11 Dec 2007, Comments Off on It’s finally happened: AGE op-ed page renders satire redundant

It’s finally happened: AGE op-ed page renders satire redundant

Author: Helen

Or the Onion, where this article appeared recently:

Man Finally Put In Charge Of Struggling Feminist Movement
December 3, 2007
WASHINGTON—After decades spent battling gender discrimination and inequality in the workplace, the feminist movement underwent a high-level shake-up last month, when 53-year-old management consultant Peter “Buck” McGowan took over as new chief of the worldwide initiative for women’s rights…
…”All the feminist movement needed to do was bring on someone who had the balls to do something about this glass ceiling business,” said McGowan…

Now we have our very own Onion:

We don’t need feminism to fight inequity
Michael Vaughan
December 11, 2007
Society needs fewer schisms, not the imagining of more.

OH, PLEASE, Karen Murphy (Opinion, 4/12), the revolution is over. For heaven’s sake, give feminism, that hoary old chestnut (or should that be whorey, given your attack on women?) a rest.

If I may, I’d like to run over a few salient points….

(etc, etc).

And in the Letters page, more antifeminism from another batshit crazy “Institute”. Oh joy.

Comments (0)

  • Tim Sterne says:

    Gosh. What a load of twaddle.

    I’m thinking of starting my own institute or think tank. Actually, given the current emphasis on families in Australian politics, a lobby group with the word “family” in it might be better. Families Against Reactionary Kunts, perhaps.

  • Alison says:

    UGH! Ew GAD! Gnnnnn! Can’t. Function! Too! Angry!
    I found the onion piece a while back, and even posted it myself. That Age article is so stupid, So stupid, that I talked at it. The dipshit missed the point: (I didn’t read her article but I’ll take a stab at her point) I don’t think she was talking about the exclusivity women have in these degradations. Most of them, helpfully echoed in Vaughan’s dotpoints, were popularised or normalised through their being encouraged to and sucked up by women, and now they’re also adopted by men in equally disappointing manners. She isn’t talking about how men don’t have it bad (or do it badly), she talking about how its maintained because women still aren’t changing. (I could tewtally beat down every point, but I’m commenting here, not posting. I promise)
    And the MIOMS if flipping stunning. Looking through his ‘stats’, I think he’s actually little bit simple.

  • Helen says:

    Alison, you posted on this – do you want to provide a link to your blog?
    And what made you go “gnnnnnn” the most – the Murphy article or the Vaughan heap o’ dingoes kidneys?

    Tim, you might have noticed there has been a funny trend in the Letters page, because there are so many of these picayune “institutes” these days, some letter writers sign themseves e.g. “Joe Bloggs of the Rowville institute”, “Bill Smith of the Moorabbin Institute”, etc according to where they live.

  • Alison says:

    I barely commented on the Onion piece because I took it as a light ironic stab, sad as it is (blog link via name this time).
    the jaw clenching came from the Vaughan piece – I felt he dumbly appropriated Murphy’s piece to whack on about nothing new (or anything actually relevant to her argument) and spent way too long getting around to almost agreeing with her in his last few paras. Obviously they’re short on reader feedback and long on space.

  • Pavlov's Cat says:

    Has anyone ever noticed that the less people know about feminism, the more of a right they feel they have to bang and witter on about it? Vaughan in particular obviously couldn’t define feminism for you even if he was lying helpless on the floor and you had your spurred and high-heeled boot wedged in his crotch and were threatening to bear down. (So, who else watched the rerun of Criminal Minds last night?)

    I’d say to both Murphy and Vaughan and to an awful lot of other people: go away and read at least four classic texts in feminism (I’d recommend Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Women, Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own, Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex and Germaine Greer’s The Female Eunuch). Then you have to learn the differences between/among the various contemporary feminisms; find out the differences between/among First, Second and Third Wave feminism; find out what the expression ‘sex-positive feminism’ means and learn the arguments for and against — and then you have to pass an exam in this stuff before you’re allowed to write an op ed about it.

  • marymary says:

    I’m going to have to disinfect my hard drive after visiting that website! yeeek.

  • Ariel says:

    Bloody hell. That Age piece is not only stupid, it’s badly written. And argued.

    Apart from anything else, so many of those points are so lame. I’m too tired to say anything terribly intelligent to illustrate, but … really! ‘Men degrade themselves, too.’ It’s really not comparable to the degree to which women (and small girls, increasingly) do. And re. the vogue for waxing, surgery, etc. – once again, so much more prevalent in women than men.

    I love that he concedes that women and men aren’t equal in wage terms, though. Isn’t that a pretty crucial part of achieving equality? Sigh.

  • Helen says:

    It’s alarming that such mediocre stuff gets on the op-ed pages while there is so much better writing out there, as we know from reading the feminist blogosphere. I like this quote from Twisty, which I stumbled across today. Listen up, Mizz Murphy and Mr Vaughan:

    When you’re already oppressed, it is, in fact, impossible to volunteer for oppression. A woman is a member of the sex class whether she “chooses” it or not. This pre-existing condition forms the backdrop to any fun feminist’s conclusion that her compliance with the patriarchal sexbot mandate is voluntary. She may believe otherwise, but her belief does not alter the fact that patriarchy — a social order predicated on an oppression to which she is already subject — is real and in effect and entirely beyond any unrestricted control she may wish to exert and only too glad to welcome her as a team player and sign her up for the rewards program.

    The fun feminist confuses “empowerment” with the decision to acquiesce. This is understandable; it’s the one actual choice she has in this game: surrender, or stand and fight. She doesn’t have to be Candida Royalle to recognize that if she chooses the latter all she’ll get for her trouble is ridicule, hostility, suspicion, and the threat of bodily harm.

    Whereas the rewards for surrender to male porn culture are not inconsiderable: social acceptance, male approval, little psuedo-privileges that accrue according to the degree of one’s conformity, and of course the enormous relief at not having to fight it anymore. The if-you-can’t-beatem-joinem gambit has enjoyed millennia of popularity for good reason. It gives the appearance of the shortest and easiest route to life’s rich pageant. Too bad that, once they get there, chicks are only eligible for the women’s auxiliary.

    In short, as some other blogger – don’t remember which – wisely pointed out, this sort of behaviour may constitute adaptation to restricted circumstances, rather than choice.

  • Darlene says:

    I bet the Memucan Institute of Mens Studies (no possessive) is made up of one member: Alan Barron.

    According to Al this is what feminism stands for:

    * Interventionist government policies which transgress civil and personal liberties
    * Individualism, Secularism, Humanism
    * Elevation of the feminine above the masculine
    * “Unisex” society, gender inclusive language
    * Equal opportunity (No exceptions unless it suits feminist aims).
    * Special measures/affirmative action for women in employment, education, law and health
    * Displacement of the male provider role, and male leadership
    * Fertility control, including abortion on demand (especially in developing nations)
    * Child care as communal and state responsibility
    * Sexual promiscuity, defacto relationships, homosexuality

  • tigtog says:

    Meant to comment yesterday, but realised I’d nearly forgotten we were going to a neighborhood Xmas party and needed to put bubbles in the freezer stat.

    Besides, Pavlov’s Cat already said what I wanted to say better than I could. These people have no idea about actual feminist arguments, they just want to exercise the backlash.

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