Well, I’m back, still posting about that sodding Observer article regarding men’s rights. But there was one thing I forgot to mention and I think it deserves a post all of its own (not just by way of recompense for having been forgotten; but issue, please forgive me).
Anyhow, it’s this bit:
Men are also increasingly the butt of jokes. In a recent article for Grazia magazine, one male writer took exception to comedian Jo Brand claiming that her favourite man was “a dead one” and an advertisement for oven cleaner with the tagline: “So easy, even a man can do it.”
Sigh. Do we really need to explain? One of these is Jo Brand parodying the stereotype of what a feminist is, and the other is a parody of a genuine advert for Oven Pride, except that originally it was “even a woman can do it” and it was meant seriously. Got that? Jesus, men, this has fuck all to do with what anyone thinks of you!
But so what if it did? If we do make jokes about men that we wouldn’t make about women, what does it actually mean about who holds the advantage? Ladies and gentlemen, I refer you to Marcelle D’Argy Smith, former editor of Cosmopolitan. I wouldn’t normally refer you to her, but she made a brilliant point about this on BBC Breakfast a few years ago. I can’t remember the exact wording but it was essentially that these jokes are like Tom and Jerry cartoons. Tom and Jerry are only funny (okay, not funny, but mildly diverting) because we know that in real life the cat would win. Just as we know that in real life it’s girls who are presumed better off dead and girls who get killed just for being girls, hence leaving some countries with a massive gender imbalance, of the sort we’ve not seen in the other direction since the end of World War Two. There’s nothing funny in stating the truth.
I refer you also to my partner, who made the same point in a different way, back when there was all the hoo-ha about David and Goliath’s rubbish “Boys are stupid, throw rocks at them” T-shirts. My partner merely muttered “nice to see everyone can get het up about these T-shirts, but not rape victims having real rocks thrown at them on the basis that they’re adulteresses and deserve to die”. So it’s probably just as well we don’t have T-shirts saying “Girls are stupid, throw rocks at them”. Chances are too many people would follow the suggestion.