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Home » Is Modern Feminism Starting to Undermine Itself: Jess Butcher (Transcript)

Is Modern Feminism Starting to Undermine Itself: Jess Butcher (Transcript)

Jess Butcher on Modern Feminism at TEDxAstonUniversity


Good afternoon.

So I’m not sure if I can detect any bristling in the audience with my somewhat controversial title, given that we sit here in a diversity-themed event.

What I will say is just please bear with me, particularly because I’m going to be starting on such a positive note.

There has never been a better time to be a woman. Never have women had as many opportunities as they do now — to run countries, companies, to control their personal, financial and sex lives.

Girls outperform boys at school, more go to university. Women in their 20s and early 30s are frequently outearning men. We should feel optimistic. And yet we’re not.

In fact, sometimes it seems all womanhood is depressed, faced by an avalanche of information regarding the ongoing disparity and fortunes between women and men, by a narrative of disadvantage and societal patriarchy that runs through Me Too, the gender pay gap, the glass ceiling, and more.

But how crystal cut are these assumptions? And what are the possible implications for how women respond to both opportunities and challenges in their lives? So who am I?

A woman, yes, and a mother to three children under five. I’m a successful entrepreneur enjoying a career where I get to deal with some of the biggest thinkers and doers in the world today, in business, in politics, in media, academia.

I’m privileged, no question. My race, background and opportunities mark me as one of the privileged elite.

What do I know about disadvantaged? And what’s my agenda here?

Well, as a woman, I’m a minority in my field of technology and entrepreneurship. Hard industries to be a woman in – or so the narrative would have you believe. No. Not so.

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