If anything demonstrates the relevance of feminism it is this tangible step back in time. I recall halcyon days when it was possible to pass a building site and not receive marks out of 10. This return to 20th century stereotype is not because I suddenly blossomed, but because for a while was clear that behaviour was Not Okay.
When I imagine these men featured on Hollaback, I imagine men old enough to be my father (though, of course, not my father), in stained clothing, ill-educated and perhaps missing some teeth. The quintessential dirty old man, if you will. I now realise I need to revise this image to something else.
Because what is this? This has me squeaking “it is 2011!” with every click. This is written by (allegedly) university educated students who identify as ‘lads’. Lads, I know the 1990s are coming back into fashion but, please, you are allowed to pick and choose what you revisit from a decade.
These are the boys who think the women of Hollaback et al should take any unsolicited appraisal of their looks as a compliment. Who say sites like theirs is just a bit of fun. I mean, come on, their expert Pick-Up Artist doesn’t even know the difference between your and you’re. It's hardly a threat, or is it?
This sudden affection for lad behaviour, this acceptance of the idea if women are talented at a ‘male’ thing then they must have masculine attributes or be lauded as an honorary bro seems to be coming back into vogue. If it is dismissed as light-hearted fun then I just don’t know who the idiots are.
In most of the articles I have trawled through on this site girls I suspect have rejected the writers are mentioned in contemptuous tones. They rejected them not, of course, because they did not like the lad and reserve the right to reject him. No, it must be because they have daddy issues, or are mad and “…thinks she has put on 10 stone … because she had one to [sic] many apples 20 minutes ago”
Every article mentions what type of girl, for example a fresher, will be vulnerable to the lad. C’est creepy, non? Unimaginative stories featuring lines such as “…the girls were so wasted it was literally a case of grabbing one and jumping in a taxi.” Pop up frequently. The writer of that line assures us he isn't being arrogant here. PHEW.
In this indulgent lad world, women are divided into fat (and grateful), filthy (and available) and timewasters (women with the audacity to have pubic hair).
It isn’t that I am unaware of what some 18 year old boys talk about in a pub. I know it’s because they are inexperienced and their sexual knowledge is gleaned from internet porn. At my Alma mater the football team all got chlamydia from drinking each other’s piss. But is this something to aim for (laddism, not chlamydia)? Is this something to dedicate a website to?
For me arguments such as; ‘you’re only young once’ or ‘it’s just a bit of fun and you’re taking it too seriously’ don’t work for me. This doesn't even have the excuse of forming some kind of support network for these university students. It’s just dull and lazy and encourages young boys to view women as vulnerable girls just waiting to be picked up.
But it's 2011! It's high time laddism became an embarrassing anachronism.