Brexit campaign leader Nigel Farage has triggered a mass meltdown of verified liberals on social media after agreeing with President Trump that he is not a “feminist”.
The MEP told presenters on the Good Morning Britain programme, “I don’t know what it means” after being asked if he identified as a feminist.
“Well, I wouldn’t,” Farage replied. “I would say, let everybody be equal, and live in a fair society.”
The presenters tried to suggest that this was feminism, but polls suggest that the British public see things differently, likely as a result of modern feminist leaders endorsing all-women shortlists, quotas for women in boardrooms, and academic courses preaching against dubious concepts such as “toxic masculinity” and “the patriarchy”.
For example, a wide-ranging study by the left-liberal Fawcett Society found that only 4 per cent of British men identified as feminists, and just 9 per cent of women — although a large majority said they supported equality between the sexes.
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) January 29, 2018
Farage invited Good Morning Britain to conduct a “reputable poll” on the number of people who would identify as feminist itself — prompting angry rebukes from the liberal commentariat.
Scottish writer John Niven quoted the UKIP grandee’s tweet, inviting his 60,000 followers to “[Retweet] if you’re a male feminist who also believes Farage himself into dogs” — abuse which appears to violate Twitter’s terms of service, but which appears to have gone unpunished.
“Today I have flu and a temperature that’s making my head swim but surely it’s clear that when Trump and Farage line up to say they’re not feminists then being a feminist becomes *even more* appealing…?” chimed in Sophie Walker, founding leader of the Women’s Equality Party.
Today I have flu and a temperature that’s making my head swim but surely it’s clear that when Trump and Farage line up to say they’re not feminists then being a feminist becomes *even more* appealing…?
— Sophie Walker (@SophieRunning) January 29, 2018
Liberal Democrat MEP Catherine Beader was somewhat huffier, demanding: “Farage is paid as an MEP to amend EU legislation on behalf of British businesses and citizens (in Brussels). Why do @GMB invite him on to talk about feminism?”
— Catherine Bearder (@catherinemep) January 29, 2018
Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable, who returned to frontline politcs in 2017 after being chucked out of the House of Commons by his constituents in 2015, also chided Farage, bragging that he had himself released a “feminist novel” in which his “leading character is a woman politician, not from my party as it happens. Strong, effective, probably doing a bit better than Theresa May.”
Daily Mirror journalist James Andrews was more direct, sneering: “Trump and Farage announce to absolutely no one’s surprise that they are ‘not feminists’,” — a theme picked up by several other detractors.
Trump and Farage announce to absolutely no one's surprise that they are "not feminists". Which helpfully means if anyone asks what Feminism is, we can just say – "Not this" pic.twitter.com/LqTAMlFGIi
— James Andrews (@FinanceJames) January 29, 2018
None of Farage’s critics appeared able to acknowledge the polling mentioned earlier, which indicates that his failure to identify as a feminist puts him on the same side as the overwhelming majority of the British public.