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Lucy did not like my Toulouse-Lautrec review

By johnboy 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]

What’s Your opinion?


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30 Responses to
Lucy did not like my Toulouse-Lautrec review
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kea 11:36 am 20 Dec 12

chewy14 said :

Ah modern feminism, an answer looking for a problem.

I saw what you did there…

chewy14 4:07 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.

Masquara 4:07 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!

Roundhead89 3:49 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.

Jim Jones 3:42 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.

    johnboy 3:50 pm 19 Dec 12

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

    That and readers like this stuff.

poetix 3:31 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.

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.

steveu 3:02 pm 19 Dec 12

trevar said :

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

yes. About time someone said this.

poetix 12:53 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.

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