Susan Cole and and Margaret Wente have one thing in common. They’re both in heavy denial about what they really believe.
It’s a wily tactic. These days everybody wants to appear hip, and most women want to appear as ‘post-feminist cool’ (whatever that means). And yet certain women are able to get away with supremely anti-feminist views without being branded as social conservatives. Margaret and Susan aren’t quite as bad as those niqab-wearing women who insist that by swathing their bodies from head to toe in black fabric they achieve a special kind of sexual equality and gender freedom -- but they’re basically up to the same thing.
Wente is an interesting case. Recently accused of plagiarism (but by no means exonerated) she claims not to be right wing. Yet her columns betray a fundamental, – well – fundamentalism, when it comes to issues of sexuality and gender.
In a recent Globe and Mail article Wente attacked women pornographers. Her hate filled diatribe suggests that the some feminists find porn empowering “especially if it’s produced by lesbians.” This is patently not true. By allying lesbians with porn, she seems to thing she is taking a cheap jab at lesbians, who Wente obviously dislikes. Wente also has something against large women. She says that female pornographer Courtney Trouble’s films “feature a lot of fat women with nipple piercings and appliances.” And what, may I ask, is wrong with that?
But the essence of Wente’s argument is also dangerous nonsense. She objects to students studying pornography at the university level, and specifically targets feminist pornographers recently visiting the University of Toronto. Obviously, for Wente, ignorance is bliss. We live in a porn-saturated, sexism-saturated culture. We are bombarded daily with explicit sexist images of women via the internet. These images are accessible to everyone, even children. Does it make sense for universities NOT to teach students how to cast a critical/ political eye on this cultural phenomenon?
Susan Cole and Margaret Wente may sound like a strange bedfellows, however Cole shares the same anti-sex stance. I have tried to confront Susan in person and in print, about her anti-male, anti-porn position. It’s something she always denies. However in her latest pan of Lars Von Trier’s fascinating and important film Nymphomaniac, she prefers to falsely label Von Trier a misogynist instead of thoughtfully analyzing the thoughtful pro-feminist, pro-women stance the film presents.
Susan Cole and Margaret Wente are unfortunately not stupid. Cole knows that if she were to attack Von Trier’s film for defending women’s rights to their bodies, their sexuality, their promiscuity, and their ‘kink’ – she would be ‘outed’ as the sex-hater she really is.
I’m not a fan of the pompous Von Trier, but this somewhat preachy film, is evidently on the side of women, down to the end (spoiler alert!) when the female protagonist shoots her so-called male friend for attempting to rape her.
It’s not our fault that Margaret Wente and Susan Cole are a tad dusty and rusty below the belt. And it’s time for them to stop taking their own sexual frustrations out on their fellow women, ranting against pornography, promiscuity and women who like sex.
And it’s time someone exposed them for what they really are. Old-fashioned women-haters masquerading as modern culture critics.