Thursday, August 27, 2009

Fay Weldon, the only real feminist ...apparently?

Fay Weldon is plugging her latest book . Shock horror in the Mail and Telegraph, this 'feminist ' is saying women should just accept men need looking after and don't challenge them too much. Well its not really a shock ,she has been coming out with this crap for a while now . As the interview in
The Guardian points out :

She was vilified for her assertion in an interview in 1998 that being raped wasn't the worst thing that could happen to a woman, and a few years ago she complained that feminism had undermined men too much. In her book What Makes Women Happy she advised faking orgasms. Did she feel part of the feminist movement? "Inevitably, but I never wrote propaganda because it all seemed so evident. It became obvious that you had to be a feminist because it was such a ridiculous state of affairs." Her contemporaries, she says, "usually come round to my way of thinking in the end. I'm probably the one, the only feminist there is and the others are all out of step."

Well arrogance aside that she is the only real feminist, it seems that by most criteria she seems pretty out of step. The tag is useful to get her some headlines , as seems clear from this interview:

... which is what brings me (the journalist, SB) to her kitchen table in her lovely stone house in Dorset, where she lives in apparent bliss with her third husband, an Aga, a library and apple trees. 

... I ask her how much of what she tells journalists is true and she laughs and says, "Ooh, about 60%". She smiles and giggles her way through every sentence so that everything she says comes out sugar-coated. 

I'm sorry, but views such as these are reactionary and show no understanding of a feminist critique of marriage  :

She believes in marriage (Nick Fox is her third husband, a poet and also her manager) because “it’s a ceremony, it’s a ritual, like being buried but you’re still alive, and the only reason you don’t get married is because you’re not really committed and you think someone else is going to come along”.

So marriage , for straight people only, is the only real commitment ?  Well if that is the case how come she has got through three husbands then?  Buried alive, hmm no thanks, sounds suffocating to me. But I do get really pissed off that marriage is seen as the only real commitment, it isn't.

The comments that have excited The Telegraph (and The Mail) are :

...does she think that feminism has ruined females?

“It hasn’t. No. Life is much better, because you are not dependent on the goodwill of men. But the trouble is, the battle became too fierce, and the whole culture encouraged women to believe that men are stupid, useless creatures who are the enemy. But men nowadays aren’t s––––. They’re actually much nicer. They just don’t want to commit to you, and why would they when you are a busy working woman who can look after yourself and probably goes to bed easily with them?

Hmm, why should women play games? If they want to have sex 'easily,' so what? Oh no, we are back to Daily Mail land, a place where men marry 'nice' girls with the implication that men are sexual beings and women, well they shouldn't be too keen .

And what's with the busy working woman who can look after herself?? Fay, basic of feminism, women need to be independent of men ! This means earning and managing our own money and shock horror , working. Don't know about your world Fay, money needs earning to pay bills . And yeah, some of us, like men, have careers and are busy and not waiting around to be looked after. Or would she rather women were dependent and couldn't get out of abusive or unhappy relationships ?

“The thing is, you need to find a man who is cleverer than you, or at east not let him know that you are cleverer than him. Women want their boyfriends to be like their girlfriends, fun to go to the pictures with, but men are not like that. They want sex and they grunt. If you really want a man to be nice to you, never give him a hard time, never talk about emotions and never ask him how he is feeling...”

Actually for all her nonsense about women belittling men she seems to do a pretty good job of it herself. So men don't want women to be too clever and they basically grunt and have sex ? Well sex is good, but in a relationship being able to hold intelligent conversations is pretty useful in the time not spent shagging. In Fay's world the male ego is so fragile it needs a woman to pretend to not be as clever as she is, to make him feel superior? Should we also flutter our eyelashes whilst looking up at him adoringly as well?

Tell me again, why is this woman classed a feminist ??

Oh and most women I know, who have male partners, do not see them as the same as their female friends. What does never give a hard time mean ? Put up and shut up whatever they say or do ? Well they are cleverer , or at least think they are, so little woman shut up. That's not to say don't treat each other with respect when discussing issues, but sounds like Fay is confusing women with a doormat.

... “There are women at work and there’s mating behaviour and women get them confused. At work, gender should not come into it. Women are right to refuse to make the coffee, but when you get home I’m afraid you have to make the coffee. It’s such a waste of time trying to tell your husband to pick up the socks or clean the loo. It’s much easier just to do it yourself.”

Well I am soooo grateful that Fay thinks women should have some equality in the workplace, though won't this upset the man, being a working woman who is capable ?? Ah no, because when she walks through the door she then reverts to 1950s housewife . Yep, its just easier to do stuff for the man, who of course is your husband ...that is unless you were 'easy' and then my dear no man, however stupid you are, will 'commit' and let you clean his toilet.

Am I being a bit (pretend) dim here ? Can someone , perhaps of the male variety, explain why having a penis stops them picking up socks or cleaning the toilet ? Unless you are of the male freakish porn star build I wouldn't of thought so. 

If both partners are busy at work, and of course that as we know is problematic in Fay's feminist world, why the fuck should women then do all the household tasks ? I am not better at cooking, cleaning or tidying than any male partner I have had.  I certainly don't enjoy it. So why should I just go round cleaning the toilet or picking up their socks? If I leave my underwear on the floor, which I do, then I should pick it up.  

Any man who thinks I should run around after them and who would make my life less easy for challenging that can take a hike.

“I think we should have more teenage pregnancies, and work afterwards. If you have children late you have no energy left for sex, and then men wander off to find someone else. The definition of a good man has become ridiculous. I just think that as long as you have a sort of semi-good looking, able-bodied, intelligent man, you should have his baby.”

Again, seems Fay again belittles men as much as she seems to think us not proper feminists do. Yep, grab a man , who will just do, and breed. And linked to her other stuff, perhaps if the man did his share of household and childcare tasks the woman might not be too tired for sex.

This may help sell her books, but do shut the fuck up about being a feminist. By any of the definitions you are not . Your view of women AND men is insulting , seeing them as insecure shallow beings who need looking after and pandering to.