Here at our international headquarters in Bedford, we’ve long been fans of the journalist and broadcaster Angela Epstein. For years she’s spoken and written very intelligently about gender issues, and self-identifies as a non-feminist. The two things may possibly be related. Ahem. She was an early winner of a coveted ‘Maggie’ award, in October 2012:
This post has been prompted by the welcome news that the estimable Mrs Epstein has started a new blog:
Her first post:
As Angela Epstein journalist, broadcaster and commentator, I’m often invited to take part in debates on the BBC and ITV about women, equality and feminism. And while I do believe in equality, I don’t hold any truck with feminism in its modern day form. You could call me non-feminist (as opposed to anti-feminist). But before all the bra burners start howling in protest, let me explain. I believe that all the great battles upon which the Suffrage Movement was established have been won. And anything that’s left shouldn’t be a battle for women. If it’s about equality it should be a matter for all of society. Certainly squabbles about putting Jane Austen on a bank note is hardly worthy of the feminist heritage. It’s just grumpy women in bad clothes spoiling for a fight.
Biology didn’t make us equal it made us different. We have children, and that in itself may influence whether we can or want to pursue certain careers. We shouldn’t need women only shortlists or female quotas. If a woman is a good enough candidate – and she wants to apply – then she should be judged on the merit of her abilities and experience. Not her gender. Do women really look out for each other? Vast tracts of research about Queen Bee syndrome, and every day examples of backbiting and bitchiness suggests the sisterhood aren’t quite as sisterly as our gender presupposes it to be. I applaud all women who aim for the stars and reach their goals. But let’s be realistic about today’s definition of feminism. On this blog posting, I’ll be scrutinising the so called modern feminist argument and the female world of work. Join me and let me know your views.
We wish Angela every success with her new blog, and we have no doubt we’ll be seeing and hearing a lot more of her in the mainstream media over coming years.