This term, Year 12 Politics pupils have been studying feminism, looking at the development of the ideology and the views of different ‘strands’ of feminism around five core principles: patriarchy, sex and gender, ‘personal is political’, intersectionalism and equality/difference feminism. Pupils are expected to understand and assess the views of several key thinkers, from Charlotte Perkins Gilman to Bell Hooks. In order to test their understanding and rationalisation of the key arguments, the History & Politics Department put forward a motion: ‘Feminism: the radicals were correct.’
Our Politics pupils prepared their arguments on this motion. Oscar Sadler, Greg Kennedy and Donya Bonakdar proposed the motion and spoke forcefully in favour of the need for radical approaches to solve society’s ills, and the benefits that the outspoken movement originating in the late 1960s has brought, especially in the area of sexual politics.
George Osmond, Amy McQueen, Theo Griffiths and Sam Bateman opposed the motion, focusing on the controversy that tends to surround more radical approaches and how this has harmed the feminist movement. Political lesbianism was one of the ideas and principles that was most roundly attacked. In addition, they focused on the positive outcomes brought about by liberal and intersectional feminists.
After a hotly contested debate chaired by Simon Davies, our independent adjudicator – Emily Hill – ruled against the motion which was, therefore, rejected.