Dear readers, we have been overcome with joy at the stories of snorted beverages and sandwich chokings this blog has inspired since we started in April. All three of us regular bloggers, Iris, Flora and Joan (and our fabulous contributors Maud and Vera) feel all warm and woolly inside in the knowledge that we can raise a smile and induce wheezing by guffing on about things that get our collective goat. Our decision to catalogue many of the journalistic infractions against equality and general human dignity has brought us a mixture of mirth and madness. We shall continue to deride the shitshow that is the tabloid press and the less frequent sexist hairballs coughed up by the broadsheets (except the Telegraph – they are on the big newspaper naughty step). But, before the New Year dawns, we present to you a haphazard collection of the offal committed to web and page by Fleet Street’s usual suspects in 2014. We’re sure there are some colossal omissions but, in our defense, we only started doing the Sexist News in October, so our filing leaves much to be desired. So, without further ado, we present The Year in Sexist News:
The ABC of Body Shame
The beloved FEMAIL started the year as in meant to go on, by introducing ‘Alphabetisation’ as the latest arse-over tit method for assigning a value to womankind. Having been through fruit as a way to help us women-folk with difficult tasks such as ‘dressing for our shape,’ we’ve apparently moved on to a ‘letters system,’ which includes the very well thought out ‘O’ for obese. Helpful stuff, eh? My instinct when presented with such news stories is always to try and hypothesise what might be next, and I’m just speculating here, so work with me: ‘the animal body type:’
The most desirable is the ‘The Blobfish,’ with ample jowls and upturned mouth when viewed from the side. Boris Johnson – who often tops polls – is the perfect example of ‘The Blobfish.’
‘The Proboscis Monkey’ is your basic primate appearance, look to Paul Dacre who possesses this body type.
‘The Shoebill’ is beady-eyed and potentially, well, a bit evil looking. George Osborne is a rather glittery-eyed gentleman.
‘The Naked Mole Rat’ is characterised by excess skin and sporadic hairs, showcased to perfection by Nigel Farage in his numerous appearances on BBC question time.
Death Becomes Her…
The Daily Mail is not a paper to shy away from printing the trauma-ridden narcissistic ramblings of various columnists, such as the precariously hinged Liz Jones. They do not veer from their favoured body shaming bent in February’s breathtakingly stupid, ‘un-think’ piece by Samantha Brick. With less self awareness than, say, Nick Clegg scoffing at the price of snakebite in an SU bar, Brick – the 21st century’s Helen of Troy – muses on the subject of whether women who are essentially decomposing by Daily Mail lady-standards, should just kill themselves… OR have things injected into their faces and elsewhere, spend in excess of £200 a month on various goop in fancy jars, OR, GASP, turn into wizened, putrefying crones like Glenn Close and Bridgitte Bardot?? It’s a tough one we’ll admit, especially since we’re not sure where to draw the line; I’ve started going grey, how long should I wait before I google how to make a slip knot? What a waste to wait too long and shuffle off this mortal coil looking a bit ropey. I might not make it into the Mail’s ‘Hot Corpse’ feature after all… might as well live, eh?
Bonus: A Shout Out to the Playground Bullies
A bonus sexism mention goes to every single publication that popped its cork over Rebecca Adlington’s alleged nose-job. It seems journalists everywhere shat their knickers over something so unsurprising my cat could have predicted it (and my cat is a simpleton, bless her). Extra sexist points go to The Daily Star, who created a press version of the Bermuda Triangle…yes, the Daily Star, a publication that regularly body-shames, reported on the hypocrisy of bully Hatie Kopkins’ incredulousness that Adlington – who was regularly insulted about her appearance by TV thug Frankie Boyle and numerous social media dum-dums – had ‘given into bullies.’ Yes, everything we’ve got was boggling at that.
Page Three 3 vs. Breast Cancer
After 43 years of availing the British public with daily breasts for the purpose of giving the chap next to you on the bus a fleeting chubby, The Sun revealed their true reason for Page 3. We want to applaud them for sticking to their guns and waiting it out. There are some charity campaigns that blow their wad after a couple of days, giving us only a few short hours to mull over their cryptic offering before revealing their mission, but this act of misdirection from The Sun (teaming up with a Breast Cancer charity and splashing their intent alongside a lady in little pants on the cover) is somewhat staggering. In fact, during 43 years, many of Page 3’s fans may have popped their sexist clogs thinking that Page 3 was all about wanking. But no, Page 3 is about saving women from breast cancer… Oh, well, it was from March to November, but it’s not any more; it’s about boners again.
Bonus: Most Vomit-Inducing Article of 2014
Women: just imagine having Farage bearing down on you at bedtime. Imagine him gently caressing your thighs with his stubby weasel hands. Imagine him making clammy, clammy love to you atop a polyester bedspread strewn with tear-sodden euros. I’m sorry readers – I have no idea where those visions came from – but, according to that joke of a human with the ridiculous name, Godfrey Bloom, Farage has a ‘weakness for crumpet.’ For younger readers not au fait with the Steptoe and Son era, ‘crumpet’ does not here refer to the aerated bread product that’s 2 for a quid at Iceland; no, here it is used as a respectful term for ‘women.’ This Daily Telegraph article ruined much of 2014 for me. Before this, I never ever imagined Farage ‘at it.’ Now I can never go back. Pass the Valium.
Mrs Tiggywinkle and Ginger Spice
In this endearingly titled article, Sun columnist and bitter Corby deserter, Louise Mensch, fiercely refuted Rashida Manjoo’s outlandish claim that the UK is a bit sexist. Helpfully positioned between Page 3 and an article about a woman off the telly wearing ‘an eye popping white frock unbuttoned past her boobs,’ Mensch’s diatribe set out to prove that sexism is a non-issue, by presenting a perplexing list of high achieving British women. Top of the bill was Boudicca; an unusual choice since she died 2,000 years ago and probably experienced a fair bit of misogyny herself, what with the flogging and raping and all but, y’know… details. Next came Elizabeth I, praised for defeating the Spanish, Beatrix Potter for her timeless tales of handsomely attired rabbits and the Spice Girls, for wearing tops with flags on them. How can sexism flourish in a land famous for burning ships, hedgehogs in aprons and Geri Halliwell? It can’t and Mensch knows it – ‘take a hike, sister’ was her parting shot to Manjoo, presumably delivered with a carefully crafted New York twang. Ah, the Corby days are long gone.
Bonus: The 2014 Award for Press Idiocy
‘Where’s Jack Whitehall?’ screeched the Daily Mail in this turdstorm of an article, which ever-so-subtly hinted that ‘Jack Whitehall’s girlfriend Gemma Chan’ (as she was referred to throughout the entire piece) was knocking off potent sex terrier, Harry Styles, behind his back. The pair were pictured quietly ‘slipping through the exit’ of a club into a waiting car, after enjoying a ‘low key night out.’ However, the people of Britain – the normal people who don’t earn money from Journalism – solved the mystery quick-sharp and helpfully pointed out that Jack Whitehall was in all the photos all along – he is right there, like those photos of cats sitting beneath their ‘Missing Cat’ photos that do the rounds on Twitter. Never mind Daily Mail, I’m sure you can insinuate that Gemma Chan is a terrible woman in other ways? She doesn’t have children; that’s quite selfish, isn’t it? And I bet it’s filthy behind her fridge.
We hope you know ladies: tits are so over – the body part du jour is the big, shiny arse. But not just any old buttocks will do. As ever, it is not sufficient to worship any part of a woman without making sure most of us want to hack it off and start again, even when it’s being hailed as the ‘funnest’ female component part to douse in semen that week. Our bums can’t be steel anymore; they have to be pert and soft (not too soft!) and flawless, like your face, but your arse. Yep, that’s right, a whole new place to scrub down and oil up. We are filled with such bum joy. And, just so you know, this is ALL Kim Kardashian’s fault, ‘cos those gentle, considerate journos at the Daily Star don’t really soil their shorts with glee over greasy pictures of women and then judge them. Oh no! They think it’s ALL RIDICULOUS. Silly silly, vain, shallow women and their weird bum facials, they find it so weird they provide a list of procedures, with a price list. They’re so thoughtful.
Why Do Female Stars Swear so Much?
Dear, sweet, tender Quentin Letts of the sweet, tender, considerate Daily Mail, is a fragile flower and, bless his soft, soft socks, his sensibilities were deeply offended by some famous ladies effing and blinding like sailors this June. Poor, poor Quentin, he’s ever so vexed by the trollopy bawling of aesthetically pleasing lady-thespians Mirren, Winslet and Knightley. Their vulgar, locker-room cussing meant he had quite the conniption. We mock him, but maybe that is unfair – perhaps he is merely a supercilious, drivel-peddling time traveler lost in the wrong century? We imagine he’s also aghast that these ladies don’t wear cotton gloves, carry parasols or play the lute. Someone for the sweet love of god get the poor petal some smelling salts.
Cameron’s Cuties March into Downing Street
Sometimes, when Paul Dacre is too drunk to pay a morose hack to witter about diabetes, extreme weather and foreign people stealing things, a group of dim eleven year olds take over, penning reports with glitter gel Sharpies. ‘Look at that nice lady’s shoes’ they squeal, ‘she’s wearing BLUE! I love blue!’ This is clearly what happened in July, when the Mail published their prolapse of an article about Cameron’s cuties’ style credentials in the wake of the Cabinet reshuffle. After having troughed a bumper bag of smarties at the previous night’s sleepover, the excited Year 7s couldn’t wait to report on the ministers’ blouses and to OMG over whether any of them wore shoes, carried bags or had a fringe inspired by the Duchess of Cambridge. Considering the past seven months of patronising turd, it appears that the tweens are now on the full-time payroll.
Invasion of the Pervy Ghosts
Looking back at a long and turbulent year of sexist news, we were confronted with the conundrum: do we report on the BIG stories, such as the gender pay gap and J-Law’s tits or do we highlight the insidious, creeping sexism in the minor ones? Well, readers, August’s highlight may, at first, appear to be a veritable hairball of made-up spaff, however, it reflects a far wider problem of national significance: women across our fair isle are being harassed, pinched, fondled and kerfuffled by arsehole ghouls. Yes, 2014 was the year of pervy ghosts. The Daily Star bravely reported countless tales of women with massive knockers having their arses slapped by the undead – including pole dancers, strippers and porn stars with haunted vaginas – yet, in my humble opinion, this modest article about a woman named Pauline having her knickers stolen by a poltergeist is the most poignant and vivid, thanks to this excellent ‘artist’s impression’ of the ghoul at work. May this high standard of investigative journalism continue into 2015 and beyond.
The Perfect Tit Formula™
Wimmin, listen, there’s a bloke named Patrick Mallucci who swanks about university hospitals, conducting first class research which can enhance all our lives. Yes, after drawing pairs of tits on whiteboards for a bit, he’s come up with a FORMULA for perfect breasts! Not content with singlehandedly making the ‘nipple meridian’ a thing, he has now curled out the term ‘beckoning breast’ to describe these ideal mammaries. Apparently, ladies, in order to look nice, our tits need to be slightly fuller below the fated meridian than above, and our nipples MUST point upwards at an angle of 20 degrees. In fact, these pointy uppy teats are VITAL, as blokes apparently rate perky tits above massive knockers – as our mate Patrick states: ‘our research proves that, for women, just pumping their boobs up will not necessarily attract men.’ Women, quick, get in the loft and retrieve that GCSE geometry set, then consult this handy diagram printed in the Daily Mail. If your tits don’t have the right isosceles or whatever, don’t depair – it just so happens that Patrick is a plastic surgeon – so give him a ring and, with aid of a protractor, thousands of pounds, weeks off work and tons of sheer, sheer agony, you too can be acceptable.
Bonus: Most Sexist Wedding Coverage 2014
You know that bloke George, yeah, you know him, he used to be in ER and has done some films? Yeah, he got married and everyone went sodding bananas. Chests were beaten, garments were rent, oceans of tears were shed; women all over the world cried ‘oh George, George where art thou?? Were we not to be wed? I may cry rivers in torment…’ that sort of thing. If the media is to be believed, approximately 3 billion hearts broke on the 29th September (yes all of them, even the gay ones and the children’s ones and those of straight women who claim not to give a fig about the amorous attentions of Gorgeous George) why there wasn’t some kind of lemming-like charge into the sea by women of all stripes is anyone’s guess – at Tights we are wondering whether there has been a sudden uptake in women wanting to be Human Rights Barristers since, lustrous tresses and 12′ legs aside, that’s how to catch a hot, rich, old dude right?
The New Tits and Cancer Combo
The Sun’s obsession with tits knows literally no bounds, and I don’t say that lightly. October was the month where, struggling to find ways to feature topless photos without also having to mention cancer, those creative thinkers at the nation’s favourite daily came up with: ‘women with their tops off, who are also having a fag.’ Presumably, helping to prevent lung cancer was not on their to-do-list for 2014. Imagine being the intern whose job it was to research that. British journalism at it’s very best.
Someone Liquidised Jodie Marsh
It’s official. If one is a quote unquote babe, then one no longer qualifies as a solid human. Jodie Marsh is pictured above appearing briefly in congealed woman-form, shortly before she spilled from her leather Batmanesque basque as reported by The Daily Star . We have also heard reports of women pouring their ‘hot curves’ into garments, bursting dangerously from dresses and being squeezed into hot pants. We are concerned that women are not only under pressure to change facial features or have implants, but are actually feeling inadequate if they do not change state into something akin to blancmange in order to be considered ‘babes.’ This madness over women’s bodies has to stop – being lardy is bad one day, but we have to ooze sex appeal the next – before we know it we’ll be back to a fashionable penchant for evaporated women. It’s frankly impossible to be the correct consistency.
Model Helps Hapless Bloke Buy Lady-Presents
Ah blokes, all the way from Mars, they don’t understand that women want to look at and stroke laptops instead of use them to compute things! Well, let’s thank their lucky stars that The Sun enlisted Page 3 model Rosie Jones to help all generic, clueless man-boys buy mind-bogglingly obvious presents for all their identikit girlfriends! This post, which is supposed to soothe the fear of men lost in the perilous jungle of women’s clothes shops, suggests that buying the wrong size (whether too big or too small) will have any lady-recipient breathing into a paper bag in a fit of body anxiety – phew, great tip Rosie! She reminds us that anything with a microchip needs to be encrusted with Swarovski crystals for a woman to take note; ‘they’re called boys toys for a reason, you know.’ Oh Rosie, you’re so right, in fact… hang on… this thing I’m typing on only has a vague metallic sheen, it’s not pink or twinkly, ugh, no, this Macbook is for BOYS!!!!!
Bonus: Sexist of the Year
December bonus sexism mention #1 goes to The Sun. After the delightful editor, David Dinsmore, was awarded the prestigious End Violence Against Women ‘Sexist of the Year Award’, Dylan (not so) Sharpe, their PR guru (much famed for pointing at other people who are marginally worse at something when confronted with a Sun mis-step and shouting ‘but look over there, they’re naughtier!’) sent out a statement which laughably accused EVAW of going for cheap publicity, something they’d NEVER do, and effectively said ‘we can’t be that bad, we didn’t kill anyone and we cared about breast cancer, for a few months.’ So kudos for lowering the bar for acceptable humanity yet again The Sun, the phrase ‘just when you think they can’t stoop any lower’ no longer applies, because we know they’ve the drive and ingenuity to always surprise us from the bottom of the barrel.
And One Last Christmas Treat:
The Daily Mail literally never disappoints: this, hot off their bitchy press has them sticking the boot in to the Duchess of Cambridge on three counts 1) bad face 2) bad Christian 3) bad mother – or, as we think we’ll call it, The Daily Hell Hat Trick. We at Tights would like to proffer that two thirds of us can fulfil a Daily Hell Turbo Hat Trick by being voluntarily CHILDLESS – let’s hope we never marry Princes or they’d fuck us right up.
We wish you all a delightful post-Christmas lull; we’ll be filling the time mainly by drinking and making outlandish resolutions like cutting back on hobnobs and remembering to put the bins out. We’re going to have a brief break in which to go on aforementioned bender, and we’ll be back with The Week in Sexist News on Friday January the 9th. Until then darlings: