I was invited to be a guest speaker at an all ladies luncheon club on the subject of – you’ve guessed it – “Feminism” – well, actually, “Feminism and its impact on men”.
I’ve done this sort of thing before, talking to an all female audience, and kicked off as I have kicked off before by stating clearly that, if they were hoping I was feeling intimidated, they were going to be seriously disappointed.
Why should I, a man, feel intimidated by a bunch of women said I, when I was secure in the knowledge that I was not only equal to all of them but superior to most.
It was an utterly crass thing to say but said quite deliberately and it got the expected reaction. When the mixture of gasps and angry whispers had faded, I pointed out that I did not believe for one second that what I had just said was true but it was the claim men continually face from feminists.
However, the point in writing this piece is not to comment on what I said but rather what one particular lady said when we were chatting afterwards.
She said she liked my address and had immediately recognised that my opening comments were a wind up.
She went on to ask if I realised that actually I was a feminist, basing this on the fact that I told my audience that I most certainly believed in equal pay for a woman doing the same job as men and of course they should be able to vote. To believe otherwise is ridiculous.
“But you know, full equality is more a state of mind than an achievable goal” she said. “Modern feminists seem envious of men and want everything that men have and do whatever men do, whereas men are not envious of anything we have and there is nothing that we do that they want to emulate and this is a strength men have that we do not”.
She was called away to meet someone so I could not pursue this fascinating comment but actually went outside and made a note of what she had said before I forgot it.
It is still one of the most interesting things I’ve heard from either side in the ongoing debate on feminism.