Men are going their own way. No, really, they are.

So there’s this new site, dedicated to spreading the beliefs of the male self-help movement known as Men Going Their Own Way (MGTOW).

It’s a nice looking site, as you’d expect a site whose credits include ‘Made by Men’. Somebody’s really put some work into it. Somebody feels very deeply about the subject.

Somebody has too much time on his hands.

So what are these MGTOW principles?

M.G.T.O.W – Men Going Their Own Way is a statement of self-ownership, where the modern man preserves and protects his own sovereignty above all else. It is the manifestion of one word: “No”. Ejecting silly preconceptions and cultural definitions of what a “man” is. Looking to no one else for social cues. Refusing to bow, serve and kneel for the opportunity to be treated like a disposable utility. And, living according to his own best interests in a world which would rather he didn’t.

There are all sorts of calls for men to be authentic, to do their own thing, to stop being so damn beta. The site owner has even uploaded Schopenhauer’s famous rant against women. It’s all systems go. Every click jabs you with a new injection of raw masculinity.

Except…

…the giveaway is the maudlin and self-pitying YouTube video, called “Who Taught You To Hate Yourself?” where someone recites bad poetry to a backdrop of mournful images. Anyone whose best friend at high school vowed to kill themselves after a dramatic bust up will recognise the aesthetic immediately.

Jennifer Lawrence and the art of taking nude selfies

Slutty attention whore.

Slutty attention whore.

One of the reasons that this blog has been fairly quiet since the beginning of summer is that I’ve been spending my spare time on getting fit. I’ve been travelling a lot this year, and in all the to-ing and fro-ing the gym got forgotten about. After I noticed it was getting harder to get into my jeans, I booked a week at a residential fitness camp – one of those where ex-military guys run you ragged from 6am until bed time, until you either get fit or die trying.

Before I went, I intended to get Mr BC to take some shots of me nude, and then some after-shots when I got home, so I could see how my body had changed.

Unfortunately, I forgot, which was no doubt a deep disappointment to hackers everywhere. In the absence of salacious Bodycrimes shots, the poor bastards were forced to hack the private accounts of Jennifer Lawrence and other celebrities. And, as everyone on the planet knows by now – I know this post is a bit late to the party – those  celebrity nudie shots ended up literally everywhere. A whole sub-reddit was created so that men could pore over Jennifer Lawrence’s naked body in astoundingly lascivious, mean-spirited and creepy ways. She suffered a virtual-reality sexual assault on an unprecedented scale.

That’s disturbing enough. But what’s almost as bad is that Lawrence got the classic response that women who are violated in some way have always received: if she hadn’t acted a certain way (e.g. if she hadn’t allowed nude photographs to be taken of her) then the violation would never have happened. The responses ran the gamut of world-weary head shaking about how silly she’d been, to glee that she’d been caught out.

Here’s the thing: Taking nude shots isn’t such a weird thing to do. Plenty of people take pictures of themselves before they embark on diet or exercise efforts, and they typically do it either nude or in underwear. Partners taking intimate shots of each other isn’t unusual either; I’ve chatted to someone who worked in a photo lab in the days before digital cameras. Apparently staid-looking, respectable types would often put bring in a film roll that would steam with sex, obviously not realising it was the job of photo lab staff to check each print.

The only thing that’s really changed is there are more opportunities for people to be malicious than they were in the past. Ex-lovers can circulate intimate photos on the web; hackers can break into the cloud; strangers can photograph you when you least expect it. When technology changes, it takes time for people to truly understand the consequences.

Everyone ‘knows’ that the internet isn’t a private place – or at least, they say they do – but most of us still behave online as though we’re private individuals conducting our business in private. Not because we’re stupid or uneducated or gullible, but simply because we’re human. Change takes time.

Jennifer Lawrence has learned, the hard way, that she has to be hyper-vigilant about anything digital. Do you think she will ever back up her intimate photos into the cloud again? I doubt it.  Apple have learned that they need to be clearer about how the cloud works, and they have to do a better job of telling people how to protect themselves. Around the world, people have either been turning on two-step verification, or hastily deleting their nudie shots.

Because here’s the thing. No reasonable person could have predicted where the internet has taken us. Who could have predicted the outpouring of filth and hate that the internet has enabled? The explosion of porn and the porn-ification of everything, and the consequent expectation that women should act like porn stars on demand is astounding. Part of the glee over Jennifer Lawrence is that she has never appeared nude on film, and apparently refuses to do so – and now, there she is, spread naked for every misogynist with his hand down his trousers to gloat over.

It’s still hard to believe that humans do this stuff. Who knew there were so many malicious people out there? And that makes all of us, more or less, sitting ducks. The same people tut-tutting that Jennifer Lawrence should have known better, are the same people who probably don’t hesitate to shop online and fill in online surveys and hand out personal information that may one day have blowback they could never have predicted.

Having said that, I’m actually sorry that I didn’t get my own before-and-after nudie shots taken, as my ‘after shots’ could well have been the only proof of how fit I became. Because, like all weekend warriors, I’ve been over-enthusiastic about exercising and injured myself. In the time it takes to recover, I expect my new muscle definition will go to hell.

At least Jennifer Lawrence has proof of how great she looks, so that in her old age she can remind herself of how it once was. Hopefully by then everybody else will have grown up enough to leave the next generation of famous young women to enjoy their nude selfies in peace.

Where were the feminists in Rotherham?

Having been gripped by the Rotherham saga for the past couple of weeks, I’ve set my Zite app to collate new articles on the topic. Over the past week some articles and blog posts from both mainstream conservative writers and skeezy misogynist sites in the US have popped up. And nearly every one of them asks this question:

Where were the feminists in Rotherham?

At first I thought the authors were really poor spellers. I mean, surely the question they meant to ask was:

Where were the police in Rotherham?

But after I read a couple more of these articles, it became apparent that the writers meant what they said. They have been combing Jezebel, feministing and xojane for articles about Rotherham and coming up short, apparently expecting that lightweight magazine sites in the USA should either be doing hard-hitting reporting on a complex story in the UK, or thundering from their pulpits about it.

As far as I can see, the US mainstream media has given Rotherham more or less the same coverage as they do any European story that’s not about the French: not much. Rather than seeing the lack of coverage as some cone of silence, it looks from over here like business as usual.

As it happens, the publications which are now so vocal about the poor children of Rotherham being failed by feminists – such as the National Review – are magazines that do not themselves spend much time on international issues, unless it involves Putin or US concerns in the Middle East.

Given that, why – I wonder – are some US commentators suddenly so concerned about the foul situation unfolding in South Yorkshire? Call me a cynic, but the interest in Rotherham seems primarily about scoring points against their ideological opponents.

The ugly thing about this ‘where were the feminists?’ question is that the people who ask it are attributing this ‘silence’ to some sort of unholy Marxist alliance between feminists and multiculturalists.

The insinuation they’re making is that feminists were perfectly willing to stay quiet about the rape and torture of girls because of their deep Marxist agenda to advance the cause of multiculturalism and thereby smash Western civilisation. And now that the awful consequences of that strategy are revealed, feminists are too embarrassed to open their mouths.

Or something.

Which conclusion says more about the ideologues writing this nasty drivel than it does about either feminism or Rotherham.

The most galling thing is how wrong they are. As it happens, feminists have been extremely vocal about Rotherham.

Let me give you a handy breakdown:

First off, it was journalist and committed feminist Julie Bindel who broke the story. And for all the conservatives who think that feminists are plotting to bring down the white man, please note that she was bracingly clear about the involvement of Pakistani men.

Janice Turner, who has written about Rotherham, is The Time’s writer on women’s issues. If you need further proof of her feminist credentials, note that the Centre for Policy Studies blasted her for her extremist feminist views.

Camila Cavendish, a writer at The Times – where reporter Andrew Norfolk doggedly uncovered the story – wrote accompanying pieces on the topic. Cavendish’s story on women in banking was feminist enough to provoke a rant from the nasty piece of work behind the fightingfeminism blog, which means that any conservative worth his stripe would consider her a mouthpiece for feminism. So she can go on the list.

For other feminist media reactions, go to The Guardian website, put the word ‘Rotherham’ into the search box, and watch the rage pour out. I can’t be arsed listing all the articles, but start with Suzanne Moore.

Apart from the media reaction, Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper waded into the fray pretty quickly when Professor Jay’s report was released, calling for changes in law, and also for the resignation of the police commissioner. Cooper’s not just any old feminist – she’s a powerful politician who comes up with the sort of ideas that make conservatives go white and shaky. Look her up.

Finally, the work of the Muslim Women’s Network UK can’t be overlooked.

So to all those American conservatives who want talk about Rotherham, can I politely suggest that, first of all, you do some research before you make inflammatory claims.

And second, if you want to score points off your ideological enemies, don’t do it over the bodies of children. 

 

Playing the political correctness card in Rotherham

Last night I finished reading Andrew Norfolk’s body of work on Rotherham, the town where an estimated 1,400 children were raped, assaulted, trafficked and tortured by sex gangs. Norfolk is the investigative reporter from The Times who has been working doggedly to uncover the truth about the sex gangs, the story originally broken by feminist journalist Julie Bindle.

Basically, kids as young as 11 and 12 were approached by older males – mostly Pakistani – and given freebies, rides in cars, companionship and attention. Sometimes the gangs used younger brothers to lure the girls in. The girls – at that vulnerable age when their pubescent bodies and their maturity don’t match – felt flattered and grown up. They enjoyed the rides in expensive cars, the attention from handsome males, the alcohol. Sometimes the girls were in care, and were hungry for affection. Some of the girls were middle class, with intact and loving families.

Regardless, the result was the same. The girls were brutally raped, their ordeals often recorded on phones. Then they were set to work, servicing men on demand. They were warned that if they told anybody, their homes would be fire bombed. Their mothers raped. Girls had guns held to their heads, were doused in petrol and threatened with lighters.

These kids experienced a level of violence and threat that’s normally found in a war zone.

But some of these girls tried to fight back. Knowing that they would be putting themselves in danger, some of them went to the police. Sometimes their fathers tried to intervene.

The police, for their part, did worse than nothing. They lost evidence. They told girls to go home. They arrested fathers. They covered up.

The excuse they’ve given for this incredible negligence has not only been unchallenged, it’s been widely repeated at the highest levels. Despite knowing that a crime on a colossal scale was happening under their noses, the police, the local authorities and the social workers charged with dealing with such matters could apparently do nothing – because of political correctness. They claimed to be so terrified of being called racists if they identified the perpetrators – Pakistani Muslims – that they had to keep their mouths shut.

I call bullshit.

Oh, I’m sure the people concerned believe it. Nobody is a bad or negligent person in their own mind. I’m sure their self-narrative includes plenty of justifications for why it wasn’t possible to act.

Yet over part of the same period when these sex crimes were taking place, the Serious Organised Crime Agency was paying attention to gangs in London, Manchester and Liverpool. Police and associated agencies had no problem identifying the ethnicities of particular gangs: Albanian or Turkish or Kurdish. You can find details on their websites. 

Yet in Rotherham, apparently, mentioning that the criminals were Pakistani was so unacceptable, that grown men and women felt unable to carry on with the duties they were trained and paid to do.

Would these same people have stayed silent if ethnic gangs were brazenly looting shops, holding up banks or burning down public buildings night after night? Would they have told the relatives of murder victims to stop fussing? 

Or was this particular crime was downplayed and ignored because the rape and torture of girls – often underclass, often problematic girls – was dismissed as bad behaviour in which the girls were complicit? 

As Professor Jay’s scathing report makes clear, the girls were not only not taken seriously, they were treated with “contempt” (her word).

According to the Jay report, more than a third of the children who were sexually exploited had previously come to attention because of neglect. But instead of being recognised as vulnerable, the girls were seen as feckless, as difficult and unreliable, as the author of their own woes, and as willing participants in their own degradation. A report from The Times puts it better than I can:

The police force at the centre of the Rotherham abuse scandal is still failing to record crimes against children and has an “unacceptable” culture of disregarding victims of serious crime, a report said yesterday.

   South Yorkshire police was criticised for spending a “great deal of time” trying to “disprove” the word of victims rather than investigating offences.

   According to Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, the force’s public protection unit, which investigates domestic abuse and sexual violence, showed a “disregard” for victims.

   Its audit found numerous failings in the way that the force, along with others across Britain, recorded crime.

   Analysis of a sample of crime reports between November 2012 and October last year showed that the force had failed to record rape allegations on more than one in five occasions.

   South Yorkshire police, which presided over a child abuse scandal in which 1,400 girls were targeted, also failed to record crime referred to it by other agencies on almost 50 per cent of occasions.

This is just classic misogny, where sexual assault against women is downplayed, erased or blamed on the victim herself. 

It”s also part of a wider pattern in the justice system, where girls and women – especially those who don’t come from the ‘right’ backgrounds – are seen as inherently problematic witnesses and even complicit in what happens to them. It was only a week ago that Judge Mary Jane Mowat said publicly that rape conviction statistics wouldn’t change as long as women get drunk, because drunk women are unreliable witnesses. Where does this kind of victim-blaming leave the teenagers in Rotherham, plied with alcohol before being passed around? 

What about the case of 41-year-old Neil Wilson, who got a suspended sentence for paedophilia (later overturned), after prosecutor Robert Colover described the 13-year-old victim as “predatory in all her actions” and “sexually experienced”? So Wilson was seen as the victim, even though the police had found a stash of child and bestiality porn in his house.

Or how about senior barrister Barbara Hewson, who wrote a 2013 piece in the online magazine Spiked – a magazine that regularly rails against what it calls the ‘moral panic’ around child sex abuse – calling for the age of consent for girls to be lowered to 13? She said prosecuting celebrities based on things they’d done decades ago was akin to “Soviet-style” witch hunting.

Read her essay, particularly where she dismisses the landmark work of W.T Stead, a journalist who exposed sexual trafficking in Victorian London. His articles resulted in more protections for young women, including a higher age of consent. Yet Hewson contemptuously dismisses Stead’s work as “lurid” stories resulted in a “moral panic”. Her recommendations?

Adults and law-enforcement agencies must stop fetishising victimhood. Instead, we should focus on arming today’s youngsters with the savoir-faire and social skills to avoid drifting into compromising situations, and prosecute modern crime. As for law reform, now regrettably necessary, my recommendations are: remove complainant anonymity; introduce a strict statute of limitations for criminal prosecutions and civil actions; and reduce the age of consent to 13.

Note that she speaks of “compromising situations”, as though children who aren’t witty or verbally dextrous enough will besmirch their virtue. Unfortunately, savoir faire rarely works when someone is dousing you with petrol and threatening to light it.

I am sure if Ms Hewson read this piece, she would accuse me of being unfair, perhaps of conflating separate issues. She might say that she was railing against “trivial” cases, involving middle-aged women nursing grudges 40 years after being groped by Jimmy Saville. No doubt she puts gang rape and guns-to-the-head in a different category altogether.

Except they’re the same crime, differing only in degree: whether a girl is groped by an skeezy old celebrity, or she’s gang raped by a group of Pakistanis, her body is being violated for someone else’s ends. And here’s the thing that a barrister, of all people, should know: when the small crime isn’t dealt with, it grows into a big one. As in Rotherham, where sexual abuse eventually became a multi-region crime syndicate.

Policing sexual crime is difficult, particularly when minors are involved. Adolescents who are victims of abuse and neglect can be difficult. They often run away from the very people trying to help them. They may do drugs. They’re not always easy to help or even like. They may not be articulate enough to put their case effectively. But that doesn’t mean serious crimes against them should be ignored, or inaction excused by weak excuses like “I didn’t want to be called racist”. Not least because when crime is left unpunished, it metastasises.

The organised sex crime racket didn’t spring up in Rotherham overnight – it grew because nobody stopped it.

Unfortunately, until sexual assault is treated like the crime it is, and girls’ distress taken seriously, regardless of their social backgrounds, this will just happen again. 

I wonder what the excuse will be next time, when “I was scared of political correctness” doesn’t work any more. 

 

 

Why the family business is good business for women

Family businessEarlier this year, I found myself admiring a bathroom. It was after midnight, I was at a work-related function in Italy, and the owner wanted to show me round the renovations she was doing on her palazzo. I was dazzled by the bathroom’s bright blue walls,  carved from a single piece of onyx.

After I’d admired the bathroom, the hostess ushered me into bathroom number two. And then number three.  It turned out she had many bathrooms, each with onyx walls.  The lady in question is staggeringly wealthy, owning multiple historic properties, some of which have been famous since the middle ages.

But her life was very different a couple of decades ago, when she and her brother inherited a business near bankruptcy. Facing calamity, the pair got the elbow grease out, made some tough decisions and she hit the road, selling, selling, selling.

Yet if you called her a feminist, she wouldn’t know what you were talking about. A self-made woman, she sees herself as doing what’s proper and necessary for her business. She is, nevertheless, part of a new wave of women who are reshaping the European business landscape – and transforming the role of women in the process.

Are career and family incompatible?

When people in the English speaking world talk about ‘work’ and ‘career’, what they often mean is work in a cubicle, or else a specialist role in government, medicine or academia. Getting to the top is an all-encompassing, family-hostile battle. So brutal is the climb up the greasy pole, that it’s resulted in writers like Ann Marie Slaughter grimly warning that women can’t possibly ‘have it all’, meaning a career and children.

She’s right, in the sense that many women don’t want to sacrifice their families or fertility for a career. And nor, in fact, do many men. The modern corporate career is savage and family-toxic, regardless of whether the worker is male or female. A child who never gets to see daddy because he’s always at the office, is pretty much a fatherless child, regardless of the kid’s economic circumstances.

But there is, it turns out, a way to have a satisfying and lucrative career that keeps the family at the centre of life: the family business. And it’s a type of business that I’ve come to believe we should encourage in the Anglophone economies. For the most part, we ignore  the family business, thinking of it as either a mom-and-pop outfit, or as something that belongs in the agricultural sector.

Please note that when I talk about the ‘family business’,  I am not discussing hobby businesses where Mum does some craft to sell on Etsy for pocket money. I am talking about serious businesses, in critical sectors of the economy.

The high-value family business is the foundation for some of Europe’s most significant economic areas. Italy’s industrial north is driven by family businesses: think Fiat, Ferrari, Alessi and Lavazza. And Europe’s powerhouse economy, Germany, is almost completely built on the back of the ‘Mittelstand’, the mostly family-owned small- and medium-sized businesses; think of people like the Hahn family, whose glass display cases are the first choice of museums worldwide. Although German companies like BASF, Siemens and BMW are world-famous, the Mittelstand employs 80% of Germany’s working population, and is responsible for 98% of its exports.

The family business at a glance

Regardless of size, family businesses the world over tend to have certain common features. The first is they tend to operate inside a niche, whether it’s making candied fruit or machine tools. They also tend to expand slowly, taking on staff and new locations cautiously.

More importantly, perhaps, are the psychological implications of being a family company. First and foremost, being a ‘family business’ is extremely important to their identity. As well:

1. They think long term. Families are very concerned with sustainability, because they want the business to survive into the future, to be handed down to children, grandchild and great-grandchildren. This means they are typically cautious about decision making, and are primarily concerned with adding value. This is in direct contrast to shareholder-driven corporates, which will often trash intrinsic value (e.g. by cost-cutting, firing employees or offshoring) so they can deliver those all-important short-term returns.

2. Family businesses are typically rooted in their local community. They have neighbours and school mates working for them. Family businesses do not fire employees easily, because employee/employer relationships are often deep, and to disrupt them will have a flow-on effect through the community. This has a dark side, by the way – northern Italy has seen a wave of owner suicides, as failing businesses have been forced to lay off longstanding employees.

3. They are family first. Naturally, all successful enterprises have to exist in the modern world, which means modern hours and work practices. But the first priority of the owners is family, which cascades down to a business-wide ethos of family. This is an ideal situation for women – they can be respected executives and entrepreneurs, but nobody’s going to bitch at the boss for taking maternity leave, or taking time for the kids. But nor can the boss take those benefits for herself without also awarding them to staff. So these businesses are generally more flexible when it comes to family issues.

4. Family businesses are debt averse.

5. Family businesses can be highly innovative within their niches.

Now for the downside:

1. Family businesses can be much too conservative. You can see this at work in Germany, where a significant number of Mittelstand businesses are failing to embrace digital opportunities.

2. Succession planning is a big issue. Often the old guy can’t let go, and keeps interfering with the decisions of the successor. Or the business is handed to an incompetent relative. Most companies that have survived for multiple generations, however, know to hire an outside CEO or managing director.

3. Bad family businesses can be miserable for the same reasons that good ones are great. If the head of the company is a tyrant, or an incompetent, everyone suffers.

4. When family businesses reach a certain size, they start behaving like corporates.

5. Family businesses can overlook the need for professional management.

Big changes on the way

Anybody who thinks Europe is down and out economically hasn’t factored in the radical change that’s coming. As the continent ages, a wave of business handovers is happening, and will accelerate in the next ten years as the boomers retire or die. The generation that’s moving into position are unlike any that’s come before:  they’ve worked overseas, they’re fluent in multiple languages, they have experience in different environments and they typically bring MBAs or equivalent to the table. It’s strange that this coming earthquake has been so overlooked by commenters, because it’s going to rearrange the face of the continent.

And one of the changes that’s coming is a new gender balance. While companies like Siemens scramble to retain their female upper management talent, family companies are embracing their female members for the first time. A generation ago, the business would normally pass to the son, but as Europeans have had fewer children, they’re bringing their daughters into the business.

The road ahead for these women remains bumpy. One owner told me she’d had to hire a manager to give orders to her teams, as they literally wouldn’t take orders from a woman. But as women owners becomes normalised, that will change.

Of course, family businesses aren’t infinitely flexible; they still have to operate in the modern business landscape. And, like I said, at a certain size they morph into companies that might as well be corporates. But small to medium size businesses typically have ‘family friendly’ in their DNA, and women at the helm of such a business can dictate their own terms, making it easier for both them and their staff to combine family and career.

I’ve framed this blog post as a feminist one because, well, that’s what this blog is usually about. But there’s a wider point here. The family business is typically a more human business – as noted above, family businesses tend to be rooted much more in their local community. They carry long memories. They’re cautious. They don’t fire employees easily.

It’s time the rest of us thought seriously about how we can encourage the growth of the family business in the Anglosphere, as a riposte to the brutal corporate hell holes that rule the lives of far too many people. Not only that, but where family businesses thrive, you get a diverse retail landscape with wider distributions channels. Walking through London, I’m always struck by how a handful of businesses dominate the streets: Tesco’s, Sainsburys, Zara, M&S, Starbucks. Walk down the street in any retail district in Italy, France or Germany, and you will see these big international brands – but you’ll see lots of local shops offering something different as well.

The first thing is to change the mentality that businesses are started with the sole aim of selling them further down the track. And then start to think about the regulatory environment, and how it can make it easier for family businesses.

Because it turns out, what’s good for the family business is good for women… and everybody else.

Time for a Bodycrimes kickstarter project?

Introducing the Stepford Wife app

Make her look the way you want her to!

A couple of weeks ago I was in a rural area when my phone started pinging. It turned out I was getting more blog comments than usual, thanks to a post I’d written called ‘Misogyny makes men poorer‘.

The post was about the well-known ‘marriage wealth effect‘ – i.e.  that married people accumulate more money and assets than can be explained by their individual finances alone.

One of the Christian Taliban – Dalrock – had written a post rebutting it, and some of his followers strolled across to Bodycrimes to tell me all the reasons why it’s wrong to be positive about marriage. Mostly, I was accused of being a single woman about to hit ‘the wall’, trying to shame men into marriage for my own gold-digging benefit.

Other criticisms included:

  • marriage is a synonym for ‘divorce’ and divorce is horrible;
  • the whole idea that marriage involves teamwork is demonstrably false, because women aren’t capable of either teamwork or loyalty;
  • women are horrible with money so why would you marry them;
  • men don’t need money anyway, and it’s only women who care about the things money can buy, so marriage is a bad deal for men; and
  • marriage will be redundant soon, just as soon as scientists have built artificial wombs.

First off, a big thank you to Dalrock for initiating the discussion on my blog, which I enjoyed immensely.

However! I must admit to being a bit bemused that men who are readers of a site that’s specifically about marriage (“thoughts from a happily married father in a post feminist world”) are so resolutely anti-marriage. ‘Cos Dalrock’s readers truly hate marriage. Just the mere mention of it seems to drive them into a frenzy.

Coincidentally, at the same time my phone started pinging, I happened to be talking to my driver about his love life. He was telling me how he’d got divorced for the second time, and how each of his marriages had lasted less than two years apiece. He was a bit miffed that I howled with laughter when he told me he didn’t want to date any more of his Mediterranean compatriots, because they’re all hopeless. Instead, he was looking for a more ‘independent, American-style woman’ for his next romance. He wasn’t to know that I’d been immersed in reading blog sites written by American men rubbishing American women in favour of the kind of traditional women he was dumping on.

Now, I wasn’t rude enough to say it, but if you’ve divorced twice after very short periods of time, it’s probably you that has a relationship problem.

Still, there it is. Since people tend not to change, maybe it would be better just to work with them the way they are. And, really, why should a man be denied wifely companionship just because he can’t stand women?

The time has come for an app.

I’m thinking what the world needs is a StepfordWife app, which will operate a bit like Airbandb e.g. it will put the spare capacity of one person to work for the benefit of another. I ran the idea past the driver and he was so enthusiastic about it he even offered to put me in touch with ‘a guy’ who can build it for me.

But the concept still needs a bit of refining, so maybe my readers could help me smooth out the kinks before I mess about with Kickstarter.

This is the basic idea: my app will tap into a database of women, featuring a range of ages and nationalities. The customer can click on the one he likes, and get her to come round and do wifely tasks. There will be StepfordWife uniforms for him to choose from, so he can have her in an apron, in a 1950s dress, or whatever takes his fancy. He’ll be able to pin the different clothes on her database picture, to see what suits her best. Once he’s made his choice, he can specify, for example, that she has to be at his home at around 6pm every day, to greet him at the door with a kiss and a martini. After she’s served him his favourite dinner – which she’ll know about because he will have put it on his profile – she will sit and listen to him unburden himself about his day. She won’t contribute to the conversation, except to tell him how marvellous he is and how it’s ridiculous that his stupid boss can’t see what a genius he is. Then she will clear the dishes and go away.

StepfordWife will come armed with extras, like ‘bread spray’ that can make his home smell like freshly baked bread. Heck, she can even bake him some from scratch if he wants.

And if he’s feeling lonely at 2am, he can call up a StepfordWife to come round and cuddle him.

If he wants to be a premium subscriber, he gets exclusive access to the woman of his choice, guaranteed, with maybe a couple of look-a-like backups in case his first choice breaks her leg or something. After all, nobody wants their StepfordWife limping. These ladies will be flawless, at all times!

Now, you may have spotted the problem with this app – not all of the women who sign up to be StepfordWives will be comfortable with sexual duties. The customers will just have to accept that their cleaning and cooking StepfordWife might be different from the sexy times StepfordWife. But really, since misogynists think women are all interchangeable anyway, that might not be such a problem. The real issue is that these kinds of men want virgins in their beds, and that will be difficult to supply.

For Phase 2, I hope to overcome the issue by partnering with the makers of Real Dolls to develop a true Stepford Wife – a sexy cleaning robot with no opinions of her own. But that’s in the future.

So now, over to you! Any suggestions on how to make the StepfordWife app better are most welcome. Because my system will give everybody what they want: the men get a risk-free wife designed according to their specifications.

While I get cash and prizes a warm inner glow.