Blue feminism is the latest Big Thing. We see women like Louise Mensch and Nadine Dorries strutting around proudly declaring themselves to be feminists, and discussion as to whether Margaret Thatcher was a feminist icon. Of course, the answer to the later is a resounding, echoing, unequivocal no; and Mensch and Dorries are about as feminist as pink Lego.
The brand of alleged feminism promulgated by these sorts has very little in common with feminism. For a good introduction to blue feminism, I would strongly recommend reading this deconstruction from Boudledidge: ultimately, feminism for the blue team equates to little more than “having a cunt and having a good job”.
This construction of feminism falls flat on the social justice front repeatedly. I was originally going to term it “probably having a cunt and having a good job”, but I realised fairly swiftly that the blue feminists appear silent on whether trans women are included in their construction of women. I suspect none of them have given these women a second thought.
The notion that career success is the ultimate goal of blue feminism is also woefully misguided and denotes a complete lack of consideration of any women but the most privileged. Having a successful career and becoming rich is only an option for those who are already in a position to pursue this course: for those who can afford the university degree, the unpaid labour of internship and the right connections in the first place. One can only pull oneself up by the bootstraps if one is wearing boots in the first place. Practicalities aside, it is also somewhat jarring that career success is seen as the goal rather than the ability for women to lead a fulfilling, happy life. What of the people who are not made happy by making a lot of money?
The focus of blue feminism taken in combination with the notion gaining traction is disastrous for social justice-driven feminism. There is a complete blindness to intersectionality, and to actually making things better for everyone. To the blue feminist, feminism is an individualistic quest towards getting rich and famous while kicking away the opposition. It is hardly feminism, a means of societal change: it is a mode of justification for the selfishness of the lucky few. Blue feminism is a problem, not a solution.
The way blue feminists talk of life is in terms of perpetually scrambling up a greasy pole until finally smashing your way through the glass ceiling with your Louboutin stiletto. All blue feminism will ever achieve will be the occasional leg-up to raise a person inches up the pole. In contrast, those of us who strive for social justice would prefer to see that greasy pole replaced with a nice wide staircase from which we can collectively smash the glass ceiling with hammers.
Blue feminism is system justification. Blue feminism is not a neutral force, but actively harmful for almost all but the already-privileged. Blue feminism is an idea that needs to die.