The concept of parody is enjoying, if that’s the word I want, an upsurge in deployment as a weapon in the Dudes Take Back The Blog movement. Unfortunately for us connoisseurs, the trend appears to have shifted away from actual parody — which, after all, requires the commitment of time and dedication, if not actual talent — to become a parody of parody, manifesting in the practice of parody accusation. Here’s how it works:
Chick blames patriarchy. Dude perceives chick speaking mind, believes life to be in danger. Dude would ordinarily attempt control of mind-speaking chick via symbolic rape à la classic “you just need a good fuck” response, but remembers new kind of snappy put-down he’s been seeing on dude-centric blogs with erection-shaped logos written by date-rapist college sophomores. Dude attempts to neutralize dangerous chick threat by sardonically impugning chick’s post as parody.
It’s the hot new bit that tells a chick she’s full of shit! To wit:
Reader Glinda The Good Bitch, Ph.D recently alerted me to Phyllis Barone’s amusing essay, The Quotidian Miasma of Discrimination, which chronicles the author’s exasperating experiences with sexism in the halls of academia. A gripping tale, yes, but it’s the associated comments to which I wish particularly to draw your attention. In addition to the generic “Quit nagging and go get laid” / “You’re obviously an ugly lesbian” squalling expected of internet wankers who are desperate to tame the shrew, there are multiple responses containing the jokey but sneering imputation that Barone’s article “must be a parody” because of its surfeit of “feminist clichés.” The commenters pretend to have cleverly spotted the spoof, and congratulate the author on her brilliance at having so perfectly nailed the tone of the hysterical victimized feminist.
Check out this Einstein, who drives the point home with an allusion to a tired academic in-joke so lame I’ve even invoked it myself:
“Like Sokal’s famous article, ‘Transgressing the Boundaries: Toward A Progressive Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity’ published in 1996, I think this must be a parody of the angry feminist genre. I called it first.”
Zing! By dismissing as parody an essay which is not parody, the writer assumes the superior role of literary critic and impeaches Barone’s legitimate content as having been purposely exaggerated for comic effect. By way of demonstrating to the rest of the field that he can totally whack an emasculating cunt, he then lifts his leg and claims the kill for himself (sadly for him, by abusing the Sokal reference he reveals himself as an amateur, and by including the Sokal essay’s publish date he reveals himself as an amateur with a tiny dong. Better luck next time, chump!).
Parody-accusation is all well and good, but the gambit is becoming so commonplace I fear for the very future of vitriolic anti-feminist commentary. Note the anaemic invective in the following comment, left on my patriarchy-blaming blog yesterday afternoon:
“I can’t figure out if you’re a real feminist or a guy doing a parody of a nutty misandrist feminist. Maybe if I had more time to dig into your posts, I could divine the answer. However, I have better things to do.”
(As is the case with 90% of commenters who have better things to do than read some stupid blog, this one reappeared later to further embarrass himself).
As parody-accusation takes only a few seconds and requires only the most primitive of brains, it necessarily loses points against actual parody on the hilar-o-meter, for which reason I postulate that it is endangering the art and science of the misogynist blogular insult.
[cross-posted at Bitch.Ph.D.]