Oh boy. For anyone who doesn’t know the background, and finds that title a little brusque, let me fill you in. Suzanne Moore is a well-known feminist columnist. She wrote an article in The Guardian today entitled ’10 Rules For Managing Your Penis”. “Recent news stories involving sexting, wine, toasters, politicians and penises indicate some men need a refresher course,” Ms Moore chirped, “so here are my 10 rules for keeping your penis out of trouble”.
Ho ho ho. Cue the outrage. Misandry, bellowed wounded men. Would The Guardian publish a piece by a man entitled ’10 Rules For Managing Your Vagina’, they wanted to know. How dare they compare the two situations, responded Moore’s supporters. Didn’t they know that women have an eternal monopoly on victimhood? The article quickly became the most read on The Guardian website. The comments from the insane people who bother writing comments came in a flood.
What a load of old cock. It didn’t help that Moore’s article was a painfully ill written mess, which veered from demanding men pay more attention to penile hygiene, to advising us that putting our dicks in toasters is a bad idea, to condemning rape, to condemning men who have pet names for their phalluses, to a rather weird injunction against homosexuality which one must assume was meant to be ironic. Yes, it really does swerve around in tone and subject matter like that. Go and read it if you don’t believe me. I’m not going to link to it, it’s too badly written.
I suspect Moore would claim the article was meant to be funny, but I don’t believe her. For her sake, I’d like think she was drunk when she wrote it, but I don’t believe that either. I think Suzanne Moore’s willy-waving was just plain attention-seeking. Look at me, look at me, she’s screaming. I’m outrageous. I’m daring. I’m thought-provoking.
Sorry Suzanne, the only thought you provoke is that you were having a stroke while you wrote this.
And I think attention-seeking’s why The Guardian published it too. After all, they’re getting lots of internet hits. Everyone’s talking about it. Never mind that it’s distracted attention from Obama’s cancelled summit with Putin, and the British politician who said that recipients of international aid are “Bongobongoland”, and the serious sexist issue of the vile men who have been making bomb-threats against high-profile women on Twitter.
Who cares, when the balding men in frameless spectacles at The Guardian can sit back and chuckle to themselves about how wonderfully controversial they are, and how really tremendously empowering it is to be the ones provoking the debate?
But the thought it really provokes in me is how much time we spend ignoring these sort of provocations. Grown-up men find ourselves daily shaking our heads and — forgive me — refusing to rise to the bait as some loud-mouthed feminista makes some appalling slur against our entire gender.
And I’m sure grown-up women find themselves just as often looking the other way and ignoring the Neanderthal thuggish ravings of sexist men.
Suzanne Moore is nothing but the naughty girl at school trying to shock everyone by shouting about “willies”, and The Guardian are her giggling friends, egging her on.
But we’re not kids any more Suzanne, and frankly you’re a bore.