The KCLCA and Charles Amos: Conservative Young Women Respond, by Serena Lit
The King’s College London Conservative Association’s (KCLCA) election of self-confessed anti-feminist Charles Amos as their President back in March has understandably caused quite a stir.
In a recent interview for The Tab, Amos stated, “feminism today is totally different, it’s about ensuring economic and social equality between men and women and I’m totally opposed to that” and “I am firmly of the belief that third-wave feminism should be bashed”. He goes on to assert, “I do not believe that the state should tax individuals to subside women to go to work, for example through subsidising childcare” and indicates social and economic equality between men and women is “not something” to be aimed for. He has made further comments regarding feminism and issues of gender, stating in a Facebook post that “The ban on gender stereotyping in advertising is an absolute disgrace!”. It is worth noting that at the time of publication, not one woman had ‘liked’ the post.
Amos has gone on record to state that these views are his own, not those of the KCLCA, and normally such a statement should end the issue. Members cannot be expected to agree with or even know every single belief their President holds, and, in this case, Amos’ views largely became public knowledge after his election. I have written previously on the importance of distinguishing between the KCLCA and the Conservative party. Though called a Conservative Association, the KCLCA is a student society and therefore not a formally associated body. Nonetheless, by their own description, the group “endeavours to promote, discuss and debate the values and beliefs of the Conservative Party.” KCLCA members and representatives are therefore expected to be Conservative sympathisers in some way.
Only yesterday, Amos admitted in yet another interview he is “not passionate about the Conservative Party”, derided “the Johnsonite agenda” of ending austerity and encouraged the radical right to “infiltrate the higher echelons of the Conservative Party” to “reclaim what is rightfully ours”. A few weeks ago, I argued the subject of Amos’ removal was an internal society matter. It is now genuinely astonishing no motion of confidence has been called in light of what can only be described as blatant misogyny, which has no place in politics at any level, and certainly not in our party. The incessant comments on the rights of women, combined with open contempt for the party he claims to rightfully represent, have meant this situation can no longer be ignored by Conservatives, and especially not by Conservative women.
Our party outlined terms for discrimination review just last week to eradicate toxic cultures within Conservative groups. Former Party Chair, Baroness Warsi, tweeted she hoped “this is the start of the end of us harbouring those with vile views in our ranks". Some will recall BBC presenter, Nick Conrad, being made to stand down as a Conservative parliamentary candidate for Broadland at the last election, for comments made five years prior legitimising rape. Even our Prime Minister stated such views are “completely unacceptable”. If Conrad was made to stand down as a Conservative representative for comments made five years ago, it begs the question why an individual who continually attacks the rights of women in this country has been allowed to continue operating under the Conservative banner? The answer: Conservative women haven’t challenged him. It’s time we fix that. This is the party of Margaret Thatcher and Theresa May, after all.