Fitzroyalty

Hyperlocal news about Melbourne's first suburb: Fitzroy 3065

the selective outrage of bourgeois feminism

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Two days ago an article was published about whether it is socially acceptable for men to wear beards in corporate workplaces. The article quoted two women etiquette ‘experts’ who tell men what they can and can’t do with their bodies. The article is offensive, sexist and endorses discriminatory behaviour.

If the roles were reversed, with the article quoting men telling women what to do with their body hair and what is acceptable in the workplace, the advice in the article would be widely decried as sexist and misogynistic. But apparently the reverse is socially acceptable. I saw this as hypocrisy and an unacceptable double standard.

I posted a link to the article with the following commentary on the Destroyers’ Facebook page: ‘This is sexist bullshit. Women quoted giving etiquette advice about men’s bodies. If the roles were reversed Destroyers would be all over it.’ It was deleted within minutes.

Contemporary feminist movements like Destroy the Joint are quick to identify, critique and attack men’s sexist behaviour against women, but they are curiously blind to sexist behaviour perpetuated by women against men, such as that of the two etiquette consultants quoted in the article.

Some feminists act as if women cannot breach modern standards of gender equity, and that whatever they do is politically correct. This is obviously not true. By deleting my relevant and reasonable post, the Destroyers demonstrated an unwillingness to engage in a genuine analysis of this gender issue, presumably because the outcome may not be politically expedient for them.

This is another double standard. If feminism’s aim is to create a better world for women by getting rid of sexist and discriminatory behaviour, it is failing in this instance by conversely perpetuating more sexism and discrimination.

I then posted the same comment on my Facebook profile to discuss it with friends. A couple of women friends literally couldn’t ‘see’ the issue I was examining, and could not see how being told by someone of the opposite sex what to with your body could be considered offensive and unacceptable. They seemed incapable of seeing it as an exact mirror of the kind of behaviour routinely condemned by feminists.

Feminists rightly condemn men who cannot ‘see’ the sexist and discriminatory behaviour they perpetuate against women. But they also don’t appreciate men analysing gender relations when the outcomes are not flattering to women. Bourgeois feminism remains very selective about the forms of sexism and gender discrimination it chooses to be outraged by.

2 comments

  1. You make a good point however perhaps replacing the word “bullshit” with “rubbish” or similar in your comment would have been more useful. Despite being an online comment, on that particular forum your use of language is not ‘reasonable’ and I am not surprised your comment was deleted. Sometimes a bit of respect is required to get your point across.

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    • Ah, language police. I was calling a circumstance bullshit, not the organisation in question. Attributing the language about one thing as an insult to the other thing is a fallacy.

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