Don’t worry, boys, Virginia Larson isn’t like those other bitches

Following my initial “oh gods this is going to be hilarious” vibe on seeing the cover of the most recent North and South, I got a whole three columns in and I’m just bored.

Virigina Larson is a woman, you see.  And as a woman, because she cannot allow you to forget she’s a woman, right, a womanly, womanish woman, she has virtuously thrown herself into the line of fire between nasty evil feminists and our eternal foes, Poor Innocent Men.

Virginia Larson, being a woman, you see, thinks as a woman that we don’t say awesome shit about guys enough.  Or possibly that we don’t acknowledge men’s innate superiority enough, or possibly that we don’t own up to how we as a society socialise men into being superior self-sacrificers.  It’s not actually that clear what her point is, but I think it can be summed up as:

Virginia Larson is a cool chick, guys.  She’s not like other women, she loves men.

As a bit of a sidenote, part of my boredom possibly stems from the fact that I’m a geek.  I’m a gamer.  And I’m a woman.  And Virginia Larson is by no means the first woman I have seen try to gain credit on the male-dominated, male-controlled social status ladder by bagging other women and trying to fluff men’s egos.

The main difference is that Virginia Larson is getting a cover story on a national magazine to proclaim her own man-loving awesomeness, and that since she’s the editor clearly no one’s had the spine to say “um, Virginia, your article is unfocused, incoherent and really just a bit shit, love.”

Tell you what, I’m willing to take that bullet, just like Saint Virginia has taken our evil feminist bullets for Brave Selfless Men.

Virginia,

You’re not a misogynist collaborator in the oppression of women because you *dared* to write an article praising men.  You’re a misogynist collaborator in the oppression of women because you promote aren’t-women-silly stereotypes and act as though all women are Julia Roberts in a movie, and not Erin Kickass Brockovich, in the first fucking paragraph of your “article”:

No matter that all of [my women friends] are married to good men who trudge off to work every day, love their kids, clear the gutters and seem unlikely to suddenly declare they need a year of “to find themselves.”

You aren’t antifeminist because you challenged some Evil Feminist Conspiracy by putting a tender picture of a firefighter holding a baby on the cover.  You’re antifeminist because your publication even *underlined* the subtitle, “A woman’s view” as though that actually means anything, as though you get to speak for all women, as though one woman saying “hey men are kind of cool” will absolutely shake your mythical Feminist Monolith to its core.

You aren’t wilfully fucking clueless and a bad journalist to boot because Feminists Can’t Handle The Truth and there’s some evil Women’s Committee which will censure you at their next caucus for Challenging The Party Line.  You’re wilfully fucking clueless and a bad journalist to boot because you write crap like this:

“So, at the risk of digging myself into the sisterhood’s hole of no return – could this explain why men earn more than women?  Because they work longer hours at more dangerous and unpleasant jobs?  Because they’re more likely to accept the night shifts, hard shifts and postings to Afghanistan or Antarctica?  Because men get sought-after degrees … while women get degrees in art history or media studies?”

… and apparently it doesn’t cross your mind at all to wonder if women have been restricted from higher-paying/dangerous/manual jobs, if women who do take up those jobs have faced horrific harassment, if women might be the ones expected to do the bulk of childcaring which kinda precludes nightshift work (and many women have to do it anyway and then get shit for Abandoning Their Motherly Duties), if women are told, bluntly, plainly, constantly, that they aren’t smart enough to do Real Science or if Real Science and getting posted to Afghanistan might also conflict with the fact that a shit-tonne of men, despite, how did you put it, “lov[ing] their kids”, still expect their wives to do the school pickups and grocery shopping and think of spending a weekend together with the kids as “babysitting”?

You aren’t a shit writer because you like men, Virgina.  You’re a shit writer because you demand having your cake and eating it too.  Remind me, are boys just “naturally” “full of fizz”, or are men “socialised” to “be disposable”?  Because you don’t actually get to argue that (a) societies force men to be An Selfless Hero AND (b) men are just naturally more heroic than those dumb bitches who think they need to “find themselves”.

But I can’t really get angry at you, Virginia.  This is just garden-variety misogyny peddled to increase your own value to the patriarchy.  It’s a survival tactic many women have employed.  Please, don’t mistake my contempt as “offence” or “oversensitivity”: for all the promise of your wanky little cover, your desperate pandering to the privileged wankers who read North & South is just another dying scream from a gradually fading system of oppression.

Really, you’ve just given me hope.  Because when mainstream magazines have to publish crap like this to try to reinforce the status quo, we must be doing something right.

4 comments

  1. john

    Actually, speaking as a man(pehaps, a la N&S, I should underline that? :p), I agree with you competely, I thought the article was a load of rubbish too…and you’ve written much better take down of it than I ever could. Thanks for a wonderful post.

  2. Octavia Spitifire

    Oh honey no.
    Virginia, you’re not special because you’re employing both misogyny and White Woman Privilege as tactics to increase your worth in the eyes of the patriarchy and Whiteness. Or because you clearly have no knowledge or care of how the continuum of payment and perceived human value is weighted in our culture. That’s not new and it certainly isn’t edgy.

  3. Draco T Bastard

    If that second paragraph you quoted is anything to go by it seems that she didn’t consider that women doing the same job as men tend to be paid less as well.

    • QoT

      Well of course not. The pretence that the pay gap is all about silly women being nurses and awesome men being CEOs really falls down if you have to face the facts.