The Corona Virus has exposed the best and the worst of human behavior. Any crisis affecting a society will do this. One of the most noticeable of the many traits laid bare by this disease has been the deeply ingrained self centred, self-entitled, narcissism of feminists.
The fact that the virus is killing men at twice the rate it kills women is an inconsequential fact, not only for feminists, but for the mainstream media too. In the initial days it did receive some coverage, but there were no emotional outbursts or suggestions that men were dying because our hospital system simply didn’t value their lives or demands that something be done about this shocking imbalance. No-the facts were stated and we all moved on.
Yet once again, we have been inundated with stories alerting us to the many ways in which the virus has affected women. Men may be dying in far greater numbers but women are stuck home minding the kids!
There are countless articles I could have chosen as examples of this sickeningly blinkered, bitter and bigoted attitude but I have settled on one by an Australian journalist by the name of Nikki Gemmell.
My attention was captured by the article’s long title: Corona Virus, Will I ever be so deeply rested again? I don’t want this state of grace to end.
Being an introvert who has similarly enjoyed the chance to enjoy the solitude and peace of my home in the company of my wife, I thought Nikki would share feelings with which I could identify.
I was wrong. Although the opening paragraph was reasonably promising, it soon became obvious that this was not the soulful reflection of a thoughtful person, wanting to convey her deep sense of restfulness and inner peace which has come as a result of our enforced lockdown.
No. This was simply another embittered feminist rant.
This was the first clue.
And now – blessedly, luxuriously – this. Doris Lessing speaks of the tiredness of a fellow working mother in her memoir, Walking in the Shade, set in 1950s London. “She had some job that enabled her to leave work at four [pm], and was, like me, always tired,” Lessing wrote. Seven decades later working mothers still accept this state as our lot; this perpetual feeling of being on the brink, wrung out, of never being quite on top of things.
Yes, women, and especially mothers, are the only people who feel perpetually exhausted, washed out, and “on the brink” because of the endless demands of life.
Children devour us. And men. We allow it. What value do we put on a woman’s life, her inner life, beyond domesticity? I have always felt that time spent on my own creativity is time I’m thieving from domestic demands, from the endless wants of others, and lockdown has given me the luxury of time. May my own young daughter be spared the expectations of others, all the needs that pull a woman away from doing what she really wants to do in life; but I don’t hold out huge amounts of hope.
By now, the familiar increased heart rate and rising adrenalin levels had kicked in and I was struggling to overcome the overwhelming urge to put my fist through the computer screen. My male rage and violent tendencies would not have surprised Nikki one little bit.
Perhaps it was the last straw syndrome. Knowing men were dying at twice the rate of women and understanding that this demonstrable fact had yielded less column space than this woman’s personal whine about how tired she is may well have been the reason for my slight overreaction. That, combined with the fact that this stupid, senseless sook clearly really believed every word she wrote was the perfect cocktail for my internal implosion.
May my own young daughter be spared the expectations of others, all the needs that pull a woman away from doing what she really wants to do in life; but I don’t hold out huge amounts of hope.
Even now, I feel a visceral response each time I read this sentence.
Read it a couple of times and try to absorb the unfathomable arrogance, ignorance and self-entitlement that drips from every word.
I assume she does not have a son, but would not be surprised to discover that she does. It seems the needs of others pull a woman away from doing what she really wants to do in life.
Men? Those blokes you see, even the ones with grey hair and heavily lined faces, digging deep ditches along the roadside or climbing the telegraph pole as the rain pelts down are living their dream. They feel as fulfilled and contented as a human being could possibly be.
What is a round of golf with mates or an afternoon of beers and laughter in the company of your best friends when compared to this bliss called work? How can you even begin to compare the thrill of waking at 5:00 am each winter’s morning and pulling on your work boots to rolling over and snuggling up to the wife for another three hours? It isn’t even a contest.
Reading Doris Lessing on her 1950s life makes me think: for a working mother, why hasn’t there been more change? Lessing’s worries back then are the same as mine now, and in that time we’ve witnessed a huge feminist revolution that hasn’t gone far enough.
The feminist revolution hasn’t gone far enough.
Women have generous paid maternity leave, time off for domestic violence related health problems, affirmative action and quotas which ensure success when searching for employment. They can work full time, part time or simply stay at home (whether they have kids or not) if hubby is bringing home enough bacon and is happy for his little woman to remain at home.
Yet, Nikki wants more.
And now I’m dreading the return to crammed normality and it feels like a transgression to say this. But with a stepping back into the regular world will come all the demands, the requests, the filling up of precious time when I could be writing, actually. “An immense dismay seized me, a tiredness, and this tiredness was my enemy, for so much of my life I wasn’t doing what I would have liked to do, or enjoyed doing,” Lessing wrote, describing the moment her godmother asked her to locate a retirement home for her; because it’s what is asked of women, all the time, it is what we do too well, and perhaps no one else will do it if we don’t.
No man feels a sense of trepidation about stepping back into the rat race when he has been granted a temporary reprieve. That sickening feeling in the guts so many experience as the all too brief holiday is coming to an end and Monday morning looms is one I am sure men (and women) understand. Stepping back into the heavy traffic, or packed train, the office or building site where deadlines have to be met and angry stressed bosses breathe down their sweaty necks. Driving home as the sun sets and the kids have already been fed and bathed and are ready for bed. Dad may be able to sneak a kiss on a cheek or read a bed time story.
And this is not a temporary state. This rolls on for years and years.
Nobody writes about it. No male journalist would ever use his writing column in a newspaper to moan about his lot in life. Female journalists seem to do it as regularly as they catch up with the girls for some coffee and cake in the local café.
Imagine if you will, writing about the tiredness you feel as a man. As you write, your entire focus is on the horrible demands life makes on you as a man and your hope that your son will be able to do what he really wants in life and not be drowned in a sea of demands from the women and kids in his life.
Imagine having the nerve to write about male tiredness as though it was something no woman could ever comprehend. It is (you write) a different kind of tiredness-it seeps deep into the bones and can never be shaken free. Only other males could ever understand.
And of course, (you continue) only males give up their hopes and dreams, their passions and hobbies because they have a needy, bloodsucking family demanding more and more from them. You must emphasize your resentment over the fact that men and only men are expected to work full time for a lifetime. Perhaps this is because no -one else will do it if we don’t.
How dare your wife and kids intrude so rudely upon the plans you had made so many years ago.
But let’s stop imagining and return to Gemmell’s very real rant.
But the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown has given me an excuse to say no, I cannot critique your manuscript, write your life story, endorse your book, be on your committee or panel. It’s been such a vast relief to be able to freely say no to so much without being judged; to put a firm red line through so many diary jottings.
In Gemmell’s world men do not ever feel the overwhelming desire to shout “NO” to yet another demand on their time and energy. Men never feel pulled in a multitude of directions by the people in their lives.
I can do in quietness right now the two things that give me the most pleasure in the world – mothering and writing – without having to bother about anything else. “I simply knew I was doing what I had to do, which was to write. And that meant managing my resources so my time was not invaded by the unnecessary, my energies were not used up wrongly. Easy to say, easy to write – but this is the crux and the heart of the writer’s task,” Lessing said, and it is usually so much easier for a male writer to manage this, always has been.
Will I ever be so deeply rested again in my life? I don’t think so. I don’t want this state of grace to end. When this is all over, kick me into the long grass, for I do not quite want to step back into that world I’d left behind.
Here is a woman, who openly concedes that the two things which bring her the most joy in life are mothering and writing. There are tens of thousands of men (and women) who are locked into grinding, soul destroying jobs because they have people who depend upon them for the food they eat, the clothes they wear and the bed they sleep in. They are not lucky enough to be earning a living doing something that brings them great pleasure and satisfaction.
Gemmell says: and it is usually so much easier for a male writer to manage this, always has been. (To save his energy for writing, not allowing his time to be invaded by the unnecessary)
There it is again. Men have it easier. Men don’t understand what it’s like to struggle, to doubt, to balance their writing with their desire to be with their loved ones.
The arrogance is astonishing. Breathtaking. It frightens me to have the raw truth of how feminists think spelt out in such an emphatic manner. There is no shame. No sense of embarrassment. Clearly Gemmell would have read and reread her first draft of this reflection. What she read pleased her. The words reflected exactly what she was feeling. This is what I find so stunning. Feminists truly view the world as oppressive and unjust in what it demands of women without for one moment considering what it demands from men.
Why was the reference to men even required? Why couldn’t Gemmell have written a reflection on her personal struggle with the demands of her life and the chance the enforced lockdown gave her to catch her breath and find some time to pursue her passions without disparaging men or suggesting men have a much smoother road to navigate?
It is simply because the sickeningly twisted notion that she has it harder must never be far from her conscious thoughts at any given moment. It is as familiar and as constantly present to her as the air she breathes. It controls her thinking and her actions. Everything she does and says is guided by the simple unshakeable belief that men are privileged and women oppressed.
There was something else Gemmell never mentioned because it is of no consequence to her. There are many people whose jobs have been ripped from them. Businesses have been lost and lives destroyed by this enforced solitude. She remains blissfully unaware of just how lucky she, I and others are, being able to view this strange time as a blessing when it is devastating the lives of so many people.
I wrote recently that feminists think of themselves as a woman first and then (if at all) as a unique individual. They wallow in the delicious comfort of perceived victimhood even when it is a concoction of their fetid imaginations.
She will never see the truth. Lifelong bigots never do.
I noted this comment under Gemmell’s whine.
Doris Lessing was a great writer but not such a good example in other ways. She walked out on her marriage and two young children to give herself more time for writing. She then married a communist East German spy.
She seems to be a perfect role model for feminists.
It’s all about me.