“It got a laugh at a gig,” said comedian Luke Morris, who once read the line ‘Women can be hobos too’ at a comedy night at the Shamrock Hotel, “But each time I try to write it as a routine, it sounds like I’m starting a Men’s Rights campaign.”
Which isn’t a pleasant prospect.
“I mean, saying ‘Women can be hobos’ starts a concept, which I have to then be either for or against. If I’m against it, it sounds like I’m mocking women for wanting to be hobos. I’d then have to voice the idea that they’ll erode traditional masculine values of a man with a bindle on a stick, walking dusty roads in search of an honest day’s work for a single day’s feed, and then mocking women for wanting the same. But why? Why would men want to maintain that image? Surely the sight of women in crusty clothing and patchwork hat, raking leaves for a glass of milk wouldn’t harm the male image. Unless men think that’s cool to do. And it’s not. I do it at home and I don’t get milk or any job satisfaction from it,” said Mr Morris.
Though there is a twist.
“Of course, I could argue that the problem with women being hobos is that they’re avoiding being bums or tramps, and that’s not fair. You know? A hobo works day to day, where as a bum is a moocher and a tramp is a traveller who steals, sort of like a moving bum, so the problem of women wanting to be hobos is they’re going straight to the top of the vagrant pile, and men get stuck with being tramps and bums. Surely it’s the whole thing or nothing,” said Mr Morris.
That might work.
“It’s still silly. Arguing that unlike a tramp or bump, a hobo has values, unlike men,” said Mr Morris.
Of course there’s another view.
“I could argue in favour of women being hobos, but really, is that aspirational? I mean sure, it’s not a bum, but it’s not really reaching for the stars. I mean, a female hobo might break down a gender barrier, but it doesn’t have a great ring to it. It’s not like suggesting women can be neurosurgeons. Which they already are. There’s just some barriers you don’t need to tackle. Like the term Man About Town. It’s been popularise and sounds like the man could run for government, when in reality they are a jerk who can’t be trusted, sort of like someone who could run for government, but calling a women, a Woman About Town sounds more like they’re on a bicycle, you know, and could run a brothel. They’d probably be better in government, but I should probably stay away from gender politics,” said Mr Morris.
There’s been a third option.
“I did get told that ‘hobo’ is an American term, and in Australia we should use the word ‘bushy’ instead. Sure, women could take ownership over the word bushy, but do they want to? I mean, if you romanticise the idea you could get children saying ‘Everyone loves a bushy women’ and is that what we want? Sure, maybe we should, but I’m not going to start that campaign,” said Mr Morris.