Once upon a time there was a king called Ahasuerus and he was a really nice king. He always held the door open for ladies, and listened to them bitching about stuff, and it made him really angry that so many of his female subjects seemed to go for his misogynist best mate Hey-Man. Ahasuerus had been obsessed with finding a new partner since his first wife had left him, he hated being alone and he wanted a family and someone really hot to come to diplomatic parties with him so he could show off to the other kings. He was getting really tired of instead always being friend-zoned; being the one comforting women when hey-man used them.
He was so fed up of how much easier it was for women, his female friends always seemed to have men hitting on them. As a man, it seemed you could only get anywhere by acting like Hey-Man, and so one day Ahasuerus decided to give it a go.This really beautiful woman had been picketing the palace for a few weeks, and one night, coming home early from a club where none of the women were hot enough anyway, Ahasuerus decided to talk to her.
‘What?! What the fuck? Did you just tell me to smile?’
‘I just said I think you’d look much prettier if you smiled’
‘Maybe, but you’d still look like a nob so what’s in it for me?’
And Ahasuerus lost it.
‘For fuck’s sake! What is wrong with you??? What’s wrong with women. I’m giving you a bloody compliment! ‘
‘What’s wrong with women? Are you serious?’
‘I’m just being nice! I’m always nice! And it never gets me anywhere”
“Mate, I’m standing outside your palace holding a sign saying ‘tax the rich’ and you’ve just come up to me, commented on my physical appearance and started ranting about women. How do you even know I identify as female? How the hell have I ended up in a debate about gender just because I didn’t want to be hit on mid protest? Seriously, nice guys don’t see it as an opportunity to get laid every time they see a person with boobs’
‘I’m not trying to get laid! I really am a nice guy, I want a new queen!’
‘How is that any different? You still see every woman as a target, look at her in terms of what she could bring to your life, not a person in her own right’
‘No, but…’ Ahasuerus didn’t know what to say. ‘it’s just my mate Hey-Man…
And Ahasuerus told the woman (whose name was Esther, and whose phone number was not given) about Hey-Man, and how he treated women badly but always seemed to have more luck than him.
‘Wow’ she said, ‘He sounds really fucked up. No wonder you’re confused if you’ve decided to base your ideas about relationships on douche bags like him. And it’s great that you don’t like misogyny but why are you angry with women and not him? And challenge your own behaviour, which as ive pointed out is kind of similar. Not every thing is about men vs women, why don’t you try just seeing people as people?’
She had had a point, or several. They talked some more, and Ahasuerus started to think that maybe he should question his own behaviour rather than comparing himself with hey man, and blaming women. And that maybe he too was responsible for the patriarchy and that maybe he would be happier if he stopped viewing everything in such heteronormative ‘man vs. Woman’ terms.
‘Thanks’ He said. ‘I have been a douche. you didn’t need to talk to me for so long, why didn’t you just tell me to get lost?’
‘Well it’s just while you were sulking and ranting before we got kettled. I can’t go anywhere’
Ahasuerus looked up and saw they were surrounded by armed guards. A few of the demonstrators had been bloodied up.
‘What the hell?!’ He got up and ordered the guards to fuck off immediately.
He turned back to Esther. She grinned, ‘Yep, that’s how your guards treat your citizens. It isn’t just the patriarchy that needs smashing’ and she handed him a flyer.
She did look prettier when she smiled.
Ahasuerus smiled back and puffed up his chest. ‘You know I am king. If you go out with me you could live in the palace, your friends could come here whenever they want with their sticks and posters’
Rapidly, Esther was not smiling. ‘What. The. Actual. Fuck. You’re hitting on me again?! We’ve had one conversation, so yeah I guess that makes sense. And read the flyer, I’m a fucking socialist. Did you think ill be impressed with your palace?! It doesn’t matter if you are a ‘nice king’, you ARE the white male elite – ffs your guards just beat up my comrades!’
She walked off fuming; leaving Ahasuerus with his flyer in his hands.
But he thought about what Esther had said, and later he read the flyer, and then some Marx and some Judith Butler, and started to read some different news sources and ask people what was really going on in his Kingdom. If he had failed to understand the patriarchy, what else had he got wrong? He started going to union meetings, and to some protests, and on the seventh day he nationalised everything and instituted a citizens wage. And he told Esther and she was incredibly turned on.
Ahasuerus denounced his throne, and put the power and the means of production back in the hands of the people. And the People’s Republic of Womantaschen was a happier place to be.
But while they began to live in equality and without bullshit, Hey-Man had moved over to another Kingdom and was fucking everything up. The nearby Kingdom used so much fuel that there was always a black cloud in the sky, and because capitalism was still in place everywhere else it was impossible for anyone in the People’s Republic to by anything from outside their own land without exploiting somebody somewhere.
Esther and Ahasuerus were sad that the revolution was so limited, and that there were still so many people elsewhere being oppressed and exploited. They tried and tried to spread the revolution to other lands, but people were apathetic, or blamed each other instead of the system, or were just working too hard to have time to question it. To most people, the People’s Republic, waving their red flags seemed just as delusional as all the other crazy politiks.
But then Esther’s brother, Mordechai, a seasoned climate activist, had an idea. The People’s Republic had moved to renewable energy sources after the revolution, as they did not want to buy from big corporations and oligarchs, or be part of the global capitalist system that continued to exploit workers. They also quite wanted the planet to survive, now that people were a bit happier. Mordechai suggested that if they campaigned about climate change, rather than revolutionary socialism, they might be able to change the world in a way that made sense t more people. He explained how by getting other kingdoms to divest from fossil fuels would itself be a revolutionary thing – power would be taken from some of the biggest capitalist industries, laying the pathway to social and political change. And also, they might stop the earth from dying.
Saving the planet would appeal more to bourgeois voters and they could do lots of fun inoffensive things for the campaign like bicycles, organic vegan salad and tote bags. Not everybody likes the idea of full communism but who couldn’t like a dolphin on a tote bag with a catchy pun? Also, if you don’t support it, you’d just look like an arsehole who doesn’t care that birds are dying, or a UKIP conspiracy theorist who doesn’t believe that climate change is a thing.