Ah, Sam de Brito. Where would internet mockery be without you?
I haven’t read any of his columns in a while because, you know, I don’t like to read something and feel dumberer. But I saw the pullquote in the Sun Herald today – “One day I will surely be confused for my daughter’s grandfather” – and just knew it would be misogyny dressed up as enlightenment. And oh look, I’m right. The very first sentence:
There sure are a lot of old chicks having babies.
No mucking around eh, de Brito? Just straight in there. I can’t quite put my finger on why I find it so creepy, but it has something to do with viewing women as simply things to fuck. Even when women are carrying babies or pushing prams, he’s probably looking them up and down and working out which ones he’d root. Because that’s what calling women “chicks” is all about, isn’t it? Their fuckability. Or maybe that’s just me making assumptions about someone who tells us every Sunday what he thinks of women. (It’s beyond my understanding why a male writer with a dismissive attitude towards women gets a weekly column in a newspaper liftout aimed at women. It’s also beyond my understanding why newspaper editors think women are only interested in celebrity crap and fashion. They have meetings about how to attract more female readers, yet always think it’s something they have to add, rather than realising that what they’re currently offering is shit.)
In the second sentence he puts in a plug for what a good father he is – what a modern father – and then insults women again:
I know this because I’m an old dude who became a father last year and, when I’m out and about doing things with my baby, I see all these old chicks doing the same with their newborns; women simultaneously battling mastitis and menopause.
Um, Sam? You do know what menopause is, right?
Now, I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with matching liver spots and maternity wear – actually, yes you are – or having crow’s feet and breastfeeding, because I’m no spring chicken and one day will surely be confused for my daughter’s grandfather.
Oh, pot kettle black. If you want to talk about sun-damaged skin and crow’s feet, Sam, I suggest you look in the mirror.
He then goes on to blah blah blah about how every person without children leads a shallow life because his own life was shallow until he became a father. It must be sad to have so little going for you that you only attract equally shallow people as friends. You know, I almost feel sorry for him.
For the first time, I saw my life not as a one-night stand but a continuum, where I owed the generation who followed protection and respect.
I do have to give him some credit. After all, it does take a particular type of skill to use what you see as your own character flaws as an insult to others. Like many other people without kids, I’ve still managed to learn that we have a responsibility towards others, particularly those younger than us. I guess that’s the difference between having empathy and respect for people you don’t know, and being a douchebag.
And then there’s something about how he thinks women “search for meaning in handbags”, which is a recurring theme in his writing and says a lot about what he thinks of women. And that makes me really sad for his daughter. One day, when she’s a teenager, she’s going to call him a sexist pig, and it will be true. Hell, he’s even put it in writing.