So, I went to the shops and a bought a courgette, tomatoes, broccoli, spinach lasagne sheets, beef mince (reduced!), mushroom pate, oatmeal, avocados, bread, cranberry juice and chocolate (reduced!). Im going to make a lasagne this evening, I already have cheese. I was in the supermarket and I thought this is so TYPICAL. I felt like a WOMAN. I looked around the supermarket, there was a mix of men and women and children, and the staff were also men and women, but not children.
Yesterday I was listening to You and Yours on Radio 4 and a young WOMAN vlogger was being interviewed by an older MALE presenter/journalist. He couldn’t understand why she wanted to share so much of herself, so publicly. They debated GENERATIONAL expectations. You could hear he was won around by her very confident and honest tone, a crystal clear considered voice with a slight northern accent. The YOUNG WOMAN was like the lead in the school play, who despite being NOT-QUITE-TALENTED got through on gusto, eye contact and posture. I didn’t agree with much that she said but I also didn’t vehemently disagree either.
She had been an au-pair in France, with nothing to do in her evenings the YOUNG WOMAN found friends on YOUTUBE through her vlogging. Her interviewer mentioned that she was around the same age as his daughter, and that he wouldn’t want his daughter to make a vlog about MASTURBATION. Her parents didn’t mind apparently, they were liberal and were into it. How long does that naive charm last for, projecting in blind confidence knowing that no one will expect you to really know what you are talking about, or to really back up your arguments? I actually need to know the answer to this if anyone does know. The journalist said that his profession was based on CONFRONTATION, and that that had become unfashionable with YOUNG PEOPLE that were obsessed with being achingly inclusive.
Last week I was in a hotel in Amsterdam where I got to watch live BBC TV for the first time since christmas. The feature was about the ISSUE of FREE SPEECH on university campuses in the UK. A young WOMAN journalist walked around the campus towards the camera with flashing HASHTAGS over the screen. Not, I noted, unlike BLURRED LINES. So, from half watching this piece, It seems that student unions have been busily implementing SAFE SPACES and banning speakers expressing any view a student raises as making them feel UNSAFE. As a backlash some well spoken YOUNG MAN at LSE had set up the Free Speech Society, in response to the banning of SEXIST t-shirts that the rugby club was wearing. All the students interviewed had public school accents and looked younger than I remember ever looking.
If I continue with this train of thought, then I’m lead by the hand down a path of references I’ve half checked out from social media, related only by my passive absorption. I follow Lena Dunham on Instagram and receive her Lenny Letter email so I have her editorial line and voice resonating through me. Oh, and some Washington Post article I read about Valentines Day being BULLSHIT, and the possibilities for FEMALE empowerment being found outside of committed hetro-normative relationships, but also ultimately in the case of the writer; within them. It seemed to have legit references and I pretty much agreed with its content, but there was a bit that really niggled me. Amongst the well constructed argument there was one word that stuck out, It sticking out I think provides fair game for me to launch at it. The word was used in the context of describing a good man and the word was UNICORN. A good man is a unicorn. A UNICORN. A MAN.
Men deemed unicorns by women. So, now there is another quality to uphold. I have to find a UNICORN. I also couldn’t help but think ‘Im a fucking unicorn!’ Pretty much everyone I know is a fucking unicorn. Unicorns are the fucking MAJORITY. Why would anyone go out with someone, male, female or otherwise that they didn’t think was a unicorn? Should we be grateful for finding these male unicorns? Or should UNICORN be the fucking SEARCH CRITERIA. WLTM male unicorn to spout half formed opinions at in public and private.
That vlogger would identify as a unicorn. She admitted to narcissism and said that she felt being narcissistic was socially acceptable. But then, even though I am crippled by self doubt, depression and anxiety, the scars of failed relationships, I probably identify as a fucking unicorn. Everyone demanding their safe spaces on campus identifies as UNICORN. Identity politics are dominated by autobiography, the personal anecdotal voice of experience, and I get that autobiography is an important part of queer, anti-racist and feminist writing, but I’m more interested in things that draw together a variety or community of voices somehow. In an ideal world, where I knew how to CREATE spaces rather than regurgitate and accumulate and cover over ideas by shoveling more and more words on top of them – then yeh, Id try that. Instead I’ll say, Show me one single female journalist under 30 on twitter that doesn’t explicitly list FEMINISM in their bio. Its MARKETING. So here is my twee internet think-piece soundbite style ramble, that adds nothing to anyones day. I am a UNICORN and a WOMAN that is why I started a blog, and my dream is to be a Guardian columnist.