Pride and Shame | The Spectator Australia

I first read Pride and Prejudice in a feminist theory class. I wanted to be cynical about it and point out the patriarchy, the structural inequality, the horrors of a class system managing women’s lives like commodities and business…

But in spite of myself, I was caught up in the dream of a woman who had long since left the earth. A dream that a woman without financial security might reject a handsome, rich and powerful man just because she didn’t really love him. A dream that a woman might reject an opportunity to save her family estate by marrying the hissing and predatory Mr. Collins. A dream that a father would recoil at the idea of ​​offering his daughter to a life of forced sex, of legal rape, in order to secure the family patrimony.

It was a dream for Austen, and it is today for many women who are bought and sold for sex and reproductive work, for the pleasure of men, and for building alliances.

Pride and Prejudice is a cultural artifact, a letter from another time, a love story wrapped in a message of oppression and desperately desired political and social change.

Feminists aren’t supposed to get caught up in Austen’s dream because the whole storyline is problematic. Elizabeth Bennet’s happiness is a life of landed aristocracy based on the exploitation of sharecroppers, the estate’s excess capital is used to live a life of ridiculous luxury surrounded by people trapped in generational servitude.

The feminist icons available to girls and women have become so bourgeois, institutional and harmful, that it is now up to dissident women to dream of an escape from feminism. For me, I dream of the return of feminine feminism.

The 2022 Jeanne D’Arc, like Elizabeth Bennet, is a fictional character, rather than living in a cage of femininity, she has cast aside “femininity” and therefore she cannot be a woman. The 2022 Jeanne D’Arc is a cultural artifact and will be remembered as utterly consistent with bourgeois feminism.

Femininity is the high tower that feminists have attacked as the source of their oppression ever since the concepts of gender role stereotyping were first considered. Femininity is the word we use for the gender of the female sex, for many feminists a prison of coerced performance and gender-based obligations. Femininity is seen by many feminists as a tool of patriarchy to secure female bodies for controlled reproduction, contract sex, prostitution, and pornography.

The tale of Joan of Arc as something other than a woman (by the Globe Theatre, of all ironic places) is the elevation of male roles and power as beyond a woman’s reach, and the preservation of femininity as a delicate, submissive role only suits those who choose to display breasts that clearly indicate a female body.

Bourgeois feminism is an institutionally born ideology that elevates gender to even greater power than its patriarchal predecessor. In the dim light, you could barely tell one from the other. The ideology of gender identity at the heart of bourgeois feminism, according to radical feminists, is part of modern patriarchy, and of all the things I disagree with radical feminists about, it is not.

‘Gender’ has become the diligent study of ill-educated, crippling rights youth who think their teachers have invented a type of rainbow soul that liberates them from their sexed bodies – sexed bodies that roam the earth from the start. of humanity.

Simply because humanities teachers have performed the modern miracle of seeing a man give birth, they are deemed smart enough to know how to cure material oppression completely by speaking magic words and changing materially immutable designations. If Bougie’s feminists had a dream told in fiction, it would be best placed in the genre of science fiction.

Candle feminism can only embrace this nonsense because it has completely distanced itself from the everyday and the daily suffering of women. Feminism has become so entrenched in the bureaucratic and capitalist mechanisms of Western nations that it has been paid to shape an entire theology that abandons the most vulnerable women and celebrates the most privileged men.

The magical theological invention of humanities teachers will now cure a rare psychological disease, prevalent in a fraction of a percent of the population, with the complete re-engineering of human sex, sexuality, language, religion and customs. It is a holy crusade that will not end without a forced change of language, coercion of women, disregard for protective principles, in other words tyranny.

It’s not uncommon to see tweets like this from an Australian feminist:

“The terfs, like the fascists they willingly align themselves with, should be shredded by all corporate bodies at all times. Middle-aged white men should do the heavy lifting on this issue as much as anyone else.

This kind of thing is reminiscent of the “best girl” in school sending the boys after the rest of the disobedient girls who refuse to submit. In this case, feminists claim that the denial of men’s access to women’s sport “literally” denies the right of some men to to exist.

We have seen the invention of a new class of “most downtrodden” women who look, act and talk exactly like authoritative men. You can say what you want about the Australian bourgeoisie, but they know how to control their women.

In fairness to the world of the arts, the Globe as Britain’s theater has long depended on the patronage of those who drive the economy, culture and religion and is generally kind enough to honor those who pay to keep the lights. on.

But feminism does not owe such homage to the aristocracy. The abuse of women as “terfs” is in no way the logical outcome of the feminist revolution initiated by our grandmothers.

Elizabeth Bennet remains forever trapped in our collective dreamland with nothing ahead of her but wandering Pemberley in a mud-lined skirt, walking around the living room with women she despises and enjoying an endless supply of steamy sex with a Mr. Darcy who looks like a young, middle-aged Colin Firth fresh from a midday swim in a cold spring. Joan of Arc will be the non-binary icon of 2022, bandaged breasts, short hair ready to fight for “the new religion”.

The feminism of garish Australian media personalities will never lead us to a sprawling Pemberley with a sexy Mr or Mrs Darcy. They will take us to the wedding with Mr. Collins; the horny, creepy clergyman who deals with his mistress’ ego because she maintains the system that gives him sexual access, social status, and a ride in the shops on his electric horse.

I’m excited to be part of a reconstruction or revival of grassroots feminism or what some have called “fascism”.

Part of me feels like I’ve come home, back left, part of me feels like it’s something completely new, but I can assure you that gender-critical feminism is the furthest thing from “fascism” you will find. Fascism has its authority in the state, feminism has its authority in the body and the history of women.

Let me assure you that this new Terf-y feminism is growing like wildfire among Australian women, in secret message groups, quiet restaurant conversations and Twitter pages where I just earned a permanent suspension . My crime you ask? I said that men who claim to be lesbians are indulging in rape culture and I’m not sorry.

Edie Wyatt holds an Honors BA from the Institute of Cultural Policy Studies and writes on culture, politics and feminism. She blogs at and substack.

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