Sunday, 5 April 2015
One of the great pleasures of having my car radio permanently tuned to radio 4 is the serendipitous nature of my commuting listening. During the week I get the Today Programme and PM, but at the weekend I catch the end of Weekend Woman’s Hour and hear all about how the better half of humanity are currently occupying their intellectual, multi-tasking high ground… and knitting. Yesterday evening I heard a snippet about various reactions to the reinvented Poldark and in particular Aidan Turner’s torso. Stripping off his shirt for action he appears to have raised passions of more than just the lecherous variety.
Lecherous, of course, because the ladies love a bit of beefcake, the dirty cows, but it’s also aroused the herd – the beasts of protest - from their notoriously shallow slumbers. While Aidan says the attention he’s getting is fun, the wimmins say “Fun? You call the objectification of bodies, fun’?” Meanwhile others, in between gasping “Phwoarrr!” are jeering and saying “Hah! Men! See how YOU like it!” to which men are mainly going “What?” and “Any chance of a cuppa?”
Confusion in the ranks while the various competing women’s issues collectives start to wonder how to deal with the perceived threats. Do they leer and letch, or does that make them as ‘bad’ as men? Or do they wring their hands in anguish as humanity shows what they are convinced is its dark side - an interest in the other sex? Will this have an adverse effect on young people across the gender-divide? And how can any of this be pinned on the patriarchy? Because, naturally, the patriarchy will be in there somewhere; the radicals, as they see themselves, will be eating their own tail in a bid to outcompete in the increasingly convoluted conspiracy theory wars; where sister is set upon sister for being the wrong sort of angry.
Rather than settling for an acceptance that, in the overall scheme of things, men and women are different after all, what they seem to want, more than anything, is for young men to grow up with at least as complex a range of body image disorders as any young girl is perceived as being subject to. Poldark isn’t just showing his chest, he is causing young men to self-harm in pursuit of impossible standards. That’s how socialist equality works – the work isn’t finished until all can be equally fragile, miserable and manipulated. Until somebody tells you, comrade, you can’t understand how you are being used. You were happy as you were? That is unacceptable, brother, you must take up the struggle and feel the pain.
Easter Bunny for the laydeez
When you become a socialist, is a part of your brain removed to install the circuitry that makes you screech at the slightest hint of anything you don’t like? Must you be made to believe that the whole of the establishment is bent on your subjugation, aided by the media and the corrupt corporations? Or is reality simply – and far more likely – somewhat more mundane than that? Poldark hasn’t raped, or beaten, or enslaved anybody, ladies, he’s just taken his shirt off.