There are western femi-nazis and then there is Clementine Ford. On the abuse metre, Clementine is off the scale, whatever the measurement. It is she who proudly markets t-shirts telling the Prime Minister to #&@ off, for eager activists who have not yet matured to full adulthood. Even a quick glance at her Twitter feed reminds one, without fondness, of the attention seeking postgraduates who populate long faded memories of campus piss ups, and who prided themselves on using the C-word more often per sentence than the average inmate of a women’s prison.
One can only marvel at how Clementine gets on in daily life (not the parallel universe that is The Age column of the same name, but actual daily life, in an actual community, populated by human beings and men). Picture this everyday exchange if you will.
A queue shuffles forward at a suburban bank branch.
(male) Teller: “Next please.”
Clementine: “Are you telling me what to do you sexist pig?”
(male) Teller: “Can I serve you please madam?”
Clementine: “#$#& off you #$@&-ing sexist %$#@.”
Spare a thought too for the trainee waiter who wishes Clem “a nice day,” or the theatre attendant who wants to “check her ticket,” and for those implicated in the other daily manifestations of offensive and suffocating patriarchal culture. One can only fear for the well being of the unwitting gentleman who has the nerve to be so patronising as to open a door for her, or offer her a seat on a crowded train, or God forbid, refer to her as “love,” or “darling” (the latter term rightly censored and deleted from the title of this piece as intolerably derogatory).
We at XYZ are not so uncouth or childish as to need condescend to the use of offensive expletives to make our point. However we have been known to utter an astonished “gosh” when perusing the literary treasure that is Daily Life, and marveling at the utter hell daily life in this affluent successful modern nation must be, populated by such miserable and sexist inhabitants, who are so utterly objectionable on a daily basis. Only the most stoic could survive this trauma. How long could Clementine bear it (western patriarchal society we mean) we asked ourselves in astonishment?
Just as we were pondering this curious thing, and considering what more culturally appropriate destinations there might be for our very favourite Aged columnist, Clementine herself solved it all for us with this delightfully providential piece on Umoja, Kenya. Do read on, and behold the perfection in this breathless description by the lady (or is that a sexist, insulting and objectifying term? I withdraw if so) herself.
“A recent piece in The Guardian profiled the village of Umoja, located in the grasslands of northern Kenya’s Samburu. Umoja is unique in its region in that it was founded by, and is still entirely run by, women fleeing subjugation and abuse. The village elders’ commitment to keeping women safe from physical and sexual violence is so keen that men aren’t even allowed to live in the village environs.”
It sounds like a veritable paradise, second only in order to the mythical Island inhabited by Homer’s sirens. Adios then! We expect Clementine’s next tweets will be in Swahili.