by Julie Bindel
Tuesday, 9
February 2021

Why is gender studies promoting anti-women literature?

A new paper argues that ‘privileged white women’ ‘weaponise’ their trauma
by Julie Bindel
Creating false enemies helps nobody. Credit: Getty

Whatever happened to feminism in universities? Women’s Studies, which began as a resource for working-class and marginalised women, was taken over in the 1990s by the elite post-modernists and twisted into something unrecognisable.

A paper in a peer-reviewed journal entitled, ‘White tears, white rage: Victimhood and (as) violence in mainstream feminism’ by Alison Phipps, professor of gender studies at Sussex University is a shocking example of how anti-women gender studies has become. This ‘discipline’, which promotes the idea that trans women are women, sex work is work, and stripping is empowering type of politics has led to a number of female academics becoming openly hostile to feminists who campaign against male violence.

In her most recent book, Phipps made claims that ‘privileged white women’ ‘weaponise’ their trauma from male violence in order to ‘purge’ bad men from institutions with no concern as to where they will end up next. She continues this offensive argument in her paper:

White and middle-class feminists have called for more police, more convictions and longer sentences – and when something goes wrong in our workplaces, we ask the manager to sort it out.”
- Alison Phipps, White tears, white rage: Victimhood and (as) violence in mainstream feminism

‘Ask the manager’ is a derivative of the ‘Karen’ slur, and deeply sexist. She continues: ‘…this paper argues that the cultural power of mainstream white feminism partly derives from the cultural power of white tears’.

Where was the cultural power of the victims of ‘grooming gangs’ and the millions of women (of all races) worldwide killed by men for no other reason than because they are female?

Phipps uses the term ‘carceral feminism’ to describe feminist campaigning to end violence towards women. She argues that those of us who want violent men to face criminal charges are unconcerned with the fact that a number of African-American men are in prison as a direct result of racism within the criminal justice system. So feminists like me are racist for arguing that dangerous men such as John Worboys should be in the slammer.

What elite academics like Phipps seem less concerned about is the fact that the vast majority of those incarcerated in women’s prisons have been victims of sexual and other forms of violence committed by men who have rarely been held to account.

All women, including the whitest, richest most privileged women need feminism, because we have one thing in common: the threat and reality of male violence. The accusation that when we are abused by men we cry bucketloads of ‘white tears’ that somehow harm people of colour is an outrageous and dangerous slur.

One of my first jobs after leaving home was cleaning in a pub, where the landlord and his son sexually harassed me on a daily basis. This culminated in the pair of them attempting to rape me. I chose not to ‘call the manager,’ i.e. report to the police, because I was scared of recriminations. One of the men went on to rape another woman only months later. This was in 1979. More than 40 years later women in positions of power within the academy appear to be more interested in pointing the finger at feminist campaigners rather than at violent men.

Join the discussion

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    Although I think it is nice to have a good mix of people I think it is very wrongheaded indeed to force things like this. For example, black people in the united states very often come from poor backgrounds. So those who fight their way out of pverty tend to want to make money, not fart around doing science which pays peanuts and takes half your life in training. So there just are not the candidates available, even if firing established researchers made sense which it does not. Because the appropraite replacement candidates don’t want to pursue it. That possibility appears not to have occured to the newly empowered diversity tsars.

    There is a strange atmosphere at the moment and although it’s not quite Macarthyite, it’s definitely stressful.

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