Outraging Public Decency

We are well briefed.
We are well packaged.
And we are well pissed off.
We are the ‘Y Front’.

After all, everyone else has their own Fathers4Justice splinter group, so why can’t the founder? And the Y Front is going where no responsible splinter group has gone before – on a naked retail therapy trip to Marks and Spencer. For any self-respecting agitator, going all Spencer Tunick really has to be a last resort for maximum exposure, but after men in tights, why not men in pants? After all, every superhero wore theirs on the outside. It was time for ‘Operation Naked Gun’.

My journey from fully covered Michelin Man to man in a birthday suit began because Mumsnet refused point black to commit to a policy of zero tolerance when it came to gender hatred on their web site. For some inexplicable reason, Mumsnet chose not only to ignore our reasonable concerns, but set out themselves to denigrate our concerns and our campaign.

Their refusal to enforce their own forum rules contrasts with our position on anyone who practices discrimination. I was in the anti-apartheid movement and in Amnesty and hold strong views on discrimination against any human being on their basis of the colour, religion, sexuality or gender. In fact, one of the reasons we have so many F4J splitters is because we have a thing called ‘forum rules’ against this sort of thing that we enforce. People make vile and offensive comments and guess what? They get removed. It’s a pretty simple policy. It’s called standards.

F4J is entirely self-funding so we don’t have to compromise the integrity of our campaign by taking filthy lucre from the government or advertisers, but if we were taking inducements, I think it would be incumbent upon us to make sure our online reputation was 100% squeaky clean. As it is, at least our underwear is twice washed in Persil compared to Mumsnet’s dirty washing.

This doesn’t seem to have occurred to those poor damsels in distress at Mumsnet Towers (like Innocent’s Fruit Towers get it?). Justine and her girls (of an obviously nervous disposition) have been left cowering under the bed hiding from the F4J bogeyman – but hey, that’s no way to talk about my wife.

Now Mrs O is a hit girl with a killer smile and bigger balls than most of the blokes in F4J and the one thing I really admire about her is the fact she doesn’t play the victim card. She doesn’t spend her entire life bitching about how evil men are (and she’d have plenty of reason to). She is a committed mother and campaigner and she has done a brilliant job running F4J.

But even she is tired (yawn, and yawn again…) of the hard done, oppressed victim role playing feminist as caricatured by Justine Roberts. As soon as somebody goes ‘boo!’ to one of these poor, sensitive souls, they scurry around claiming they have been bullied or threatened. Yet on the other hand they are capable of the most astonishing, vicious and venomous hatred against men and boys. Like the fanatical feminist equivalent of the Taliban, many are self-righteous ideologically driven zealots whose main ambition is to crush ‘the patriarchy’ as they call it.

I can’t speak for everyone, but I find the level of hatred directed at men and women (and now Nadine) on Mumsnet frightening and almost cult like. Worse, the imprint and damage this leaves on our children is as dangerous for them as it is for our country. Children brought up in fatherless homes where men are demonised and ridiculed in equal measure. And these women think they love their sons? Is this anger a good environment for their children? There is nothing remotely inspiring, positive or constructive about a lot of the content on Mumsnet. These are women of hate.

Just look at the violence of their language in comments ‘playfully’ attributed to my wife on a Facebook page pretending to be her ‘I really hate women especially Mothers…my aim in life is to bring down all Mothers and cut off their breasts to make ice cream for my husbands parlour’.

If you want to see where this twisted train of thought leads us, look no further than the fatherless housing estates of any London borough where over 50% of all children live in fatherless families. The extremists – and thats what they are – have now found a warm and welcoming surrogate home in the cosy bosom of the respectable Mumsnet family where they have been incubating anti-male hatred over a long gestation period.

Of course its a monumental mistake by Mumsnet to provide a home for extremists, but that’s what they have done and in doing so, we felt duty bound to a) flush them out into the open and show the great British public the naked truth about Mumsnet and b) bring this matter to the attention of their advertisers. Its called following the money.

And so to Saturday’s events. My philosophy is that campaigning should be fun and you shouldn’t take yourself too seriously. We are trying to raise attention about a serious issue, but do it with a smile. After all, governments (and the pointy hat brigade) can’t argue with the sound of laughter.

This wasn’t just any old protest. This was a Fathers4Justice protest. We didn’t just go commando for justice. We went the Full Monty for justice. After all, the benchmark for our campaign methodology are the original feminists – the brave women who risked life, limb and liberty in the pursuit of equality and later burnt their bras – as we were to burn our pants. If it was good enough for the suffragettes, it would be good enough for the ‘suffragents’.

But why stripping? Was it an austerity protest? Couldn’t we have tamed it down with a humourous balloon dance? Couldn’t we have left our hats on?

There is another narrative at play here. Many fathers have been stripped of their children. Stripped of their homes and families. Stripped of their rights by the government. Remember, you have NO right in law to see your children if you are a father. As far as the state is concerned, you can abandon your kids today, provided you pay tomorrow. Just what sort of message is that to send our children? And that’s the other end of the same arc of discrimination that separates dads from their children in secret family courts. Thousands of dads with legally binding court orders to see their children – but are never enforced because of mothers who cynically play, you guessed it, the victim card.

So our mission was to expose the truth about a reputable brand like M&S, financially aiding and abetting gender hatred on Mumsnet. Of course M&S threw their hands in the air and claimed to be non-political, but the cash kept flowing as they failed to perform even the most derisory of due diligence checks which they are according to their own T&C’s, duty bound to perform.

And when it came to the Full Monty it was surprisingly easy, liberating and invigorating. There was of course a cast of mixed abilities and looks. The hunk, the skinny guy, the old guy and the token fat guy. That was me. But for those who thought Matt has been at the old ice cream again (80 recipes and one book later whatdoyaexpect?) that’s what we call in the profession ‘ballast’. i.e. weight designed to obstruct the movement of my goodself by members of the law enforcement community.

Having torched our pants in a heat of the moment ‘Marks and Sparks’ symbollocks burning ritual (well, any heat was appreciated, no matter how short lived), we decided to exit stage left and acquire some new underwear and what better place than the very building nudging at our rears – M&S.

However, during our attempt at delicately navigating our vulnerable wobbly bits though the Per Una Womenswear department en route to Menswear, we met some fierce resistance in the form of M&S security. I had a brief dalliance with a very nice mannequin followed by a short tango with a security guard whilst asking directions for the menswear department, wearing nothing but my loudhailer.

The Met clearly felt they were missing out on an episode of ‘Stripply Come Dancing’ as one took me from behind (is that a truncheon in your pocket officer or are you just pleased to see me?) and pressed me up against a large column whilst poised at my rear entrance as the volume button from my megaphone was wedged up my arse. Still, I got some interesting feedback.

He asked me what I was doing to which I replied ‘What do you think I am doing? I am looking for the men’s underwear department officer.’

‘Why are you looking for men’s underwear sir?’ he asked.

‘Why do you bloody think?’ I responded shaking my hips and wobbly bits. ‘Surely they teach you something about detective work at the Met?’

I was then roughly manhandled to the floor with a copper on each limb as a dozen smiley tourists snapped away. I did ask for a helmet – for my helmet – but plod were not willing to assist in any kind of cover up, which I guess makes a change for the Met. But as standards with my personal security attachment were rising, events south of the equator were suffering from a nippy breeze and stage fright.

So there you go, arrested for ‘outraging public decency’, a charge that many said should have been made a very, very long time ago.

At the very least we should thank Mumsnet (in honour of the girls, we now affectionately call ourselves ‘Bumsnet’), for inspiring our new ‘Pants2’ campaign, calendar and Y fronts. On a final note, one of my fellow naked protestors said that whilst I had been arrested for carrying an offensive weapon, but had been released early through a lack of evidence. Now that’s what I call outrageous.

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