The Second Sexism is just victim-envy, according to feminist Suzanne Moore, columnist for The Guardian. (Note: the long-time nickname for The Guardian is “The Grauniad” or just “Graun.”)
I was thinking it had been a while since Suzanne Moore had written a spectacularly crass, polemic, anti-men spiel in the Graun. As that is her raison d’etre, there had to be another one on its way and there was.
The commenters below the line pretty well demolished Moore’s “arguments” about men claiming status as “the new victims” due to their “victim envy” of women. She referred to a new book about men that the Guardian/Observer had already laid into once:
Regular commenter Ally Fogg (web site here) asked Suzanne if she had actually read this book and got no reply. My guess is no. She was just re-hashing the Guardian/Observer “line” on it.
My comment was brief but it raised an important point. I responded to this horrendous paragraph in Moore’s piece:
“Still, we all get bamboozled with the choices women now have. Despite everyday stories of violence and abuse against women, we are now to refer to prostitution as ‘sex work.’ I still await the dinner party where middle-class parents tell me: ‘Tom is doing his law conversion but even though Charlotte hasn’t done her Sats she already says she want to do sex work! We always knew she was entrepreneurial.” (my emphasis).
“As a woman who refuses the role of ‘victim’ I find this article insulting.
“How can I assert my agency with people like Ms Moore demanding that I fit into the ‘poor little victim’ box like a good little girl?
“I am not a victim. And I will fight feminism all the way.
“Oh. and sex work is called sex work because ‘prostitution’ takes away sex worker’s agency. They don’t want to be victims either it seems.”
There is something ironic about feminists, great believers in women’s power to “smash patriarchy,” turning certain groups of women into powerless victims, objects even. Sex workers, trans women, Tory feminists, women who have cosmetic surgery, women who wear too much make up, women who wear too little clothes, women who fuck too many men, they all know what it is like to be objectified and belittled by The Good Feminists.
It is actually quite a “patriarchal” or “matriarchal” approach to take. “You are a victim because I say you are, and since I have a column in the Guardian I get to have the last word on the subject.”
Except, thankfully, in the internet age, Suzanne Moore and her cronies don’t get to have the last word.
At the end of her article she mentioned how on International Women’s Day feminists on twitter silenced men critics, with the witty hashtag #whatabouttehmenz . But as Mark Simpson wrote in his article about misandry being the acceptable prejudice, this is a very sexist tactic:
Quiet Riot Girl has kindly brought to my attention the vogue online for dismissing anyone who suggests that men might face sexism as well as women with the retort: “whataboutthemenz?” And it seems it isn’t just feminists using this school playground approach.
It’s a rather telling phrase because it tries to project the childishness of the people deploying it against the ones they want to shut up. Ironically, it also seems to depend on the “patriarchal” notion of shaming the whining boy who doesn’t just sup it up “like a man.”
Simpson’s work is also important in challenging the lazy white middle class “victim feminism” spouted by Moore et. al. because he documents just how much gender roles and gender relations have changed in recent years. The metrosexual revolution he has written about is the result of a post-industrial society, where men aren’t “patriarchs” anymore (if they ever were). Men have suffered huge job losses, the destruction of “manly” industries such as mining and steel work. And have become “like women” in how they now care much more how they look, because many of them can’t take so much pride in what they do as they might have done in the past.
Another commenter under Moore’s diatribe quoted a slightly less cliched feminist, Ros Coward. Her book Sacred Cows inspired the wrath of Beatrix Campbell who said she felt “betrayed” by Coward. But sometimes “betraying” the “sisterhood” is the only decent honest thing to do. As the commenter at cif said:
From Sacred Cows by Ros Coward:
The combination of feminism and changes in the economy have shattered the easy way in which men could assume that their masculinity entitled them to a superior position. The uncertainty which men have been feeling and the effect of this on the socialization of boys show how inadequate it is to assume the all-importance of gender division, categorizing men into powerful positions and women into subordinate ones. [...] Now we have to acknowledge that gender is one among many divisions in a truly uneven and heterogeneous society. [emphasis added]
Coward wrote that in 1999. It’s odd that she did so, while all Moore manages now is to shout ‘tripe’ and claim gender trumps everything else.
Note — This piece is a reprint, first published earlier this year on Dr. Tams’ Graunwatch.–DE