25th November 2014
I’m really confused. That’s nothing new, but hear me out. I’m a bit of a new kid on the block and not a massive follower of things political, so I’d never heard of Mark Latham before yesterday. But I was doing a bit of quiet reading of Amy’s blog over at Handbag Mafia (which I really like) and thus suddenly found him launched into my orbit. He’s a little charmer, isn’t he?
I’ve been having a bit of trouble this weekend. Possibly due to the post-indulgence fug of a hangover. (Impromptu wine fests at the neighbours don’t make for clear heads, I admit). First I found Sarah Wilson’s blog via Twitter (read it here) which I thought was arguing that mental health is linked to physical health, so there may be a link between anxiety and other physical manifestations. From the angry responses her post has elicited on various different social media channels, I feel that the fact I grew up in a village and no longer live there must be linked.
Then I read Amy’s blog which alerted me to the whole Lisa Pryor assault. And that’s when I realised I was beyond a minor lapse of comprehension, but lost deep in a labyrinth of confusion.
Brene Brown talks about human connection and how vulnerability allows us to reach one another, and Lisa Pryor’s article was a perfect example: she opened up her own vulnerability and I’m pretty sure a significant chunk of the nation resonated with what the German’s like to call Mitgefuhl – “feeling with”, best translated as empathy. And from this gently humorous article comes the Latham lambast.
There are many things that can and have been said about this article. Annabel Crabb and Jacqueline Maley each make much better points that I ever will, so go have a look at them. But these are the things that I still don’t understand:
So I know I’m just a simple soul from overseas. But isn’t feminism, at it’s most basic level, just asking that women have the opportunity to choose. To choose to stay home or to choose to go to work. To be equal. Not to be more. And yes, amongst the crass fist-flailing bombast of his column, there is the admission from Latham that men refuse to choose because society has straight-jacketed them into the role of full-time worker. Society, Mark, not just left-feminists, I think you’ll find.
So maybe it’s time there was a new, complimentary movement whereby we dispense with the wild accusations – like depression is merely some whim or lifestyle choice. Or going out to work if you’re female automatically makes you a misopedist. I know we’re approaching silly season, but surely it’s a bit early for that level of nonsense?
Why don’t we call our new complimentary movement something like masculism, so the boys can join in the debate. Not to be confused with chauvinism, mind.
Nah. Tell you what, I’ve thought of a better name, why don’t we just call it
Or is that too rad for the 21st century?