I am deeply humbled by winning the prestigious award for Feminist of the Year 2016, while not as respectable as Bono winning Woman of the Year 2016, nevertheless this prize will sit with pride on my mantelpiece and in my heart. My fellow two contenders also deserve a mention – Hilary Clinton and Emma Watson, I could not have won without their truly pathetic attempts to further the cause of the Sisterhood. Hilary's “all women should vote for me because I'm a woman” was insulting beyond words, silencing rather than empowering women in the political sphere. And Emma's attempts to spread feminism by leaving the odd book on the London underground is bordering on the absurd. I'm sure the three people impacted by her sterling efforts will go on to change the world.
But I'm not here to deride those who have lost any further. Feminism in 2016 and moving into 2017 faces challenges unlike any other time. These challenges can be summed up in one word and that word is not “Trump”. He is a sideshow, a distraction from the obvious challenge we must all face up to - the battleground for feminism in 2017 is that of consistency.
I am not talking about consistency of action. Whatever the issue, our response in creating internet petitions, calling for resignations and generally heaping scorn on “opponents” seems aligned across all branches of feminism. My concern is with the intellectually consistency of feminism, that is, how well it holds up against its own standards. Consistency is a fundamental part of believability. Human beings, as a general rule, do not hold two mutually inconsistent views. For feminism to survive for more than a few generations it needs to find an intellectual consistency it currently lacks. Consider the following four issues: