Thursday, 26 February 2015

Buying Into Banter - The Greatest Trick.

Banter. Bantz. Just bantz dude. Proper bantz. Loads of bantz. Enjoying the bantz.

That's all it is. It's a laugh. A joke. A harmless way of poking fun at each other and - I'm putting my tongue firmly in my cheek here...... we're all in it together. 

In fact, the second the Prime Minister thinks about it long and hard enough he will declare Prime Minister's Question Time - "just lads and bantz".

-The women don't matter of course. That's what it is across the House of Commons floor most of the time. Men trading banter. Unfortunately for the laughing audience, the majority of the time real people outside the chamber and excluded from the joke are dying all over the place - well outside the realms of political "banter". People are holding out on laughing at the food banks. People are passing on holding their sides as they try to hold on to their sanity as their women's refuge closes. But you keep up the bantz boys. 

Back to where this started and gradually crept up on us. All of a sudden it is the benchmark of whether you belong. Can you banter? What is your banter like? Are you any good at it? Can you take it? Men all over Twitter, Facebook and The Red Lion are indulging in Banter. It is like when Norm enters the pub in Cheers. The king of banter takes his seat and the bantered fall before his feet. The banter is basically insults. Thrown fast and hard. A frequent "pooh" follows a particularly cutting thrust. It might be countered. A wound may be made but eventually all must laugh. ALL MUST LAUGH. 

The Oxford English Dictionary defines it in a number of ways. 

The noun - banter

The verb - to banter

Ok... move along. Nothing to see here. The grip this new form of "joking" has on our popular culture is nothing to worry about. It's been going on for centuries. It's relatively harmless.

But..... you know a feminist always has a "but" up her sleeve don't you? We aren't called 'Killjoys' for nothing! And really, the killjoy is the enemy of the banterer (?).

You can delve a little deeper into the historical definitions if you can be bothered...

Oh... so banter can be a form of deceit - possibly even criminal? Interesting.

And also,

To "banter folks out of their senses" - oh well that doesn't sound so pleasant now does it? Making people insane! Driving them "mad". Far less innocuous than "teasing" or "sharing a joke". We aren't all in it together if one party ends up unable to live a normal life are we? Or one commits suicide?

Or from the US we can see it is a challenge....

Hmm. Now there's a thought. What if a banter is not actually a "shared joke" but a "challenge" a "battle". What if the battle is against a specific set of people? What if those people are any oppressed group? People of Colour, Women, LGBT people?

What if the use of the word banter is used by aggressors to defeat an enemy? What if it was used as a weapon against those oppressed people? Oh dear. Now banter looks a lot less fun.

I think I can see the Prime Minister contacting the Daily Mail to say it was someone else's idea to call PMQs "banter" after all. It was that horrid Andy Coulson's idea perhaps?

The term has become one that determines a man's place in the pack. If you can sally forth with decent banter and leave your opponent open mouthed then the elbow on the bar becomes yours. The ears of the pride become yours. You win. You are the Alpha Banterer.

The danger is that this has extended. It has been absorbed by the ones who want to do a little more than "sally forth" with a pint of Stella. It has become something appropriated by males as something a little bit more useful indeed. It has become something you can use as a new tool against women ( and other oppressed groups - but I see it more often as a misogynists tool at present - and of course those misogynists are twofold abusers of Women of Colour)

Call them fat? Banter.

Call them a slapper? Banter.

Tell them to know their place, get their feet close to the sink, get raped, get slapped, get silent quick.... BANTER!

Oh what a gift! Just when men thought they were getting shaky with all this feminist stuff threatening them. Just when they couldn't say things which objectified women because they could spot it and call you on it. Just when the press were starting to take away your daily tits, stop you from calling women whores and prevent you from raping young women in hotel rooms without asking..... just then you were gifted BANTER!

Oh and my word have the men run with it. They love it. They say it all the time. They repeat it so often that to challenge it seems churlish, uncool, off point, outdated. A killjoy! Oh that very worst of things!

The thing that worries me. It's turning into the new "laddette" motif. Girls are doing it too. Women are turning tricks for the banterer (?) as in the nineties they would try to drink ten pints and hoarsely launch into football chanting. They are beginning to laugh at "banter" and take part. They are learning to see insults as "not really insults". They are learning to insult other women and call it by the man's term. "It's just Bantz babe. Lighen up"

Oh this is a blinder the men have played. I don't mean that metaphorically. Men are putting out the eyes of women with this term. They get to insult women. They can pull the strings of women and make them insult each other. They can make them smile through gritted teeth as they pull those strings.

Smile for the banter girls.

Misogyny is dead. Long Live The Banter.

The greatest trick the misogynist ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Gagging For It

She asked for it
She said too much
She's far too loud
She's far too butch

I don't like her face
I don't like her walk
I think she's phobic
She must not talk

Once I heard
She said some stuff
Did you hear that?
We'll call her bluff!

She dyes her hair
She flaunts her tits
She sells us out
Rip her to bits.

She hates the trans
She hates the man
She hates the pimp
Lets get a ban

She wrote for them
So middle class
She's far too white
Her house is glass

Let's get the stones
You throw them hard
And I will deal
The hypocrite card

She's not from here
She's over there
What can she know?
How can she care?

She called me this
She called you that
She's friends with her
She's such a twat.

She used a word
She shouldn't use
I hate her now
She's lit my fuse

She can't come here,
It's inclusive space
She can't go there
It's not her place

She should die in a fire
A boot in her face
A heel on her throat
Her eyes full of mace

Let's drive her from the net
Let's drive her round the bend
Let's get her sacked and hacked and broke
Let's make sure she will never mend

Where is she now?
Gone I guess.
We won you know
We caused this mess.

Who is she?
I can tell you true
Today she's me
Tomorrow you.

This week.

-In Turkey Ozgecan Aslan was murdered by a group of MEN for resisting rape and found stabbed, beaten, burned and dumped on a river bed.

-Carl Singleton - A MAN - appears in court charged with murder today by flushing his girlfriend's life-saving medication down the toilet.

-A MAN has been arrested for killing Becky Godden in 2002

-In Australia a woman university student has had a video of A MAN raping her sent to her to convince her to return to him.

- In New York police are searching for Carlos Zhunio - A MAN - who allegedly raped an 11 year old girl in Long Island.

A tiny sample.

Focus women. Focus.

Friday, 13 February 2015

Rape and a dog fight. The same thing?

I am in the middle of a lot of work right now and trying to focus on that, so trust me when I say I am really not looking to get into any twitter spats with anyone. I don't do this stuff for kicks. I would rather be doing my actual paid work.

I was still in bed this morning when I got a request from a student journalist for an interview.

I'm not that keen on interviews. I don't seek them out and do them very reluctantly. However, I think it is important to support young people trying to get on.

Last night I did an interview for another student journalist which was solely for her project and going nowhere else and gaining no real audience for myself or the feminist cause. I just wanted to help. She had asked politely. She treated me well. She stuck to times and she was well-prepared. She thanked me profusely and the whole thing felt very positive.

This morning, at his request,  I linked with the second "trainee" journalist. He was male. In my head I thought "Well now. He's a young, white, attractive, educated male and he already has all the breaks afforded by all that privilege in all those words. I had a word with myself though and thought it would be churlish not to engage and whilst I tend towards separatism because it just makes good bloody sense for women,  I sometimes think I need to be a bit fairer. So I opened his DM.

I have fairly recently been campaigning about a footballer who raped a woman and whether or not he should return to professional football. I can't remember his name. I know it's definitely not Keith Chegwin.... but.... anyway....

Adam, the Student, made me angry.

Adam, the Student, made me want to eat my own duvet.

Adam the Student told me that he found the case of Not-Keith-Chegwin "quite interesting" and then educated me about a similar case.

Let me show you how Adam did this.

Michael Vick, was an NFL player convicted of torturing dogs in 2007 as a result of dog-fights that he participated in. It's an horrific thing indeed. You can read about him here. I don't like what Michael Vick did. I don't like him. However, I think the two things are very, very different.

I briefly let Adam know what I thought.

I considered saying more but backed off, a bit angry, but thinking "He's young and clumsy and hasn't thought this through." I unfollowed him as I didn't want to get in an angry exchange by DM when I could still try and focus on having a positive day.

It didn't work. I got a bit angrier. After all, one day presumably,  Adam wants a real career in journalism. Adam may well be one of the men that feminists have to fight day after day to try to get them to understand how violence against women and girls should be treated in their reporting. It could be Adam that writes a report trivialising rape and discussing "grey areas" in the The Sun or neglecting to mention a male perpetrator in a report on a domestic violence incident, or a report where a child rape is referred to as "child sex". He is the future and this is what he thinks.......

Adam thinks the rape of a woman is similar to the exploitation of a dog and the men who rape women and the men who torture dogs are "quite interesting".

The word "quite" is quite a problem for me. For some of us we aren't "quite" interested in rape or violence against women. We live with it. We fight against it. We cry about it. We cry for our sisters and our daughters. We are "very" interested in it. You might go so far as to say we are "obsessed and consumed" by it! That is what should happen until it stops happening.

So yes Adam, I am pissed off with you. I see that before I wrote this you threw a little entitled, huffy puffy, privileged strop and unfollowed me in return and erased your request too. Well, here's news for you Adam. I don't owe you a damned thing. The world has already given you quite enough to start with and you will have quite enough white male hands reaching down to give you a hand up the ladder to the great iMacs in the sky of journalist heaven. I'll try to help the women who will probably be in your future office being objectified by guffawing male colleagues and sent off to cover the release of a skin-lightening product for half your pay by an editor who sends you to the House Of Commons.

Women student journalists - feel free to get in touch.

@AdamFJPhillips you should do some work on Women's Issues before approaching another feminist.