Apparently, I have no sense of humour. I love the Marx Brothers and Bill Bryson and laugh at all sorts of jokes, but, no, according to some, I have no sense of humour. Why?
– I don’t think pole dancing is an ‘empowering’ activity for young women, let alone little girls.
– I don’t think calling a perfume Putain des Palaces is either witty or charming; it’s a cynical marketing ploy on the part of Etat Libre d’Orange (a French perfume company), aimed at épater le bourgeois, that’s all.
– I don’t think choosing the word ‘brothel’ (albeit in its Latin/French version) as one’s message-board username is cute.
I’m told I get my knickers in a twist for nothing; that I take myself too seriously; that I should ‘relax’. It seems I’m not ‘a good sport’.
But then neither is that old feminist Rosie Boycott, who, a couple of years ago, reported that, in a lads magazine she had been reading, ‘every woman who had achieved something in her own right – other than possessing a great pair of boobs – was routinely dismissed as a boot-faced minger or dyke. Dame Ellen MacArthur, who had just achieved another nautical first, came in for a particular drubbing: “a miserable, sobbing, whining bitch in a boat... basically a frigid dyke-looking, yachting c***”.’
Ariel Levy, who wrote Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture, is not amused either. She asks, ‘How is resurrecting every stereotype of female sexuality that feminism endeavoured to banish good for women? Why is labouring to look like Pamela Anderson empowering? And how is imitating a stripper or a porn star going to render us sexually liberated?’
As the journalist Fenella Souter says, ‘Sexiness has become the new political correctness.’ Woe betide the woman who finds it objectionable!
Well, I would rather be in the company of those humourless ‘harridans’ than that of any ‘team player’, who, brainwashed by men, objectifies herself.
* Does anyone know where the term comes from? I read it first in an article by Ginny Dougary in the Times, but I don’t think she coined it.
Update (2/08/08): If you don’t agree with me, and – obviously – know nothing about the Suffragettes, who fought for women’s equality, back in the last century, go and see Her Naked Skin at the National. You will learn a few things that will make your hair stand on end and possibly make you feel a bit guilty for betraying their ideals (they certainly didn’t fight for women to behave as badly as men). If, on the other hand, you do know what you owe these brave women, don’t bother: apart from a history lesson, it is one of the shallowest pieces of drama I’ve seen for a long time. There is a play to be written about the subject, but Her Naked Skin ain’t it.