Bit late to the table with this one – intervention of life and relationships, yada yada – but here goes…
I didn’t manage to trawl thru all 21 pages of the pompous, middle-class male, faux-outrage dominating the comments, but I got the gist that around 50% of the replies warranted ‘This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our community standards. Replies may also be deleted. For more detail see our FAQs.’ – I wonder why?
Misogyny and misandry are not equivalent; operative action and reaction. To present sexism as a two-way street is to willfully ignore the fact that the traffic on one side is denser, faster-moving and driven by psychopaths. This is a fundamental flaw in the liberal agenda, exemplified by a plethora of comments along the lines of
‘If someone had written an article about things not to do with your vagina would this also be acceptable? Grauniad (sic) I expect better’ (from poster Steve Bagley).
A ‘sexist joke’ directed at a man/men is just that: we (as men) can safely assume that it’s not the thin end of a wedge with real-life discrimination, violence and death on the thick end (Rape banter anyone? yep, that’s a real thing) Which is not to say that men don’t routinely face the threat and actuality of violence; rather to admit that such threats and violences are most often offered and perpetrated by other males, just as violence against women most often is.
‘If only more men would remember not to rape. It’s a great shame how many seem to forget.’ (TristanJakobHoff)
(Clearly, their Twitter spat with Trans*activists/supporters is fresh in the minds of certain Guardian posters:
’11) Do not assume everyone with a penis is a man, or vice versa. (Hyosho).)
Perhaps a better-grounded assumption might be that anyone with a penis – and particularly in situations where penis-exposure is unexpected and unwarranted – might present as a threat? A girlfriend recently related to me a couple incidents of indecent exposure, prior to which she’d assured herself she could have responded to such an encounter with an eye-roll and a witty riposte. In the event, she was plain scared and, as such, rendered voiceless; impotent, if you will… As it happens, said exposed organs were attached to self-identified males. though – and I digress momentarily to inform readers that my girlfriend isn’t psychic – had the perpetrators identified as trans*women it’s debatable whether the concomitant and immediate sense of threat would have been significantly reduced, if at all.
If Moore‘s satire on this occasion, isn’t terribly sophisticated it surely has the undeniable ring of truth? As such, how much mileage in dancing around the truth with measured nicety?
‘Yep. It’s hilarious how many (presumably male) posters take issue with a woman telling men what to do, when articles from men telling women – albeit generally more subtly – what to do are a daily occurrence. It’s generally not remarked upon when a man writes a non-factual article on, say, abortion – you certainly don’t get five pages of enraged comments from women about how dare a man tell them what to do with their bodies…
…they’re all true and reasonable requests. So the angry commentators are basically just saying how dare a woman have an opinion on the matter. (Pavanne)
Like Jamie Kilstein, Moore plays switcheroo with familiar tropes of male sexism in order to point up how ludicrous (and harmful) they actually are. As was the case with Kilstein, men dominate the backlash. And they are no more responsible for fomenting misandry thru their satirical musings than Janice Raymond and her ilk are responsible for generating Trans*misogyny by way of their intellectual analysis. And intellectual is a key word here. Writers of all stripes are right to presume a level of intelligence in their readership and argue accordingly, comedically or otherwise. In their over-egged responses, said readership only expose theirs – and their parent-societies’ – prejudices (and weaknesses),