Slut bias at The Drum narrowly averted

28 May

osocio.org

I’ve lost count of how many articles were published on The Drum this week about the latest expression of exuberant youthful feminism, the slut walk. In case anybody’s managed to remain unaware of just what a slut walk is, it’s a reclaim the word march invented by some middle class Toronto women (girls, ladies, molls,chicks, whatever) in reaction to a now world famous policeman who recklessly remarked that women shouldn’t dress like sluts if they don’t want to be raped.

I’m not even going to begin unpacking this statement, or the outrage it has provoked.  You’ll find it all in the hundreds of million articles on the Drum this week, from every possible perspective.

As if in a desperate attempt to portray women in another, holier light, Neer Korn offers an article titled Mothers still stuck in the guilt trap. “Selfishness is an aspiration for Australian mums,” Neer tells us. “They admire those women who speak with pride about having a stash of chocolate that no one in the family knows about, or of getting away for a couple of hours each week to indulge in a sport or meet up with girlfriends.”

“Australian mums display an attitude of martyrdom when it comes to balancing life’s needs,” he continues.

I haven’t worked out if Korn’s is a satirical piece or not. It has to be, right?

The piece triggered a memory of  Virginia Woolf’s protests against what she called “the angel in the house.” This was an aspect of herself  Woolf worked like a drover’s dog to herd into a pen, (sorry) having decided it was an impediment to both writing and being. She describes her thus:

She was intensely sympathetic. She was immensely charming. She was utterly unselfish. She excelled in the difficult arts of family life. She sacrificed herself daily. If there was chicken, she took the leg; if there was a draught, she sat in it – in short she was so constituted that she never had a mind or a wish of her own, but preferred to sympathize always with the minds and wishes of others. Above all – I need not say it – she was pure. 

That sounds like Korn’s Australian mum, I thought. Sitting in draughts scoffing chocolate she’s hidden from her family. Her one act of self-care, and she feels guilt-ridden about taking even that. Mind you, it does demonstrate a capacity for rat cunning. I never managed to hide chocolate from my family. I hid it under cushions, wrapped it in Glad Wrap and stuck it in shoes, dug holes in the garden and buried it (the dog got it that time), all to no avail. The only way to be certain I got the chocolate I deserved in my household was to eat it at the check out.

I have to hand it to the Drum for publishing Korn’s piece. In doing so they achieved a whore/madonna balance without which they might have found themselves under serious critical attack for their slut bias.

anti slut walkers

Two voices raised in feminist protest against slut walks are our very own Melinda Tankard Reist, and the woman Ben Pobjie, in a clever satirical piece at New Matilda, calls a “cock-blocker.” Guessed it yet? Yes, that’s right, it’s Gail Dines. Here ‘s a picture of the two of them cozying up at an anti slut walkers conference. Or maybe it was an anti pornography conference. Or maybe it was a how to hide your chocolate from the kids and still be a good mother conference.

I’ve never found the word slut to be offensive. When used as a weapon it says a lot more about the nature and beliefs of the individual using it than it does about its target. Well done, all you slut walkers for sticking it to those who want to put us down through their vicious co-option of language! Well done for reminding us that like the man kicked by a donkey, a wise slut overlooks the insult when she considers its source!

And heed this advice, sister sluts: stay out of draughts, never settle for less than the chicken’s breast, and tell your whining family to get over it, move on, the chocolate’s yours.

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12 Responses to “Slut bias at The Drum narrowly averted”

  1. gerard oosterman May 28, 2011 at 9:06 am #

    “She wanted to get out during a lull in war activities and the curfew had been lifted while the Germans were now totally in control. It was a rather balmy August day and she also hoped that her uncle might have saved her a loaf of bread as well. The food that was still available was getting sparse and the uncle, who was a tailor of fashionable ladie’s garments, had invited her over some time ago. He was a distant but generous uncle who was said to have left a young wife some years earlier. Perhaps the measuring of the hem or the inside of ladies legs for pantaloons had opened worlds that hitherto had been closed to him. She was from England, which, at those times, was still a country associated with prudishness, and by the more tolerant and libidinous Dutch, often given as a good enough reason for leaving a wife. The English on the other hand were hard at work preparing for getting rid of the Germans and coping with those V1 and V2 rockets that did manage to get to their aimed targets. It was an unfair assumption and if someone would have known about the works of DH Lawrence, not always true. On the other hand, ‘Lady’s Chatterley’s Lover was first published in Italy in 1929 and not in the UK until 1960. So, perhaps there was some value in what the Dutch had been told about the English and their reticence when it came to their sexual mores.”

    How things have moved since then.

    Like

  2. Matthew May 28, 2011 at 10:17 am #

    “This idea we’re in bed with the Christian Right is actually a myth put out by the pro-porners, and you know what, I would really know who I was in bed with, and it’s not them.” – Gail Dines, Porn Wars Debate, 22 May, 2011 Sydney Writers’ Festival.

    Uh Gail, care to explain who that is next to you in that photograph? How could she not know what MTR stands for and who she really is? The more I listen to Dines to more contradictory and absurd her arguments are. After listening to her on Hack (Triple J, god the ABC gave her a very good run) it would seem her vision of what constitutes good and proper sex is it has to be within a loving heterosexual relationship, possibly missionary only and with marriage only as well. This is the same toxic shit the Christian right spew. Why do these people feel the need to control people’s sexuality?

    Like

    • Jennifer Wilson May 28, 2011 at 11:07 am #

      The ABC did indeed give her an unprecedented run.

      I submitted a piece to the Drum last week in which I deconstructed Dines claims that pornography as a form of media “ruins” young men’s lives. I provided links to studies, one as recent as 2009 that refutes the claims she and MTR make about media influence.

      And guess what? Not only has it not been published, I’ve now emailed jonathan Green twice to ask if he’s going to publish it and he hasn’t replied to the emails either.

      So what does this say about ABC bias?

      Like

      • gerard oosterman May 28, 2011 at 2:21 pm #

        Not to get replies from the Drum’s editors or moderaters is the norm, no matter what the article. I could fill bookshelves of articles that haven’t been published by the Drum.
        I wrote and submitted three last week, not as much as a ‘boo or bah’ on any of them. No response means NO. It is a pretty grating method peculiar to the ABC. I have submitted to Dutch newspapers and always get a response and a ‘thank you’ even if not always published.
        I wrote about Strauss Kahn and US justice, the poker machine addiction, and one on Ratko Mladic arrests. A nice potpourri one would have thought.
        Does ‘noplaceforsheep’ have a place for the ABC’s rejects?
        A kind of Salon des refuse. If so, how do you place them?

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        • Jennifer Wilson May 28, 2011 at 4:23 pm #

          Gerard, that is a brilliant idea! A Salon des Refuses!
          Leave it avec moi – I’ll set it up.
          I’m especially annoyed abut the Dines article not getting up because nobody has challenged her lunatic assertions with researched rebuttals and analysis.
          But you got three turned down? At least you got the condom one up. That was important.

          Like

        • Jennifer Wilson May 30, 2011 at 9:55 am #

          Hi Gerard, (and anybody else) if you’d like to put posts up on npfs, send a Word document to lilypad.wilson37@gmail.com (that’s my public email address for this site). Please don’t put pictures in the post as there are problems with this. You can send pictures in a separate email. Looking forward to expanding authorship on the site – there’s been good responses to the two guest writers already on board.

          Like

  3. Sam Jandwich May 30, 2011 at 10:50 am #

    Oooohh, a Salon des Refuses, or a Jennifer Wilson-edited magazine?! Now that would be a credible publication! And a source of personal empowerment, which is an overused term perhaps, but I think increasingly necessary in a world bombarded by tenuously-based but strident opinion, and perfectly embodied as a concept in “Well done for reminding us that like the man kicked by a donkey, a wise slut overlooks the insult when she considers its source!”

    Perhaps it could be called “the Emporer’s New Clothes” then?

    Like

    • Jennifer Wilson May 30, 2011 at 11:46 am #

      I’m willing – send in the posts – there’s so much good stuff that never sees the light of day in the mainstream.
      And I promise that if we go down the Huffington Post road and somebody wants to pay $35 million for npfs, I won’t chuck an Adriana. I’ll share the windfall round.

      Like

  4. PAUL WALTER June 5, 2011 at 2:31 pm #

    Gerard should take it as a compliment if he is rejected, if the ABC has become so lobotomised that it only put cranks up at its sites. You tell they can still think for themselves, they haven’t been included at “The Drum”.

    Like

    • Jennifer Wilson June 6, 2011 at 1:21 pm #

      Arrrgh!! The Drum is putting up my extended piece on Gillard’s Choice!! Paul, can you exclude me from this profile of Drum authors??? Puleeze?

      Like

  5. PAUL WALTER June 6, 2011 at 1:29 pm #

    eeewwww…. present company excepted. They include Tankard Reist at the Drum, so you are in exalted company.

    Like

  6. PAUL WALTER June 6, 2011 at 1:39 pm #

    Those red spikers in the middle of the Toronto promo, they are beyond redemption. “Killer” heels; armed and extremely dangerous. And the boots- the ony thing missing is the whip.
    The Devil Wears Prada, has you in mind of the red shoes Naomi Campbell accepted as sole payment from Lagerfeldt (I think) for doing a fashion show for him once.
    Mel’s hair looked nice.

    Like

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