Have you ever heard someone wish that they had a remote control for humans? With apparently no regard for what an incredibly disturbing thing that would be, or how they would feel if it was turned on them? Maybe you have been fortunate enough to never have had that conversation. I have not been so fortunate. And I now have the dubious pleasure of presenting to you the following novelty toy: the Control A Woman remote.
Oh hey! It has funny buttons! You can do all sorts of things to your chick like put her on mute, switch off her PMS, get her to calm down or hurry up. You can increase or decrease her breast size. You can get her to forgive, forget, move on, say no, say yes, remove her clothes, cook, clean and leave. You can get her to give you beer, sex or food. You can get her to stop nagging, moaning or whining.
This is not funny. This is not even slightly amusing. This makes me feel ill. Because there are people out there who think the idea of controlling their partner, controlling women, is a source of amusement. That getting those nasty bitches to pipe down is a dream. But more than that, worse than that, is that this remote is a reminder that there are men out there who desire to control “their” women’s every action and being like this. That is abuse. It is not a source of humour, and I don’t know what kind of disconnect or contempt or hatred it takes to make anyone think it could possibly be something to laugh about.
Variants on this remote are being sold all over; the variety pictured above is being sold in Borders stores here in Australia, as hit the news following on from International Women’s Day, as the ABC reports. But, says Lauren Thompson of Borders, they’re also selling a Control A Man remote. Apparently that’s meant to make it all okay. Somehow, this does not reassure me. So, let’s examine the Control A Man remote, shall we?
You can mute him, too, you can turn his ego off, you can make him get a hint or multi-task. You can make him have a bigger or smaller orgasm. You can get him to give you flowers, chocolate or a massage, to say no, say yes, propose, tell the truth, put down the toilet seat or listen.
Now, I don’t know how anyone could argue honestly that the remotes are in any way equivalent – as though you’d want equality of harms. A lot of those buttons are based on stereotypes of women, women requiring gifts galore and being desperate for their men to propose (uh, yeah, there’s quite the heteronormative focus here, too). And, especially given the orgasm button in the place of the breasts button, something tells me that it wasn’t women designing or approving these remotes – at least, I really hope not. Both remotes are horrible, they’re also both more misogynistic than anything else.
I’m sorry to have to tell you that there’s also a Control A Kid remote. You can tell a child to be quiet and to switch off their attitude. You can tell them to stop sulking, screaming or tantrums. You can tell them no smoking, tattoos or piercings. You can get them to tidy their room, do their homework, eat their greens, say please, grow up, say thank you, do the dishes, don’t answer back and to kiss Granny. You can increase or decrease their energy. And you can tell them to go play.
I find the notion of having a remote that is supposed to control a group that is already so vulnerable and subject to adult control so disturbing I can’t even tell you.
I just wonder about the people who manufacture and buy this stuff, and how anyone with any respect for other people’s autonomy could find this sort of thing funny.
If you would like to complain, here is the contact page for npw.
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