According to feminist writer Julie Bindel, if women aren’t prepared to toe the party line and consciously define themselves by a set of rules imposed by other people, they should be treated as second class citizens.
Even as a standalone statement, this feels deliberately provocative. But coming hot on the heels of a Mumsnet survey in which only 1 in 7 women claimed they would define themselves as a feminist, it’s further evidence of an increasing hostility and misunderstanding between what we perceive as the ‘feminine’ and the ‘feminists’, which in the long term is only going to be damaging to both sides.
What would be achieved by punishing women who choose to follow a different path? Who gets to choose? If you like high heels, does that make you a bad person? If you prefer trainers, does that? Whothehellcares?
Let’s try and remember that while we’re all hating on each other, bickering, navel gazing and indulging in self-actualisation, women of all shapes, sizes, sexual preferences and footwear choices are being sexually harassed, raped, abused and overlooked.
We are all different. But surely the more time we spend pointing out those differences in each other, the less opportunity we have to enjoy the things we have in common. This can and will inevitably lead to more loneliness. More confusion. More opportunity for abusers.