Just When You Think Modern Feminism Can’t Get More Irrelevant Or Absurd…

It started like this: 25-year-old New Yorker Beth Breslaw was chatting to a friend about her observation that men were less likely than women to make way for other people on crowded pavements.

Oh, for…!

Breslaw decided that she was going to test out her friend’s theory. No longer was she going to act like a polite, decent human being who occasionally moved out of people’s way, dammit! No, she was going to plough forward without any regard for whatever man, woman or child might be in her path.

Or, in other words, ‘behave like a stereotypical New Yorker’.

You’ll probably guess the amazing thing that happened next: Breslaw bumped into people. She bumped into a lot of people. Mainly, though, she bumped into men.

Maybe there was a football game on, and a lot of men about? But no, that will never do. It must be THE PATRIARCHY!

One might be inclined to believe that the lesson learned from all this is that you shouldn’t act like a douchebag when navigating a crowded city. But that would be reading too little into the experiment. No, says New York magazine, Breslaw’s experience is indicative of “the sidewalk MO of men who remain apparently oblivious to the personal space of those around them … a phenomenon that perhaps we could call manslamming.”

At this point, I think we’ve gone well beyond the ‘clutching at straws’ stage. Even the Guardian writer seems to think that this is not helping the cause…

One of the challenges feminists face is having to constantly reiterate that, no, feminism has nothing to do with hating or belittling men. Feminism is about equal rights. And while this experiment was based on the valid and very important premise that male privilege manifests itself in even the most basic tenets of everyday life, it doesn’t follow that all the many microaggressions of city life are a direct result of that privilege.

Or even any of them.

Call me cynical, but manslamming seems to be more about a headline-friendly “trend” than a legitimate problem, and the latest iteration of a trend towards “experimental feminism” . It is a social media science whose results are not measured in an increase in women’s rights, but in click-throughs, video views, and – the holy grail – being accepted into the Oxford English Dictionary.

Yup, that’s modern feminism to a ‘T’.

Somewhere, in an urban newsroom filled with millennials, someone is trying to come up with the next great feminist experiment. Here’s one for free: manstraining; the act of having to squint your eyes really hard to find an affront to your daily experience as a woman, despite so many bigger ones to battle.

Heh! Well done, modern feminists – you’re starting to lose the ‘Guardian’…

11 comments for “Just When You Think Modern Feminism Can’t Get More Irrelevant Or Absurd…

  1. January 14, 2015 at 9:16 am

    Oh dear, all those long words just to tell us that feminists have final hit rock bottom in looking for things to complain about in the man bashing mentality they call “advancement”,Of course it’s all to do with social media …..REALLY. what other utter tripe can these people peddle.
    Most people I have to avoid on pavements are people of all ages on mobile phones and I have to tell you the majority of those are women, usually about to push their buggy containing a child/ children into the middle of the road because they are so busy checking facecrap or twatter.

    • Tammly
      January 14, 2015 at 8:25 pm

      What? What are feminists doing with mobile phones? – the pure products of the male imagination. I would go so far as to assert that apart from their assembly, no female has ever had any part in the invention, design development and manufacture. If Feminists are to be true to their beliefs they must shun them utterly.

    • January 18, 2015 at 6:39 am

      Yup, it’s incredible. They wouldn’t dream of walking along reading a book, but because ‘it’s on me phone, innit?’ it’s somehow OK?

  2. mona
    January 14, 2015 at 12:40 pm

    We need more feminists to demonstrate like Femen they always brighten up the scenery, I just love them.

  3. January 14, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    Femen? I prefer women with a bit of class, like Kath.

  4. Errol
    January 14, 2015 at 8:22 pm

    I go out of my way to avoid people walking into me. It is mostly women who do so, however. What I find comical is that being 6’4 tall and broad wearing black that they miss me.

    The last time someone tried it and I was looking the other way up an aisle in the shops, she was promptly knocked over.

    I’m sorry – I am an affable chap but if you walk into me you’re going to come off worse. If I *don’t* make the effort to get out of people’s way then they will be bulldozed aside. Teenage kiddies, women and old ladies seem intent on ramming me. Why for once can’t they go around me?

    • January 18, 2015 at 6:38 am

      Are they all goggling at a mobile phone, maybe? I saw one woman step out into traffic doing just that, the other day…

  5. Ed P
    January 14, 2015 at 11:52 pm

    There used to be pavement/pathway rules: the outside lane would face the traffic. But then shops stole the inner lane to extrude their wares into the street. Thus sprang up the slamming.

    So it looks as if the problem (if you can justify calling such an inconsequential irritation a problem) is the shops. Stop the pavement occupation and the distorted crowd behaviour will revert to smooth contraflow.

    • January 18, 2015 at 6:37 am

      I thought the councils were dead against ‘street furniture’ like sandwich boards & tables, but lately, they seem to be making a recurrence.

  6. January 15, 2015 at 12:34 am

    The sidewalk’s alive with the sound of moaning…… Climb every molehill, squint at every beam, follow every mantra, ’til you find your scream.””

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