What qualities do us as people inherit from our gender, are men brazen and women reserved? Can we truly accept a feature of us to be definitive, and then does that stereo type become true? Alyssa Elver indulges a strong opinion on both the male and female gender as people and their ‘natural’ qualities in this piece of Satirical Monologue ‘Oh, Girls Are No Good At Genocide’.
Voicing her message through a dictator admiring schoolgirl, a Caricature of sorts, Elver presents an interesting piece of satire; her characterisation enables our perspective for satire, and in her words she is able to mock the stereotypical bravado and bombast that is associated with the alpha male, whilst, making a point to the perceptions of women from both sexist men and society. She challenges the reader, what are our gender roles and inadvertently asks us:
Are women incapable of Genocide or are men enabled for Genocide? As almost as if to shock the reader Elver immediately leads with the words, “I hate being a girl. It totally stinks. Boys are better at everything. ”- She introduces her persona, a self deprecating schoolgirl, begins explaining her disdain for her own inferior gender to males, the ones who ‘always win”. She quickly begins to equate the superiority of boys in sport and science to the resolve and action of the perpetrators of Genocide in history.
Her persona, a supporter of Genocide and admirer of the real ‘grit’ and ‘resolve’ it takes, is so filled with these ideals of what defines a superior person and how it synonymises with the act of Genocide, she could almost be Hitlers favourite Aryan child. She gives an almost as saluting to respect to the act of Genocide and sees the inability of women to commit such heinous act as a weakness and a flaw. It is in her characterisation that the satire is found, her persona is a character so extraordinary and well outrageous that we begin to see her words not so much as a literal statements but as sarcastic irony.
This crazy character is highlighted further in her examples that she uses to argue, she uses a twisted logic in her reasoning; lines such as “All Hitler had to say was ‘jump’ and everybody jumped. There’s no way a girl could grow mean moustache like his… ” it’s as if to make a conclusion she skips any real thesis but by connecting an unrelated statement she satisfactorily proves her point. Elver’s makes the reader feel as if they’re part of a joke, a character so jarring that it disengages from her as a person, and only then do we see Elver’s satire.
And she begins, Elver’s relays her weapon of satire through a her thoughts in a satiric monologue. Her argument ‘Girls Are No Good At Genocide”, she plays on the different gender roles assigned by society (the action reserved, sports shy and materialistic) and males (the brunt, the brains and the action) but instead of attacking these notions she enforces them. Elver structures her argument by bringing in a different case in which females are inferior to men, regular basing it upon stereotypes and gender roles, using logic such as; “I bet he wasn’t afraid getting a little blood splattered …….
Girls hate blood. They run screaming from It. ” to prove superiority on males. It all at first seems like anti feminism almost even on a male chauvinistic level, but as Elver begins to equate this dominance and high resolve of males to the mental criteria for a criminal of genocide. It shows the crafty wording used to trick us; her outright compliments and bias to males are subtle insults while demeaning the qualities of females is in fact a respect of reserve and patience.
Referring to men as ‘bossy’ and ‘stubborn’ is a veiled compliment none of which are normally regard as positive. To garner her praise one must be of a sinister nature, enabled for something as heinous as genocide, to be seen as inferior by her is to be a person of moral conscious not a person without self-confidence and spirit. Effectively Elver uses paradox to hide her daggers, to be positive is to be negative and to be negative is to be positive. This gives the whole piece an edge of complexity; it manages to laugh in the face of the targets without them even knowing.
Elvers satire works in another way by highlighting the stereotypes that are put on women by sexist men. Some women she describes are classic archetypes of a ‘sissy’ schoolgirl, doing narcissitic feminine things “All they care about is going to the mall and buying stupid nail polish and purses and makeup” most of these examples though are a hyperbola and they serve to show an exaggerate image of women that Elver believes is created by sexist men. But it is when Elver strikes a topic of realism in the midst of this bizarre ersona, she makes a truly nuanced comment about the female gender roles put upon by society. “my mom had babies and a career. Still, she’s not the boss where she works. My dad is the boss where he works. ” She is referring a sense of unimportance and irrelevance, even with a fulfilled life and career, the speakers mother is not the boss, and in the world that is what all some people will view her as, just the wife of the man; “they don’t need to be smart”.
Elver further explores the misconceptions of woman by mentioning empathy; her Persona scolds girls for only wanting to help, calling it weakness relating empathy and support two keystones of women design as a negative. Her persona itself can be seen as a highly exaggerated version of the sexist man, just as a women, Elvers may be satirising stereotype of a ultra-sexist man and thus lending to both sides.
It is commentary on common idea of what strength is, many of us see it just as power and physical stamina, but strength inherits and multitude of things and love is one. Stereotypes and men are Elver’s main victims in this piece, almost a goldmine of satire for a woman in our 21st century. Even though we may live in a developed society of liberties, Elver makes a point to say stereotypes are not dead, the term ‘A man’s world’ is still in the minds of some people. These stereotypes have been constricting women today and gender roles prevalent.
Men seems to be probably the most worthy target for Elves millenniums men have been oppressing women and creating gender roles for them. They’re seems to be a power complex and an alpha male culture amongst men, much reviled by freethinking women. “Oh, Girls Are No Good At Genocide” is text of gender ridicule, specifically the absurd notions created by sexist men of women. An attack of stereotypes and those that indulge them, all through a fantastical characterisation in her persona; a self deprecating, genocide admiring school girl.
She’s identifies a quality of man also built by stereotypes: ; men by nature want control, even the control over people’s lives. It’s not to say that Elver creates parable in telling your morals, but the piece does give off a ultimate sense of enlightenment, it’s not that she actually believes that genocide is only enabled in men, it’s as if the whole stupidity in letting one person or feature define us as people. “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe. ”-Albert Einstein