In many ways, sexism and gender inequality are like a juicy pair of 38-Ds: they’re big, hard to control, draw plenty of attention, and require a lot of pressure to keep them in check. But through the hard work and self-reflection of our society in recent years, they have been wrangled. Sexism and gender inequality are tied up in a steel girder underwired bra behind a bemusement of clasps, pulleys and levers, never to escape but for the odd glance of cleavage. Women are now free to do whatever they want. Sexism is over.
I was surprised, then, to see such a furore over Kim Kardashian’s naked photo-shoot and the Philae lander scientist’s sexy lady shirt.
What are you fighting about, girls? You’ve already won! Every room containing 20 Fortune 500 CEOs contains a woman, and the gender pay gap has been chiseled to a mere 15 pence on the pound. You are only down a packet of StarMix per hour’s minimum wage work. What’s the big deal? Maybe you should consider it a blessing in disguise, sugar goes straight to your hips.
As a well-educated white man, I know a thing or two about being discriminated against, and in my view that shirt was not discriminatory. There were no nipples, no buttocks, no fiery tumbleweeds of pubic hair, there was no 200 foot clitoris stomping around a fiery cityscape smashing buildings to ash in a maniacal attempt to stimulate itself to a violent, literally earthshaking orgasm. It was just cleavages and the odd camel toe. You know: tasteful.
I don’t mean to brag, but I consider myself to be on the cutting edge when it comes to despicable depictions of women — the Chuck Yeager of female objectification, if you will. I have pushed the envelope of the internet and seen things that cannot be un-seen.
By comparison, I found the shirt quite tasteful. I could certainly show you a lot worse. See. Yes, that is the edge of a pigeon’s nest. And no, I don’t know how the chicks can breathe in there. Look, The Human Bird-Box is poking a worm inside for them now. You still want to complain about the shirt?
Regardless of whether the shirt is sexist or not, I find the suggestion that women could feel ostracised or turned away from careers in science by pictures of naked women in the workplace absurd. You would have to be of a very weak constitution to give up your dreams because of a bowling shirt depicting a few tits and arses.
I have certainly never let naked imagery of my gender hold me back from doing what I want. That I have never had to face that situation is beside the point.
Look. I’ll admit this whole feminist renaissance in popular culture has been a great cultural touchstone. It has been like the summer jam no-one can stop singing. But the problem with summer jams is that they get overplayed and overhyped and it ruins them.
Anti-sexism campaigning was fun while it was pointing out harmless problems in fashion and celebrity culture, but it’s getting a little too close to actual dialogue now, so give it a rest, yeah? Don’t let sexism become the Hey Ya! of social concerns.
As well as being condescending and tedious, there are also the many dangers of having too much gender equality to consider: increased wages would slow economic growth; the women’s bathrooms at the UN could become dangerously overcrowded; there would be no room to put your lunch in the office fridge for all the low-fat Greek-style yoghurt clogging the shelves.
And then there is the spectre of positive discrimination. Positive discrimination is like a video game cheat code for women to further their careers, disguised as a method of balancing power in society. I stand vehemently opposed to it.
People should be judged on merit rather than gender. Women should have to achieve wealth and power the hard way like my people did: through nepotism, violence, subjugating others and enslaving black people.
In summation, I think I speak on behalf everyone when I say we have all had enough of feminism. Despite the continuing elements of inequality in society, and even though my perspective on sexism is equivalent to asking a 19th Century slave trader to design an ultra-modern, Google-style wacky open-plan office, it is time to close the book on gender politics.
I admire those who strive tirelessly to make the world a better and fairer place, but the world is equal-ish enough now, and you are getting kind of annoying.