Razer's Class Warfare

Apr 24, 2018

Razer: feminism doesn’t mean we have to be nice about Barbara Bush

A major Western feminist movement honouring the memory of Barbara Bush represents a critical failure of reason.

Helen Razer — Writer and broadcaster

Helen Razer

Writer and broadcaster

Barbara Bush is dead at 92 and to her family and obituarists, the former First Lady’s end was a reasonable concern. We could argue that concern expressed for this death by a major Western feminist movement  was unreasonable. But to make this case, we must agree from the outset that major Western feminist organisations can produce true reason. This would be, to use the cant of major Western feminist organisations, “problematic”.

Major Western feminist movements have become unreasonable. And, no, this is not due to woman’s perceived unreason, a truly lethal deceit. No, no. When believed in the middle-ages, this falsehood produced genocide. Falsehood can do that. Cf. Mrs Bush’s husband swearing that Iraq posed a threat to Saudi, or Mrs Bush’s son swearing that all this Weapons of Mass Destruction stuff was totally true.

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16 comments

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16 thoughts on “Razer: feminism doesn’t mean we have to be nice about Barbara Bush

  1. Ruv Draba

    Helen, whatever our frequent disagreements, at times I have unreserved admiration for your lambasting of cynical hypocrisies.

    I think you’re right in principle and particular that whatever the continuing value of feminism, it can only be realised in some context of ungendered humanism (not your words: my take of a key point you’ve often made.) We might differ on the particulars as to how that can be realised, but agree violently that whenever some ideology selectively ignores fundamental human dignity, it descends into tribal hypocrisy.

    It may also be true that an ideology which starts well-intended can become bigoted by its language and underlying ontology — the way it divides the world. I can’t say whether feminism has descended into that, is descending into that, or is just misrepresented by a vocal, self-interested, narrow-minded minority… but I never really understand what limits there are on the scope of feminism in the first place. Yet it’s right to skewer the symbolic that ignores the practical and urgent. Whatever appellations were accorded her in life, for better or worse, Mrs Bush’s public contributions extend beyond those of a gendered mouthpiece.

  2. Arky

    Yay gross generalisations about feminist organisations. Can we leave this kind of shit to the kind of men who use the word “feminazi” and actually mean it, please?

  3. [email protected]

    https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/editorials/windrush-generation-theresa-may-amber-rudd-voting-rights-id-jeremy-corbyn-a8316926.html And last week Julia Gillard stood shoulder to shoulder with Amber Rudd and Theresa May over this racist scandal and went on and on gushingly about shared values.

    She was of course correct, Rudd and May do share Gillard’s racist values but that is not a thing to boast about.

    As for Barbara Bush, she was a vicious old freak show who spawned the ignoramus George W.

    1. GF50

      Please stop with the Julia Gillard is responsible for all the ills of the world! Wrong and tiresome.

      1. [email protected]

        Please stop supporting Gillard as if she was some saviour of the world, she and Amber Rudd are a good match, both racist and cruel.

  4. AR

    A very confronting view MzRaz for which you are unlikely to be thanked by the sorority.
    How the Right must laugh watching the Other continuously dividing like amoebas but, alas never developing, just splitting further into the bottomless swamp of identity exclusionism.

  5. Tom Jones

    Well I guess excoriating critiques of feminism tied to a fact light article on Barbara Bush who was never seen as a feminist icon but a power behind the throne kind of women. But that wouldn’t have addressed your particular obsession of tedious point scoring against other women whose comments about Barbara Bush were far less reported than those of the rest of her family. Was she a bully who pushed her husband and son to dastardly deeds? Now that could have been interesting.

  6. Andrea

    Saying Julia Gillard is not responsible for all the ills of the world is not the same as saying she was the saviour of the world. I agree GF50.

  7. Andrea

    Saying Julia Gillard is not responsible for all the ills of the world is not the same as saying she was the saviour of the world. I agree GF50.

  8. kyle Hargraves

    It isn’t clear, at least not to me, as to whether Ms Razer deems Ms B. Bush to be a “feminist” or otherwise. A criterion (or indeed criteria) for feminism vis is vis Ms Razer’s perspective would be of considerable assistance in this respect.

    However, Why don’t we take matters a step at a time. The “Womens’ March” (and not Women’s March) was an idiotic display of anti-Trump-ism. The participants were (in the main) up-market Democrats with kids in expensive day-care centres and held professional or semi-professional positions (and Anglo-Celtic to boot). The composition was NOT representative of women (per se) as American citizens or even elsewhere. One might say that Barbara Bush was “over represented” by the Womens’ March. That any number of women DID vote for Trump rather undermined the programme. The assertion that Trump is supported by red-neck males (only) was discredited weeks after such rags as The Guardian “hawked” the “polls being wrong”

    As for “feminism” what does the word mean? Germane Greer requires a police escort if she is to speak at a university campus. Perhaps Susan Sontag had it
    right (in 1975) : “feminism is a rather simple minded approach to complex problems”. The reforms that occurred for women from the early 70s (equal pay,
    not being obliged to resign from the Public Service (Oz/NZ) upon marriage etc. and copious other examples may well have occurred anyway. Northern Europe
    and Scandinavia have had no strong theme of “feminism” but have had equal relations prior to WWII; ditto for the Communists under Stalin and Mao incidentally.

    As to “perceptions” (of the press) we only have to consider the 180 degree event by the press over the death of Princess Di. A few days prior to the accident she was considered, universally, as an interfering ignoramus. The following day : well – read for yourself.

    Interesting to note to that Di did not leave 1d (much less a quid)
    to any of her charities. The estate of Ms B. Bush, I suspect, will be bereift of any tangable assistance to her charities.

    For what it is worth I disagree on the first point by AR but could not agree more on the second point.

    1. AR

      I still have difficulty grasping that a majority of women with college (?) education voted for the Drumpfster.
      My theory is loathing of la Klingon.

      1. kyle Hargraves

        Quite so! Where possible I travel in other countries as one of the impoverished but I dine as one of the hoi-poili. This strategy permits me to encounter “both sides” as it were (and without the obligations).

        Traveling on MegaBus from Austin to New Orleans I sat with a group of females (upper deck at the front), mostly dark, in their early to mid 20s. One or two were graduates of U.MS
        and other state universities. Asking what they thought of Hillary really set them off – and it wasn’t flattering to Hillary. They also didn’t care for Bernie being air-brushed by his own party. Keeping the story short yet recounting – when a group of guys in an upmarket Manhattan restaurant reiterated the sentiments of a bus driver in Montgomery (conveyed to me at 3am) I KNEW Trump would win. All up I collected $2+ grand from about 20 or 25 bets although some took a year to pay up – thinking that Trump would not last the year.

        Lastly, Trump has “real” support – despite every attempt to undermine him (including his own attempts!). In very large measure Trump is something of a bastion for alt-Right – whatever the man in the street takes that caption to mean. If Trump comes good on Korea or Kurdistan or China then, despite his self-confessed tendency to grope, [the voting women being only too aware of this tendency] he may come to be remembered as the President of the century. Time (as always) will tell.

        1. Jim Egan

          Love it Kyle, you must have lot of spare time to keep educating the Razer (AKA Buxom Midnight). Generalizations about feminist women are fraught with contradictions. I don’t know Barbara Bush from Barbie, but Bush senior was half sensible whereas Bush jnr was clearly the mental runt of the litter (with slightly more energy than Jeb).

          Germaine is a case in point. Famously photographed as a liberated raunch in the 60’s and early 70’s (my old NUS mag had Germaine full frontal with her legs behind her head – which beats the hell out Razers mascara misadventures), Germaine reputedly copulated with all the males at Sydney University except Clive James (he can’t remember that now).

          Now Germaine sleeps with her pooches (at the end of the bed), and gives fashion advice to younger women including Julia Gillard, while showing signs of madness by adopting Indigenous feminist ‘culture’ whilst endorsing female genital mutilation as a form of cultural expression. Long way from the Female Eunuch hey folks??

          1. kyle Hargraves

            “you must have lot of spare time to keep educating the Razer (AKA Buxom Midnight)”

            Not a lot of spare time Jim but I have undertaken a shit-load of reading over the decades. Lucky for me I can recall a good deal of what I read. To my astonishment, this evening, I recalled some of the references that Edward Said appealed to in his book “Orientalism” for a post on another matter. The article in question was rather mediocre.

            I also had the very good fortune, as a young and impressionable innocent coming to Australia (from provincial NZ) to meet some guys (rather older than I) who had been either members or associates of the Sydney Push – which proved to be a first class introduction to Australian politics (for a young lad).

    2. Andrea

      I don’t think a feminist movement should be ‘vale-ing’ Barbara Bush. She’s not a feminist icon, she’s a woman who had a powerful hubby and a powerful son but lets not identify and individual woman purely in relation to the men in her life. As for her dumb comments, she wasn’t in elected office and shouldn’t be held to account the way people who choose to be in the public eye are. Kyle, why was the womens march “idiotic”? Are white middle class women not allowed to protest misogyny? And what has Germaine Greer got to do with Princess Di got to do with Barbara Bush aside from all being female? The latter two are not feminist icons, and Germaine is a unique individual who has always been controversial but has contributed a lot to feminist thought. What does feminism mean you ask – it is a movement towards equality of men and women and away from discrimination based on sex. Of course there are a lot of different perspectives on what this looks like and how it is to be achieved as there are lots of different women around the world but I don’t think that devalues it.

      1. kyle Hargraves

        Kyle, why was the womens march “idiotic”?

        What did it achieve Andrea? Did the processions, around the world, effect one item of Trump policy (then or now)? Who remembers it? Ask the next women in a queue at Coles as to what it was about.

        “Are white middle class women not allowed to protest misogyny?”
        I made no such inference. I did (for the second time) point out that the Womens’ March was anything but representative and the organiser and media inference was that it was representative.

        “And what has Germaine Greer got to do with Princess Di got to do with Barbara Bush aside from all being female?”

        If you wish me to explain the point then I will but I’d prefer you to identify the links for yourself (you seem more than up to it)!

        “and Germaine is a unique individual who has always been controversial but has contributed a lot to feminist thought.”

        regarding your former question (and the absence of a definition from Ms Razer) you are more than half way there in regard to the/your previous question.

        “What does feminism mean you ask – it is a movement towards equality of men and women and away from discrimination based on sex. Of course there are a lot of different perspectives on what this looks like and how it is to be achieved as there are lots of different women around the world but I don’t think that devalues it”

        “devalues”? Who is “de-valuing” – I’d prefer ‘undermining’ as a verb) your assertion? Yes – the ideal if fine but (some/many? of) the perspectives are contradictory (even within feminist literature) which frustrates feminism being a body of coherent philosophy or ideology such as empiricism for example. As pointed out the 2nd para. of AR refers.

        Incorporating your definition? the late Ms Bush seems to be across the line with a (C) pass.

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