‘Misogyny, up close and personal’

// 26 August 2009

Melissa from Shakesville has a fantastic piece up at CiF, about what it’s like for women to have close relationships and friendships with men who sometimes express misogyny or sexism, and how she doesn’t hate men, but finds it hard to trust them. The post has struck a chord and been picked up across loads of blogs – Melissa says its the post of hers which has been most thoroughly quoted from.

It’s really worth reading the whole thing, but here’s a snippet:

Not every man does all of these things, or even most of them, and certainly not all the time. But it only takes one, randomly and occasionally, exploding in a shower of cartoon stars like an unexpected punch in the nose, to send me staggering sideways, wondering what just happened. Well. I certainly didn’t see that coming.

These things are not the habits of deliberately cruel men. They are, in fact, the habits of the men in this world I love quite a lot.

All of whom have given me reason to mistrust them, to use my distrust as a self-protection mechanism, as an essential tool to get through every day, because I never know when I might next get knocked off-kilter with something that puts me in the position, once again, of choosing between my dignity and the serenity of our relationship.

I also liked this bit, from the postscript added to the CiF version of the post:

The subject is one of the most popular themes of emails I get from women: I’m paying more attention to the things my male partner/father/brother/male best friend says, and I’m challenging him more, and I am scared that if I said everything I wanted to say, our relationship would explode into a million pieces.

It is a discussion that feminist women talk around a lot, but never quite have in detail, that men we love express misogyny, and that it is alienating, functionally undermining the intimacy of the relationship and, sometimes, the entire relationship itself.

It’s so much easier to talk about misogyny emanating from men who don’t care about us, and about whom we don’t care. This is a much more difficult subject, one I had been trying to find a way to broach in a meaningful way for awhile.

To miss the point that it’s not about “men”, but about individual and specific men with whom individual and specific women have individual and specific relationships, is to miss the point entirely. It’s not about “misogyny”, but about how misogyny functions in intimate and familiar relationships. In wanted relationships.

Comments From You

sianmarie // Posted 26 August 2009 at 5:07 pm

amazing, inspirational and true in every word. i felt like she said everything i have been thinking for years.

don’t read the comments on cif tho.

Jennifer Drew // Posted 26 August 2009 at 7:35 pm

Correct – To miss the point that it’s not about “men”, but about individual and specific men with whom individual and specific women have individual and specific relationships, is to miss the point entirely. It’s not about “misogyny”, but about how misogyny functions in intimate and familiar relationships. In wanted relationships.’

Which is why misogyny is commonly viewed as abstract theory rather than how it is used to maintain unequal relationships between women and men.

It is far easier to call out men on their misogyny than calling a man out who happens to be your father, male partner, brother, male boss or male friend.

This is how patriarchy operates because we all live in a patriarchal culture and we all cannot leave it. But what we can do is try and challenge men’s ingrained sense of entitlement and superiority, but it is hard, knowing the man who is being challenged might resort to violence either verbally or physically in order to silence the female critic.

Listening is something men do not common do within relationships because the assumption is their views/perspectives are right and the female’s views/perspectives are wrong. Misogyny in other words.

sonia // Posted 26 August 2009 at 8:40 pm

Great article.

It really does get to me when you read an article about how it feels to be a woman in a patriarchal society and then you see the comments and 90% are from men saying ‘oh I’m all for women’s liberation but…’ As Andrea Dworkin once said:

“For the men freedom of speech. For the women silence please.”

Is there any better way to prove we still live in a patriarchal society other than to see how comments are hardly ever from women. An innate sense of second class citizenship?

Julian // Posted 26 August 2009 at 8:48 pm

That was a delight to read, and it’s worth emphasising how well written that article was.

Bea // Posted 26 August 2009 at 9:33 pm

A wonderful, very frank article. She describes situations feminists come up against every day. There is nothing more frustrating than being in total disagreement with someone you love about a subject you feel so passionately about. It is much easier to disregard and avoid the views of those you don’t know, don’t care about and with whom you do not share your life. In the end it is for the individual to make the decision, what she values more, her relationship with this person, or her own resolve, her own intrinsic values as a feminist. I suppose compromise is possible but I don’t think I could ever be with someone who was anti-feminist.

Sam2 // Posted 26 August 2009 at 10:16 pm

Hi,

I just read the entire thing, and I’m grateful for such pieces by feminists (radical feminists in her case, I think), because they are so overly self-centered that they don’t even realize the extent to which they are contradicting their own points. It’s like saying post-modernism and relativism is for you (so your “objective” opinion isn’t objective at all!), but *I GET IT* (objectively! proven! by ME!), so you better believe me. Aha. This is the gist of much feminist argument and those feminists making that point don’t even get that they actually DON’T get it at all and then scream “unaware of privilege” when being called on it. She may not even be aware of it, but pieces like this, pieces claiming subjectivity while constantly making pseudo objective moral statements make it easy to dismiss even the points in it that are actually valid. They don’t do a service to feminisms of all kinds, and quite frankly, make most people mistrust feminists claims to “not hate men” for a reason. They don’t hate men so much, they don’t even feel the need to listen to their experiences, their point of view, all because well, they’re ‘privileged”. But I already said so. It’s getting circular, much like that post. And that, I’d say, is pretty objectively so.

AlexMagd // Posted 27 August 2009 at 12:45 am

Without a doubt one of the finest pieces of writing on this topic I’ve ever seen. Wrote to the author saying so, because it’s rare to see this kind of quality in journalism these days!

Re: the comments – like most newspaper webites you can judge the quality of the article by the amount of impotent, directionlessly raging comments from people who can’t really rebutt the argument. Cue pages and pages of argument over “humankind” while skipping over the fact that, in general, the article is bang on the money.

sianmarie // Posted 27 August 2009 at 10:34 am

sonia – i think the problem with sites like cif is that women are put off commenting on it because of the crazy misogyny on display. i know that i commented there for a bit but in the end i stopped as i felt really bullied and abused! people cyber yelling at me when they hadn’t really read what i was saying or jumping to crazy conclusions about who i am. which means the dominant voices in places like that, it seems to me, are people who trample and make a noise. what amazes me is the stubborn ignorance of some of the commenters on cif.

sorry – that was a bit of a derail, but i think it’s pertinent in another example of the silencing of women’s voices in the blogsophere and the low hum of misogyny that melissa writes about.

sam2 – i don’t understand your point really? i didn’t find it a self centred article, on the contrary i felt it was an expression of an almost universal feeling and experience of women that is not often spoken. it isn’t refusing to engage with men because they have privilege, but trying to highlight how a lot of women feel a lot of the time. apologies if i got your tone wrong but you seem very hostile to what she is saying.

also – it didn’t come across to me as radical, but as something that is shared by many many women. i felt like she was saying everything i feel, and a everything my female friends feel. that’s not radical, it’s just truth.

JenniferRuth // Posted 27 August 2009 at 11:18 am

Sam –

Your writing is muddled so I am really not sure exactly what your point is – I get the gist that you don’t agree with Melissa’s analysis though.

However, you do say:

“They don’t hate men so much, they don’t even feel the need to listen to their experiences, their point of view, all because well, they’re ‘privileged”.”

I would point out that women understand more about the experience of men than men do of women simply because you are privileged.

To quote Twisty:

“women, as a matter of survival, are intimate to the point of exhaustion with the drives, appetites, illnesses, angsts, yearnings, hopes, dreams, great works, and bodily functions of the oppressor. We grasp these things utterly and without omission because we do not live in a cave; they are the default subjects of all art, literature, music, science, film, blogs, dinner conversation, science fiction, advertising, journalism, legislation, TV, the Internet, religion, technology, sport, and miscellaneous culture both low and high. The minute some dude tells me something I don’t already know about dudeliness, I’ll eat a bonobo.”

Also, your quotation marks around the word privilege suggest that you do not feel that you benefit from it, or perhaps you simply don’t believe it exists. Perhaps it is time to go back to Feminism 101 before commenting?

Gemma // Posted 27 August 2009 at 12:36 pm

I understand moderating fairly, but a lot of Sam2’s comments are very anti- feminist. Give him a chance or 5… but he’s upsetting the tone of what the f word should be about, imho.

Thought it was a brilliant article, and reflects some experiences with my brothers. No didn’t read the comments! :/

Sam2 // Posted 27 August 2009 at 1:52 pm

Jennifer,

thanks for once again making my point.

It’s impossible (and, well, condescending, in a way) to claim that “objectivity” is “just another perspective” (privileged male in that case) when being critizised, while at the same time claiming a different version of objectivity (including the understanding of the male perspective!) because of male oppression.

Privilege is a useful concept for self-examination, it’s epistemologically utterly pointless.

Articles like Melissa’s actually demonstrate very clearly that it’s completely useless to engage with her because none of her positions can ever be verified or – much worse – falsified.

They’re articles of faith, not truth. You can’t argue with someone who claims that his religion is a fact. Sorry.

And using Twisty Faster to argue that an a feminist argument is fact is like Dick Cheney justifying the Iraq war because of terrorism. Seriously…

Jess McCabe // Posted 27 August 2009 at 2:04 pm

@Sam2 Melissa’s point, boiled down, is that men she’s in close friendships and relationships with have a track record of making sexist remarks, demonstrating sexist opinions and she finds this alienating. I’m not sure what is in need of verification, given that it’s quite a personal piece about her own interactions with men who are close to her, and how this experience chimes with many other women as well.

It’s not about “faith” or “religion”, it’s about personal experience.

I suggest consulting Derailing for Dummies on this point.

JenniferRuth // Posted 27 August 2009 at 2:55 pm

Sam – I’m still not entirely sure what you point is. When was anyone criticised for speaking objectively? It seems like you are saying that sexism can never be verified since it just on the say-so of women.

I used Twisty’s words because it said exactly what I would like to say – just wittier.

Mary // Posted 27 August 2009 at 4:39 pm

it’s epistemologically utterly pointless

Take me through this slowly – why is it epistemologically pointless? As an epistemological framework, the whole discourse of privilege certainly has its limitations, particularly when it’s used crudely, but it’s still pretty useful. And like most epistemological frameworks, that’s why it’s caught on and is used, because it answers a need.

When I found it, it was with a huge relief, because it provided answers to a significant numbers of questions that I’d been posing since I was a child, which the liberal “racism is bad, mmkay” education that I’d received at school and at home didn’t answer.

What are your standards for something being “verified” or “falsified”? Are you suggesting that we can only talk about things which can been judged by the scientific method, or something? Because you know, clearly that’s going to mean we can’t talk about feminism or gender at all.

What language do you think we should use to talk about gender, if not the language of feminism and privilege?

Juliet // Posted 27 August 2009 at 5:03 pm

Isn’t the definition of a troll someone who derails/holds up a discussion while other posters respond, wasting time pointlessly trying to argue with the troll about troll’s troll views..? Like they deserve serious consideration?

It’s a wind up. DON’T FEED THEM!

Cathy AB // Posted 27 August 2009 at 7:53 pm

Just read the whole article and comments (although i wish i’d taken sianmaries advice)The article was pointing out the everyday accurances of subtle language and behaviour we have to put up with in between the outright shows of sexism,some by people close to us.If i may two of my own examples.Ive always had very strong opinions definatley to the left and my family has always been aware of this seen as they all seem to veer in the other direction,i’m single now but when i have had a boyfriend its always been with someone i at least thought was on my wavelengh. my father then gets convinient amnesia and instead of the usual heated debate i will only get “who put that idea in your head your new boyfriend”.Also i work in a call centre which means i have to give very basic technical advice to customers sometimes.Although very poilte and nice i will either get a very patronising ‘good girl’ (i’m 37) or a more hostile reaction at the beginning of the call,Woman-technical-waste of a phonecall.I’m aware that some of my colleagues have to put up with racism but critics seem to forget two things, being a feminist doesnt mean a denial of every other inequality in this world and whether its race,sexuality,disability or any other group women usually make up half of them.No one is saying men don’t get criticized sometimes for being men but its not relentless and its not always critical either its patronising or thoughtless.(i’ve never been raped does that mean i want to hear a joke about rape NO)Just one last point on the word ‘humankind’ whats wrong with it ,i’m not asking for manchester to be remaned personchester just language that includes everyone.One of my interests is early human history especially prehistoric, whenever i read a book,magazine or watch a programme about the history of mankind usually thats exactly what it is.

Laurel Dearing // Posted 27 August 2009 at 10:27 pm

totally feeling this, but i have to say i feel the same way around a lot of my female friends. if anything i get more riled and feel more betrayed when they start making/joining in with casual rape jokes and such.

i think the cif commenters could understand better if it was mentioned that women saying the same things about men and about themselves is also anti-feminist, because otherwise it sets up this idea that we are automatically on the side of women that do this and therefore hypocrites trying to play battle of the sexes. its an unfair assumption, but one probably taken by most people that havent looked into what feminism is.

Sam2 // Posted 28 August 2009 at 12:07 am

JenniferRuth,

“It seems like you are saying that sexism can never be verified since it just on the say-so of women.”

Or say-so of men. Women are so shocked when you tell them they can be sexist, too. Example: talked about a particular dive bar with a female friend and noted that may be a place to go if she’d ever be really looking for *it*. And she said, “I’m a woman, I can have it whenever, whereever I want”. Told her that’s a sexist thing to say… she was confused, but still believed she was right. So actually, was that sexist? I don’t know, so, yeah, in any stringent sense it’s impossible to use the concept. No one has ever provided a definition of sexism that was commonly accepted, it’s usually just a rethorical device in arguments, and if you have two people (two feminists) you’ll have at least three opinions on what sexism actually is.

In a less stringent sense though, I think there are slowly changing socially contextualised norms about what is sexist – things that aren’t sexist in a nightclub (Girls giggling about a guys nice ass) may well be sexist in a professional environment. So there IS a way to talk about these things particularly if no one claims complete insight, which Melissa does (and which a lot of feminists do – that’s what they carry their cards for – it’s called discourse ownership).

Mary,

“What are your standards for something being “verified” or “falsified”?”

Simple, from Wikipedia “falsifiability” –

“Falsifiability (or refutability) is the logical possibility that an assertion can be shown false by an observation (*Sam2: or thought experiment*) or a physical experiment. That something is “falsifiable” does not mean it is false; rather, that if it is false, then this can be shown by observation or experiment. Falsifiability is an important concept in science and the philosophy of science.”

In other words, if a hypothesis is to be acceptable, it must have content that *COULD* be proven wrong. IF the concepts used actually contained falsifiable information about patriarchy, privilege, oppression, actually contained falsifiable hypotheses instead of being mere articles of faith about the state of the world then they would be much more useful.

So, as I said: they’re occasionally good devices for introspection but pointless in any real epistemological sense. We can talk about these things but we must be aware of the limits thereof.

And that’s what I find so condescending in articles like Melissa’s. She’s selling her world-view as a fact. She’s making an argument based on *subjectivity* and doesn’t even consider the *possibility* of being wrong – why? See the Twisty Faster quote above.

No good. And not good enough.

polly // Posted 28 August 2009 at 8:12 am

This is an utterly brilliant piece. It reminds us how “nice” men can sometimes be the biggest threat. Something that was of huge personal value to me when I read it as it helped me to clarify my own thoughts.

sianmarie // Posted 28 August 2009 at 1:07 pm

cathy AB says

being a feminist doesnt mean a denial of every other inequality in this world and whether its race,sexuality,disability or any other group women usually make up half of them.No one is saying men don’t get criticized sometimes for being men but its not relentless and its not always critical either its patronising or thoughtless.

and i say: yes yes yes to that! so true!

sianmarie // Posted 28 August 2009 at 1:23 pm

sam2 – of course women can be sexist. what an odd thing to say. just as gay people can be homophobic etc etc.

but the article by melissa was NOT about that – it was about her personal experiences of every day sexism and the reason it struck a chord with so many readers was because it reflected their own experiences. those experiences are valid.

i don’t understand why the article upsets you so much! it reflects the experiences of almost every woman i know. i don’t think it is a definitive guide to sexism, but that isn’t what it was intended to be i don’t think, rather a writer sharing her thoughts and experiences and asking whether people have experienced similar.

George // Posted 28 August 2009 at 2:10 pm

Sam2,

I have no idea why you have got your back up so much. I suggest that if you actually want to engage, as opposed to just getting on everyone’s nerves, you go and read some standpoint epistemology (try Sandra Harding).

Then, consider the following: 1) *why* are you so offended by the possibility of a different account of a situation than your own? 2) are concepts from philosophy of science (e.g. ‘falsifiability’) applicable to this sort of account? If so, why? 3) is it appropriate for you to be the judge of whether or not a feminist point of view is “good” or not, considering Harding’s account? and, bonus question, 4) what is the definition of sexism, and is it synonymous with sexual harassment? Is sexism actually contextual, or is it sexual behaviour you are referring to?

And, even when you’ve done the homework, this is not the right place for you to be airing your grievances – we were busy responding to and discussing the article, not arguing the toss with you.

sam2 // Posted 28 August 2009 at 2:48 pm

Sianmarie,

“those experiences are valid.”

Absolutely. Just as the experience of those who rolled their eyes at her. They are *just as* valid. Without reference to any pseudo-metaphysical outside frame of reference she would not be able to claim that *her* position is morally superior in any way – which she does. This isn’t a piece about “my experience”, it’s a piece about “how my experience is sufficient proof for an indightment of men”.

George,

I would be grateful if you stopped appearing as condescending as you appear to be (‘homework’, ‘my grievances’).

As for a feminist critique of (among other approaches) standpoint epistemology try Elizabeth Anderson at

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/feminism-epistemology/

as for

1) didn’t address this anywhere, please read before writing.

2) I explained why (again above)

3) not relevant given 1) – that’s MY point.

4) in *my* point of view? You want *my* definition?

Mary // Posted 28 August 2009 at 2:51 pm

Falsifiability is an important concept in science and the philosophy of science.

And which is this – science, or the philosophy of science?

I don’t really understand how you can know the word epistemology, but not know that applying the standards of one epistemology to another is a ludicrous exercise. Epistemology means system of knowledge: how we know something, how we test it, how we expand that knowledge.

Love your little parenthesis “or a thought experiment”. Exactly where in science or philosophy of science do you think you can substitute “thought experiments” for observation or physical experiment?!

If we’re talking about social relations, the empirical frameworks used for the physical sciences aren’t going to work as an epistemology. That’s why we have the word epistemology!

So there IS a way to talk about these things

And that’s what the privilege framework is: it’s a very, very useful way of talking about these things.

Have you considered the fact that your resistance to it may be because, if you accept it, it means that your voice (if you are a man) will not carry the same weight it does in non-feminist, mainstream spaces? No, have you really considered it?

VicarInATutu // Posted 28 August 2009 at 4:57 pm

I am a massive fan of Melissa McEwan. I admire this article, and want to agree completely with it, but I’m having some trouble.

Some parts are fantastic, like the bit about being a feminist because of anger. But as a man (or, well, sort of a man – I don’t really identify as one but I was born one and am read as one, which I suppose counts for a lot), I also find myself consistently offended by my close friends’ misogynist language. I am careful to avoid words like “bitch” and other gendered insults, and yet my friends of all genders (some of whom consider themselves feminists) do this all the time, as well as much worse (“grow a pair”, “man up”, “pussy out” etc.).

I am not writing this to say that she’s being unfair to those saintly men like me who don’t use such language (I’m still pretty bad, though hopefully improving). My point is the opposite: we’re all the product of our culture and pretty much everyone uses sexist terms sometimes. Men do it more, and seem to care less, but if I’m offended by men’s misogyny daily, I’m offended by women’s pretty much weekly. (Maybe you think that as a man I have no business being offended by women’s views on women, but obviously I don’t.)

I am not saying McEwan should trust men more. I just wonder how, if she reacts to casual sexism as she describes, she can trust women either. I know that when it comes to gender, I can barely trust anyone.

Jess McCabe // Posted 28 August 2009 at 5:08 pm

@VicarInATutu

Here’s the thing – when a woman engages in this kind of everyday sexism, it’s disappointing, but ultimately, although sexism can be perpetuated by both men and women, and also affect men and women, the gendered power imbalance in our society means that men make these comments from a position of privilege, whereas women make them from a position of jockeying to find a position in a society which is systematically not designed for us, which centres male experience and behaviour and which is systematically sexist.

Men also have their masculinity/gender checked and policed by other men and by women – the erosion of patriarchy will have benefits for men, just as it’ll chip away at male privilege. But ultimately there’s a different level of experience – I suggest the Male Privilege Checklist and Feminism 101 on this subject.

Jess McCabe // Posted 28 August 2009 at 5:13 pm

On a seperate note, I’m going to call time-out on the epistimology discussion – Melissa’s post was about her personal experiences, and this discussion about whether she has the right/capacity to identify sexism is a) not going anywhere and b) not really relevant/appropriate.

zohra // Posted 29 August 2009 at 6:09 am

loved it. sent it round. posted it on fb.

at first the word ‘trust’ niggled. seemed too apologetic to keep saying she didn’t ‘hate’ men, she just didn’t ‘trust’ them. and lack of trust didn’t seem like the right name for the feeling i get around men i love (knowing they are going to be sexist).

but now it does. it’s exactly that. i don’t trust them.

Rob M // Posted 29 August 2009 at 7:13 am

“Melissa’s point, boiled down, is that men she’s in close friendships and relationships with have a track record of making sexist remarks, demonstrating sexist opinions and she finds this alienating.” – Jess

I don’t think anyone could sensibly get upset about that. But I also don’t think it’s surprising that the article would rub people the wrong way.

The opening is spectacularly odd, in that if it’s not a conscious attempt to needle people, it’s just baffling. “I don’t hate men – but here’s why I could hate men. I don’t hate men – there are men I hate. But I don’t hate men – but here’s a massive list of shitty things I’ll solely attribute to men.”

And here’s the thing – there’s nothing there to suggest she does hate men! So going on about how she doesn’t, reminiscent of the ever-golden “I’m not a racist, but”, is bloody weird if she’s not picking a fight.

That stuff, coupled with the self-satisfied quasi-poetic style (fucking awful, for my money, but mileage varies,) coupled (er, again) with the obligatory smug photo before you get to the text…

Ppyro // Posted 29 August 2009 at 2:02 pm

I loved the bit about anger and feminism, I’m gonna get a t-shirt with that on I think.

But I’m confused, the further I wander into webinism, the more of these men I seem to find who attack a feminist article by relating their own keenly felt experiences of sexism or “women do it as well” arguments and they seem to feel they can take long winded, academic ways to tell people to STFU you’re talking subjective nonsense.

I understand these men, with their arguments are not representative of all men. I can be sure of this because in my daily life I hardly meet any. I would love to. I want to meet these guys who feel they’ve been subjected to a horrible sweeping generalisation and spend hours expounding this on line when they could be out there challenging the members of their half of the ender who aren’t as sensitive and as well educated as they and cause us to make such generalisations. I seem to spend enough time doing it.

Hey, no you’re right, fairs fair, I will challenge all the women who pinch your arse if you challenge the men who pinch mine, that’s cool with me. Let’s do this.

I just feel like arguing the toss over psuedo-metaphysical concepts and such is like throwing meringue at a brick wall. What a waste of time! Surely we are grown up enough to say, “Hey, yep, thats your experience, it’s different from mine, np!”

I’m a youth worker. I don’t meet a lot of you other guys who are educated, sensitive, and feel you’ve been generalised, but I know you exist because you line up pixels in the comments section of feminists blogs. But I do meet a lot of guys who are still raised, socilaised, and dyed in the wool misogynists because no-ones bothered to challenge them before.

For example, I can have a long conversation with a group of Asian young men about the oppression and fear they feel in their own neighbourhood because some twerps went and elected a BNP councillor. I know these are individuals who are intelligent enough to identify oppression and who deal with it in their everyday lives.

Then the same group of lads will turn around and tell me that they plan to spend the rest of the evening cruising and shagging some bitches! Wooyeah!Oh, no, me granny’s not a bitch, no, nor me mum, but the pretty ones I can pull are. That reminds us canwehavesomecondomsplease!

Which is where challenging this attitude that you’ve just automatically oppressed half of your race with one word, not that you’ve meant to do so as such, but you’ve been socialised to do so.

So Gentlemen (and ladies) of the academical niggles of subjective pseudo metaphysical conflabulations, I am openly inviting you do come with me and tackle oppression where it’s rife, were it hurts. Let us leave this shiny world of feminism 2.0 and go spread our sensitive equality to the street!

You can explain why bitches is a horrible generalisation, and I’ll explain the physiological ideology behind “manflu” due to sexual dimorphism, and it’s not a sign of sissiness or weakness! We could make a great team :D

polly // Posted 29 August 2009 at 6:11 pm

Rob: I think it’s really a lot more fundamental than that. The reason that some men are getting pissed off about the article is that they don’t want to admit “nice” men i.e. them, can be sexist too. Because they probably congratulate themselves on how right on they are.

sianmarie // Posted 30 August 2009 at 11:27 am

“obligatory smug photo”

what an odd, slightly tacky thing to say. the by line photo has nothing to do with the article.

Rob M // Posted 30 August 2009 at 12:57 pm

Not singling out the author of this piece in the slightest. The Guardian (well, and many other newspapers and websites, too) has a habit of putting smug photographs of its authors above opinion pieces. It’s a generally horrible idea. I like that Charlie Brooker took the only defence available and decided to purposefully gurn in his.

stephen m // Posted 30 August 2009 at 3:27 pm

Excellent! I think the article put together important feelings that resonate with what I know about our current culture.

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