[quote]Mankind is governed by minorities, seldom or never by majorities. It suppresses its feelings and its beliefs and follows the handful that makes the most noise. Sometimes the noisy handful is right, sometimes wrong, but no matter, the crowd follows it. ~ Mark Twain, The Mysterious Stranger (1910) [/quote]
[dropcap]I[/dropcap] have had a hectic time since International Women’s Day (8 March) when I was incensed by the respect shown towards two young militant feminists on national television programmes. The first was Kat Banyard, who was shown so much deference by the veteran broadcaster Jon Snow on the flagship Channel 4 news programme that it made me feel quite nauseous. The video is here. In her interview Ms Banyard made an outrageous claim about sexual harassment of schoolgirls, which I’ll be outlining shortly. UK Feminista, an organisation she founded, is assaulting the minds of young people, notably schoolgirls. I’ll return to that matter later in this article.
On the same day we were treated to Laura Bates, 26, of The Everyday Sexism Project. The video is here, and it starts off with some words from our feminist Conservative prime minister, David Cameron, in response to a planted question from a Conservative MP, Mark Pritchard:
Ms Bates received no challenging from the show’s anchor, former national newspaper editor Andrew Neil, a man with a reputation for being ruthless with people who make assertions as patently absurd as Ms Bates was making. He was happy to let Ms Bates talk to her heart’s content, and even the renowned sociologist Catherine Hakim, whilst making some insightful points about feminism in the modern era, made little effort to interrupt Ms Bates’s tirade.
On the eve of my recent BBC Radio 2 interview, I was informed that it was to be Ms Bates who would be debating with me the case (or otherwise) for establishing our new political party Justice for Men & Boys (and the women who love them). My heart sank at the news, as you can imagine. I keep asking TV and radio producers to invite Germaine Greer, Harriet Harman MP, or the Guardian journalist Julie Bindel to debate with me, but so far without success.
Running a website devoted to asking women to whine about sexism must surely be a full-time job for Ms Bates. (A thought occurs to me – if she has a son in the fullness of time, will he be referred to as ‘Master Bates’ at school? You’d then have to feel sorry for him on a least two counts, wouldn’t you? I digress.) I prepared for my discussion with Ms Bates as best I could, and this was the result.
Within an hour of the broadcast I’d been called and invited to contribute to four more radio programmes: BBC Radio 5 Live, the leading London commercial radio station LBC, and two other BBC radio stations. I’ll post audio files of all the discussions on my YouTube channel as videos as soon as they’re made available.
Ms Bates has an interesting and strictly unvarying debating style. If she ever runs out of feminism-related work she could surely find employment as a newscaster on North Korean television. She stares at her opponents, she’s very strident, she talks very fast, she interrupts her opponents but steadfastly refused to be interrupted by them. I imagine she’s used to men crumbling in the face of her angry onslaughts. Ironically, of course, she relies on men’s deference to be heard at inordinate length. It didn’t take her long to realise that her style wasn’t going stop me making any points I wished to make. I allowed her to talk at length at times, when the points she was making were patently silly. One special moment was when she claimed that very few girls were studying physics at school due to sexism. Or was it due to gender stereotyping? I honestly can’t recall. At times all I heard was, ‘blah, blah, blah…’). I smiled at her remarks about why girls aren’t studying physics, which didn’t seem to please her, for some reason. It’s a puzzle.
While she was engaged on her monologues, and staring intently at me, a thought kept coming to mind. It’s the same one I have when I have discussions with religious fundamentalists (not something I care to do often). The thought was, ‘The lights are on, but there’s nobody at home, is there?’ A great deal of what Ms Bates said in the early stages of the discussion came from a printed document in front of her. At one point Jeremy Vine asked, ‘Are you reading this from a document?’ and she replied, ‘No!’ I should have said to her, ‘Sorry, Laura, but you are!’ An opportunity missed.
After the discussion, once we were ‘off air’, Ms Bates turned to me and angrily demanded that I not send her ‘any more threatening emails’. Now I’d never send a threatening email to anyone, let alone a feminist – why would I give them the ammunition? – so I replied politely, ‘Laura, I haven’t sent you any threatening emails. I sent a number of emails pointing you towards the evidence bases supporting what I was planning to say today, and suggested you might not want to use gender shaming tactics in the discussion, because you’d find them to be utterly ineffective against me.’ She stormed out of the studio, leaving a bemused Jeremy Vine shaking his head in disbelief. He then said he’d enjoyed the discussion, and was fair in giving airtime to supporters of both Ms Bates’s arguments and my own.
To return to the ‘The lights are on…’ point. Young women such as Ms Bates and Kat Banyard have clearly been brainwashed, and seem incapable of engaging with any narrative other than their own. The parallel with fundamentalist religious conviction is clear, demonstrating yet again that feminism is at its core a faith position immune to rational discussion.
When I debate issues concerning men and women in the workplace, I do so with the benefit of having had a 30-year-long business career, during which time I worked in many organisations as a senior executive and consultant. It struck me some time ago that many prominent militant feminists have typically achieved little or nothing outside the field of feminism, or as I prefer to think of it, the ignoble art of making women angry and bitter. Which brings us naturally back to the feminist campaigner and writer, Kat Banyard, who I believe is around 32. She was the founder of UK Feminista, whose strapline is (prepare to laugh) ‘A movement of ordinary women and men campaigning for gender equality’. Priceless.
From Ms Banyard’s personal profile on katbanyard.org.
Kat featured in Glamour Magazine’s ‘The Glamour Power List 2011’ and was shortlisted for a Liberty Human Rights Award in 2010. She was previously Campaigns Officer at the Fawcett Society and in 2007 she was profiled in Observer Woman magazine as one of ‘The New Feminists’. Prior to her work at Fawcett, Kat worked for the Northern Refugee Centre in Sheffield setting up women’s groups. She was born in 1982 and currently lives in London.
The Fawcett Society is the leading British militant feminist campaigning organisation, and a registered charity. Some of its funding has come from both central and local government – an assault on male taxpayers, to say the least. We plan to challenge its charitable status soon.
We return to Kat Banyard’s televised interview with Jon Snow. The morning after the interview, I emailed Kat Banyard email@example.com the following:
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Kat, good morning. I hope this finds you well. A number of things, but firstly your appearance on Channel 4 News last night. At a little after five minutes into the programme you made the claim, ‘What we know is, one in three girls at school experiences sexual harassment on almost a daily basis (my emphasis)’. Wow. I looked on your website, and then that of an organisation you founded – UK Feminista – for the source of this statistic. This took me to the following link:
One of the questions on the survey document was addressed to 16-18 year old males and females:
‘Has anyone at school ever (my emphasis) touched you sexually when you did not want it? This can include any groping, touching breasts or unwanted kissing.’
29% of girls said, ‘Yes, they have’. Even leaving aside the point that 29% is as close to ‘1 in 4’ as it is to ‘1 in 3’, the important point is that the term ‘ever’ obviously refers to these individuals’ whole school lives. Hardly ‘on almost a daily basis’, is it? So did you simply make a mistake on Channel 4 News, or did you deliberately mislead viewers, or do you have other evidence to support the claim? Should we just add your claim to the numerous fantasies, lies, delusions and myths spouted by feminists on the UK media yesterday? I’ll be publicly posing these questions to you shortly on two websites, http://j4mb.wordpress.com and http://fightingfeminism.wordpress.com. Swayne O’Pie’s excellent book Why Britain Hates Men: Exposing Feminism contains many examples of feminist lies and distortions of data in numerous areas including domestic abuse and violence. I now find it a safe bet to assume that whenever a militant feminist states ‘1 in 3’ or ‘1 n 4’ she’s wrong. In four years of reading and writing about militant feminism, I’ve never found even one such claim which bore close scrutiny.
I note that 14% (1 in 7) of males in the survey also answered ‘Yes’ to the foregoing question in the survey, almost half the number of females who did so. Hmm, you didn’t mention that on Channel 4 News, did you? A slip of memory, I’m sure.
Regular visitors to AVfM will hardly be surprised that I’ve not had a response from Ms Barnard. For her the important thing is presumably that she’s put another ‘1 in 3 females’ lie into the public consciousness. The utter failure over many years of journalists and broadcasters to expose such women to critical attention is a scandal across the developed world.
In my view, one of the militant feminists’ strategic decisions 30+ years ago was (sadly) a masterstroke (sorry, mistressstroke… doh!… msstroke…). That decision was to operate ‘below the radar’, to avoid criticism and minimise objections to their nefarious activities. There was only one downside to the strategy, and that was that succeeding generations of young women were less likely to be radicalised. Survey after survey in recent years show young women increasingly disinclined to term themselves feminists, because they associate the term (correctly) with middle-aged and older men-hating unattractive angry women. To counter the stereotype, these middle-aged and older feminists have adopted an increasingly low profile, which has allowed a new generation of women – still men-hating and angry, obviously – to step up to the plate and seek to radicalise young women.
You might have thought radicalisation efforts wouldn’t start until young women entered further education, given the plasticity of young minds, but you’d be wrong. Feminists are increasingly trying to brainwash young women (and young men, often) well before they enter the higher education system. Which brings us right back to Kat Banyard and UK Feminista. They offer workshops in schools and colleges – one imagines that left-inclined teachers welcome them with open arms – and offer guidance on numerous matters.
One downloadable guide relates to setting up feminist groups in schools and colleges.
One could almost weep at these ideologically-driven assaults on the intellects of impressionable young people. One thing is sure. Kat Banyard and her ilk are doing all in their power to create a new generation of angry misandrous young women, and the MHRM has yet to start doing anything to match it.
One final thing. I recently sent a number of polite emails to Finn Mackay firstname.lastname@example.org, a militant feminist ‘academic’ at Bristol University. One of those ultra-left-wing female ‘academics’ who’d otherwise be quite unemployable. She didn’t reply to any of my emails, which didn’t surprise me, but last night I was informed by a supporter that Ms Mackay had used her Twitter account to comment on my discussion with Laura Bates. She wrote:
@WeekWoman @theJeremyVine @TheWomensRoomUK @ least he had wonderful Laura from @EverydaySexism who was awesome and inspiring.
I was so delighted with this, that I immediately sent the following email to Ms Mackay:
Finn, good evening, I hope this finds you well. A supporter has pointed me to your Tweet on how Laura Bates ‘wiped the floor’ with me yesterday on Jeremy Vine’s show. Thanks for giving me the heartiest laugh I’ve had in weeks. A pleasing number of new donors resulted from Laura’s floor-wiping performance – one wrote of her, ‘it was chilling, like listening to a religious fundamentalist’. There were several lady donors, including two mothers of boys. So when might I look forward to a studio discussion with you? Would BBC Radio Bristol suit you as well as it would suit me?
Have a good weekend.
I haven’t heard back from Ms Mackay yet, but I hope I shall. I live in Bath, which is near Bristol, so I could pick her up on the way to the BBC studio. We’d have a very pleasant discussion on the way to the studio, I feel sure.