|"Really?" ...this crap is still going on?|
Tuesday, 8 November 2011
"The COUNTER-Feminism Unit" and Their Clever Ideas
An article has landed on the YouFem desk, written by a teenage boy, entitled “The COUNTER-Feminism Unit” (perhaps someone left Caps on). Further identification is unnecessary; suffice to say that putting this article in print, with the humorously approving Heading (i.e. a picture of Rosie the Riveter and the word, “Really?”) suggest that the offensive ignorance of the piece is shared, at least, by those that run the publication. Please god, let it not be indicative of the majority of teen males; besides anything else, it would bode ill for the future of journalistic writing.
“Right, that’s enough, clear out, pack up; you’ve had your fun – no more! I have that to say to feminists”, runs the opening passage. This is almost comically ludicrous, even ignoring the fact that it’s very bad writing. He proceeds by recounting the “current trend” of women (or ‘ladies’ as he puts it, with bizarrely placed inverted commas) comparing their husbands to “monkeys” and “sloths” in passing conversation. He calls this “man-patronising”, and tells us as, apparently having recently discovered the thrilling ironical subtleties of the exclamation mark, that “it’s regarded as empowering or amusing. Yeah, you said it sister! Drag society back 40 years! You rock!” Yeah, sisters, I hope you’re appropriately chastised.
“If a man responded to a story about forgetful goldfish being distracted by a gold ring, with: ‘that sounds like my wife’, he’d immediately be castrated and forced onto national television to apologise – at gunpoint? – to the Queen for his grave misdeeds.” No doubt the perpetrator of this assault on the English language chuckled to himself in satisfaction as he penned the offending lines. Sadly, he has no reason to chuckle. A man having to apologise for not-so-subtly slighting a woman? Perhaps we’re living in different worlds. Assuming, however, that the writer inhabits at least a compatible dimension, I’d refer him to the Daily Mail website, just to head the mile-long list of publications that endlessly objectify women without having to, er, apologise “at gunpoint…to the Queen.” Or perhaps he’s seen Two and a Half Men? Or ever watched TV, or encountered adverts? We’ll have to assume not: perhaps his life is tragically insular, his only experiences of reality involving “charming middle-aged ‘ladies’” with regional speech dialects: “‘Sounds like my husband, that does’”, his ladylike peers remark.
The best section of the piece seems to be the sadly misguided closing paragraph, in which the poor young man makes an attempt to cast himself as the real “feminist” in a sea of, like, false feminists. “If we want gender equality, it shouldn’t matter what gender somebody is.” Totes. Which is why we want gender equality in the first place: so that it doesn’t matter “what gender somebody is”. This goal is also precisely why those pesky feminists concentrate on the fact that women worldwide are treated as inferior to men…or maybe we’re all wrong. Maybe we should be ignoring the plight of women, simply offering the argument that “it shouldn’t matter what gender somebody is”. Ah yes: all those debilitating “women’s issues”. You know, like rape, abortion, contraception, the gender pay-gap, maternity leave, honour killings…all these should be reclassified as gender-neutral issues, presumably.
This kind of rubbish, masquerading as liberal equalism, makes bile rise in the throat, if it’s not forced down by the overwhelming desire to laugh. Which is precisely what we need to be doing: laughing. No doubt the writer of this article will grow up to repent for his sloppy writing and sloppier logic. If not, he should get in touch: we can send a nice long list of statistics underlining women’s disadvantaged position in the world. Not to perpetuate the “trend of man-patronising” or anything.