27 May 2009, Comments (11)

Clive and the Evil Feminist jackboot of Doom!

Author: Helen

The Spike-Heeled Feminist Jackboot of Doom!

The Spike-Heeled Feminist Jackboot of Doom!

Check out this illustration, which goes with this massive outbreak of flatulence on bbc.co.uk. Yes, that’s right. It looks like the kind of thing you’d see in the Mail or Telegraph, but it’s the BBC, which is very sad.

“Women who believe liberal values exploit their sexuality have something much greater to fear – the jackboot of dictatorship, says Clive James.” Oh, look, the word “jackboot” is closely juxtaposed with the image of a very, very expensive piece of bejewelled, stilletto heeled footwear – exactly the kind of footwear favoured by rich, selfish western funfeminists, obviously. The Manolo Blahniks, or jackboots, as your subconscious now suggests that they are, are stamping on… what? they’re stamping on all the women in the non-western world!

Clive thinks that it should be obvious that liberal democracy is best for women, but do you think feminists agree? No, because they hate democracy, and prefer the jackboot / manolo blahnik of dictatorship! Say whaa, you say? Yes, according to Clive this is the case. “Some Western feminists” (that’s code for most of us, I think) don’t want women to have freedom, which is proved by their lack of support for joining up with the US and bombing their countries back into the Stone age.

Kuwait is by no means, a perfectly constituted democracy. As far as I can figure out, there is a ruling family whose Emir chooses the government and calls elections for parliament. But women have now been elected to the parliament, by popular vote. It should hardly need saying that this would have been unlikely to happen if Saddam Hussein had been allowed to continue to rule the country by terror, but let’s leave his awful memory aside for a moment, if we can, and dare to put forward a general reflection.

Kuwait? Saddam Hussein? errrr….. Let’s just skip over that minor error and continue with James’s demonstration of how wrong all the western feminists are. The solution, he appears to be saying, is just to give up on this notion of women being equal to men and get themselves protectors from the world’s supply of naturally violent men. Yes, he’s reviving the old spectre of “regime change” again, to rescue the damsels who will strew flowers in their path when rescued by the violent western forces (but it’s good violence, you understand, not that bad violence practiced by The Other Side.)

Does this sound familiar? He’s reviving the old 2007 Decent talking point, that if you oppose invading and bombing other countries you hate democracy. If you’re a so-called feminist, and you don’t think the Coalition of the Willing should be reducing one country or another to rubble, that means you support the continued oppression of the women there. It’s logical, innit. And it’s linked to our unreasonable repudiation of violence. Unreasonable, because (Clive thinks) it’s a chick thing.

It’s just too clear a proof that men have a natural advantage when it comes to the application of violence. When you say that women have little chance against men if it comes to a physical battle, you are conceding that there really might be an intractable difference between the genders after all.

…Men will always monopolise the means of violence if they can. Women can learn to shoot guns, but there are no all-female armies, and even the Amazons were probably a myth. Women, on the whole, would naturally like to do something else, whereas an army, for too many men, is a home away from home, and often their only home.

…What [Aung San Suu Kyi] needs is an invading army…”

Yes, that’ll work. Depending on the good graces of the Warrior Class has worked really well for the women of the world, so far. That’s why the Sudan is such a fucking paradise. And I don’t get the feeling that the army was a home away from home for Clive. He spent his youth writing articles for the University rag and building his career. If he gets his wish, this old man won’t be invading Burma. His government will be sending younger men (and women) on this latest useless adventure. People like MY SON. Words are cheap, Clive.

And, Clive? The worst thing about this article is not that you’ve latched onto this ancient and pathetic gotcha fully two years after the other Decents did, and the rest of the blogosphere showed very convincingly what a pile of old dog’s balls it was. It’s not that you admit you won’t even use your position as a popular writer and functionary of The Burma Campaign to do anything for Aung San Suu Kyi because it’s not threatening and warlike enough – you terrifying old keyboard Kommando, you. No, it’s because you use the women of Burma and Iraq – or was it Kuwait? – to score some kind of point over the strawfeminists who you’d like to get off your lawn. And that does not make you the better person.

There’s a guy called Kant who wants a quick word with you. In the meantime though, Western Feminists, just give up your sick love of violent dictatorships! and get your bejewelled jackboot the hell off Aung San Suu Kyi!

Comments (11)

  • Caroline says:

    Democracy is the best chance for women. Or if that sounds too naive, too pro-western perhaps, then let’s put it this way. The absence of democracy is seldom good news for women. Or, to get down to bedrock, if women can’t vote for women, then they haven’t got many weapons to fight with when they seek justice.

    I dunno Helen, sadly to me, this speaks volumes about women’s continuing predicament everywhere across the globe and our dear old scrofulous Clive, is conceding the fact that women do live on a largely mysogenistic planet, and that without recourse to vote for one another, would be ipso fact, doomed to remain in a state of severe and heavy repression. Quite some admission from an old bloke. The really interesting question to my mind however, is why (exactly) this is and should continue to be the case.

    But if democracy is our best chance, we’re truly fucked. I’d be going for something a little more apolitical, like mandatory justice and respect on humane grounds.

  • M-H says:

    Why do critiques of ‘feminism’ never seem to be related to what I believe? Maybe I’m not really a feminist then… oh noes…

  • Kath Lockett says:

    It just makes me more relieved and proud that the UGG boot is my footwear of choice!

  • Ann oDyne says:

    if you didn’t go back there –
    I thought you would enjoy the comment after yours at The Australian –

    “Chris Oliver Sat 30 May 09 (03:54pm)
    I am a Clive James fan. His radio discussions with Peter Porter leave me in no doubt that he is the real deal and not just some facile wordsmith in love with the sound of his own voice. He would be perfect as an Oxford professor of poetry, not least because, like Richard Dawkins in the Oxford Professor for the Communication of Science role, he would raise the university’s and the discipline’s public profile and be a drawcard for benefactors and students alike.
    “I think that I shall never see
    A billboard lovely as a tree.
    Perhaps, unless the billboards fall,
    I’ll never see a tree at all
    Ogden Nash pleases me in a way the Clive James poem quoted by trusty bones doesn’t.

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  • gee says:

    The Saddam Hussein reference probably referred to Gulf War mark 1, when Iraq was (briefly) in control of Kuwait

  • Linda Radfem says:

    Hey there, I’ve just found this blog via the latest carnival page. Excellent take-down. I used to be such a fan of his back in the day, too.
    Where do all these privileged white blokes in suits get off thinking they can comment on feminism at all?

  • Helen says:

    Hi Linda! Yes, the track record of privileged white blokes in suits, taken as a group, is not good, although there are some gooduns (although you can’t always suss out suit wearing or not on the internet.). Thanks for reminding me to go over to the latest Carnival.

  • derrida derider says:

    Poor old Clive really has lost it, hasn’t he? I suggest pity rather than anger is now the appropriate response.

    But OTOH the senile old fool is occupying column-inches that could be occupied by people whose opinions are still worth reacting to. On second thoughts, I say send the has-been off into retirement.

  • Helen says:

    I found someone’s comment in moderation and went to approve it – now I can’t see it, so being 5.30 AM here, I may have deleted it by mistake. I’ll check it out when I get home from work and see if I can restore it Ken!

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