The Durham debate – an audience member gives his impressions

Our thanks to a man who was in the audience for the Durham debate last Friday, and has just sent this in. It’s being reproduced here with his permission, and it takes up the rest of this blog piece.

“I was at this debate and read with interest Freya Bromley’s report of it on The Huffington Post:

Freya’s article was as fascinating to me, as the debate was fascinating to her. I should like to offer my own take on the proceedings.

It was as inevitable as night following day that the motion wasn’t carried, because there was a feminist ‘rentamob’ at the back of the room. I gather they’d planned to form a picket line outside as people arrived, but it was a bit cold and slightly drizzling, so they didn’t. What the male speakers in support of the motion said was never going to carry such a rigged audience.

However, even if the male speakers in support of the motion had said nothing, their case was made for them by the two women who spoke against it! They were nakedly sexist in every utterance, and in their total demeanour.

Cindy Gallop’s opening statement, ‘I am a feminist’, was intrinsically sexist. What else could it have been? She champions women’s issues over men’s. She appeared in her trademark black cat suit with brass-fronted high heel shoes and, announcing that she wasn’t wearing a bra (which was plain to see, considering the amount of décolletage she was showing) and that she dates young men, delivered her standard speech; broadly the same one she gave at the Oxford Union last year – same speech, different motion. In this standard performance, she promulgates her idea (and her web site) ‘Make love not porn’ all spiced with deliberately salacious comments like ‘Come on my face’ etc.

Apropos of absolutely nothing, she concurrently argued for what amounts to a fifty-fifty social arrangement where men and women equally control society (a rather oblique knife in the side of the patriarchy so beloved of feminists as their bête noir). In fact this is just ‘Equiarchy’, an idea which she seemed to pass off as hers, but which is actually a long-discredited idea. The term was first coined as long ago as 1999 by Steven Goldberg in his widely cited book The Logic of Patriarchy which unequivocally demolishes the feminist argument about it. All in all, Cindy brazenly sailed over any attempt to address the motion but I will say this, she is what most people would call entertaining – ‘A good turn’.

As for Ms Bindel… well, where do I start? What about a litany of what amounted almost to hate speech against men? Her advocacy for women who kill their husbands and partners? The tear-jerking stories, delivered in varying tones from strident to dulcet, all intended to massage the emotions. Then her repeated shouts of ‘Liar!’ at Mr Buchanan when he said she’d been a co-founder of the feminist campaigning organisation ‘Justice for Women’ which operates the website which is blatantly sexist and had the hateful strapline, ‘Men, women and murder’. In the days following Mr Buchanan’s challenge, the strapline was removed.

She expressed resentment at men who say, ‘Nice arse!’ to women. She had to be told to sit down by the Chair after she’d jumped to her feet during contributions from the floor, waving her arms and angrily stabbing her finger in the air, threatening a young man in the audience who’d eloquently and intelligently challenged her, pointing out she hadn’t even tried to address the motion.

Yet the motion was defeated. However, it was defeated not because of reason and good arguments, but because of two undoubtedly articulate and well-practised feminists who knew precisely how to press the buttons of the heavily gender-politicised youngsters you find on our campuses today, aided and abetted by organised mobs of radical young women who seek to stifle any dissent against their angry creed. Judging from the rabble-like response the good lady speakers scored a ‘victory’ in the shouted vote at the end, but it was, as W S Gilbert put it, ‘Managed by a job, and a good job too!’

The real victory lay with Mike Buchanan and Swayne O’Pie who with gentleness, politeness, erudition and sheer dedication to the principle of playing the game and trying honourably – and honestly – to address the motion, presented the case for the motion unimpeachably.

So what if they lost the vote? I know Durham Union Society very well indeed (Durham is my uni too). It is fun, rather silly, and very typical of students’ debating societies in general. It is, after all, just playing shops.”

About Mike Buchanan

I'm a men's human rights advocate, writer, and publisher. My primary focus is leading the political party I launched in 2013, Justice for Men & Boys (and the women who love them). I still work actively on two campaigns I launched in early 2012, Campaign for Merit in Business and the Anti-Feminism League. In 2014 I launched The Alternative Sexism Project, aiming to raise public understanding that the sexism faced by men and boys has far more grievous consequences than the sexism faced by women and girls.
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