Modern feminism wants to be taken seriously as an organized, political force. Really, it does. So why did a fundraiser in London for the new Women’s Equality Party (WEP) include as its finale the opportunity for participants to conduct an imaginary orchestra in the name of feminism?
Perhaps organizer Sandi Toksvig is best equipped to answer. The former Radio 4 News Quiz host is a co-founder of WEP and will help oversee its launch in September with the aim of fielding candidates in the 2020 general election.
On Tuesday night WEP devotees gathered at Conway Hall and Toksvig revealed to an audience of 400 women – and a few men – that she is strongly considering running for Mayor of London. Her reasoning is that she “can’t be worse than Boris.”
Daily Telegraph journalist Claire Cohen was there and reported on the experience complete with the imaginary orchestral ensemble. She wrote:
“I am standing up. My eyes are closed, my head is thrown back, and I’m pretending to conduct an imaginary orchestra to Beethoven’s ninth symphony, which is booming out of speakers above my head.
“Around me, 400 other women – and a few men – are doing exactly the same. And, on stage Sandi Toksvig, wearing a black tailcoat, is leading the throng.
“Welcome to the first fundraiser for the Women’s Equality Party.”
Welcome indeed. Earlier Toksvig revealed that WEP is modelling itself on insurgent political parties including UKIP. She is reported as saying her aim is to make the other parties sit up and take notice. To this end, she confesses that she’s ‘taken a lesson from Ukip’.
“Ukip showed a way to create change fast – by becoming a political force. If you appear to be an electoral threat then the other parties will want to look more like you”.
Which is all well and good, but nobody has yet reported Nigel Farage standing up and conducting an imaginary orchestra in a room full of acolytes.
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