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Brand new revolution smacks of old sexism

He might be a charismatic anti-establishment presence, but for someone seeking social change, he is still propagating the same lazy sexist attitudes so endemic to the system he wants to destroy.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YR4CseY9pk&feature=player_detailpage

I'm picturing the Barricades from Les Miserables. On one side, the Conservative government, led by red-faced Cameron, blustering about taxes and benefits and keeping Britain at the top of its financial gain. On the other, lolling across the top of stacked-up ottomans and second-hand settees, is Brand. A winklepicker dangles off one foot.

On the back of editing the new issue of New Statesman, Brand was interviewed on Newsnight by Jeremy Paxman. The interview has blown up on YouTube, gathering over 800,000 views in the first 24 hours. It's spreading like wildfire through the student population. Brand is speaking the language of the people.

He presents an attractive argument that taps into the current mood of the disenchanted. He wants a radical overhaul of the political system and a redistribution of wealth, as well as raising taxes on businesses and making energy companies agree to be more environmentally friendly.

But we should probably stop and think before we jump on the 'Brandwagon'. He might be a charismatic anti-establishment presence, but for someone seeking social change, he is still propagating the same lazy sexist attitudes so endemic to the system he wants to destroy.

Do you remember way back in 2008, when he left messages on Andrew Sachs' answerphone about having sex with his granddaughter? Or the fact he divorced his wife, Katy Perry, with nothing more than a text message? Do you remember the interview he did on MSNBC's Morning Joe where he was applauded for destroying the shallowness of mainstream media? Did you catch how he belittled Mika Brzenziski based solely on her sex, commenting on her cleavage and calling her a "shaft grasper"?

Reducing women to their gender isn't just sexist: it's lazy. It's ridiculous to call someone as manically animated as Brand "lazy", and yet that's all there is too it. Hell, he opens his guest editorial by mentioning "a beautiful woman", reducing a consummate career professional into a single, cliched feminine attribute.

Assuming Brand is going all-out to lead this charge against The Man, it would make sense to have women onside. And for every left-wing girl enchanted by his eloquence, there will be a feminist who sees through the sophistry to the inner core of the issue: Russell Brand doesn't see women as equal. Sure, if asked, I'm sure he'd angrily disagree - but I doubt he would ever try and best male adversaries with jibes about how they want to w*nk him off.

We, as students, are the ones who respond to political powder kegs. We've been rioting since the University of Paris Strike of 1229. If there is a revolution, we will be the ones at the front, waving flags and banners to promote the inexorable progress - and we can't do that by following someone with gender views that belong in the history books.

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8 Comment

SickofCynicism Posted on Sunday 15 Dec 2019

I think Brand's message of equality and love can presumably be extended to gender equality. I find him often quite annoying but at least he recognises his faults. It's very foolish to dismiss what he's saying and the reaction his interview has attracted by extension on the basis of sexist words or actions in the past. By all means, criticise instances of sexism when they occur and are relevant but bringing up past ignominies is lazy and doesn't really address the issue at hand. This kind of ad hominem attack promoting sectarianism is tiring, reactionary and doesn't get anyone anywhere.

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Erm... Posted on Sunday 15 Dec 2019

..."Oh look at me, I write for a student paper! Boo Sexism! Feminism FTW! I'm pushing the boundaries and living on the edge!"

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No... Posted on Sunday 15 Dec 2019

"Do you remember way back in 2008, when he left messages on Andrew Sachs' answerphone about having sex with his granddaughter? Or the fact he divorced his wife, Katy Perry, with nothing more than a text message? Do you remember the interview he did on MSNBC's Morning Joe where he was applauded for destroying the shallowness of mainstream media? Did you catch how he belittled Mika Brzenziski based solely on her sex, commenting on her cleavage and calling her a "shaft grasper"?"

For your homework this week, please look up the term 'ad hominem' and think about what you've done.

You identify completely irrelevant issues in order to cobble together a vaguely coherent cliche of a student paper article.

- Attack [Something That's Popular] to show how edgy you are,
- Drag [Separate, Inflammatory Issue #1] in by any means possible,
- Fail to engage with the content of the argument at even a half-competent level,
- Couch your piece in terms too Guardian-like for even the Guardian to use

You'll do well at Nouse.

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Jay Posted on Sunday 15 Dec 2019

Following up on SickofCynicism's comment, Brand's message about our political system has nothing to do with sexism. I appreciate your concerns but the ideas that he is trying to portray (or rather, the dissatisfaction with current ideology) shouldn't really be judged on the individual saying them, but the basis of the argument itself - we're not expecting Mr Brand to run for prime minister himself any time soon. Your argument disputes nothing of his revolutionary notions but rather seems a personal attack on the man ('Brand new article smacks of old grudge?'). Forgive me for sounding overly critical but I feel that it is regressive at this point to detract from the relevance of Brand's admittedly vague but nonetheless appropriate points.

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What? Posted on Sunday 15 Dec 2019

Can't be arsed to address all points made, but one that stood out was about him dumping his wife via text. The fact she was a woman doesn't mean he hates women any more than the fact she was a brunette means he hates brunettes.

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Lin Biao Posted on Sunday 15 Dec 2019

He's a redistributionist social democrat at any rate, the fact that his words are considered radical says it all about current political debate.

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Where did sexism come from?? Posted on Sunday 15 Dec 2019

Im not going to repeat what a many have said above this comment, but this article doesn't even attempt to approach the issues raised in the video. Commit to what your trying to say, don't use interesting, but irrelevant, material in an attempt to further or spread your views on Brand's sexist attitude.

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Genevieve Posted on Sunday 15 Dec 2019

Wow. Just had to comment because I agree with you completely (although the Katy Perry comment is a bit off-colour). The comments above frighten me as it seems Brand has already reached the heady heights of infallibility. Go you for being brave enough to offer balance.

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