Conservative feminism is to maturity what Femen is to attention-seeking troubled teenagers. Or so it seems, according to the accounts of Sara Giromin, the South American who has deserted the radical women’s movement she set up in Brazil in 2012 to give birth and walk in the way of wisdom.
The former left wing activist has now gone full circle, joined a pro-life Christian movement to atone for her sins and begun giving school talks warning of the hazards that await other disgruntled teenagers seeking adventure.
In the process she has written a book which dumps big time on the scene she got herself involved in up to the neck. Fantastic title. Bitch, No! Seven Times I Was Betrayed by Feminism.
The storyline goes something like this. Sara’s father bullied Sara’s mother so at 14 Sara cuts all ties with home and church and dabbles in prostitution. She gets arrested several times. No one understands her. Then she sees girls her own age on TV battling the cops and giving men (her former customers) a right old kicking. So she heads off to Ukraine with her ill-gotten proceeds to meet these superstars and be “trained” in how to storm churches topless and get famous quick.
She goes back to Rio de Janiero and rallies a group and gets on with the business of making a scene of herself in the name of female emancipation. Only to find that Femen central office don’t stump up with the cash, not even her bus fare to the point of protest. So she joins another group called Bastardxs which has men in it as well this time, but they’re not much better. So she’s out of there too.
Next she has a baby and so, at 23, finds her true calling. Maternity.
About the lure of Femen to a teen she says: ‘When you see them in the pictures, they seem really courageous, like goddesses, and when we met it was different: normal girls, nothing special, mean girls, who call other girls ugly and fat.’
Most interesting is her description of the organisation as a form of cult. In an interview with religious website Aleteia she claims the leaders used bitchy intimidation techniques to force women to abandon all personal and religious views and turn against men.
Her quotes: ‘Lesbian and bisexual women have much more voice and respect within the movement, so in the search for recognition of my struggle, with each day that passed, I deconstructed my heterosexuality and was substituting it with an artificial bisexuality.’
And ‘We are not allowed to think outside the feminist box. If we do they would humiliate us. They humiliate religious women — Catholic, Protestant or Muslim. We are not allowed to have religion. We are not allowed to be straight.’
I have long wondered how so-called third wave feminism (which started 1990s and continues up until today) with its preoccupation with sexuality, angry self-expression and showing off contributes to the whole male-female equality debate, if at all. Maybe this book will provide a few answers.
For more information on how conservative feminism differs from the rest