Pants in flames

News not news: Brendan O’Neill “argues” dishonestly.

Case in point: he has a stupid rant about how the Grand Old Feminism of Yesteryear has reversed course and gone all wrong. You know what it is without looking – feminism used to be brave and tuff and liberatory, and now it’s all about being viccctimzzzzzzzz. The first few paragraphs could have come from Christina Hoff Sommers or Richard Dawkins or TIME magazine. Then he gets into particulars, and that’s where the dishonesty comes in.

From aspiring to freedom to conspiring with the authorities to harry and censor alleged deviants — how did feminism’s star fall so hard? For a glimpse into feminism’s stunning shift, look at what feminists in the West have been hitting the headlines for during the past fortnight.

Here in Australia, a mob of intolerant feminists chased the silly pick-up artist Julien Blanc out of the country and got Immigration Minister Scott Morrison to revoke his visa. Morrison said Blanc, who advises sad men on how to cosy up to the opposite sex, said things that were “derogatory to women” and had “values (that are) abhorred in this country”.

Right there. How to “cozy up to” women. That’s dishonest. Choking women is not cozying up to them. Teaching men how to cozy up to women sounds sweet and affectionate, while what Blanc “teaches” is hostile and dangerous. Blanc advocates criminal violence, not “cozying up.”

Now you, like me, may think Blanc is a tosser, but think about the dangerous precedent being set here: the state has been empowered to say what kind of values it’s acceptable to hold in Australia.

Again – that’s dishonest. It’s not a matter of “values”; it’s a matter of criminal assault. If O’Neill wants to argue that states shouldn’t deny visas to foreign visitors who are visiting in order to teach men how to assault women, then he should argue that, not something very different.


  1. says

    “Intolerant” feminists chased away a “silly” pickup-artist, did they?

    Enlighten me using very small words, Brendan, you ignorant piece of shit, how you can reduce choking – that is, assault – to “silliness” and why being intolerant of such behaviour is a bad thing. If you saw a woman you were personally acquainted with (or not) being choked by some greasy fucker at a bar, would you just assume she was being chatted up and walk away? Or would you make immediate inquiries about her welfare? Did you even read anything about Blanc beyond the headlines?

    For fuck’s actual sake.

    Oh, and if someone can enlighten me as to who the hell O’Neill is and why I should care, I’d be grateful.

  2. John Morales says


    Hank_Says, highlight the name, copy it, Google it.

    (Your gratitude should then be your gratification and accord itself to you)

  3. says

    I remember O’Neill going on Radio 4’s Women’s Hour to rename what women find at best embarrassing and at worst frightening, ie street harassment “banter” and “flirtation”. He’s a total tool.

  4. themadtapper says

    He longs for the “Grand Old Feminism of Yesteryear” the same way Conservatives long for every other kind of “good ole’ days”. That is to say, he does so by longing for something that doesn’t exist except in his own mind. The feminism of today IS the feminism of yesteryear. The battlefields look different, the opponents have on different uniforms, but the fight is still the same. John Oliver did a great segment on The Daily Show some time ago where he went searching for those “good ole’ days”. He kept talking to older and older people, asking about the 70’s, 60’s, 50’s, 40’s, 30’s, even all the way back to the Roaring 20’s. And of course every decade was plagued with problem, many of them the same problems we have now. The “aha” moment for Oliver was when he realized that everyone’s decade of “good ole’ days” they wanted to get back to was the decade when they were children. Those were peaceful, blissful times, so obviously if they could just get things back to how they were then, everything would be alright!

  5. mildlymagnificent says

    The “aha” moment for Oliver was when he realized that everyone’s decade of “good ole’ days” they wanted to get back to was the decade when they were children.

    Can’t remember where I read it, but someone pointed out that many people’s fondest, strongest memories are of their late teens and early twenties. For many people, “those were the days”.

    Which goes a long way to explaining why some people remember war time as a good time. It struck me at the time because I’d recently had a conversation with my mum who was reciting the ‘we knew how to enjoy ourselves’ mantra. She had told me in. that. very. conversation. about women friends and relatives being sad because they’d received a letter telling them that a man they’d danced with a week or two earlier had gone back to the fighting and been killed.

    Then I put it into context with other conversations with friends of my own age and realised that all of them idealised that early maturity period in much the same way, even though they also talked about distressing and difficult things from that same time.

  6. themadtapper says

    Can’t remember where I read it, but someone pointed out that many people’s fondest, strongest memories are of their late teens and early twenties. For many people, “those were the days”.

    In all honesty, that’s probably more accurate, but they chose to go with “children” instead of “young adults” in the punchline. Made the joke flow more smoothly, but it’s more likely those young adult years that are the ones people want to go back to.

  7. says

    Dishonest? He barely hits the mark of aware! Seriously, first just look at the very first paragraph. What does he write?

    Of all the great isms of the 20th century, none has lost the plot as much as feminism. This movement started life 50-odd years ago as a glorious stab for emancipation, for the liberation of women’s previously trampled-upon promise and potential.

    Now, having read that drivel, read his byline/subtitle, that clumsy sobriquet conferred upon him by some arguably and equally bourgeoisie writer at The Guardian:

    “A Marxist proletarian firebrand.”

    Can you think of any other “great ism” of the 20th century that has “lost the plot” as has the self-congratulatory and self-identified Marxists? They have had nearly a hundred years (and he’s had how many years himself?) to start and restart one labor revolution after the next.

    And he thinks he has something to say about Feminism? What a laugh!

  8. Al Dente says

    “Proletarian”, even.

    O’Neill would be annoyed, possibly even peeved, if someone hinted that he might be part of the lumpenproliteriat.

  9. says

    a mob of intolerant feminists chased the silly pick-up artist Julien Blanc out of the country

    It sure is a nice position when you can sneer down at both ‘sides’ of an issue, isn’t it?

    And I overflow with schedenfreude when I see a journalist complain about someone losing the plot. Journalism, a field that has become the yapping dog of the state or the chewtoy of the internet, is in no position to talk down to anyone, generally. Not that a good marxist would talk down to anyone, anyhow. This one is ripe with fail.

  10. says

    It’s the “strip all context” gambit again. The only thing that makes the story is that Blanc got kicked out of the country after complaints by feminists. The fact that he was running classes on how to get away with sexual assault isn’t even mentioned.

    Defenders of Shermer use the same ploy. They complain about people accusing them of sheltering rapists, as if it’s some capricious act of malice. The fact they’re defending a rapist isn’t considered.

  11. Alan Cooper says

    Will I get banned for abuse if I suggest that someone should do a bit of “cosying up” to Brendan O’Neill?

  12. Forbidden Snowflake says

    Regarding “the good old days”:

    There’s a crude-ish Russian joke that captures the phenomenon very well:

    -Say, grandpa, when was life better: in Stalin’s time or now?
    -Of course Stalin’s time was better, kid! I could get my dick up in Stalin’s time!

    Also, to quote “The good old days” (by the Libertines)

    It chars my heart to always hear you calling for the good old days
    ‘Cause there were no good old days
    These are the good old days

  13. says

    But wait, there’s more:

    I thought that getting really rich was the secret to that. Imagine my delight when I learned that I don’t need to be a billionaire to do whatever the fuck I want. I’ve had the power to have a consequence free existence all along! I just had to look inside myself,and see my Caucasian DNA, look inside my pants and see my penis, and just seize it as my birthright (the power, not my penis).

    He’s having a jab at Blanc, but i find the statement broadly accurate.

    Here’s the Freeze Peach bit, it’s lovely:

    Your client made some really objectionable statements. There is a price for that – it is called “criticism.” Your client acted like an ass, and people pointed at him and said “look at that asshole!” Rather than answer the criticism, your client sought to cower behind a wall of censorship. This really isn’t advisable for someone like your client, who will likely need to raise the shield of the First Amendment at some time in the near future.

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