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Hashtag feminism: radical or banal?


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Today’s feminism seems a far cry from its historic roots. Feminists now cheer when Twitter trolls are imprisoned for online abuse. Some seek to ban allegedly sexist pop songs and lads mags. These censorious demands seem at odds with Germaine Greer’s assertion in The Female Eunuch that ‘freedom is fragile and must be protected. To sacrifice it, even as a temporary measure, is to betray it.’ Filmed at the Battle of Ideas Festival, this debate raises some big questions, not least are there really still obstacles to women making it as equals in the world of work today? The panel seems to think so, but audience members are not entirely convinced. After all major companies are now hosting women’s networks, policing male behaviour, providing lengthy maternity and paternity leave and more. Is there still a battle to win for women, what do you think?

Battle of Ideas session details

Related topics: Debates

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Priya said:

thank you for sharing that recording. So many relevant ideas were expressed in it, although here in India we are yet to achieve many of those ‘victories’ for women in employment, our status in the family or in fighting the intrinsic misogyny in Indian society. I am all for hash tag feminism. It is unifying, it is enabling more widespread debate among men and women. It is enabling me to speak out more about the things that happen on a daily basis that weaken me as woman or strengthen me as a woman and connecting me to other women’s struggles and victories. Struggles that were not spoken out loud by my mother and many more women of her generation for fear of not fitting that patriarchal ideal of being that ‘perfect’ Indian woman.

Joan G said:

Thanks for sharing. Good to have ample time for audience comment. Changes to gendered roles has been the single most significant development in the second part of the twentieth century. Naturally when a movement blossoms there will be a thousand perspectives, this is a sign of life. Sure there’s a long way to go, but one good way of realizing just how far things have come is to look back at how things were for women in the early-to-mid-twentieth century.

Families or care at the centre of social policy – touche from me.

Jennie said:

Yes it is good and well worth a watch/listen. I think the two women in the audience who question the idea that women can’t make it in the workplace today are right. I think we are in danger these days of being our own worst enemies on the one hand being victims and screaming about lads mags and being vulnerable and on the other hand expecting to get to the top. It’s a contradiction surely?

keepthepeace said:

Agree great debate and panel well filmed too, so thank you worldbytes people, iI thought the unconcious bias issue would come up as it is something that intrigues me and i’m told is what stops more women making it in high places.

Sandra said:

Brilliant! I think maybe the chair’s efforts to get the censorship and bans discussed which seems to be a major activity by women’s rights campaigners now didn’t really get addressed and the speakers got away with a bit on this. Am not sure about the women in work issue.

linton Q said:

Great debate although I think it should have concentrated on what these apparant obstacles to women being equal today really amount to. At the risk of being jumped on as a man I really can’t see what the problems are now, lack of childcare for example if that is the issue is bad for men as well for example.