By Joe Audritt (@JoeAudritt)
Katie Smurthwaite is a self-styled ‘feminist comedian and political activist’. Although if you are only familiar with her from YouTube you might be forgiven for thinking that she is an intellectual punching bag for opponents of 3rd wave feminism – that turns up Sky News and gets hysterical about the patriarchy.
Professional Troll Magnet, Smurthwaite has appeared on Sky News on several occasions to debate first-world feminism issues which for her are problematic such as pet names. Her objection is the offense that names like ‘babe’, ‘darling’ and ‘sweetheart’ directed at women can cause which sounds extraordinary coming from a comedian – a profession which has often fought for free speech and its right to be offensive.
In a debate with Peter Lloyd, author of ‘Stand by Your Manhood: A Game-changer for Modern Men’ Smurthwaite complains about not being taken seriously in the work place. Judging by her behavior on these debates this is not difficult to image. Unsurprisingly the conclusion she comes to about not being taken seriously, is not based on her work ethic, her ability or attitude but ‘institutional sexism’.
I wonder if the likes of Smurthwaite realise how they actually come across to regular people? It is odd to me that when she appears on TV debate shows she is introduced as a comedian and is then completely humourless. I am a huge fan of stand up comedy, and familiar with a wide range of comedians you’ve likely never heard of – Jen Brister, Diane Spencer, Doug Stanhope, Joey Diaz, Maria Bamford… Why haven’t I heard of Kate Smurthwaite before?
A common narrative among feminists like Smurthwaite is the domination of the world by the patriarchy, where white men are ‘privileged’.
I am a white man. I work full time in a warehouse getting covered it dust, my hands a pincushion for splinters, doing a job that will likely see me crippled at 60 (if my Grandad’s health is anything to go by), getting paid far less and working more hours than the largely female telesales staff of the company. After work I go back to my rented flat with a water system that can only fill a bath with an inch of lukewarm water in an area where my moped gets robbed and people get battered bloody on my doorstep of a night time . I don’t feel that privileged, but these middle class feminists sure think I am.
And they wonder why they get abuse on Twitter?
But it is not just ‘priviledged’ white men who are the opponents of the rather ugly caliber of feminism touted by Smurthwaite. No, on the majority of occasions Smurthwaite has her opinions challenged by other women. Less hysterical women, who do not posses the need to virtue signal at every given opportunity.
Kate Andrews, News Editor at the Institute of Economic Affairs took on Kate’s drab ramblings, tackling the ‘issue’ of the gender wage gap on another live Sky News debate.
The 2013 Film American Hustle was used as an example of the gender wage gap since Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams earned less than their male counter parts for the movie. Is it really surprising that Batman and the star of The Hangover Trilogy are paid more than Amy Adams (who I couldn’t name another film she has appeared in) and Jennifer Lawrence – who is undoubtedly a huge star but is about 12 years old?
I don’t believe this to be the result of a patriarchy, or institutional sexism as Smurthwaite would have us believe but more likely a result of capitalism. The stars who bring the audience, and sell the cinema tickets, DVDs and Netflix rights get paid more. No feminist bleating about equality seems concerned that Louie CK was not paid as much as either Adams or Lawrence.
During the debate the empathetic and level headed Andrews was unable to convince Kate that the wage structure for the cast of American Hustle was down to any other reason other than sexism. It appears to be a common theme among 3rd wave feminists for them not to have any grasp of capitalism. They much prefer the reasoning that women don’t get pay rises because women are ‘oppressed’.
I once asked for a pay rise from my boss after realising I just couldn’t afford to live on the money I was being paid. I was hardly treated favorably because I am a man. At first the request was refused. Only did I get the bare minimum amount to live on after threatening to leave. Bosses in my experience tend not to want to pay you more money, regardless of gender since that is less money in their own pockets.
Although admittedly I do possibly have the advantage of being treated slightly more favorably because as a man – I am unlikely to get pregnant, claim maternity money and then piss off.
As a professional provocateur, the mirthless Smurthwaite – who is happy to litter our television screens with criticism of men, is herself unable to stand any type of criticism of herself. This is often seen in her debates as well as Twitter where she would rather block those who point out her hypocrisy than answer the charge.
Kate’s narrative that men are villains and women are victims does not seem to (thankfully) have drawn a large appreciation from the internet which takes great pleasure in mocking her and pointing out hypocrisy.
Smurthwaite claims to be an advocate of free speech in between appearances on TV calling for language policing and has even dedicated her stand-up shows to free speech. A show which was censored due to protest or cancelled due to poor ticket sales after selling only 8 – whichever story you believe.
Along with attempts to language police, fempecking enthusiast Smurthwaite has also called for fellow provocateur Daryush ‘Roosh V’ Valizadeh to be banned from entering Britain. The professional ‘pick-up artist’ courts controversy (much like Smurthwaite) almost with the sole intention of annoying feminist like Kate.
Arguing against Kate’s position to ban Twitter Misogynist Roosh V from Britain in yet another Sky News debate – Assistant Editor at Spiked-Online, Ella Whelan. I wonder if Kate is ever confused as to why so many of her opponents seem to be women? Unfortunately for her, Whelan – who seems like a much more qualified feminist role model didn’t much appreciate being ‘patronised’ by the likes of Smurthwaite. Whelan argued that while she was no fan of the ‘crass’ Roosh, she felt it would be far more appropriate to let him into the UK to ‘laugh at him’.
In response to Kate’s pleas that women needed to be protected from a feminist troll, Whelan concluded ‘you’re talking about women being vulnerable and weak and we are sick of you.’
Smurthwaites public persona comes across as a man hating, virtue signalling, professional victim, bleating feminist, complaining about ‘micro-aggression’. Micro-aggression, which as far as I can tell means anything feminist do not like to hear. This seems to be an extraordinary long list, and even includes sensible criticism.
The voice of feminism should probably be strong, confident and capable. Not whiney, hysterical and humourless.
The only answer Kate Smurthwaite provides is to the question: what do you do if you are not a very good stand up comic? Answer: Become a political activist.