When I was a kid, I loved Beverly Hills 90210. I watched it every week. I fancied the boys in this order: Luke Perry am meistern, then Brian Green, then Jason Priestley. I didn’t fancy that blonde one with curls at all, he was about 40 for starters. There was this thing at the time about hating Brenda. People really hated her. You could buy I hate Brenda badges. The magazines I used to read, magazines like Smash Hits and Just Seventeen would always be like: why does everyone hate her so much? They never really had a reason. And then they’d report on the new things that people who hated here were saying. The general feeling was just that she was kind of unsympathisch. I remember feeling like I half-understood COMPLETELY (if you can half-understand something COMPLETELY, then I did) and that I half-hated her also…. but I also remember very much feeling that I half-loved her. I remember this interview she gave where she said she’d made the writers take a line out about how she had to lose too much weight because of her role-model function plus actual thinness. I remember the envy of but desire for I felt for her then. I’d always had these almost-lesbian feelings about soapstars. Finlay from Home & Away and then later on the one who would end up marrying Sascha Baron Cohen. Shannon, her name was. I would cut pictures of Shannon out of magazines and stick them on pieces of cardboard to make posters because she wasn’t famous enough to have actual posters made of her in the magazines I read.
Nobody ever said why everyone hated Brenda. We didn’t have internet back then, so the hating Brenda clubs had to content themselves with badges and hate-mail. Nobody ever said why. I thought about why people hated her a lot. She was annoying. She was unsympathisch. She got on your nerves. She got on your nerves the way the boys never did. THERE WAS SOMETHING ANNOYING ABOUT HER.
That thing we never speak about, that something annoying thing we never voice? It’s the same reason women hardly ever win Big Brother. It is actually part of the reason why girls win fewer Poetry Slams. And it’s the reason people hate Hillary. I am not saying she’s not a Hawk or whatever. I am talking about the things people say about her personality – about her having no charisma, about her being like a robot, about her voice, about her eyes.
Misogyny’s such a heavy word, isn’t it? It frightens people, they think of rape and people burning witches and stuff. Maybe we need a nicer word that will frighten people less – Automatic-Unconscious-Rejection-of-the-Weaker-Person-in-Society-Syndrome or something. Coz I am literally not saying this isn’t normal, or something I feel, too. It’s normal. It’s something I feel, too. It’s actually the same reason, incidentally, why there are approximately 100,000 Poetry Slam or Lesebühne stories about loud, crying kids in the train but hardly any about loud football hooligans or, God forbid, loud, arrogant, obnoxious business men. It makes people angry when they have to treat people who are weaker than them as human beings. It makes them angry and resentful.When someone has more power than us and demands something from us – attention, respect, whatever – we give it to them willingly, because we also feel fear. What actually happens is: we are forced to listen to men, because they have fear on their side. We have to listen to them. And because we feel like we have to listen to them, we don’t feel resentful about having decided to, about having made this choice. So the fear we feel means we accept having to listen to them. But women. Why should we give women our attention or respect? People often talk about how „annoying“ different women’s voices are – squeaky or high, annoying. I can’t stand Daniela Katzenberger’s voice, they’ll say, or I can’t stand Verona Pooth’s voice. Why should people listen to women speaking? People listen to men because they have to. because men have power, because people have fear of the consequences of not listening to them. You know, like if you don’t listen to your boss or the headteacher, you might miss some important information. But when people have to listen to women, they feel resentment BECAUSE YOU LISTEN TO WOMEN WILLINGLY. You don’t actually have to. You shouldn’t actually have to. That moment – when the kindergarten kids get on the train, and the carriage is filled with the sound of kids – when Verona Pooth is annoyingly in an advert for you know, Media Markt to wherever – when Hillary says something at the Presidential Debate – the thing that annoys people is that moment when they have to willingly hear or listen to the sound a weaker person makes. Donald Trump is never „annoying“. He’s just fucking petrifying.
I don’t really think that misogyny is too heavy a word, if you look at all the Burn-The-Witch posters people carry around Trump rallies. But maybe it’s just the wrong way round. Maybe it’s not that we hate women, but that we ADORE men. It would be good if we could admit it to ourselves, though. I would totally be up for that. The problem isn’t misogyny. The problem is lovesandry. I would be up for that.