Banter Bigotry: It’s only a joke, love
Banter is a very odd thing. As an activity it provides a handy shelter for bigots to flex their anti PC brigade muscles and to prove to their friends that they fell out of the funny tree and hit every branch on the way down. What it is not allegedly is subjective. Anyone who questions the banter status quo is immediately deemed humourless. I’ve seen it used to shield people from accusations of racism, homophobia, disablism and sexism and it’s the latter, which as a 45 year old woman, I’ve witnessed most.
After a particularly unedifying spectacle of banter bigotry (or to use one of its correct title – sexism) on Twitter recently, I decided to compile a satirical list of rules on banter bigotry for sexists. One for every year I’ve been a justifiable punchline, by virtue of my gender.
I’ve heard first hand or had relayed to me by others all of these comments over the years. Despite the century we’re living in, women still have to endure many of these comments everyday. From the mild to the extreme from their clothing choices to their reproductive rights women are publicly questioned, ridiculed and held up to public scrutiny.
Please don’t view this as a comment on men, women are just as capable of denigrating and dehumanizing their own gender, a universal truth, which is as effective as it is disappointing. If you recognize yourself, great, perhaps it’s an opportunity to rethink your banter. If not, well there is always the comments box below where you can vent your spleen and explain at length where I’m absolutely wrong and you’re absolutely right.
In any event I’ve certainly enjoyed writing this list. The pleasure I derived is directly proportionate to the humiliation of being insulted and then expected to smile and bite my lip. This is of course the conditioned response to the comedy of cruelty.
Of course the final irony is that banter bigotry, the least funny comedy on the planet, deems itself ultimate judge of what constitutes humour.
1) ‘Girls’ aren’t funny; they just need to get a sense of humour when ‘jokes’ are made about them.
2) No place for ‘Girls’ on the board of our newspapers. Their place in our newspapers is P3, breasts out & smiles in place.
3) ‘Girls” who get old are redundant they must be young and pretty forever. Intelligence is no replacement for looks.
4) ‘Girls’ will be told what is sexist and what isn’t. They have no right to individual opinion – the consensus will decide.
5) ‘Girls’ will not get angry, this is a male emotion. They must remain calm not ’shrill or aggressive’.
6) A ‘Girls’ role is to be a mother. If they reject this this they are ‘unnatural’ anyone is entitled to voice this to them.
7) Politics is preferably the domain of men. ‘Girls’ can rise but in a controlled way. They must be attractive & dress well.
8 ) ‘Girls’ perform a vital role in the film industry. Their flesh must be displayed routinely & gratuitously (when young).
9) ‘Girls’ should not be drunk. If they endure a sexual attack, this inebriation ‘mitigates’ the responsibility of attacker.
10) ‘Girls’ who dress provocatively, walk alone at night, express an interest in sex etc are deemed to be ‘fair game’.
11) ‘Girls’ are still girls even when they are adults. If you protest ‘Girls’ you are ‘humorless, militant harridans’.
12) ‘Girls’ should try harder to be feminine rather than feminist. They are mutually exclusive (see harridans).
13) ‘Girls’ ‘cannot’ drive, take directions, argue logically, think laterally, fight, do DIY, fly a plane, or lead a church.
14) The status of a ‘Girls’ menstrual cycle is a legitimate topic for questioning. Usually followed by the word ‘love’.
15) The gender of a baby is determined by sperm. Although ‘Girls’ do not produce this, ‘failure’ is exclusively theirs.
16) Pregnancy renders a ‘Girls’ body the property of everyone she encounters – who can deliver their opinion of her choices with impunity. Especially those who will never become pregnant themselves (see religious ‘boys’).
17) The female body is access all areas. Pinching, patting etc. ‘Girls’ who complain should be grateful (see harridans).
18) ‘Girls’ who have opinions about other ‘girls’ are ‘jealous’. Unless it’s to call an ‘ugly’ ‘girl’ ‘ugly’ then it’s just logic.
19) A man who leaves old ‘girl’ for young fit girl=hero. ‘Desperate harridans’ ‘embarrass themselves’ with young males = ’slut’.
20) ‘Girls’ who let themselves go by getting fat will reap justifiable fury of the media & world. (See feminists/divorce)
21) Gay ‘Girls’ exist mainly for male sexual fantasy or because they haven’t ‘met the right boy’ (see feminists).
22) The Mary Beard Question- represents the most dangerous “Girl” of all. Avoid at all costs due to intellectual capacity.
23) If challenged by a ‘Girl’, don’t panic. Distract with a ball – which they can’t catch, and can’t throw back.
24) Working ‘Girls’ must not earn more or eclipse their partner career wise. If your child/pet is ill, it’s up to you to take time off.
25) Genital mutilation & corrective rape oppression for generations, unequal pay & sexual exploitation? ‘Girls’ stop ‘moaning’.
26) The historical aspect for women notwithstanding, men are now being oppressed by ‘girls’ even some of the pretty ones – they are sexists.
27) ‘Girls’ do not choose to be unmarried. This is a myth (see ugly/feminist/militant/bossy/opinionated/dumped/unshaven)
28) Hairy ‘girls’=disgusting. More work is needed on brainwashing. Try loudly shouting “I wouldn’t – not even with yours mate”
29) ‘Girls’ should stop talking about Sex as though they like it. It’s a ‘girl’ chore for you, like ironing (see desperate harridans).
30) Porn is for ‘Boys’ not ‘Girls’. Without exception ‘Girls’ can to be in it- not behind the camera or watching it. (see sluts/gay ‘girls’)
31) Science & nerdiness generally is for ‘boys’. ‘Girls’ who try to be clever are just embarrassing everyone (see comedy).
32) ‘Girls’ your breasts are for sex only. Stop ‘whipping out your ’swingers’ in public to feed a baby (see divorce).
33) ‘Girls’ who work as bar staff etc. if people try to chat you up this is a compliment (see humourless).
34) ‘Girls’ who don’t cook especially if they have children are bad wives and mothers. (see hairy girls/divorce/a therapist).
35) Good foot soldiers of sexism – ‘Girls’ who dislike and publicly ridicule other ‘girls’. Bad foot soldiers – ‘boy feminists’.
36) ‘Girls’ are notoriously poor at maths which is why they are unsuited to ‘boy’ jobs like being The Chancellor of Exchequer.
37) ‘Girls’ bodies need to conform to narrow appeal – especially breasts and bottoms. Cellulite=losers/ugly (see Daily Mail).
38) ‘Girls’ must learn to become used to being objectified. This is a spectrum which begins as early as sexualising them as children (see marketing technique), to rejecting them as they visibly age (see marketing technique).
39) If ‘girls’ step out of line make the smack down personal. Attack anatomy/looks/comments on mothering/choices its just ‘banter’.
40) To some ‘Girls’ are just walking activity centres. Some men use violence when their argument runs out in order to control.
41) Some ‘girls’ take to social media sites to spread their whining. (see sex starved/bored/Mary Whitehouse).
42) Denounce any ‘Girl’ detractors of the status quo with cries of Free Speech. This is playing the Jim Davidson card.
43) ‘Girls’ don’t grow up they just grow old. Deploy the usual techniques for this (see beating/oppression/ridicule/disenfranchisement/banter)
44) When said “Girls’ do grow old/ugly they may try to warp the minds of young pretty ‘girls’ with nonsense and bitterness (see feminism/harridans/politicians). Be alert to this with constant vigilance.
45) Remember this golden rule above all others if all else fails, deploy the failsafe phrase “It’s just a joke – you need to get a sense of humour, love.”
I’ve seen many challenges in my life and I’ve known and loved many incredible women. Clearly those who routinely use sexist banter bigotry either haven’t been as lucky as I have or have simply failed to recognise in the women they have met the intelligence, strength, beauty of spirit and dignity they possess. Irrespective of their willful gender blindness when it comes to equality, they can take their banter bigotry and shove it up their sexist arses.Tagged in: banter, disablism, feminism, homophobia, racism, sexism, twitter, women, women's rights
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