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Treading very carefully into the lionesses’ den …

I’ve just donned my battered tin helmet as a precaution before beginning to pen this piece.

I did it in anticipation there’s a very good chance that I’ll soon be dodging ‘incoming’ (flak) simply because I’m happy to admit membership of the ‘unreconstructed male’ camp which decided a long, long time ago that the least worst option for getting through life was assume that the depths of the female psyche – considered both individually and collectively – were completely unfathomable.

My motivation for this was intended as no disrespect to womankind.

It just seemed a lot less bothersome and stressful than going the opposite route which – as far as I could tell in prospect – was going to involve half a century-plus’s worth of unrelenting research with zero ultimate guarantee of success.

And don’t imagine that it was a hasty decision, either.

I fully recognised that my choice was probably going to consign me to the ‘also ran’ contingent when it came to success with women.

When you haven’t been endowed with classic film star or model-like looks, as I wasn’t, by definition you’ve been consigned to the ‘remainder’ bucket as regards male attractiveness to the opposite sex, occupiers of which have to rely either upon either their inherent ‘gift of the gab’, wits and understanding (if any) of the workings of the female mind or, alternatively, the capacity of women to feel pity.

At this point I’m going to move my contribution today on to a different aspect of my subject, i.e. hopefully before I dig myself into a bigger hole than I can cope with.

[In what follows I shall be doing my best to avoid looking at things from a male perspective.]

I know that I’m not alone in suggesting this – I’m aware of at least one Rust contributor sympathetic to the thesis – but isn’t it the case that a large number of ‘thinking (i.e. supposedly opinion-forming) women are so busy demanding their rights on every topic under the sun these days that they’re beginning to get themselves enmeshed in a logistical nightmare of conflicting principles and thereby confusing even themselves?

Let’s just do a fly past of two of the issues that have recently been occupying the attention of women:



The tabloids and what’d I’d call ‘gossipy social media and daytime television staples’ are full of ladies lined up in two opposing camps, i.e.


those who are indignantly demanding that every predatory male in a position of power since Genghis Khan who at any time ever sexually harassed – and/or could later be said to ‘have taken advantage of’ – any female of a subordinate status must now be hung, drawn and quartered;


Those who regard those in the (1) above camp to be going completely ‘over the top’ by lumping into their hit-list every male who ever tried to ‘come on to’ a lady, however inexpertly or inoffensively, in circumstances where the lady concerned wasn’t interested. Furthermore, whilst of course condemning behaviour of the kind that Mr Weinstein is allegedly accused of – this group of women points out that this male-witch-hunt is effectively and perhaps inadvertently undermining (if not destroying) one of life’s little pleasures, i.e. flirting. Plus, of course, if the genders are discouraged from expressing their sexual interest in each other this could be detrimental to the survival of the human race.



These (or so it seems) scarcely a day goes by without women somewhere ‘celebrating’ the extraordinary diversity of female types.

I’ve seen women glorifying in exhibiting on social media their underarm hair, cellulite, post-birth imperfections, plus-size voluptuousness, Jumbo-sized hips or backsides, saddle-bags, acne spots, tiny or blimp-sized breasts and/or thunder-thighs or anorexic stick-like legs – all in the cause of demonstrating that ‘however you are’ is fine.

That’s alongside all those ladies who revel in ‘putting out there’ their beauty and super-fit or otherwise classic array of physical traits of female attractiveness.

Then we get exposed to the arguments for and against the across-the-board banning of what I shall here call ‘grid girls’ – those female who earn their living from adding a certain glamour and vision of female attractiveness to activities such as sports and corporate events.

On the one hand, the thrust is that these manifestations of women as ‘sex objects’ is not only old-fashioned to the point of absurdity but serves to denigrate and undermine the advances that women have made towards gender equality – largely via constant struggle – over the past one hundred and fifty years.

One the other, the argument runs that campaigning to ban ‘grid girls’ runs entirely contrary to promoting the positive right of women to achieve and/or become whatever their talents, hard work and ambition can bring them. Effectively, if you take this view, it amounts to a campaign to deny good-looking women the right to exploit their looks – why should they not be entitled to do this when women are also demanding the right to exploit every other attribute they possess?

Or is it a case of ‘unattractive’ women feeling at a disadvantage in comparison to their beautiful sisters – and therefore demanding ‘equal rights’ by claiming discrimination on the slightly ungainly logic that ‘if I can’t have it, then neither should they’ [in other words, “if I’m not fortunate enough to be sufficiently beautiful to be a grid girl, then why should anyone else get to be one”]?

Today I spotted somewhere on the newspaper websites a story highlighting a body of opinion that more black women should go ‘natural’ – i.e. if they have genetically-inherited crinkly hair, they shouldn’t be spending their cash getting their hair straightened, having extensions added, i.e. be going about their daily business  pretending to be similar to white women who – if they grow their hair – can sprout long, flowing locks whenever they want.

I’m afraid I just don’t ‘get’ this argument at all.

Throughout history, fashions of dress, body-size and hair have swung back and forth all over the place – probably as part of an instinctive desire by each new generation to be different from its predecessor and thereby make a statement about ‘their own time’.

However, the human body being what it is, there’s not a great deal to work with – which is why throughout history (in some sort of cyclical ritual) fashions, looks and colours keep reoccurring.

Whether it’s long skirts, midis, or miniskirts; or short, elfin-like haircuts or the ‘big hair’ days of the 1970s; the ‘punk look’ of the late 1970s or the New Romantics of the 1980s; even the ‘Afro haircuts’ of the 1960s – cue the US feminist and activist Angela Davis or guitar legend Jimi Hendrix – which were copied not just by blacks but by whites as well …

I could go on.

My point is this. If large numbers of black women want to straighten their hair and have long, flowing locks – however this look is achieved – why on earth should they be denied their right to look how they wish by some ginger-group of (dare I say it) right-on, feminist Big Sister-style, left-wing (but with a distinctly right wing dictatorial attitude) campaigners?

About J S Bird

A retired academic, Jeremy will contribute article on subjects that attract his interest. More Posts