A Dialogue With Cunts
“Feminism is just female sexism”, says one enlightened soul. Really? Feminism’s project, as far as I am concerned, can still be summed up by the aim of the magazine The Revolution, founded in 1868 by Susan B. Anthony: “Men, their rights and nothing more; women, their rights and nothing less”. How can that be sexist, the definition of which can be broadly agreed upon as being the practice of attitudes and actions which perpetuate the oppression of one gender by another? Women are not in a position to dominate men in this society, as is evidenced by their inferior social status, economic status, cultural, religious and political statuses. It’s a misunderstanding of order to equate women being apparently routinely bitchy (gendered word alert!) or using their gender as some sort of a weapon against men as sexism. (Jesus fucking Christ, fishlike on a bike, being bitchy is the very least they can do, in the face of the relentless, demeaning, heartachingly mundane sexism that women encounter in some form or another EVERY SINGLE DAY.) Denigrating feminism by accusing it of sexism is as absurd as chucking the racism card at the anti-racist movement because people of one race get royally pissed off at being treated as second-class humans – or worse – by people of another and blame them, quite reasonably, for being the agents of their oppression.
Here’s a slightly more rabid comment on Moore’s article, to demonstrate where that dislike or distrust (of feminism in particular but of women in general) can lead:
“When, not if, but when, this country fails, because its men and boys have been so demonized by feminism and women in general, and the invaders move in because there the men are so disinfranchised with how they’ve been treated, see then how womens lives regress. British men did everything they could do make the lives of women in this country better, and what did they get for it? Hate and demonization.”
Poor lambs. (I could lay on the ‘sic’s, but let’s allow him his dignity: love that nicely ironic misuse of ‘disenfranchised’ there.)
Here’s another, from the same spluttering hound, but echoed by many others:
“Women in this country have been given rights by men. They are the most looked after women in the whole of human history, and yet they still kick and scream asthough they are ‘opressed’. Its simply not true, and I for one, and I know that Im not alone, am developing a hardend attitude toward women. You’ve been given the best lives of anyone, and yet your totally ungrateful. Men are, in greater and greater numbers, withdrawing our support for women. Lets see how you fair when men we men stop working for you.”
So it really is war, isn’t it? Every word takes great, stonking, black marker-pen strokes and underlines the undeniably concrete effects of sexual inequality, from “women have been given rights by men” and “we men stop working for you” to “your totally ungrateful“. Of course we’re ungrateful, you patronising fuckwit. What exactly gives people who have cocks the authority to give or take human rights from people who have cunts? Absolutely nothing. You can’t squawk about men being used or accused or having horrible things done to them while maintaining a position of superiority over women: it totally negates your – and this is an overly-generous term for it – argument. Work out the difference between structural misogyny in society and general injustice and I might take you seriously. Until that time I say rock on ingratitude!
What I want to bang into every last one of those dull heads (and not just those of the clearly racist-with-it mental cases) is that feminism is not a bunch of indiscriminately-man-hating women, it’s an intellectual position (taken by both men and women) critiquing and seeking to dismantle an oppressive power structure that blights lives the planet over.
Anger about the structure that feeds misogynist practices is, of course, blatantly very much needed and being enraged about what Suzanne Moore calls “the horrible, horrible things” that are done to women by men obviously does not preclude fury over the horrible, horrible things that are done to Muslims just because they are Muslim or to any other group of fellow human beings that is stigmatised, attacked or oppressed simply because they belong to that group. I’d like to live in a world where girls could grow up without being regularly belittled or bullied or abused or mutilated or stoned or raped or jeered at or given shit jobs for less pay or imprisoned or beaten or publicly derided just because they were born with the wrong genitalia. Where it doesn’t matter which sex a person is. Where freedom applies to all the various shapes and sizes of human. This is far from the case and I cannot get my head around any rational, humane person wanting anything else, which is why, in a way, I find the slightly less spittle-flecked anti-feminist posts the most problematic.
Feminism has an almighty PR problem at the moment, even from the more, er, kindly-disposed, if ragingly paternalistic, critics: “If you do get ‘angry’ then you are going to lose support from sections of society who can emphasise with your position.” Assuming he meant empathise, there’s that argument again, wheeled out against the recent student demonstrators: don’t get angry, because you’ll scare people off. It’s bullshit. Nothing ever got changed by people being NICE. Disobedience is the only way. -> -> ->