P&G’s Stupid "Thank You Mum" Campaign Redux: The Boycott


Yesterday, I blogged my loathing for the sickly, obnoxious and totally misogynistic twaddle that Proctor & Gamble thinks is a good advertising campaign leading up to the Olympics. Judging by the reaction [and retweets] of my blogpost, I’m not the only one who is offended by this tripe. It’s one of the most ill-judged advertising campaigns I’ve seen in a while. It’s on par with the Outdoor Advertising Agency’s attempt at social media via slurring the characters of all working mothers [I’d link to the genius haikus written by the ever brilliant members of MN but Gary-The-Ad-Man was kinda whiny and they had to be deleted].

It’s a pile of shite and one deserving of its own campaign to let P&G know just how offended we are by the assumption that the only role mothers have is as skivvies and silent cheerleaders. Just what P&G thinks Paula Radcliffe, currently their ambassador for Pampers, does for a living is beyond me. Or, have they simply failed to notice the woman is an Olympian and a mother?

Helpfully, P&G have supplied contact details and a FB page on which customers can place their constructive concerns about the overwhelming fuckwittery that went into this campaign.

For a full list of assets and information related to the P&G’s ‘Thank You, Mum’s’ campaign, including photos and video, please contact:

Rosalind Jeffcoat: Rosalind.jeffcoat@hillandknowlton.com
Sophie Horton: Sophie.horton@hillandknowlton.com

FB: www.facebook.com/thankyoumum

There are a variety of contact details here. General enquiries by phone can be made here: +44 (0)1932 896000 or + 44 (0)191 297 5000

Should you choose to boycott, this is a list of some of P&G’s major brands:

Pampers
Ariel
Always
Pantene
Mach3
Fairy
Pringles
Lenor
Iams
Oral-B
Duracell
Olay
Head & Shoulders
Gillette
Braun
Fusion
Ace
Febreze
Ambi-Pur

In a remarkable coincidence which in no way reflects the relative intelligence of our cats [because they are all on the nincompoop spectrum], we can now boycott Iams as the cats loathe the new and improved Iams Light recipe. The fact that they won’t eat any other brand is a slight problem but one we shall overcome.

#IBelieveHer: Supporting the Innocent Victim of Ched Evans

I have already blogged about the Ched Evans rape case where he was found guilty of raping a 19 year old. The hate campaign which has followed his victim around Twitter and Facebook is both horrifying and the best evidence I’ve seen for believing we live in a rape culture. Amanda Bancroft wrote about the reaction of Twitter to the case in the Guardian last week and Julie Bindel wrote about misogyny in football this week. The shitstorm which followed Evans conviction for rape is utterly soul-destroying and my heart breaks for his victim who is being tortured by misogynists and their handmaidens. The Feminist backlash to this asshattery has been a pleasure to read.

The lovely BasilFoulEggs started a thread to get Mumsnet to support Evan’s victim as part of their We Believe You campaign.:

Dear MumsnetAs you are no doubt aware, there has been the most extraordinary hate campaign waged this week by some football fans, against a rape victim in the wake of the Ched Evans Guilty Verdict.

The jist of the hatespeak, has been that a drunk woman has no right to expect the basic human right of not having her body penetrated without her active participation in that sexual act, or even her passive consent. Presumably because men (or at least footballers and their friends) have the right to penetrate women who are incapable of consent. And that if a man rapes you, it is because you are a slut, a slag and all the other hate-speak words used to de-humanise women and make it easier for people not to empathise with us when we are abused.

This week has seen the really ugly spectacle, of a bunch of men asserting their right to rape women, handmaidens supporting that right and both of them sending out a clear warning to all other rape victims, to know what to expect if they dare to pursue justice if they are raped.

If there had been a similar outpouring of hatred against any other historically oppressed group, the rest of the media would have been tearing their hair out analysing why some men hated this group so much, where the hatred came from, why it existed, what could be done about it; but ironically apart from the Daily Fail, there has been very little comment in response to the Twitter hate-campaign. If Twitter had buzzed with indignation at the jailing of the man who posted hate-speak about Fabrice Muamba, I’ve no doubt that the FA would have tracked down the posters and banned them from football matches. Because they’re busy kicking racism out of football. Sexism, though, is fine. They can give a bloody award to a convicted rapist, while their supporters conduct what must be a terrifying hate campaign against his teenage victim– right now, football fans don’t look all that much better than the Taliban, do they?

Mumsnet, will you use the voice you have against this horrible hate campaign? Will you tell the woman that Ched Evans raped, that We Believe Her? Will you ask the FA to state publicly, that they too, believe her and that in future, they will work as hard to kick sexism out of football, as they do to kick racism out?
Thank You.

The thread is close to 400 posts strong and has spawned the Twitter hashtag #IBelieveYou. Many are using the #WeBelieveYou hashtag which arose out of the MN We Believe You campaign.

My dear friend Frothy Dragon posted this statement on the “Justice for Ched” FB group which was immediately deleted:

People who have consumed alcohol may reach such a level of drunkenness that they no longer have the capacity to give consent. The courts recognise that this stage may be reached well before they become unconscious.” Section 2.6 of the Crown Prosecution Service guide to prosecuting rape. CCTV evidence and witness statements corroborate that Ched’s victim was in such a state. I believe her.
What you are doing to an innocent woman is nothing short of a witch-hunt. 6 in every 1000 rapes ends up in a conviction for rape. You really think it’s that easy to lie about rape, get it to court (something that relies on sufficient evidence) and get a conviction?

It’s worth noting that your hate campaign against the victim will do nothing to help other rape victims. We already have a report rate for rapes of 10%. 90% of rapes go unreported. Do you really wish to drive that number up? Should victims just not report?

Every rapist is someone’s son, brother, uncle; whatever other words you’re throwing around Twitter this week under the vile # tag. No one wants to believe that someone they love and care about is guilty of rape. But he was found guilty for good reason. To Ched’s victim: I believe you.

Let’s drown out the voices of the rape apologists by tweeting our support for victims of rape using the #IBelieveHer and #WeBelieveYou hashtags and joining the I Believe Her FB group.

There is a petition here to have the Professional Footballers Association Drop Ched Evans from the League One Team of the Year Honours List.

UPDATE: Article in the Telegraph on the Campaign!

 

Misogynistic Advertising Walk of Shame: P&G Sponsors Mums?

Seriously, does no one who works for P&G’s marketing department or their advertising company know what ‘sponsor’ means because I don’t think they are working from the same dictionary as the rest of us. I’m a Mum and the fuckers have never sent me a sponsorship cheque.

Mostly, they’ve underpaid the ‘Mums’ who work in their factories making products that many of these employees won’t be able to afford.

Then they pay themselves healthy bonuses for profiteering off the labour of ‘Mums’. Let’s be honest here, most of these bonus-receivers will have penises.

P&G don’t sponsor Mums. They are just another greedy multinational corporation who care only about profit. If they gave a shit about ‘Mums’, they’d try actually paying the ‘Mums’ who work for them a living wage and benefits: like healthcare.

Or, and here’s a really radical thought: what about being an industry leader in equal pay, maternity and paternity leave, flexible working, extended benefits for health insurance, dental, glasses and prescriptions.

Instead of bullshit and extremely aggravating advertising campaigns where they fundamentally misunderstand the definition of the word ‘sponsor’, maybe they could just not act like another capitalist-patriarchal industry which profits off the (un)waged labour of women.

Oh, and while they are at it, perhaps they could actually learn that women aren’t servants; that men are equally capable of washing dishes, doing laundry and cleaning toilets. That men are just as likely to need buy dish detergent as women. Because, as annoying as these stupid sponsorship commercials are, they aren’t half as offensive as their assumption that women are nothing more than skivvies.

And, they should fire which ever nincompoop who came up with the ‘Have a Happy Period’ ads that their subsidiary Always has been running for years. Nothing makes me rage more than a bunch of stupid men coming up with an ad which suggests that having a smelly piece of chemically enhanced plastic near my fanjo will make up for the cramps and pain. Arsehats.

#SpucOff

I love protests. It is an incredibly powerful and amazing experience to be out on the streets with other women being loud and vocal and taking up the very space The Patriarchy denies women. The #SpucOff protest today in Edinburgh [and other cities across the UK] was an incredible, if cold, experience. So many beautiful women standing up for the rights of other women. It was a privilege standing with these women in support of free and legal access to abortion for all women.

SPUC were out with their usual coterie of offensive images and factually incorrect posters about abortion but the sign that fucked me off the most was: “Women Need Love Not Abortions”. The unbelievably hypocrisy of this from a group who aren’t only anti-abortion but also against sex education, birth control, and gay marriage was breath-taking. Any organisation which is against sex education and birth control isn’t about “loving” women. Nor do they give a shit about the “children” they are supposedly saving through the banning of abortion.


If they did “love” women, they would be on the streets protesting about:
  • poverty since we all know the vast majority of people living in poverty are elderly women and single mothers 
  • welfare reform which predominantly effects women especially those with children 
  • cuts to rape crisis services 
  • cuts to domestic violence services since children who witness domestic violence against their mothers are victims of abuse themselves. 
  • cuts to jobs in the public sector which effect mostly women and, in consequence, push their children further into poverty. 

And, they wouldn’t be protesting against birth control because birth control is the one thing which does have an immediate effect on poverty and women’s health.

Preventing women from accessing birth control does not “save” unborn children. It harms women. It harms children.

I am pro-choice because I believe all women have the right to control their own bodies and the right to make personal choices about how many children they want to have. Denying women this choice is misogyny; pure and simple.

Petition to scrap the requirement for a second doctor’s signature when seeking abortion in the UK mainland

Boycotting Lush for Misogynistic Nincompoopery

So Lush has joined the ranks of PETA in its desperate attempt to be “trendy” and “cool” by using the abuse of women to make a political point about animal testing. The reason I shop at Lush is because of their stances on animal testing and environmentally friendly materials and packaging. I suspect most of their customer base shops with them for similar reasons. The reason I don’t support PETA is because of their tedious, dull, misogynistic and utterly hypocritical marketing strategies. Using women’s bodies to make a political point is hardly a new gimmick nor is it one requiring much intellectual stimulation. It’s the kind of dull-witted shit I expect from sexist bucketheads who lack both emotional literacy and critical thinking skills. PETA are beyond hope [as are their collection of dumb-arse celebrity endorsers who think violence against women is “art”].

I expect more from Lush. I expect them to be more intelligent, thoughtful and thought-provoking in their marketing campaigns. I don’t expect them to regurgitate the dull-witted shit others depend on because they aren’t capable of independent thought. I won’t link the video of their “performance art to raise awareness of animal testing” because it breaks my personal rules on pornography and I certainly can’t beat the criticism of the “performance art” by F-Word UK or Stavvers’ critique but I can add my voice to the list of customers who will be boycotting Lush until they remove the video from the website and make a proper, formal apology taking full responsibility for their fuckwittery. That “oh we thought we were edgy and thought-provoking” bullshit cuts no ice here.

As Laura Woodhouse says in her blog for F-Word UK: “Lush’s actions are crass, insensitive and actually damage many of the people who care about the issues they are trying to raise. As one of them, I am hugely disappointed in the company, and will never be shopping there again.”

#OnlyFollowingWomenOnTwitter

This is somewhat of an experiment in flipping the gendered construction of news media wherein male voices and experiences are privileged as “normal” and that of women either erased or dismissed. I decided on it today having finished reading Helena Kennedy’s brilliant Eve Was Framed: Women and British Justice which demonstrates just how much women are othered. I want to explore getting my news mainly from women’s organisations, female journalists and female bloggers and see how difficult it is to erase the voices of men; since it is very easy to silence women’s voices in the media.

Interestingly, I had thought I was following only a few men on twitter but I actually deleted 135 different men from Jon Snow at Channel 4 News to Chuck D and a number of male comedians I don’t actually like. I also deleted a number of animals which, I think, proves that I need to pay more attention to who I chose to follow. I was actually quite shocked at the number of men I was following because I was under the impression that I was mostly following the women of MN and women writers.

I had already expanded my #readingonlybookswrittenbywomen policy into only buying music written and/or produced by women. This started when I tried to make an International Women’s Day playlist for my teenager as a present. Turns out, I listen to a lot of music written, performed and produced by men. I turned to MN for help, which, in retrospect, has not been good for my credit card. It did, however, spawn a thread by InmaculadaConcepcion celebrating women’s music. I’d go for listening to only music written, performed and/or produced by women but I’m rather attached to the Red Hot Chili Peppers which is, I know, deeply unfeminist but I think I am allowed one vice and I am choosing them.

So, this is the experiment: reading not only fiction written by women but ensuring that I get most of my news, political analysis and social awareness from women. In this, I have to suggest the brilliant Women Under Siege Project who are currently mapping the sexualised violence experienced by women in conflict zones: violence that is frequently erased from mainstream media sources.

I’m looking for any and all suggestions of women to follow!

Terri White’s Faux Mea Culpa for Playing the Handmaiden Game

This weekend saw an interesting array of anti-feminist articles written by women. I’ve already complained about Caitlin Moran’s complete lack of understanding about feminism as a political theory [despite professing to be one]. That article was utter twaddle. Then I came across Terri White’s faux mea culpa for her work at Nuts magazine and her part in the massive increase in pornographer. White disingenuously suggests she built her career off other women’s breasts. She did not. She built her career off the pornographication and abuse of other women.

It starts with this:

As the sound of jazz filled the air in the office that night I diligently got on with the task at hand. It was slow. It was laborious. It was tedious. It was decapitating topless women. I was associate editor on the best-selling men’s weekly magazine Nuts and tomorrow was the launch of Assess My Breasts – an online brand extension inviting women to upload pictures of themselves (or rather, their breasts) to be rated out of 10. But first, before we went live, I had to populate it; ensuring it launched with a 100-boob bang rather than a no-boob whimper. Faces were a no-no – part of the “appeal” was anonymity so the girls would feel comfortable with being publicly graded. And so, there I was at 9pm, attempting a mass head-chopping on pictures we kept on file and had sought permission to upload.

Decapitationgate was the peak of the “real girl” phenomenon in men’s magazines – ordinary girls, in ordinary situations, pictured in their underwear. A phenomenon we at Nuts had happened upon several months before and one that had made the magazine a huge success. And along with it, a success of the people who worked on it.

Seriously, where do you even start unpacking that? White worked on a project which reduced women to their breasts (apparently, you weren’t allowed to use the word tits, as if that made the blindest bit of difference) and allowed men to rank them. Let’s be honest with this: they were ranking them for fuckability and nothing else. Any pretence at a different meaning is just intellectual dishonesty masquerading as “fun”.

However, White does attempt a half-hearted attempt to understand the extent of the damage that the lad’s mags made:

While lads’ mags alone didn’t create this sexualised culture, they responded to it and reinforced it, helping it grow into a mass-market monster wearing a glossy mask of normality. We told a generation of young men that a woman’s value lay in the pertness of her breasts and willingness to flash in a public place before going home to have sex. The dirty kind. We told a generation of young women that it wasn’t necessary to get an education or build a career to improve your life. Just be willing to bare your breasts and look what you could win! A pot of gold! And a footballer! And I was a part of that for entirely selfish reasons. I tossed any concerns out of the window in favour of the feel of the monthly payslip and the warm glow of success.

It does lack some serious political analysis but as a concluding paragraph would have at least been an attempt at taking some personal responsibility. Instead, White decides to go for this:

But I still feel awkward at the thought of telling women that they should not and could not participate in this culture. The dominant voices in this debate are still those from the middle class, who can only imagine what it’s like to walk in these women’s 5in heels. I remember what it’s like to feel that opportunities just don’t exist for your kind and that when they come along you need to cling on for dear life. And maybe, just maybe, some of the women who claim to do it and enjoy it really do mean it.

Would I do it all again knowing what I know now? No. We did too much damage. While the magazines themselves may be in decline, the culture they helped to create can still be seen in towns and cities all around the UK – from the Saturday-night porny perspex heels to the casual DIY sex tapes and still-held hopes for fast fame. And, in retrospect, I could have built a career and achieved the financial security I hankered for without my Nuts years and without using other women’s breasts as my stepping stone to get there.

Let’s be honest here. This isn’t really a mea culpa for her participation in an industry which deliberately and maliciously harms women and creates a reduction construction of female sexuality which effectively erases it out of existence. It’s a “it’s not my fault. I didn’t have any choice but anyways the women who did bare their breasts totally had the choice not too” argument favoured by liberal, so-called “sex positive” feminists [that would be sex positive if you think turning over control of human sexuality to Hugh Hefner was a good plan. The term is about as sensible as calling the anti-choice wingnuts in the abortion debate “pro-life” when its patently obvious they don’t give a flying fuck about children since they are the same asshats which vote against universal health care, welfare and education in favour of building more bombs].

So, I’m obviously angry here but its a righteous anger. I want my children to grow up and have healthy sexual experiences with people who love them. I do not want my girls growing up in a society that only celebrates the “accomplishments” of women who have breast implants and sex tapes because those aren’t accomplishments. They are the continuing victimisation and degradation of women. White might be feeling some middle class guilt at exploiting young women but not enough to actually take responsibility for it.

And, frankly, the argument that all the men she worked with were “loving, family men” is laughable. It really is. That’s what people say about their next door neighbour who turns out to be a serial rapist, or the violent alcoholic from up the road who kills his wife or the drunk driver. Women say it because we are expected to play nice and never, ever critique men’s roles in propagating and encouraging misogyny. We just get to blame other women. I call bullshit.

Terri White got a financial reward for her participation in perpetuating misogyny; a misogyny that required women at the forefront to prevent those very accusations. White, Lili Harges, Indira Das-Gupta, and Sali Hughes profited off and assisted in the dramatic increase in the pornographication of young women’s sexuality. Sometimes, all we need to hear is: I’m sorry. I fucked up. Feminists know how hard it is to succeed in our Capitalist-Patriarchy which punishes any woman who puts her head above the parapet but false mea culpas are as damaging as continuing to profit from misogyny.

We all know its a game. Let’s just be more honest about playing it.

We Believe You Redux


In light of the recent conviction of Sheffield footballer Ched Evans for rape, and the following avalanche of misogynistic bullshit on twitter by people who are clearly too stupid to be allowed to have sex if they can’t understand the fairly basic legal concept of “consent”, I’m reblogging the Mumsnet We Believe You campaign against rape myths.

The blogosphere is full of discussions of this case; all far more eloquent than I but these myths need to be challenged. When we play nice, the misogynists win.

We need to be louder and angrier than the misogynists we’re battling so that all rape victims get the justice they deserve.

We Believe You – rape myths we’re challenging

we believe youThere are so many myths about rape – about what it is, about who does it, and whom it happens to. Consciously or not, many people in Britain believe these myths, and they’re reflected in the media, and in the criminal justice system.
These myths discourage women from coming forward when they’ve been raped. They know that, unless they were raped in very specific – and statistically rare – circumstances, they will face disbelief. They may fear that they will themselves be put on trial – for their behaviour, their sexual history, their previous relationship with their abuser.
They may fear that they will themselves be put on trial – for their behaviour, their sexual history, their previous relationship with their abuser. So join us in spreading the word on Twitter #webelieveyou and sharing your experiences #ididnotreport
MYTH: Women are most likely to be raped by a stranger, outside, in dark alleyways
Myth
REALITY: More than 80% of women who are raped know their attacker(1); 53% of perpetrators of serious sexual assaults are current partners or ex-partners.(2)
In fact, over two-thirds of rapes take place in the victim’s home, the suspect’s home or the victim/suspect’s shared home(3). This myth can mean that women who are raped in these circumstances don’t identify their experience as rape, and therefore don’t report it.

It also puts blames the victim, and limits women’s freedom of movement by implying that rape can be prevented by avoiding certain places.

MYTH BUSTED! By our bloggers AlreetHinny and LittleMeFrance
MYTH: Women provoke rape by their appearance or their behaviour
It’s never your fault.  No woman ‘asks to be raped’ or ‘deserves what she gets’ – only the rapist is responsible for the rape.
REALITY: Dressing attractively, or flirting, is never an invitation to rape. Rape is not a ‘crime of passion’ – it is an expression of power and control.
No woman ‘asks to be raped’ or ‘deserves what she gets’ – only the rapist is responsible for the rape.  Rape happens to all types of women, from the very young to the very old – physical appearance is irrelevant.

There is no ‘typical rape victim’. There is only one common factor in all rapes, and that is the rapist.

MYTH BUSTED! By our blogger DillyTante
MYTH: If a woman didn’t struggle, wasn’t injured, or didn’t report immediately – she wasn’t raped
REALITY: Victims may cooperate with the rapist to save their lives; or they may be paralysed by fear. Following rape, many victims experience shock; this can make them seem ‘unnaturally calm’.
Victims are often legitimately afraid of being killed or seriously injured; the rapist may have threatened further harm – or harm to family members – if they resist. The victim’s perception of danger will influence their behaviour.
Victims may experience shame, shock, or denial, which might mean they do not report the rape for some time. The Court of Appeal has ruled that a late complaint does not mean that it’s a false complaint.(4)
MYTH BUSTED! By guest blogger and journalist Bidisha
MYTH: Women who get drunk or take drugs shouldn’t be surprised if they are raped or sexually assaulted
REALITY: Being vulnerable does not imply consent. If a woman is drunk, drugged or unconscious, she is not able to consent to sex(5).
Being vulnerable does not imply consent. If a woman is drunk, drugged or unconscious, she is not able to consent to sex.
If a woman has consumed alcohol (fewer than four in 10 cases), it is the man’s responsibility to ensure that the victim has given, or is capable of giving, consent. If he does not do so, he is committing rape.

Simlilarly, a woman is not to blame if she drinks alcohol and is raped. Women have the same right to consume alcohol as men.

MYTH BUSTED! By our blogger Inside the Wendy House

MYTH: Women often lie about rape, and police officers and jurors should bear this in mind
REALITY:  There is no research evidence that false allegations are more common than for many other crimes. 
Home Office research indicates that between 3-8% of initial allegations are false, but that the lower figure is likely to be most accurate.(6)
Far from being widespread, malicious accusations are rare. A much greater problem in the criminal justice system is the under-reporting of rape – the government estimates that 89% of rapes are never reported to the police at all.(7)
In addition, only 5.3% of rapes reported to the police end in a conviction for rape – the lowest rate of any country in Europe, except for Ireland.(8)
MYTH: It’s not rape if a woman has consented to some sexual intimacy, or has previously had sex with many partners
REALITY: A woman can withdraw consent at any time during sexual activity. Having many previous sexual partners does not imply generalised consent to sex.
A woman has a right to change her mind about having sex at any time during sexual contact. If a sexual partner does not stop at this point, it is sexual assault. All men are capable of stopping sexual activity at any point.

Likewise, having previously consented to sex with other partners does not imply consent to all partners. Women involved in prostitution are as capable of being raped as other women.

BUSTED! by Brian Paddick, London Lib Dem Mayoral candidate and former Deputy Assistant Commissioner of the Met Police
MYTH: Rape can’t take place in an ongoing relationship
Previous consent to sex does not imply ongoing consent, and sex without consent is rape.
REALITY: Previous consent to sex does not imply ongoing consent, and sex without consent is rape. It makes no difference whether the aggressor is a woman’s husband or partner, or a complete stranger – 22% of rapes are committed by partners or ex-partners.
It’s irrelevant whether or not a person is in a relationship with someone or has had sex with them previously. Lord Judge, Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, told a court to approach rape within a relationship, including marriage, as “no less serious than rape by a stranger”.

Consent must be given every time two people engage in sexual contact. Sex without consent is rape.

BUSTED! By Mumsnetter Mme Lindor

MYTH: Some rapes aren’t ‘serious’ rapes
REALITY: All rape is a violation, whether or not the rapist is a stranger, or uses violence. 

All rapes are serious; some rapes and sexual assaults are compounded by other crimes, such as further violence, kidnapping or abuse, which will add to the woman’s trauma.

Acquaintance rape survivors may feel particularly vulnerable, since they have found that even people they trusted may hurt them. They may often have to face their assailants after the rapes, causing additional distress, fear and humiliation. They also tend to view themselves more negatively, and suffer more serious psychological problems than other victims(9).

    Why Caitlin Moran is wrong on the Samantha Bricks "saga"

    I’ve already blogged about my feelings on the furor over Samantha Brick’s articles in the Daily Mail a few weeks ago. I believe the Daily Mail set her up for a serious kicking because of the misogyny inherent in their organisation. They are the best selling newspaper in the UK because they feed on the very insecurities they encourage in their readers. They are vile.

    I was shocked to see Caitlin Moran’s article in the Times today suggesting that the reaction Bricks got was nothing to do with Feminism. I would have thought it was patently obvious that insulting a woman for “not being as attractive as she thinks she is” is pretty much the essence of anti-feminist discourse. The Patriarchy requires women to police other women’s behaviour in order to survive. Buying into the discourse around Brick’s article just reinforces the Patriarchal structures which blame women for just not being fuckable enough: that would be 21 and malnourished.

    Moran is a liberal Feminist and I generally disagree with her on a number of political issues, however this column just disappointed me with its lack of political analysis. Moran suggests that those of us who think this is a Feminist issue are deluded and that men are derided in a similar manner to women in these instances and that Brick was just acting like a “div”. Frankly, I think that’s twaddle:

    I think we all knew this, really. It’s a Human Behaviour Check Yo’Self 101 not to go around quacking about how great you are, given that it’s wholly self-defeating. People who say, “I’m clever” tend to be thick, people who say, “I’m mad, me!” usually work in accounts and people who say they’re beautiful tend to be fairly average, but apt to spend a lot of money on trouser suits and highlights. 

    So, yes: let us be clear. There is a world of difference between “women doing something” and “it being a matter for feminism”. Lest we forget, feminism is “the advocacy of women’s rights on the basis of social, sexual and political equality to men”. It’s got nothing to do with a Daily Mail journalist on a deadline pointing to her arse and saying, “See this? It’s hawt.”

    Feminism is about liberating women from oppression; an oppression reinforced by a Patriarchy that punishes women for not thinking they are ugly, pathetic and stupid. Any woman who suggests she might actually be anything but stupid is, therefore, asking to be humiliated and belittled.

    As for the last part of her article where Moran suggests two subject which aren’t Feminist, well, I’m going to suggest she’s been drinking the Handmaiden Communion Wine.

    1) Beauty routines. There’s been a spate of pieces recently questioning whether a true feminist can wax her legs, thread her eyebrows or wear make-up. While the beauty industry is, as all multibillion-dollar industries tend to be, built on trying to encourage profligate consumerist behaviour through unrealistic imagery, there’s nothing inherently un-feminist about wanting to muck around with how you look. How can there be? If there were then, theoretically, feminists wouldn’t be able to dress up at Hallowe’en, or go to fancy-dress parties rigged out as Scooby-Doo, either. While men can grow beards or wear hats, women can wear eyeliner and wax their legs. Besides, David Bowie wore make-up and it was ACE, ipso facto, Barry M. 

    2) Housework. “When,” I was asked, recently, “will feminism get my boyfriend to do his share of the housework?” Wow. While my slatternly nature is perfectly happy with putting off hoovering by saying, “I’m just waiting for a wholesale societal change to kick in. Come and hoover the front room, instead,” if you really want it hoovered, that might all take a while. Surely here, as with everything else in a relationship with two people in love, you just need to discuss your mutual wants and needs, then come to an agreement. You don’t need the advocacy of rights on the basis of social, sexual and political equality to men, dude. You just need a rota.

    Beauty regimes and housework are the two most obvious ways that the Patriarchy reinforces the oppression of women. There is a reason why women who don’t starve themselves or wear shoes which deform their feet are considered unfuckable and it isn’t because they are frigid. It’s because their existence is a threat; as is the refusal of men to take equal responsibility for the required work to maintain a family. Women will never be equal to men as long as we are required to dress like fucktoys and scrub toilets because men can’t be arsed too.

    Stop the Sexual Objectification of Women in the Press Petition

    This is clearly the week for signing petitions but here is another one which I think is very important that has come via Object who are a Feminist organisation I support:


    Stop the sexual objectification of women in the press

    Responsible department: Department for Culture, Media and Sport
    We, the undersigned, call on the DCMS to ensure that: 

    1) Sexually objectifying imagery which would not pass for pre-watershed material on the television, and which would be considered a form of sexual harassment and therefore prohibited from the work place under the Equality Act, should not be printed in newspapers which are not age-restricted and are displayed at child’s eye level. 

    2) Newspapers or lads’ mags which continue to print sexually objectifying images of women which would not pass for pre-watershed television viewing, and which would not be permitted for adults in the workplace, should be subject to binding codes in relation to their sale and display so that, if sold, they are covered up, age-restricted and put on the top shelf. 

    3) All Local and National print based media should stop carrying advertisements for the sex industries such as ads for, ‘massage parlours’, ‘escort agencies’, sex chat lines and webcam pornography.