Misogyny, Sam de Brito style

Sam de Brito’s All men are liars column gives me the shits. It’s tired, it’s predictable, and it’s very clearly women-hating.

Today’s unsurprising offering in the Sun Herald is called Absolutely fatuous. Not sure if that’s referring to women, or to de Brito.

How’s this for a theory? The more obsessed a woman is with clothes, shoes and handbags, the more utterly barren her interior life.

This is going to be fun.

This is not to suggest all fashionably dressed chicks are completely vacuous – but what he means is, they probably are – or that conspicuous consumers of womens clothing cannot be “‘spiritual” in a yoga-class, lighting-candles-for-their-dead-nana, feng-shui kind of way – which means if you go to yoga, miss your grandmother and believe in ancient Chinese spirituality, then you’re an idiot with no spiritual life.

See, Sam’s read about Avis Cardella, a former fashion editor who wrote Spent, memoirs of a shopping addict, and figured he’d add it to his anti-women armoury. He uses an example of just one woman who shopped to take her mind off her life, to dismiss all women as “absolutely fatuous”.

And while pissing on his column is too easy, I’m going to do it anyway.

But is it possible to have one’s moral compass in working order and spend $2500 on a handbag or own 100 pairs of shoes?

Does this apply to a bloke who owns a $2500 bbq? I doubt it. Because that would be an essential item, right? Rather than buying one from Kmart that does the job.

Can you make a worthwhile contribution to humankind if you waste half your life glomming over “what people are wearing” photo spreads and heeding the utterances of Anna Wintour or Garance Dore?

Bwah har har, it’s like shooting fish in a barrel: Does this mean his All men are liars column is a worthwhile contribution to humankind?

Sam de Brito thinks all women are the same, and that’s what I have a problem with. (At least he seems to have stopped calling himself a feminist.) I know fashion editors who make monthly contributions to Médecins Sans Frontières. I know women who love shoes and also sponsor children through World Vision. I know women who won’t leave the house without a full face of make up, but who volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters. And just as de Brito uses one example to “prove” his point, I can use several to disprove it.

He then shows his elitist mentality by calling men who buy sporting memorabilia “truly sad members of my gender” and writes:

These are men so terrified of the void at their heart they fill it with statistics and arguments over who was the greatest goal kicker of the 1990s.

That’s one way of looking at it. The other way is seeing fans for what they really are: people who are really passionate about something. Is he really saying that having passion in your life makes you a spiritual vacuum? I hate sport, but I’d rather hang out a rugby league fanatic than with someone whose head is so far up his own arse he couldn’t smell a fart in a car.

Yes, there are many gals – gals? Who actually uses that word? – who know their designers and lead fruitful, productive lives, but I’m talking about the type of woman who actually believes owning a pair of hot pants and knee-high socks before anyone else will bring them happiness.

I challenge anyone to find someone who believes that being the first to own these things brings happiness.

He then says women with a “compulsive desire to shop” are simply “self-involved”. So, does this apply to anyone who does something compulsively, like, say, wash their hands, or is it just women who do things that Sam de Brito doesn’t approve of?

He then says something or other about dresses and shoes not being feminine, but I couldn’t be arsed working it out.

Oh, and I think he compulsively Googles himself, because “Sam de Brito” turns up in my search terms almost every freakin’ day. How embarrassing.

42 responses to “Misogyny, Sam de Brito style

  1. ” lighting-candles-for-their-dead-nana”

    A touch of anti-Semitism there, too, since lighting a Yahrzeit candle for the dead on the anniversary of their death is a Jewish custom.

    And I wonder how much he thinks it’s permissible to spend on a car?

    • Rebekka, those are two very excellent points. I wonder how much he and his partner spent on a pram for their baby?

      This is what happens when you start lecturing people about what’s an acceptable use of their own money – you open yourself up to criticism on every single purchase you make.

    • Catholics also light candles in remembrance of passed relatives as do Thai people. I can’t really understand what Sammy is trying to say.

  2. This whole “I don’t like shopping, so everyone shouldn’t either” bullshit is so tedious.

  3. I’m in awe that you can be bothered reading his drivel.

    “I’m talking about the type of woman who actually believes owning a pair of hot pants and knee-high socks before anyone else will bring them happiness.”

    I don’t know that woman. At the moment, I’m shopping more than I should and I freely admit it’s because my life has no meaning. I am in a serious rut at the moment and so I shop online.

    I buy things but – shock horror – I’m still self-aware. And I don’t need Sam de Brito giving me advice/dilligently informing the nation about my fatuous ways.

    • I had to stab myself in the eye a few times, but I read it because I was at work with not much to do (Sunday shifts are boring).

      Sam de Brito doesn’t think very highly of women. If they like to shop, they are empty vessels. Yawn. A few months back I emailed the editor of S, outlining why I find de Brito’s column offensive. De Brito emailed back, and while I agreed that I wouldn’t publish his emails here, all it came down to was ‘well, other people like my column, so there’. He didn’t address any of the issues I raised. Yawn and sigh.

  4. As we’ve discussed over at my place, materialism is only bad when women do it.

    Shoes, bags, frocks, interiors = fatuous and shallow.

    Cars, iPads, cellphones etc = serious and important.

  5. What a douchebag. Honestly who reads that shit? Are there actually people reading his crap thinking to themselves “Oh Golly he’s just spot on!”?

    “But is it possible to have one’s moral compass in working order and spend $2500 on a handbag or own 100 pairs of shoes?” – What a fucking idiotic question. Seriously. I spend all my money on books I don’t need. Is that acceptable? I have book shelves full of unread books but I still like buying them. I have a feeling that would be acceptable to this douche yet somehow the fact that I don’t wear make-up, don’t dress up and have a handbag that costs $20 wouldn’t be.

    Because you just know he’s the kind of dude that would frown over your $2,500 bag but be just as horrified by your $20 bag.

    If you care about clothes and make-up you’re vain & high maintenance. If you don’t care about clothes and make-up you’re a mess and you don’t care about yourself.

    Either way you’re fucked and Sam De Brito isn’t going to want to fuck you. Gutted. I so wanted his approval.

    • Not only would he frown over your $2500 and $20 bags, but he’d also know how much they cost from reading fashion mags so he can write about how vacuous they are.

      Wait a minute, I read his column so I could write about how vacuous he is… damn it.

  6. Does he still get paid to write this crap?

  7. Just a point of order on the BBQ example. although I reckon 2.5k is a tad pricey, the shite from Kmart doesn’t do the job, they rust and fall apart within 12 months.

    • Ah, but an expensive handbag also lasts much longer than a cheap one… See how dumb this argument is?

      By the way, kimsonof, will you be blogging again soon?

    • There’s also an ethical issue here – those uber expensive handbags are usually handmade by people who are paid well for their skills. So, you can buy a mass produced bag made in a sweat shop, or you can buy an artisan bag. Or you could do as I do, and buy my bags from second hand shops.

  8. I hope to be, I have been working 5 till 2 then sleeping as I was boned from the ADF and have had to find work as a cleaner.

  9. Umm – check his homepage.

    Today’s post is about how bad violence against women is: http://blogs.smh.com.au/executive-style/allmenareliars/2010/08/03/thepowerofno.html

    There’s a post below that asking why rape is not considered a hate crime: http://blogs.smh.com.au/executive-style/allmenareliars/2010/07/02/whyisrapenot.html

    And there’s one after that encouraging men to rethink the way they talk about women: http://blogs.smh.com.au/executive-style/allmenareliars/2010/06/03/howcanyoulov.html

    Love your stuff, but think your judgment’s a bit clouded on this one. You may not like everything he writes, but labeling it misogyny dilutes true misogyny.

    • Interesting. I do think it’s misogyny because it reveals his contempt for women.

      His June 3 post isn’t simply encouraging men to rethink the way they speak about women – it’s saying if you speak badly towards women you won’t get laid: If men in our peer group are constantly talking about women being “bitches”, “molls”, “hos” and “sluts”, your dislike of the opposite sex will soon radiate off you, your contempt will conspire to keep you single and your inability to make a relationship work will feed your bitterness.

    • Plus, that link about violence against women includes a heap of value judgements about Lindsay Lohan – someone who he clearly does not know personally, yet he feels qualified to comment on her life, of which he can only know what’s been reported in the media: If you peer hard through the almost impenetrable egocentricity that surrounds Lohan, you’ll find a girl who became a woman without hearing the word “no” enough times …While Lohan’s case is particularly visible and largely insignificant, many other examples of people who can’t deal with “no” are not so frivolous.

  10. Wow – that’s what you got out of that blog? Lindsay?

    Well, I guess we disagree. He writes a lot about feminism and he’s pointed me to books like Beauty and Misogyny by Sheila Jeffries, Infidel by Ayan Hirshi Ali, Princesses and Pornstars by Emily Maguire that I never would have heard of otherwise. I don’t think there’s many other mainstream male columnists who would even know who they are, let alone blog about them. It seems his version is not your version – but I think you weaken your argument by attacking for attacking’s sake. You clearly don’t like his work, which is sad because I’ve not even read a male columnist who writes about women’s issues as regularly as he does. Just because he criticises us for the dumb shit we do, doesn’t make him a misogynist.

    • Yes, that is what I got out of his blog. Because while he does make all the right noises in some areas (gosh, that sounds rude), he’ll stick the boot in somewhere else that belies his thinking. That’s why he’s so insidious. And inconsistent – how can he make the point that saying bad things about women is not on, yet say bad things about Lohan?

      But you’re right – my dislike of his writing is pretty bloody clear.

  11. Sorry – just saw your first comment. Come on. That’s not what he’s saying that column. He’s talking about relationships. He says:

    Misogyny and degradation of women is not something that just goes on among pissed teens at pubs; you hear it everywhere, and every time men are silent like I was that Sunday arvo, we tacitly encourage it.

    It seems that talking poorly about women, or a particular woman, is also a rapid way for a man to establish his credentials as a “blokey bloke” among other guys.

    It’s also used to flush out wowsers because if you do call a bloke to heel you’re told: “We’re just having a joke, what’s wrong with you?”

    What a lot of guys, especially younger men, don’t realise is that thoughts and words eventually harden into attitudes.

    Be fair.

  12. Hi There, I for one thought his article was refreshing. Our society needs a major shake up. People need to wake-up and realise how much they are being manipulated by large corporates into thinking they need all this ‘stuff’. Watch this documentary and realise how we are being manipulated with things like planned obsolescence, and how it threaten our life on this planet. That’s what Sam is getting out. There is a whole heap of people out there who are moronically following what our society has been dishing up to them, instead of questioning the true meaning of their life, and finding fulfilment outside of a shopping mall!
    http://www.storyofstuff.com/

    • Hi imbalance, and welcome to the News with Nipples. I agree – a life outside of shopping is important. But de Brito isn’t getting at that at all. He’s saying that people who buy things that he doesn’t like (women buying shoes, men buying sporting memorabilia) are fatuous. He’s not saying at all that people are being manipulated by large corportations into buying stuff they don’t need. I wish he had been saying that, because it’s a much more interesting topic than just writing, yet again, that women who shop are idiots.

    • “People need to wake-up and realise how much they are being manipulated by large corporates into thinking they need all this ‘stuff’. ” – I didn’t read it as “people” I read it as him – yet again – attacking women for their personal choices. He meant “women” shouldn’t buy handbags or be vain and silly by caring about designer clothing.

      And to Cassy – I don’t think that just because Sam De Brito is male and occasionally writes about feminist issues like rape he should get a free pass when he’s a douchebag. That column (and many, many, many of his other columns) is freakin’ idiotic. He shouldn’t get an award for being the only male columnist at SMH who sometimes writes things that aren’t offensive to women.

  13. Pingback: Day 81 of the Shoe Challenge – Absolutely Fatuous Boots « Caveat Calcei

  14. My dear Nipples – I read your blog and applauded. So did quite a few other ladies. Rest assured Mr De Brito is now on my Shit List.

  15. Ha! No, I just appreciate his work. You’re really confusing. You lose one point, you move onto another. Calling Lindsay Lohan insignificant is misogyny.

  16. Don’t get me started.
    OK, you have.

    It’s worth noting that Sam the astute arbiter of women who live “utterly barren interior lives” was also, by his own admission, at 39 or 40 years of age, still spending up to $1,000 in one weekend on cocaine and paying hookers to have sex with him.

    Ha!

    Pot-kettle?

  17. By the way, I’m pretty sure Cassy is Sam. The tone is straight out of the de Brito “argument 101” book.

    Sam often pretends to be women and writes comments on his own blog like:

    “Sigh, can I marry you Sam?”

    and the vomit-churning pithy earnestness of:

    “Thank you, Sam.”

    Urgh – honestly, how transparent is that?

    These swooning “ladies” seem to magically appear just after Sam has taken a few critical hits in the comments. I think he likes to manufacture an image of success at all times to balance out the fact that he’s failing miserably.

  18. Kim,

    This piece makes you sound like a dense misandrist, which, ironically, mirrors your harsh criticism of Mr. De Brito perfectly.

    If nothing else, Sam has the balls to be fearlessly honest. That opens him up to plenty of criticism, and he is willing to take it. What you need to consider is that, by virtue of the fact that we all experience life in our own unique way, and we all have our own personal preferences, none of us will ever be completely agreeable to anyone. Sam is entitled to his viewpoints, and should be commended for having the courage to share them in this increasingly PC-obsessed world.

    This is the kicker — Sam knows that he’s not for everyone. He accepts that fact, and continuously makes the decision to be himself, rather than make contrived efforts to gain mass approval. That is a liberating, honest and self-actualized path to take in life.

    In my opinion, one paragraph of his insightful commentary can offer more thought-provoking depth than two pages of your sour rhetoric. Get over yourself. You sound like a bitter, insecure teen who got cut from cheer-leading tryouts on the first day.

    By the way, I’m a feminist, too. But not of the “I’ve decided I’m entitled to openly bash and belittle males” variety. I actually believe in equality among the sexes, which by definition, requires respect for both males and females …even when I don’t always understand them. Give it a try.

    • Um, Timo, did you even read the piece, or are you just a part of the de Brito fan club who regularly turn up and call me names? Because nowhere in this post or on my entire blog, am I a man-hater. I object to de Brito’s column – when I could actually be arsed to read it – because of his low opinion of women.

      You say I sound like a “bitter, insecure teen who got cut from cheer-leading tryouts on the first day” – nice Americanism there, by the way – well, you sound like Sam de Brito using a fake name.

      Now, as for your comment about the “increasingly PC-obsessed world”, being politically correct simply means not using someone’s gender/race/religion/disability as an insult. It’s about recognising that the world does not revolve around you. You should give that a try.

  19. Aw look, a man who thinks he’s a feminist has just started talking down to a womon! Aww it’s so cute when they think we’re going to cave and let them win because we are mad with M.A.D (Daly, Male Approval Desire, Gyn/Ecology)!

    Seriously though, male feminist is none times out of ten a fucking joke. Keep rockin it News with Nipples!

  20. Ironically this article, and many of the subsequent replies display orders of magnitude more spiteful sexism than the Sam De Brito article.
    (BTW respondants, feel free to, splash your venom over me for pointing out the reality, it will just further support my contention).

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