whatever

Oh, pilule my reeking tit. Here we go again. Honourable Activists are saving their weekend virtue to screw a conference peopled by Intolerant Scum. The World Congress of Families is in town. And they’ve brought their bag of sick.

The Congress, oncology let it be plainly said, is pure waste. It’s like the Enlightenment happened and they drank a little too deeply from the bowl of Cartesian doubt and spent the next three centuries heaving confusion into each other’s arseholes until they were so backed up, they just started shitting from their mouths. They’re vile. They “believe” that breast cancer is the by-product of abortion, condoms are no prophylaxis against disease or hellfire and that homosexuals are only That Way because of the wide availability of chèvre.

In short, they’re stupid. They think that science is a matter of opinion and that all morals are universalisable and can be traced to a Christian God. And that Christian God made the most worthy of us in His image: white and stupid property developers capable of erecting a shit block of flats in seven days.

(Apols to Actual Christians who recognise this fallacious God as a perversion imagined by John Locke. I am totally cool with you having faith in a supreme being. I am just not cool with you insisting that His governance of you extends to me.)

Just. To. Be. Clear. The Congress is a vat of infinite Stupid kept simmering to a salmonella heat by the fuel of thrice-digested bullshit. If I found myself in the company of any of its members, I would probably scream Let Jesus Fuck You as I lowered myself onto a plastic crucifix. Because, of course, I love The Exorcist and all films in the menarche-horror style and because taunting Christians is fun.

But that’s all it is. Fun. And don’t you tell me If I Can’t Dance, It’s Not My Revolution. Emma Goldman was a douche and you’ve been dancing for thirty years, you fun-loving “Leftists”. And what has that achieved? Apart from an occasional wage from the Comment pages in The Guardian? The corporatisation of war. A wage gap unseen since the Great Depression. A unipolar global power system. The price of your outrage is global inequality.

You may believe that if only we reformed the morals of those with whom we disagree, harmony would prevail. You may believe that if we stop our parliamentarians from attending the Congress conference, we have achieved something.

Today, Greens Senator Larissa Waters passed a motion to prevent her fellows from attending a conference. This move and the protests that will welcome it will achieve a few things. None of them positive.

First, genuine censure will shroud the real intentions of the nut-butter Right. Let Bernardi and Andrews and that nong Abetz go. Let them show their irrationality which is otherwise concealed under the suit of liberalism. Let Australians, who whatever you say about them are in great favour of a secular public life and despise what they see as fundamentalism, know how shitty their representatives can be. Enough rope, as they say.

Second, it gives Blot et al the chance to accuse the soft-Left of being politically correct and demanding of good behaviour. And not without cause, frankly. Who the fuck is the Left to ban things? The Left should be a force of a type it is itself banned. Instead, it comes over like Super Nanny and cries “that’s unasseptable”.

Third, the Left can feel like it had a nice little victory. Which it has not.

For the sake of actual shit. If you want to help people with a non-normative sexuality—which apparently opponents of the Congress do—campaign for refuges that young people whose lives are made miserable by their parents can access.

And don’t give me “why not both”. Because it is never both. Because condemnation of an out-and-out moment of stupidity by dumb old Christians is the easiest thing in the world. And finding solutions to real social problems is the most tedious and difficult thing in the world. And joy derived from putative victory does not inspire hard work. It gives rise to only more dancing. And the Freedom Against Intolerance is a noxious liberal foxtrot that makes people feel like the world is functioning in a more just way when actually, it is a sideshow that makes all Caring People relax and say, well, things are getting better.

Well, they’re not. They’re getting worse. And they have got worse over the last three decades with EXACTLY this kind of representational opposition to hardship. Think about how the liberal-Left fucks shit up, despite its best intentions. And let these idiots go to their idiot conference and try to conspire for a future that will not be made painful by religion but by our refusal to see that we need to change policy, not attitudes. And the only attitude that will shift anyhow is that of the centre-Right that will see, not without justification, that the Left has become a bunch of childcare workers who want everyone to *appear* to do the right thing.

If you fancied, right now you could bugger the Australian Left with a sandpaper-wrapped issue of Quadrant and it would barely stir. In fact, if you tied your junk up in an Awareness Ribbon, it would thank you for a lovely afternoon of violent, non-consensual sodomy and ask you to stay for a Nespresso chai sipped to the smooth, smooth sounds of Sarah Blasko. All the Left wants now is capitalism with a human face. It no longer cares or even knows that late capitalism only has a face. It has no brain or heart.

The market and the liberal democracy to which it is now espoused has no brain for logic. It just has force. There is no heart for compassion. Just the numb cruelty of growth. But the Left, once opposed to a structure, is now opposed to a very bad imaginary boyfriend whose desiccated insides are concealed by the suit of liberalism. Show me your human face, says the Left. And it holds a mirror up. As if the dead eyes of capitalism can see themselves staring back.

Let the words ooze like ordure from Kevin Andrews’ mean little mouth. Let him say in the crudest possible terms what needs to be said. Let him say “I am a fuckwit that thrives on a diet of corpses” and smash your stupid hand mirror of equivalence which will only reflect to the Right and the economic powers it serves (even if it doesn’t know it’s doing it) evidence of their power.

You must stop having Fun. You must stop Calling Out bullies. You must choose a better weapon than tolerance against a force that we need to see naked. Let them have their hateful weekend that is so fucking ridiculous, even your Aunty Joy will see it as a bit too rich for her tastes. For the sake of fuck and of the future, let the foundations of inequality be seen with no obfuscation.

It should be fucking mandatory for every parliamentarian to attend this festival of turds. It should be the work of the Left to dress like Church Ladies and go to the conference and demand a ban on quality goat’s cheese for fear of how it can excite the perinea of their sons. To object to the brutally objectionable is the work of children.

Don’t make me send you to the naughty step.

 

 
Loewenstein. Loewenstein. I don’t know whether to send him a Cease and Desist for intellectual property theft or tear him a new metaphoric hole and cram it with acorns. What the blind shit has he written? I agree that western liberal feminism is every bit as class-conscious as my vagina and could do with a good, there
thumb hard lecture in materialism but why in the sweet name of tit did he use so many of his seven-hundred Guardian words on congratulating himself for his bravery?

FWIW, link
treatment Antony Loewenstein is a creditable voice when it comes to his speciality which is Israel’s “foreign” policy. He has done a very decent job of exploring the ideology and the mechanism of the brutal nation state and I think we can probably accord him the #brave hashtag when it comes to being both Jewish and anti-Zionist. I can’t imagine that it is particularly easy to be Antony on the High Holy Days and I admire his obstinacy in the face of extreme critique from all sides of the River Jordan.  You go, Antony. As a femmo who has alienated her own community with critique, I understand just a little of the substantial venom to which he is subject. Actually, Antony is one of many feminists who has himself pilloried me on social media for my views. Which is fine. I don’t give a toss because (a) someone has to keep the bastards problematizing in this age of one-size-fits-most “progressive” thinking and I’m it and (b) experience tells me that the worst thing a femmo will ever do to you is call you fat and write about what a tit you are in the Guardian. And Overland. And Crikey. And The Conversation. And The Age. Not that I’m counting.

It’s not a big deal for a writer to be critiqued by femmos. It is unfortunate some of them have made my name shorthand for Gorgon but I figure that the feminists who dismiss the ideas I attempt to convey are just a bit bored with taking Empowering Selfies that afternoon. In other words, their opinions are ultimately meaningless to me.

One of the first things I learned as a media provider was not to mistake the loudest voices for the most representative ones. So, sure Tits O’Gramsci gets a lot of clicks when she writes that I am an arsehole and therefore everything I ever say should be discounted. But I know hers is not necessarily a majority voice and I know that it is not my duty to write for her but for an audience beyond the media class.

And I know she is not going to actually come after me with a gun.

So, I meet Loewenstein’s declaration that he finds it easier to critique Zionism than western feminism with incredulity.

After offering testimony of his courage—“Men are afraid to talk about feminism”—and before resuming it—“Ultimately, I realise I’ve been been (sic) too cautious for too long, not daring to add my voice to the debate”— Loewenstein’s statement about the state of contemporary feminism ends up as imposing as a vegan brunch. And after all that promise of bravery, one could reasonably expect a little meat.

His argument that Julia Gillard’s adoption of pop-feminism for poll spikes was gainsaid by her economic policies is an okay one. I should be a lady and refrain from pointing out that I have made it five-thousand times and so has Eva Cox and so has Shakira Hussein—although, to be honest, these two lauded academics did it with a great deal more finesse. And so has Guy Rundle who despite what I admire and know to be his salient masculinity is unafraid to talk well about gender and its critics. Decent leftist analysis of western liberal feminism is on the rise and is offered generously and well by impenitent leftists. Where have you been been, Antony?

Apparently, somewhere paralysed in feminist-phobia to the degree that the simple argument that ad hominem defence (“Your views are legitimate because you are a woman”) is as bad as ad hominem attack (“Your views are not legitimate because you are a woman”) is one he cannot make.

Of course, I’m all for a popular exploration of good ideas but I do not think that in this case, the author managed to be anything but popular in his faintly more-academic echo of the recent cries by de Brito et al that nasty feminists won’t let you speak.

Look. I know femmos can be total bitches. I know sometimes it feels as though you are being wrongly blamed for domestic violence. I certainly know the great frustration of seeing a new media era unfold where all we have is discourse about discourse about discourse and no true discussion about things that affect the vast majority of lives beyond how they are lived on Twitter.  But I fear that the Twitter response to feminism is here confused for the real-world potential of feminist thinking and the two things are rather different. Mate. It doesn’t matter that Ms Kafoops called you a rape-apologist. You are not Being Silenced. You are just being un-followed and really, there’s quite a difference.

And honestly, there is, from what I can detect in this piece, quite a difference between the author’s understanding of gender and what I would deem an advanced understanding of gender. I appreciate that he is attempting to encourage readers and writers to a more complex and less foundationally corrupted understanding of feminism but I am afraid he doesn’t grasp such theory himself. I am completely on board with the idea that leftism needs better problematizing and not just endless hijab selfies and “calling out online”. But I cannot support a less-than-101 statement about the more complex leftist critique of a feminism of which the author himself does not appear to be fully apprised. Most especially when the author is figuring himself as #sobrave.

This is not to say the piece, which I fixate on here not only for vulgar fun but because I believe it is a slightly more polished version of similar and current “but what about us men?” whining, is entirely without merit. But it is without sufficient education and this is easily read in his confusion of grievances which do concede that we all suffer the yoke of being forced to identify as gendered subjects but do not concede that he should STFU about being a gendered subject. Because, srs. If you want to write about feminism just fucking write about it and don’t write about your identity.

While it is certainly true that I have written once or twice about the fact of my particular difficult gender identity being read as the primary message of texts I produce, I only did it on my blog. Not in the proper press. Which those of us who are sufficiently privileged to access as content creators must not use as a site for Bolt-style complaint that we are Being Silenced even as we are being exposed to large audiences,  but as a place to really lay our ideas (not ourselves) bare.

I have no serious doubt that Loewenstein and others who are gendered male will read a bit more and continue to contribute to the terrible and fascinating topic of gender and have only about as much shit hurled at them as I do. Maybe a bit less.  But I do doubt, rather generally, that authors of serious opinion will aim for the impossible but important work of removing their identities from their work anytime soon. Bit miffed that a piece on gender is chiefly all about some bloke’s gender experience. For mine, this is the baby-blue equivalent of the shitful #EverydaySexism campaign.  While it is true that Loewenstein may have lost some Twitter followers because of his #brave stance on gender, it is also true that this is not worthy of professional discussion.

Call me old-fashioned, but I think using oneself as the primary topic for a focus on structural inequality is pants. Sometimes, personal stories have their place. But generally speaking, a middle-class white person, such as I am, must not universalise their experience. Especially since we have done that forever.  This means making a very conscientious effort not, for example, to talk in professional press about the rather unusual experience you have had of being in the media class and having other people in that class give you shit. This is not a universally instructive experience.  Keep it on the blog. I do and I am an impulsive shitter.  Our white, middle-class “lived experience” (and by “lived experience”, we mean here how ladies were mean to you on Twitter) is not always a great place from which to write.  Can be in some cases. Not in this one.

The primary place those of us privileged by social class to opine for modest profit must use as our intellectual foundation is not ourselves. Not our gender. Goes for Loewenstein as much as it does for all of those idiots who think their opinion is validated by their constructed gender. “You can’t speak because you’re a man” is actually no less stupid than “You’re not letting me speak because I’m a man”. Oh, sweet jizz, I am boring even myself and can we all fucking talk about something other than ourselves? It is my ardent hope that we begin to speak more broadly than the middle-class self and his experiences on Twitter.

 

40 comments for “whatever

  1. Dale
    October 30, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    As always, a well-reasoned article Helen.

    • October 30, 2014 at 3:28 pm

      Surely, you’re only saying that because you’re a man! Or, a woman!

  2. October 30, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    Well said. Read his article last night, the I’m-so-courageous undertone running through it struck me as suss in a way I couldn’t quite identify, glad you (more articulately) pointed it out.

    • October 30, 2014 at 3:36 pm

      Thanks, P. Although your opinion is meaningless because penis.

  3. Carlene
    October 30, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    #Brave

    • October 30, 2014 at 3:52 pm

      Well. This is true but chiefly because you are a lady.

  4. Dave
    October 30, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    Like

    • October 30, 2014 at 4:51 pm

      Sadly, your opinion is no good here as you are a chap.

  5. Dave
    October 30, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    unlike

  6. Amna
    October 30, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    I understand his assertion that it’s easier to criticise Zionism that feminism. He’s speaking from the “inside” as such on Zionism, coming from a Jewish background, which he cannot lose. He’s on the “outside” of feminism, a hard place to criticise from.

    And perhaps to get a little psychological, he knows on Zionism, his position is strong and with merit; on feminism, he feels like he’s on the right track but still shakey.

    • October 30, 2014 at 5:40 pm

      Yes. He must feel a bit in over his head. He’s no expert and it’s unfortunate that what he said he has previously lacked is courage. I’m not just being a bitch when I say what he lacks is clear thinking on gender. He needs to read.

  7. October 30, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    Well. You know. I guess you can comment on fashion?

  8. Sam
    October 30, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    You rock, Helen.

    (And, as I have a unisex name you’ll never know if my opinion is meaningless or poignant). ;-)

    • October 30, 2014 at 8:48 pm

      I am ambivalent about your opinion!

  9. Craig
    October 30, 2014 at 8:12 pm

    First time I’ve ever heard “pants” used in that context. Loved it and did a lol.

    • October 30, 2014 at 8:49 pm

      Well. I’d accept the style compliment. But, you know. Man.

  10. Favela Dweller
    October 30, 2014 at 8:59 pm

    I was lying in bed with my girlfriend earlier today after a late afternoon romp and she says, “read this by Anthony Lowenstein”, shoving her laptop in my face.
    So I did, and told her, “I didn’t understand a thing”..
    Then she showed me your piece Helen, and I read it and said again to my beautiful gal, “I don’t understand this either. You’re the lawyer, I am just a landscaper”.
    She laughed, we put the laptop down and spent another 2 hours in bed.

    cheers, FD

    • October 30, 2014 at 9:10 pm

      I love this story.
      But you’re obviously oppressing women so I can’t allow it.

  11. Jason
    October 30, 2014 at 9:21 pm

    It was cool watching some other male feminists tell Loewenstein to shut up because penis in response to his ‘as a penishaver, I’m #sobrave for talking about this’

  12. Dave
    October 30, 2014 at 11:18 pm

    I last bought shoes in 2012 so, y’know…

  13. GerardO
    October 31, 2014 at 12:51 am

    Antony’s piece felt a bit like Kony 2012:

    He doesn’t really know much about Kony/feminism, but he saw a YouTube video and now he knows he has to stand up to the victims of this vicious warlord/Clementine Ford, and that by pressing the Like button/writing a Guardian think-piece he can convince others that we have to Stop Kony/save feminism.

    I feel, however, that these efforts, like Kony 2012, will be futile.

  14. katherine
    October 31, 2014 at 6:46 am

    it’s not the hello’s helen, it the rapeyness of it all, and you’re bigoted diatribe really just shows you up as being a rape apologist.

    • October 31, 2014 at 9:24 am

      I’m really unsure if this is a genuine feminist reprimand or a parody.
      Either way.

    • October 31, 2014 at 12:03 pm

      Honestly, Are you having a gag, here?

  15. Darkly Venus
    October 31, 2014 at 8:39 am

    Paula Matthewson’s on why women on the right will never identify as feminists was worse. It went: ‘I know dick about feminism, but I’m going to write about it anyway, and by the way I was raised in the Working Class® but the right suits my aspirations better.”

    And now I’m ashamed to admit I read it and toyed with idea of commenting.

  16. October 31, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    I certainly did not suggest it was not

  17. Katherine
    October 31, 2014 at 9:51 pm

    it’s rape culture Helen. This poor woman was being sexually harassed on the street and no one even did a thing. Men, Women, everyone just stood by and watched her be molested, this is a sad indictment on western culture where men have the right to do whatever they want to a woman’s body. I for one am glad this video has shed light on a perverse and unspoken area of western society. Women are treated as less than second class citizens now where there bodies are jsut seen as meat to be toyed with by men. And your apologetics of these rapists, Helen, quite frankly makes me sick.

    • October 31, 2014 at 10:16 pm

      What in heaven’s name are you talking about?
      Do read the post.

    • October 31, 2014 at 10:20 pm

      I do suspect a comment calling me a “rape apologist” appended to a post that has nothing whatever to do with rape in a cut’n’paste instant of Jezebel jargon is one of my mates trolling me.
      Clem Bastow. Is it you?

  18. Shaun
    November 1, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    she is a jew, so it’s not surprising she’s racist

    • November 1, 2014 at 2:22 pm

      What?

    • November 1, 2014 at 2:25 pm

      By the way “Shaun” and “Katharine”. Please go to the trouble of masking your IP address if you’re going to troll properly. I can see you’re the same computer.

  19. Kerry Marcon
    November 1, 2014 at 4:08 pm

    As a 62 yr old feminist thanks for shining lights in dark corners and opening up new doors – you made me cry.

    • November 1, 2014 at 5:22 pm

      Was it all the curse words that made you sob, Kerry? :)

  20. Shelle
    November 10, 2014 at 11:02 am

    Antony is good with his ‘keeping it real’ Israel stance maybe he mistakenly extended his #sobrave anti-Israel persona to the fem issues. Go hard Helen – loving it… And never STFU…

    • November 14, 2014 at 6:09 pm

      Yep. He does seem to have mistaken Twitter Feminism for the IDF. Poor dear.
      It was a very flawed piece of writing.

  21. December 11, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    This is why you’re awesome, Helen. A well-written piece.

  22. Elizabeth
    December 23, 2014 at 9:20 pm

    It’s the asinine, incremental descent into intellectual mediocrity that is so trying. With no acknowledgement of the role of class in differentiating our experiences. I hear your pain, Helen. I have a particular hatred of that brand of feminism wherein middle class (and predominantly middle aged) women fervently discuss oppression whilst pursuing a yummy mummy, yarn bombing lifestyle that is funded by corporate executive hubby (dependency upon male earnings is the new radicalism in Northcote and Thornbury – because it’s all about ‘choice’). Where volunteering at their children’s fete is elevated to the same political status as lobbying for legislative reform to engender systemic change. Because it’s all about ME!!!!!!! Look at middle class, narcissistic MEEEEE!!!!!!!

    Sorry. Rant over.

  23. Damo
    April 22, 2015 at 5:14 am

    Someone linked an article of yours on facebook, of all places. I both agree and disagree with your opinions on enough levels that I’m trying to organize a lifetime subscription to your web activity. Keep it up.

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