“Ladies who lunch”

So this is what “White Feminism” is – a guaranteed win in the Oppression Olympics. It’s a piece from last summer by Paris Lees, politely titled Ban Sex Work? Fuck Off, White Feminism.

The title seemed stupid to me, as well as abusive, since Paris Lees is white. But she explains that.

I feel duty bound to break my self-imposed silence – I’m on holiday, fuckers – to speak out on a subject that, like so many important issues in the media, has been discussed almost exclusively by a privileged few who are neither affected by nor particularly informed about their current excuse to grandstand.

That’s a remarkably disgusting thing to say. What are the implications? That people should never seek to reform or end an exploitative institution if they’re not directly “affected” by it? That people should be even more ruthlessly selfish and coldly indifferent than we already are? And how does Paris Lees know that opposition to prostitution is nothing more than an excuse to grandstand?

The loudest voices I have seen in the latest sex work debate bring zero first-hand experience to the table. Yeah, I see you, White Feminists.

I am both white and a feminist. But I am not what you would call a White Feminist, capital letters, for I am also trans.

Oh. Oh is that how it works. She’s white, but she’s not White, because she’s trans. So being trans is her ticket to the right to be verbally abusive to feminist women she dislikes, because being trans makes her not White even though she is white.

What an ugly mind.

White Feminism is a special club but membership doesn’t rest solely on race. White Feminism is about privilege. Ladies who lunch and feel hard done by because a man held the door open for them on their way in to the Four Seasons. White Feminism is many things but it is not inclusive, or, in fancy feminist lingo, “intersectional”. The voices of the “wrong sort” of women – black women, trans women, sex workers and so on – get drowned out, just as “bad” women have been silenced and shamed by privileged women, men and society in general since time immemorial. White Feminists have the biggest media platforms and are able to do this. They can launch patronising campaigns to save “fallen women” who cannot possibly be expected to make choices for themselves or, if they do, to understand the implications of those choices like the clever, educated ladies of White Feminism do. White Feminism always knows best. It is paternal and judgmental and, in many cases, indistinguishable from the partriarchal dictatorship it ostensibly seeks to dismantle. I am just saying.

That is an ugly, ugly mind – and a misogynist mind. Talk about excuses to grandstand – this is clearly her excuse to pour venom on feminist women as “ladies who lunch” – the old “princess” taunt dressed up to look vaguely progressive.

An ugly, ugly mind.

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