Have you heard about the UK’s new feminist Women’s Equality Party? Well, you’re a Breitbart reader, so I’ll presume no. Allow me to darken your day.
The party was founded last week by a peculiar coalition of lesbian celebrities, feminist journalists and perennial malcontents in the British media. Its most enthusiastic welcome was in the ephemeral world of social media, where, if there’s any justice, the party will remain.
I hate to be disobliging about such an ostentatiously noble goal – freeing women from the appalling shackles of well-paid columns in national newspapers and cushy presenting gigs at our national broadcaster – but I had to suppress a giggle when I saw how utterly hopelessly the party approached even such trivial decisions as what hashtag to use on Twitter.
The party initially promoted itself with the tag #WE, for women’s equality. Alas, the ladies of the WEP had failed to notice that “we” is quite a common word in the English language, and that by selecting it as their moniker, they risked being drowned out by general conversation.
Time for a reboot! Next up was #WepUK. Let’s just say that after all that confusion, the final hashtag didn’t exactly set the digital world alight. Imagine it! A feminist political party getting social media wrong. A mean-spirited observer might ask what they could possibly hope to get right, if that was an indication of their general competence.
This column, of course, is more indulgent.
Yet it’s tough to be kind about the risible Women’s Equality Party, and not just because the idea of it is a laughable anachronism.
For instance: why on earth was BBC megabore Sandi Toksvig chosen as a figurehead?
T0ksvig, for those of you who don’t know, is a BBC heavyweight. (At least, that’s what set designers tell me.) She’s the epitome of dull bien pensant BBC liberalism, mystifyingly omnipresent on comedy panel shows.
She likes to present herself as the unthreatening face of lesbian middle-class Middle England, but truthfully the only thing middling about her is her talent. Next to Toksvig, Michael McIntyre looks like Bill Hicks.
Is it just me, or is there something totally bizarre about a lesbian pontificating to the country about gender relations? It’s not like she’s got any skin in the game, is it?
I’d actually prefer it if the party were led by some rainbow haired she-twink from Tumblr. Sure, they’re completely bonkers and would probably have me up against the wall given the opportunity, but I have to grudgingly acknowledge the purity of their rabid hatred.
I don’t mind ideologues; I can’t stand bores.
Sandi Toksvig’s feminism is stultifyingly dreary: pearl-clutching, mumsy, blue-rinse lesbianic feminism that has as much to offer the average woman as her frequent QI host Stephen Fry has to offer the average bloke. What can I say but… Zzzzzzzzzzz!
Toksvig’s idea of fun is an evening of Scrabble, knitting and feeding the cat, and this dull-as-ditchwater elite liberalism is what’s wrong with the Women’s Equality Party and is why it will fail to inspire ordinary women.
That, and the fact that women everywhere are abandoning feminism in their millions: in just two years, the number of American women who identify as feminist has collapsed from 28 per cent to 18 per cent in response to the outlandish irrelevances of the modern feminist movement.
But there’s something even more offensive about this new party. It’s 2015! Who in their right mind thinks a Women’s Equality Party is needed in Britain today? Anyone at all, outside the M25? If anything, it’s men and boys who need some political support.
It reminds you of the trades unions of the 1970s, says my colleague Allum Bokhari. Having won their most important fights decades before, the movement had nothing to do but push for greater and greater privileges, all the while advancing a rhetoric of victimhood that was entirely out of step with reality.
Eventually, the public’s patience ran out, and we had the 1980s.
I did say I was going to darken your day, but remember: it’s always darkest just before dawn.
The Women’s Equality Party. What larks!