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Mary Poppins and Penelope Pitstop talk FEMINISM and MEN!

July 23, 2012

Mary: You’re so clever Penelope, and so pretty. I wish I could be like you. I’m not a LAYDEE though. It is harder for LAYDEES to be FEMINISTS you’re so brave and strong!


Mary: Oh I completely understand your point. Men are such bastards. I love laydees. Why are men so nasty Penelope? (I’m not I’m nice).


Mary: Exactly. Gosh you’re clever.


Mary: I know. You should see it up close. My male privilege is MASSIVE. Do you want to touch it Penelope?


Mary: Um, sorry if I am missing something but are you trying to get me into bed?? Well I’m up for it if you are. I only fuck feminists of course! I’m NICE!


Mary: Er. Sorry my male privilege has gone a bit… soft. You’re shouting a bit Penelope. Is that because in male-dominated society women are silenced? by Misogyny? Is your only power sexual refusal? Well that turns me on!


Mary: Golly gosh Penelope you’re right. I am an objectifier. I am a 21st century man, stuck with a 20th century education. I blame FHM and NUTS. I want to learn how to be a good man, a good feminist, a good shag. Can you help me Penelope? PLEASE? I want you to teach me.


Mary: Golly. Can I be Robin to your Batman? PLEASE Penelope.


h/t @white_mischief @mattlodder

7 Comments leave one →
  1. elflojo84 permalink
    July 23, 2012 8:21 pm

    I was going to try and deconstruct it, but honestly I can’t make enough sense of it. So much contradiction, expressed so smugly. Joy.

    But, fucking “violence”. It’s got a fucking meaning, it’s not shorthand for “whatever I think is a bit bad, but I’m not going to define what cos then you might be able to argue and that would be oppressive”. I hate the way feminists butcher the English language – not for petty pedantic reasons, but because its’ a clear tactical approach to make it harder to counter their ludicrous assertions.

    • July 23, 2012 9:14 pm

      yeah it was the ‘structural violence’ phrase that got me too. The only ‘structural violence’ I can think of would be that of the army or police/state. Otherwise as you say it is using a loaded word just for (political) effect!

  2. July 23, 2012 10:20 pm

    haha… yep, this about sums it up.

  3. July 24, 2012 9:10 am

    Yep “structural violence” hits the spot. It’s par-for-the-course for Penny to use and reuse extreme language

    But what about the dominatrix/”yes mistress” dynamic between the two? What about Penny’s lofty language? Feminists must indeed be clever if they need to “explain” to men why the patriarchy adversely affects them too. And take the following tidbit – though I realise most normal people gave up well before this point. Robbins is already talking about a “training area” where men can say stupid things to feminists (please tell me that was a joke), so Laurie says

    “I do think female feminists are going to have to be a bit more forgiving and generous in our corrections from time to time”


    • redpesto permalink
      July 24, 2012 9:27 pm

      But what about the dominatrix/”yes mistress” dynamic between the two?

      I’d prefer to steer clear of BDSM analogies; will a comparison to ‘How to Train Your Husband’ do (video)? Or is that still a bit kinky?

      Alternatively, I’m thinking more along the lines of Frodo/Gollum – Robbins is desperate to prove how useful he is to Penny as an ally in the struggle, even though all this consists of is flattering Penny with how unenlightened all the other men are compared to him. There isn’t a single original insight or contribution on his part in the entire dialogue: it’s all the same stuff that feminists – and especially male feminists – have been saying about men as 30 years ago. Man up and drink the Kool-Aid, guys – it’s delicious! What, you wanted something else? Too bad – that makes you a hater.

      (Incidentally, in this scenario, Julie Bindel probably gets to be Sam, who just wants to kill Gollum with a big rock because he never trusted the creepy git in the first place.)

  4. redpesto permalink
    July 24, 2012 8:34 pm

    Arrghh! The self-congratulatory smugness, it burnssses us!

    Jeebus, not this debate again? Not the ‘I’m a male feminist, therefore I have an inside track on political awareness’ argument from some guy looking for acceptance and a pat on the head from a feminist gatekeeper – in relation to a movement some of whose adherents don’t actually want men on board at all?

    And that’s just the Robbins’ opening statement. After that it was like falling down a rabbit hole and waking up back in the ’80s just after John Stoltenberg’s published ‘Refusing to Be a Man’. Robbins overlooks the possibility that even when you say thoughtful, well-argued things to (some) feminists, you’ll get a kicking if they’re deemed to be the ‘wrong’ ones – even when you know other feminists have said them (references available) – and especially if you suggest that ‘feminism’ isn’t the answer to everything.

    As for Penny’s claim that: ‘Capitalism is a system built on the subjugation of women,’ presumably Karl Marx was just wasting his time talking about the proletariat. I’ve had the suspicion that faced with the politics of social class and that of gender, Penny would always try to find a way to make the former subordinate to the latter, even if she claims it’s about how they ‘interact’. So the cuts are really all about the women rather than the poor. Hence Thatcher gets to be a ‘patriarch’ because feminists still can’t deal with right-wing women.

    Still, there’s probably a gig at Comment is Free for a poor person’s Hugo Schwyzer; the man who will build a career out of telling other men that they’re Doing It Wrong and that they should basically do whatever feminists say, even if it may be wrong or contradictory. Robbins fits the bill perfectly.

    • July 24, 2012 9:32 pm

      ‘ a poor person’s Hugo Schwyzer’ – haha!

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