“Feminist zealots want women to have their cake and eat it”: Women hit back at MP Philip Davies anti-feminist speech

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Amy Lewis

Women are taking to social media to hit back at a Conservative politician following a misogynistic speech he delivered for an anti-feminist party.

Philip Davis MP presented the talk at a conference hosted by party Justice for Men and Boys (J4MB). In it, the MP for Shipley called for "politically correct males" to stop "pandering to the nonsense" of campaigners for female equality.

Davies clarified his position on gender inequality (issues like the pay gap don’t really exist, by the way) and stressed the need for people to focus on what really matters; the way women are apparently treated more favourably than men in the justice system.

Davies cited moves to increase the number of women who sit on the boards of companies, and female representation in Parliament, as examples of an "equality when it suits them" agenda.

Delivered last month at the 2016 International Conference on Men’s Issues (ICMI), held at London’s Excel centre, Davies opened his 45-minute speech (which was picked up by The Guardian today) with the following:

“I want to be very clear that I don’t believe there is actually an issue between men and women. I think the problem is being stirred by those. . .militant feminists and the politically correct males who pander to this nonsense.”

The MP, who also sits on the Commons Justice Committee, went on to note: “In this day and age the feminist zealots really do want women to have their cake and eat it.”

Naturally, his comments have sparked some feedback on Twitter.

The bulk of Davies' speech (which you can watch below) focuses on the "justice gender gap", and sees him lay out the ways in which he believes the British judicial system discriminates against men.

Among his many facts and figures, he volunteers differences in prison uniforms as the clearest of examples proving that the legal system is skewed in favour of women.

He also denounces the way in which we "zealots" demand "so-called equality" at the same time as pushing for "special protections and treatment", suggesting that the protection of women’s safety  - within a society where 45% of women have experienced some form of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking, and at least 80,000 women suffer rape every year - is at odds with calls for equal rights and opportunities.

Philip Davies MP

The conference hosted 20 speakers in total, some of which, The Guardian reports, included “anti-feminist bloggers who have likened the activist Malala Yousafzai to Osama bin Laden and called single mothers 'bona fide idiots'.”

The J4MB party  takes pride in dishing out rewards such as ‘Lying Feminist of the Month’, ‘Gormless Feminist of the Month’, ‘Toxic Feminist of the Month’ and ‘Whiny Feminist of the Month’ - but Davis has said that his appearance at the ICMI does not necessarily mean he subscribes to the party's values.

The party is also known to promote dangerous and controversial material such as Janet Bloomfield's article on 13 Reasons Why Women Lie About Rape (which cites mental illness, revenge and attention as supposed explanations). Bloomfield was banned from Twitter for creating the trolling hashtag #WomenAgainstFeminism.


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Amy Lewis

Amy Lewis is a freelance writer and editor, a lover of strong tea, equally strong eyebrows, a collector of facial oils and a cat meme enthusiast. She covers everything from beauty and fashion to feminism and travel.

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