Thursday, 8 October 2009

Self-Declared Feminists

I dislike the reactionary backlash against feminism, as if all feminists were basically Andrea Dworkin, sharpening their knives for the next pair of hapless testicles. I find that the kind of person who is quick to roll his (or her) eyes at feminism, as if the word were somehow in-and-of-itself distasteful, usually has a few words lined up waiting to quickly reveal their prejudices. Much the same as "I'm not racist, but..." means "I'm a huge racist, and..."

Before we continue, I'll quickly spare you the effort of trying to gauge what kind of sexist I am. If you're the kind of person who regularly comments on sites like Jezebel and Feministing, you can skip the rest of this because you already made up your mind when you read the title.

In short, I'm a misanthropic, egalitarian sexist. There are many, many things I dislike about women in general, and there are many, many things I dislike about men in general. Listing the things I hate about men is pointless, basically, because most of civilised society generally already hates loud, drunken, rapine, violent boors. I don't prejudge women or assume them to be less competent or rational than men at any given enterprise, since I don't think most fellows are nearly as competent or rational as they think they are either. I wholeheartedly embrace the rejection of torturous fashion standards. I already wrote nice long lists of the things I hate about both genders, so if you're interested, you can search for them.

If you're thinking "oh, he's about to launch into some tired tirade about 'reverse sexism'..." I assure you, I'm not. I have no issue whatsoever with women standing up for their rights. I mean, someone has to and it's definitely not going to be me. It's not my place to speak for your gender and, more importantly, I'm a lazy bastard.

So, no, I don't hate feminists, I hate self-declared feminists. I like women who take the time to think objectively and rationally about gender roles, or better yet, are by their nature completely oblivious and simply fail to observe them. Pursuing interests regardless of gender makes you an interesting person. Self-declared feminists, however, are excruciatingly fucking boring.

I define a self-declared feminist as a person who introduces themselves, and their every action, as feminist. Written a book about ladies? Feminist book! Written a poem about men? Feminist poem! Sing annoyingly twee little songs about racy topics? Feminist singer-songwriter! Put on some ghastly, ill-considered outfit? Feminist chic! Flogging crocheted toilet cosies on Etsy? Feminist handicraft!

And they're not content with calling their own things feminist, either. Helen Gurley Brown—in my humble opinion the absolute fucking postergirl for the exploitation of feminine insecurity—is rich as Croesus, so according to some of this lot she's a feminist icon because dagnabbit, she did it her way. She is, to use a word that I can barely type without retching, "empowered". I know she's by no means a universal feminist icon, but the unconditional rah-rah cheerleaders I'm talking about here think women can do no wrong. Except to disagree with them, at which point they are simply "unenlightened". The motto, it seems, is feminist first, critical thinking second.

In between relating everything they like to their political agenda (boring...) they'll make damned sure to let you know how things they dislike relate to it too (also boring). Oh, it's true, rape is bad. And female genital mutilation, too. Also wifebeating. Glass ceilings, an unfortunate situation. Pay disparity? Yep, unfair. Patriarchal hegemony is a bitch, I know. I don't like being excluded from the boys' club either, they've got some great stuff in there. No, I really don't know how it feels to be looked at like a piece of meat, even though I really wish somebody would at least occasionally look at me like that. We all fucking know this by now, you utter fucking bores.

If you're caught in their headlights, whatever you do, don't try to lighten the mood with an appropriately inappropriate joke*. Don't try engage them in sincere debate, either; they live for nothing else. And dear Lucifer, don't impugn the ambit of their agenda as suspiciously self-interested, they've got a whole bunch of canned answers ready for that one.

The problem with this type of person is that in their opinion debating against them is debating against all women everywhere, and your motives stem from your unconscious desire to maintain the sexist status quo. You are motivated by ignorance rather than, say, your nagging belief that their endless academically-endorsed (who else would employ them?) rhetoric is setting back their cause.

It's no wonder the world seems so oppressive to self-declared feminists. It's because they're so monomaniacal and humourless that nobody else can fucking stand to be near them. They are, to a grrl, insufferably sanctimonious prigs**.

*How many college chicks does it take to change a lightbulb?
It's college women, and it's not funny.

**Although maybe "prigs" just isn't strong enough. I suppose you could rightfully call them "complete cunts" in the way George W. Bush and Barack H. Obama are complete cunts, but it's important that you never, ever call a self-declared feminist a cunt. Pick a nice gender-neutral epithet like "arsehole".


Niemand said...

Andrea Dworkin was rather sympathetic to men. I'm not sure where this notion came from that she just hated men. What sometimes sounds like an anti-male rant is often a direct quote by anti-feminists, reinterpreted, e.g. penetration as violation - she doesn't call it that.

Ladyfingers said...

I'm not a fan.

lexi said...

You interest me.. tell me more about yourself