Truly it’s horrible and unnerving to fall victim to a point and shriek assault by an hysterical, vengeful, feminist Social Justice Warrior.
It happened to me the other day at Cambridge University. For more details, see here, but I’ll give you the short version:
I’d given an after dinner speech at the university’s Conservative Association (CUCA). Safe territory, I had thought, to rail against the lunacies of political correctness before a sympathetic audience.
As an example, I mentioned the compulsory consent classes you now have to attend as a first-year undergraduate (generally presided over by embarrassed second-years) in which you are lectured on how rape is a bad thing. Then later I made a flippant reference to Jimmy Savile and Rolf Harris. [Non-British readers should know that these were successful children’s TV celebrities of the 70s and 80s, later revealed to be predatory sex offenders.]
To say it went down like a cup of cold sick would be an understatement. Several of the alleged “conservatives” at the dinner walked out in protest. (Though I do wonder whether some of them might have been plants or entryists who’d gone specifically to be offended so that they could make a political point afterwards.) One visibly distraught girl – escorted by her hissing mate – called out: “Disgusting!” as she left.
So off I went afterwards to the pub with those dinner guests — about half the audience, I’d say — who’d enjoyed the speech and were rather embarrassed by their fellow undergraduates’ pusillanimity in the face of this cry-bullying attempt to close me down. Unfortunately, the two girls who’d walked out were also there, drowning their sorrows. They glared at me so I retreated to the pub’s garden. The last thing I wanted was any more aggro.
I was just getting stuck into my first double gin when the pub’s middle-aged landlord appeared.
“I want you to leave now!” he told me.
“What have I done?”
“A young woman has made a complaint. She says you said something very offensive about rape on these premises.”
Well, as you know, this was a blatant lie. In the ten minutes or so that it took my companions to use their Cambridge undergraduate intelligence and charm to persuade the landlord to rescind his ridiculous edict, several thoughts struck me.
- Milo is right: feminism is cancer. In its current aggressive Third Wave form now ravaging our university campuses and social media sites, it has weaponised female grievance to a pitch that is simply unconducive to civilised relations between men and women. Not every girl has fallen for it. (Check out, for example, my podcast with the wonderful Chloe Westley who is 24 and having none of this feminazi nonsense…) But the minority who have fallen for it poison the wells for everyone else. It’s no wonder that young men are increasingly opting out rather than having to negotiate any kind of relations with these crazed and unpredictable harpies who, one minute could be begging “Yes, yes, yes” and the next reporting them to the police. This is not good for men. But it’s not good for women either. Feminism brings out in them the very qualities – peevishness, resentment, aggression, ugliness, a disregard for beauty maintenance – most likely to ensure they never find the mate capable of giving them security, stability and emotional contentment.
- What was the landlord thinking? Since when, on the random say-so of an — I suspect — somewhat inebriated and clearly hysterical young woman do you throw a customer out of a pub, with no corroborating evidence that any wrong has been done? This is a worrying cultural shift. Ten, 20 years ago, the landlord would have said: “Don’t you think you’ve had enough, darling?” and called the girl a cab. Also, let’s remember that not so long ago, many pubs had a rule where they would only serve women in half pint measures. Sure, in current parlance, it was a “sexist” policy. But it also signalled the cultural taboo many societies have towards excessive drinking by their womenfolk. There were reasons for this taboo and they haven’t gone away.
- All the most successful, brilliant, well-adjusted women I know — I cannot think of a single exception — take a robust, unflappable and amused line on men. They tolerate our boisterousness, our bad jokes, even our clumsy passes because they recognise that while men have their flaws, our many countervailing virtues generally make the hassle more than worthwhile. And also because they recognise that as intelligent, independent women they’ve got many, many more important things to do than perpetually look to take offence like blushing perma-victims. (For more on this listen to my podcast with the splendid Sarah Vine.) If the job of universities like Cambridge is to prepare young women like that cry-bully for a successful career operating alongside men in the real world then they are manifestly failing.
- “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” It doesn’t matter if this is a misquote: the sentiment behind it is bang on. Except in this case, it’s worse than good men doing nothing. It’s a case of good men actually encouraging it. I don’t just mean all those male feminist white knights on Twitter selling their bros down the river. I mean men like that pub landlord. I mean men like the undergraduates who didn’t take my side but rather who came out in solidarity with those squealing girls. Gallantry can be a fine and a wonderful thing – but it only really makes sense when women really ARE oppressed, not when they’re effectively in charge and dictating all the new rules. Let’s be clear: the grievance, bitterness, and aggression of third wave feminism will remain manageable just so long as the broader culture accepts them as the minority obsession of a few hardcore loons. But when that broader culture accepts this behaviour as valid, justifiable, acceptable – then, my friends, we have a very serious problem.
- “Rape culture.” Even more than the “gender pay gap” this is the most pernicious of the myths invented by radical feminism. With one notable exception, it has no objective reality in Western culture. Yet on the basis of this hysterical lie, numerous men have had their lives ruined thanks to false allegations made by young women who have been brainwashed by their feminist peers into thinking they have some kind of moral duty to take vengeance against the oppressor. Even if, as in my experience, it means telling a flagrant lie in order to stitch them up. It’s no coincidence that when this girl did stumble up to me in the pub, her loyal bestie in tow, to harangue me about my speech and femsplain to me why she’d been so offended, she shrieked: “So you’re telling me you don’t believe there’s a rape culture?” [Her view, clearly, being that to deny rape culture is as morally unjustified as denying, say, the Holocaust.] What’s particularly annoying about this silly, spoilt, untutored little missy’s rant — God I’d be ashamed if I were her parent: most of us train our kids to behave WELL in public, if not at home — is that when the chips are down I DO speak out against real rape culture. By that, I mean about all those mostly Muslim gangs which for years have been raping thousands of vulnerable, underage, white, and Sikh girls with near impunity. You can watch me do so here.
- I’m sorry, but why the **** are they letting hysterical snowflakes clearly incapable of critical thinking or reasoned argument into Cambridge? It’s no wonder Oxbridge is going downhill if their admissions process is so flawed.
- I’d like to stress that I’m not even remotely sorry for any upset I may have caused. And it’s imperative that we don’t apologise when these weaponised grievance mongers choose to take offence at something we said. I’m not talking about when we intentionally set out to give offence and when it’s blatantly obvious that our intention is malign. But that’s what tone and context are for. Tone and context are our way of assessing any given situation, so that we can form a lucid opinion. This is, in essence, is critical thinking. Our current cultural climate, especially on campus, appears to have rejected critical thinking in favour of “muh feelings”. In a world where “muh feelings” are the dominant intellectual mode, any one person, at any given time, is given licence to close down any argument, to ostracise or otherwise immiserate any individual, merely by expressing vocal grievance — and claiming consequent victimhood — over anything they said. This is sheer lunacy. If these SJW kids at college carry on like this into adulthood then we are heading for a whole heap of trouble.