The Imp of the Perverse is strong in this one.
Not just because skipping the planned Joyce blog (yet again) and leaving readers hanging in mid sentence, but also because not joining in the celebrations of the upcoming 180th anniversary of the lassies getting voting rights.
And there we go again. Now you’m be thinking what’s the twat on about now? Where’d those extra 80 years come from — and why’s he not celebrating, him being a snowflakey libtard and all that?
To begin with, there is a world outside these islands. The soi disant Mother of Parliaments was quite slow off the mark in extending that franchise. So many accounts saying how the Great War not only decimated the male population but gave the lie to the idea of weak and dependent women, paving the way for the dears to be ‘given’ their suffrage (like it was ain the all-powerful male gift). So few referring to the fact that, sans guerres, other European nations like Denmark (1915), Norway (1913) and the Duchy of Finland (1905) had already got there and the Finns had women MPs by 1907, ffs.
And ironically our colonial cousins had also beaten us to it by even more. When there were women voting and standing for election in New Zealand from 1893 and Australia a year later — when, damn it — at least property owning women over 40 on the Isle of Man had voting rights, one can’t help wondering why those heroic suffragettes had to resort to chaining themselves to horses and throwing themselves under railings [shurely shome mishtake? Ed] before the British Establishment would take any action.
New Zealand is proud of its status as first country (as in “a sovereign state that’s [now] a full member of the UN in its own right”) to grant votes to the monstrous regiment. But this annoys Pitcairn Islanders who actually beat them by a whopping 55 years, granting all their women of European or Tahitian descent (yes, all six of them) full voting rights from 1838, when the Island’s new constitution not only granted universal suffrage but also decreed compulsory education for all Pitcairn children.
Here we go again. He’s going to insert a totally unnecessary waffle about gay marriage now.
Yeah, too right. Everybody assumes I’m bound to be in favour of gay marriage or any LGBTQPRZ marriage.
No no no. Similar reason to my opposition to votes for women, so there is a connection, see title above and shut up.
Digressing (or are we?) still further, a Fringe acquaintance of mine, talented performer and all that, is on telly tonight (BBC2 Scotland) in a programme about the awfully named trend for ‘polyamory’ (I nearly said ‘or sleeping around’ as we used to call it, but that’s far from accurate and thus less funny than it should be). She’s getting loads of abuse for it on antisocial media, and I posted this comment on her Basefook thread …
I do find this all fascinating, as ‘a child of the sixties’ who lived through the Summer of Love and all them sorts of things we, in our less label-obsessed way, called ‘free love’, if we called it anything. Personally I never understood the idea of mono-amory, nor indeed monosexuality, though this may reflect the very justified feeling that I could hardly afford to be that fussy.
Maybe being restricted to the role of observer gives me some level of objectivity (or else bitterness, but I like to think not), but it’s a topic I’ve always found fascinating. At uni I was aware that some folk who were monogamously inclined (by social norms or upbringing maybe, maybe not just that) feared appearing ‘uncool’, just as at other times, those who wish to be more open, both with their bits and with their feelings, might feel pressure to conform (long before the interweb provided other cunts a way to give them shit about what they did with their own).
What I’ve never liked (though I can think of various reasons for it) is the way that some can’t handle the idea of folks doing what works best for them at any given time in their lives. Especially the inadequates who can talk bollocks from the safety of an antisocial media pseudonym.
Maybe the only pre-60s attitude I have is that people can do what they want as long as they don’t do it in the street and frighten the horses. Though I do agree with Joe Orton that if a thing’s worth doing, it’s worth doing in public (or better still, on telly).
Decide for yourselves what’s relevant there. More will no doubt follow one day but not this one.
Pedalling back, the point is I’m against gay marriage for the same reason I’m against straight marriage: I’m against marriage. And I’m against votes for women because I’m against votes. You can plough through past blogs to see more discussion of my attitude to ‘democracy’ or you can settle for a couple of quotes: Proudhon’s If monarchy is the hammer that crushes a people, democracy is the axe that divides them, and Bakhunin’s Universal suffrage is the counter-revolution.
But it’s mixed feelings. Given the relative oppression that gaining the right to vote usually replaces, given an opposition to any prejudice or deprecation of women, races, gingers, short people etc etc etc, one can only celebrate a move in the right direction, even while worrying about, even deploring that it’s a move to the imaginary and narcotic illusion of control afforded by ‘representative democracy’, which, as I have said before, is neither representative nor democratic (and I can’t blame anyone else for that quote) — given all that I will raise a glass to those plucky descendant of mutineers on Pitcairn, despite their recent sex assault scandals, and the liberal attitudes that gave a say to all those lovely ladies.
[That’s parody patronising, by the way, a satire, not real – for any thin-skinned libtards looking in and yes I know there were more than six women on Pitcairn back then, there were probably about 30 old enough in the population of 100+ — twice what it is now. But numbers aren’t everything]
Back to Jimmy Joyce next week. Probably.