We fucked it, lads. All of it. The entire thing.
Ever since our distant ancestors stopped flinging their own shit at each other, stood upright and took their first, tentative steps into the realm of self-awareness, we’ve been in charge of more or less everything. But, stop now: pause for a moment and look around. Depressing as it may be, I’m pretty sure that even the most ridiculously optimistic among us would probably now admit that very little of anything remains unfucked.
The climate’s changing, the oceans are acidifying, species are dying out on an industrial scale; a flabby, semi-literate, incoherent, megalomaniacal tosspot with piss-coloured hair and the temperament of an intoxicated toddler is in charge of one of the world’s largest nuclear arsenals; Nazis walk among us, and you’re apparently not even supposed to punch the hateful cunts; the planet has been in a state of more or less perpetual war for the entire duration of recorded history; and, to top it all off, we seek to excuse the nastiness, stupidity and racism of one of our most senior British politicians by saying, ‘Oh, that’s just Boris’. It’s all quite irrevocably fucked, and we were the fuckers doing the fucking.
We set ourselves up as leaders, decision-makers. So concerned were we that women might try to have a say in how things were being run, that we actually invented entire religions designed (amongst other things) to keep women down. Women were a spare rib, an afterthought.
“Need something to stick your cock in when you get bored, Adam? Here, have this.”
They were the reason for our fall from grace, the ones to blame for their own misfortunes and ours, and they were certainly not to be trusted.
Fast forward a few centuries, and little has changed. Sure, women in western society, at least, have been granted something we men like to call ‘equality’, but in reality, it’s little more than a veneer. An illusion. We grant them the minimum amount of ‘equality’ we think we can get away with, as though it’s a thing we own and that we get to dole out as we see fit. We drip feed rights that ought to be inalienable, then have the temerity to expect gratitude in return.
Women can run for office now, but most parliaments and legislative chambers are still predominantly, often overwhelmingly, male. The US has never had a female president, and when it looked like there was a chance of one being elected, the old boys’ network came together to ensure that misogyny won out. And whilst we have had two female Prime Ministers in this country, neither of the two largest ‘progressive’ parties in the UK has ever had a female leader.
Similarly, it’s illegal to discriminate based on gender in matters of employment, and yet, there is still a huge problem with women being paid less for doing exactly the same job as their male counterparts. Even our publicly-funded broadcaster was recently found to be guilty of such unequal treatment.
“Ah, but,” the half-brained twat cries, “if women take time off to have children, they can’t expect to have the same pay and benefits when they return to work as a man who hasn’t had a break.”
Putting aside the obvious point that not all women do take time off to have children, this is a line of argument that neatly encapsulates the problem:
“Hey, women, we can’t have children, so you’ll have to do it for us. You’ll have to pause your careers to bring the next generation of doctors, nurses, teachers and scientists into the world. Then you’ll have to clean up their shit, amuse them, nourish them and care for them until it’s time for you to re-enter the workplace. When that time comes, we’re going to give you worse pay and conditions than men who are doing the same job as a punishment for your dereliction of duty, even though we were unable/unwilling to do this vital job ourselves.”
And while we’re on the subject of equality related to reproductive rights, the whole abortion debate is another area dominated by men when they don’t have any fucking right whatsoever to a say. Once again, we use religion to justify our staggeringly unpleasant treatment of women:
“You can’t get mad at us, God wants us to behave like arseholes.”
If men had to carry children and give birth, not only would the gender pay gap not exist, but we’d be as over-stocked with abortion clinics as we are with tired excuses for our unreasonable behaviour.
“Can you fit me in for a quick abortion this afternoon, Jeff?”
“Sorry, mate. I’m booked solid ‘til six.”
“That is indeed inconvenient.”
“Try three doors down, Dave. There’s another abortion clinic there. Failing that, there are three branches of ‘Abortions R Us’ in the next street.”
And then there’s the sex thing. I suppose there was no way I could hope to get through writing an article like this without discussing the ongoing sexual abuse scandal, much as you might consider it better if I did. Now, I know what you’re thinking:
“Ooh, good. That’s just what the internet needs: yet another man’s take on the sexual abuse and harassment of women.”
With that in mind, I’ll keep it as brief as I can, but suffice to say, I have been nothing short of ashamed of my gender over the past few weeks. It’s not just that we’ve been exposed as having abused our power to perpetrate some fairly hideous crimes against women, but also that our reactions to the revelations have, in far too many cases, been so utterly fucking horrific.
There have been the cries of ‘witch hunt’, the lamentations that ‘we can’t even flirt anymore’ and, most sickeningly of all, those seeking to lay responsibility for the death of Carl Sargeant earlier this week at the door of women who have reported sexual crimes perpetrated against them.
I won’t dignify any of these arguments with an individual response, but I will say this:
If a culture of hyper-vigilance surrounding the sexual exploitation of women adversely affects you in any way, you might want to consider being less of a creepy, sexually-aggressive, breathtakingly contemptible fucking jizzstain.
All of which ties back to my earlier point. We’ve had absolute power forever, and we’ve used it to lay waste to everything we ought to hold dear. It’s not even like we just stood passively by and watched as things gradually turned to shit. No, that wasn’t enough for us. Instead, we decided to mould a gigantic passenger jet out of shit, and crash it gratuitously into the stuff we were supposed to be looking after.
So maybe it’s time for the women to have a go. But, y’know, a proper go this time, unlike all the other times when we’ve just patted them on the arse and said,
“Sure thing, sweet cheeks, you can be equal. Right after you’ve made me a sandwich.”
The time has come for us to relinquish our grip on power. Uncomfortable as some of you may find it, we’re shit at being in charge. And let’s face it, there is literally no way that women being in control of the world could make things any more unrelentingly fucking awful than they currently are.
It’s time for true equality, and we all have a part to play. If women are shouting about something, ask yourself why they need to shout. Then shut the fuck up and listen to what they’re saying. Don’t stand by while casual misogyny goes unchallenged - even stuff that might seem harmless on the surface helps to create a culture in which it’s the norm for women to be treated as second class citizens, as objects for our amusement and sexual gratification.
Even if you’re not one of those men who actively seeks to discriminate against women, we’ve all gained an advantage at some point from a system that favours us in more or less every way. At least, on the face of it we’ve gained an advantage. In reality, we’ve gained nothing, for we are still part of a society that treats half of its members as being beneath the other half. I firmly believe that, when that changes, we all stand to benefit in innumerable, immeasurable ways.