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Oxford Union: This House Believes That We Are All Feminists – #6/8 – Edwina Currie – Against


Edwina Currie begins by honoring Camila Batmanghelidh for the work that she does with children, following this she talks about the days when she was at Oxford and the ridiculous rules that were imposed saying that only boy was allowing in a girl room overnight as long as she paid for extra linin. Two boys were only allowing in the room at one time meaning that when her family came to visit her boyfriend had to stand outside whilst her father and brother were in the room.

She says she disagrees with feminism on two counts both cultural and practical. On the cultural side there is a part of feminism that hates men and this is disagreeable in Edwina’s opinion. Also there is the theory that women should be equal to men in every way shape and form, which denigrates and diminishes the life experience and history of most women. Feminists often take the view that women who make other choices away from their own ideals of feminism are making the wrong choices. The choice between home and career is the one that comes up the most and she says her mother’s generation chose home whereas her daughter’s generation choose career. As a mother herself she says that the most wonderful thing a woman can do is hold her own baby in her arms.

On the practical side she says that Feminism makes victims of women always suggesting that men are constantly beating them down. When special measures are in place to promote women in the workplace quite often this sets women up to fail as the pressure on men to do this often leads to the promotion of people who are simply not good enough. The UK has had one woman Prime Minister who was not a feminist as she made her way through the system not once complaining that men hold her back and when Margaret Thatcher saw an opportunity to go into leadership she took it. The labour party had 81 female MP’s and when the opportunity came to lead the party only one woman, Diane Abbott, stepped forward. Edwina concludes by saying that to all the women that you need the education, skills, single-mindedness and most of all courage to achieve what you want.

Filmed on Thursday 14th February 2013


Former Conservative MP & Junior Minister; broadcaster & novelist.

The Union is the world’s most prestigious debating society, with an unparalleled reputation for bringing international guests and speakers to Oxford. It has been established for 189 years, aiming to promote debate and discussion not just in Oxford University, but across the globe.

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