Why The Samantha Brick Backlash Misses The Mark
1:15 pm, April 3rd | by Amy Tennery
Daily Mail columnist Samantha Brick knows all too well the sting of ostracism. She’s regularly frozen out by her female co-workers and friends, she says. And with the issue of bullying finally in the public eye, it’s worthwhile to examine how this trend affects women in the workplace.
Weirdly, however, Samantha Brick is convinced she’s been bullied because she’s pretty.
In a column published late yesterday, Brick argues that women “hate” her for being “beautiful.” In her piece she talks about how she’s been passed over for promotions by “insecure female bosses” who are all out to get her because she’s so pretty. By her logic, it’s a near-miracle that any good-looking woman has ever succeeded in business — because “paranoia has gripped the women around” her on a daily basis. Yes, she’s being serious.
Of course, we’re far from the first to point out how patently absurd her logic is. And that’s part of the problem — while the essay is ridiculous, the reaction has been… okay, not worse. But bad.
First of all, yes there are serious problems with Brick’s piece.
Let’s start out with the fact that she believes that women hate her because she’s beautiful. This would be more believable if you didn’t happen to read anything she has written (in this instance and in the past). She writes columns bragging about how pretty she is, for crying out loud. She assumes that women who slight her do so because they must be intimidated by her looks. Not that I really need to spell this out, but that kind of logic makes for some unappealing social interactions, regardless of whether she looks like Kate Moss.
In her column, she brags about how many men have bought free drinks for her and how much attention they give her. Folks who talk like this, generally, are not pleasant people (male or female) to hang out with. That this has never occurred to her boggles the mind — and might account for why some people act frosty to her.
And further to that point — particularly in regard to the workplace — she’s been an open advocate for flirting with her male superiors. In a past Daily Mail column, Brick talked about how she’s “easy on the eye” and that she “use[s] it to [her] advantage every single day.” She notes that “men are the gateway to million-pound budgets… [and] they adore being flirted with.” And we’re supposed to believe she was passed over for a promotion for some other reason? She has a crummy attitude at work. People who act badly in the office generally don’t get promotions.
She regularly writes in a way that is demeaning and denigrating to women — and yet cannot understand why women find her so intensely unlikeable. This is the problem with her logic.
The public reaction, however, has missed the point. As the Telegraph noted, Twitter erupted in the wake of her story. But rather than note her total misogyny, respondents struck back in the worst possible way: They called her ugly. Sigh.
One respondent, the Telegraph noted, wrote that Brick is “not nearly as attractive as she thinks she is.” Others were far uglier, if you’ll pardon the pun. And some responses were downright NSFW. One person called her a dog.
And while I don’t agree with all his points, Spiked Editor Brendan O’Neill hits on something valuable when he says he’s appalled by the public reaction to her story: “So Samantha Brick is self-deluded. Big deal. Lots of people are.” And by trashing her appearance, we’re only proving her point.