Friday, 11 October 2013

What Shakespeare and Twitter have in common - not enough women!

Now and then I find myself sinking into a warm, fuzzy, unfocussed trance where I start to wonder whether it wouldn’t really be quite nice to give up the struggle to think for myself and just become part of the great left-liberal hive mind. Imagine the pleasure of waking up in the safe knowledge that the day will start with the Guardian and the Today Programme and end with Newsnight, with Channel 4 News in between to boost your smugathon count (smugathons being the internationally recognised measure of an individual’s sense of their own moral superiority) and confirm all your self-serving prejudices. Gosh, it must be fun!

But whenever I’m tempted to deny my instincts and jettison rational thinking, I head on over to the Guardian’s “Comment Is Free” section, read something fantastically stupid - and I’m back to my old right-wing self in no time.

The article that snapped me out of a trance-like state this morning was by someone called Bronwen Clune (née Cluneless, I expect), who was in a towering tizz about the sheer damned effrontery of Twitter, who last week “filed its IPO” (presumably meaning that it has registered for flotation on the stock market) without a single female board member!


Worse – without a single female investor!

Apparently this, you know, is like a hate-crime or a murder or something, yeah?

To bolster her case for castrating these vile sexist pigs, Ms Clune quotes Vivek Wadhwa, “academic and tech entrepreneur”:
This is the elite arrogance of the Silicon Valley mafia, the Twitter mafia. It’s the same male chauvinistic thinking. The fact that they went to the IPO without a single woman on the board, how dare they?
Well, honeybun, they dare because it’s their company. That means they get  to decide who sits on the board. If you or Bronwen had either invested money in Twitter or had helped set it up, then you might very well have had a say in choosing the directors. But you didn’t, so you don’t. I know you probably began hyperventilating when Barack Obama assured US businessmen that they had nothing to with creating their own companies - “You didn’t build that!” – and I’ve no doubt whatsoever that you subscribe to the notion that all profitable businesses only flourish by exploiting the poor, the weak, the disadvantaged, the socially-excluded and, of course, all women, but the simple fact is that the make–up of the boards of privately-owned companies is absolutely, completely and totally NONE OF YOUR BLOODY BUSINESS.

(If you really feel the need to read Clune's article, it's here.)

So deranged has this zeal for an artificially-enforced gender equality become that the director of the National Theatre, Sir Nicholas Hytner, has spoken out in favour of imposing a more equable penis:vagina "balance" retroactively:
It’s a sad fact that a National Theatre devoted at least in part to Shakespeare’s repertoire struggles to put on stage a proportion of female to male actors that accurately reflects its audience, or indeed the nation enshrined in its title... We’ve started taking matters into our own hands by changing the sex of some of Shakespeare’s protagonists. In a modern day production of Timon of Athens, there’s no reason why the senator Sempronius not become the senator Sempronia.
Well, there’s one reason that springs to mind, Nick: women in Athens weren’t allowed to vote, let alone serve as senators. It’s bad enough having theatre directors relocate the action of history plays to, say, a 1980s council estate in Nottingham – but changing the sex of characters in a play for non-dramatic, social-engineering purposes represents a betrayal of both art and history.

Since when did it become necessary for the dramatis personae of plays – or films or novels or operas -  to “accurately reflect" the gender,ethnicity or religious beliefs of modern audiences? Why not simply retitle Shakespeare's play Timona of Athens? What next – a remake of Porridge featuring lovable old lag, Norma Stanley Fletcher? A new adaptaton of Tinker, Tailor. Soldier, Spy in which spymaster Georgina Smiley hunts for Geraldine the Mole? Or a new version of the classic western Shane, retitled Shaniah? Ben Hur as Ben Her?

It’s a defining characteristic of the modern urban left-liberal that he (sorry – she) is infuriated by the fact that life persists in refusing to reshape itself to fit the equalitarian utopia they feel it should be. But anachronistically altering classic works of art to conform to the prevailing leftist view of the world is lying about the past. But, then, that’s what liberals invariably do.


  1. You are producing some fine posts these days, compadre.

    Didn't read the Clune's article. Am unable to read articles by female correspondents with names like Bronwen, Myfanwy, Mary Anne, Petronella or Bonnie. They have the same effect as antabuse has on a drinker.

    Anyway, "Bonnie" Greer popped up on "To-Day" this week [ permanent bandana and whine and totally lacking in humour - you know the one] and informed me that the all British males suffer from gynophobia ["a fear of the female sexual organ" according to her, but not to various dictionaries where it seem inseparable from misogeny]. Anyway, there you have it. Women are suppressed by men because of the latter's organ-fear. Sounds plausible. I wonder what Jenny [ sorry, Jenni] Murray thinks about all this?

    Was it Ruskin who had a major breakdown on his wedding night when his bride revealed herself to him? This would support Ms Greer's theory. Apart from suggestions about characters in Shakespeare I think the part of Lady Macbeth should be re-written as a male part because females simply do not behave like this.

    1. Why, thank you!

      I wonder if Today listeners really want to hear gests talking about being menaced by female genitalia first thing in the morning?

      Given that there seems to be a limitless supply of angry British feminists to hector the male population by banging on endlessly about their private parts and bodily functions, I wonder why our liberal media feels the need to provide an open platform for their American and Australian equivalents. Aren't British Sisters up to the job of making us feel cruel and worthless and insensitive?

      I've long doubted the Ruskin story, but here's what he wriote about the failure to consumate his marriage:

      "It may be thought strange that I could abstain from a woman who to most people was so attractive. But though her face was beautiful, her person was not formed to excite passion. On the contrary, there were certain circumstances in her person which completely checked it."