It seems that my persistent, albeit lonely, campaigning in Parliament for gender equality has turned me into something of a Marmite character. I suppose I have always been a Marmite character but I’ve found that those who hate Marmite can (a) like a Marmite lover and (b) respect/love some ingredients of Marmite.
In a speech I made about the huge discrepancy in the way male and female criminals are treated by the courts, I referred to “feminist zealots” who wanted equality but only when it suits – i.e. they wanted special treatment when it is to their advantage but not when it is not.
This speech prompted the formation of the “Shipley Feminist Zealots” who regularly protest against me in Yorkshire and took great exception when I said that I felt that their feminism was being used to mask their true ideology of Socialism – something that the great Lady Thatcher warned about many years ago.
On the other side, I am slightly embarrassed to report a new organisation called Ladies for Philip Davies (@ladies4pd). I don’t know anything about them – nobody is more surprised about their creation than me – but I presume they are a group of women who are opposed to the feminist zealotry to which I refer above.
Perhaps, like me, they believe in genuine equality where everyone is treated the same irrespective of their sex, with no special favours and no positive discrimination.
Whoever they are, the Ladies for Philip Davies show that not all women are feminists, and not all feminists are feminist zealots – in fact I am pretty sure that the overwhelming majority of women do not associate themselves with the Feminist Zealots.
Indeed in a survey on feminism by Netmums in 2012, it found that only 1 in 7 women considered themselves to be feminists, with the youngest least likely to describe themselves as such. And in that survey, 69% of women believed feminism’s biggest fight was to reinstate the value of motherhood – compared to 32% who were concerned about the number of female politicians, and 34% who wanted more women in top boardroom jobs.
Anyway, I recently offered to meet the Shipley Feminist Zealots in my constituency. About 60 people came to discuss issues of concern to them and my response to them – a meeting which was live streamed on Twitter.
We covered a wide range of issues, and although there was never likely to be a meeting of minds, it was good to have a robust debate and a fair exchange of opinions, where people could learn what I actually believe rather than what is put out by morons and political opponents on Twitter.
So the battle lines have been drawn between the Shipley Feminist Zealots and the Ladies for Philip Davies. If that Netmums survey is even close to still being representative, it is clear which one is likely to be speaking for most women.
- Philip Davies is Conservative MP for Shipley