Up steps the latest victim

Suzanne Moore has a lot of sympathy for Niall Ferguson and other endangered guys like him.

Up steps the latest victim, poor Niall Ferguson, author, history professor and lover of empire, who wrote in the Sunday Times that he had to endure a “disproportionately vitriolic response” for organising a conference that featured only white male historians. How he has suffered, I can only imagine.

Jordan Peterson, another minor academic, became major simply by outlining how wrong we are to talk of the various ways in which western culture has been deemed oppressive to women. Excuse me, but didn’t Camille Paglia do that 20 years ago?

To such men, any notion of inclusiveness, or of the dread “diversity”, becomes a threat. The very presence of women, except as tokens, is difficult and somehow invasive for such men. Never mind the debate over trans women in women-only spaces, the issue here is really one of any women at all in any space.

The brand of truth-telling these battle-scarred men are revered for situates men as both always naturally in control but as now having to fight for their position.

Or not so much having to fight for their position as having to fight not to hear it. They don’t want to hear it; they’re sick of it; they wish we would shut up already. They don’t hate women, ok? They like women just fine. They try to include some women, when they remember, and it always turns out the women have to polish the baby that day or something so they say no so what are the poor men supposed to do? Think of even more women to invite? That would be a superhuman effort, and no one can expect that – so enough already. We know; everybody knows; we do our best, when we think of it; now stop pointing out how absent-mindedly sexist we still are and let us get on with the conversation we’re having with these nice gentlemen here.

The call to victimhood of this “endangered” species is heard everywhere, from Nigel Farage to John Humphrys to Jeremy Clarkson to Piers Morgan. These men who dare to speak out are everywhere in public life, at the top of every organisation, having meetings about how to employ more women. They are forced into this by Europe, modernity or some godawful HR directive. They like to say they care about FGM or the massacre of the Rohingya, but see complaints about equal access or equal pay as white noise.

Or not so much white noise as excruciatingly irritating high-pitched complaining by ungrateful bitches who weren’t on the list of women they remembered to ask.

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