Category Archives: News

We Love Self-Defence!

I don’t advocate violence.  Really I don’t.

But I very much advocate self-defence.  I love self-defence!

And so much love goes to the Egyptian women featured here.

Vigilante gangs of ultra-conservative Salafi men have been harassing shop owners and female customers in rural towns around Egypt for “indecent behavior,” according to reports in the Egyptian news media.

‘But when they burst into a beauty salon in the Nile delta town of Benha this week and ordered the women inside to stop what they were doing or face physical punishment, the women struck back, whipping them with their own canes before kicking them out to the street in front of an astonished crowd of onlookers.’

What can I say?  Kick arse women like these make me feel happy.  Oh, and very cowardly.  But I’m a happy coward today.

This is not really a Post

I accept that; I fully admit that this is a ‘post’ in a technical sense only, that I am fulfilling my ‘obligation’ not at all in spirit today.

Full service will be resumed tomorrow.

Jingoistic Militarism? Shit, Everyone Needs a Bit Now and Again!

For all of you that don’ t know, the Lord Mayor’s Show is an annual parade-y thingy through the streets of the City of London.  And before you all think I’ve gone over to the dark side, no, Boris johnson is not the Lord Mayor of London; he is – to my ever-lasting sorrow – the mayor of London which is a very different thing.

Like so many parade-y thingies, it is resplendent with jingoistic, militaristic fervour.  Every third float or group is some branch of the military  and I lost count of the number of tanks that rumbled past (although there was only one helicopter dragged along, ‘piloted’ by two female pilots which, obviously I’m conflicted about but which, simply, makes the feminist bell above my heart clang with joy).  I did at one point wonder whether we had any serving personnel left overseas.

But there are two things that you need to know.  Firstly, I am a sucker for a marching band; that brrru-uuum of the drums gets me every time.  Heck, I used to be in a marching band and I still know now that I have never been happier in 100% nylon trousers and a large feather in my hat.  For those of you equally charmed by the marching band sound, you really should check out the Trans-Siberian Marching Band for banging tunes with fewer uniforms and more cross-dressing.

Secondly, I spent most of the day welling up.  I am a sarcastic, cynical fucker, I know, but occasionally – and only, I hasten to add, since I had bloody kids – I am, literally, over-whelmed by nice-ity-ness.  Do other mothers have this?  I used to be able to watch Andrex ads and think only ‘nice puppy, cute’ and ‘jeez, the kid’s like, what, four, and he can’t wipe his own arse?’  Now, I watch an Andrex ad,  and sometimes, without warning and seemingly at random, I find my eyes all wet and a lump in my throat as I contemplate the beauty of a world where a yellow Lab puppy will overcome the innate dumbness of its sub-species and race for miles to give a toilet roll to a small child.  I’m embarrassed for myself.  You have no idea how embarrassed.  Although I do still think the kid’s old enough to wipe his own arse.

Anyway.  The point was that everybody was so happy to be parading (except the non-smiling army people, and as long as they bring the tunes, who the fuck cares if they sit in the kitchen at the party?).  Everybody had shit-eating grins on their faces.  The volunteers from St. Bart’s (the local hospital), the volunteers and children associated with the Variety Club, the children from the various programmes to save ‘inner city’ children from a range of perceived evils, fuck, even the nobby wankers from the Worshipful Companies who no doubt spend every other day of their lives thinking of new ways to fuck people over or just getting, well, more plump, were smiling and waving and just happy as fuck to be walking through the streets of London waving at complete strangers while complete strangers waved back at them.

Frankly, it was lovely.  And all a bit much for me.  I got a bit giddy and over-excited and aside from the odd sarcastic comment (who’s this?  oh, the worshipful company of over-stuffed white men!  Haven’t we had them already?), I was a bundle of smiling, waving fluffiness.  A rare day indeed.

D’you know the only thing that spoiled it for me?  Stephen bloody Fry who brought up the rear of the parade in the stumbling shamble he calls a walk while he’s pretending to be all man of the people.  I’m slightly intolerant of Frye because I used to like him – used to as Mel C once said, wish he was my uncle who we ‘could just go round to Uncle Stephen’s and learn some stuff’ – until the whole women don’t like sex and I, a gay man who is notorious for being terrified of both women and, until latterly, gay sex, am too wrapped up in my own white man privilege to understand that even if I had anything whatsoever to contribute to the subject of women’s sexuality it wouldn’t be for me to express as a fucking command.  Idiot, as the French say with just slightly more flair (ignore the ‘t’ and really eat the ‘o’).

The other thing that really gets me is his constant flouncing off Twitter and whatnot.  Toys, pram, throwing, anybody?  No, we are so over our Stephen Fry phase here in Boogieville.  It saddens us (for we love and honour intelligence in this town), but we know it must be (because we hate unexamined privilege and, oh, yes, basic stupidity).

Boogie loved the whole thing so much she was almost zombie-fied by the end from constant waving and smiling.  She saw plenty of children in it and is desperate as desperate can be to participate in next year’s parade.  Thinking on my feet, I gave her the following options:

– learn the clarinet and then learn to play it whilst marching

– join a dancing ‘youth group’

– become a St John’s ambulance cadet

– jump out of a plane and join the parachute regiment

She toyed briefly with the first until she heard the last.  I am now charged with finding a parachute centre with so few ethics that they will allow a 6 year old to skydive.

I am not looking too hard.

Women Run the World but Have Really Odd Priorities

Symbol of feminist oppression

Seriously.  If there’s one thing your average MRAer will tell you without even being asked – or even being on topic – it’s that women, by and large of the feminist persuasion, actually run the world.  Coo, I bet they felt good when Beyonce released that Run the World shit; she’d let the secret out!

That of course is why she had to fall ‘pregnant’; as punishment for showing those MRAs that they’d been right all along, the World Feminist Council forced her to retreat from global super-pop stardom into her kitchen making endless batches of blueberry muffins and practising saying ‘I find motherhood far more satisfying than global super-pop stardom and I never again will suggest erroneously that women run anything other than their mouths, gossipy things that we are’ with a modicum of conviction.  Any minute now, people.

OK, I’m joking.  There is no World Feminist Council except the one in my head (which I’m in charge of, by the way; ain’t no collectivist power shit in my WFC because I know best, hurumph!)

But the really odd thing is that whilst we run the world, instead of crowing about it (as MRAs will tell you we’re prone to doing) and using our power to bring in policies to, oh I don’t know, dismantle capitalism, fight global poverty, make abortion universally available, enforce equal pay legislation, force men to walk around for a day in those newly fashionable ‘stripper’ 7 inch platform heels and then see if it’s even possible to find them ‘sexy’, or, oh, you know, something remotely feminist or even just woman-ist, we instead choose to exercise our power covertly – going so far as to not only deny we have power but to set up a small contingent of women to whine about our lack of power (cunning, cunning!) – and in the frankly oddest of ways.

Yes, we could put an end to a culture of rape and domination, stop domestic violence in its tracks, or outlaw ‘Shipwrecked’, but instead we put…flashing lights on school buses in the States.  Oh, and paint them yellow.  Both of these things are how we turn school buses into symbols of feminist oppression.  Don’t look at me, I’m not the one making this shit up.  So with thanks to Manboobz for the biggest laugh I’ve had all day:

School Buses: A Symbol of Women Dominating Men and Boys

Now what I want to know – and I will be addressing the WFC with this later – is why?  What end of the feminist revolution is served by turning buses into symbols of gender oppression?  Answers on a postcard.

Abortion Saved My Life

I’m not prone to crying, but this just made me weep.

Abortion Saved My Life

Read it and weep for a woman who almost died  because nobody would abort a foetus that was already dead.

Just Shut It

A little while ago, I wrote about my knee-jerk reactions to giving my children sex education.  One knee jerked in the direction of assuming that Boogie would always be the one who would be pressured to say yes, whilst the other knee jerked in the direction of assuming L’il Boo would be, in effect, a sexual predator, always the one to try and get the other person to say yes.   In this instance, there is something to be said for keeping your legs closed.

Naturally, on watching my knees, I strapped them down and told them to fucking behave.  Other people however, see their knees routinely jerk off in stupid, stereotypical directions and think that the views of their knees should be made law.

Ah, Nadine Dorries.  If you aren’t familiar with this knock-her-down-and-she-just-keeps-popping-back-up anti-abortion campaigner and Tory MP, read the comments below The Guardian piece linked (just this once, though, mind!).  She is…unsavoury.

Yesterday, she popped up again like a particularly annoying Weevil, introducing under the 10-minute rule a bill which would require schools to provide girls of 13-16 with “additional sex education [that] must include information and advice on the benefits of abstinence from sexual activity”.  Only girls because, presumably, they exist in a sexual vacuum.  Being abhored by nature (or the Patriarchy at least).

Now, 10-minute rule bills are just something MPs like to indulge in to amuse themselves when they get tired of cutting your services and stealing your money via expenses forms.  It ain’t gonna become law (at least not any time soon).  But still.  67 MPs voted for it.  67 MPs who, I’m guessing, better stay home come the revolution.  67 people – in positions of power in this country – think that (1) the onus is entirely on girls to say no, and (2) boys never want to say no and definitely shouldn’t be taught how to do so.  And also that girls should be taught to say no in a boy-free environment so that boys never get to understand the mysterious, feminine ways in which girls are taught to repel them, like, oh, No, thanks, I don’t really want to, or, Without a condom, pal?  You’re having a laugh – get it covered or bugger off!  Or indeed, any of the other phrases which convey, essentially, ‘no’ (my personal favorite being, ‘No’).  Now, even if you accept that girls are gatekeepers to the golden jewel of sexual pleasure, wouldn’t it help girls say no if boys got the same message?  That saying ‘no’ was not only possible, but acceptable?  ‘Do you want sex then, love?…No, me, neither; I’m getting mixed messages from the media about the acceptability of a slightly bent penis and I don’t feel ready to open myself up to your judgment just yet.  Should we play Twister instead?’  Teenage parties would be all the more interesting for it, methinks.

Dorries of course has no truck with such arguments, stating on her own blog:

‘I do [want the emphasis to be on girls]. It’s girls who get pregnant, girls who lose their education, girls who are left to bring up a child on benefits, girls who reach old age in poverty, girls who are subjected to a string of guesting fathers as they throw in the towel in a life of welfare misery, girls who seek abortion, girls who suffer the consequences of abortion, girls who are subjected to the increased medical risks of giving birth at a young age, girls who have little control over condom use, girls who are pressurised, girls who are targeted by lad mag marketing, it’s seven year old girls Primark made alluring padded bikinis for, girls who are targeted by paedophiles…….

So in a world fraught with danger for girls, just keeping your legs shut will make it a fucking Nirvana.  Well, it’s simple, I suppose.  Taking Dorries’ list, I can think of, oh, eleventy billion things we could do to address those particular inequalities.  None of them are just tell girls to keep it shut.  Jesus, who’d be a heterosexual girl now?  Legs shut lest you get yourself pregnant (yourself!  har har!), mouth shut lest opinions make you unfeminine and unpopular with boys, brain shut unless you start to understand how keeping your legs and your mouth shut will do nothing to prevent the world from fucking you in all number of ways.        

What The Heck Is It That This Way Comes?

There is this from The Guardian Comment is Free.  It’s a normal enough piece, talking about how little girls grow out of the princess shit by around age six.  Disney itself has, I believe, recognised this fact, pulling its Disney Princess line of toys on the basis that the age group it attracts is miniscule; like say, 3-4 or so.  It also talks about how the writer, ‘a committed feminist and believer in equality‘ looked on in horror at her small daughter’s love of all things ‘princess’.  Again, fairly normal for CiF.

And that’s where it gets weird.  Truly weird.  You got the words ‘feminist‘ and equality‘ and ‘horror‘, right?  You understand what’s therefore supposed to happen next?  As surely as night follows day?  Or as flies follow David Cameron?

Vitriol.  Misogyny of the most vicious order.  Personal attacks on the author for her femi-nazi parenting style, followed by ample debate as to why exactly feminism is to blame for everything from oestrogen in the water to the disappearance of the polar bears.  If you’re really lucky, you’ll catch some deep thinker suggesting that women like the author are the reason that women get raped, doncha know?  If for some reason, you’re unfamiliar with how this particular song goes, read this. and you’ll be humming it around your lesbian socialist commune before you know it (because it’s an accepted fact that we all live in a lesbian socialist commune).

When I got to it, the piece had 21 comments.  All were, in general, supportive of the author’s basic argument.  No personal attacks were made on the author, her parenting skills, or her level of hygiene.  Many commenters noted the fact that, during the early years, princess costumes are as popular with boys as girls, or that their sons still like pink and sparkles (for the record, L’il Boo is currently obsessed with his sister’s hats and likes nothing better than ambling around the house wearing pink fairy wings).  Other commenters noted that, despite being discarded early on in childhood, the ‘princess’ model may well nonetheless harm young girls in the long run.  In short, I didn’t have to report a single bloody comment.  So now what will I do for the rest of the day??

I need a lie down.