I don’t want any more Lip from you.

I don’t want any more Lip from you.

As my nieces enter their senior years at high school, I am becoming more apprehensive about the possibility that they may soon be entering a feminist-infested university. I can already see Betty McLellan extending a withered claw of welcome as she prepares to turn my engagingly elegant ballerinas into sour, hoodied creepybittergirls in the space of one semester.

How many times would I be able to turn down invitations to watch them compete in ‘Womyn in the Yartz’ slam poetry competitions without letting it slip that I would rather swap spit with Sheila Jeffreys – with Michael Flood looking on? In my desperate need to reassure myself that it was possible for a young woman to attend an Australian university without turning into an angry, pinch-faced crone, I began to do some research.

What I discovered was largely predictable, at least to AVFM regulars. On campuses throughout our parched continent, it’s raining rape: rape culture, date rape, rape apologists and rape enablers. However, there was at least one surprise. I discovered the existence of a large demographic, comprising modern, moderate feminists whom I shall call, Feminartsies.

A Femimartsy is a hip-hop-happening modern gal who eats out a lot. She’s in the seventh year of a three-year Creative Writing degree and really hoping to finish any year now. Her career goals include enjoying totally unreal hobbies and maybe getting a job one day doing something arty – and fun.

They are all feminists, of course, because they’re all tragically oppressed. Of course.

Ladies and gentleman, I give you Lip – an online magazine run out of Melbourne University by a student called Zoya Patel who takes pride in “modelling [sic] her life off B-grade 90′s film stars. Winona Ryder is her idol.”


Joining her are a gallery of stunningly maudlin twenty-somethings who describe themselves in what they must imagine to be fey and ironic witticisms:

Jess Barlow (Web Co-ordinator/Special Projects Manager): “…she loves being able to go to work in her pyjamas…”

Ruby Mahoney (Editorial Assistant): “[She] is writing a screenplay about vincibility and flying home in the winter.”

Erin Stewart (Literature Editor): “Erin is diplomatic yet emotional, insane yet sensible, a strict grammarian who likes to verbify nouns and split infinitives.”

Kaylia Payne (contributor): “she dreams of one day having a job where she doesn’t need to wear shoes to work.”

There is no harm – if you are lucky – in being young and silly. However, there is a great deal of harm in telling lies, promoting hypocrisy and advocating violence against men. It didn’t take long to discover that Lip was full of it – in more ways than one. Here’s an example:

“They’re depressing statistics. After reading them, I get the urge to put on my pointiest high heels and go out and kick men. This wouldn’t do much good but it would make me feel better.” Coco McGrath, In Defense of Women only Literary Awards.

What statistics could possibly have prompted such an outpouring of violent gender-specific rage? They were statistics provided by some ‘women’s group’ that included the fact that there are more male reviewers of books than female reviewers of books. No, really – that was it.

Of course, the moment I blogged an objection to Ms McGrath’s promotion of violence, a white knight rode in to tell me that I was a “pugnacious and malicious individual” with a “deep pathological hatred of women.” None of these women authors have ever stepped up to account for their bigotry because there is always some horny dude just chomping at the bit for a chance to impress the ladies. I have no doubt that this young hopeful was rewarded with yet another frustrating night alone with his tube of E-Z Glide.

When that doesn’t work, why not try a bit of homophobia? Feminists just love to hear white knights accuse ‘misogynists’ of being fags who need “lavender-scented tissues” to dry their eyes. The editor actually expresses her total bewilderment to my response: “I can’t find the homophobia of which you speak.”

How about some hypocrisy? Editor-in-chief, Zoya Patel, hates the word ‘feminazi’. Apparently, it is awful when people she calls “sexist” call her something in return.

Just awful.

“It’s a term that people use when describing a woman who is an outspoken feminist, and is probably about to tell them something they don’t want to hear (usually that they’re sexist).”

Lip on-line magazine may be tarted up to appeal to the more fashion-conscious Feminartsy crowd, but it spouts the same misandry-drenched bigotry as the most radical feminist website. The fact that the blogroll on the sidebar boasts Bitch Magazine and Feministing should have been a giveaway.

As for my nieces, I am just going to have to make sure that I counter any attempt to indoctrinate them with as much logical advice and loving guidance I can muster. I’d better be up to the task, because the alternative would be absolutely unbearable.

Meanwhile, the search for those “nice feminists” continues…

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