I like Matthew Parris; I like a lot of his work even if I don’t always agree with him. He has got a bit obsessive over the Brexit decision which I can only think has tainted his usual intelligence and empathy. Or else feminism really has got an awful lot of work to do. It is worrying for women if a ‘liberal minded’ man of considerable intellect has failed to grasp even the basics of feminism. His particular complaint aired on the Today programme this morning is that there has been too much media coverage of women and women’s issues and many men like him are beginning to feel victimised. This is astonishing and particularly disappointing at a time when women are celebrating 100 years of having the vote. And to talk of being victimised in the light of readily available statistics showing that women are still murdered by their partners or ex partners at the rate of two a week, domestic violence is rife as is rape and sexual harassment – is frankly narcissistic as well as disrespectful.
The Lib Dem MP Jo Swinson did all women proud with some brilliant responses to Matthew Parris’s complaints. So engrained is our masculine bias in all things cultural that when women dominate any platform even once, it feels strange and can provoke cries of ‘unfair’ from men. But it is women now who are saying they are fed up with the years of domination everywhere and in many forms by men. It is not a coincidence that Today has a female editor, Sarah Sands and her touch on the programme’s content is evident and welcome. I know that many men are threatened by the increasing independence and voice of women but I would never have counted Matthew Parris as one of them. We are only seeing the tip of the iceberg, so Matthew hang on to your hat, there is a lot more to come.