Charm School
Friday Ephemera

So Cruelly Unappreciated

The Guardian is attempting to convince readers that its columnists - those heroic truth-to-power-speakers – are, unlike writers for any other national paper, continually besieged by an ungrateful rabble, and that an alleged avalanche of sexist, racist readers’ comments proves how righteous and heroic said columnists are in their truth-to-power speaking. Amid this tale of adversity and woe, we find the following, by columnist Jessica Valenti:

Imagine going to work every day and walking through a gauntlet of 100 people saying “You’re stupid,” “You’re terrible,” “You suck,” “I can’t believe you get paid for this.” It’s a terrible way to go to work.

As many readers will know, Ms Valenti is famed for her ability to mouth mutually dissonant ideas on a regular basis, thus attracting the mockery that so offends her, and while construing double standards as the pinnacle of righteousness. As, for instance, when invading the privacy of a random male commuter on the Tube by snooping at the contents of his phone, apparently at length, and then condemning his “passive sexism.” Apparently Ms Valenti’s fellow passenger wasn’t reading enough tweets by women and was therefore to be denounced in the pages of a national newspaper. Ms Valenti went on to assert, via Twitter, that on the Tube women have “no expectation of privacy” because they’re seen as “public property.” Unlike male passengers who find themselves sitting next to a nosey Guardian columnist who’s desperate for something to bitch about in the name of feminism.

And this is the same Jessica Valenti who insists that feminists such as herself “absolutely, without a doubt, do not hate men,” before dismissing even the concept of misandry, which she frames in scare quotes, and adding, immediately, “but so what if we did?” And Ms Valenti says this while sharing photos of herself exulting in the sorrows of male readers, and while urging her fellow feminists to buy fashion items that depict men being stabbed for the sin of being romantic. And of course while complaining that some of her readers don’t find her sufficiently gifted and coherent as a cultural commentator.