An Open Letter to Piers Morgan, re: Feminism and the Women’s March

We weren’t looking for another answer to the question #WhyIMarch, but what the heck—we’ll add Piers Morgan’s latest rant against “famous, foul-mouthed nasty women” to the list

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Piers Morgan Feminism Women's March

(Photos: Rex/Shutterstock; Design: Leo Tapel)

Dear Piers Morgan,

We thought long and hard before writing you this letter. Because, let’s face it—over the last several months, you have revealed yourself to be an unapologetic Internet troll, stirring shit up for sport and frequently baiting your audience with comments on what women should or should not be doing.

Last year alone there was your one-man crusade against Susan Sarandon’s visible bra at the SAG Awards, your proclamation that Jennifer Aniston could not have an opinion on female objectification because she has appeared on the cover of fashion magazines, the time you told Beyoncé that you would prefer she forget racial politics and return to the business of booty shaking (when we all know Beysus can do both).

And now, as millions of women (and men) all over the world celebrate the victory of the Women’s March, you come up with this brilliant bit of clickbait, describing the record-breaking demonstration as “anti-democratic,” and “sexist” while also taking issue with the “vile, crude, man-hating, violent, nasty side [of feminism],” which was apparently on display.

You say that equality is great—you even call yourself a feminist (cough, cough). It’s just the “rabid” “extreme” brand of feminism that you, Piers Morgan, simply “cannot abide.” If it were up to you, we women (and our allies) would assert ourselves in a way that is, well, befitting of the fairer sex: fight for our rights and all, but no need to get our petticoats ruffled.

Related: “Why I’m Marching:” 32 Women on the Women’s March

As if that weren’t bad enough, you go on to exMANsplain the “real” definition of feminism, which—according to you, oh wise one—is “striving to be so good at what you do that your gender is irrelevant, then making sure you are rewarded in the same way as a man.” You cite U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May as an example of a woman who has done just that—worked hard, achieved success and rose in the ranks—as if every woman has the same access to opportunity as the Oxford-grad prime minister. You get that, don’t you Piers? That Rosa Parks could have striven for excellence every day, and still it’s unlikely the front of the bus would have ushered her forward. That millions of women in America—and Canada and the U.K.—face systemic barriers to opportunity and equality that cannot be surmounted with a little elbow grease. And that even women with considerable privilege have plenty of reason for rabid indignation.

Because while you, Piers, are worried about how we marchers fit into the Piers Morgan Approved Mold For “Real” Feminism™, we are worried about the scaling back of civil rights and reproductive rights, which—ICYMI— are currently under siege. Just a few days into office and The Pussy Grabber in Chief has already reinstated an executive order that cancels U.S. funding to NGOs that either provide abortion services, or even discuss abortion with its patients. This will result in millions of unsafe abortions and inevitable deaths around the world. Next week he will almost certainly appoint a pro-life judge to the Supreme Court.

Of course, you, Piers, will never directly require access to a safe abortion in any country, and maybe that lack of personal consequence goes a long way in explaining your indifference. Still, if you didn’t have your head so far up your own feather duster, you might recognize that many people marched for reasons that have nothing to do with their own circumstances. While you attempt to divide us with petty comments about foul-mouthed celebrities and “femenazis,” we will do our best to lift each other up.

Related: What It’s Really Like to Be the Face of the #Resistance

We don’t have all day, so let’s quickly run through a few more of your most ludicrous assertions…

That the Women’s March was anti-democratic because the election is over and people need to accept the results.

For heaven’s sake Piers, this isn’t Omarosa whining because she didn’t deserve to be called back to the boardroom!! The right to protest a sitting leader is an essential component of democracy.

That the people who marched have no right or at least no business doing so because they didn’t vote.

What on earth leads you to the completely unfounded conclusion?

That there is something inherently nonegalitarian and sexist about a Women’s March

Of your many WTF-worthy assertions, this is the one that really kills us. It’s the same kind of ignorance we hear with the #AllLivesMatter movement, or when Trump tweeted about how the TV show Blackish is “racism at the highest level.”

What will it take for you and your ilk to understand that the promotion of women’s rights is only a threat to the rights of men if those “male rights” include things like the right to be dominant over women or the right to enjoy the privileges of a patriarchal society. These, of course, are not rights, rather status quo. So when we stomp our feet and pound our fists and exclaim “The Future is Female!” what we’re talking about is rising up, taking control, fighting back against a history of oppression and subverting the cultural standard (i.e., The Present Is Male). What we’re not talking about is a future where men worry about their right to control their own bodies, their access to safe health care, wage equality, and whether having a few drinks at a party may later be framed as an invitation to rape (though should this inverted gender reality ever arise, we’re pretty sure you’d change your tune.)

You would almost certainly rethink the wisdom of Tweets like this one:

Because here’s the thing—while you were busy tweeting, you missed the fact that there was a march for men last weekend. Many men marched for their daughters, their sisters, their wives, their moms and—here’s the aha moment—themselves. Because, as a wise (and resilient!) woman once said—human rights are women’s rights.

Anyway Piers, in the time we’ve written this letter, you have already moved on to your next target—female administrative workers who dare to go to work without high heels and lipstick. We weren’t looking for yet another answer to the question #WhyIMarch, but what the heck—we’ll add this one to the list.

xo,

FLARE

Related:
How Women are Following Up the March With #MuteMonday
You Marched. Now What? The Next Step for Canadian Women
An Open Letter to Kim Kardashian, re: The Sexy Lie

An Open Letter to Demi Lovato, re: #NoMakeUpMondays
An Open Letter to Drew Barrymore, re: Motherhood
An Open Letter to Rob Lowe, re: Boyeurism

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