By Alissandra De Freitas Teixeira
Disclaimer: If you are right wing and a feminist, disregard everything you are about to read.
Stepping onto a campus where male students actively refer to themselves as feminists is refreshing, to say the least. By no means am I purposely trying to shame the University of Nottingham (actually, maybe just a little) but the boys back home could learn a thing or twenty. Now the question that keeps me up at night, alongside the never-ending presentations that just keep coming, is why? The answer appears to be simple; the increase in a feminist ideology amongst male Sciences Po students can only be a result of the university’s left wing nature.
Speaking from personal experience, I’m pretty certain most Conservatives have my number saved as “feminazi.” Poor banter on their behalf, but then again, what can you expect from a rugby lad? The question is not so much whether feminism is compatible with conservatism, for it is. Rather, a relatively large fraction of right-wing boys who attended public school have been brainwashed by this “lad culture” phenomenon. What exactly is lad culture? It’s misogyny played off as a bit of banter. Sexist chants, ‘go make me a sandwich’ jokes, and an inadvertent sense of superiority. If I got a euro for every time I heard that sentence: “but it’s just a joke,” I could fund all abortions in America if Planned Parenthood was not a thing.
With over 45,000 students, Nottingham is too big a university to share one common ideology. However, I can confirm that those who roll their eyes at the word ‘feminism’ are white male Tories. Now, before you step off your pedestal and shake the silver spoon you found wedged in your mouth at me, I concede that not every Conservative is problematic. Am I trying to say that every male Tory hates feminism? No, that would be a mistaken association fallacy. It just so happens that those who hate feminism and practice lad culture happen to be Conservatives.
The clear presence of a socialist agenda at Sciences Po therefore allows for the interpretation that ideology has a part to play when considering the importance of feminism. It is indisputable that left wing politics better understands the presence of economic disparities in present day society; perhaps it also has a greater grasp of gender inequalities as well. The adherence to feminism as an ideology derives from an understanding that we are a long way away from achieving parity between the sexes. The right side of the political spectrum exhibits an almost utopian view on western society, where the trickle down effect works and gender inequalities are a myth.
In conclusion, if Reims nightlife were better I would never return to Nottingham. The intellectual wave of feminism that encompasses this tight-knit community you call a university is most certainly enigmatic, but welcome. The lack of a right-wing presence, surrounded by seas of socialism has enlightened me to fact that left-wing ideology most certainly breeds male feminists. Resulting from a more realistic grasp of societal inequality, those who position themselves on the left side of the political spectrum are more likely to call themselves feminists.
Alissandra De Freitas Teixeira is an exchange student from the University of Nottingham. Loves Macron and Macaroons almost as much as being called a feminazi. Feminista says what? runs the third Thursday of every month.
Image Credits: “Women’s Rights Symbol” https://www.socialistalternative.org/2013/09/08/liberal-feminism-vs-socialist-feminism/#prettyPhoto