• Fri, Mar 7 - 12:48 pm ET

Lily Allen Wants To Be One Of The Guys Because She Thinks Women Are Too Ugly And Awful

Elle Style Awards 2014 - Inside Arrivals

As part of Lily Allen‘s “comeback,” she scored herself an editorial position at ShortList. She’s interviewed in what appears to be her random thoughts on the state of women today, and it’s dripping in misogyny. Not only does Allen display a fundamental misunderstanding of what feminism is, but shows a level of immaturity in thinking that left our staff at a total loss.

Here entire interview is pretty batshit, but here’s the first thing that stood out to me:

“I’m not an archetypal woman. All my best friends are boys.”

This is 10th-grade drivel at best. Distancing yourself from being a woman and playing up the “one of the guys” attitude is pathetic and low, and shows internalized misogyny more than a “cool girl” attitude. If you’re a grown woman who’s still making sure everyone knows you’re not like other girls because girls suck and you only have male friends, then that’s deeply saddening. So you have a lot of male friends? That doesn’t make you less of a woman. She continues:

But I don’t think men are the enemy, I think women are the enemy. I know that when I’m sitting in a restaurant and a really beautiful woman walks in, who’s skinny, I instinctively think, “Oh she’s really skinny and beautiful and I’m really fat and ugly.” Every man I speak to always says they find that kind of woman gross, and they prefer a bit more meat on their ladies. So it’s more of a competitive thing. It’s weird. It’s just really unhealthy and we’re our own worst enemy. We should stop being so horrible to each other.

I’m not really sure that there is a set enemy, but there is a pretty solid amount of cognitive dissonance happening here when Allen expresses her own insecurities by making a whole group of women appear undesirable (according to men), and then asks that women stop treating each other badly. This is elevating one woman on the backs of others, and at the expense of others. I’m pretty sure that woman is the enemy.

Feminism. I hate that word because it shouldn’t even be a thing any more. We’re all equal, everyone is equal so why is there even a conversation about feminism? What’s the man version of feminism? There isn’t even a word for it. There’s no reason for it. Menanism. Male-ism. It doesn’t exist.

If you don’t identify as a feminist for largely semantic issues, I’m not going to tell you otherwise. I don’t care how you define yourself, and even though I strongly disagree, it’s not my business. But I’m trying to unpack this logic and I keep hitting my head against the wall that guards the MRA Fortress Of Adult Virgins. I’ll give her one thing: the debate over equality of the sexes shouldn’t be a thing anymore. It’s appalling that it’s a thing. It’s humiliating. But no matter how much Allen or any other woman may find it distasteful that this discussion still exists, simply not liking it won’t make it go away. Men and women are not treated equally, and to say that if we all shut up about it will make it so is flat out stupid.

There is no male-oriented version of feminism (except for the comical aforementioned MRA) because there is no need for it. It’s embarrassing that Allen doesn’t understand that distinction. Feminism isn’t the intention to elevate women–it’s the intention to treat all genders equally. It’s not some special treatment plan cooked up by women; feminism seeks to correct actual, real oppression and inequality that still exists, as much as we don’t want it to, and it’s hardly a women-only issue.

I kind of like Lily Allen (although, her less than nuanced approach to race make her a lot less attractive and is cause for serious criticism). She always speaks her mind and isn’t afraid of the consequences, whether or not she’s voicing a popular or unpopular opinion. But in this case, it’s not so much a matter of unpopular or popular, it’s that she’s simply misinformed, and using backwards ideology to justify being a mean girl.

Photo: Anthony Harvey/Getty Images

From Our Partners

Share This Post:
  • elle

    I used to like Lily Allen but I now find myself wishing she would have stayed retired

  • Snezha Silver

    Are you on drugs? See, whoever wrote this article is why people can’t take feminists seriously.
    You’re the person people say “Not all feminists are like that” about.
    Grow up, you’re so convoluted.
    You’re the reason she doesn’t want to identify as a feminist.

  • Andrew John

    This article reeks of a college undergraduate opening a blog. It carries an immature writing style, and hypocrisy permeates every level of its infrastructure.

    “Not only does Allen display a fundamental misunderstanding of what feminism is, but shows she a level of immaturity in thinking that left our staff at a total loss.”

    Your whole staff? So, there’s a staff? There’s a staff that thinks exactly the same way as each other? That must be nice.

    “Here entire interview is pretty batshit, but here’s the first thing that stood out to me:

    ‘I’m not an archetypal woman. All my best friends are boys.’

    This is 10th-grade drivel at best. Distancing yourself from being a woman and playing up the “one of the guys” attitude is pathetic and low, and shows internalized misogyny more than a “cool girl” attitude. If you’re a grown woman who’s still making sure everyone knows you’re not like other girls because girls suck and you only have male friends, then that’s deeply saddening. So you have a lot of male friends? That doesn’t make you less of a woman.”

    First of all, it’s, “Her entire interview…,” and “batshit,” which shouldn’t be in any article that wants to be taken seriously, is used as an adverb, not an adjective.

    You clearly don’t know the definition of “archetypal,” so I’ve gone to the trouble of looking up and providing all four definitions of the word from Dictionary.com:

    — adj
    1.perfect or typical as a specimen of something
    2.being an original model or pattern or a prototype
    3.psychoanal of or relating to Jungian archetypes
    4.constantly recurring as a symbol or motif in literature, painting, etc

    Allen’s use of the word discounts any reasonable possibility that she meant it to mean either definition 3 or definition 4, but it could fit with either definition 1 or definition 2. Yet, you go on to say, “So you have a lot of male friends? That doesn’t make you less of a woman.” That doesn’t make sense. Allen is clearly attempting to base a different form of womanhood from what is imbued in prototypical feminist archetypes, however juvenile her pride in the demographics of her company appears to be (if she’s anything like her public persona, I doubt the men she keeps company are beer-guzzling, sports-watching “manly men” anyway). She isn’t trying to make herself masculine or any less feminine in the slightest, and attempting to refute it like you have doesn’t have anything at all to do with feminism.

    I don’t have any problems with most of the rest of the article. You acknowledge that feminism has “no set enemy” (which albeit does nothing to fool people who see feminists as raving man-haters) and argue Allen in ways I can’t touch (how women perceive each other). Allen and women like her have a special view of the world. They dare to speak their minds and denounce modern feminism because something about them gives them a broad world view. They see real poverty abound in places like Africa, India, and Haiti, and they see the oppression of women in places like Saudi Arabia, which dwarfs any oppression perceived in the western world. Their consciences can’t allow them to fight for “equal rights” when they don’t see what else they could fight for in their privileged societies. Most people would call that enlightened, especially if those women go out of their way to help the poor and truly underprivileged (which Allen has done). I would say it gives her a touch of wisdom.

    I applaud Allen for speaking her mind when she could have folded under pressure. She has stood for many different causes in her life, yet she isn’t afraid to stand against one for a little while.

    • nancy

      this is pretty much how I felt when I read this article. I love the Gloss, the posts are usually interesting, but the occasional sophomoric reviews of menial celebrity activity betrays two things for me: 1. it’s a ‘low news’ sort of day, and 2. the people writing these sort of posts have an average age of 19-22; they are probably white, middle class and desperate to try their college essay writing experience out to either bulk up their resume or try out their voice to the world for the first time in their young lives.
      The editors need to start to weed these out or put them on lower on the social media totem pole if they want to increase audience. they just dilute the journalistic quality of the site overall.

  • ugh

    You’re clearly a massive proponent of the mildly offensive third wave feminism. I’m a woman that was raised by a second wave feminist mother and I loved her message but it’s become more hateful against men with time and hasn’t adapted with the times.
    We need to include men more in our movement, it is supposed to be about EQUALITY not raising women above men. We aren’t trying to flip the problem on its head, and yet the increasing number of misandrists in the third wave movement says otherwise.

  • Rauza Rakhim

    Dudes, you just can’t wait and hate on anyone, can you? She’s right about us women being our own enemy, she made a horrible example of it though. It’s not about the woman being PRETTY it’s how she uses and expresses it. And, feminism shouldn’t EVEN be here at this time of age, because everyone should already BE EQUAL. I think as a writer you should always keep an open mind and look at everything through different points of view and character. You just read what you wanted to see, cuz.

  • FemelleChevalier

    I was seriously shocked at this article. I read and re-read Lily’s words, and I think the writer is probably interpreting it to be something more than what it is.

    “I’m not an archetypal woman. All my best friends are boys.”

    …in what way is this offensive? I’m sorry, but I don’t understand your offense to this particular phrase. In my opinion, boys are easier to talk to and be friends with. Most are simple creatures and aren’t as dramatic as some girls. Most won’t take offense at every little thing and are forgiving: backstabbing is not their style unlike some girls. So, liking less drama is anti-woman now?

    “I’m not really sure that there is a set enemy, but there is a pretty solid amount of cognitive dissonance happening here when Allen expresses her own insecurities by making a whole group of women appear undesirable (according to men), and then asks that women stop treating each other badly.”

    She is only saying that being critical is so ingrained that it becomes an instinctual reaction whether intentional or not, especially when it comes to physical appearances. There is no dissonance here, merely a comparison on how a woman’s mind works versus the man’s.

    Women are women’s biggest critics (especially in looks); it is a fact. Throwing that burden to men is misinformed, misguided, and misandrist. We all have to acknowledge the petty nature of women so as to lessen that way of thinking.

    “Men and women are not treated equally, and to say that if we all shut up about it will make it so is flat out stupid.”

    Yes, men and women are still not treated equally. Sexual harassments in men is seen as a joke, especially when the offender is a woman. Police officers can and will get fired when he touched a female offender no matter how accidental it is. Females and children are always a priority whenever there’s any disasters. Back home, woman can go to any sections of the trains they want, but men will be thrown out if they tried that.

    To say that only women are treated unfairly is, well, unfair. Both sexes are and can receive unfair treatment. And to simply use the victim card without acknowledging the men’s plight is why modern feminism is being laughed at today.

    Yes, it should be about equal opportunity and equal footing when it comes to jobs and such. But thinking that men are still above us in the society IS misinformed; they are already being put in the corner for being accused of cultivating the ‘rape culture’ even if they only made ONE innocuous comment.

    “…she’s simply misinformed, and using backwards ideology to justify being a mean girl.”

    Her ideology is sound and fair. Could’ve been worded better, but it is in no way offensive. There are a lot of examples in regards to female oppression that are worthy of a diatribe, but this is not one of those.

  • Jade

    Isn’t male ‘feminism’ just misandry??