Except, on this occasion, it’s not a gay, attention-seeking bitch (or “modern feminism’s Voldemort”, as he’d probably prefer to style himself) who is trashing the sisterhood but one of their own – a journalist called Emily Hill, who argues that what was once a “genuine crusade against genuine prejudice has become a form of pointless attention-seeking.”
Needless to say, the girls with the scowl, the nose-rings and the unshaven armpit hair are unimpressed.
Says Lucia Lolita:
I’m taking this as satire. It gave me a good laugh.
Utterly generalizing and narrow minded. It’s articles like this that show why we still need feminism.
And a saucer of milk for AliceS:
It’s good of the Spectator to publish undergraduate essays.
What most annoys them, I imagine, is that the article is grounded in pesky facts:
The story so far: Caitlin Moran (yes, all right: I know lots of you claim never to have heard of her, but she’s a bestselling author on both sides of the Atlantic and one of our most fluent and entertaining columnists) has been fighting a war to clean up the social media site you never use, Twitter.
And now, Caitlin’s essay has been retweeted in a “put that in your pipe and smoke it, evil, right-wing Caitlin-doubters!” way by celebrity comedian David Baddiel, and celebrity comedian Dom Joly. And quite soon, I think we can fairly safely guarantee, it will also have been retweeted by celebrity astronomer Brian Cox, celebrity mathematician Simon Singh, celebrity Times whimsyist Hugo Rifkind, celebrity lefty and occasional scriptwriter Graham Linehan, et al. Why? Because they’re all part of the same great big self-affirmatory gang of the impeccably liberal-left-leaning luvviehood, is why. Once you become a part of this gang, it’s great because you never have to worry about saying the wrong thing on any issue ever again. You know what to think on “climate change”, because all you have to do is check what fellow club member Marcus Brigstocke thinks. You know what to think about bees and neonicotinoids because of what Vivienne Westwood says. You know what to think about fracking because Yoko Ono and Sean Lennon and Chrissie Hynde’s daughter don’t like it. Etc.
What’s really irksome about Howard, though, is the mind-numbing, soul-sapping conventionalism of his politics. You just know that the first day he went to the subsidised bar on his economics degree course at the University of the West of England (Bristol Poly, in old money, I believe), he got handed the usual Middle-Class Student ****er’s starter pack marked ‘This is what you think’. There’ll have been a long section on how bad racism is, probably the worst crime in the world; one on Tories (‘tossers’); others on Israel and Palestine, the great recession (all the fault of greedy bankers and tax-dodging corporations, basically), the environment (v.v important!!), and so on. And young Russell will have gone, ‘Hey, I like the sound of this. It means not only can I spend the rest of my life feeling morally superior over all the scumbags who don’t agree with the Middle-Class Student ****er’s starter pack but also that I’ll never have to use a single one of my brain cells ever again.’
This morning – not as a trolling gesture, but in all sincerity – I invited my old mucker Caitlin to join in my Twitter campaign to #keeptwittertasteless (or #keeptweetstastless – I can’t decide which is better). The point I was trying to make is a serious one: that if you genuinely believe in freedom of speech, then an inevitable part of that freedom is the freedom to offend, be it Guardian hacks writing disobligingly about transvestites, or ungallant louts insulting Mary Beard’s looks, or Caitlin’s AIDS quips. After all, one person’s flip, daringly near-the-knuckle, mini-rebellion against our stifling culture of PC is another person’s dire, report-worthy offence. And since it’s all a matter of opinion, where do you draw the line? Who decides what is and isn’t “appropriate”? (Direct threats of violence are, of course, another matter. But those were already proscribed by the law long before Caitlin and her pals began their Twitter clean up campaign)
Phew! What a blessed relief! The rumours that the next Doctor Who was going to be Peter Capaldi – previously best known, of course, for his role as fictional Songs of Praise producer Tristan Campbell in the Vicar of Dibley – turn out to be true.
“Thank **** for that,” as that amusing foul-mouthed spin doctor character in The Thick Of It, whatever his name is, would no doubt say.
I’m delighted for at least two reasons. First, because it means an epic fail for Caroline Criado-Perez’s most recent Change.Org petition: “Making the 12th Doctor Who another white man is racist and sexist. We want Diane Abbott to get the role – and if she doesn’t Caitlin and I are going to scweam and scweam and scweam till we make ourselves sick.”
Second because Doctor Who has been getting far too cute and whimsical for its own good of late – almost as if it thinks of itself as some kind of children’s programme. I, for one, am very much looking forward to its new scheduling slot well after the 9pm watershed, in the safe hands of the kind of Doctor we can trust to tell it like it is, take no prisoners and refuse to tolerate any more of that touchy feely nonsense where it turns out that Daleks do have hearts after all and where the healing song of the lost children of the tragic planet of Poignos (or whatever new mawk-fest we have to endure this week) is replaced by the most richly colourful effing and blinding the galaxy has heard since Davros encountered his first staircase.