Well, she finally got back to us, and the only charitable conclusion I can come to is that Naomi Madelin is a seriously bad writer.
The less-charitable conclusion is that she churned out a shallow, nasty piece of “writing” perfectly suited to the Sunday Star-Times (hey, times must be tough for freelance writers), doesn’t understand how the internet works, and thinks she can backpedal out of this.
See, now she’s deigned to reply to anyone on Twitter (though not many of us), the story is that she was just offering a suggestion about how as a society we need to embrace compassion and empathy more.
It’s a lovely message, except for the fact it bears no correlation whatsoever to the piece of shit appearing under her name in print and online.
The most egregious line, about how women need to “give men a chance” by embracing our femininity – a line fairly read by many as saying that women acting unwomanly makes me violent – has blessedly been removed by Stuff, who for once have acted with a modicum of responsibility (though it didn’t stop them republishing the piece in the first place).
But let’s boil down the remainder of the piece for any message about how “women & men” should be more compassionate etc.
- Wikipedia says Kwii women aren’t feminine
- Women rate themselves as less feminine than men do, and this has absolutely nothing to do with a culture which tells women to judge themselves much more harshly than others
- A person selling feminine farmwear thinks women want to wear more feminine farmwear but are nervous of the reaction, and this has absolutely nothing to do with women in traditional male roles having to prove themselves twice as hard to get taken seriously
- A professional makeup artist thinks there’s more to femininity – like tolerance and sensitivity. Madelin thinks these attributes, which she seems to accept as naturally feminine, give women “strength” – oops, no buying into the masculine-as-superior language there!
- ForbesWomen’s list includes women who are feminine, but Madelin doesn’t explain how she’s using the term there, they just are and I’m sure it has nothing to do with the pressure on celebrity women to look conventionally attractive as much as possible
- Women need to stop “giving the message’ that being male is better. Yep, that one’s totally all on women.
- A guy once saw a woman logger who was very feminine. This again has nothing to do with the demands on women in men’s roles, and Madelin again does not explain what she means by “femininity”.
- People feel uncomfortable with the notion of femininity, but shut up, suffragettes wore long dresses!!! They didn’t drink beer like you filthy modern ladettes!
Sorry, Ms Madelin. I’m just seeing a whole lot o’ judging-women-for-Doing-It-Wrong and very fucking little analysis of the causes of violence in our society, much less any kind of critique of masculinity which equally calls on men and women to put aside gender stereotypes and build society anew on a basis of equality and acceptance.
Because, you know, that would’ve been a good article to read.
It’s okay, ladies, we can stop now.
We can put down our keyboards and go back to our kitchens, tie a picture-perfect bow in our polka-dot pinnies, and get to baking some cookies to reward a man who truly deserves them.
You see, we were wrong about Chris Trotter.
He’s a deep, sensitive man with a luxuriant moustache that we are too silly to admire properly. His boner, I have heard tell, is of tremendous proportions as befits a noble, wide-stanced member of the sainted dinosauria.
He wrote us a song, you see. Before many of we poor ignorant “confident young women” were even born, he wrote us a song about how much his feelings are actually the most important thing to focus on when we fight (in an appropriately timid fashion) for the right to control our fertility.
On a grey afternoon,
In an old waiting-room
He said: “In this circumstance
She’s a fifty-fifty chance.”
On a grey afternoon.
And I don’t know how she feels.
And I can’t know how she feels.
But I want her to know
That I feel for her, oh
I want her to know that I feel.
What Chris Trotter wants us all to know, comradettes, is that he and his verdant moustache care about us.
Isn’t that enough, really?
But it’s not enough for Chris. Saintly, magnanimous, divine-manhood-bearing idol that he is, he has also taken precious time out of his grooming schedule to write up a history of abortion reform in New Zealand. Truly, consider what we might have done, sistren, without this great service. Surely it is not becoming a lady to access the unfettered “Google” and subject herself to all manner of strange, thought-provoking search results in a selfish, egomaniacal quest to Educate Herself.
We never need educate ourselves so long as Chris, moustache at his side, is there to tell us about the history of a movement we fancy to call “ours”.
Do you think his great work ends there?
No, gentle acolytes. Chris also lets us know exactly how things stand right now – praise him! For without such cogent analysis to hand some of our number may have had to sacrifice dignity, self-respect, and honour by straying out of our father’s or husband’s doors to explore the World Outside for ourselves, to sully our soft, pale hands with the filth and degradation of Modern Politics.
Yet still he is not satisfied in his quest to make sweet, romantic intellectual love to our brains. He gives us the way forward, as only an artistic yet acutely-honed political mind can.
Yes, my sisters. We must focus group. We must conduct market research, for so it has always been done when people alienated from the means of production and denied their fair share of the nation’s wealth desire to learn more about what they themselves are thinking. Following in the footsteps of Kate Sheppard, we shall employ public relations consultants to tell us what to do.
But not yet, neonates. No, now is not the time, for it would go against the timetable laid out for us by the tragically unbearded Messiah before us. We must wait. I know there are those of you out there, you foul-mouthed and uncouth so-called “women” who may cry “What convenience, comrade, that you insist our revolution wait until after this coming, perhaps pivotal, election!”
I do wish you would not say “revolution”, my pitiable ones. It is not seemly.
I merely beseech you. Look to the moustache. It could not lead us astray, for truly, above all else, it wants us to know that it has a lot of feelings.