The Word Rabbit

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This article was written on 06 May 2016, and is filled under Uncategorised.

Disavowing masculinity

I wrote yesterday about how I’m not getting involved with anything that looks or smells like activism again. Activism will, I’m sure, survive pretty well without me. But as I divest myself of worldly concerns, there’s one last thing I need to get shot of. One last thing that I don’t need to be thinking about because, frankly, it’s become a bit of a pain in the arse. That’s right. It’s my gender.

For official forms and suchlike, you need to declare a gender because it makes life an awful lot easier. And choosing that is easy. I’m a man, because I have XY chromosomes a cock and a pair of balls. That much, at least, is no great mystery. But do I identify as a man? Do conventionally male things? No. Not really. When I think about the things that men are responsible for, from violence against women in all its forms, the abuse of children, war, other forms of conflict all the way down to the utter horror of being in a single sex group that defaults to exactly half the IQ of its most stupid member, I’d really rather not bother.

Of course, it’s mostly inescapable, like asking the bloke in the Nazi uniform if he’s okay with anti-Semitism when he says he’s there for the paternity leave, or the bloke in the white hood if he likes killing black people when he says he’s there for the card school. We own this stuff. Every time a man cat calls a woman, assaults her, kills her, minimises her pain or talks over her experience with some witless idiocy of his own, that’s deservedly an entire sex on trial. And almost every advance that was ever made, from women getting the vote to making people recognise that wives can be raped by their husbands has had to be clawed out of men’s hands with extreme reluctance. This, then, is the truly and utterly rubbish gender.

I’m amazed men don’t have to apply for a licence before we’re allowed out, let alone allowed into mixed company, given the chaos we stream in our wake, but there we go. On a ‘lad’s’ night out some years ago, I had to sit and listen while the ‘king lad’ shared intimate pictures of his girlfriend and told rape jokes while everyone else laughed along. Including me. I didn’t want to be outed as the ‘sensitive one,’ as though not laughing along with rape is sensitive, and have mocking opprobrium heaped on my head for the evening. Maybe the others felt the same, but if they did, nobody said so. And I’ve been in hundreds of these groups, where nobody stands up for women because it’s just too bloody tricky. I think it was Germaine Greer who said that women would be amazed how much men hate them. She’s right.

So if I’m to be tarred with this brush, which I accept I am, what’s the point in me disowning my gender like this? Simple. I think there is a kind of culture war coming and I think I know who is going to win. It’s the side who represent some crazy fusion of MRAs and trans activists in which gender roles are fixed and immutable. Daddy wears trousers and fixes cars. He stands at the bar with his alpha friends and makes alpha jokes and competes for women’s attention. And daddy, naturally, has a dick. These are the qualities you MUST have if you have a dick. Women are the inverse of this, being feminine and liking lipstick and pretty things. They’re attracted to the most macho alphas. And mummy has a fanny. Neither party was necessarily born with these genitals, but it’s what they have now that matters.

This is, of course, specious old bollocks. If you have XX chromosomes, you’re a woman, if you have XY chromosomes, you’re a man. And the only thing that’s telling you that one category wears trousers and the other wears dresses is society and social norms. As far as I’m concerned, if you have a dick and want to wear a dress and lipstick, go for it. I neither care nor have an opinion about it. My hero is Grayson Perry, who does exactly want he bloody wants to when he wants to and doesn’t give a monkey’s stuff what anybody thinks about it. This, however, is set to become unfashionable. Society wants fixed gender roles and that’s what it’s going to bloody well get.

Well, not me. I’m opting out of the culture war before it starts and going my own way. I don’t want the label masculine if it means I have to behave like a cat-calling alpha dipshit, if it’s all the same to you. Let someone else who glories in these characteristics have it instead. Another Twitter user, who shall remain nameless, shared a hackneyed positive thinking quote that said that you should stand up and ‘be the man she wants you to be’ or ‘sit down so she can see the man behind you.’ Well, if those are the parameters, I’m sitting down with a book and a cappuccino. Get on without me.

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