People...I want to tell you a story. It’s a story I’ve told many times now, but it’s one that I think you might appreciate. It’s a story about a lamp. A very Sexy Lamp. And at some point in the future there’s a good chance I’m going to refer back to this story to help me illustrate some otherwise convoluted point. So I hope you enjoy my feminist fairy tale.
Once upon a time, in a kingdom far, far away, there was a Queen. It's important to note that she'd married into the position and hadn't achieved it through any merit of her own. But she had quickly managed to do away with her husband.
Disregarding how she became Queen, how she was permitted to rule a kingdom without a husband, and why the peasantry hadn't revolted and demanded a representative parliament yet, all you really need to know is that this Queen had some serious personal validation hang ups.
This Queen had been raised in a patriarchal society that taught her that her only value was in her appearance, so she had an unhealthy obsession with staring into her mirror instead of ruling her kingdom.
“Magic mirror, on the wall,” she would intone, “Who is the fairest of them all?”
And because a woman’s aesthetic value can only really be determined by a man, the mirror would reply with a deep masculine voice, “My Queen, the fairest in all the land is you.”
And because the Queen had been taught that the approval of men, even disembodied ones living in mirrors, meant more than her own opinion of herself, she would be satisfied.
One day however the Queen looked into the mirror, asked her question and received an unexpected answer.
"My Queen, you are the fairest here so true. But that Sexy Lamp is a thousand times more beautiful than you.”
“What do you mean?!” demanded the Queen. How could this be?! She'd worked so hard on starving herself and reading every beauty tip in Ye Olde Cosmo!
The Mirror showed her an image of a Sexy Lamp that had been installed in one of the empty bed chambers.
The Queen had to concede that it was a pretty hot lamp, but surely she was far more magnificent!
She summoned a servant and told him to take the lamp down to the kitchens where it could illuminate the table scraps and hopefully get boiling oil splattered all over it at some point. And then she went back to ignoring the no doubt pressing issues involved with running a kingdom.
The servant did as the Queen commanded (because the working class still hadn’t conceived of a revolution at this point).
The Sexy Lamp dutifully illuminated the kitchens for seven long years (yeah, seriously Snow White is 7 years old in the original story), but to the Queen’s eternal frustration it never got any uglier.
Because the Queen was conditioned to believe that she was in constant competition with other women instead of being part of a united sisterhood, the Queen could no longer handle being the second most attractive woman in all the land.
She summoned her huntsman (not a spider) to her and commanded him to take the lamp deep into the Enchanted Forest and once there, remove its bulb and bring it back to her as proof that the lamp was no more.
The huntsman dragged the lamp to the middle of Buttfuck, Enchanted Forest and prepared to unscrew the bulb. But you see, the huntsman was an anomaly among medieval servant class and had a good working knowledge of vintage decor.
He realised that the lamp had an Edison-style Incandescent bulb that really complemented its chintz lampshade. If he took the bulb, the overall aesthetic of the lamp would be ruined forever! So he decided to leave the lamp where it was and return to his Queen via Ye Olde Hardware Shoppe, and pickup a common Compact Fluorescent bulb on his way. She’d never know the difference!
When the huntsman presented the Queen with the bulb, she was satisfied and proceeded to stomp the globe under her foot, thus believing she would be the most beautiful (and therefore valued) woman in all the land.
Meanwhile...in the Enchanted Forest several men of small stature were returning from a hard day’s work in the mines. They stumbled across the lamp and despite their lack of culture they could easily recognise that it was a pretty Sexy Lamp.
“Oh, if we took her home, she could light up our whole hovel!” one of the men said.
“You’re right! And some idiot has left her here with her bulb still in tact. All we need to do is plug ‘er in!”
So the seven men of short stature took the Sexy Lamp back to their hovel and plugged her in, where she did indeed illuminate their cramped residence for them. Because they were working class men, they were clearly very unintelligent so it had never occurred to them to acquire a light source before.
Unfortunately, when the Queen went to the mirror seeking her daily validation, she once again did not get the response she was hoping for.
“My Queen, you are the fairest here so true. But that Sexy Lamp living with those seven men is a thousand times more beautiful than you.”
The Queen flew into a rage, calling the Sexy Lamp a number of whorephobic and sex negative names for having the shamelessness to live alone with seven men. In reality though this just further tied into her own insecurity about being unable to obtain the approval of such a large number of men.
The Queen knew spellcraft by virtue of having a vagina. Vagina owners are notoriously tricksy and can’t be trusted, because they’re mysterious and produce small babies from out of nowhere on occasion.
So the Queen decided she would use her dark sorcery to fuck up this Sexy Lamp once and for all. Instead of putting on a hat and some Groucho Marx glasses, she completely transformed herself into a hideous old crone. It was especially important that she be old as well as ugly, because both of those things make a woman inherently untrustworthy and unlikeable and she didn’t want to make it difficult for the audience to wish death upon her.
The Queen of Oldness and Ugliness arrived at the hovel of the seven men and found it unattended. So she cleverly opened the door, snuck up to the Sexy Lamp and removed her lovely Edison-style Incandescent Bulb. Sadly, on her way back to the castle to enjoy a victory latte, she was mistaken for someone actually old and ugly and was stoned to death by peasants who were no doubt jealous of her access to fancy light bulbs.
When the seven men of short stature returned from their day of work to find that the Sexy Lamp no longer had a bulb they realised what a useless piece of frippery it was and dragged it back to the middle of the forest and then went home via Ye Olde Ikea Shoppe to buy a replacement.
In the meantime though a local Prince, who was not at all related to the Queen (because apparently random monarchs were just all over the fucking place way back when), was riding his horse through the forest. He saw the Sexy Lamp and stopped suddenly. “What a fuckable lamp!” he thought to himself. He looked and realised that the Sexy Lamp didn’t have a bulb in it and was momentarily disheartened. But then he remembered that he was rich and could acquire more bulbs! So he commanded his men to take the Sexy Lamp back to his castle and install it in his bedroom, where it could illuminate his room happily ever after.
That is all.
You may go now.