The Art, Design & Technology Director waxes lyrical on feminism and possibly another thing

Conor O'Toole
Portrait of the Author


I believe in feminism, the idea that men and women are equal. Thus, I am very hard to beat at poker. I was playing against my friend Gary last week. At one stage he declared, “Two kings; I win.” “Ah, ah.” I said, “I have two queens. It’s a draw.” He protested, as he had a queen as well, and thought he should win on high card. Unfortunately for him, I had a jack.

I also believe in anti-monarchism, and so I consider the jack to be higher than either the queen or king, as the jack has at least earned his place in society, instead of acquiring it through birth, marriage, or from being a certain kind of snake (like the king cobra). The ace remains the highest card and transcending the gender argument, as it is ace-sexual! Little joke there.

Language is a very oppressive tool, and a little part of me dies every time a women is referred to as an ‘actress’, is only able to get Halloween costumes that are ‘sexy’, or is accused of ‘manslaugher’. In a better world people would complain that an actor dressed as a creepy nurse personslaughtered a group of misogynists when the liquid in her rusty needle turned out to be less non-toxic that the box suggested. In an even better world than that, she would be a mad doctor, not a creepy nurse.

Films are often sexist, without even featuring any sexist dialogue. I consider any film in which I see a pair of women’s breasts, but do not see any testicles or penises to be sexist. I decree that whenever I shoot film in the future I will balance every shot of breasts with a pair of testicles in the foreground. Like an over-the-shoulder shot, but instead under-the-junk.

‘Art’ photography has a similar and worrying trend of featuring comparatively few male nudes. Without constantly seeing naked men in advertising, how will man ever develop enough self-consciousness to stop wearing tracksuit bottoms like they are actual clothes? I, for my part, will do my upmost to appear in the nude from now on, although I may need to move to a warmer climate.

Feminism isn’t just being nice to women, like some people [citation needed] seem to think. Last year, it was ruled that you couldn’t charge men and women different amounts for car insurance. A feminist act, which means that women have to pay more than they did before! See men, we can get things out of feminism too! One day we might even get rid of that terrible self-loathing!

I have often considered boycotting pornography as part of my feminism. Not because I think it’s degrading to women (who am I to tell women how to spend their time?) but because the men get paid so much less in those films. I now only watch ‘blue movies’, as they are so inaccurately called, (their dominant colour in my experience is a kind of beige, flesh tone) so that I can admire the cinematography.

After all, I am a filmmaker, as I mentioned. Pornographic cameramen are amongst the bravest in the business, only outdone physically and emotionally by the nature documentarians that film really fast birds killing really cute things.

Lana del Ray frustrates the heck out of me. I think she’s a powerful singer and she’s got some good songs, but she keeps hiring video directors who want to make her look as vulnerable and submissive as possible. I’ve seen two of her videos now where scary tattooed men kiss her while she looks unhappy. In one of the videos she gets a firm grasp around the neck and swims with a crocodile and in the other a dude shoves his fingers into her mouth. LIKE A COCK WOULD DO.

On a sightly separate issue, I noticed that now that eCigarettes are a thing, advertisers are trying to stop people using the verb ‘smoking’, as technically their products produce vapour, not smoke. ‘Smoking’ has too many negative connotations. Instead, they’re going with ‘vaping’. Because people don’t want to say that they are smokers, but they will be totally cool with being called ‘vapists’. Great work, guys.