Weekly Anti-Woman Wacko[s]: St. Patrick’s Day Edition
The Irish Times recently published a charming op-ed piece by Newton Emerson entitled, “Working Women Almost Certainly Caused the Credit Crunch.” Here are a few highlights:
The answer to all our problems is staring us in the face…Does the woman
in your life really need a job?…
Of course there will always be a place in the world of business for
exceptional women. Women also have an important role to play in jobs that
are too demeaning for men, like teaching. But the general employment
of women is another matter. Indeed, working women almost certainly caused
the credit crunch by bringing a second income into the average household,
pushing property prices up to unsustainable levels…
It would be ludicrous to suggest that women should be sacked purely to give
men their jobs…In many cases, their jobs should be abolished as well…
While the economic case for fewer women in the workforce is irrefutable, we
should also acknowledge the social advantages. Women make the majority of
spending decisions in Irish households and make almost all of the
purchases. They are far more likely than men to regard shopping as a
leisure activity…In short, women were the driving force behind the greed,
consumerism and materialism…and it was female employment that funded their oestrogen-crazed acquisitiveness.
Pretty funny, huh? No? Well it was supposed to be. Apparently this was a satire piece taking aim at the chauvinist media. The problem was that nobody got it.
The article quickly went viral and set off a firestorm. There was an account of this article being forwarded three hundred times in the space of a couple of hours around one large company that employed most men. Reportedly, these men viewed the article in a positive light.
As you might expect, women were none to happy about this op-ed. Hundreds of women sent in angry letters to the editor only to receive a curt letter back informing them that the piece was satire, along with a suggestion that they develop a sense of humor.
After reading through Newton Emerson’s essay several times, I can see that it is satire, it is bad satire but, satire nonetheless. However, the reason people didn’t get it was because there was no clear target, the piece was just too broad. Satire is not funny if it is overly believable. I picked this piece as an illustration of a weekly wacko because there is no cognitive dissonance in believing that a person could hold this kind of opinion.
Women have historically been blamed for the downfalls of society. We can start with Mother Eve and wind our way through the annals of history to today where working women are blamed for everything from increased juvenile delinquency to childhood obesity. (I heard that one over the pulpit).
So yes, I can understand how this unfunny piece of satire was misunderstood; it hit too close to home to the bullsh*t that working women have to put up with everyday. Is it not enough that working women have to face their own guilt every morning they walk out the door, do we really have to blame them for all of societies ills?
Shame on Mr. Emerson for being a horrible satirist. Shame on the Irish Times for exploiting pervasive and pernicious sexism. And shame on any man or woman who truly thinks that all of society’s problems will be solved the moment we kick women out of the workforce. You are all my weekly wackos.