Many have been shocked this month by the wall of silence from feminists in regards to the crimes committed by men in Cologne. For people forever keen to wail in disgust at such appalling transgressions as pink razors, wolf whistles, being complimented on having lost weight, having their knee touched by a DJ in 1967 and other such ‘everyday sexism’, you’d think feminists would be the first to speak out about women being groped, molested and assaulted in public.
We’ve been shocked, but not surprised. That the culprits were mostly of North African descent precludes any honest discussion among ‘progressives’ for fear of being deemed racist. The Swedish police hushed up similar events for the same reason: better to ignore or hide unhelpful or dangerous facts than to discuss the truth. Cowardice and evasion are par for the course when it comes to the liberal left these days, who are far more concerned with their public standing as caring ‘Good People’ – in contradistinction to conservatives, who are deemed selfish ‘Bad People’. I salute the courage of anyone who moves in polite North London circles who uttered this month: ‘You know? I think it’s because North Africans are culturally backwards when it comes to women. I don’t think Islam helps, either.’
Then there is a desperate desire among the modern left to abide by the creed of ‘white male privilege’. What happened in Cologne doesn’t fit into this ideology – being neither white nor privileged – hence the contorted attempt to rationalise the incidents. It must be media invention. Or something to do with the legacy of colonialism. The perpetrators are men foremost, and race and religion are of secondary importance, relevant only to the awful white xenophobes on Twitter luxuriating in all their privilege. This is what happens when people mentally imprison themselves in ideology.
How did feminism become so insular and deceitful, and progressives so craven and cowardly? We should blame the 1960s, when the ‘personal became the political’. Not forgiving, metaphorically, the French workers refusing to open their factory doors in solidarity to the rioting students of 1968, the modern left started to become ever-more detached from the working class, fulfilling instead the libertine dream of ‘self realisation’. Later seduced by myopic identity politics, so-called progressives have become increasingly preening and self-consumed. Believe it or not, there was a time when feminists wanting to make a point didn’t feel the need to take all their clothes off in public. There was also an era when people who campaigned for equality weren’t all brittle-minded, middle-class cry-babies. Feminists used to see themselves as active subjects engaged with the outside world, not insular, helpless objects of the power from without.
Once the left spoke of ‘producers’, now it speaks up for ethical ‘consumer rights’ and ‘personal choice’. Once the Labour Party was the party for the workers, now it speaks from above on behalf of people on benefits. As much as the Corbynistas and the Labour right protest at their differences, both marshal support from the liberal bourgeoisie who see in voting Labour a means to discharge guilt for being rich. Labour is a Whig party now in all but name. Feminism is as middle-class as the Suffragette movement. So don’t expect any honesty about Cologne from these haughty, detached ‘progressives’.