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March 4, 2021

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: The privilege of losing your privilege

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Strap yourselves in, sexist dinosaurs, feminism is going viral. It used to just be a small group of us angry women with hairy legs…

Dear Blokes Who Hate Women (or at least are really scared of women being equal to them, and the world changing so that they no longer have the power or the privilege that they took for granted and never recognised as a privilege because it was just how things were…):

Strap yourselves in, sexist dinosaurs, feminism is going viral. It used to just be a small group of us angry women with hairy legs who couldn’t get a bloke (well that’s what you said about us when we got mouthy and wouldn’t root you). It used to be just we university bitches who were feminists, but now being a feminist is so on trend even your mum probably is a feminist. And your grandma.

Our numbers are swelling in direct proportion to your rage against us. Your silly fear of women holding space. Our agency threatens your agency to have agency over us. Even threat of death is no longer stopping us. Did you see the 620-kilometre line of our brave Indian sisters protesting outdated sexist religious ideals?

Yes, women are standing up to God, or at least the god you created to keep us in our place. Young Arabic women have shaved their heads, denounced their religion, and taken flight. Women from the most repressive patriarchal cultures in the world are rising up.

That’s when you know the wave is coming and it’s going to crash down on all those archaic structures that have been used to subjugate and repress more than half the world.

And the good blokes are on board. Smart men get the mindset change. That’s right. Men can be feminists too, because feminism, unlike patriarchy, is inclusive. Everyone’s welcome. You’re just not welcome to do shitty things like exclude people because of their skin colour or their country of origin or their religion or their genitals or how they identify themselves in the world with those genitals.

You are asked to do something completely radical: be non-violent, respectful, and consensual in your conduct. In America if you’re a political leader with these values you’ll be shot.

We’ve been waiting for this for a long time. Since the beginning in fact, when you ate the apple but blamed us.

So to help those blokes struggling to get a grip and move into the new post-patriarchal prick-dominated paradigm, here’s the lowdown on Privileges Lost v Privileges Gained.

Privileges Lost: the biggest steak, the use of your last name on your spawn and your ‘wife’; getting paid more; not having to do housework; VIP access to all positions of power in the workplace, corporate world, and government. Sundays to yourself; yelling lewd shit at women from your car; creeping us out with unwelcome suggestive comments about how nice our tits are; coming first then falling asleep; using violence to gain power over anything that frightens or intimidates you.

Your sense of sexual propriety that dictates how women ‘should’ look. Or how we should act. Or what we should say.

Also, having sport with only men playing accepted as having universal interest. Get ready to watch netball. Played by women in sensible outfits. BTW, sporting events will no longer be decorated by women in tiny shorts waving flags with their tits out. And we won’t be bending over in tiny undies over cars, or on billboards, or in your silly pornography asking you to fuck us. You don’t get to be the strong guy.

We will learn to change tires and lift heavy shit.

Privileges Gained: You don’t have to change our tyres or lift our heavy shit. Relationships built on respect, a sense of accomplishment that everything you achieve is because of merit, not because of your dick. (It’s not called a dictatorship by accident.) You’ll feel the glow of self-reliance at being able to do things around the house all by yourself; you get a more engaged experience of parenting; you’ll create a safer world for your sons and daughters; you’ll feel more satisfied by your sexual relationships because you’ll be able to experience true open-hearted intimate connection not hindered by the toxic narratives of hypersexualised porn.

You’ll enjoy netball.

And in the bedroom as in the world you will relinquish your conquering ways to experience the joy of coming last. You will learn to be not just our husbands or lovers but also our friends. You will be able to look at a woman without wondering what it would be like to fuck her.

Feminism doesn’t mean you lose. Quite the opposite. You get to leave that toxic masculinity in the past where it belongs. So put the club down, Mr Caveman, you’re about to become extinct. Don’t you think it’s time to embrace the future? And yes, it is female! #ourturnnow

March 8 is International Women’s Day – and there are more events celebrating our story than ever before – Lismore Women’s Festival, Women’s Empowerment Festival, and Byron Writers Festival is streaming sessions from About Women at the Sydney Opera House on 10 March, at the SAE Theatre. With a session on Feminism in the Arab World and Leading While Female from 2.45 to 5.30pm. For details go to byronwritersfestival.com.


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12 COMMENTS

  1. Mandy, please send this article to every male Politician in Australia (or the world) and it would show those ego and greed driven, lying arseholes that their time is nigh. I suppose not all of them fit into this category, but most do.

  2. Just one little tiny weeny thing, there are a lot of women who don’t want to do or learn so called male skills like using tools, getting dirty or work tasks that risk health. Women are also less physically endowed in strength and don’t want to or just can’t physically lift or move heavy stuff.

    When do you see women wearing dirty clothes from doing dirty work or any clothes that would last doing heavy work. Just saying looking good will always be higher on a woman’s agenda than doing heavy male work.

    • Andy – “When do you see women wearing dirty clothes from doing dirty work or any clothes that would last doing heavy work. Just saying looking good will always be higher on a woman’s agenda than doing heavy male work.”

      Sorry? What?? You clearly don’t know many women. And you definitely don’t know me. You also can’t go to Bunnings very often and see the women there in dirty work clothes. But of course, I was cutting cement sheeting at Bunnings to take it home in my car and the staff member came up and said “where’s your husband?” Again – what?? Plenty of women like me have work clothes and are the only member of the house who knows how to use tools!

  3. Spot on Mandy, you got me on board, until here:

    > You’ll enjoy netball.

    Nuh uh. Not gonna happen. I cannot imagine anything worse. Except maybe rugby, AFL, footy, and so forth. I can handle (only just) competitive sports that involve some skills (like perhaps archery) but sports where the outcome is based solely on physical ability mostly determined by genetics? No thanks. It’s no different from a beauty pageant (ugh).

    It’s all a throwback from war though isn’t it? Or lack of war…
    When there were no wars going on locally the population became restive, so the Romans established the “circus” where people could kill horses and each other before lunch as a spectator sport.
    Yum.

    The thing is, not all of us need that. It’s yet another patriarchal throwback that will hopefully diminish over time.
    And with it (dare we hope?) will also diminish the testosterone-fuelled drive for war and conflict.

    Ok haters, go for it!

  4. Andy, that’s a bit too cute. We’ve got women in the Military – Policing – building houses.
    Some are Plumbers / Gardeners / Car Detailers / Roofers / Electricians / Interstate
    Truckies etc etc. They play football as well. Lots of men like Chefs love to cook etc…
    Enough said. I worked at a garbage dump & helped format ‘Recycling’ by using an
    old wool press crushing tins / milk bottles / cardboard / al cans & so on. I didn’t do
    it because I wanted to look pretty – I did it because it needed to be done.

  5. We all know that any critique of mandy and the feminist rhetoric won’t get published as both are protected by ideological white knights at the Echo ( sooo ironically patriarchal ). SO I’ll not bother detailing criticism of mandi’s article. Just only to refer you to http://www.realsexism.com/ and ask you Mandi that maybe just maybe you consider evolving your narrative beyond Boomeritis Feminism. Its Old, Bitter, Full of Falsehoods and not remotely holistically truthful enough. Alot of smart women and wise men understand this and no longer wish to be associated with it.

  6. Dear controller why do you feel the need to delete the reply’s I sent to others that have written here. What I say clearly will be of interest to them.(let them agree or not). To be cutting edge in 21C journalism, you need to be about enabling dialogue not suppressing it especially in controversial ares. Your controlling from fear and favor. Stop it or at least do much much less of it . Much better journalism is the courage pro-actively seek/allow conversations to take place that are not so black and white. Especially brave of you when you facilitate dialogue that is counter to your own ideological bias.
    Example https://youtu.be/1oVyQGmD3d8

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