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Mirror Propaganda

Natacha Kennedy’s recent article in Open Democracy really is a peach – there’s so much to like in it, particularly the term “mirror propaganda” which is used to describe a movement that is threatening men who just want to live their lives. It very successfully evokes that sense of being right through the looking glass.

This is fine investigative journalism exposing the “core strategy” of groups of women who in recent years have started to meet more frequently to discuss the issues that affect us and the education of our children. Kennedy calls this meeting of female minds “transphobia”, but people are often confused by what this means. I’ve even heard it said that “everything is transphobic”. So, in the interests of clarity, I prefer to call it “concern about the erosion of women’s rights, loss of our words and the safeguarding of children”.

The masterful strategy revealed by Kennedy is that women are holding very small meetings in draughty venues, and when these meetings are protested, we claim we’re being silenced.

This is obviously nonsense. We never choose draughty venues – Kennedy has forgotten about all that right-wing evangelical funding. No church halls for us, Natacha, we prefer upmarket hotels, and I can now reveal for the first time on a public platform that we always order a case of Bolly for later.

It’s great to know that the strategy is working, though. Let’s face it, there would be no story in women meeting if it wasn’t for the men’s rights activists who protest our meetings. We like it best when they turn up in black bloc gear with balaclavas and threaten us – the pictures are far more newsworthy. We have even managed to bring a court case when a woman was attacked. But just being silent and menacing works quite well, too.

The stranglehold of women over mainstream media won’t come as a surprise to anyone, of course. All those male journalists? They only ever report what women want them to. But – and tell me this isn’t deliciously clever – we’ve made sure that the sports pages are focussed almost exclusively on men’s sports. Even better, we’ve put them at the back of the paper so that men will forget that all the news they’ve just read was focused on women.

The “faux silencing” of female journalists has worked really well, too. Obviously, it wouldn’t be in our interests if they were actually silenced, so we secured Janice Turner’s position by taking over The Times. When the idea of a fifth column was signed off, we told the editors it was a new feature on weaving, so nobody read the proposal. Anyway, Suzanne Moore’s exit from The Guardian generated excellent interest and allowed us to colonise the Telegraph too.

Jenni Murray almost blew the gaff at Woman’s Hour, though. She was repeatedly told not to be such a strong voice, and in the end, we had to retire her. Shame really. She was very popular with some of the vintage women.

Obviously, men’s rights activists have never accused women of genocide, or invoked the Nazis. They’ve never suggested that women defending our rights are in any way similar to the way Nazi Germany treated the Jews or the Rwandan genocide and slaughter of children. So it is disappointing to see Kennedy referring to these events even though I’m sure it was only done to give a bit of historical context.

We’ve clearly been rumbled though, and it would be churlish to demand evidence to support Kennedy’s statement of the numerous connections that make right-wing evangelical organisations, ‘gender-critical’ groups, and mainstream media practically indistinguishable. The absolute certainty with which Kennedy claims that the modus operandi of these groups align is all the proof that is needed. Indeed, demands for supporting documentation or a list of these things could only be an admission that the charges are all true.

And Kennedy is absolutely right. It must be simply infuriating that women continue to present a façade of being nice, middle-class, respectable people when LiTerAlLy EVeRyoNe knows we are extreme right-wing “mirror progpagandists”.

This article in The Times gives more information on the amazing work of Natasha Kennedy.



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