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Lucy did not like my Toulouse-Lautrec review

By 18 December 2012 30

la toilette

This just in, related to my review of the Toulouse-Lautrec exhibition:

From: Lucy [Last name supressed]
Subject: Complaint- Tolouse-Lautrec review

Message Body:
I would like to express my disappointment at the completely unneccesary pandering to sexist entitlement in this article.

It is silly and sexist to assume that ‘all women already know about this so I won’t write for them’. Some might not, you know! Or, even more shockingly, there might be a man out there who actually knows about art!

It is silly and sexist to insinuate that women with Lautrec posters are somehow all boring and unattractive.

It is frankly harmful to suggest that it’s ok to be ‘irritated’ that a woman might not want to have sex with you! Even if she’s ugly (see previous point).

Now, there’s a certain segment of the male population who truly believe they have some entitlement to anger if a woman turns down sex, or that it’s funny when a woman of some education is unattractive.

Is it really worth pandering to that crowd?

The Tolouse-Lautrec review is disgusting and the numerous examples of sexism and rape culture present in the article don’t further its (admittedly already dubious) level of usefulness or written quality.

I would like to see the review removed, rewritten or edited for the reasons outlined above.

Please reply to me with any information on an action taken by the editors, or a very good reason why the editors don’t care about harmful sexism perpetuated by their writer.

Lucy

Ah where to begin.

Let’s go line by line shall we?

I would like to express my disappointment at the completely unneccesary pandering to sexist entitlement in this article.

Well I’m thrilled to discover you’re the editor of this site Lucy and can henceforth make all the decisions about what is necessary.

I can’t say I set out to pander to sexist entitlement at all, I wrote in response to the feelings evoked in me by the exhibition, which is rather a function of art.

It is silly and sexist to assume that ‘all women already know about this so I won’t write for them’. Some might not, you know! Or, even more shockingly, there might be a man out there who actually knows about art!

Heaven forfend a writer ever employ artistic licence for effect, least of all in an article about art. I actually fancy myself as a man who knows at least a little bit about art, what with having been to hundreds of exhibitions and having written on the subject for over 12 years.

It is silly and sexist to insinuate that women with Lautrec posters are somehow all boring and unattractive.

That would indeed be silly, although not inherently sexist, thankfully I made no such insinuation. That you think appreciation of Lautrec posters is inherently feminine however is a bit of a howler.

Also you fail to have appreciated the crucial word “as” in my review: “The woman is not as interesting or attractive as you thought she was in the bar”. The woman in that scenario may well still be interesting and attractive, but less so now that one is more sober, the lights are on, and sex is off the table. I understand similar dynamics are not uncommon in women.

It is frankly harmful to suggest that it’s ok to be ‘irritated’ that a woman might not want to have sex with you! Even if she’s ugly (see previous point).

Being irritated by a lack of sex is hardly unusual, and certainly not limited to men. It is frankly stupid to suggest that people do not get irritated when they had hopes of sex, which have been dashed.

There is however a substantial leap to be made from irritation to rape.

Now, there’s a certain segment of the male population who truly believe they have some entitlement to anger if a woman turns down sex, or that it’s funny when a woman of some education is unattractive.

I’m pretty sure this is not my fault. As stated above the hypothetical woman posited in my review remains attractive and interesting, merely less so.

Is it really worth pandering to that crowd?

I would contend that I was not doing any such thing. The crowd who read art reviews tend to skew away from that demographic at the best of times.

The Tolouse-Lautrec review is disgusting and the numerous examples of sexism and rape culture present in the article don’t further its (admittedly already dubious) level of usefulness or written quality.

Thank you for your feedback. “Rape Culture” is a poorly defined concept at the best of times. But a man accepting there will be no sex tonight is, in my view, a poor example of it and in any case a solitary one, not numerous.

I would like to see the review removed, rewritten or edited for the reasons outlined above.

It is a source of some happiness that you are not the sole arbiter of the written word.

I would like the lawn to mow itself. But sadly just as the grass outside my window remains indifferent to my preferences, I am afraid this website will remain inert in the face of your request.

Please reply to me with any information on an action taken by the editors, or a very good reason why the editors don’t care about harmful sexism perpetuated by their writer.

Well Lucy, firstly I am both author and editor in this case. I don’t know if that is a good reason, but until you pay for a controlling stake in this website it will probably be at the least sufficient.

I also refute that my review contained harmful sexism, and was certainly no worse to women than a syphilitic exploiter of sex workers (a low bar though that may be).

[Pictured is the postcard of "The Toilette (Combing her hair)" I bought for my girlfriend who couldn't see the exhibition because she's visiting family overseas. Her absence makes me irritated, but still highly unlikely to rape anyone]

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30 Responses to Lucy did not like my Toulouse-Lautrec review
#1
arescarti427:04 pm, 18 Dec 12

Oh wow JB, looks like Lucy really rustled your jimmies.

As a side note, in my experience, the most brazenly sexist people I’ve ever met have been feminists.

#2
Pork Hunt7:29 pm, 18 Dec 12

Can we start by spelling two dads name correctly please?

#3
screaming banshee7:39 pm, 18 Dec 12

arescarti42 said :

Oh wow JB, looks like Lucy really rustled your jimmies.

As a side note, in my experience, the most brazenly sexist people I’ve ever met have been feminists.

You’ve met germaine?

Nice tag jb

#4
LSWCHP7:46 pm, 18 Dec 12

Thank you for pointing out to Lucy the absurdity of her claim that it’s “harmful” to suggest that having sexual expectations dashed might result in irritation. It’s not harmful to state the simple truth. Unfulfilled expectations will generally result in negative feelings such as sadness, disappointment or irritation, whether it’s about sex, work, or anything else. That’s simply human nature.

What matters is how those internal feelings are expressed. It would harmful to externalise those feelings and direct the negative energy at the source of the disappointment. I always thought that a wry smile and a trip to the bar to buy myself another solitary beer was reasonably good form.

And as I’ve just been to my youngest son’s year 6 graduation ceremony, I’ll give you a gold star and a big purple elephant stamp for the other comments, all of which are spot on. :-)

#5
milkman7:48 pm, 18 Dec 12

Good to see someone breaking the mould of the angry feminist.

#6
The Antichrist8:06 pm, 18 Dec 12

Great review of the exhibition JB :). Clearly you also must have spent time and money at the Labor Club Friday night shenanigans – chasing skirt with poor to bad results. Something about the walls at Howie Court……..T-L posters in many of them as I recall……

Lucy just needs a good shag.

#7
dpm8:55 pm, 18 Dec 12

Well, I have to say, while the complaint may have been OTT, it *was* a pretty odd generalisation that if you’d ever been rejected after going back to a girl’s place, you were bound to find a T-L poster on her wall! Hahahahaha!
Maybe guys should ask girls if they have a T-L poster *before* they take up the offer to go home with them then? Would that save some time and ‘irritation’? Hahahaha!

#8
chewy148:56 pm, 18 Dec 12

Ah modern feminism, an answer looking for a problem.

#9
blind10:06 pm, 18 Dec 12

dude you would have scored so many more points with me if you’d said ‘hey, constructive criticism, I’ll take that on board,’ rather than doubling down and getting huffy. and don’t approve comments saying ‘X just needs a good shag’, that is fucking gross

#10
LSWCHP11:07 pm, 18 Dec 12

blind said :

dude you would have scored so many more points with me if you’d said ‘hey, constructive criticism, I’ll take that on board,’ rather than doubling down and getting huffy. and don’t approve comments saying ‘X just needs a good shag’, that is fucking gross

But it wasn’t constructive criticism. It was poor criticism. I like good criticism. I like to see finely and intricately reasoned arguments about contentious or complex issues. But that was just a poor effort.

#11
Battlecat11:15 pm, 18 Dec 12

blind said :

dude you would have scored so many more points with me if you’d said ‘hey, constructive criticism, I’ll take that on board,’ rather than doubling down and getting huffy. s

JB could have taken the high road but the leap to ‘rape culture’ was really a ridiculous low blow that I totally understand not letting go. JB you could have also pointed out that plenty of more successful hook ups with very attractive and interesting ladies probably occur with the T-L poster on the wall, it’s just that the blokes don’t have reason to check out the walls!!

#12
johnboy11:59 pm, 18 Dec 12

Normally I let this stuff through to the keeper, but it was a combination of red flags that lead me to giving it the whole nine yards.

Mostly the rape culture thing, the repeated accusations of sexism, and the entitled demands that offending content be removed.

Anyway, done is done.

#13
Masquara2:14 am, 19 Dec 12

Gee, Lucy really got your gander up and got you exercised! You are normally quite equanameous. What is it about feminism that is getting your goat?

#14
trevar7:05 am, 19 Dec 12

arescarti42 said :

As a side note, in my experience, the most brazenly sexist people I’ve ever met have been feminists.

+1

To pretend that anything that expresses a male point of view is sexist is pure philogyny, and extremely lazy.

I wasn’t impressed with your review JB, but that was just because it didn’t really say too much about the exhibition; it was nonetheless a little amusing. Your repost to Lazy Lucy, though, was much better, and entirely appropriate. I’m really getting annoyed at our society’s tolerance of philogynists.

#15
SigmaOctantis9:38 am, 19 Dec 12

It’s always amusing when a woman cries sexism, ever heard of the ‘Gender Independent Humanoid’ who cried Wolf? Gillardian Women, the most openly biased and sexist group of people in this country.

Never fear Lucy, the aforementioned Prime Minister will be no doubt be making an apology in response to JB’s review on your behalf. Then you can tailgate and mouth off at all the men around you and you’ll have a nice warm fuzy feeling to boot, knowing that your behaviour is being encoraged from the very highest position!

Oh, and good on JB for continuing to work hard providing a service like the riotact. You deserve a medal for putting up with crap like this.

#16
eyeLikeCarrots10:14 am, 19 Dec 12

They say that Tolouse-Lautrec used to drink Absinthe….

… no wonder all his painters were crap and his legs fell off.

#17
Ben_Dover11:05 am, 19 Dec 12

Lucy, you needrespect the power of beer goggles (this could work to your advantage,) and learn that men wearing them are normally incapable of sex.

#18
astrojax11:39 am, 19 Dec 12

“I would like the lawn to mow itself. But sadly just as the grass outside my window remains indifferent to my preferences, I am afraid this website will remain inert in the face of your request.”

riposte excellence!

the rest of it rocked, too – good upon you for both taking the time to reply and for sharing… :)

#19
Affirmative Action M11:46 am, 19 Dec 12

I think Lucy was trying to break the record for using the term “sexist & sexism” in a 200 word review. (This is what happens when you spend 4 years doing gender studies at ANU).

What the hell does “pandering to sexist entitlement” mean ? It sounds like 60′s Marxist jargon about “capitalist running dogs”.

Its the best rant since Dancing Queen’s diatribe about Kenja some years ago.

#20
Thumper12:22 pm, 19 Dec 12

Wow, you’re the recipient of a truly Gillardian misogynist rant.

Moving up in the world JB….

#21
poetix12:53 pm, 19 Dec 12

Mmm, I always saw JB’s cleverness as a kelpie, not a pit-bull. Although the response to the innocuous review was over the top, this post is harsh.

But please don’t think I’m setting myself up as an ‘arbiter’. I wouldn’t dare after this post. Smiles and backs away…throws small scraps of meat.

#22
steveu3:02 pm, 19 Dec 12

trevar said :

I’m really getting annoyed at our society’s tolerance of philogynists.

yes. About time someone said this.

#23
Jenn_3:30 pm, 19 Dec 12

Lucy sent her complaint to you privately JB, not posted the site. What’s your reasoning behind posting a full-blown reply in public back? This whole post just seems petty to me.

#24
poetix3:31 pm, 19 Dec 12

steveu said :

trevar said :

I’m really getting annoyed at our society’s tolerance of philogynists.

yes. About time someone said this.

But thin pastry is nice.

#25
Jim Jones3:42 pm, 19 Dec 12

Jenn_ said :

Lucy sent her complaint to you privately JB, not posted the site. What’s your reasoning behind posting a full-blown reply in public back? This whole post just seems petty to me.

Ah but it gives the mob a chance to carp on about how feminists are all shrill man-haters and for JB to be the hero of the moment, you see.

#26
Roundhead893:49 pm, 19 Dec 12

My big brother had a Taloosala-Trek poster on his wall when I was growing up in the 1970s. Back then art was art and had nothing to do with so-called “sexism” or feminist politics in general.

#27
johnboy3:50 pm, 19 Dec 12

Actually I posted it mostly to discourage future such self-entitled letters of demand.

That and readers like this stuff.

#28
Masquara4:07 pm, 19 Dec 12

johnboy said :

Actually I posted it mostly to discourage future such self-entitled letters of demand.

That and readers like this stuff.

Sorry can you splain a little? what’s a “self-entitled” letter exactly? You’ve lost me!

#29
chewy144:07 pm, 19 Dec 12

Jim Jones said :

Jenn_ said :

Lucy sent her complaint to you privately JB, not posted the site. What’s your reasoning behind posting a full-blown reply in public back? This whole post just seems petty to me.

Ah but it gives the mob a chance to carp on about how feminists are all shrill man-haters and for JB to be the hero of the moment, you see.

C’mon, that kind of bat s*** crazy shouldn’t be left in the inbox of a website editor.

Just like a wonderful Toulouse-Lautrec painting, it should be displayed for the enjoyment and scorn of all.

#30
kea11:36 am, 20 Dec 12

chewy14 said :

Ah modern feminism, an answer looking for a problem.

I saw what you did there…

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