I often like to write that I’m ‘conflicted’. Not just because it makes me sound American — but because the implication is I have more than one opinion in my head. And, today, I really am. I have several swirling thoughts — and Liz Jones’ sperm. Liz Jones’ sperm in my head. You might want a minute alone with that image.
Jesus, yesterday Ms Jones’ sperm was splashed everywhere. (I have a few of these. We’ll get them out of the way now.) The comments kept coming. And, I have to say, I found the ferocity of the feedback (splashback?) hard to swallow. (Is over now. Am spent.)
I of course get that what she was saying (basically, that women in their late ‘30s and over want to trap men/get pregnant by going the sperm bandit route) was outrageous and contentious and controversial and distasteful (oops) but the level of bile against her…? Wow. It seemed a little too fierce to me.
Were people really so shocked by what she was saying? Do people think Sperm Banditry hasn’t gone on forever? (Know anyone who said she was on The Pill when she wasn’t? Or who didn’t take the Morning-After tabs when she said she would?) Do people really think anyone intelligent will now expect this ‘behaviour’ from every woman 35+? I don’t know. My feeling is it was less about what she was saying and more that it was her saying it. Because — ducks — there is some truth in her words.
No, not every woman has done this or would do it — but many understand the ‘madness’ behind such actions. (A baby-desperate friend of mine regularly poured the contents of her lover’s condoms into ‘herself’ when he was asleep. Not pretty. But then neither was her desire to have a child with a man who managed to get his wife pregnant while they were ‘no longer having sex’. This is the point. Many people’s lives are messy and fucked-up and craziness occurs.)
I reckon Jizzy Lizzy was attempting to write about this mind-set — and hooking the copy on her own experiences — in her own wrong-side-of-bonkers way. Not wise, sure. But when is she ever?
I bet the original pitch/idea was the ‘Let’s inform men what can go on’ angle. And, and I do think this is true, if her feature had been written by another writer, it would’ve led to more debate on this subject and less straight-out attack on the author.
Of course I know why people hate Ms Jones (reasons range from her not attractive neurotic habit of using a pin to separate her mascaraed eyelashes so they are just so… to snobbily moaning about her village shop not stocking Sancerre or decaf coffee or placenta suppositories or whatever it was…) but this ‘sperm’ outburst left a nasty taste in my mouth. (Seriously. That was the last one.) Sorry, but to me it felt like bullying. Attacking someone who is obviously unhappy and who is majorly ‘challenged’. Yesterday just seemed to gather a gang-mentality momentum.
Like when Diana died. (Yeah, that’s right. I’m likening The Daily Mail’s Liz Jones to The People’s Princess. Heh. Hey, Rothermere, call me!)
Her tarring other women with her sticky brush, yeah, not great. But that demonisation and derision that she’s been accused of stirring up has always been there — Liz Jones isn’t that powerful that she can create attitudes — and, I repeat, some women do do what she did.
I am exactly the person who should be furious with her (I’m in that age-group, I wanted a baby, I’m diluting skimmed-milk to make it go further while she’s earning silly fucking dollar) but I’m not. I feel sorry for her. I think she’s foolishly going down that ‘spreading her legs in public’ route and it ain’t doing her any favours — reputation-wise or mentally or emotionally. And I think it’s all very sad.
(Unless the ‘this is all for PR’ opinions are true. In which case, aptly, what a desperate cunt!)