Phone etiquette isn’t the way I would have it, I must complain at once!!

Posted: January 3, 2014 in Uncategorized

Ever read an article in a newspaper or online, or seen a status from one of your friends on a social network site that is so idiotically stupid you’ve had to read it twice? Yeah, I’ve done that plenty of times, especially with some of full blown muppets I have on my Facebook friends list. Most of the time said statuses are met with the customary roll of the eyes. Sometimes, though, they are so full of idiocy and selfishness that I can’t help but feel the need to respond.

I’ve spoken in the past about feminism and the victim complex. While I don’t think I can 100% apply this to feminism as there’s no indication the author of the article is a feminist, what I can put it down to is the culture that feminism has created in women that leads them to believe that their problems are worth more than anyone else’s problems. And I don’t just mean men by that, as the article will shows, it’s other women too. By furthering the idea that women are strong, smart, independent and capable of ‘having it all’ it seems that some women have taken from that the idea that what they do, the way they live their lives and the things they don’t enjoy are somehow more valuable and important than those that they disagree with. I don’t claim all women to be like this, and I’m well aware that some men show those traits as well, but the article I’m going to talk about is so full of selfishness and victimhood that you really can’t take it seriously. Well, not if you’re sane.

Anyway, today’s piece of unintended hilarity:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-life/10523240/Peacocking-much-When-did-boyfriends-picking-up-their-girlfriends-phones-become-OK.html

Haha, hahahaha, hahahahaha! Yeah, ok, that’s enough of that. Seriously though, that’s what she’s complaining about? I’ve been reading the Daily Telegraph since I was 10 years old (because I’m cultured as fuck. Well, that and the fact my dad reads it) and I always thought it was a decent newspaper, one for the intellectuals. It would seem moving to the online form has done nothing for the quality of its stories. There’s so much to talk about with this article that I could ramble on for ages. I won’t, I want to focus on a few points of interest that I think embody the victimhood not only that this woman surrounds herself with, but the wider implications of that victimhood.

First of all, the term ‘peacocking’. Probably without even knowing it she has taken a swipe at the idea of masculinity in the headline of her piece. The peacock is the name for a male peafowl, and is very famous for the fact it spreads its tail feathers in a show of virility in order to attract a mate, or at least that’s how it’s interpreted in society. The fact that a ‘peacock’ refers to only the male peafowl (the female is called a peahen) shows that this display of relationship one-upmanship is decidedly a masculine trait, one used to show superiority over other people. This need to be superior appears, from this article, to be borne out of jealousy and the need to force your insecurities on someone else. For someone who, through this article, embodies the idea of female hysteria and over-sensitiveness it seems a little careless to use the term peacocking in this way. If she can stereotype the idea of masculinity as essentially insecure and needing to project on to others, then I can stereotype her as a whiney bitch. Sounds fair, right?

It might seem like I’m clutching at straws with that argument, but the idea of masculinity and what is to be male is slowly, quietly, being eroded away. It now seems to be something almost shameful to be masculine, especially when it comes to feminism. The slow erosion of masculinity (and, on the flip side, the erosion of femininity) is one of the worst things to happen to our society. This is just another covert attempt at devaluing the idea of masculinity. It implies that a show of strength, a deliberate enhancement of personal qualities, is shallow and a way of masking insecurities. It also implies that women who are attracted to those qualities share the same level of shallowness and, as a result, neither are worthy of our time or effort. Yeah, sounds like I’m reaching, but it’s there, you just have to look for it.

Moving on, this article seems to be split in to two distinct halves. The first half basically boils down to a whole load of whining and victimhood. I’m sorry to say, but we all have bad days. I finish work at 3pm, don’t get home until 5pm and then often have to work at home until 7 or 8pm. I have very little free time during the week, and spend most of my weekends, Sundays in particular, thinking about preparing for the weeks ahead. In the summer I am stuck in a classroom and get very little time to enjoy the weather (until the summer holidays of course, they’re fucking awesome!) and in the winter I leave for work in the morning in darkness and get home in the evening in darkness. I only ever see daylight through a window. The difference is, I don’t expect sympathy. Yes, I understand people have shitty days and need to unwind, I understand that people want nothing more at the end of a long day than to speak to someone close to them. However, just because you have had a shitty day it doesn’t make your suffering any worse than anybody else’s. What is being described in this article is simply the perils of being an adult. It’s terrible, I know!

So, with that rather pathetic attempt for sympathy discarded and ignored, we get to the actual point of the article – somebody else picking up the phone instead of the person you wanted to. Oh, no! How terrible it must be for you to have to utter the words “is _____ there, please?” What tragic world do we live in when we have to utter one more sentence than we were expecting before making the call. Does it suddenly strike you dumb? Have you spent so long practicing the opening of your phone call (“Hello, it’s _____”) that you suddenly can’t deal with anything different? Man, get a grip. She actually makes a valid point that you might expect to hear your friend’s boyfriend’s voice when they pick up the phone seeing as it’s a general phone, but that’s pretty much the only valid argument in this entire piece. Sure, it might be annoying having that split second where you don’t recognise the voice that does answer, but surely not annoying enough that you feel the need to run to your computer and write a frigging article about it?!

The use of language is so over-the-top it becomes humorous! Wretched? Phenomenon? The norm? How does she know it’s become the norm, simply because her friend does it? There are so many simple, effective explanations for why someone’s boyfriend might answer the phone that this argument shouldn’t even really be acknowledged. The problem is, if we continue to let articles like this go without ridicule then people will continue to write them. If people continue to write articles like this then the masses will continue to believe that this is an issue worth giving a tenth of your time too. Luckily, it would seem the majority of commenters on the article share my disdain for this piece, and are no less vocal than I’m being right now.

The thing that really stuck in me though, the thing that had me trying to decide whether to just shake my head or get really annoyed was this line:

“Does it go deeper though? Is this a form of submission? Like a dog marking its territory, is the boyfriend marking his?”

This is where it just goes beyond the pale of normal social interaction and into absolute victimhood. Come on, seriously you want to apply gender and relationship dynamics to the simple act of answering the phone? I think this goes way beyond any real sense of frustration held by the author and hints at some deeper insecurities. I have no idea if this author is a feminist, but this article, and that line in particular, just reek of the victimhood I’ve come to expect from the feminist mentality. A boyfriend doing something simple like picking up his girlfriend’s phone has absolutely nothing to do with control and submission. Applying that kind of feminist thinking, that this is simply a way of male domination over submissive female, is simply applying a problem that doesn’t exist. If you can twist the act of answering the phone into some sort of social comment about how men want their girlfriends or wives to be submissive then you can twist any action to be about anything. What next, a man cooking dinner for his wife or girlfriend is guilting her into staying because he’s made a modicum of effort? A man who picks his wife or girlfriend up after a night out is trying to assert his control over her by saying that, without him, she wouldn’t be able to survive a night out? Where does it end? If that’s the route we’re going down, at what point do people start to think ‘hang on, this is getting fucking ridiculous now?’ I’ll give you a hint, we’re already halfway there!

Then, as if it’s not enough that she applies this ludicrously over-thought logic to this simple act, she then thinks of another way in which it’s demeaning:

“Or, is it, as I’m prone to believe, the girlfriend, your friend, doing some sort of relationship peacocking?”

And this is where the subtle, implied criticism of masculinity comes in. She hints that masculinity, even when exhibited by females, is so insecure in its own values that it needs to be thrust upon others repeatedly in order to let others know that it exists and it is thriving. Rather than showing the insecurities of masculinity, I feel this simply shows the insecurities of the writer herself, showing that it is her, not her friend, who is so upset about not having a boyfriend that she will find any excuse to dislike her friend simply for having one. I’ve seen it happen, I’ve done it myself, rather than some self-reflection and thinking about what the problem truly is, you invent them and blame other people, anything to help you avoid the crippling realisation that your friend is rather happy and you are fucking miserable.

This paragraph, if the entire article itself hasn’t already, should give you some idea as to the real angle the writer is coming from, despite protestations otherwise:

“However, this incessant telephonic showing off, which I can assure you isn’t funny for this third party, is putting a serious strain on those feelings. And when the phone is passed, but you’re still having a conversation with him, “no, no, that’s not how you do it!” just adds further kindling to the fire of resentment. Oh, and don’t even get me started on when he puts on a high-pitched voice and pretends to be you!”

So, basically, this all boils down to, you guessed, the victim complex. It makes her feel bad, it make her resent her friend for being so happy, it’s all about the ‘feels’! How pathetic. Perhaps when you’ve grown up enough to realise that the world doesn’t revolve around you and the way you feel you can write an article about how self-centered you are in your expectations of others to live their life in a way that doesn’t impinge on your delicate feelings. Until then, I hope your friends continue to let their boyfriends answer the phone to you, and then I hope they stop taking your calls altogether, maybe that will help you re-assess your life.

But, John, what has this got to do with feminism? Well, as I mentioned in my last blog, I don’t know if she’s a feminist or not, but this isn’t to do with any particular feminist, but the movement in general. It promotes the idea, nay actively endorses the idea, that women are always victims, even to the point that it allows this woman to claim such an advanced level of victimhood that the simple act of a friend’s boyfriend answering the phone now amounts to some explicit patriarchal act of dominance. Whichever way she looks at it, it’s not her fault. She has a shitty day at work, despite the fact millions of others have shitty days at work, and, instead of just accepting that that is a sad fact of life, decides to pick a fight with her friend for daring to not be around to pick up her phone. Feminism promotes the idea that women are not to blame, that women are not wrong, that if they don’t like something it’s not possibly their own insecurities or limitations that are the issue but some outside force, some domineering form of control that aims to subjugate and oppress. When you can take a simple act like the one in this article and embellish it to such ridiculous levels of victimhood, whilst simultaneously managing to completely exclude your own contribution to the experience there is a definite problem to be solved. I’ll give you a hint; it’s not with the friend or the boyfriend.

I put the link to this article on my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/john.salmon.7906) and thought I’d share some of the responses. Let’s just say between the responses on the article itself and the responses on my Facebook page, the woman who wrote this article seems to be out there on a ledge all on her own, which is a beautiful thing to see.

http://i1276.photobucket.com/albums/y472/johnsalmonworld/victimcomplexreplies1_zps242c9a1d.png

http://i1276.photobucket.com/albums/y472/johnsalmonworld/victimcomplexresponses2_zps8a0be627.png

http://i1276.photobucket.com/albums/y472/johnsalmonworld/victimcomplexresponses3_zpsdf6e5e4c.png

Victim complex 101, it won’t work forever.

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