Saturday, March 28, 2009

Miranda Devine, Ladettes, the weaker sex, female yobbos, Zoo magazine, ghastly dowagers and fantastic transformational fairytales

(Above: the ladettes living a fairy tale dream of young girls making good in a toxic anti-grrrly culture).

I'm always touched when a steel capped boot thrusting, head kicking, baseball bat wielding, verbal bashing blind sider like Miranda the Devine rediscovers her inner femininity.

No, it's true, Miranda tells us so. Women are the weaker sex. Guess that means her half-assed assaults on all and sundry are just done out of defensive posturing because she's ... well she's just so much weaker and more helpless than men, like a kitten really, no claws at all.

Women should be women, and preferably act in a very genteel way, which I guess means Miranda will shortly be retiring from the vulgar business of the newspaper game, and the nastiness of regularly writing head kicking columns (the head being a proper feminine target, unless of course the balls or the crotch are within convenient steel capped range).

Yes, she's back in her lighter vein in Fairytale comes true for one Ladette, offering up more on her addiction to the television show Ladette to Lady:

Of course, Ladette to Lady is just a TV show and it is absurd to think a stint wearing prim tweed suits and learning the finer points of flower arranging could alone undo a lifetime's self-destructive habits.

Never mind about that Miranda, go right on and be absurd.

It was as if they had a five-week detox from a toxic culture that objectifies and coarsens girls and young woman (sic), in which old-fashioned virtues of femininity, grace and modesty are regarded as laughable and sexist - although they evolved to protect the weaker sex.

Without television, trashy magazines and free access to alcohol the ladettes became happy. They learned how to restrain their emotions, behave with dignity, walk with poise, speak politely, cook souffles, dance with a prince, sew a ball gown and serve afternoon tea sweetly to a bunch of ghastly British dowagers. The point seemed not so much in the skills but in the exertion of the discipline and self-control required to acquire them.

You mean without television they gave up watching truly awesome, stupid, mindless trash like Ladette To Lady?

Actually the point is not the skills or the young women acquiring them, but the packaging designed to score high ratings and lure in mug punters like Miranda the Devine so that advertisers can pitch soap powder, cars, and nice girly consumer items to them in prime time.

Poor Miranda is shocked and disappointed that once the newly refined ladies re-emerged into the toxic culture, the wheels fell off the wagon train. Apparently at a reunion special there were trashed hotel rooms, copious alcohol consumption, breast flashings in George street, and topless romps in the hotel pool "in the wee hours." (No, I don't think Miranda means the grrrlies acted like kids in a suburban swimming pool, I think she's being Scottish).

Lordy, lordy, four of the contestants even bared almost all for lads' magazine Zoo Weekly.

Fortunately, there's an upside for Miranda. The young woman who won the contest has reformed herself. She's given up her job stripping in Kings Cross clubs, and is now digging gardens in western Sydney for a horticulture course she's doing - even if, according to Miranda, She had been about the worst of the binge-drinking, vomiting, burping, farting, breast-flashing, bottom-baring, angry tattooed female yobbos.

Well good for her, but don't you find it a little unnerving how Miranda describes the fallen angels' sins with such relish? Is she attracted to the dark side? How could she waste the brain cells and the precious time in her life to watch this kind of reality television drivel?

Because, you dolt, it illustrates the transformational value of a fairytale. The winner is now a role model for other young women, she's gained her self respect, and Miranda has gained a chance for a cheap pot shot, a veritable hit, at modern society.

It is a sad comment on our times that it took reality television to give young women like Mitchell some respite from a girl-poisoning culture.

Meaning? Sexual abuse, and men who make jokes about whips and want a fuck and go to watch strippers? Or men who think women should cook souffles, sew a ball gown and serve afternoon tea to ghastly dowagers?

What a confused possum you are Ms. Devine.

It's just a television show. It's showbiz. It's inner meaning is that some stupid commentators in search of inner meaning will write stocking fillers as an easy way out, as a way of escaping serious thought while having a fine old time marveling at female yobbos. We've been doing it ever since they put the bearded lady in the circus.

I know, I know. You don't believe a word I've written. You think I've made it all up. You think this is some kind of post modernist Donald Barthelme fairy tale referencing John Waters' star Divine. You think I'm trying to prove that not a word  Germaine Greer wrote in The Female Eunuch has had any meaning or impact on life in general or women in particular since the day it was written. 

You think I've made up Miranda Devine, that I just trawled back through Emily Post's book on etiquette, stole her thoughts, and dressed them up - in the guise of a commentary on reality television - by presenting them in the form of a fictitious modern woman anxious to return the world to the nineteen twenties, tweed suits and P. G. Wodehouse:

Manners are made up of trivialities of deportment which can be easily learned if one does not happen to know them; manner is personality - the outward manifestation of one's innate character and attitude to life.

Indeedy Emily, and if Miranda the Devine can ever give up her habit of kicking the shit out of the minority groups she routinely hates on a weekly basis, be they greenies, lefties, or just ordinary folk with a different point of view, then I'll believe she's anxious to avoid a poisonous culture that infects young girls and young boys. But until that day she's just another shrieking shock jock, with a truly bizarre attitude to women ...

Meantime, Zoo editor Paul Merrill on the way the ladettes had scrubbed up nicely:

The girls may have been rough, but now they're seriously classy. And guys definitely like a bit of posh.

A bit of posh? Right, because if they want to get a bit of tosh, they always go to Miranda Devine. Meantime, here's the cover of what you're looking for in your local news agent. What an inspirational fairy tale. Cor blimey g'uvnor, tasty, I'll have a bit of that:


reality raver said...

Spot on. I am sure no one really wants to be a 'lady' as portrayed on the show.

However I am sure some of them got something out of the experience. Nicole probably has had an increase in self esteem from winning the show.

dorothy parker said...

Yep for participants in a reality TV show, the show and life after the show is what you make of it. I'm sure The Farmer Wants a Wife is as good a way as any to do a little dating, while getting a gig as a dancer, or a singer, or a cook, or a comedian or a model in a TV tryout is fine if you can win the audience. I'm less convinced by The Bachelor, Joe Millionaire or Average Joe, but whatever lights your wick is okay by me.

No harm done, everybody knows the rules of the game, has their 15 minutes in the sun, then moves along, and it's nice if you're the winner, whether losing the most weight or being pronounced best lady. Trying to turn the reality TV experience into meaningful insights into the weaker sex is where Devine leaves the goggle box for the lunasphere.

Part of the cuteness of the device for this show is to take extremes and fling them together to get tension - Oz bogan meets Brit twit. You could do the same with Brit upper class twits meets outback rodeo riding bullocky so he can whip them into shape. Or how about sending an indigenous kid to Eton? Or Prince Charlie clone does a term at Timbertop? (sorry, I keep on thinking up sub-Survivor ideas).

Sometimes the things that happen on the TV are best left on the TV. Clearly Devine got hooked - score one for the show's producers - and then took it all as being terribly revelatory - score two for the show's producers. But her column says a heck of a lot more about her than the show. I'm guessing she's secretly entranced by bogans as well as by wanting to live in Brideshead Revisited.

Good luck to the participants and the producers, and a shame Devine ends up sounding like a barbie loon without any showbiz brains.