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Toby Young has slated these women – but he's forgotten something

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Scarcely a week passes without a white man with a private education, a healthy salary and a newspaper column expressing his outrage at the idea that he has in benefited in any way, socially or economically, from being privileged. What nonsense, they say, it’s all down to elbow grease and determination. It’s nothing more than mere coincidence that everyone with a newspaper column manages to look and sound a little like me, and to share my alma mater. How dare you use that coincidence to discredit my work!

The media watchers among you will notice that I am parodying the opening paragraphs of a book review by right-wing columnist Toby Young, published by The Spectator this week. In taking aim at Caroline Criado Perez’s new book Invisible Women, which sets out the many ways the world was built by men, for men and therefore silently excludes women, Young highlights the educational backgrounds of a string of current feminist writers. Laurie Penny, Zoe Williams, Afua Hirsch, Laura Bates all come under his roving spotlight. To write a book about “how oppressed women are… and present yourself as a victim of systemic inequality,” he says, “you need to be a member of the ruling class”.

Well, no. To write a book about anything at all, and to........

© Independent