Last night whilst watching Question Time my twitter feed just about blew up. What politician had said something to upset everyone? No-one. For once the devil was the fifth panelist who is really there to make everyone else look smart. Step forward Katie Hopkins, former ‘star’ of the Apprentice.
She defended Andy Gray and Richard Keys and said that many women aren’t arguing for equal rights but for special treatment.
Cue head explosions everywhere as I sat back and watched the carnage.
One thing she did say that I definitely agree with is that positive discrimination is not the way forward. In a political sense she was talking about all female shortlists. The best person should get the local party nomination whether they are black or white, Christian or Muslim, male or female – gender simply should not come into the equation.
As a broad notion I am against positive discrimination full stop but I can see in exceptional circumstances, i.e. South Africa after 1990 that it has a place. All male lists would be sexist in a local party did that but all women lists are fine and dandy. That doesn’t sit right with me. I know many feminists who believe that they deserve special treatment to make up for decades in inequality but is that fair?
If ITV commissioned a show called ‘Loose Men’ it would firstly be rubbish but secondly it would be derided in the media and amongst women. Men have to deal with the fact that Loose Women is allowed to exist but they can’t have it the other way.
Even at younger ages girls are allowed to join the scouts but boys aren’t allowed to join the guides. Now I know it’s unlikely many boys would want to but still it is inequality against men. There is a female only insurer out there – Sheilas Wheels – and having a look over their website it does seem as though men are not allowed insurance from this company. Imagine what would happen if someone set up a bloke’s only insurance company, I suspect they might get a fair bit of bad publicity for being sexist.
Going back to Katie Hopkins for a minute – the most common point I read on twitter last night was that she didn’t speak for them. Many women pleading with her to stop talking as there she was the official mouthpiece for women everywhere and they needed everyone to know she didn’t speak for them. Well duh. Of course she doesn’t speak for everyone. Did I feel the need last week to say that because I’m male George Galloway doesn’t speak for me? I do not believe I did. Whatever you think of Miss Hopkins she is allowed her opinion – and that is all it is –her opinion – she doesn’t speak for women everywhere and everyone knows this.
Look I know sexism exists and in the grand scheme of things it is far worse for women than men. I know this and I accept this but it is a two-way street to some degree. However it seems as though many women – and certainly the feminists that I know – think that sexism against men is fair but that sexism against women is not. This belief to me is unfair. Because the white man enslaved the black man for centuries should the black man enslave the white man for a few centuries as payback? This is essentially the same argument that feminists put forward for why sexism is allowed one way but not the other.
We are all allowed opinions folks but one person never speaks for another unless you ask them to. Remember that.
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