Wallace Wylie

Odd Future and sexism etc

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Recently a representative of the Toronto police force caused an outrage by claiming that women could avoid being victimised by not dressing like “sluts”. This culminated in a SlutWalk on 3 April, with at least 1,500 people hitting the streets of Toronto to both protest the offending comment and to celebrate a woman’s right to be a sexual being without fear of reprisals. From all accounts the event was a success and, as a result, something ugly was turned into something truly inspiring.

I include this little piece of information in order to show what organised indignation can result in. Women have the right to feel safe and protected within society, and they have a right to feel disgusted with those who attempt to intellectualise the adolescent fantasies of over-bored teenagers and twenty-somethings whose main subject is female debasement. I’m not excusing Odd Future in this debacle, but the truth is that suburban America is full of teenagers with nasty, vengeful thoughts in regards to the female populace. Anyone with a fully working brain and heart would attack such brutality on sight, but instead Odd Future have had the red carpet laid down for them. Whatever the factors behind it, and there are undoubtedly many, the fact remains that the press coverage documenting Odd Future’s rise to fame has been morally bankrupt in every sense. The outrage that would greet race-killing fantasies from white teenagers is missing and not because of any kind of race-based bias from the ‘liberal media’. The outrage is missing because misogyny is not treated with the same seriousness as racism, because large parts of the male population still hold shockingly moronic views on female sexuality and femininity, because many females still don’t see a problem with violent rape fantasies, because many men still feel that endless misogynistic ‘jokes’ are ultimately harmless and that everyone should just get a sense of humour.

I’m not convinced that the ability to laugh at absolutely anything makes us better people. Nobody wants to make things uncomfortable by getting serious and nowhere more so than in the dorm rooms and apartments of the middle-class. Laughing at the horrors of our world may help you deal with life, but it doesn’t help the victims, and it doesn’t change a fucking thing about the conditions which cause misogyny to thrive. I suppose if we can’t stop rape, we may as well be thoroughly entertained by it. Just try not to choke on your laughter. Nobody likes a buzz-kill.

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