CAPITAL LETTERS, affectedly boisterous sex, little girl voice: a FUCKING response

Another day, another clever clogs arrives to tell the feminist masses why they’re fucking up. This time it’s the turn of Martha Gill. Like Charlotte Raven before her, Gill offers a rare insight into the feminist mindset. This is due to the fact that not only is she a feminist herself, but she’s amazingly clever and totally ace at writing. Most feminists are, as Gill so cleverly notes, thick as pigshit and rubbish with words. Thus we should all thank her for her guidance (come on, sheep-like feminist masses! Bleat in gratitude!).

In a piece that is ostensibly on “the perils of Groupthink” Gill makes two timely observations. The first is that every single “online feminist” (i.e. those feminists who are several classes down from a “print feminist”) writes in exactly the same style. And that style is … Well, let’s be honest, it’s the style in which Vagenda write. And Vagenda write in that style deliberately, perhaps because they’re writing about the very magazines whose approach they mimic. It doesn’t take a genius to notice this – Vagenda spell it out for you – but still. Well done, Gill. That’s probably a good few young feminists you’ve embarrassed out of writing on the things they care about, simply because they happen to adopt what you consider to be an overly stylized voice. Sod ‘em, though. It’s all very well finding a voice in this sexist world, but make sure it doesn’t sound too jarring to the more sophisticated feminist ear.

Gill’s second point is based on her first. This is unfortunate, since her first (that all “online feminists” write like Vagenda and their imitators) isn’t a very convincing one, but never mind. Let’s pretend this makes sense, otherwise the rest of Gill’s argument is too bewildering for words. Gill wants to suggest that since all “online feminists” write the same (which they don’t) they all think the same (which they don’t):

Now, there’s nothing wrong with showing your writing influences – but when you write as a tribe that’s a sign that you think as a tribe, and when you think as a tribe common sense starts to go out the window.

Evidence for this tribal lack of common sense in the feminist community comes from the fact that online feminists seem to have a thing about rape apologism: they don’t like it. Pretty much all of them don’t like it. Gill seems to find this suspicious, and decides “it’s something to do with people moving as a group”. Because obviously, all things being equal, you’d expect some supporters of women’s liberation to be cool with rape apologism, wouldn’t you? Otherwise it’s just weird. Silly, silly online feminists.

I don’t know where to start with all that’s wrong with Gill’s depiction of innocuous “advice” on rape avoidance being cruelly misrepresented as rape apologism. If her point is that saying some things increase your risk of being attacked but not your responsibility for it, then this has been argued in far more sober, nuanced and intelligent ways, for instance here. I still don’t agree with it, and I’ve tried to explain why here (no doubt in a Groupthink-ridden, knee-jerk way, without even knowing it). The point is, whatever you believe, you can discuss these things without being so bloody superior and insulting. Moreover, it’s important to do so. What’s the point of alienating people or shaming them into silence?

Well, anyhow, I just wanted to say that. Because I am frankly surprised at the meanness that lies behind this type of intellectual posturing. And yeah, now I feel worried in case I slip into “babyish” capitals or forget to drop in the odd “sounds sexist at first glance but actually it’s way radical” observation, just to show I’m not one of the crowd. Is that what being clever is meant to feel like? If so, I’d rather be ignorant, honest and free.

13 thoughts on “CAPITAL LETTERS, affectedly boisterous sex, little girl voice: a FUCKING response

  1. So one minute online feminism is too aggressive and full of infighting, and the next minute it’s a tribe and full of groupthink? MEDIA LOGIC!😄

  2. ‘SUDDEN OUTBURSTS OF CAPITAL LETTERS, AS IF CROSS, BUT IN A CUTE WAY, LIKE A CHILD’. How extremely patronising. I am getting very tired of the spate of recent articles attacking online feminism. Very tired indeed. But, on the other hand, this shows that we are making an impact.

  3. From what you say about her article (haven’t read the original) Gill nicely illustrates why we need lots of diverse women writing online. I’m yet to recognise a distinct style of writing amongst all online feminists, but hey, I am as of yet only published online so what WOULD I know?!

  4. I read the original article and thought it was ok actually – certainly not nearly as viscerally annoying as you clearly found it. In fact on the VA scale (I’ve just made that up) yours easily trumped Martha’s.
    Wtf is rape apologism – is it another femisit blog thing like ‘intersectionality’? You know, a phenomenon that no one else gives a feck about but seems to work some feminists into a lather of faux indignation and pointless fretting. No matter what you think, I do not imagine that Gill is defending rapists – no sensible woman or indeed man would.
    Offering advice re: personal Safety isn’t a bad thing surely? If you suggest that folk lock their doors does that make you a burglary apologist, or if you advise against having an argument with a drunk hostile person in a pub does that make you an apologist for violence? Course not. Rape is a foul crime and assuming a position won’t make it go away – ensuring that everyone knows its wrong is a start of course, but encouraging sensible safe behaviour doesn’t imply that you’re saying it’s ok to rape. I mean DUH.
    You were cross with being patronised, so you patronise Gill right back. – oh the irony. I love one in three of your articles, but tbh, that’s not a good enough hit rate to put up with the ill- considered whining in the other two. I’m offski.

    1. Well, it doesn’t really sound like the kind of things I write are for you! Which is just as well as a level of feedback that includes the likes of “I mean DUH” isn’t really my cup of tea🙂

  5. the difference between locking your door and so-called rape prevention “advice” isthat the former WORKS. and if you’re the kind of person who will offer women advice that tdoesn’t make them any safer and then get angry when feminists criticise that approach, then you’re a rape enabler/apologist. I mean DUH.

    1. Careful, you used CAPITAL LETTERS with ‘DUH’. But then so did “Jo”. Maybe he/she was being ironic. After all, it’s only bad if “online feminists” are doing it.

  6. And when a woman follows all their arbitrary “rules” and *still* gets attacked, they just invent some more she apparently didn’t follow so they can go ahead and blame her anyway.

    My mother knew martial arts, was extremely strong, and was always very careful. She went to work and went home. She was still raped.

  7. And once again we see that women hate other women more than anything else in this world. And they wonder why nobody takes them seriously. . . . .

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