My First Time: Learning to Strut (with Madam Storm)

A piece published on the website of Justice for Men & Boys (and the women who love them), the political party of which I’m the chairman, in April 2019:

My First Time: Learning to Strut

Copyright: Astrid Alexander

There are so many things deeply amiss with women in the modern world, and they’re all of their own making. One is their bid to hide their often passive, anxious, narcissistic natures through celebrating and identifying with women such as Madonna and Beyonce, in a bid to appear “strong”, and they’re suckers for ridiculous “empowering” things such as this. Because self-objectifying and strutting around in public looking like a drunk hooker is empowering, right?

Part of an account by Florence Derrick on the Eventbrite page about the STRUT masterclass:

I’m staring at my own face in the mirror, and wondering if I’ve ever truly done it before. Taking in the curve of my eyebrows, the shape of my jaw; noticing my dimples and the pinprick scar on my nose. I’m struggling to remember the last time I contemplated my reflection without seeing it through a prism of self-judgement. [J4MB: That would be within the past hour or two, probably.]

“I am beautiful,” Madam Storm cries, and I repeat it after her. “I am enough. I am a woman. I am here.” [J4MB: Think how laughable it would sound if any man stated, “I am handsome. I am enough. I am a man. I am here.”]

I’d signed up to the STRUT masterclass expecting to learn how to walk in heels like a boss, [J4MB: An important skill for any boss, we can all agree] but things just got real. Female confidence coach Madam Storm uses six-inch stilettos as a tool to get women not just strutting their stuff, but owning their space – physically and psychologically… [J4MB: What does “owning their space” MEAN?]

Not many people would be able to get me to publicly perform a sexy catwalk. But within the first five minutes of STRUT, it’s clear that Madam Storm has a special gift for creating a safe, empowering environment that glows with sisterhood. We stand in a circle and introduce ourselves, clapping reassuringly at each other’s backstories. One woman has just begun chemotherapy. Another is going through a bad break up. Others are there to celebrate a birthday. All are just as keen to support each other as Madam Storm is.

“In this class, we don’t say ‘yes’,” our teacher begins, dressed in a black leotard, over-the-knee velvet boots and a jaunty trilby. “We say ‘YAAASSSS, HONEY’…

It takes courage to walk tall, especially in the face of life’s most earth-shattering curveballs. My afternoon at STRUT has left me in awe of the strength shown by these women. [J4MB: Since when was exhibitionism “strength”?] In their honour, I keep my heels on, and power strut to the Tube to begin my Saturday night. Shoulders back, core engaged, tits up. What other people think of me is none of my business. [J4MB: A sure sign of narcissism.]

Pathetic. Attempting to appear more confident in such ways only emphasises these women’s deep-seated emotional neediness. Cynical women are making money from gullible weak women who want to appear strong. The latter have to become full-time actresses, in effect, in a bid to sustain their own fantasy, and that must inevitably take a toll on their mental health.

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