Sunday, May 2, 2010



Radical, hairy-legged, anti-male stirrers of yester-year bleating about gender injustice are all so yesterday....We're all equal now....Aren't we?

Sandra Coney, The Last Post for Feminism has perhaps expressed the consternation of many un-post feminists who have surfaced from their most recent battle with sexism only to be advised that their services are no longer required:

I'm not clear who made the decision that the feminist task is completed and we can move on to the next stage. There were no resolutions that I know of passed through feminist conferences, no proclamations in women's bars. It comes as a bit of a shock to find that your redundant, that you've been beavering away on something when it wasn't really necessary...I read about it first in magazines, those oracles of our time. Some journalists obviously spotted for us what we could not see, that the beachhead had been reached while we thought we were still pinned down in the trenches...I'm glad we've arrived at post-feminism...Think of all the things feminists can stop doing...They'll be able to stop writing political tracts, submissions, pamphlets and magazines, and write post-feminist novels instead. For this they'll be able to get Literary Fund grants and university fellowships in letters. They can quit working for shit wages in refuges, rape crisis and women's health centres, and get well-paid jobs instead. They can also find themselves a nice post-feminist man. Heterosexuality is back again; in fact, its essential. Lesbianism is very un-post...It is clear that post-feminists (the female ones) enjoy being girls...The important thing about post-feminism is that women can do anything and some of them are choosing to be sex objects. Well that's fine. In the post-feminist era anything goes: face lifts, teeth capping, hormone replacement therapy, collagen implants, diathermy, liposuction. Get your spare tyres shifted to your tits. Women used to feel pressured to do such things to compete. Not any more. Why put up with the bad bits when you can have them cut out? It's all just good clean post-feminist fun...Post-feminists have good jobs and they earn lots of money so they can get cleaning ladies to clean the loo...Protofeminists tried to get their men to do it half the time. Griping at your man is very retro, very 70s, very pre-post. Post-feminists are more mature and go about it in a different way. Some of them are so perfect they've trained themselves not to go at all...Now I come to think about it, I'm not too sure I qualify as post. I'm too old, too flabby and I'm rude to men. What's worse, I'm not going to do anything about it.

In 1993, Catharine MacKinnon declared that '[f]eminists have this nasty habit of counting bodies and refusing not to notice their gender.' While a few, indefatigable, feminists, including MacKinnon, are still counting (see, eg, MacKinnon, 'Are Women Human and other International Dialogues, 2006), many others have turned away from the counting project. Use of international human rights instruments to challenge State responses to domestic violence has already begun. It is time for feminists to push forward and insist upon a radical restructuring of criminal law responses to male violence towards women. This project, accompanied by a re-invigorated grass roots and academic movement for equality is well overdue.