There are some moments in life when I am more pleased to be a feminist than at other times. Being able to recognise prejudice disguised as a noble call of ‘equality for everyone’ is one trigger moment. ‘Equality for everyone’ is often muttered by those with great privilege.
Criticising equality practices which recognises gender and race as ‘pretend socialism’ is something, frankly, that only a Tory could do, both, by ideology and by idiocy. It will come as no surprise that the Tory who used the phrase ‘pretend socialism’ is none other than the Philip Davies who uses filibustering to block bills that he, according to ‘The Independent’, “doesn’t like”.
After having blocked socio-urgent bills on issues such as domestic violence, free hospital parking for carers and first aid training for school kids, Philip Davies is now training his gun on how the state is killing free speech. Quite rich when you consider that Parliament was prorogued to keep others silent.
He made his remarks about pretend socialists at a Tory party fringe event of which he was a panel member. The Tory Party conference is a dismal thing as it is without having to hear in great detail about what goes on in their fringe panels too. The non-action on stage is blather enough, surely, but sadly not.
‘Pretend socialism’, according to Philip Davies, is when selections are made according to race and gender. In other people’s books it would be seen as levelling the playing field, giving others a chance that they wouldn’t normally have due to structural inequalities or, even, broadening the talent pool. Philip Davies is obviously such a hater of socialism that anything resembling distribution of anything is socialism.
Isn’t raising the minimum wage a shade of socialism? On the other hand, promising 40 hospitals but only being able to deliver 6 is, probably, pretend socialism. I wonder whether these issues perplex Philip Davies as much as race and gender do? I suspect that it’s the levelling up of others, a trait associated with socialism, which irks him.
He prefers his own version of equality, “I think that we’ll only have true equality when we don’t even think about somebody’s sex, or for that matter their race or their sexuality,” he said. “That shouldn’t be what defines them.“
People who argue against diversity often do so on the grounds of ‘equality for everyone’ as if it were a noble proposition that nobody has ever thought about before. Never mind that centuries of practice only favours those who already hold dominant position and sway. Ethnic minorities, women and people with disabilities were never in this category.
Other privileged folk on the Tory panel were Toby Young and Alex Deane. Need I say more? The Feminist fight is far from over.