| 12.6°C Dublin

Kevin Myers: 'Equality' is the feminist right to whinge

'Women,' said Stephen Hawking, when asked on his 70th birthday, what he thought about most. 'They are a complete mystery.'

Quite so: and you know, sometimes I'm really surprised when I sail right into a columnar uproar. But not today: today is Balaclava.

Why do so many women claim to seek what they do not really want, namely, equality? They don't want the equality to become steeplejacks or coalminers or lumberjacks or deep-sea welders half a mile under a North Sea oil rig. They want equality in banking and in medicine, but only provided that they don't have to keep anti-social hours, which -- as soon as professional women encounter them -- are redefined into "machismo schedules" and "anti-family work practices", and therefore anti-women.

Why does the National Women's Council pretend to be pro-women, when it is only pro- certain kinds of women? What the NWC cherishes most of all is of course victimhood, so it will denounce sexual prostitution as exploitation of women by men, blahdiblahdiblah. And it will also invent the almost non-existent trade of "trafficking" of slave-women as a reason to oppose commercial sex.

Loud declarations of the existence of trafficking are not the same as proof. Moreover, the NWC will not support the right of free women to become prostitutes, or defend their conditions as working girls. Because, at bottom, the NWC are an order of missionary lay-nuns who wish to impose their convictions on all of society; and of course, aided by a supine caste of male political castrati, they are damned close to succeeding.

Inconsistency: thy name is feminism. The 'Guardian' women's page recently had a hilarious article giving advice to its readers on how to sabotage newsagents display-racks selling men's girlie magazines. But there are many photographs of naked women in women's fashion magazines, because, clearly, women also like seeing naked women. No sabotage here, though. Why? Stupid question.

Women defend their right to have eye-catching cleavage, and also to denounce any man who comments on it. We may congratulate them on their display of gorgeous Gucci, but not of their magnificent Titti. And of course, the gathered bosom is a visual reiteration of the labial message that is given by the peep-toe exposed by the near-vertical high-heeled shoes, and by carefully applied lipstick. The same advertisement, at three levels -- foot, chest and face; but how dare you treat me as a sex-object!

Speaking of which, the world's feminists will surely soon be celebrating a very special Silver Jubilee. In April 1987, the first 'Playboy' centrefold to have undergone extensive topiary appeared; the pubic moustache was proudly born. Since then, lady-gardens have been extensively redesigned and reshaped, so much so that many women dispose entirely of the foliage. This is hairdressing on a vast scale, yet for all the talk of feminist honesty, it is publicly an almost a totally taboo topic. And of course, no sensible man would ever dream of mentioning it. I certainly never would. Why? Because it would be offensive to women ...

Have you ever heard of anything being "offensive to men"? Of course not -- because much of what is called "equality" is really about the feminist right to whinge. Or if need be, to get pregnant. Forty percent of women soldiers in the British army got pregnant within a couple of months of arriving in Iraq, which won them an immediate posting home. Also known as feminist comradeship. And when female British Military Police apparently found themselves unable to get pregnant, perhaps through an incorrigible ugliness or their commendably lesbian ardour, they simply refused to go on foot-patrol, because it was "too dangerous". So the male MPs had to do double-patrols. This is also known as equality.

And pretty much the same is true in medicine. By the age of 30, most she-doctors have decided that they really don't like toiling over the seeping cadavers of the drunken near-dead in hospital casualty at 2am, and by the age of 35, have either ceased practising or are working office-hours only, presumably treating that curious but invaluable species, the office-hours unwell. As a matter of medical curiosity -- is it actually possible to be a militant feminist and a caring nurse?

Meanwhile, in universities, feminists have turned petulance into an academic discipline and sulking into scholarship. So the simple fact that women haven't risen to the top of everything is not related to the lack of those hormones that make men into billionaire bankers, commandoes, racing-drivers, mountain-rescuers, lifeboat men, murderers, muggers, football mobs and rapists, but to that transparent but impenetrable silicate horizontality, the Glass Ceiling. The GC concept is the silver bullet of a phoney argument that brooks no further discussion.

The many plaster ceilings of Brown Thomas declare that women are different: from their Versace this, their Chanel that and their Prada whatever, to their celebrity mags and their devotion to talking and texting. They generally don't do chess or portraiture, or higher maths or aligned parking or astronomy, and they invent almost nothing, even feminine-hygiene things. Stephen and I just wanted to share that with you.

Daily Digest Newsletter

Get ahead of the day with the morning headlines at 7.30am and Fionnán Sheahan's exclusive take on the day's news every afternoon, with our free daily newsletter.

This field is required

Ah, here come the sisters, with their gelding shears, and no, they didn't even invent those either.