New Year, new, refreshing approach to gender equality in our national press? Not bloody likely. This week has been as turgid as ever with all the usual fun of the fair (if by fun we mean fat-shaming, slut-shaming, rape apology and other crusty, patriarchal delights). Enjoy the ride!
10) Woman wears shorts, people see her legs…GASP
For publications that paddle around in the well lubricated stretches of our culture’s more salacious regions, tabloids don’t half sound like a bunch of excited, Victorian boys who’ve just seen an ankle for the first time. Come on the Daily Mirror, you’ve seen legs before, you probably have some of your own. Get a fucking grip.
9) Be nice to people who aren’t slim, says Slimming World…
In The Independent, Page 3 lovin’, possibly confused, body-image campaigner Natasha Devon has waded up to her neck into the sludgy, dubious joy that is the neo-liberal swamp, by suggesting we cheer on Slimming World as they try oh-so-hard to seem like a cuddly-wuddly company, and not one that profits from a cultural disgust at people actually being cuddly. Yeah, they might helpfully apply moral judgement to food by categorising ‘naughty’ food as ‘syns’ – grrrrreat! But aw boys and girls (and especially girls, ‘cos Slimming World will likely get more of your money) those profiteering tosspots don’t want people being mean to you for being FAT, no! That’s horrid! (It is horrid) But.. oh… yes they are called ‘Slimming World’ but no they don’t really mean it, I mean they’ll help you get slim, for a little while maybe, but they just want to hug us poor, sad lumps*, cos remember they aren’t snake-oil peddling turds – they are cuddly and oh so wuddly.
*anyone over whichever BMI numeral is considered to be fucking up the NHS this week, despite the fact that BMI should stand for ‘Bullshit Medical Idiocy.’
8) Woman doesn’t wear a vest
It goes like this: songstress Rita Ora went on middle of the road boregasm The One Show, in a low cut jacket and 400 people complained. The One Show duly patronised the shit out of her by saying they wished they’d wrestled her into a jumper, as they had managed with all her male co-interviewees (we heard unconfirmed reports that Tom Jones had also tried to show side-boob, but the burly woman in wardrobe managed to tackle him into something more modest). Anyway, so far, so tedious. And then The Sun, bless ’em, stuck their pointless oar in on the issue. They took to the streets with their Page 3 model of the moment, Rosie Jones, who seems to get dragged around shopping precincts on utterly pointless assignments with alarming regularity. They dressed her up in 5 dreary outfits graduating from no tits to substantial under-boob and managed to get people who give a flying fuck to approve or pooh-pooh the level of tittage as appropriate for the BBC at 7pm… Obviously the copy is sprinkled liberally with inane breast puns and there you have a perfect example of… oh god I JUST DON’T CARE about Rita Ora’s cleavage.
7) Their message is getting through it seems
Presumably, the Daily Mail consider this story a homegrown success, since they fat shame all the time because they care about us all of course. And, look, it WORKS. Call people names, they crash diet and Bob’s yer uncle. Is that it guys?
6) Kim Kardashian’s Arse barely breaks out the top of her trousers, let alone our wifi connection
Now, I know 2014 was a long time ago and tabloid journos have quite short memories – likely a survival mechanism to circumvent self-loathing at their chosen profession. But, correct me if I’m wrong, didn’t we see Kim Kardashian’s ENTIRE bottom slathered in WD40 EVERYWHERE not so long ago? Now, if that is indeed the case, why, in the name of all things Lycra, are the lady-flesh savants at the Daily Star jizzing their pants over an inch of her arse crack caused by the curse of hipster jeans? For why?
5) Poor Les Dennis and the SORDID, ROMPING, ORGY debacle
Yes, you heard it here folks, or maybe elsewhere if you read The Sun or follow Les Dennis on Twitter… We read The Sun, (that ‘family newspaper and now website – yes they refer to themselves as a family website…) but we do it for you, for this. Anyway, we digress. It was alleged that Les Dennis, a woman called Aisleyne off the telly who’s pretty with a large chest, and another bloke who was multi-tasking by taking photos and holding his (possibly throbbing) manhood (our mate, Dawn Fringe thinks the journalist in question may have been possessed by the spirit of Barbara Cartland mid-story – who says manhood?). ANYWAY, sorry we digressed again, so there were three-people romping and such, sexy stuff with a sexy lady, which we thought The Sun liked, you know with all the tits and everything, but they wouldn’t post the picture because it was too sordid and graphic ‘for a family website’ and Les Dennis says it’s a horrible picture and maintains it wasn’t him. We don’t really care, but are intrigued that anyone would choose to quote Shaggy to impress upon the world their chasteness in such a matter, since that song is all about being blatantly caught at it all over the shop. And, hang on, it’s a picture of Aisleyne who we hope was having a jolly good time, so why is everyone saying what filth it is to distance themselves, they were all grown ups, right? O tempora o mores!
4) Celebrity Big Bore-off
a) How is this TV programme STILL going? b) Who are these women? Have they changed the definition of the word celebrity without us realising? 3) Hang on, I thought more than one in a bed was sordid The Sun? d) Yawn.
3) There is a wrong answer to this question
Imagine what would happen to the Daily Mail fortress if someone in close proximity to their woman-hate-Stockholm-Syndrome laced lair said ‘actually, I couldn’t give a solitary shit about my midriff and my legs are leg-shaped, so sod off’ in response to the above. Imagine. The ice would melt, the bricks would crumble to dust and leave just a single, cheerful plant of some kind (I don’t know anything about plants) in it’s place. Like Narnia. Yes, that’s the analogy I’m looking for: the Daily Mail is like Narnia, where it’s always diet-time and never dinner.
2) Yeah whatever, he’s a rapist and that, but let’s look at his running and kicking skillz…
Unless you live in a shed, on a hill in a wifi blackspot – in which case you won’t be reading this either – you’ll likely know that Oldham AFC were sort of about 80% certain / probably thinking about signing the convicted rapist, who’s not served his full sentence yet, Ched Evans. The Telegraph have printed some offensive bollocks about this case; Allison Pearson, wrote a particularly epic victim-blaming, hand-maiden-of-our-patriarchal-rape-culture piece back in November (don’t read it, you’ll grind your teeth to a paste – unless you’re an arsehole), but this is a different kind of shit. While pieces are being written about consent and justice etc., The Telegraph, in the manner of a bored 8 year old whose parents are having a conversation too grown-up for him to understand, decide to run a piece about Evans’ soccer prowess. The slowest of slow claps The Telegraph, bravo.
1) Cameron Diaz is FINALLY wed – and not a moment too soon!
The Daily Mail effing LOVE a wedding, especially a wedding where they believe they get to age-shame and slut-shame and point maniacally at a woman’s dwindling fertility and declining outer shell with impunity. Cameron Diaz is FORTY-TWO, yes that’s FORTY-TWO did anyone miss that? And she’s convinced a bloke who’s seen better days to marry her, but her mum likes him, so that’s lovely. It’s different for blokes though. Remember that man George Clooney, he’s a bit old, and he got be-wedded (to a super, hot babe let’s not forget, ‘cos old dudes can have hot, younger chicas yeah?), but he didn’t drag behind him a festering sack of broken dreams and failed romance like Cameron and her inventory of botched courtships. No, he’s a MAN and MEN get to ride about on a wave that glows with the wondrous, throbbing kudos of their past sexual conquests, because men are shaggers and rogerers and…. Oh, Alison Boshoff of The Daily Mail, did you not get any of the memos? The ‘guess what, the 1950s are so over’ memo or the ‘marriage isn’t a measure of a woman’s worth’ memo? Guess not.
And there you have it, what a sorry state of affairs. Until next week you bunch of lovelies, when we shall once more regale you with this fair isle’s faux-journalistic twattery. Until then. xxx
Just what I needed after tearing my hair out over the victim blaming and rape excusing on Question Time last night! Oh society……….
Very happy to have helped in that department in some way. This is our coping mechanism/safety valve!
Another EPIC post…. love love love it! 🙂
I spend a lot of time feeling like no-one else notices this blatantly outrageous stuff and then, each week, you come along like a ray of sunshine and I no longer feel so alone. Thank you.
Ha! ray of sunshine, we are such cynics, but that has melted our stony hearts x
love this – thank you, you really cheer me up so much!
Very glad – thank you for the kind message!
My Friday fix!! Thank you, you help to preserve my sanity! I can now begin to focus on the weekend!
The world is quite quite mad. We have no recourse but to laugh at some of the shitter, unnecessary bits! Have a lovely weekend x
I’m not too sure on some of this. First, slimming world (yes I hate the name too) genuinely give help and motivation to people who would like to lose weight, it sounds like you’re angry at them for providing a service lots of people would like to use for themselves. Lets not forget being overweight can come with health problems after all (I’m not saying by the way all people who are overweight should lose weight, but if they want to whats wrong with that!) And whats so bad about Les Dennis wanting to keep his private life private? Why should a photo of him enjoying himself be posted all over the internet?
Thats all, I completely agree with the rest! And keep up with what you’re doing!
Hello NP, Understand why you’ve commented as such so here’s why I wrote what I did: Dieting (esp yo-yo dieting and since dieting is not successful for approx 95% of people in the long term, most dieters are yo-yo dieters in some form) causes more health problems than being over weight does in and of itself. The decent research (of good length and that isn’t funded by diet companies) bears this out, weight loss as a goal is only sustainable for 5% of people who diet. SW are utterly exploitative as are WW, b/c they require (failure) repeat custom to remain profitable and failure is inevitable for most and people believe it is their fault, not the fact that the product/service is a sham. Have a chat with @anybodyorg on twitter or look up HAES (Health at Every Size – rubbish name, great approach) they’ll give you anything you need to know re this stuff oh and this video is excellent http://www.ted.com/talks/sandra_aamodt_why_dieting_doesn_t_usually_work?language=en . The diet industry is unethical. Not to say that people cannot lose weight (but it really only happens as a by-product of adopting healthier behaviours, but our culture’s obsession with it and revolting profit from it is more likely a cause of obesity and other health nasties people usually attribute to being overweight. There is a link between health and weight but correlation is not causation. But as I say if you’re interested talk to the people more in the know. And the Les Dennis thing, isn’t about his wanting to keep it quiet but The Sun’s reporting of it. They trade in the exploitation of women’s bodies and salacious gossip and have the gall to call other people’s sex lives sordid, all the while calling themselves a ‘Family paper’. And his Shaggy reference just tickled us, but that is by the by. Iris x
thsnk you for trawling through the shitty tabloids so we don’t have to!
Your existence is futile.
Oh Dozza, you have hit upon something that has preoccupied poets for centuries, you are a singularly sensitive soul, I can tell. You will of course have read Blake, correct me if I am wrong, but your insight suggests a man of letters. As a thinker grappling with the turmoil at humanity’s core I know you’ll feel affinity with these lines “To see a world in a grain of sand / And a heaven in a wild flower / Hold infinity in the palm of your hand / And eternity in an hour.” Stay strong Dozza.
Only when seeing things from another(‘s) perspective can we understand how what was previously tolerated or even accepted as part of our paradigm is totally, utterly, superlatively well… screwed up; what we thought was important is irrelevant and how we felt about ourselves because of others’ commentary on our appearance was unwarranted. I took the blue pill (or was it the red one, I forget) about 18 months ago and woke up to the reality behind the media veneer, I ordered a copy of Everyday Sexism by Laura Bates: I asked to girls in their mid to late teens about their experiences and yes, what Laura wrote was actually happening. It stands to reason really given that she was writing about events that 60,000 people had posted to her website but somehow it wasn’t enough and I had to check.and still I goes on!
So thanks all and keep on pointing out the ridiculous that masquerades as the norm.
Neo took the red pill much to the chagrin of Hugo Weaving (I love a surname that’s a verb, I find them endlessly amusing). Thank you Mathew, thank you for asking, looking, imagining that there’s experience different from the immediate and then helping to give the nasties a good kicking. One thing we love doing this blog is that we get to chat to lots of chaps who care about this stuff too, we’ve all got to point and laugh at this toss together, dodge the patriarchy’s bullets till we realise it’s all fakery there is no spoon / obligation to conform to a gender stereotype, sexuality, expected body or shoe style. Please forgive the stretched metaphor, The Matrix is one of my very favourite films – only the first one, the second one was alright and I didn’t understand a word of the third.
‘two girls’ not ‘to girls’
Pedantique? Moi? Peut-etre!
I think you probably are. But it’s ok, and Flora is totally with you, she has to proof my godawful prose. My aversion to commas and peculiar sentence clauses, has almost made her lose faith in humanity.
Dear Iris, the comma after ‘sentence clauses’ is unnecessary. Yours, Flora x
Thank you dear. x
Love this so much. Thank you x
I’m no fan of the diet industry or women’s magazines, but I think Slimming World is the wrong target. Along with what NP says above, it’s actually against yoyo dieting, mindless calorie counting, and fat-shaming. It promotes healthy eating habits and encourages you _not_ to feel guilty about what you choose to eat, and to decide yourself what size you are comfortable with. The “syns” are a joke, btw. There are many far worse exponents of dieting that you could have targeted.
Hello Vi, Again as I said to NP, I understand why you think this but they are all part of the same industry, I’m not going to tolerate one which is as problematic for reasons related to promoting a dangerous ideal because it’s a little less aggressive. The diet industry is highly questionable in its entirety. I wrote about it because it was topical in the Independent last week. If I were to do a diet industry post, it would be a weapons grade evisceration. Some may seem more benign than others, but they need repeat custom to survive and that is wildly unethical. Being heavy is not necessarily bad for you, if Slimming World were benevolent they would change their name and their business model. For more information do see above. Iris x
Hurrah. Would be weeping with laughter if I wasn’t already crying over all of the above.