If you've been around Blokes Advice for a while, you may know the name, Clementine Ford. She’s not all bad and has certainly done positive things for women over the years, but she seemingly has no idea what lines should not be crossed.
Feminism is/was about achieving gender equality but within any movement, there can be individuals who take their beliefs to extremes, causing harm and division. While Ford has played a role in advocating for women's rights, her controversial statements and actions have led some to label her as the face of toxic feminism.
Clementine's career has somewhat revolved around the notion of ‘hating men’. From the infamous “KILL ALL MEN” tweet of 2015 to her concern with the Corona Virus “NOT KILLING MEN FAST ENOUGH”, it’s fair to say this qualifies her being on the extreme end of the movement.
In recent years, the term "toxic feminism" has emerged, highlighting instances where certain individuals within the feminist movement have crossed the line from advocating for women's rights to expressing animosity towards men. Clementine has often found herself at the centre of such controversies. While her intentions may be rooted in challenging patriarchal norms, her approach has faced criticism for being confrontational, divisive, and displaying an apparent disregard for engaging in constructive dialogue.
She herself said that she had been knocked back by television producers for being ‘too aggressive’. Even suicide prevention charity, Lifeline, cancelled a domestic violence forum where she was a speaker after a petition of 15 000 people alleged that her bullying tactics were harmful to the needs of the very people the charity was funded to protect.
One of the dangers that emerge when people become fervently committed to an ideology is the potential to lose sight of the complexities of the issues at hand. This can lead to a skewed perspective, where actions are driven by the desire to promote one's beliefs at any cost, even at the expense of spreading hatred – made worse by the fact Clementine's livelihood revolves around her platform as an outspoken feminist.
We all know what cancel culture is… and Clementine LOVES it. When it comes to figures like Ford and her ideologies, cancel culture exacerbates the problem. Her confrontational approach often leads to targeting individuals and groups who hold differing opinions or perspectives. Moreover, some would allege she employs a fake moral high ground, using it as a shield to avoid engaging in genuine debate. This tactic not only stifles constructive conversation but also perpetuates a toxic environment where the goal becomes silencing opposing voices rather than fostering understanding and progress.
Toxic feminism sometimes employs a fake moral high ground, using it as a shield to avoid engaging in genuine debate.
Blokes Advice has felt this firsthand, with attacks on jokes said within the platform taken out of context. Sure, we get you don’t like it… and that’s why you’re not in the group. Much like comics being accused of hate speech within the confines of a comedy club, context and intent is of absolute importance. We should probably point out at this stage, Blokes Advice has a zero-tolerance rule on genuine hatred, violence, and oppression of women (and anyone for that matter).
This culture goes deeper. She often advocates her followers to bombard people she disagrees with by posting their names, phone numbers, & workplaces. Clementine does not shy away from taking joy in men losing jobs, having businesses tarnished, or any other host of problems. Blokes Advice members, along with their wives and children, have been subject to threats of violence and even rape – hardly the actions of a self-proclaim movement based in “a place of love for men”.
Is this fair? Well, let’s take a look at a more high-profile case: Ben Fordham, host of 2GM Radio, was accused by Clementine of ‘workplace sexism’. Shocking right? Well, it turned out to be a FALSE ACCUSATION and she had to issue an apology. It’s harmful, it’s unfair, and apologies do not right the damage done to reputations.
Clementine spoke with The Guardian a couple of years back about leaving her character as a provocative feminist behind, confessing it “was not a healthy place for me to be”. That said, it was only yesterday she posted on her Instagram the LinkedIn, mobile numbers & small businesses of five men she disagreed with saying “Let’s see who loses their job today”. Some things never change.
Clementine Ford's journey as a prominent feminist figure in Australia raises questions about the boundaries of advocacy and the dangers of ideological extremism. Painting all feminists with the same brush as Ford would be unfair, as there are numerous feminists who work tirelessly for inclusivity and positive change, and BA supports you.
There is an air of humor to this article because we have no doubt Ford would accuse Blokes Advice of toxic masculinity, but there are a couple of key differences.
- Yes, we celebrate male culture. While you don’t agree with all aspects of our beliefs, hundreds of thousands of men do, and believe it or not the community of Australia doesn’t need to agree on everything. Even within our own group people disagree daily, and we provide a forum to discuss & call blokes out on bad mindsets.
- Blokes Advice has never called for harm or misfortune for anyone. In fact, this is the first time an individual had been written about outside of praise or admiration.
- We LOVE women. From celebrating their growing prevalence in male-dominated industries, to their successes in sport, to an appreciation of feminine beauty, we stand as companions, providers, and protectors of the ladies we care about.
Leave her alone. Don't comment on her nonsense. Don't fuel her fire. We will band together as brothers in the group & help these blokes affected by her and her followers attack. That's probably enough for today. Make Blokes Great Again & try not to cancel us.
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Image Credit: Clementine Ford's Facebook & Twitter