because none of us is fucking up like we think we are, is what i'm trying to say

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Feminism and Me.

It's counterintuitive and somewhat discrediting to the feminist movement, but I have to say this: I hate wanky men.

You know the type I mean. Sense of entitlement worn like a business suit. Attitude draped around their wrist as if a watch, but instead of telling the time it reminds them that they are superior to whomever they are talking to. Broad shoulders that are well-balanced in that they have a chip on both of them, so the stoop they walk with is only the weight of their own ego.

Imagine I am addressing the type of man who quite obviously has an adoring but submissive wife at home. The kind of wife who married for the security such a man can bring, as long as you behave in the right way. Challenge him in the sport of exchanging opinion so that 
he can brag about the charming and quaint intellect of his trophy, but don't ever show him up in public by proving that sometimes, he might be wrong.

“Oh darling,” she probably tells him at home. “You're so clever. Left-wing Liberalist with education and yet right-wing Conservative with our economy. It's so impressive, my love, how you express such staunch and aggressive opinion on things that actually you have no formal knowledge or experience in, and that you can go out into the wider world and enforce these ill-informed and potentially dangerous opinions on women out there who no doubt fall at your ignorant feet.”

Well not this woman.

And it is women who they are wanky with, because men like this don't challenge other men. Not in a name other than sport. In jest. But inherently they dislike educated women because some part of them- maybe their formal schooling, possibly the influence of their own fathers, seldom actual experience- means that women should be seen and not heard. Enhance their learning, but certainly not surpass it.

And for once, this isn't a blog post about an Italian mentality. This is irrespective of nationality. I've seen it in many places- except maybe America. They were generally a lot less wank-y there.

(But then, I was sleeping with an eighteen year-old, so maybe it's just my experience that makes them seem much more *ahem* willing to learn than they actually are.)

It's an international phenomenon- the Wanky Men Phenomenon- and we let this happen. And by we, I mean both women and non-wanky men. Because non-wanky men exist. They just get forgotten about in the cloud of testosterone fuelled pissing contests that Wanky Men aren't man enough to undertake with other men. They perceive women to be weaker, and so they can somehow 'win' at life through repressing these women, and they don't realise that sometimes, we fight back. That of course makes us One Of Those Women who obviously don't shave their legs and who fancy each other, because dismissal is oft-time more effective than battle. “Look, she'd have an argument in an empty room that one. Always raging about something.”

Be a man then, and fight me with your words.

I propose an uprising. We say times have changed, that our mothers and their mothers fought for an equality that somehow means we can stop asking for more. But it isn't true. We've come such a long way, of this I have no doubt, but ask yourself: how often is what we accomplish is tolerated, but not actively encouraged? How often is accomplishment the exception, not the rule? And how often do we hold ourselves back, as a people, to make ourselves more paletable?

The Wives of Wanky Men, who perhaps once were fabulous and proud themselves, are bullied into the same beliefs as these Wanky Men- and it is part of the phenomena that they are nearly always married- until they raise their children that way and we reset the feminist clock. Then we hide behind the sentiment that, 'Feminism is about choice,' and so if we chose to support our Wanky Husbands this is feminism too.

It isn't.

Your husband is a bully, and he makes you feel like you aren't enough so that he can be. And I am not talking about domestic abuse, or emotional abuse, I am talking about the subtle but damaging day-to-day interactions that we dismiss as 'men being men' or 'women being women' that mean actually, we are doing more harm than good.

Ladies, it doesn't make us unloveable or difficult or lesbians to say that we are equal AND THEN BEHAVE THAT WAY.

It's makes us exactly that. Equal.

And I've no interest in being anything else.

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