Object Respond

My recent blog post, Feminists Or Fascists?, generated a lot of interest, sharing, blog comments, and discussion elsewhere. The blog looked at British anti-sex groups that refer to themselves as feminist, specifically mentioning the groups Object and UK Feminista.

Like most political bloggers, I obviously have my own opinions, and make no attempt to hide them. Impartiality in reporting is for news organisations, not individuals; I make no claim to be impartial. However, I do my best to honest and fair. If I had to lie to make my point, my point wouldn’t be worth making. So in my criticism of these groups, I did research, and in particular looked at their own web sites. I also carried out extensive interviews with women under attack by these groups, the first two of which were included in my podcast Strippers Are People Too.

As well as a lot of useful feedback and discussion, including from people with direct knowledge of the Hackney and Tower Hamlets campaigns against closing strip venues, I’ve had feedback from two people who strongly disagree with the points I’ve made. In the interest of fairness and balance, here are the relevant conversations in full.

Conversation 1, on my Facebook page:

[I post a link to the blog post, “Feminists Or Fascists?”]

Jackie M: What a load of ill-informed bullshit.

MoronWatch: Jackie, are there specific inaccuracies? Can you provide 1-2 glaring examples?

[End of conversation]

Conversation 2, on the original blog post:

Anna: I am personally offended by this article. What a joke.

MoronWatch: Exactly how did this article offend you?

[End of conversation]

I’m pretty sure that these people are activists, but I should make clear that I can’t prove that. However, the nature of their argument matches the quality of what I’ve read elsewhere, including on the Object web site. These people have the ear of the mass media, who are incredibly accepting of their claims; they feel little need to state their views in an arena where they may be analysed.

This a call to supporters of Object and UK Feminista to articulate your views here and join the debate. Surely, given the vehemence of your positions, and your insistence that free sexuality is harmful to women, you must be capable of intelligently explaining your position. So please, be my guest.

Also a request to those on the other side of the debate: please refrain from personal attacks and insults. If Object have a position to put, listen to it and respond politely and intelligently. If the above comments are the best they can offer, they’ve clearly lost the debate (although not necessarily the battle to close London strip clubs – politics and reason are two different things).

11 thoughts on “Object Respond”

  1. The responses are disappointing, but it is my understanding that (at least in terms of Object), activist dissent from the organisations primary belief set is not encouraged. I do not believe that the activists have much experience in supporting their views in the face of counter argument. Therefore the most you can expect is the kind of ‘we have noticed you, but view you with utter contempt’ contributions that you received. Objects biggest weakness is that they never question their own views and as result have little to draw upon when questioned by others.

    I also think that in terms of the many postings that I have seen that are critical of Object, the propositions made are always written politely and intelligently. I only wish we had someone that felt able to respond and debate with us in a similar manner.

  2. I have had some run-ins with Object.

    I used to run a blog called Object watch – http://www.objectwatch.wordpress.com

    It was mainly supporters/friends of Object who hassled me there, particularly a man who later went on to set up Men Against Porn.

    I complained on twitter that Object ‘protect’ their tweets and do not allow people to follow them when they are in part, a charitably funded ‘public’ organisation. I threatened to tell their funders so they changed it!

    I am blocked on twitter by Uk_feminista for disagreeing with them.

    So your suggestion that these groups cannot hold a debate rings true to me.

  3. It would be useful and interesting to have a discussion about the nature of ‘Personal offense’ at some point. It has become as much a shield for the defense of vacuity as religion recently.. I consider it as useless a term as ‘Jealousy’ or ‘Guilt’..

  4. Feminist writer Cath Elliot was on BBC radio the other day as part of a campaign against lap dancing clubs in Norwich.

    She made the usual claims about clubs harming women in the surrounding area, sneered at the idea that some dancers could consider themselves feminists, and argued that their opinions don’t matter because individual choice is irrelevant compared with the good of “women as a class”. Disappointingly the “fair and balanced” Beeb didn’t have anyone else on to challenge her views.

    One claim she made a couple of times was that there’s evidence showing that strip clubs increase prostitution in the area around them. Don’t suppose anyone knows what evidence she’s referring to?

  5. Well, nearly a month has passed, and no member of Object has commented on this blog post; I think that sends a pretty clear message.

    For those of you who, like me, have noted that members of Object tend to use a ‘copy & paste’ approach on message boards, and in the comments sections of online articles and blogs, this link will probably interest you greatly:

    http://strippingtheillusion.blogspot.com/2012/02/objectionable-behaviour.html

    It would appear that Object hasn’t confined the ‘copy & paste’ approach to the Web: it has authored form letters of complaint for its supporters, and to judge by this piece, may even have been encouraging them to make false allegations to the police about striptease venues in Hackney.

Leave a Reply