Wednesday, October 28, 2009


The Guardian's Jean Hannah Edelstein regrets, wearily (what with the weight of the patriarchy and all that), Martin Amis' apparent misogyny:
It's always a little bit astonishing in these relatively enlightened times when someone who would like to be regarded as an important contributor to the cultural agenda relies on lazy, casual misogyny to attempt a critique. But it's the approach that Martin Amis has taken in adding his thoughts to the current (somewhat tired) debate about celebrity writers creaming off the profits of talented ones, when he remarked of Katie Price (widely recognised as his key literary rival) that "She has no waist, no arse ... an interesting face ... but all we are really worshipping is two bags of silicone."
I love the Guardian for this kind of stuff: the opinions that could go either way, but once the course has been chosen, are defended in the harshest possible terms.

For it's quite clear that Ms. Edelstein could just as easily have made the argument for Katie Price's own misogyny: i.e. the career reduction of her femininity to just sex appeal. (Indeed, rarely will the term 'sex appeal' seem so dewy-eyed, almost prudish, given the person it's here describing.)

The breadth of Ms. Price's fuck-puppetry act (to give it its proper name), after all, is impossible to ignore. Among other things, she is a model (complete, yes, with massive breast implants), a reality tv star, and the name into which a host of ghostwriters have thrust their best efforts at making money off the slobbering and unenlightened masses. I haven't seen enough of her (un-photoshopped, that is) to be able to confirm Amis' assessment of her waist and arse, but it is objectively the case that not only are we really worshipping her magnificent bags of silicone, we are doing so because she wants us to. We are doing so because Ms. Price can't be, erm, arsed to do anything other than self-exploit.

Edelstein gives the game away thus:
Now, I doubt that Amis has flickered across Price's radar; nor, if he has, that she cares much about his opinion since it would appear that she is currently preoccupied with her romance with her cage-fighting boyfriend and not much with writing books, which she employs someone to do on her behalf.

But surely--surely, surely, surely--these are "lazy and casual" attacks on Ms. Price based on an unfair stereotype of women, too? Does Ms. Edelstein know for a fact that this apparent bimbo is ignorant of Martin Amis? That she is so because she's too busy with her manly-man boyfriend and getting other people to earn her money for her?

... And poor old Martin Amis is being--not merely obvious--but a misogynist when he observes the same thing!

(Observes that the empress is wearing no clothes, I mean.)