Guest post by latsot: Tools people can use to level playing fields

Originally a comment on To hell with making sense, eh?

Ah yes, Wimmin’s Lib. Burning bras. Damn uppity women jumping in front of the king’s horse. Patronising sitcoms. Patronising sketch shows. Bluff, honest CEOs explaining why they can’t possibly pay women the same as men because babies, menstruation, hormones and they’d only spend it on fashion and hair anyway.

I spend half my time being genuinely shocked on remembering that we live in the 21st century and the other half being even more surprised that we obviously still live in the fucking 70s.

I grew up in those exact fucking 70s in the UK. The very concept of feminism was widely and blandly treated as a joke. Why, feminists didn’t even shave their armpits! They wanted non-sexist language! They frowned upon rape! Ridiculous, I know, but we men indulged their little fancies. We gave them a weekly pittance so they could indulge their fascination with gossip by visiting their non-threatening friends on the way back from doing the shopping. And all we asked in return was our dinner on the table and couldn’t you just put a nice frock on once in a while despite working, looking after the children and looking after me as if I myself were a child? We as a nation rolled our eyes at their silly attempts to be like men and smugly congratulated ourselves for indulging feminism by mocking it on a societal level. We sure as shit spent more time creating media that portrayed feminism as infantile than we did actually, you know, listening to complaints, raising our consciousness or adjusting society so it was fair.

And here we are four decades later and though many things have changed for the better, the prevailing attitude seems to be exactly the same. It reminds me of those experiments – also done in the 70s (and earlier) – where people wore special glasses that split their vision in half. The subjects had difficulty commanding their limbs to do various things.

There’s an idea some people have that their brains are split in half because they feel they have to accept what they know is true (women are people) while simultaneously pining for the days when it was acceptable, even desirable in society, to treat them like they weren’t.

I think those people blame women for their brains being split in half. Their brains aren’t split in half, though. Get over that cognitive hump – men – and everything is better. Dawkins made two good points right at the start of The God Delusion: the concepts of Raising Consciousness and I Didn’t Know I Could. It’s an astonishing shame that he doesn’t apply either of those excellent concepts to himself.

Sorry, I’m ranting again but LATSOT MAD, pink trousers ripped, and I hope you’ll excuse it. My work is about making tools people can use to level playing fields and it’s so frustrating that I can hardly tell the attitudes of today from those of forty years ago.


  1. sc_770d159609e0f8deaa72849e3731a29d says

    it’s so frustrating that I can hardly tell the attitudes of today from those of forty years ago.

    Some of the attitudes of today, and even the people who hold those attitudes recognise they have been pushed to the edge- they’re the ones who claim to be persecuted and to need defending.
    In fact, there has been much more progress made with getting rid of sexism, as with getting rid of racism, over the last forty-or-so years than in much of human history. What were unquestioned “truths” that “everybody knew” have been demolished. The very idea that there is only one playing field, let alone that it should be level, is a recent innovation.

  2. medivh says

    sc_BoN: which is why we’re still having discussions about how rape accusations “ruin” footballers (who go on to long careers with minor shadows over them) rather than how rape affects its victims. And why we punish the victims for speaking up rather than the rapists for raping.

  3. sc_770d159609e0f8deaa72849e3731a29d says

    Who are the “we” you speak of, Medivh?
    “We” are a lot fewer now and there are more people who question “we”‘s acceptance and allowance of rights for privileged groups and assumptions of obvious inferiority for other groups. Compare attitudes to racial and sexual differences now and in the 1970s, and compare attitudes between the 1970s and the 1870s. We- without inverted commas- we, the human species, by-and-large are less prejudiced and more tolerant than we were. It doesn’t mean we don’t have a long way to go, but it’s as well to remember there has been change, whatever we think in moments of doubt or despair.

  4. medivh says

    Who are the we? Everyone. Society at large. The mainstream media and the people who can’t avoid consuming it – which is everyone who has access to the internet, or friends who are socially responsible.

    We keep having conversations dominated by the gods-fucked insistence that we centre the damage to the perpetrator rather than the victim. Over. And over. And gods-fucking-damn over.

    If it wasn’t clear, I’m referencing Stubenville. Rape is not considered to be bad like murder or even theft is, and “the people who hold those attitudes” are not at “the edge”. To believe otherwise is to pretend that reality is wrong.

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