Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Help this woman

Some of The Times' India Knight's pieces carry the poise a staggering pisshead.

Recently, Ken Livingstone said that the British press counts too many 'columnists' in its ranks, many of whom sit at their preaching altar without any worthy grounds. India Knight is a perfect case in point. As The Times' columnist pens increasingly confused and contradictory pieces, she appears increasingly on course for The Most Extraordinary Logical U-Turns Award. Some of her pieces honestly carry the poise a staggering pisshead.

The subject of her latest incongruous rant is, how did you guess, men. Except that this time you have to read it ten times to believe it. As she confusingly hatches a plea for the sexist mean alpha male, India Knight contends the current "emasculation" of men is "pretty alarming" and "needs to be addressed before it does considerable damage".

Look at this: "It is surely no coincidence that men seem angrier than they have ever been; you notice it especially when it comes to pornography. Wanting to subjugate and violate powerless women used to be a specialist minority interest; it has now become mainstream".

Surely? Has it? How? So this is the logic: we're all getting emasculated therefore we're all angrier, therefore scour for porn, therefore violate powerless women. Note that she means the majority of men ("the mainstream"), just like that. Like a man could get away with writing, for instance, "all upper class divorcee females seem to gag for it more than they ever did"?

But that's just for starters. Because then India Knight comes up with: "See also the extremes men now go to in order to punish their former wives or girlfriends: horrific news stories about fathers murdering their children and then killing themselves have become, if not quite commonplace, frequent enough to ring loud alarm bells".

Clearly centuries of patriarchal violence that was commonplace behind close doors are eluding India Knight like piss down a drain. If her tirade is to be understood correctly, our cultured, Cambridge-educated columnist is totally unaware of how the macho-dominated society of the past worked - with incest as well as women and children getting battered or murdered aplenty. She says such news stories are now alarmingly frequent but she doesn't clock that news stories were rare and far-between at the time. Or, better, that a woman trapped in an aggressive relationship crying for help wouldn’t stand a chance in the "non-emasculated" society of the past that India Knight seems to be grieving for. Domestic violence of the most horrific kind was so commonplace that it wouldn't even make the news.

But such is life, or perhaps such are Britain's elite columnists.

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