Tag Archives: sexism

The bitches are back

2 May

The Daily Mail has found a new figure of fun in the form of a journalist called Samantha Brick. She writes deliberately provocative articles using headlines like “why do women hate me for being beautiful”, “I use my sex appeal to get ahead at work… and so should ANY woman with any sense” and today’s missive “sorry, some women ARE too ugly for TV”. I can’t bring myself to link them I’m afraid so I’ll link to her page on Journalisted instead.

She claims to be horrified by the backlash she has experienced, especially online, as a result of these features. Twitter lights up angrily every time another bit of bluster from Brick finds its way onto the net and the newspaper’s hit counter probably goes into meltdown.

She is commonly described as a Troll – someone who deliberately picks fights online – and perhaps that is all she is, although unlike most trolls she is insanely somewhat bravely doing it openly, complete with photos and under a byline (if Samantha Brick is a nom de plume it’s a fairly well established one, and she appears to have a self-monikered website).

I expect she knows exactly what she’s doing and I’m sure she is being well paid to do it. Female misogyny comes in many forms, and this is the one guaranteed to stir up the most debate. Whether or not she actually believes what she writes is a different debate.

But  is she any different to the starlets who unleash impossibly airbrushed images of themselves on the world at every opportunity, a beacon of unachievable so-called beauty designed to make the rest of us feel, at the very least, a bit crap?

It’s also interesting to observe in programmes like The Apprentice that it always seems to be the women’s team which implodes in a storm of backstabbing and bitchery, while the men ride out each task on steeds of over-inflated egos and self-belief. It could of course be down to some pretty naff editing. Either way, it’s either there because it actually happens or it’s there because TV producers think the audience expects or enjoys watching it happen.

It is also perhaps no coincidence that the bitchiest place I have been to in the last year was a breastfeeding group. If you want to hear women openly slag each other off look no further than the school gates.

 I read an article in a science journal once which claimed that women are biologically programmed to hate each other because we are all still primevally competing for the attention of The Male. Eva Wiseman wrote about it beautifully in The Guardian. Inevitably, it also courted controversy.
Whether or not that is the reason, the sisterhood certainly feels like a pretty vicious place to be at times. Is there any hope of us being friends?
Women face enough pressure from the outside world as it is, without getting into the complexities of gender politics. Surely we should watch each other’s backs a little more.