Culture

Feminists Should Stop Complaining About How Hard Life Is For Women, Says Rich White Man Mark Latham

"More often than not, inner-city feminists don’t like children and don’t want to be with them," he writes. "They use political feminism as a release valve, trying to free themselves from nature’s way." :|

I get the feeling Mark Latham is a very smart guy. Underneath all the bluster and braggadocio, I really do think the man’s got a real sense for policy and an ability to read the political currents.

But today’s column in the Australian Financial Review – promisingly titled “Why Left Feminists Don’t Like Kids” – once again begs the question of the man who was almost our Prime Minister: how can somebody so smart be so, so, so stupid? Like, this is Ernest Goes To Camp levels of stupidity we’re talking here. I’ve found more enlightened reading on the back of a sugar packet.

To cut a long story short, Latham does not like what he terms “left feminism”. As far as he can tell, it’s an inner-city conspiracy being perpetrated on womanhood at large in order to deny them the immense joys of being a parent. And the reason he knows: because he’s a stay-at-home dad. Yes, that is his argument.

Let’s get into the nitty-gritty, shall we?

Taking as his starting point Lisa Pryor, a Sydney Morning Herald journalist, medical student and mother-of-two, Latham promptly declares that she should be pitied — if not out-and-out reprimanded — for confessing over the weekend that she manages it all with the aid of “caffeine and anti-depressants”.

AND SO THE INSANITY BEGINS.

“A major part of left feminist campaigning has involved the demonisation of children,” he declares, apropos of nothing. In the same way you might say, “A major part of the civil rights movement has involved the demonisation of equal opportunity.”

Then: “Women in Western Sydney have no neuroses.” I shit you not, that is a sub-heading. He goes on: “Women I speak to in western Sydney, who have no neuroses or ideological agenda to push, regard child-rearing as a joy. Financially, if they can avoid work, that’s their preference.”

Jesus Christ, Mark. What is your sample size? Two? Either way, I’m glad to know Western Sydney remains the land of milk and honey, where cripplingly content mothers spend their days cooing gratefully at their children, eternally thankful that they now have a reason to live. It must have been pretty bleak before they popped one out.

Yet another highlight: “Other than for money, why would anyone want to commute and toil long hours for businesspeople?” Good lord. This sentence alone is so vapid that it doesn’t seem worth the time to argue. It’d be like arguing with a creationist about the best way to carbon date a T-Rex fossil.

But wait! Just in case you thought this piece was going to be uncomfortably retrograde, ol’ Papa Progressive has a surprise for you:

“What happens when an opposition leader quits politics, decides that he hates the prospect of working for other people and becomes the primary carer of his three children? In my case, the results, for nearly a decade now, have been splendid. Sure, there’s the odd hiccup and flash of frustration in full-on parenting, but the rewards are immense.”

Back up the feminista truck, people. Mark has discovered the joys of being a father. Cease your complaining Cindy Single-Parent, because you don’t know how good you’ve got it. What’s that Gemima Double-Degree? You crave professional fulfilment? Well, you don’t know the fulfilment you’ll get by tossing it all in and having a baby. You can trust Mark: he knows what’s good for you.

“I’m sure I’m just as busy as her: looking after a huge native garden at home, cooking gourmet meals for my family, pursuing a few business interests, writing books and The Australian Financial Review columns and, most crucially, preserving time for my children’s homework, conversation and love. When I explain this reality to my male friends, they are incredibly envious. Each of them wants to swap places.”

Right now Mark could not be more oblivious if he’d travelled through an Interstellar-style wormhole and was only able to communicate with Earth in Morse code. The sheer amount of unthinking privilege contained in those two sentences alone could power mainland Australia for a year.

But brace yourselves people, because Latho was just warming up for the big finish.

“But the inner-city feminists know little of this. They spend a lot of time complaining, ostensibly on behalf of other women, yet their real priority is themselves. More often than not, they don’t like children and don’t want to be with them. They use political feminism as a release valve, trying to free themselves from nature’s way.”

NATURE’S WAY. YES. HE SAID THAT. IN 2014.

“Thus left feminism is akin to a psychoneurotic disorder: externalising personal feelings of distress and deficiency into the demonisation of children.”

Holy shit.

I abhor the phrase “mansplaining”, but for Mark I’ll make an exception. This is the sort of ill-researched and self-satisfied “swingeing broadside” that could only possibly have been written by a man with a throbbing erection. These 674 words are so chockablock with a sense of ejaculatory self-congratulation that I’d be surprised if he didn’t literally orgasm as he punched out the final full stop. “Mark, you genius. You’ve done it. You’ve solved feminism”, he’d coo to himself as he fell asleep in front of his computer, the last remnants of his intellectual overload dripping down the screen.

But don’t take my word for it. Take Twitter’s!

https://twitter.com/courteneyh/status/535185884250128384

Although perhaps this sums it up best:

Direct all comment, criticism and fan mail to Mark Latham’s home address, c/o the 1950s.

Photo: Jonathan Wood, Getty.