contempt for their husbands who are invariably failing to deliver on it.

Jill Abigail
Jill Abigail
2 years ago

I’m with you, Caroline. And the viciousness with which men in this stream are attacking Bindel prove just how much feminism is still needed. “What did we ever do wrong?”, one of them asks. Nothing except make us feel perpetually unsafe from violence, for instance. Do these men know nothing about female genital mutilation, child brides, honour killings, gang rapes, rape as a tool of war. Are they not reading currently about what is happening to women in Afghanistan? My feminism blazes on behalf of all women, everywhere.
And right now, in New Zealand, we have a government bringing in legislation giving any man who says he is really a woman the right to enter our safe spaces, to take up roles designed to improve women’s position, to play in women’s sport
..Second wave feminists seem to be the only people who can see the insanity of all this

Ian Moore
Ian Moore
2 years ago
Reply to  Jill Abigail

Oh yes, you are literally the only people in the world who can see that feminists attacking each other, women fighting with women over “woke” issues, the transgender lobby and all it’s twisted supporters etc etc are symbolic of some dystopian insanity gripping society. Do you read the comments? Aside from some people being unable to resist the “I told you so” schadenfreude the biggest supporters of women remain those dastardly run of the mill CIS men.

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
2 years ago
Reply to  Jill Abigail

FGM, child brides, honour killings, gang rapes were practically unknown in modern, civilised western countries such as UK.
There is primarily one religion responsible for those crimes in the UK, and the ones defending or covering up for them were the feminists.
Pretty much the entire force fighting and dying in Afghanistan for 20 years to try and improve the lot of women..were men.

David McDowell
David McDowell
2 years ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

And none of our so called brave journalists will mention this.

Tom Krehbiel
Tom Krehbiel
2 years ago
Reply to  Jill Abigail

If you mean Karl Juhnke when referring to the man who asked what we did wrong, he was writing specifically about white men – that is, we adult males of European descent. When you conflate us with things which Asian and African men do – particularly those of Islamic faith – you lose credibility with me. And BTW, many women in these societies gladly participate in such rituals as FGM, and want things to stay much as they are.
But on the issue of trans-“women” being treated like actual women, I agree with you completely. It has long seemed utterly ridiculous to me that one can become the opposite sex by simple declaration. I have said so explicitly, in fact, on this site among others, IIRC.

Last edited 2 years ago by Tom Krehbiel
Mo Brown
Mo Brown
2 years ago
Reply to  Jill Abigail

Jill: Might I suggest that modeling the world as being composed of two groups (men and women) is not serving you well.

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
2 years ago

“A biological male can never, ever be a woman.”
“encourage a belief in ‘gender’ stereotypes”
Make up your mind.
There is no evidence – none- that women are paid less than men for equivalent work and time. And housewives are not doing their husbands a favour by staying at home and expecting him to slog to pay for the mortgage, staying away from home and kids for long hours or often working in dangerous or stressful jobs.
Yes, I do that myself as a “patriarchal male” and its worth the effort to build a home and support family, but implying that men like me are somehow enjoying some privilege is rubbish.
Male truck drivers, plumbers and oil rig workers get paid more than secretaries. It is not their fault that women would rather sit in a comfortable, air conditioned offices or give up full time work. Nor do those men lead more comfortable lives than those women “victims” staying at home and enjoying tons more leisure time or time with kids.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
2 years ago

Yep, she’s all about hate speech.

Dave Corby
Dave Corby
2 years ago

A very interesting and well written review.
Writing of this caliber gets my attention on subjects that I would normally skip over. I did not know Julie Bindel, and now do not want to know her.
Perhaps a diversion, but I just cringed at the phrase “…battle for women’s bodily autonomy..”
There really should be no need to battle.
You cannot have bodily autonomy when you are responsible for another body growing inside you who is completely dependent on you.
I just cannot grasp that anyone could disagree, whatever the cost. This can, in every way, be covered by compassion, assistance or adoption – rather than resort to a murder of convenience.
I am just so thankful for all of the people who fight on behalf of those little dependent people.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
2 years ago

Feminism is spent. Next.

David Morley
David Morley
2 years ago

Having great fun watching the video.
What’s worrying is that on the one hand they just look like the neurotic members of a fringe cult – like the moonies or something – but on the other they have had an enormous influence.
I’m sure many young feminists nowadays would find them ridiculous – but would be completely oblivious to the way in which these fruit cakes have actually shaped their own thinking.

David Morley
David Morley
2 years ago
Reply to  David Morley

Has the video link disappeared? Why?
https://youtu.be/sCRohDqWDcw

George Glashan
George Glashan
2 years ago
Reply to  David Morley

that whole comment thread got memory holed

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
2 years ago
Reply to  George Glashan

This comment
Julie Bindel is an intersectional feminist, she just thinks that it is Lesbians who should be on top of the intersectional pyramid. Her grift was also to drum up sexual partners as well as book sales, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sCRohDqWDcw , it’s a BBC documentary ( I know, I know) but she’s in it, her and the interviewees are quite open that when they were younger they were using the feminist movement to “guide” confused middle class / student activist women between their legs “Political Lesbianism” they called it or grooming as it would now be known, in another life she could have been the head of Miramax.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
2 years ago

or was it this one
this is the time stamp for the part of the documentary, https://youtu.be/sCRohDqWDcw?t=370 ; its with the feminist movement leaders from that era, approx early 70’s onward, they are having a good laugh about it now, at those silly straight women who they convinced to have a go at lesbianism.

Lord Rochester
Lord Rochester
2 years ago

Kat Rosenfield’s articles always fill me with positivity.

Julie Bindel’s never do.

Dennis Lewis
Dennis Lewis
2 years ago

It reminds me of “love jihadism.”

David Morley
David Morley
2 years ago

My god – it all seems so quaint now doesn’t it. They took themselves so seriously, but nobody else did. And yet according to the activist view of history, these silly people were responsible for putting the power dressed women of the next few decades into positions of power.
No wonder Bindel et al are upset – the ridiculous view of the future they were so invested in now looks like a historical relic.

Robert Hochbaum
Robert Hochbaum
2 years ago

“…a substantial number of straight women are simply deluded by patriarchy into imagining that they desire men.”
I’m so tired of it all. I’d like to say “good riddance” to the whole lot but that approach has obvious drawbacks.
Sigh (heavy)

Mo Brown
Mo Brown
2 years ago

Thinking about modern feminism reminds me of the words of one Homer Simpson who once said: “Alcohol – the cause of and solution to all problems.”
Modern feminism – the cause of and solution to all the problems of modern feminists.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
2 years ago

Was she prosecuted or called out by the tome movement?

George Glashan
George Glashan
2 years ago

this is the time stamp for the part of the documentary, https://youtu.be/sCRohDqWDcw?t=370 ; its with the feminist movement leaders from that era, approx early 70’s onward, they are having a good laugh about it now, at those silly straight women who they convinced to have a go at lesbianism.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
2 years ago
Reply to  George Glashan

Someone should inform Plod. Is this not the kind of violence against womin that so enrages Ms B?

Warren T
Warren T
2 years ago

Genesis 3:16 reads “…your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” Not me sayin, just the God of the universe.

Oliver Elphick
Oliver Elphick
2 years ago
Reply to  Warren T

What that actually means is that women will want to take a man’s place in their relationship. Compare it with the same expression in 4:7.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago

Not sure that this book is really ‘a product of its time’. I thought that the female/lesbian separatism, the aversion against heterosexuality, the dismissing of kinky sex as driven by false consciousness, etc. were there already back when second wave feminism was new. Julie Bindel has merely remained consistent also on this point.

Still, good to see a non-sectarian review of her book, and to be reminded that her main focus, for all her extreme and separatist ideas, remains on doing something for (female) victims of violence who really need help.

Riccardo Tomlinson
Riccardo Tomlinson
2 years ago

We’ll, it sounds like I wouldn’t agree with everything Bindel says, but three cheers for standing up for unity, and for sisterhood. There are strong forces splintering our society, so I hope the Feminists can reclaim their sisterhood from those who would divide them.

The Post Leftists say there is a conspiracy to use identity politics and insectionslity to fracture our society. Sometimes it feels like it.

Penny Adrian
Penny Adrian
2 years ago

Feminism has never been a popular movement, nor should it be. You can’t have ONE movement for half the human species. It has never been possible.
To make life better for women, we have to focus on one aspect of the way women are harmed by sexism (preferably an issue that’s close to home) and fight against that one issue.
Personally, I don’t care if we never have a woman president or if we have the same number of female CEO’s as male CEO’s.
All I care about is ending male violence against women and children, especially in the home. Full stop.
I want a specially trained, mostly female police force designed specifically for handling cases of sexual and domestic violence (even male victims of sexual violence find it easier to report to women than to other men).
I want to see reporting and conviction rates for sex offenders and domestic absusers increase astronomically – and I want them imprisoned for significant periods of time, perhaps permanently (and yes, I want the minority of female perpetrators dealt with just as harshly).
“But our prisons are already overcrowded!” people cry.
I’m fine with releasing all non violent offenders to make room for sex and domestic offenders.
Also, sex offenders and domestic abusers CHOOSE to commit their crimes. This is made clear by the fact that most sex offenders and domestic abusers are able to refrain from offending in public. They have control over their actions, and when they see that their cowardly choices will have consequences, they will probably choose to stop offending.
Most sex offenders and domestic abusers are not mentally ill, they’re just cowardly and cruel. They will not make different choices until we force them to make different choices.
It’s asinine to talk about women’s “freedom” when we’re afraid to go out alone at night or travel alone or live alone or go on a date without fear of rape and even murder.
Sexual and domestic violence are forms of terrorism, and there are just as many men who feel strongly about imrpisoning abusers as there are women (especially since so many men were sexually abused as little boys).
I care more about ending male violence against women and children than I do about abortion (and yes, I want to end female violence against women and children too – but women are smaller than men and therefore less of a threat).
I live in Texas, and legal abortion has never been accessible to poor women here (nor is it accessible in most states). For years, women in Texas have been crossing the border into Mexico to buy misoprostol (an ulcer medication) to induce abortion at home.The hysteria over the new Texas law just shows how out of touch the professional class is when it comes to the rights and freedoms of the poor. The only difference the new law makes is that middle class women will now be just as inconvenienced as poor women when it comes to getting an abortion.
One movement for half the human species is insane.
We must focus locally on specific issues that undermine women’s rights and freedoms.
One movement can never contain all the multiple ways that women are harmed by misogyny.