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Sunday, 6 March 2011

National Women's Day Specials

I made a mistake today. I picked up The Observer's Sunday supplement, and fuck me, I read some of it. I know, now at least, that it is the same as the bastarding Guardian, but I saw on David Mitchell's Twitter feed that he had written a column in the main Observer paper, and I quite like him. This supplement was probably the most deeply irritating thing I have or will ever read, and I think it needs to be preserved in the national library for this reason - so anyone who wants to rage up can go and look at it.

The supplement was a special "Women's Issue", in honour of Women's Day, which is on the 8th of March, the day before No Smoking Day, which I have already discussed my views on. I am starting to think that this would be a good week to go into a coma.

I think it is safe to say that I have not really established myself as a proponent of the feminist cause. I think it is outdated and unnecessary in the modern western world to bang on about feminist issues. Yes, in other countries women are treated like shit, but that is a different matter. Here, women can have whatever jobs they want and still fuck off and have babies for a year or so and come back part time. If anything, they get more exceptions made for them than men could ever dream of, and they get their own Observer supplement once a year too!

And god, how depressed and pre menstrual would you need to be to want to read about a week in the life of a woman who sells scarves in Afghanistan. Wow, yes, that's interesting. She travels to a market and sells scarves.

I am also glad I got to read the opinions of a panel of women who discussed the place of feminism in modern Britain. One of the panel muses that it is awful that most young girls these days seem to believe that their future should be all about being famous and beautiful. Terrible, isn't it. I am glad that someone I have never heard of called VV who is described as a Singer and Model has explained how bad it is for young girls to want to be, er, singers and models. They say that women fill a large proportion of jobs such as nurses and teachers, but they should be encouraged to be doctors and scientists. Now, I'm sorry, but I think if a woman wants to be a doctor or a scientist and she has the intelligence then, just like a man, she will do it. Some women just want to be bloody nurses and teachers, same as some men want to do traditional male things like being a builder or a fireman. Does anyone bitch about that, and say those guys should have gone to uni, or that they should have thrown aside the stereotypes and become nannies? No, because that would be stupid and reductive.

There was also a really shit article about these two women who had started a UK branch of a website started in New York called Hollaback! where women who have been "harassed" on the street by wolf whistling and similar could shame those who had done it. These two women, referred to throughout as "students" even though they were both about 25, so were probably in more accurate terms "unemployed", were so ugly that it is hard to believe they genuinely do find it hard to make it from one end of Oxford Street to the other without crazed suitors attempting to molest them. One of them looked like Moaning Myrtle out of Harry Potter only wearing a bad 1980's leather jacket, the other was chubby and had dyed her hair a colour that doesn't even have a name. Burnt Umber is probably the closest I have seen in painting sets. Nobody is harassing these women.

My problem with this was where did the humour die? Why can't a woman get whistled at by some builders and go away thinking she maybe looks good, rather than that she is letting down the whole of womankind. Why can't you see a bloke masturbating on the tube and just laugh at him, and tell everyone down the pub about what a freak he was, rather than getting all righteous and indignant on some ugly bints' website?

Being of a given gender is not actually a subscription to a club - you don't have to be on the same side as everyone else like you in an imaginary war. I have always wondered why gay issues have to involve the "LGBT" community - lesian, gay, bisexual and transgender. None of those four groups really have anything in common with any of the others, aside from not being the majority. Is that really a community? I don't think Ellen Degeneres and Alan Carr have all that much to look after each other over just because they are both homosexual. Nor do I think Chris Eubank has any responsibility over Kanye West because they are both black. So why does being a woman mean you have to be part of some massive global issue, especially when it seems more natural for most women to have a competitive dislike for one another rather than forming some kind of "hos before bros" thing?

After reading the shit in the Observer, I read the Sunday Times Style Guide, which, whilst focussed solely on the vacuous subject of what kind of trousers and shoes women might like to wear for spring and where they could buy them, had a vastly more positive and optimistic outlook on what it is to be a woman.

Gender issues won't go away, but what the hell makes these people at the Observer, which actually has a column dedicated to bloody "ethical shopping", think they are helping anybody's cause by making the whole thing seem so horrendously "I will spell women wimmin so it doesn't have the word men in it"? Fuck off back to your lesbian bongo circle, and, if you want to get on the board of a company, try not being such a fucking bleeding heart liberal and having some actual business nous, rather than banging on about how it is because you have a vagina. You'll get a lot further that way, I promise.

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