Gynarchy is not feminism. (But hurrah for feminism)

The recent UK election was in many ways an amazing night for Women. Quite apart from returning the highest ever number of Female MPs, the British public decided that several high profile male politicians should be put to the sword by little-known Women (notably douglas alexander by the 20-year old student Mhairi Black, who becomes the youngest MP since 1677). And following the resignations of Messrs. Clegg, Farage and Miliband as leaders of their parties, five of the six major British political parties currently have Female leaders, albeit in a caretaker capacity in three cases.

All of this is likely to be welcome to readers of this blog, and to many others besides. But Female victory and progressive policies of benefit to Women (and in line with the feminist agenda) do not necessarily come together. Britain learned this lesson in the Thatcher years, and it has been demonstrated time and time again since then.

Nicola Sturgeon, Natalie Bennett and Lianne Wood celebrate after the TV debate of 17 April. ed miliband looks on. ed lost the election and his job; all three Women were triumphant.

This all reflects a deeper point. Feminism is about equality; Gynarchy is not. We might all enjoy a Female victory at an election, because we need more Women MPs; because we think it will help do something about glass ceilings; because it says something positive about our society. And because it shows that men are more and more willing to vote for Women to govern them. i presume anyone with a desire for Gynarchy also firmly supports the Feminist agenda, but Gynarchy is not Feminism. Feminists are perfectly aware aware of that, of course (if they are aware of Gynarchy at all) but so should we be.

There are plenty of dreadful things going on in the world that specifically affect Women (Isis; FGM; the backlash against reproductive rights), and plenty that affect everyone equally. But these are separate issues; Gynarchy is about creating a new model; it will demonstrate what can be done, and what is available to those who look for it, but it does not begin to address any of these other problems. We should be fighting on both fronts.


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