Sexism is sexy
When those who attempt to justify prevailing sexism and denounce feminist hysteria supposedly criticize PASOK MP Theodora Tzakri and Independent Greeks deputy Rachil Makri in political terms by referring to their dress sense, they simply undermine their arguments.
Phallic references, innuendos, an emphasis on footwear, the reproduction of outdated cliches, and a vulgar, or nonexistent, sense of humor – as observed in a number of reactions to the events at ERT headquarters last weekend – show a lack of imagination. Who really thinks a cartoon depicting two members of Parliament performing acrobatics with – coincidentally – their legs open is amusing? We certainly don’t. It’s a good thing SYRIZA issued its own ludicrous statement slamming the cartoonist of Ta Nea daily, outdoing everyone else in terms of bad taste and making us crack a smile. Bless their souls, they made us laugh once again.
When a cartoon makes you nauseous and you feel the need to defend members of your own sex with whom you have nothing else in common, simply to defend yourself and stand up to an invisible kind of violence clad in cheap jokes, it’s no fun at all. That’s for sure. However, in a society where men grow up to believe that all women are whores – except for their mothers, who also happen to make the world’s best pastitsio – while at the same time women are raised on advice that calls for them to behave like “pussycats” and not “swear like truckers,” the kind of public dialogue exchange that has taken place over the last few days is to be expected.
One way or another the crux of the matter lies elsewhere: There are only four women in the current cabinet and any story regarding the House’s 61 female deputies invariably carries a “scent of a woman” headline because, as you know, women taking their seat in Parliament are expected to emit a discreet fragrance of femininity as opposed to annoying the eardrums of those attending the sessions with their “hysterical voices,” such as that of SYRIZA deputy Zoe Constantopoulou.
Sexism is sexy because political correctness is tiring, oppressive and curtails the joy of cracking jokes – calling PASOK leader and Deputy Prime Minister Evangelos Venizelos “fat” and German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble “the wheelchair guy” is amusing and shows a great sense of refinement. Feminism, on the other hand, is so last century. It is invariably accompanied by burning bras and plenty of body hair, not to mention a complete lack of a sense of humor. I for one don’t find any of this to be funny; I feel threatened. The same goes for plenty of other women I know, women who did not assume the predestined role that Greek society had in store for them.
Nevertheless, the minute we get paid the same salaries as our male colleagues, observe 22 women ministers in the government and 150 women lawmakers (not in “Borgen,” the Danish series, but in Greece’s Parliament) and witness the same number of female and male victims of trafficking, rape and domestic violence, I swear we will all start rolling around laughing at all the jokes involving pumps, lack of sex and so on. But until all that happens, don’t make us defend women whose ideological positions we passionately despise simply because they are women. Give us a break, as we stand on poles, Louboutins on our feet, playing the pussycat revolutionaries.