Gone Too Far: Attacks On Feminism Through The Ages

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Don’t You Have Anything Better To Do? Your Concerns Are Trivial.

In 1908, for example, at the National Women’s Anti-Suffrage League meeting, Mary Ward maintained that ‘all sorts of powers are lying unused under the hands of women…meanwhile good brains and skilled hands are being diverted from women’s real tasks to this barren agitation for equal rights with men.' That is: women had “real tasks” to do to advance their cause, aside from this “barren agitation” for, er, the vote.

1988, Margaret Thatcher: “Conservative women are above all practical... They do not attempt to advance women's rights by addressing you, Madam Chairman, as Madam Chairperson, or Madam Chair or worse [pause] simply as Chair. With feminists like that, who needs male chauvinists?'

Feminists Are Ugly Hurr Hurr

16 December 1995, The Spectator magazine: “whingers with bad legs”

Early 2004, Clare Short was denounced by the Sun as “jealous, fat and ugly” for her suggestion that photographs of topless teenage girls did not amount to news.

But This Might Affect Men

1900 saw this little gem produced in Chicago, amidst fears that women actors would drive men off the stage.

Feminism Is Over (And We Live In A Perfectly Equal World)

1915, the Spectator: "Will there not be a movement away from feminism, which never has had the slightest hold on the democracy, and back to femininity, with its slightly sentimental code, its too great indulgence of emotion, its cultivation of the " feelin' 'eart?" At this stage women didn’t even have the vote.

20 July 1934, Ray Strachey notes in the Spectator that “It is fashionable among the young. women from the Universities nowadays to assert that they are not "feminists," and to display no interest whatever in a controversy so completely out of date as "women’s rights." Strachey went on to argue that the continued economic injustice facing those young women will mean that feminism "will catch them… in the end.”

16 January 1953, the Lady column in the Spectator magazine: “THE time has at last come when the self-respecting intelligent woman need no longer call herself a feminist… The battle is over. The women have won.”

23 November 1991, Neil Lyndon “On how civilised society is being corrupted by feminists and their mad doctrines” in the Spectator complains that the “Spare Rib hoods” had infiltrated the law. Their offence? “The Law Lords tipped their wigs in the direction of the hoods when they reinterpreted the law on rape to include acts between a married couple… they acceded to and gave established respectability to the idea that normal men are rapists.”

17 October 1992, Barbara Amid is horrified by how the government is now “dancing to the tune of radical feminists.” Yes, in 1992. “In the past 20 years, our society has gone a good way towards becoming a matriarchy… And just as I, being a supporter of liberal democracy, would fight a patriarchy, the fight now must be against matriarchy.”