International Women’s Day 2016: What women who don't identify as feminists have to say

Not every woman will be marching under the feminist banner this year

Monday 07 March 2016 18:16 GMT
Beyonce performs in front of a Feminist sign at the MTV VMAs 2014
Beyonce performs in front of a Feminist sign at the MTV VMAs 2014

Paula Wright, 45

I stopped identifying as a feminist a few years ago when I was studying rape and discovered that prominent feminist organisations were misrepresenting rape prosecution statistics for political reasons. The Stern Report on Rape later officially confirmed this and also noted that the practice could stop victims coming forward – in other words, feminism was placing ideology before truth and before people. I found that unconscionable. It is still happening. Rape statistics are constantly being misrepresented to frighten women and make them believe they live in a “rape culture”. In fact, successful rape prosecutions are on a par with other crimes at over 50 per cent. Even attrition rates are commensurable to other crimes and victims should not feel there is little chance of receiving justice if they come forward.

Our justice system is not failing victims of rape. Rather feminism is failing us and our justice system. I identify as an egalitarian.

Follow Paula: @SexyIsntSexist

Ellen Grace Jones, 33

I am resolutely, unequivocally not a feminist. Saying that, would I have been waving placards alongside the suffragettes? Hell yes. Am I supportive of women’s rights? Of course. But feminism today has been co-opted by a hyper-offended, self-serving, navel-gazing Twitterati mob who mostly care about furthering their own (actually rather privileged) agenda than the plight of their fellow sisterhood who are, like, genuinely oppressed. You know, women living under Sharia Law or the 80 per cent of North Korean female refugees that have become “commodities for purchase.”

Case in point: the International Women’s Day schedule is almost all career-enhancing, work-centric conferences and events for the benefit and advancement of Western women. Suspiciously absent are charitable causes which would really empower oppressed and abused women in the rest of the world that do not have any voice at all.

Irrespective, I have no beef with International Women’s Day existing, but as an egalitarian who champions equal rights of both sexes, maybe International Men's Day deserves the same blanket, wall-to-wall coverage too?

Follow Ellen: @EllenGraceJones

All you need to know about International Women's Day 2016

Elizabeth Hobson, 27

It’s been noted that the best thing that can be said about feminism is that it’s redundant in a culture where we have equal rights. I think that this statement obfuscates the damage it does.

It’s a recipe for ruining lives, as we see in divorce statistics. Proceedings are predominantly initiated by women, who leave to be happy, but end up unhappy and often having done irreparable damage to their children. The family court system is hostile to fathers' rights and is an example of the political, not just personal, devastation that feminism has wreaked on equality and why it must be stopped.

Follow Elizabeth: @anti_fembot

Jane Sandeman, 53

The modern feminist movement carries some problematic outlooks with it that can seem divisive, rather than forging a way forward for true equality.

I have always been more attracted by the term humanism - it seems much richer to try and understand what makes us fully human - and then from there understand the barriers that people face to realise this. At times that is understanding women have to face particular barriers and calling for those who are humanists - both women and men to address that.

Cia Ferguson, 17

Egalitarians are those who strive for equality for everyone at the same time. When anyone classifies themselves as a feminist, they are pressing for women's rights more than equality. I am not a feminist because the word will only divide the world more.

Follow Cia: @Fenderchic7

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