Wednesday, 12 November 2008
The greatest absurdity in Anglo-Saxon feminism is its arrant class blindness. In lectures, books and articles, contemporary Anglo feminists continually conflate international bridge-playing females with underclass women and five-dollar call-girls as if they all shared common interests. Clearly,Anglo-feminism is rather like nationalism or racism, an attempt to inveigle disenfranchised women into subordinating their claims as an oppressed class in favour of an arbitrary gender link with their oppressors. It is faux revolt.
In the same tired vein, contemporary feminists claim that disenfranchised males are just as much ‘oppressors’ as men from Phillips Academy, Eton College or their equivalents elsewhere in the Anglosphere. Can the patrician origins of Anglo feminism explain this absurd position? We think they can...
Because early Anglo feminists were all upper class (indeed, most still seem to attend elite universities and generally enjoy privileged lives) they knew nothing about mainstream social experience. ‘Ordinary’ women never entered their thoughts, except as objects of domestic labour. ‘Ordinary’ men were mere beasts of burden. Consequently, their ideas were absurdly skewed: while claiming to be ‘revolutionaries’ they unthinkingly retained their traditional prejudices.
These characteristic contradictions can be seen in all subsequent Anglo feminists: Greer (a ‘revolutionary’ who hates working class women); Dworkin (a ‘revolutionary’ who favours censorship); Hite (a ‘revolutionary’ who ardently supports monogamy); Paglia (a ‘revolutionary’ who accepts men are biologically superior); Julie Burchill (a racist, nationalist ‘revolutionary’). Of course, all ‘liberal’ Anglo feminists remain committed to such bourgeois anachronisms as marriage to wealthy men and the protective platitudes of organised religion. These absurd inconsistencies have a long pedigree, dating back to the earliest origins of Anglo feminism, exemplified by the deplorably classist and racist Virginia Woolf.
Whatever they say, Anglo feminists are natural allies of the authoritarian right. The key lines of Anglo feminist thought were set when Anglo-Saxon society was still pre-democratic and the broad masses little better than serfs. Hence arrogant elitism pervades this brand of feminism, something quite absent from the 'partnership' feminism of Continental Europe. Since Anglo men have begun to reject the Anglobitch for women with traditional virtues, this intolerance has reached feverish levels (‘Oh, those China Dolls!’).