When revelations broke on Sunday about Michel Foucault sexually abusing young boys in Tunisia, the massed opponents of ‘woke’ were delighted at the opportunity to smear one of the intellectual colossi of the worldview they so loathe. But those currently demanding that the woke cancel Foucault for kiddy-fiddling or be outed as hypocrites are looking in the wrong direction.
If inheritors of the post-Foucauldian ‘critical theory’ worldview see existing systems of power as inherently oppressive and evil, then dismantling them can only be good. It’s then incumbent on adherents of this worldview to be open-minded about the attendant dismantling of all norms associated with those systems of power.
A detailed programme for this ongoing project of dismantling was published recently by a ‘Women’s Rights Caucus’ of over 200 intersectional feminist groups, LGBT+ campaigns and trade unions around the world. As flagged by the Women’s Human Rights Campaign, of particular note is a line about how the campaign should encourage governments to eliminate ‘laws limiting legal capacity of adolescents, […] to provide consent to sex or sexual and reproductive health services’.
When we recall that the WHO defines as ‘adolescent’ everyone in the 10-19 age bracket, it becomes clear that this inserts into an ostensibly ‘intersectional feminist’ policy declaration, as mainstream consensus feminist aims, the goal of abolishing the age of consent for everyone over the age of 10.