Top marks to Leonie Morris who, only this week, decided to put herself and her recently established gaggle of girly gobshites, Feminist Action, into the media crosshairs. Thanks to her recent tirade on the sexist and offensive nature of Tui beer commercials, she has set herself up as the softest target of 2012 for unloading a few rounds of literary ammunition into.
And it would be all too easy for me to join in the massacre; after all a stroppy bra-burner daring to challenge a laddish attempt at using a few pretty young things to sell ale is pretty much what columnists pray for at bedtime each night. Unfortunately while there is nothing I’d like more than to fire off a volley or two, there is a rather more serious issue to address.
You see it turns out that womenfolk have actually suffered quite a bit over the years when it comes to equality. Of course, back in the day when we were required to carry clubs and fend off various sabre-toothed nasties, their general lack of physicality in comparison to the male of the species meant they were better employed staying close to the cave, popping out sprogs and peeling mammoth. But as society evolved and brains rather than brawn became the driving force of our civilisation, we were slow to recognise that women could compete on at least an equal footing to men.
Rights on voting, property, religion, employment, public service and other such worthy causes have had to be fought for and it is only through the actions of resolute and committed feminists that these battles have been won. And that is why it pains me to see this miserable harridan Morris conducting her own personal quest against humour in the same name.
By undertaking such a petty and pathetic crusade, her very association cheapens the whole brand. Rather than brave fighters in the war of gender injustice, any reader of the news this week would simply dismiss feminists as another herd of militant social campaigners, determined to abolish all fun in the world.
I suspect that this sentiment won’t be lost on all the true Greenies out there.
Since the 1990’s being ‘green’ has been rather less an ethos and rather more a fashion statement. This creates a bit of a problem because it has meant that all of a sudden there are a lot of very, very uneducated people who have developed strong opinions on the subject. And as a motoring writer, I often find myself as the target for a lot of these spleen-laced musings.
In truth those of us who count ourselves as petrol-heads should be in a pretty indefensible position. It’s clear that burning fossil fuels is having some form of effect on the planet – whether it’s terminally negative or not is a discussion for another day – and it would be prudent to at very least apply the brakes to our consumption until we know better what the ramifications of continued excess will be.
Efforts should be focussed on improving the internal combustion engine in the short term and looking further ahead, focussing on technology that has the potential to provide affordable transport for the masses with as close as possible to a zero environmental harm life cycle. This is a simple, common sense strategy that most can grasp and one that could provide credibility to the campaign to wean us off unleaded.
But rather than stick to this game plan, people with negative brain to mouth ratios keep jumping onto bandwagons, shouting abuse and backing fad technologies that run quite cleanly, but cost the earth – in more ways than one – to build, fuel and dispose of at the end of their lives. This manic flip-flopping makes anyone who quietly suggests our efforts would be better spent eeking a few extra kilometres per litre out of each generation of cars look like a much more balanced individual and therefore a horse worth backing.
Thus the reasoned views of respected scientists and engineers who have the capability to shape us a more ecologically sound future get their authority eroded by involuntary association with the ramblings of mental Neanderthals who are convinced that owning dreadlocks and a tie-die t-shirt somehow marks them out as a subject expert. Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but when you are speaking in the name of a cause that is greater than most of us have the ability to fully comprehend, it may be wise to think long and hard before opening your mouth.
Of course, there are some people who I suspect will simply never learn. For the sake of the planet, I hope Leonie doesn’t buy a Prius.