Do These Hush Puppies Make Me Look Fascist? – The Unlikely Connection Between The Daily Mail And Feminism
My newspaper of choice is The Independent, but every so often I read The Daily Mail for shits and giggles. You should try it once in a while, it’s the funniest comic ever published. It’s the rabid paranoia that makes me chuckle. The Daily Mail reminds me of that old telly program, World In Action. That nexus of pure terror guaranteed to frighten the shit out of you every Monday Night. Sometimes I hear the World In Action theme tune when I look at whatever ranty headline the Daily Mail is sporting that day.
Something happened the other day, however, that I found quite disturbing. I read an article in The Daily Mail about feminism and there was a statement in it that I sort of agreed with. Not entirely, only sort of, but that’s more than enough where that particular newspaper is concerned. So, in a state of shock, I frantically rifled through to the back pages in the hope that I might get proof that bigoted middle age hadn’t suddenly overrun me entirely.
As I scanned that day’s “Fred Basset” cartoon, my heart rate slowed and I stopped hyperventilating. Nope, I still didn’t have the vaguest idea what “Fred Basset” was supposed to be about, so I wasn’t a terminal case just yet.
So, what was this statement with which I kind of agreed? It was in an article by a woman – all such articles are in The Mail, in order to deflect accusations of sexism. Pointless really, a bit like trying to deflect cruise missiles with sheets of tissue paper, but they do it anyway. What this woman said was that feminism had got a bit whiny. No shock there, it’s always been whiny, but her point was it had become whiny on an individual basis.
Feminism used to consist of women standing side by side and chanting and demanding things. Now it seems to consist mainly of court cases. Women, usually women who take home more in a year than most of us can hope to earn in a lifetime, seeking succour from the ultimate patriarchal arbiter. Whining that they’ve been short changed in their blood money bank roles. Bleating to Daddy that the other kids aren’t playing nice.
I have visions of the plaintiff’s counsel saying “Could you please point out on this pie chart breakdown of your vastly over inflated wages exactly where the nasty man touched you. He rubbed your bonus and your pension contributions? The dirty bastard. Here’s, a hanky, have a little cry.” It’s all Me, Me, Me rather than Us, Us, Us.
I’m not saying that these court cases have no validity within their own avaricious framework. The women in question usually have been treated quite shabbily. Much as I despise them, and their male colleagues, for doing the jobs they do, it has to be acknowledged that what they do is a necessary evil.
Overpaid bankers have to exist if you wish to continue to live in a house, drive a car and sit at your computer typing bitter, poorly informed rants for your blog. Without them, we would all be spending this summer living in small, unlit huts praying that we’ve squirreled enough pickled turnips away to see us through the unforgiving winter. And let’s not forget that banking is one of those jobs where everyone hates you because you get paid so much and you get paid so much because everyone hates you.
These court cases are not the main sign that Feminism has lost its way though. The main symptom can be summed up in one word. Slutwalks. No matter how much I try to get my head around the idea, I fail to see how women walking around in the most sexually provocative clothing they can muster is striking a blow for “The Cause”.
And please don’t say it’s reclaiming the word “Slut”. There’s only one group of people who call women sluts and that’s other women. The only man who would use the word “slut” as an insult is the religious type, and even then only if he felt the words “doxy” or “jezebel” sounded too dignified for the target of said insult. It’s your word ladies and your concept, so don’t pretend you have to claim it back somehow.
I think feminists should stop pissing about with individual litigation and self-indulgent fashion parades and get back to basics. Suffragettes used to go on hunger strike and throw themselves under horses and chain themselves to railings. Hunger strikes are out of the question now, obviously. Nobody wants to politically sponsor eating disorders. And throwing yourself in front of a horse is just plain stupid. But chaining yourself to railings and other such public disturbance, surely that could be brought back? I think you’d get a lot of takers, given the massive popularity of Fifty Shades of Grey. Get I few men to join in. I’d be up for it. Women really do get the shitty end of the stick, so why not? Maybe we could all dress up as Suffragettes. You know, just for a laugh.
© Copyright Michael Grimes 2013