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What if we take the evolution of some pre-eminent prejudices in society; starting with the age-
old sexism: are men and women equal? When you think of the heartbreaking history of this
argument in relation to the reality of personal relationships the conclusions are not difficult to arrive
at. The interdependency and cohabiting seem to amount to nothing in the sexism argument, yet
models of submission and dominance, dependents and independents can be found on both sides
throughout history. And for every perspective a man might contain, you could find a woman with
the same perspectives and qualities and vice-versa (admittedly it is easier to be more open about this
now). The measures taken by some women to exhibit this stretched to pipe-smoking and sitting with
their legs wide open; though, you wouldn’t consider that feminism in Dickensian times if Nancy is
anything to go by, (seems to work for some twenty-first century lesbians on Canal Street, who
oppose bi-sexuality). That was all way before woman realised she didn’t have to become a man,
look like one, sound like one, dress like one, or even wish to equal one; and man no longer had to
suffer the all-pervasive acknowledgement that he was effectively shit if there wasn’t a good one
behind him. I’m not disregarding the oppression that really needed tackling in the Victorian era and
we’re pretty much there now, on that topic – but doesn’t it make my point about denial? What a
colossal waste of energy, since man has forever to live down or up to the fact he came from one and
was dependent on one from birth – he has yet a long way to go towards equality. I mean, surely no
woman or man nowadays looks back through history and contends that all that was actually male
superiority or strength, do they? Sad that some still haven’t moved on but a stimulating, fascinating
struggle and debate that says much about all of us, so, fair play.
I believe the mainstream perceptions have evolved in this way: Caveman (who sympathy
was always lost on, anyway) naturally had more calluses before woman (never pre-fixed by cave),
developed kind detergents, arose earlier than the man, nicked his hunting tools and left him to the
confines of the cave to do the dishes and try on her skins in secret. Of course New Caveman will
never have her skin as he has much less natural burdens and hormones to justify any mental illness
on his account. Hence woman, no matter how callous her actions, cannot be mentally ill; it just isn’t
part of her make-up. Shhh… it is prejudicial to mention that. Gay man is more emotional, uses
moisturiser and is thus closer to woman even if he has no feminine trait (that’s not patronising, it’s
matronising and that’s perfectly fine) and its ok for him to put on her clothes. Gay woman – who
sometimes wears man’s clothes all the time and can by choice, with some reductions and additions,
make herself look slightly more butch – may appeal to some feminine gay women, but mostly
appeals to butch feminists who want a male-oriented female race without sperm-dependent
conception. Feminine gay women tend to be the best looking women around; women men can only
be intimidated and humiliated by, or be secretly lusting friends with, which they can chat about
openly because there is absolutely no hope of any romance. They can have a family together, if they
get on well enough and the woman wants sperm-dependent conception through the most ‘natural’
process; but being lovers or a couple is always totally out of the question. Bisexual women are
everywhere enlightened, the stuff every man is obliged to dream of and they, by nature, are fighting
the good fight for equality. Bisexual men are doubly untrustworthy. Straight man is just sad,
inhibited and in denial, but becomes disingenuous and a little creepy if he moisturises. Unless he is a
body-builder hunk, or he is naturally or unnaturally bald. Even that kind of ruins women’s
perceptions of just what a man is supposed to be. Why can’t man just make up his mind? The
resulting equality is quite disturbing for feminists. Gay man is in another world, since he no longer
needs women except for make-up tips, to share bitchy gossip, or to be his mother, but at least he has
tapped into his feminine side, even if he doesn’t have one, and he is stereotypically obliged to be as
insecure as his narcissism can allow (both of which are big), which makes him at least in equal need
of hugs as women, without any suspicion of ulterior motive. He can cover this up with bitchiness.
And women can accept that as more honest because it’s more like them. For the more traditional
alpha amoeba of the species, for and by whom the laws, including those of nature, were made – and
those who like a good wild fuck – this is also upsetting because why should they change the laws of
a lifetime? Accepting that these are now prejudicial precepts is universally mandatory, unless your
religion says you have to pretend to be righteous alpha males and dominate your own flesh and
blood women, even if you want to bugger other men and women behind closed doors. Of course,
women can be anything and everything and can get fifty successive orgasms a day using a vibrator
down their jeans; but a heterosexual male who likes dick but doesn’t want to be buggered or to be a
woman, only to wear her clothes for sheer pleasure every now and then, is totally invalid. He is a
fake who plays at life without trying. This is true, even if he prefers that she wears the dress – (she
will wear things that make her feel sexy, for herself, but will take offence if it does something for
him because he should be interested in her for herself, not what she’s wearing) – but he feels that
isn’t quite the same as putting them on, somehow. She knows this, but she never has to contend with
getting lambasted in the street for looking like a clown in his jeans and jumper. For him to wear
women’s clothes in secret drops somewhere between sad and perverted; this is magnified in public,
unless he pretends to be gay, or doing it for a bet, for a charity, or with his mates in a stag party.
And the odd woman might like him to be her sister. But he generally doesn’t fit in anywhere.
Someone might pity that… or he could become a celebrity comedian. Apparently, Eddie Izzard’s
fans have complained about his lack of transvestitism, lately. Even they don’t get the point. Other
than the foregoing applications, no one can know exactly where they are with that kind of
behaviour. If it’s genuine, it is worthy only of suspicion. What he would really do if he was serious
is have gender re-assignment. Gender reassignment is very acceptable to us, we watch
documentaries about it and we’re very curious when we see someone in the street or a club. We will
link them and take them dancing down Canal Street, through all the cheers and hypocritical jeers
and sneers, (because they’re bound to hang out there, aren’t they? And let’s face it, they need as
many friends as they can get, so anyone will do, eh?) They’re very brave and deserve our respect
and public applause, unless of course they happen to be your relative or spouse. Women would be
delighted, surely, to have another convert on their side. That is unless they are a genuine blonde.
Genuine blondes are an affront to their own kind and often get castigated for letting the side down,
by being liked, distracting, somehow attracting more attention even when they’re not as perfectly
beautiful as women with other hair colour have to be, having more fun, driving badly, being clumsy
and airheads, being a natural threat to anyone’s husband or partner. And what’s worse, they don’t
have to try to be anything else to get away with all that. Some women join them to have all those
advantages by dying their hair, but they run the risk of double castigation for selling out their roots.
So… equality… we’re getting there.
Except, curiously, in statutory and voluntary mental health services, where staffing scales tip
in favour of women about eighty-twenty, at a liberal guess. How healthy is that? It’s a serious
Are you getting there? Are you outraged yet? Do you at least disagree with some of this?
Good, well, at least we’re tapping into something… we’re working at the stigma. If you agree with
all this, then we really have something to worry about.