Because The Guardian Hates Men?
Hadley Freeman is a Laydeee.
Unlike those nasty people at the Daily Mail. That seems to be the gist of her article about the Samantha Brick affair anyway.
I don’t have much to say on the furore in general. It seemed like usual tabloid hype to me. I have a couple of comments about Freeman’s response though. The first relates to her use of the term ‘female writers’ and ‘female readers’. She says:
‘The Daily Mail uses its female writers in precisely the same way it uses its female readers and celebrities: frequently, centrally and, always, cruelly. Like an abusive husband, the Daily Mail courts women and needs women, but will always turn around and punch them in the face. Because the Daily Mail hates women.’
This reminds me of that uproar about misogyny online against poor, hapless, ‘female bloggers’. As a ‘female blogger’ myself, who has been the subject of quite a lot of hatred, and who was not supported by teh feminists, I don’t buy it. The use of the phrase ‘female blogger’ or ‘female writer’ by feminists is telling. Because when it suits them, they are very critical of sexist language. Men are seen as naturally occupying some roles such as doctor, writer, lawyer, so if we say ‘female doctor’ or ‘female lawyer’ we are pointing out the ‘unnaturalness’ of a woman doing a ‘man’s job’. So the feminists say. But when it comes to them pointing out ‘misogyny’ they are happy to use the ‘female’ prefix. I challenged Helen Lewis of the New Statesman about this, who has both criticised the use of ‘female lawyers’ as sexist, AND herself used the phrase ‘female bloggers’. She replied that the apparent contradiction is ok, because she was using ‘female bloggers’ to point out misogyny, not to reinforce gender inequality. Hmmm.
My second issue with Freeman’s piece, and the feminist reaction to the Brick affair in general, is how it is scattered with thinly-veiled misandry. Suzanne Moore, fellow Guardian journalist (though she does write for the Mail too) said:
Confused. Is this Brick woman transitioning?—
suzanne moore (@suzanne_moore) April 03, 2012
So her big clever insult to Brick was that she may be a man? Moore has thrown that insult at me more than once too. Because I don’t behave how a ‘real woman’, a ‘laydee’ should?
As Mark Simpson has observed, misandry is the acceptable prejudice and so it goes by unnoticed and commented upon. But ‘misogyny’ is seized, analysed and condemned.
According to Freeman The Mail just hates women. Well if that is the case then maybe The Guardian hates men.