Elizabeth Hobson Rebutting "Decolonizing the Wave: Black Feminism"
Elizabeth Hobson (Libertarianism)
LaLa Drew (Progressivism)
Over a period of ten days in March 2013, Joanna Dennehy stabbed three men to death and knifed two more who survived her assaults. Her first and third victims (Lukasz Slaboszewski and Kevin Lee) were lured to their deaths with the promise of sex. John Chapman, victim number two, was her housemate. After killing Kevin Lee, she called an accomplice and sang Britney Spears’ “Oops, I Did It Again”. During the hunt for her final two victims, the estranged mother of two told another accomplice that “I’ve killed three people; Gary’s helped me dispose of them and I want to do some more. I want my fun”. She later told a psychiatrist that she "killed to see how I would feel, to see if I was as cold as I thought I was. Then it got more-ish.”
I assert that this woman’s mentality was by no means rare and that it is appropriate to hold up her actions as emblematic of female nature. Female aggression has never been dismantled – in fact, in searching for heinous stories about crimes committed by women, I struggled to find any critical analysis of why women may aggress (outside of Patricia Pearson’s When She was Bad). Instead, I found a consistent propensity within our culture to deny women’s agency, ignore the innate psychology of individual women or any evidence that violence can be an inherent trait in women, and to insist on a quaint contention that ultimately all female aggression has a male source. So, I shall assert – again without evidence or even argument – that women’s deep well of violent malevolence is still pervasive today.
Comfortable? I certainly hope not. What I have hoped to show above is how absurd and invalid it is to generalise about an entire sex based on the vile actions of a single individual. I find that human beings are all too ready to believe the worst about men and will ignore intellectual explanations that discredit their arguments and reinforce the idea of masculine moral deficiency. A more effective method of highlighting the weakness of such arguments is to apply equivalent logic to any other group. Of course Dennehy is an aberration, as I believe was the ‘friend of Columbus’ who acted so cruelly.
I concede that the first two waves of feminism were predominantly white (with the first wave in the U.S. very much characterised by racist exclusion) – but the idea that tracing the history of the movement back to “when white women decided to stand up for themselves” is a white supremacist act is a paranoid delusion. The name can be traced back to revolutionary France and the movement, at the very least as associated with the name, is identified with roots in majority white countries. Furthermore, if it’s true that the movement started, as asserted, “after gaining inspiration from egalitarian Indigenous community structures” – surely it follows that feminism (as a resistance movement against sexism) would have a white history?
I agree with the observation that the Third Wave Feminism is distinct for its’ inclusion of people of colour and their experiences and that that’s a positive development. It’s a shame, however, that Third Wave feminists can’t examine the susceptibility of their movement of being blind to, minimising, or even showing hostility towards the sexism that affects certain demographics. Realise that this is exactly what feminists have always, and continue, to display, with regards to men, male disadvantage, and experience.
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