Monday, January 28, 2008

Monday in a Feminist Wasteland....

So this post is going to be somewhat self reflective, that's ok, that's what Mondays are all about. Mondays and Live Journal but I can't keep up with 2 blogs at once...

The day started off well, I was pleased at the guardian for featuring this story as their front page lead.,,2247987,00.html

It's about the whiteness and maleness and richness ( or at least upper middle classness) of these high court judges. They also gave me a free mug. It was looking like it was going to be a good day.

I took my paper and got a coffee in the DHT cafeteria, putting my coat beside me on the floor. There was plenty of floor space, it was not blocking anything, nonetheless some old guy comes up and stands by me - staring at the coat.
"Is that how you treat your clothes?" he says, in the same way you might talk to a particularly immature 12 year old. I mumble something about it falling off the chair - he says " Well there is a chair there" and walks off.
I spend the rest of the time between my lecture fuming, what a jerk ! I'm 21 and have been wrecking my clothes with wild abandon for years, I buy them with money I earn(or borrow), I bear the consequences. I thought of all the things I should have said to him like ' Yes it is, is that how you think you can speak to people?' even just 'Bog Off' would have better than my wimpered submission. It put me in a cross mood for most of the morning.

Now obviously I cannot prove that this man felt as though he could talk to me like a child because I am younger than him, or because I am a woman. One of the frustrating aspects of Feminism is though some things you can prove, some of the other little opressions like old curly haired jerk (he never told me his name so it will have to be Curly - the big old jerk) are difficult because it is so easy to just reduce them to individual experiences. Take this to its natural conclusion and social problems cease to exist.

In the afternoon I had an English Literature tutorial on T.S Eliot, who I dislike (what can I say, old white dead/nearly dead men not in my good books). I dislike him because he is one of these elitist conservative old dead white men who we waste far too much time on in Literature. Bits of The Wasteland are ok, and I don't even mind the love song of J Alfred Prufrock, but I detest his essay 'Tradition and the Individual Talent'.

If you are not familiar with it I shall sum it up here - poets are a part of a glorious history of white male writers from Europe who are so much part of our heritage,that they live in the present. A good poet is not really connected to his work (women aren't poets obviously, neither are people from anywhere other than Europe) poems are these objective entities to be interpreted in themselves. Poets are cataylists who transform this glorious white male european tradition into something new/objective.

Read it if you want, I think it's dumb. As if poems aren't written with any intent, as if writers live in a vacuum. We were asked at the beginning of the tutorial what we thought and I said that I thought it was horrible crap, because it basically asserts the importance and dominance of rich white men over literature, and the whole concept of poets being seperate from poems is pathetic nonsense.

Some conservative guy stuck up for Eliot throughout, and I argued my point. When he said he thought Eliot was good I asked why. It turned out, in that instance, I had misheard, he was saying that he thought the girl who was presenting was good ( oops, me and my big mouth!). It's ok it was all realised, it wasn't too embarressing - I did not appear to be a colossal bitch. It was a pretty good tutorial really, we went into the politics of the canon, there was debate (me and the mature student agreeing Eliot to be up his own arse, two Jack Willis clad guys from the south of England thinking perhaps we haven't given him a fair go)

Anyway my main point here is that on my way out I was walking alongside the guy who I had disagreed with, and I said

'Didn't mean to come across so agressive in there'

What the?!! He jovially replied 'It was good! It's a shame we didn't get more time'
Why the hell did I say that?
'I am sorry for asserting my opinion'.
I know why I said it, he was next to me and I wanted to make some conversation because I didn't want to look like a bitch. It was then I realised how much we internalise these ideas about gender. All I had done was assert a valid point, it wasn't something I should have been apologising for.
Equally here we see the importance of language - heterosexual men don't get called bitches, and thus can assert themselves as much as thy like without thinking 'I hope they don't think I'm a bitch'.

What a loser! To top it off the German society have a poster of a woman's ample cleavage to advertise their event 'bodacious beer'. I had some stickers in my bag left over from a feminist network meeting. The best thing I could think of to write was 'This crap is why I'm a feminist' ( I thought about putting sexistisch but that might not mean what I think it does...). It felt good though.

If only I could find Curly - the big old jerk, I could put one on his back......

This is what I got when I typed 'Curly the big old jerk' into google images. Yeah kiss my shoes Mr....

Monday, January 21, 2008

Wil Hodgson and others....

I just spent a night at the stand for some , ahem 'comedy'. I had heard good things about the headline act Wil Hodgson and looked forward to seeing him. It was such a shame that watching his act necessitated sitting through the drivel that was the acts which preceded him. I was with a particularly awesome friend who had a hard time calling it shit, prefering to deem it lazy and stupid, and not her sense of humour. I am not that gracious*. It was a piece of shit. I don't admire stand up comics just for being confident any more than I would admire the confidence of a teenage boy getting his dick out on the bus. Nor am I particularly worried about hurting anyone's feelings - I think if you get on stage and say something you are accountable for it. I wouldn't judge harshly someone with poor material or poor delivery, but the world doesn't occour in a vacuum and what we say affects other people. Thus offensive stand ups deserve slating. Comedy is always political, whatever its about.

Throughout the night I sat there thinking , either I don't have a sense of humour or I am surrounded by morons.
(ok so I appreciate here that I am being horrifically elitist and of course I think the capitalist patriachal system forces people into appreciating crap)

So yes - in the spirit of pretending to be a journalist ( though not one who abides by grammatical convention - oh no.)


John Whale was up first. A chripy geordie lad whose jokes lacked originality, but were mostly inoffensive. He chose cliche as his topic and made some amusing observations which were tied together well. Not hilarious or smart, but didn't make me feel any hatred. hurrah.

When Martin McAlistar took to the stage my heart sank. Having seen him before at lemon custard I knew I was in for 10 minutes plus of boredom. His stories revolve around himself being a stalker.There are no jokes, just a particular slow style of delivery that might somehow delude people into thinking he is funny. He makes light of sexual harrassment, stalking and then goes on to tell an obvioulsy made up story which derives its 'humour' from the idea of a promiscuous woman. Funnily enough I don't find sexual harrassment amusing, but then I am female, and like most women I have experienced sexual harrassment**. It's never funny. The same can be said of Martin.

Dee Custance was better. Not hilarious, and she did tend towards 'dippy' comedy, but she was very likeable/ amusing in places.Has definate potential.

Gus Tawse was awful. It's hard for me to remember his exact material as I have seen his type of comedian too many times before. The audience seemed to get into it, jokes which stuck out were not wanting Madeliene McCann's mum for a babysitter ( because obviously just the mother's fault....) something about a girl not wanting to sleep with him so he shot her in the legs ( aah yes sexual violence, it's just such a larf).I can't remember the rest but it was repulsive.

Wil Hodgson was like a breath of fresh air by the time he came to the stage,and it was disappointing that his set was so short , with his material about liking 'real' women (not feminist as such, but woman friendly) taking up most of the time. You could tell that he would put on a good show given a little more time to build his persona, unfortunatley he was pushed for time and a bit lack lustre(maybe he had just sat through the acts on before him). Watching him was like getting to know a brillinat non conformist, who you know has 'lived': I was interested in what he had to say. It was a shame that he didn't talk about more than just readers wives and my little pony, but I felt like he was going to. He also said that people who read nuts ought to have their heads bashed in with a sledge hammer (solidarity brother; though lets start with the publishers shall we? Anyone know the way to the headquaters of EMAP?)

The whole thing was compered by Joe Heenan, who was very much that annoying kid at school who thinks he is funny because he can do lots of voices. He also went in for some of that 'lets offend the audience' type stuff, and he said that a woman who was 19 looked about 12, I mean he would know, that was the sort of mental age his compering was aimed at.

All in all a mediocre night, I would see Wil Hodgson again but it was tough sitting so much appaling offensive drivel.

* said friend made a very good point about this blog : when I say that I hope people like Rupert Murdoch die of cancer weakens my arguments. It probably does, I can't help it. I still think Rupert Murdoch deserves to die from a very painful cancer.

** am not trying to speak for all women BUT every woman who I have ever spoken to about this can identify an incident where they have been sexually pestered/harrassed/threatened in some way. Anecdotal perhaps, true yes.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Sex......... with Mum and Dad

I live without TV, but I have newly discovered the BBC I player in my quest to watch Louis Theroux, a long term object of my affections.I came across a show called Sex ....with mum and dad. Naturally my curiousity was aroused, particularly owing to the fact that this was a BBC show, not some sort of channel 5 orgy of incest.
It managed to remind me why I hate TV, why the media are by enlarge evil, and why a revolution is really very long overdue.All this and I generally like documentaries about sex.

The premise is that 2 families have issues with .....SEX ( this is how the narration was, a nice BBC voice which gave dramatic pauses before forcefully emphasising the word Really very funny)
Can a SEXologist from the Nether Region help them out with her frank and honest approach? Will chatting about wanking infront of their parents give these youngsters healthier sex lives and 'sort out their families'?

The show introduced us to a girl of 18. Cheryl is working class, she wears low cut tops, high cut skirts and is evidently in need of a dentist. She is from Essex and rows with her mum.
It goes without saying that she has a lot of sex, and the sexologist wants her to talk about it. She asks her if she has orgasms when she has sex, to which she replies 'sometimes'. The sexologist says something like 'if he cuddles you and is very loving then you do? If he is selfish not so much?'( So that's how to have orgasms every time, if only I had realised it was that simple.)

Anyway Cheryl is obviously supposed to be some fallen woman, and the main focus of her narrative within the show is the number of sexual partners she has had. Cheryl is asked if she uses contraception, she replies 'most of the time' . The narrator then repeatedly states that she often has unprotected sex, and it is supposed to be a big shock that she is free of STIs, even though she has said that she practices safe sex.
Her visit to the gynacologist also made me cringe, the doctor was male - despite the fact that most GUM clinics will let you see a female doctor ( he was white too) . It was as if she was a school child being told off for bad behaviour, and again she is reminded about contraception.

Next up is a mysoginistic boy of mixed heritage from Doncaster. His attitude to women is obviously appaling, though it is never explored where these attitudes have come from. He doesn't treat his mother with respect and his hatred for women is clear. He lost his virginity to a prostitute, and is told off by his mum for going with 'that sort of girl'. Going with a prostitute is implied to be something that makes him unclean. No mention of the number of his sexual partners is made, it is all about how he can be better to women by 'wining and dining them'. He is not taken to a GUM clinic and made to sit infront of a doctor, nor does anyone ever ask him if he uses contraception.

By the end of the show Cheryl had cried rather falsely to her mum, talked about her dad leaving and the number of people she had been with. Her mum asks her if she thinks about her reputation. She has stopped wearing such revealing clothing and now sits with her legs crossed. I guess she is now a lady.
The boy has apparently learned that women are people, though to what extent I am not sure. He has learned to be nice to his mum - and that decent women like to wait for sex.
The lesson seems to be if you are female, better not have too much sex, if you are male - don't be nasty to women, wine and dine them..

Thank goodness I am middle class so I conduct myself in whatever sexual manner I choose and more or less get away with it.

Way to go BBC, yet again the lower working classes ( young women in particular) are framed, constructed and ridiculed for the entertainment of the so called middle class majority. Also managed to get some regionalism in there too - and lets not forget race.

Worst of it is I was entertained.I was sucked in, I enjoyed watching these poor young people be humiliated untill the cogs of deconstruction in my mind started whirring. Then I felt a strange mix of fascination and guilt. I'm sorry Cheryl - maybe I will dedicate my next post to her.

Friday, January 11, 2008


Today we rated the 7 deadly sins in order of how fun they are.

This is the order


We then did the same with the cardinal virtues. This is the order.


In order of preference this is them both together


And this is one image I found typing the word 'temperence' into google images.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Out weirding...

Someone by the name of kisses for munches (!) just started talking to me on skype.
This was the conversation

kisses for muches 20:43


Liz Ely 20:43

who are you?

kisses for muches 20:44


Liz Ely 20:44

than what - an ant, cos they can lift 50 times their body weight
a beaver?
an ostritch - you don't want to be on the wrong side of one of those

kisses for muches 20:47




I out-weirded a weirdo! Cue misplaced pride...

Friday, January 4, 2008

A short note on hats

I like hats, I like to wear them to go out - but this comes at a price. At some point some random dickhead will inevitabley steal the hat from your head and then place it on his own head. They must think that it is amusing, a jovial way to get you to talk to them which will eventually lead to sex. Little do they know that it never ever will.
This week i decided to completely over-react to some prattish hat japery, turned round, grabbed the hat from the stripey shirted, gelled moron and shouted 'Don't ever do that!!'. He cowered, I laughed internally. It was very satisfying. It probably made me look nuts but fuck it, he might think twice about being an arsehole. I did ruin my chances there but then I do have a no sex with morons rule...

I think I might try some more amusing ways to over-react to stupid morons, if only I could fake tears.....