30 July 2011

Button My Collar Down, Flip It and Reverse It

Well this is odd. A slimy little city-boy gets turned away from a fashionable London club for being overdressed. The lightning rod seems to have been the tie. And the Evening Standard says this
The club chain was accused of inverted snobbery after sending out warnings to members to be "cool not school".
Broker Howard Wheeldon also calls it "reverse snobbery to keep City suits out of the club".

Now doesn't this strike you as odd? Being denied entry to a club for not wearing a tie, or wearing jeans or trainers or anything too chavvy - this is a matter of course. This kind of non-inverted, non-reverse, dog-bites-man snobbery is fine - so fine it's taken as a fact of life. Wheeldon is also rather preoccupied with the class-ridden concepts of "standards" and "respectability".

This story is basically a club imposing a dress code and reserving the right to refuse entry. The implication of any kind of outrage, of even bothering to report it outside of the and-finallies, is that this snobbery is wrong because it's inverted and reversed, because it inconveniences the powerful and not the uncouth. "Snobbery" is still fair game, provided it's the right-way up and the right-way round. Just don't be so naive as to try and fuck with the rich guys in suits.

Extra thing I thought of in the shower: Inverted snobbery, reverse racism, misandry, heterophobia - all of these are interesting. When you hate on gays, you kick down the pecking order. When those bad feminists hate men, they hate up. Downwards, having whole systems of privilege and institutional discrimination behind it, is far more dangerous. Upwards, however, is far, far more noticeable because the established prejudices blend into the natural order of things with the skill of Nazi stick-insects. So when some pathetic little minority rails against you for swinging your big, white, woman-liking cock that you were born with round your expensive house, just remember you're only noticing it because it's harmless.

19 comments:

  1. I like how you finish your post with conclusions you drew in the shower. Also it was a great final point.

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  2. Trouble with thinking of things you missed in the shower is there's not even room in there to kick yourself.

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  3. that's such bullshit alex I can't even begin.

    Misandry is 'harmless'? Give me a break.

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  4. What I'm saying is there is an inverse correlation between the harmfulness of a prejudice and its visibility. Misandry isn't completely harmless - no prejudice is. But it's not as damaging as misogyny because it doesn't have quite so much power racked up behind it.

    Though I'm aware you object to the term misogyny.

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  5. I don't object to either term I object to the assumption that misogyny has 'more power racked up behind it'

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  6. In what way? I'd agree with you that the power structures that reinforce gender are quite happy to kick men in the danglies too, but if you're going to imply that Feminism and all its little minions are as powerful as the forces of patriarchy, you'll need to be a bit more specific as to how.

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  7. alex. You NEVER read a word I write! I don't believe 'patriarchy' exists! I have written carefully and clearly to explain my position. I understand I have not changed your mind about it. but I can't talk to you as if I accept your terms.

    Thanks.

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  8. Oh Elly, you know I only use the word because I know you hate it. And you know full well I don't really think of Feminism as a thing either.

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  9. NO you don't. Your whole article is based on the idea that patriarchy exists and that misogyny has more 'power' behind it than misandry.

    Here's an idea. Why don't you just say what you mean? Forget about me - my views are not important. what is important is communicating your ideas clearly.

    Thanks.

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  10. Ok, so what I was basically saying was this:

    The class system and its associated prejudices cuts both ways. But if you're upper class, it cuts you a lot less than it does if you're poor. Because of this, when it cuts the rich, it looks weird and everyone sits up, takes notice and goes "oooooooooh look!"

    Ditto the system of gender differentiation, race, nation, yadda yadda - if you're in the powerful bit, your suffering is burns much cooler but an awful lot brighter.

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  11. I know. and you are saying 'men' are in the 'powerful bit'. Which is the basis of believing in 'patriarchy'.

    That is what I disagree with.

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  12. Well, if you look at power structures any way you find them, there seem to be more men and more men the higher you go. Government, economy, police, army (officers and grunts), everything except possibly media and the family. The only thing where I'd concede women's power is actually greater than men's is possibly language.

    What grounds do you disagree with it on? Or did I just set off your google alert on Feminism and Patriarchy and you felt you had to step in?

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  13. no alex I have written at length on this and sent you the links. I have explained my position. You are the one who keeps pussy footing around.

    your description of 'men's power' is a description of 'patriarchy'.

    Read my Against Feminisms piece. It explains my position.

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  14. This one?

    Your starting point seems to be
    "The above assumption, no matter what feminists say, relies on a belief in and a reinforcement of the essentialist binary view of gender"
    which I would definitely agree with.

    But I'd still stand by my point that men are overrepresented in positions of power. Even if we agree that "man" is as imaginary and frankly daft a concept as "woman", it's still a concept with an awful lot of traction, and there are still plenty of privileges, powers and leg-ups available to those lucky enough to fit the definition.

    You could also say the same for racial privilege: the power held by "whites" isn't available to you if you're, say, a Gypsy, or if you were Irish or Jewish before they were admitted to the club. And as David Starkey recently taught us, you can forfeit your Proper Englishness by being too plebby, or acquire a Certificate of Honorary Whiteness by losing your accent and putting on a nice shirt.

    Any definitions of these privileged groups has to be understood as being on the terms of the privileged, and not the excluded. "Men" very much exist as long as those at the top of the gender binary define them as such. Obviously transmen, poofs, girly-boys and any other not proper men can fuck right off.

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  15. blah blah blah blah you have your patriarchy and I have my different way of looking at the world.

    Most of the young men, white, black, gay or straight who are being hauled through the courts at the moment don't enjoy 'privilege' over any women. That a few privileged men run the country/big business (and even that is changing) does not a 'patriarchy' make.

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  16. Did you spot the bit where the vast majority of the blog post was focused on social class?

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  17. Yes thanks but I was responding to your comments which suggested men have more power than women structurally in society.

    Most feminist-sympathisers think the same. It's nothing to be ashamed of I just disagree.

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  18. Yeah, but I'm still not entirely sure on what grounds. Though that said, when men do have power, they do usually use it to fuck over other men.

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  19. if you read my posts: Against Feminisms and Every Day is Women's Day (both on my blog, the latter one also on Tom Chivers' Telegraph Blog) you will have an idea of my point. You can google them or search my blog.

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