What is wrong with sexists these days? No sodding imagination, that’s what. No creative spark. It’s because they’re all emasculated. I blame all these women going around doing stuff. It’s enough to put any red-blooded male off launching a serious, vaguely credible hate campaign.
Back in the day, when it was still legal for husbands to rape their wives, you didn’t get Rod Liddle whining about monthly cycles, or someone by the intriguing name of Swayne O’Pie penning badly-referenced diatribes explaining Why Britain Hates Men. Yes, we had Neil Lyndon and his nevertheless ludicrous No More Sex War. But with Lyndon, you at least sensed that the man was making an effort. He had an air of professionalism. He didn’t just want to be that random sexist in the pub, ranting away bitterly in the corner. Good for you, Neil. I look at today’s leading misogynists and frankly, I’m disappointed.
I can’t help thinking that if I were a misogynist, I’d at least make a bloody effort. I’d at least try to bring the same enthusiasm to my misogyny that I bring to my feminism. And I’d be really good at it, despite being a woman and therefore, in this context, totally shit. Look, I’ll be honest: I can’t help thinking that if I were a misogynist, I’d totally rock.
If I were a misogynist, here are some of the things I would and wouldn’t do (O’Pie, I hope you’re taking note):
- I would actually read some feminist literature. Most of it’s quite good, which can be annoying, but to be honest, you can quote anything out of context. In this very post I’ve written “any male [...] is [...] shit”. See? How misandrist is that?
- I would not explain the words “misandry” and “misandrist” every single time I used them. Yes, I know it fills space when you’re trying to write an “academic-looking” book, and it also implies that you’re extra-discriminated against because no one even knows the name of the prejudice you face. But really. It’s just irritating now. Why not act as though everyone knows what the words mean? Why not act as though your movement is strong already? Fake it to make it, that’s what I say (I read that in the Louise Mensch column in Glamour. MRAs really ought to get with the Glamour programme).
- I would stop referring to feminism as an “industry”. First, it makes you look like a paranoid idiot, what with it not being true, but second, and more importantly, you’re suggesting women might be good in business. They’re not. They’re crap, always going off to have babies and change tampons during board meetings and shit. Only I wouldn’t say that, either. I’d just ask the odd pointed question about how much Andrea Dworkin really earned last year (NB I’d pretend Dworkin was still alive for as long as possible, ideally inspiring Elvis-style sightings. I feel this could be useful).
- I would pretend all of the following were invented by feminists, just to make the lot of women in Britain appear worse than it actually would be if all these things did not exist (except they do): Femail; David Cameron; Special K; Nadine Dorries; the pay gap; lack of representation of women in politics and the media; SPUC; F4J; KFC*; rape apologism; Closer magazine; MRAs (apart from me).
- I’d give up the pretence that all working women are Bridget Jones and all working men are coal miners. Nice contrast, but sod all basis in reality (and alas, everyone’s spotted this already).
- I’d avoid The Random Use of Capitals in order to suggest that something I’ve just invented (Forever Feminism, for instance) is in fact a Recognised Sociological Phenomenon. It just isn’t very Convincing.
- I wouldn’t bother making my own crazy adverts, à la F4J. There are plenty of real adverts which are extremely succesful at making women look like stupid, vacuous idiots. I’d just leave Lynx, Carlsberg and Virgin to it.
Above all, though, I’d articulate what I actually wanted. I’d say what rights I didn’t want women to have, what choices they shouldn’t be permitted to make, and what objections they shouldn’t be permitted to raise. Not being a real misogynist, I have no idea what these actually are. So in fact, I probably wouldn’t be all that good at this misogyny lark after all. That’s probably why I’m a feminist; it’s not because I’m ugly or rejected by men (although obviously I’m those things as well). But above all, I seriously lack those essential woman-hating skills.
* KFC is not an instance of me getting carried away with the acronyms. “Mum’s night off” has not been forgotten or indeed forgiven.