George Walford: Women are People

History falls short on political correctness, it shows that domination is not peculiar to men. Catherine the Great, Elizabeth I, Boudicca, Mrs. Gandhi, Mrs. Bandaranaike and Our Lady of Grantham all behaved in much the same way as men holding similar positions. So do women teachers, murderesses, wardresses, judges, chairs and police-women, so do Edith Cresson and the present head of MI5, and so did the women guards in the Nazi death-camps, including the one who followed the delicate feminine craft of making lamp-shades – from human skin. The boys who grow up to become dominant males spend their earliest and most impressionable years under the domination mainly of women.

The idea of women as soft, gentle creatures, incapable of the damage that men do, comes uncomfortably close to the patronising and offensive ‘little woman’ syndrome. A woman has said: “After 12 years in the Left / Anarchist / Feminist milieu, I have come to realize that it is the men who most loudly condemn pornography and sexism who treat the women they know with the most contempt.” [2]

Women, like men, are best understood as human beings, with a full human range of potentiality both for good and ill, for kindness and for cruelty, for submission and for domination. Women are people, and whether people behave in dominating or egalitarian ways depends less on their sex than on their ideology.

[1] Observer 1 March [missing in original]
[2] I, Claudia, Feminism Unveiled quoted in Demolition Derby 2, p. 14.

from Ideological Commentary 56, May 1992.