Oct 062010

According to the Australian Broadcasting Company, the war against women is getting worse and you’ll never guess who is to blame for that.  Feminists.  Yup, it is all our fault that,

There is a totalising ideology on the march across the world, and it’s anti-women. This is not about religion, piety or virtue. Rather it’s about misogyny and a global war against women. It’s about the rights and freedoms of women. The ownership and control over women’s bodies has become the chief battleground.

World events and the rise of neo-fundamentalism in the 80s and 90s, by young men eager to revive and restore old practices, have made feminism more important than ever. And yet feminism has lost its voice.

We don’t know how to respond to the horrors of infallible patriarchal control. In our failure to act and strenuously resist this global push back against women’s liberty and free agency, feminism is at a point of moral crisis.

Has feminism failed? Numbers have improved, legal structures and new frameworks have been erected. The scaffolding is there – for some of us. But for a growing number of the world’s women, their freedoms are at serious risk. And feminism remains deathly silent.

Right now, at a time when we need a massive feminist surge to fight back rising anti-woman sentiment, we’re sitting on our hands. Is this not our business too? Why do feminist responsibilities stop at the border?

The opinion piece was, dishearteningly, written by a woman, “an edited version of a speech delivered by journalist and social commentator Virginia Haussegger last Wednesday in the IQ2 Debate “Feminism has failed”, at the Melbourne Town Hall”. Haussegger is also the author of a book, Wonder Woman: the myth of ‘having it all’.

Haussegger has quite a laundry list of issues where feminist response has fallen short: honor killings, female genital mutilation, acid attacks, forced marriages, sexual slavery, maternal mortality, and femicide. Not much missing from that smorgasbord of misogyny.

And it is all our fault that these things continue to happen.  No mention of the political systems that allow them to continue or the mostly men who commit the violence and create the policies within a patriarchal world that systemically devalues women.  Oh no, those things could not possibly be to blame.

And no recognition that misogyny is not just a feminist issue, it is an issue that harms us all and even if it didn’t, it is unacceptable to say that feminists must solve it, we need to own up to misogyny being a global responsibility and quit laying the blame on feminists, who despite Ms. Haussegger’s claims of our silence are in fact working full tilt to address these issues We would all be far better served by media outlets such as the Australian Broadcasting Company providing better news  coverage of those efforts rather than this sort of baseless feminist bashing.

 October 6, 2010  Posted by on October 6, 2010

  3 Responses to “The War Against Women–Who Is To Blame? You’ll Never Guess–Wait For It…Feminists”

  1. Blaming the victim has long been the standard justification for violence, cruelty, and bigotry. Apparently, that is not enough — the victim must now accept responsibility as well.

  2. I don’t really get this, because feminists and feminist organizations HAVE spoken out and taken against all of the abominations she mentions, but it’s not like we have total power to change things or we would.

    Sounds like one of those people talking out of both sides of her mouth.

  3. Miranda, I think it is just another effort to trivialize/invisibilize the work that we do along with a nasty dose of victim blaming.

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