Sunday, October 04, 2009

The Samosa, the White Male and Angry Feminists

Slightly off-topic, perhaps, but I thought I'd post this here.

The Samosa is a recently-launched online magazine in the UK, and has set itself at the forefront of the multicultural project. According to its, er, website, the Samosa "works to promote voices and talent from all British communities". Very nice.

Unfortunately, whether or not you are in love with the multicultural programme, you are paying for the Samosa, funded as it is in part by a generous £15,000 grant from the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, itself funded by the British taxpayer.

Furthermore,
"The Samosa is a platform for the promotion of human rights, equality and is non sectarian. This is a core non-negotiable founding principle for all content, journalism and reportage."

Also very nice. One would think that is such a high-minded publication all points of view would be welcomed, and no one group would ever come under attack or be criticised for expressing reasonable sentiments. Not so.

Laurie Penny, a feminist British journalist for the Morning Star (Communist Party-linked rag) and left wing blogger, features on the main page of the Samosa with a piece entitled "My country, left or right", which actually sounds quite encouraging until you read the subheading:
"Political hand-wringing over the ethnicity of Britain’s babies simple reveals the pervasiveness of racist attitudes"

This is in reference to quite a reasonable and well-thought-out article by Melanie McDonagh in the Daily Telegraph about how native Britons are having fewer babies than recent immigrants. Her blog reply to Melanie, however, was the politely titled "Reproductive freedom and racial paranoia: or, why Melanie McDonagh can fuck right off." for which I'm not going to post a link.

The Samosa article is similar to this but more polite. If you read Melanie's article, it is hard to see what's wrong with it at all. She merely observes that middle-class Brits aren't having as many babies as working-class Brits or foreigners - she doesn't use the word "white" at all in fact. However, this does not stop leftwing critics from reading the word "white", as of course, all right-wingers speak in code. Where Melanie suggests that a middle class baby-boom is required, Laurie reads "in other words", in classic code-busting language, "the darkies and the foreigns are reproducing, and they simply must be stopped."

Only a lefty could interpret those words in such a way, but intellectual honesty and civilised debate is not to be expected from the loony left. I recently had a conversation with a former university friend of mine, also rather a left wing lady, although not as loony nor as ignorant as some. Let's call her Mary. Mary was incensed about an article in the Irish Independent by Ian O'Doherty, which you can read here.

Truth is, the article is rubbish, as is Ian, and although he mentions the vilifications of the white male, he does so poorly and glibly in reference to TV advertising, where he claims men are portrayed as idiots.

However, the angry feminist screams could immediately be heard. Had he offended women? Well, no more than usual. But his real crime this time was to suggest, merely suggest, that white males could be victimised in any way at any time. He asked what the reaction would have been had Michael Moore's Stupid White Men been called "Stupid Black Women" instead.

Cue the horrified righteous indignation. IOD also suggested that white males don't like to complain about these things the way other groups do, because they just, well, take it like men. Oh no, say the screaming feminists, that's evidence of 'macho patriarchy' in action. So our privilege means that not only can we be criticised openly, but we can't complain - but not for the reasons we think we shouldn't complain, but because we have to acknowledge our privilege instead. Make any sense?

Laurie Penny wrote a similar attack on 'white male privilege', entitled "More on Those Stupid White Men". My friend Mary seems to believe white men are "privileged" and thus ineligible for any kind of victim status. Ever.

This stems from the belief that we are all part of a group, rather than standing as individuals. After all, 'feminists' are a group, so are 'gays', and 'blacks', therefore because we see the world in terms of interest groups, then White Males must be one too. The bastards. And because we are part of that group, we are all Capitalists, Imperialists, 'Homophobes', "Sexists", and of course "Racists". Nothing like generalising, is there?

However, it seems it is acceptable to generalise about the White Male. Despite the fact that we White Males have never considered ourselves a coherent group with our own interests. We are in competition with one another, we've fought wars with each other, we go out of our way to organise ourselves in opposition to other groups of White Males.

Yet, because of our critics' preoccupation with Indentity Politics and interest groups, we are such a group. A minority group too, comprising as we do a rapidly shrinking 7% or so of the world's population. But that doesn't matter because we are privileged, and as such have not earned our disproportionate influence.

So, screaming feminists (with whom I do not generally have a problem unless they are also socialist nazis), of the sort represented by Laurie and Mary, believe that the White Male can at no time and for no reason claim to be offended or discriminated against in any way. Even when we blatantly are, for example through Affirmative Action programmes or through our disproportionate status as murder victims, both in the USA and in South Africa.

The White Male must take the kicking, but when the White Male raises his head to suggest this may not be entirely in keeping with the spirit of equality, the shrieking fems point and scream and cry sexist! racist! pig! You who have brought only suffering to this world with your vile concepts of individual rights, your belief in the goodness of humanity through liberal democracy, and your hateful but unique notions of tolerance! Bow down, White Male.

These feminist screams are in favour of "equality", but not for the White Male. This offers no intellectual contradiction for an ideology that believes in both equality legislation and discriminative affirmative action. This is because the White Male is assumed to already have all the equality he needs. In spite of the vast differences in wealth and status that exist between white males, from the splendour of Monte Carlo and Beverly Hills to the shack-dwelling Boers of the Transvaal and the poor Scots-Irish of the backwoods of the American South.

But that doesn't matter, because we're all privileged.

10 Opinion(s):

Mad Kiwi said...

If it wasn't so sad it would have been a "samoosa joke" (to quote Leon Schuster)

FishEagle said...

Just know that not all women allow feminists to get away with their rubbish.

Penny Red said...

Hi, Laurie here:
'Both she and my friend Mary believe white men are "privileged" and thus ineligible for any kind of victim status. Ever.'

No, that's categorically not what I believe. In fact, if you read the post, I talk about how 'privilege' of one kind does NOT necessarily mean you aren't oppressed in any other way, and it doesn't necessarily mean you have power. EG, I don't have male privilege - but I DO have white privilege, middle-class privilege and cis-privilege, amongst others.

Clearly though you're not interested in actually engaging with my arguments, andjust want to portray me as some sort of screaming angry feminist anddismiss everything I have to say. God, I must be really threatening to you!

FishEagle said...

Regarding my previous comment, neither should men.

Viking said...

Hi Laurie
welcome to ILSA.
I'm certainly not threatened, and in fact used your article to help illustrate what I think is a valid point. We are all subject to all sorts of criticism and don't have to like it - but I'm happy enough to engage with people.
I read and understood the post in question - and accept the difference between privilege and power. Just because you have privilege of one sort doesn't mean you have to get hung up on it and feel guilty about it - I don't.
Largely because my white maleness proved absolutely useless outside of the safety and security of the civilised world of Europe (and North America) - everywhere else it seems to be a curse.
The "third world" is a rapidly expanding place with a lot of hatred for Westerners, often. Having experienced that first hand I'm inclined to believe that white privilege is not so bad after all - in white countries.

Viking said...

.....nonetheless I've altered the text - I don't want to misrepresent anyone.

Exzanian said...

Why on earth would a man feel threatened by an over-reaction? Puhlease!!!! I have worked for female bosses (Chief Execs) for the last 8 years and let me tell you, ladies make better bosses than men. The ladies I have reported to have a more humane, emotionally intelligent touch than men. I have never experienced an over reaction or had any sense that my lady bosses feel I have been attempting to usurp or undermine their authority in any way. Mutual respect, get real.

Viking said...

@ExZanian
most of my bosses have been women too, now I think of it, and the last one in particular one of the best I've ever had.
I've never had trouble with women's equality, never, but resent the idea that feminists must take the "left" side of every issue - like immigration for example.
I also resent being accused of not engaging with someone's argument, when I clearly have done exactly that!

FishEagle said...

Viking, for feminists to take the alternative view, i.e. conservative view, it means they would be required to think a bit for themselves instead of just following the main stream dogma. And besides, it is so much easier to throw a tantrum in reaction to something (like a male) than do something positive. I have no time for these modern woman libs.

FishEagle said...

Laurie, how threatened do you think you make the males feel from Middle Eastern countries like Saudi Arabia? Shouldn't you be focusing your efforts in elsewhere?