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Ex-Tory MP attacks black feminist on Twitter

STIRRING: Ex-Tory MP Louise Mensch called black feminist Reni Eddo-Lodge a bully for talking about racism

A BLACK feminist was backed by supporters after a former Conservative MP launched a scathing attack on Twitter following a radio debate on feminism.

Reni Eddo-Lodge, 24, from north London, was accused of ‘bullying’ and having a ‘disgraceful attitude’ by former MP Louise Mensch for sharing her views of racism within feminism on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour.

On New Year’s Eve (December 31), Eddo-Lodge was invited to take part in a discussion about the current state of feminism in the UK.

She was joined on the panel by fellow feminists Everyday Sexism Project founder Laura Bates and Caroline Criado-Perez who led a campaign for women to be featured on English bank notes.

During the debate, 24-year-old Eddo-Lodge discussed her views on feminism and her “very principled stance over issues to do with race in feminism”.

The north Londoner claimed feminism was not “immune” to intersectionality – a term she defined as “taking into account that gender inequalities do not exist in a vacuum or by themselves".

In response, Criado-Perez agreed that “it’s right that white women obviously recognise that their voices are heard more than women from minority communities.”

“But certain people are using intersectionality as a cloak to abuse other women,” she added. Criado-Perez also explained that she had been targeted for abuse by "a small vocal majority of abusive women".

In an article posted on the Black Feminists blog after the debate, Eddo-Lodge wrote that she was “practically lost for words, leaving the BBC studios feeling shaken up and disconcerted.”

Eddo-Lodge said she felt Criado-Perez had hijacked the debate on racism in feminism by focusing on abuse she’d received as a white woman, and that she (Eddo-Lodge) was made to feel as though she was somehow responsible.

Criado-Perez later apologised to Reni Eddo-Lodge via Twitter.

She tweeted: “I just wanted to apologise if this am it came across at all like I was suggesting the abuse is something you have been party to. I didn't mean to imply that at all, but I can see that given I responded to your comment, it might have seemed like that.”

She continued: “Perhaps I could have picked a better moment [or] way of saying it. So am sorry for that.”
But following the apology, ex-Tory MP Mensch decided that Eddo-Lodge's views were unfair.

On Thursday, January 2, she tweeted: “Reni was wrong and Caroline was wrong to give into her bullying. I wouldn’t have it.”

When Eddo-Lodge accused Mensch of being a liar and stirring trouble, the former politician then tweeted: “I would hope that I am stirring against your frankly disgraceful attitude and I am not lying. You are bullying, trying to silence."

Mensch, who has previously written of her disdain of intersectionality, went on to say that is was “disgusting” that Eddo-Lodge was attempting to silence other voices by playing the race card.

Eddo-Lodge told The Voice these were "probably views [Mensch] had harboured for a long time". She added: “Now that she’s been released from parliament, she can let loose about what she really thinks of black people.”

She said she has been “overwhelmed” with support from people since the radio debate was aired.

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