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by Danielle Boxall
Thursday, 3
October 2019

Marina Hyde’s selective feminism

Am I being po-faced, or is Marina Hyde's latest riff on the Conservative Party conference downright misogynistic?
by Danielle Boxall

Marina Hyde has nailed it again, and political Twitter is cock-a-hoop. Her bit about the Conservative Party conference was an instant hit, “the 2019 morale-boosting equivalent of singing We’ll Meet Again during the Blitz.” Cummings, Boris and Mark Francois all take a beating.

As do the attendees of the Bruges Group’s fringe event headlined by Francois:

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“He’s amazing, isn’t he?” sighed the woman in the row behind me. I would estimate that at the Bruges Group, a scientific 83% of the women in the audience own cooking aprons printed with the torso of a French maid, would regard Boris Johnson disturbing their cobwebs as “a bit of fun”, and estimate there are between three and four units in an entire wine box. All of the above is the fault of 100% of the men at said event.
- Marina Hyde

Am I being po-faced, or is this little riff downright misogynistic?

For someone whose recent tweets include “Woman after woman after woman after woman has had to stand up tonight and plead with Boris Johnson to moderate his language for their own safety, and he just doubles down every time. What an absolutely hollowed-out human” – I think it’s fair to assume Marina considers herself an impeccable feminist.

But this sneery characterisation of women who happen to hold conservative views manages to suggest, in one paragraph, that they must all be perpetually drunk with loose morals and (of course) bawdy and unsophisticated in their tastes. Basically a room full of unspeakable country wenches.

Worst of all, she then finishes off with the idea that it’s the fault of their male company.

Perhaps she thought this clever little rejoinder would balance out the unpleasant tone. But it just makes it worse, suggesting that Tory women have no agency of their own. The only reason these women could ever support a – ugh – Brexiteer, must be their lack of choice. Or maybe they’re just doing it for male attention, fantasising about having their “cobwebs disturbed”.

Right, so that’s clear then. Boris’s retorts to female MPs are abhorrent, but Marina Hyde covering Tory women in undisguised contempt is perfectly acceptable.

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