Saturday, 3 August 2013

All about men

Men like these!

Thanks Kate Beaton

Nah, not really. Actually, the most amusing thing that happened to me today, man-wise, was watching Tony Wang's Twitter feed. Tony Wang, for those who aren't up to date on their high powered businessmen, is the boss of British twitter, and has been in a fair bit of trouble regarding the Twitter Thing. Incidentally, update on the Twitter Thing: still a thing, though less of a thing. The Daily Mail got involved and printed an EXPOSEE (with an accent gris on one of them Es) on some of the men involved, some of whom apparently have fiancees (with another accent) and wives (no accent) and everything! I'm not linking though because at the end of the day it's still the Daily Mail. Back to Tony: After deciding that Twitter will indeed have a new abuse policy, the guy decided to Tweet a fateful statement:
Thanks Tony! Decent PR move there, give your team a pat on the back. The amusing part of this is that if you go on Tony Wang's Twitter feed, the message in question is now buried under several hours' worth of Tweets apparently responding to what may be every single man on Twitter, whose responses are all tragically predictable: what about the men? Where is my apology? How come this thing is not about me?

I have to be sympathetic here, because it must be extraordinarily hard to be obsessed with your own place in the world that you expect every single thing on Twitter of all places to be directly relevant to your life. The world of men is apparently populated with an inordinate number of clones of Zaphod Beeblebrox, getting constant reassurance that they are the most important thing in the universe at all times...

(Incidentally, when I went to look this clip up and listened to it again, I had totally forgotten that the Total Perspective Vortex was invented by a man, for a woman, because of how annoying it is when women suggest men should "get some perspective". Aaah! Et tu, Douglas?)

This is going to be a shorty so I'm not going to take this observation too much further (though oh my goodness, could I ever... maybe another time). I just think it's worth noting how absurd it is to react to a single instance of "this thing is not about me" with "why isn't this thing about me" ‒ and actually, (unlike gendered twitter abuse) this isn't just a problem for men, but for everybody who exists in a kyriarchal power structure. So, everyone then. There definitely are bits of feminism that are about men, and a few of them are even good bits! But many things are not, in the same way as many things are not about white people, or straight people, or able-bodied people. We would all do well not to get too shocked every time we discover this.