Monday, April 20, 2009

Two feminist confessions

Liz Jones is the feminist columnist for the UK Daily Mail. Just ten days ago she attacked women's magazines for focusing on fashion rather than items of substance:

This column is a Part Two of the one I wrote a couple of weeks ago about the paucity of articles in women’s magazines on self-defence, rape awareness – anything intelligent, really ...

As the recession kicks in, fear is our biggest enemy. Women will increasingly be infantalised by the very people supposed to be on our side because, let’s face it, you have to be pretty stupid to spend £2,000 on a Vuitton anything.

People will become even more afraid to stick their heads above the parapet.

Let's summarise this view:

a) You have to be pretty stupid to spend £2000 on fashion

b) Women should be thinking about matters of substance, namely the dangers of men, rather than fashion.

Fast forward to Liz Jones's most recent column. She makes a confession: she is a fashion addict, having spent not just £2000 but £400,000 on designer clothes. She tells us that,

yesterday, with my niece's smart London wedding only days away, I went on netaporter and ordered an Yves Saint Laurent draped jacket for £1,225 and a hand-painted Vera Wang dress for £2,750 - but it really is gorgeous. Ooh, and a Bottega Veneta clutch for £602.

Ten days ago she wrote scathingly that magazine articles about handbags "infantilised" women. Strange then that as she writes her latest piece,

I am stroking my Bottega bag now, like a pet.

The lesson? Don't take what feminists write at face value. Liz Jones is willing to recommend one policy to other women, whilst following another herself.

There is another story about a feminist in today's Daily Mail. Rosie Boycott was an influential feminist of the 1970s, having helped to found the magazine Spare Rib in 1971 and the publishing house Virago Press in 1973.

It turns out that at this very time in her life she was a heroin addict and an alcoholic. She gave up the heroin after spending time in a Thai prison in 1973 for drug smuggling.

It's not that I think you have to be faultless in order to take up a public role - if the bar is set too high then no-one would qualify. But how can you presume to tell other people how to live when your own life is so out of control that you're addicted to drugs?

(In more recent times Rosie Boycott has made criticisms of the feminism of the 1970s.)


  1. "By their fruits ye shall know them."

  2. There are already plenty of magazines with substance. They aren't called "women's magazines" because women don't buy them

  3. Does Roci mean that women don't buy any "magazines with substance" - whatever their titles?

  4. Look at what she does: she's a rich woman single-handedly propping up the fashion industry.

    Look at what she says: women who do what she does are infantile and stupid.

    She's infantile and stupid, by her own testimony.

  5. A pity that Britain's (and Australia's) moronic newspapers, the sort that take Liz's variety of tripe seriously, aren't in any danger of going bust - unlike their American counterparts.

    Five years ago, Fred Reed (whose columns have appeared in The American Conservative and elsewhere) summed up the problem with modern newspapers, in words intended to describe the USA, but at least as applicable in Britain and Australia:

    "Our media are relentlessly, grindingly, hermetically controlled or, as we say, politically correct. Everyone with the brains of an aspirin tablet is aware of it. Newspapers do not so much report the news as avoid it. The taboos are endless and rigid. What reporters know, they do not write; what they write, they do not believe. We all understand exactly what the media can say, can't say, and will say. Sheer dishonesty rubs shoulders with poor content. ...

    "The media can't change. They are too close to being part of the government they purport to cover, too steeped in the artificial egalitarianism of the newsroom, too afraid of each other, of advertisers, of being racist or sexist, too big and smug and ossified. They cannot report anything that might disturb blacks, women, homosexuals, Jews, Latinos, or mental defectives."

  6. Feminist dogma riddled with hypocrisy? The hell you say...
    Personal accountability requires congruence of ideology and action; such things tend to elude feminists.