Not funny. Not a compliment.

Dear d00d who is a dear friend and sent me this today:


William Golding
British Novelist, Playwright & Poet

I think women are foolish to pretend they are equal to men. They are far superior and always have been. Whatever you give a woman, she will make greater. If you give her sperm, she will give you a baby. If you give her a house, she will give you a home. If you give her groceries, she will give you a meal. If you give her a smile, she will give you her heart. She multiplies and enlarges what is given to her. So, if you give her any crap, be ready to receive a ton of shit!

Now I know this is supposed to be funny, and undoubtedly meant as a sincere compliment. But, but, but…


Note that Mr. Golding’s role here is that of provider: the generic “woman” is the passive recipient, whose calling (duty?) is to accept what she is given and from her labors—generally unpaid—create value that inures primarily to his benefit.

No thank you.

See, with the exception of that whole sperm/baby thing? Men are perfectly capable of performing these traditionally feminine-coded actions (and others), and are in fact engaging in them more and more as they come to reject the suffocating confines of artificial binary gender roles themselves. More to the point, many, many women are incapable of or utterly uninterested in all of the aforementioned traditionally feminine things, including having anything whatsoever to do with sperm and/or babies.

Unless we are speaking strictly about reproductive capacities, and to a lesser extent certain effects related thereto (e.g. hormones in utero), no sex or gender is innately superior or inferior to any other, in any way. To suggest otherwise—yes, even “jokingly”—perpetuates a view of gender that harms both sexes, but has a disproportionately harmful impact on women.

Contra Golding, I am not “pretending” to be equal to men. I am asserting that this is demonstrably true, as both a factual matter and a moral one. I am just as capable as a man of achieving greatness and doing good as I am of failing spectacularly and causing harm. And I am demanding to be treated accordingly: as an equal human.

Much love,
-The Most Humorless Feminist in All of Nofunnington*

*sig shamelessly stolen from Melissa McEwan.

P.S. It is not lost on me that my response here may well be perceived as Golding’s “ton of shit” in response to “crap.” So be it. But I would never bother responding at all if I believed that to be the case. I think of it as responding to crap with sunshine. :D


  1. says

    Ex friend now, or did you just whack him with a clue-by-four until he got the message? As for responding to crap with sunshine, sunshine is supposed to be something of a disinfectant. I hope it works this time.

  2. says

    You did take that stupid, un-clever “meme” and turn it into a thought-provoking blog posting, thereby enlarging on it and improving it and AAAARRGH! I can’t do this. (pulls off his sealion mask and throws it in the trash, storms off)

  3. says

    Anne, Cranky Cat Lady: He definitely takes what I say seriously, and considers it thoughtfully. That’s why we stay friends—despite some occasional sexist fleas. If some rando douchebro posted it on my FB wall, my response wouldn’t be anything like this one (if I even responded at all).

    Dear Mayor Siobhan: I have noticed certain feminists having fun. What do you intend to do about this appalling state of affairs huh?

    Marcus: Yeah, unfortunately we had to get rid of the last police chief for feeding squirrels.

  4. says


    It isn’t, in fact, possible for a man to compliment a woman.

    Yes cupcake, it sure is. It’s probably best that you don’t project your silly ideas and limited understanding of how the world works onto others. Now run along.

  5. says

    Giliell 8: No worries about housing prices! Men just give them to us!

    Anton Mates: Thanks for the partial debunking. But it doesn’t really matter who said these things: they’re common enough that everyone has likely stumbled on the same or very similar. What matters is that my friend took these sentiments at face value, found the meme hilarious and forwarded it to me—no doubt believing I would take it as a compliment and also find it funny. Bzzzt!

  6. rq says

    As the Postmaster of Nofunnington, I promise to deliver all your No!Fun!Allowed! notices on time – before they’re even required!

  7. Raucous Indignation says

    Anton, I read through the whole quote where he speaks about why Lord of the Flies only has boys in it, and things don’t sound all that good, but then we get to William Golding’s last sentence, “Sex is too trivial a thing to get in with a story like this, which was about the problem of evil and the problem of how people are to live together in a society, not just as lovers or man and wife.” As if sex and sexism aren’t at the core of our society. As if women aren’t people, or never bear the brunt of evil. He probably didn’t have boys of color in the novel either, because racism was too trivial to be bothered with as well.

  8. Raucous Indignation says

    Devocate, speaking of compliments, why don’t you go slam your sad, little ineffectual testicles in a car door?

  9. says

    Raucous Indignation:

    May I please be the kindly Simple Country Doctor of Nofunnington?

    Well someone has to deal with Devocate’s self-inflicted injury.

  10. Siobhan says

    Dear Mayor Siobhan: I have noticed certain feminists having fun. What do you intend to do about this appalling state of affairs huh?

    Wait. Men will take care of that problem in no time. /s

  11. Anton Mates says

    No worries about housing prices! Men just give them to us!

    But apparently you have to give them a home in return, which sounds like you’re losing money on the whole deal. Unless, I suppose, the man gives you a really impressive house and then you give him a mobile home or something. That could be lucrative.

    @Raucous Indignation, yeah, the whole passage reeks of “There’s ordinary people, and then there’s girls.”

    And if he thinks a bunch of marooned preteens aren’t going to engage in sexual or sexist behavior just because they’re all boys, I’ve got news for him….

  12. chigau (違う) says

    I heard that the previous police chief was not so much feeding the squirrels as being fed to the squirrels.

  13. says

    Oh dear, the squirrels in my yard forage under the bird feeders and (horrors) drink from the birdbath. The baffle keeps them off the feeders, and nobody actually feeds them intentionally, but still… Am I in violation of the laws of Nofunnington?

  14. dianne says

    Yeah, unfortunately we had to get rid of the last police chief for feeding squirrels.

    I initially read this as “Unfortunately, we had to feed the last police chief to the squirrels.” And my first thought was “So glad Notfunnington takes police misconduct seriously.”

  15. dianne says

    Anne @22: If you’re caught, just claim that you were only attracting the squirrels in order to provide your cats with new toys.

  16. Raucous Indignation says

    My cats view the squirrels and birds and mice and chipmunks and bugs and bunnies as lunch.

  17. dianne says

    My dogs chase squirrels. They are indifferent to most cats, birds, mice, and chipmunks, but they are of Iris’ opinion about squirrels.