Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 20 January 2016

Outrageous attacks on Corbyn for 'sexism'

Policies are what matter for working class women

Hannah Sell

The attempts of the Blairites to undermine Jeremy Corbyn know no bounds. One of their latest ruses has been to accuse Corbyn and his supporters of sexism.

In a piece for Newsnight putting the view of the Blairite women MPs Jess Phillips, Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley, accused female Corbyn supporters of accepting "low level non-violent misogyny" from Jeremy Corbyn.

The only justification given for this slur was that the winners of the Labour leadership and deputy leadership contests - Jeremy Corbyn and Tom Watson - are both men. Phillips completely ignores the inconvenient fact that Corbyn's front bench is the first that has been majority women.


Phillip's smear is not merely designed to undermine Jeremy Corbyn's leadership, but also to try and prevent right-wing Labour MPs from being held democratically accountable to Labour Party members and their constituents.

The Newsnight piece pointed out that boundary changes are going to reduce the number of parliamentary seats and lead to competition between Labour MPs for those that remain.

For the many that have been enraged by their Labour MPs voting for the bombing of Syria or failing to oppose Tory cuts this will be an opportunity to campaign for the selection of an MP who represents their views.

According to Dawn Butler MP, chair of the Women's Parliamentary Labour Party, however, female Labour MPs must automatically keep their seats, regardless of their voting record in parliament!

The hundreds of thousands of people who have been enthused by Jeremy Corbyn's election on an anti-austerity platform will know better than to listen to this nonsense.

Far more women voted for Jeremy Corbyn than for either of the women candidates for Labour leadership. One Yougov poll of voters in the leadership contest in August found that 61% of women polled were planning to vote for Corbyn compared to 19% for Yvette Cooper and a measly 4% for ultra-Blairite Liz Kendall.

They understood that a 10 an hour minimum wage, free education, nationalisation of the railways and the other policies Corbyn stood on would improve the lives of millions of women, whereas the austerity-lite mantra of Labour's right would only make women's lives harder.

In the same Newsnight piece Harriet Harman outrageously declared that: "women's rights are never going to be taken forward by men; only Labour women can do that."

It is vital that the anti-austerity movement and workers' movement do all they can to ensure as many women as possible play leading roles. However, it is not someone's gender which decides whether they are playing a positive role in fighting for women's rights.

The 1945 Labour government only had a woeful three women in its ranks yet there is no doubt that it did more than any other Labour government to improve the lives of all working class people, but especially women. The establishment of the NHS and the mass building of council housing alone transformed the lives of millions.

Contrast that to Britain's first and only female prime minister, Maggie Thatcher, who set out to destroy all the gains made by working class women and men over the previous decades.

It is a sign of desperation that right-wing Labour MPs are attempting to use the false charge of sexism to try and divert attention from the unpopularity of their ideas.

Women anti-austerity activists need to make sure they do not succeed and fight for a Labour Party which stands in the interests of working class women.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

In The Socialist 20 January 2016:

Socialist Party news and analysis

Unite the fightback: Coordinated strikes needed

United workers' action can save NHS

Water firms' 1.2bn in profit off human need

Political policing: Met spy targeted socialists

Trident debate: socialist programme needed

Housing crisis reaches level of 1960s

Civil service: 1bn on consultants

Outrageous attacks on Corbyn for 'sexism'

Them & Us

Socialist history

1986 Wapping strike - Defeat of the print unions

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

People's Budget meeting success

Carmarthenshire Unison campaigns against council cuts

Unite the Union local government committee votes for no-cuts budgets

Preparing a no-cuts people's budget

Momentum and democracy in Hackney and beyond

Angry Labour meeting puts councillors under fire

Gateshead carers oppose respite centre closures

Celebrating Eleanor Marx's birthday

Socialist Party workplace news

Nationalise Tata to save steel jobs!

Tube workers to strike again to defend jobs and conditions

Reinstatement victory for John Vasey

Shop workers lobby council against Sunday opening

Workplace news in brief

International socialist news and analysis

USA: Fight the billionaire class!

China: Financial turmoil spreads fear across global markets

Northern Ireland: Defy anti-abortion laws

Socialist Party comments and reviews

Letters to the Socialist


Home   |   The Socialist 20 January 2016   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook

Related links:


triangleIn defence of socialist feminism

triangleOver one million students strike against sexism and for inclusive sex education

triangleSolidarity with Irish rape trial protests

triangleLibres y Combativas: striking for women's rights in the Spanish state

triangleNo to sexism! No to Trump!

Working class:

triangleBrexit as a window on our times

triangle1,000-strong rally in London this weekend

triangleEqual pay uprising shows power of working class

trianglePeterloo: "If the people were to rise and smite their enemies, was not this the time?" Samuel Bamford, demonstrator


triangleWest Midlands Socialist Party women's meeting: our role in changing society

triangleSocialist Party national women's meeting

triangleReclaim the Night marches condemn violence against women


triangleFight Cardiff Council's school cuts

triangleBlairite Birmingham steps up union-busting and two workforces plan strikes

Jeremy Corbyn:

triangleFight for a general election to kick out the Tories

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis



Fight for a general election to kick out the Tories



The growth of artificial intelligence technology



PCS AGS election: Where now after the Left Unity conference?



Racist attack in Huddersfield



Fatal bus crash - an avoidable tragedy



Arrogant landlords can be beaten



Austerity: not one more day - Tories out now



Health bosses move goalposts on A&E waiting times: more funds for our NHS now!



We need system change to halt climate change



The Tories' letting fee ban is full of holes - we need rent controls and council homes!



Haringey 'Corbyn council': end the secrecy and confusion - lead a fight against the cuts



End Tory misery - general election now!



For a socialist alternative to the EU - mobilise to kick out the Tories!



Brexit as a window on our times



In defence of socialist feminism

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551



Alphabetical listing

December 2018

November 2018

October 2018

September 2018

August 2018

July 2018

June 2018

May 2018

April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018