David Thompson
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January 20, 2014

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Sam

A kind of false consciousness for the underpants area, from which one must “wake up,”

It's Laurie Penny’s vajazzling article all over again.

David

It’s Laurie Penny’s vajazzling article all over again.

Yes, pretty much. There’s the same appeal to dark forces, and the same implicit disregard for women as autonomous beings with preferences of their own. It seems that once again we’re supposed to believe that women – other women – are largely passive and adrift, at the mercy of advertisers and trivial social tides. Which, when you think about it, is a curious position for a supposed feminist.

Animositas

...Cameron Diaz has proclaimed that pubic hair is there for a reason, and to remove it is tantamount to saying, “I don’t need my nose.”

Cameron Diaz, one of the truly great minds of our time. I read recently, I believe it may even have been here, that the deforestation, so to speak, of the nether regions has been a disaster for pubic lice. Apparently the little blighters need pubic hair to survive and prosper and we damned humans, women in this case, are despoiling their environment.

Steve 2 - The Stevening

As a committed Kate Bush fan I read this and thought "wow!".

Why all the focus on lady topiary though? Shouldn't women with moustaches, hairy knuckles, monobrows, and legs like cacti also be liberated from the depredations of depilation?

Will we ever see a girl with sideburns on the cover of Cosmopolitan, along with a header for an article called "10 Ways To Drive Your Guy Wild (With Your Beard)"?

We can only live in hope.

Emer O'Toole is assistant professor of Irish performance studies at the School of Canadian Irish Studies, Concordia University.

Must be hard to do the Riverdance when you're worried about tripping over the ZZ Top inspired knicker-growth.

David

Will we ever see a girl with sideburns on the cover of Cosmopolitan

As a small child, I was terribly impressed by Sarah Douglas in Superman II. I was convinced she had sideburns, which seemed way cool.

Watcher

Once again it escapes the Guardianoids: in a free society, you don't have to buy things as advertised. Choice and free will, the things the left doesn't like much, means you are freely able to make choices.

For example, despite all the cleaver ads suggesting I read The Guardian I resolutely refuse to buy it.

David

you don’t have to buy things as advertised.

Indeed, but Ms O’Toole is following a standard template for Guardian articles:

“Some people are doing something unimportant of which I disapprove. Therefore, unlike me, they don’t know their own minds. Because… well, capitalism, obviously. Because in a world without capitalism, no-one would make choices of which I disapprove. Including shaving their pubes. Luckily, I, being enlightened, am free of their false consciousness.”

And so you have to wonder who these unenlightened people are, the ones who don’t write for the Guardian. This vast army of pitiful creatures who can’t possibly think for themselves, even regarding their grooming, and whose lives are apparently a continual drama of agonised and reluctant conformity.

Steve 2 - The Stevening

David - I thought that too! I much preferred Helen Slater in Supergirl, although she wasn't given much to work with, baddie-wise.

Superman had Lex Luthor, General Zod and his crew, and his own drunken self to fight.

Lovely Supergirl had to battle a witch and... Peter Cook. Even Nuclear Man's irradiated cuticles were more threatening.

David

I much preferred Helen Slater in Supergirl,

That’s crazy talk. Ms Douglas, being evil and fabulous, terrorised astronauts, arm-wrestled rednecks and hurled public transport across the streets of Metropolis. Oh, and she kicked manhole covers into the air, caught them and flung them at people. If memory serves, Wienergirl just mooned about over some hypnotised boyfriend. Pah.

ErisGuy

The capitalist drive

Hilarious. They’re condemning pure feminism and calling it capitalism.

sk60

Someone's just used the words corporate brainwashing.

pst314

"The capitalist drive to convince us that female body hair is unnatural"

Conveniently forgetting all the "pre-capitalist" cultures that have removed body hair.

("Pre-capitalist": That's the politically correct replacement for "primitive", right David? I wouldn't want to have to submit to reeducation.)

Nik White

Dr. Emer O’Toole is a … scholar of theatre, film and performance, whose research examines the various influences – in terms of economics, politics, history, race, gender and class – that inform performances of Irishness in a globalized and globalizing world. Using postcolonial and Bourdieusian theory, her research asks questions about power, privilege, identity and culture.

Well, there's a surprise.

Based on this extract from her staff page resume, is it possible Billy Joel's hit 'We Didn't Start the Fire' had a formative influence on the young O'Toole's mind?

That or she's accidentally cut and pasted part of a shopping list on there

Maybe, who knows, a bit of both?

Economics, politics, history, race,gender, class,
Globalized, globalising
Postcolonial, Bourdieusian, power, privilege
identity, culture

She Didn't Start the Fire
It was the after-burning,
For the book she was researching

milk, eggs, sugar, bread,
Wilkson sword lady shaver, Wilkson sword lady protector shaving gel

Well, perhaps not.

Her staff page also mentions that she's currently working on a monograph that explores the implications of Interculturalism in the Irish context more fully which is odd, given that in the words of her own Guardian piece, she had my first (and last) Hollywood in August as research for the book I'm writing

There are unobvious connections and unobvious connections but forging a connection between getting your tuppence polished and interculturalism in an Irish context would take a truly remarkable feat of intellect indeed.

David

“Pre-capitalist”: That’s the politically correct replacement for “primitive,” right David?

As a post-imperial guilt fetishist, Ms O’Toole would probably swoon at the word ‘primitive’. One of her Guardian columns bemoaned the colonial propagation of Shakespeare, whose works she denounced as “full of classism, sexism, racism and defunct social mores.” And worse, “a powerful tool of empire, transported to foreign climes along with the doctrine of European cultural superiority.” The possibility that at any given time one set of values might be preferable to another, even objectively better, bothers her quite a bit.

Her article was accompanied by a photograph of New Zealand’s Ngakau Toa theatre company performing Troilus and Cressida in a distinctively Maori style. To me, it looked fun and worth the price of a ticket. But this cross-cultural fusion offended Ms O’Toole, who dismissed notions of the Bard’s universality as “uncomfortably colonial.” She then presumed to take umbrage on behalf of all past colonial subjects, whose own views on Shakespeare and literature she chose not to relate. She did, however, get quite upset about “our sense of cultural superiority” – a sense of superiority that, she insisted, has long been “disavowed by all but the crazies.”

I can’t help wondering how Ms O’Toole might have felt had she been among the 19th century English colonists who encountered a Maori culture that was all but prehistoric, with no discernable literature or science and an average lifespan of about thirty. And in which cannibalism was not unknown. Faced with such things, I’m sure Ms O’Toole would have resisted the wicked urge to think herself a little more culturally advanced.

sackcloth and ashes

'One of her Guardian columns bemoaned the colonial propagation of Shakespeare, whose works she denounced as “full of classism, sexism, racism and defunct social mores.” And worse, “a powerful tool of empire, transported to foreign climes along with the doctrine of European cultural superiority.”'

Shakespeare was a playwright from the 1590s to the 1610s, at a time when England's 'imperial' presence overseas was miniscule.

It seems that being an ignoramus is no bar to being a professor of 'Irish performance studies'.

David

Meanwhile, fellow Guardianista and novelist Brigid Delaney explains Why We Should Subsidise Hipster Novelists’ Housing. “Sure,” says she, “there is an economic argument against subsiding housing for artists – but without them, we risk missing out on our cities’ stories being captured on the page.” So apparently we ought to have something like a taxpayer-funded caste system, whereby self-defined artists can live way above their means just for being artists. Because… well, because.

The arrogance is remarkable and surprisingly common.

carbon based lifeform

Meanwhile, fellow Guardianista and novelist Brigid Delaney explains Why We Should Subsidise Hipster Novelists’ Housing.

Literally rent-seeking.

Dan

They must use a random word generator program. MS Bullshit, perhaps, or iTwaddle.

(Keep up the good work, David.)

dicentra

Sweetie darling?

If you keep your pants on, no one will ever know.

How's that for radical?

dicentra

full of classism, sexism, racism and defunct social mores

"Don't expose me to alien ideas! Away! Away! I might have to analyze them, and in the process question my own, even slightly! Don't humanize our wicked, wicked forbears, who are wicked mostly because of their chronological position relative to mine!"

I read somewhere that people riding the first trains through the Alps would avert their eyes to avoid exposure to the jagged, irrational irregularities in the cliffs.

Talk about impoverishment.

David

“Don’t expose me to alien ideas! Away! Away!”

Heh. Mustn’t touch the impure. With their uncorrected thinking.

Henry

that inform performances of Irishness in a globalized and globalizing world

"..the fock does that mean, fer fock's sake?"

...is the "performance of Irishness" that comes to mind

MikeG81

The funny thing is these harpies insist that their metro male wuss companion(if they have one at all) have no oppressive, testosterone male body hair.

dcardno

New Zealand’s Ngakau Toa theatre company performing Troilus and Cressida in a distinctively Maori style.

It does sound like fun - even though I am compelled to denounce the appropriation of a dead white male's voice.

dicentra

Evan Sayet applies his Grand Unified Theory of Liberalism to the MSM.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T26crZOjNss

splotchy

It is odd - graunistas seem to feel that "the woman's right to choose" should 100% prevail in instances where there is increasing evidence (female foeticide, infertility, breast cancer, psychological problems) that it may be causing more female harm than good.

Yet a woman choosing to shave her muff? (or legs or armpits) OHMIGODSHEISOPPRESSED!!

And how come my husband, my brothers and my dad, all of whom shave their faces and sometimes the hairs from their noses - how come they're NOTOPPRESSED? Eh?

Mr_Eugenides

A moment of quiet appreciation for your post title, which I'm surprised I'm the first to applaud.

[applause]

Glenfilthie

It is purely coincidental, I suppose, that this contemptible article was penned by another ugly feminist with a bad haircut?

DT

The capitalist drive to convince us that low male muscle mass and high male body fat are unnatural and unattractive has been alarmingly successful. The body building industry is worth millions, and uncountable men are ashamed of and distressed by their rolls of fat.

Women should accept and treat as equals the male body builder and the 400 pound video game jockey. We will not win until we see supermodels with the likes of Michael Moore.

Down with oppression!

TDK

Given the title, I'm obliged to post the following extract for posterity

2000 Presidential debates:
...
Adjudicator: So candidates, what is your position on censorship in the film industry?
George Bush: There's far too much violence in films. Impressionable kids copy it and we end up with mean streets. We need to ban it.
Al Gore: No, no. The big problem is too much sex in films. It's downgrading to women and leads to child pregnancy and unwanted kids. That must end.
Adjudicator: So if I can sum up: Mr Bush wants less Gore and Mr Gore wants less Bush.


I'll get me coat!

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