This article was published in Australia Presbyterian.
It was an unusual event. At the height of Germaine Greer’s power and influence, the debating society of the University of Edinburgh held a debate for secondary school pupils who were visiting the Uni to see if they would apply. The subject was ‘feminism’. On the one side were two members from the Feminist society, and on the other, yours truly and a somewhat eccentric bowtie wearing Tory! It went well until one of our opponents came out with the memorable phrase, “the nuclear bomb is wrong because it is the ultimate male phallic symbol”. I’m afraid I laughed – at which point our opponents reached down and threw water and flour bombs at us! Fast forward forty years and now Germain Greer is no platformed in universities for ‘transphobia’ (truly the revolution doth eat itself!) and I find myself standing alongside the Feminists.
Throughout the Western world many feminist groups are waking up to the dangers that have been created by the acceptance of Queer theory and the fruit that is now beginning to bear. I stand fully (well almost) with them because this is a very dangerous time for women in the West. Many of the hard-won freedoms and equalities are now under threat. I did a podcast special on this subject – because it is one of the most vital issues we are facing today – https://theweeflea.com/2021/09/10/quantum-163-i-am-woman-the-threat-to-women-and-why-women-wont-wheesht/
In summary there are several dangers that women face:
Firstly, there is the question of abuse. It is an astonishing statistic that 2.2 million Australians have experienced domestic physical abuse and 3.3 million emotional abuse. https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports-data/behaviours-risk-factors/domestic-violence/overview
Many of the victims are women. We live in a culture which in theory says men and women are equal, but in practice removes the basis of that equality. Abuse will continue – no matter how many reports and educational initiatives are undertaken.
Then there is the astonishing issue of identity. Many older Christians do not quite grasp what is going on (because it is so unbelievable) and many younger ones do not see the extent of the problem (because they have been indoctrinated through media and schools into the ‘gender is a social construct’ theories of the radical progressives). But the fact that in the 21st century we have educated, intelligent people who cannot tell us what a woman is, indicates the insanity of the current situation. A while ago I heard a discussion on the ABC about whether the Liberal Party had a problem with women (because of alleged misogyny and abuse). Whether or not that is the case, there is no doubt that the ABC, and many other cultural and political institutions do have a problem with women – they can’t tell us what a woman is. The removal of biology from sex in the name of ideology seems almost Pythonesque in its surreality – in fact decades ago Monty Python foresaw the future!
There are places in the UK (and doubtless Australia) where if you put up a poster saying “woman = adult human female” you could be prosecuted for ‘hate speech’. Women are in danger of being redefined out of sport, safe places and existence.
Yet another threat is the return of sex slavery aided by the politicians describing prostitution as ‘sex work’, and by the all pervasiveness of pornography, largely on social media and the Internet. In my home city of Dundee, it was estimated that 40% of ten-year-old boys had seen extreme porn on their phones. We are talking here about things that I could not describe – stomach churning, nauseating violence. What do you think that does to their views of women and what damage is being done to their minds (and bodies) through swimming in such a sea of filth? A society which celebrates 50 Shades of Gray as a great and empowering novel (or even just one to titter at) should not pretend to be shocked if violence against women grows.
A more subtle danger is the way that feminists and women (as well as men) who want to speak up for women are mocked, demonised and excluded. Take for example the ongoing case of the feminist Marion Miller in Scotland. She is a supporter of women’s rights who is opposed to trans self-identification. She is attacked as a ‘Terf’ (trans exclusionary radical feminist) and is currently being prosecuted by the State for tweets which it is alleged are ‘transphobic’. This has cost her a great deal of money and yet fundraising platforms are banning her because they ‘believe in diversity’.
How the media frames this narrative is important. When an organisation with the wonderful title of “Women Won’t Wheesht’” (‘wheesht is Scots slang for ‘be quiet’) demonstrated outside the Scottish Parliament, the Guardian headlined their story “protestors against transgender rights boo Nicola Sturgeon”. The headline should have more accurately been “protesters for women’s rights boo Nicola Sturgeon”. In that incident there is incredible footage of a trans activist screaming repeatedly ‘witch, witch’ at one of the women. Who would have thought that in the 21st Century we would return to 17th Century witch-hunts?!
The Wi Spa scandal in Los Angeles is another glaring example of media bias. An Instagram user who goes by the name of Cubana Angel posted a film about her complaining to a man waving his genitalia around in the women’s area. She was told that because he self-identified as a woman he was allowed in with the women. The post went viral and what the press called ‘Spa Wars’ started. There were protests outside the spa – of both feminists and trans activists. It got so heated that even rubber bullets were fired! But what is most fascinating, and disturbing is how some of the press covered this. The Independent suggested the video could have been faked, Slate suggested it was a ‘hoax’, and the Guardian followed suit. But they went further. The woman concerned was a POC (person of colour to those unfamiliar with the jargon) but that was irrelevant to the Woke press. She is also a Christian and that is enough to put her into the category of ‘Women must not be believed’. Now they are being forced to eat humble pie as a 52-year-old man has been charged with five felony charges of indecent exposure.
There are other issues facing women which we don’t have time to look at– but included in these are abortion (sex selective abortion is a threat to all women), surrogacy (wombs for sale to wealthy men) and the various dangers facing women in Afghanistan, North Korea, Nigeria to name but a few. When countries go through poverty why is it that the women and children suffer the most?
What about the Church? Of course, there is abuse and misogyny within the Church – but that happens when the world infiltrates the church, or when human sinfulness takes over – not when Christians follow the teachings of Christ. The biblical teaching about men and women is the foundation for the equality, and complementarity of men and women. From the beginning, the Church has provided safety, respect and honour for women. For example, only this week I was reading of Gregory of Nyssa: “In this chain of female relationship it is difficult to say which link is worthier of note, grandmother, mother or daughter.” Our responsibility is to live up to what we have received, not to change it to suit the changing fashions of a world which is demonstrably failing women. And we need to stand alongside groups like the Women’s Forum Australia (https://www.womensforumaustralia.org/blog) as they seek to speak up for all women in this country.