Lifestyle, Ludotheque

Sexism vs Logic: Not a Love Story

If you’re part of an ethnic minority and someone makes racist comments, you know what you should do? Count yourself lucky, because you know someone, somewhere, will rush to defend you. Someone, somewhere will be outraged on your behalf and everyone knows that really, it’s not right.

Erica Buist

Let’s look forward to a magical, utterly mythical time where we can organise a lavish funeral for the last acceptable bigotry: sexism.

It’s everywhere, all over politics and the media and no one’s saying a word about it. Not one word.

For the last year I have been reading the news and watching television, hearing unspeakable bigotry and when I look up making my best “What the hell??” face, people roll their eyes and say  “aaw…you lil’ feminists are so cute when you’re mad.”

It’s not even a belief in feminism that fuels my rage, it’s a belief in logic. A callous lack of logic just frolics around us and everybody just takes it. Well we don’t have to. We can ALL make a “What the hell?” face.

Join me, will you? One time in the past year I was reduced to a pacing, sizzling fury was during an episode of The Apprentice – You’re Fired! in which various celebrities, comedians and journalists are invited to partake in banter and analysis about the show and its contestants. Amanda Platell, a columnist for the Daily Mail, had the vicious audacity to use a clip from this reality tv show to argue that women are no good at business.

The clip featured the team of women arguing and talking over each other; it was admittedly embarrassing and shameful. Like Big Brother in suits.

The clip ended and Platell turned her make-up caked, pinched-up Daily Mail face and sneered “I rest my case”.

You rest your case? You REST your CASE? You can’t rest your case! You haven’t MADE a case! You showed a clip from a reality tv show of people arguing! Who do you think chooses the contestants? Do you think maybe producers have a say? Do you think maybe ratings are a factor in the election of squabbling hawks?

How can anyone show a clip of some idiots and promptly rest their case? I could claim that women can’t walk, show a clip of some women in wheelchairs and smugly announce “I rest my case”.

Or, how about I claim that black people are no good at business and show a clip of some black people arguing, and rest my sodding case? No? Why not? Is that because there would be an outcry at the utterly idiotic, logic-starved bigoted slurs rolling from my sneering cakehole, forcing even the Daily Mail to squeeze a resignation out of me? Interesting.

Funny how you can say things like “women are no good at business” and “I just don’t think women should be priests” and nobody minds, yet replace the word “women” with “black people”, “Asians” or “Mexicans” and the standpoint is undeniably prejudiced and utterly ridiculous.

I am sick, dear readers, of being tarred with the same brush as people with whom I have nothing fundamental in common. At all.

A politician I once worked with, (who shall remain nameless to protect his reputation) once stated in a room full of politicians “I don’t believe in women in politics”. I restrained myself from waving at him – as, well, there we were – and asked him why. He responded “Two reasons. Margaret Thatcher, and Ann Widdecombe.”

Ho ho. Nice punchline, sir. But let’s cut to where your daughter says “Sod it then, there are poles everywhere, I may as well give it a shot”.

Margaret Thatcher and Ann Widdecome, two of British politics’ more horrifying trolls. What do they have in common? Not their politics and policies or anything that may inform their political actions – I think you’ll find they both have a CUP SIZE. That’s clearly the common denominator here.

I’m being flippant, so in all seriousness – let’s look at George W. Bush, or “The Global Village Idiot” as he is known. The worst President the US has ever had. It’s in the statistics, it’s all there. The only people who disagree are his rich friends and a few foetuses. And yet, no one has looked at his Presidency and said “See? This is why men shouldn’t be in politics”. They haven’t said “This is why Texans shouldn’t be President”.

No one has even said “This is why people who look slightly simian with an intellect to match shouldn’t be President”.

How, after leaving an embarrassing legacy of war, malapropisms and unwanted children, has George W. Bush only managed to spark prejudice against himself? Do you think people would have been so forgiving of Hillary? Sarah Palin is just as dangerous an idiot as Bush, yet her actions could mug women all over the world of their credibility. Why? What did we ever do?

If you’re going to write off 51% of the population as useless, you might want to take bigger samples than Thatcher, Widdecombe and Palin.  All the poorest and most unstable countries in the world are also fiercely patriarchal.

I’m not saying the link is direct, I’m just saying part of it could be down to simple maths; if half the population are not allowed to work, and you’ve also got the children who are too young to work…well.

You’ve not got much manpower after all, have you? I rest my case. However if it turns out Sarah Palin does have man parts I’m sure we won’t be entirely surprised.

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