Here’s another “lad” for you: Martin Daubney, who was the other “men are oppressed!!” guy on TBQ – the one who said, hilariously, “the great things men do, when do we ever hear about that??” He was the editor of a lads’ mag for years and years and years and now he’s that guy who edited a lads’ mag for years and years and years and thus an expert in the toxicity of feminism. He did some toxicity of feminism explaining in the Telegraph last November.
Twenty years ago, loaded – the magazine I edited for seven and a half years – was debated in Parliament for its corrosive effect on young men – or “lads” as they had been christened after the magazine’s very first cover line.
Today, we’re in exactly the same boat, as the Home Secretarybans toxic pick-up artist Julien Blanc from entering the UK.
What same boat? “Pick-up artist” means “systematic premeditated sexual predator.” Are people supposed to treat that as just another vibrant aspect of human behavior?
And, of course, after much liberal rumination, it was concluded that Blanc’s very existence is propped up by today’s lads, who once again are fast becoming the most vilified sector of British society.
For if you believe Twitter, the liberal press or your more toxic feminists – never a wise idea – you’d think young, white, heterosexual males were the root of all evil in Britain.
Not a bit of it. Young, white, heterosexual males are not automatically lads. The word doesn’t pick out young white heterosexual males but a subset of them that acts a certain way.
It seems hard to imagine now, but thanks to loaded’s huge success – it sold 500,000 mags a month at its peak – by 1997 it felt like practically everybody in the UK was a card-carrying lad, even the girls (affectionately known as ladettes).
The new Prime Minister, Tony Blair, was a lad, and his new, top-lad mate Noel Gallagher sniffed Charlie in the bogs at Number Ten during that infamous New Labour election party.
Were they overt unapologetic sexists? Did they publicly express contempt for women? I don’t remember that. Maybe I missed it.
Laddism’s only detractors were a small, grizzled coven of old-school feminists, mostly employed by the Guardian and Independent newspapers. Of course, they protested loudly, as is their wont, but struggled to be heard over the collective popping of corks and blaring of Now That’s What I Call Britpop CDs.
Ah yes, only the ancient witches of ancient feminism objected, and nobody gave a fuck about them, because of course we all hate ancient witches.
But fast forward a mere 17 years and the bovver boot is now firmly on the other foot – and set on revenge.
So it is that in 2014, the most widely hated sub-section of British society aren’t jihadists, child rapists or even politicians, but young, white, heterosexual men who drink too much, make ill-thought-out but usually harmless jokes and occasionally use the word “moist”.
First – why is the bovver boot now firmly on the other foot? What happened? What changed? Are people listening to the ancient witches of ancient feminism now when they weren’t 17 years ago? But if so, why? They’re even more witchy-ancient now, so why would people who hate ancient witches be listening to them more now? What happened in those 17 years to cause the change of foot?
And second, “usually harmless” to whom, according to whom? How does Martin Daubney know with such confidence that those ill-thought-out jokes are usually harmless? As someone who isn’t subject to misogynist contempt, how exactly can he tell?
Because what the lad’s critics fail to recognise is, like acne, being a lad is just another phase the overriding majority of young men grow out of.
More bullshit. The fact that most young men grow out of it is hardly a reason to foster and celebrate it, is it. If we’re supposed to be relieved that most young men grow out of it, why is it “toxic” of us to think they should be discouraged from growing into it in the first place? Many teenagers go through a phase where they have no idea how much alcohol it takes to make them throw up, and they grow out of it; is that a reason to celebrate drinking until you throw up?
…laddism is not some weird brain virus that consumes previously free-thinking men and turns us into misogynistic rape zombies. It’s not like being in the Hitler Youth.
Rather, being a lad is just something to do: a way of making friends at uni, of fitting in at the football, a perhaps unsavoury rite of passage before we grow up, something we dabble with before we realise we actually prefer carp fishing, triathlons, steady relationships, getting on at work, being a dad or watching Countryfile.
Of course it’s not a weird brain virus; it’s a bit of culture, like countless other bits of culture, and it can be encouraged or discouraged, valorized or condemned, wanted or not wanted. We get to choose, we get to say. We don’t have to treat racism or homophobia as some inevitable “phase” people go through or as “just something to do”; why should we treat sexism that way?
Loaded’s original lads were a two-fingered salute to the papoose-wearing, New-Man-cum-castrato the liberal newspapers extolled the virtues of, yet whom hardly any of us wanted to be.
Oh that’s attractive – men who pay attention to their children are castrated.
It’s funny that Daubney thinks he outgrew his laddism.
Every God needs its Satan: an antagonistic force to kick back against. And feminists need lads. What else would they rage about? Without lads, they’d be out of work. They can’t “solve” serious feminist issues like FGM, rape, or equal pay any time soon, so they fritter away energy on minutiae like getting sexist comedian Dapper Laughs sacked, banning Julien Blanc, or making Rosetta scientist Dr Matt Taylor publicly cry after wearing a “laddish” shirt.
Thank you Dear Muslima. I love seeing an anti-feminist man explaining to feminists what the serious feminist issues are, in aid of getting them to shut up about what he considers the frivolous ones.
These hollow, token victories not only make modern, online feminism seem increasingly toxic, petty and anti-man: they further fuel the lad’s persecution complex, add to their anger and drive them to more extreme acts of anonymous Twitter hate.
Yup, and women going outside causes men to rape them.
If we just ignored laddism, it might go away. After all, it almost happened in the noughties. But with a plethora of angry women lambasting lads’ every politically incorrect act on social media, and drawing angry return fire, there’s zero chance of that happening any time soon.
As a fully reformed and rehabilitated former lad, it makes me sigh wistfully.
Nope. Nope nope nope. Not reformed at all, not even a little bit.
By demonising lads and attempting to ban their entertainment – porn, Page 3, the London School of Economics Rugby Club, Dapper Laughs or even Julien Blanc – you perversely make the lifestyle choice just that little bit more attractive. Prohibition has never – and never will – work.
It’s so easy to think of examples where prohibition has indeed worked. He’s not a great thinker, is he. Maybe all that laddism took a toll after all.