Tag Archives: equality

The wooden spoon

Times like these, a man needs a good laugh.

There I was, nursing what turned out to be an unnecessary guilty complex after a Thursday night went wrong. On the sofa, Saturday afternoon – there was no Friday – feeling sorry for myself and being glared at across the room as if my existential dread weren’t already the size of Dion Dublin’s cock. Yes, it’s Homes Under the Hammer. Self-flagellation. Which is probably a doddle for Dion Dublin.

The news comes on the TV. India and Pakistan continue their merry dance-of-the-soon-irradiated. There’s something to do with Hillsborough, like most days. Jeremy Corbyn storms past journalists shouting ‘Good morning and goodbye!’ like a senile Truman Burbank.

Surely the sports news can save us. It can! Look! Women playing rugby!

Continue reading The wooden spoon

The rainbow hint

A new trend seems to be washing over the USA and, consequently, over the world – because why wouldn’t everybody follow in the footsteps of the great freedom dealers, amirite? Teenagers all over North America are coming out via school yearbooks. You see the gay expression on their faces, smiling above some semi-funny quote about having been in the closet.

This makes me quite nostalgic. Gone are the good ol’ days when you’d go on reddit and read about teenagers coming out to their parents by baking a suggestive rainbow layered cake and then writing “I’m gay” in icing, just in case their progenitors were too slow to get the rainbow hint. Yearbook quotes don’t go on Youtube, folks, thus they do little in terms of providing entertainment, which sort of defeats the purpose of the whole thing.

Now, if you’ve managed to read this far, you’re probably expecting some sort of homophobic rant following that introduction. If that’s the case, you clearly haven’t read my last piece of writing, which shows I’m as pro-LGBT community as one can be. Partly because I’m part of it.

There, I said it. Coming out on a semi-obscure website, in an article that will probably only be read by Chris who has to proofread it before publishing it, is not as original and creative as a yearbook quote, but I’ll take what I can get.

You see, where I come from, there aren’t any yearbooks. There’s only patriarchy, homophobia and all the gender and sexuality stereotypes you can think of. Where I come from, I was summoned to the principal’s office when I was 16 because when my literature teacher asked us to write a piece about someone we loved, I wrote about my girlfriend at the time. They took it as a bad joke, since I’d always been the rebellious one. I laughed it off and admitted that yes, it was an attempt at being funny, because that was easier than having to face the reality that I’ll probably have to deal with that kind of reaction my whole life. I re-wrote the stupid essay and got away with it.

When I started dating a boy a few months later I could actually see the relief in my teacher’s eyes as she saw us kissing in the school’s corridor. Then I went away to uni and I was far enough from that forsaken little town to do whatever I wanted and whomever I wanted without having to hear the gossip. I avoided visiting my hometown like one would avoid being at a Justin Bieber concert. For a while I thought it was because I was scared, but then I realized I was not scared at all. I was just annoyed, and the task of explaining myself and my sexuality to whomever happened to see me making out with a girl in the park would be onerous.

That’s how I made it so far in life without ever having to admit that all those rants at family dinners about LGBT rights were more personal than any of them knew. But in the light of the Pride parade that just took place in London and me being on the team of volunteers, I decided to come out.

The idea was strange at the beginning, because I thought – and probably rightly so – that nobody would actually give a fuck about who I want to shag. But then again, I will eventually have to talk about it, either when someone will see me holding hands with a girl or when I get into a serious relationship with one and want to introduce her to my friends and family. At least if I came out I could do it on my terms and not be forced to explain myself.

After coming out to some of my closest and oldest friends, I learnt two things. First, nobody can ever prepare you for the kind of pain you feel when your friends mock you for who or what you are. Second, there’s a huge misconception about bisexuals. Guys gave me meaningful looks and started throwing subtle threesome hints my way. One of them said “Now that I know you like girls, I can talk to you like you’re a guy; that makes everything so much easier”. Well I have to check to make sure, but I think I still have my vagina, even though I just said I was bisexual, so yea, pretty sure I’m still a gal.

My girlfriends, on the other hand, just shrugged the whole issue off and said “You still like guys, you’re basically straight” and then gave me the patronizing talk about how everybody experiments during uni. I suppose they missed the part where I was having sex with girls at 15 and I’m not in uni anymore. And of course, I got the classic “You either like men or women, you can’t have both”. Well I think Alfred Kinsey would disagree.

Obviously, the story of my coming out won’t go viral on Facebook and I will probably not end up throwing a “bye bye, closet” party, where friends and family gather round and try to ignore my Mum’s tears and pretend they’re not picturing me scissoring some woman. Instead, I’m taking the easy path of anonymity, writing about it under a fake and rather shitty name, in an article that will never be linked back to me. It may sound sad. It’s not, though, because thanks to the Pride parade on Saturday, I realized that strangers can sometimes be closer to me than family or friends. Also, there’s an overwhelming sense of belonging when you’re floating through a sea of approximately 70,000 people who are united by the same goal of having the freedom to be and to love whomever they want.

In the end, I suppose we all have our skeletons in the closet, but there’s no reason why we should live in there with them.

Fingering Jane Austen

The first time little Willy says “Are we there yet?” in the back of the car there’s a mixture of amusement and obvious trepidation that there’s more to come. The second utterance confirms the fear; the bastard’s never going to shut up.

From the third to about the 15th, there’s anger and frustration rumbling just beneath the surface and an overpowering urge to pull over and strap the child upside-down to the outside of the car so that his forehead very occasionally scrapes the tarmac of the M25. But from the 16th onwards, it becomes a lot easier to ignore it and eventually you can serenely rise above the din, knowing that little Willy thinks he’s really pissing you off when in reality you couldn’t give less of a fuck.

No question, when the current trend for online petitions began it was laudable, effective and made everyone involved feel like they were making the world a better place. There were petitions demanding an end to homelessness, to keep countries out of wars, for equality in various shapes, colours and sizes and all those other causes that make Shami Chakrabarti’s labia minora thrum with pleasure.

And now we are all little Willy, loving how effective we are while the fucker in the driving seat ignores us completely.

At some point some pillock began a silly petition that became depressingly popular and got on the news – ‘deport John Prescott’ or similar – and that was that, floodgates off hinges. Though idiotic, comedic or attention-seeking petitions were a thankfully short-lived burden we’re now delivered a new raft of petitions every week on topics that many of us actually care about, and care about more than it takes to enter one’s name and email address into a pair of boxes on a web page.

That’s what you have to do to sign a petition now: click a link, enter two pieces of personal information, hit a button and you will be rewarded with more virgins in heaven than Obama and Osama combined. You are special because you care about your fellow men and women on Earth, and pressing a keyboard 30 times proves you’re willing to go the extra mile.

And naturally the ease of signing has made online petitions utterly redundant. I used to actually read what the petition was about but now I simply look at the headline, too-long-didn’t-read the rest and click the link if the fancy takes me. No matter how much I want to save elephants or prevent people looking at your tits on Page 3 I will almost certainly fuck right off without signing if I can’t double-click the first box and have my information entered automatically by the browser.

If we can’t bring ourselves to care about the content how are the people these things are aimed at – government ministers, usually – supposed to give a damn about how many people took eight seconds out of their day to sign it? I can picture Jeremy Hunt laughing as another 35,000 ‘signatures’ land in his inbox without a drop of ink or effort spent, begging him not to brand nurses with pound signs or whatever his latest NHS wheeze might be. Picturing that bastard laughing makes me so angry I’m tempted to start a petition to have his lungs privatised.

By far the most guilty exponents of this unstoppable petitiongeddon are Change.org. Right now their ongoing petitions include the following: ‘Theresa May: Mothers’ names should be on marriage certificates’ (I couldn’t care less if apathy paid); ‘Stop Israel from murdering innocent people: It’s time we put a stop to this diabolical act’ (and a petition is what we needed all along!); and ‘Remove Nash Grier from Vine, YouTube and Twitter’. He’s a horrible cunt, apparently, and when the petition is ‘successful’ with all of 100 signatures I’m sure ‘the internet community’ will have no problem getting him to spread his horseshit via some other medium.

There are some victories to be found among these thousands of petitions but almost every one I can find is for the type of sop you can imagine the government feeding us to keep us happy in the back of the car. My money flies into pub tills so fast I have no idea whether there was a woman on the banknote, and whether I’ve just fingered Jane Austen doesn’t strike me as a major concern as I use that afternoon’s sixth Guinness to drown my many inadequacies. While Cherry Groce’s family are doubtless delighted Chris Grayling has granted legal aid for the inquest into her death, an online petition about someone who died 26 fucking years after the riots in which she was paralysed is fairly unlikely to resurrect the old girl, unless there’s been a breakthrough in molecular immortality that passed me by.

The more people who instigate shite like ‘Bury Council: Not to start 3 weekly bin collections’ the more it’ll be impossible to make people in power take note when something that actually matters kicks off. I’ve stopped signing these fucking things, with the exception of ones about beer prices and not shutting pubs down, because if I can’t drink you’ll all suffer. I strongly suggest the next time you’re tempted to tap tap tap into the two little boxes you redirect that energy to rolling a joint or flicking yourself off instead.


Let me lay my cards on the table. Despite some assuming I am a Daily Mail-reading, Tory-loving capitalist, let me prick that bubble: I am as far to the left as you can be without being insane. I lack any religious conviction, I’ve worked for government and charities, and I love baby kittens.

That doesn’t make me a lesbian either. I’ve even taken drugs and inhaled (for any police reading it was in a licensed café in Amsterdam, honest). I also have a degree. So before you rage at what comes next, just remember – I am not what you think.

‘Feminist’ is becoming a disgusting, negative term I do not wish to be associated with. It’s heading right up there with ‘racist’.

I fully appreciate the roots of the movement, to seek equality and freedom from oppression. The Rights of Women was an eye opener to me at University, and I understood the historical background it grew out of. What I can no longer stand is women bitching and whining for equality, and then spouting judgmental lectures on what that should mean without any consideration for the root of the movement.

Equality and freedom means any woman can be whomever she wants. Right? Wrong. Don’t demean yourself, don’t be a trophy wife, don’t change your body, blah blah blah. Feminism is now just an excuse to bitch about those different from yourself, and female jealousy is frequently masked in articles by an allusion to feminist rhetoric.

The prevarication of supposed feminist writers is fast becoming a joke we are now all tainted with. Pick on an easy target, say something right-on with no balance, make every woman with a brain look like an idiot.

Let me give you an example. Last year the Guardian published an article about how the coverage at Wimbledon was “anti-feminist”. All those camera shots of the players’ girlfriends; the comments on the Ladies Singles winner. This went into a rant about how these women were merely trophy wives, waiting to trap a man, as well as calling for the BBC to remove commentators who make sexist comments.

Now hold on a sec. Let me consider my experience of the competition. Let’s see, there were a lot of men in shorts, a huge amount of risqué photos of Nadal and Murray in the mags, Andy Murray’s unpolished mother in every other shot, and masses of camera shots of Bradley Cooper and Gerard Butler. I bet if you look at Twitter, a lot of women were tweeting about that.

Well how dare you, women of the world. All this equality has brought you suggestive pictures of athletes and lingering shots of Hollywood hunks. You all disgust me.

Well no, actually you don’t. You see equality is about everyone getting the same options – free will means you choose what you do with them. Did you cover your eyes as a player changed his shirt? No? Well the rules said you should so no moral high ground for you.

So women want to do Page 3, or porn, or beauty pageants. Let them. As long as it’s their choice, so what? No one questions a man becoming a stripper, or going into porn, and heaven forbid you question a gay man entering Mr Gay UK. Some girls want to marry a footballer; good luck to them. Some want a career – brilliant, just don’t bitch and demand positive discrimination. Like women trying to change an alcoholic or falling in love with a serial killer, there are some things that will just never work. No matter what gender or persuasion, some people are just cunts.

My plea is for women everywhere to stop throwing the word ‘feminism’ at anything that winds them up, without thinking whether it really is a balanced point of view. You’ve pretty much destroyed the meaning of the movement; to me and many women it is now a negative word. I’m an ‘equalicist’. Same rights for everyone. Talk about persecution, rape in war, genital mutilation, anywhere where equality really is needed. Whether Kate Middleton should dye her grey hair, or keep true to feminism by keeping it real? No comparison really, is there?