'Hadley Freeman writes in an article
from the Guardian
How much does the Daily Mail hate women? It obviously hates female celebrities, despite featuring them so heavily. The paper and, to a larger extent, the website is pretty much built upon a foundation of articles -- though that word does seem a
stretch -- about female celebrities who all fall into the dichotomy of being either thigh-rubbingly salacious ( Look at this sexy young woman in minimal clothes! Look! Look at her! ) or eye-poppingly repulsed ( Look at this woman who is older
than 30, and over nine stone! Ew! Look! Look at her! ) Sometimes the two genres are combined.
The paper uses its female writers as Trojan horses to voice its most misogynistic attitudes, whether its having them embody the worst kind of female stereotypes (Liz Jones as the label-obsessed bitter single woman, Amanda Platell as the high-flying but
lonely single woman, Jan Moir as Glenda Slagg, etc etc) through their confessional journalism.
It is easy to condemn the women themselves for writing for that paper at all, but times are tough for freelancers, and one can hardly blame a writer for going to a publication that commissions so much from women writers, even if it does then change what
Perhaps this last paragraph also applies to the Daily Mail itself. I don't suppose for one moment that the Daily Mail has a particular misogynist agenda, the whole paper is just there to make a buck. Times are tough for newspapers too...and outrage
sells. Why not generate it rather than just report it?
Who is Samantha Brick, you may ask. For those of you blissfully unaccustomed to the utter drivel this freelance journalist espouses, she basically made headlines in The Daily Mail recently for agreeing with actress Joan Collins that that any woman who
wants to stay beautiful needs to diet every day of her life.
I wouldn't seek to censor Brick -- after all, we live in a society where freedom of speech and a free press are valuable commodities. However, I'd be heartened if the backlash was a little more prominent, fervent or passionate. I can accept Joan Collins'
old-fashioned ideals. She found fame at a time when women were often valued purely on looks. I don't like what she says but I expect it. But the same cannot be said for Brick. And The Daily Mail cannot use the argument of airing a debate as a reason to
continue peddling this downright stupid tat.
Exeter student Cara Delaney has decided to take action with her recent petition entitled The Daily Mail: Stop Publishing Articles by Samantha Brick. Along with the 327 other supporters who have already signed the petition, Delaney has pledged to
boycott The Mail until they show some responsibility for the articles they are publishing.
The Mail thrives on publishing stories that will provoke, and they enjoy the attention this creates. However, when the articles they produce could adversely affect the lives of their readers, something must be done to stop them. At the very least they
should be challenged on their reasons for publishing such rubbish when real issues that genuinely affect women's lives -- poverty, human rights, childcare, careers, health, education, equality -- go unmentioned.
Campaigners from a group called Family Lives are claiming that parents and schools are failing to keep track with new trends in technology which are putting young people in danger not just from strangers but also their own peers.
An often-ignored culture of hypermasculinity among boys is increasingly encouraging the view that violence against girls is acceptable or that scantily clad women deserve to be raped, it spews. [what sort of bollox language is 'increasingly
encouraging the view'? Their contention is patently not true and speaking vague bollox about rate of change of trends proves nothing beyond the fact that that the nutters have no evidence on which to base their opinions].
Only a fraction of parents have spoken to their children about the dangers of digital sexual abuse, the nutters add. The Family Lives report warns that the previous emphasis on girls 'could' be obscuring dangerous new 'trends' among boys, with an
emphasis on violence against other children.
The report continues saying that, although it is extremely rare, and there no is actual evidence of it, sexual violence 'could' be a growing problem:
There is a great lack of accurate and up-to-date information on the prevalence of youth sexual violence, especially upon younger age groups; hence it is easy to simply dismiss the issue as extremely rare.
However, from our work ... we know that this is a growing problem and as more cases of early sexual violence appear and throw light on the problem of peer-on-peer abuse, it is important to highlight this seldom discussed problem and work towards measures
to tackle it.
Claire Walker, head of policy at Family Lives, said of the lack of evidence of the group's contentions:
The scale of this is just not clear.
The Government needs to commission some pretty solid research that looks at what is the extent.
We know that hypermasculinity seems to be on the increase and one of the traits of it is peer-on-peer violence but all the evidence about hypermasculinity at the moment comes from America.
Helen Wright is truely gushing in her praise of creative talents of Zoo magazine:
It is not just the glamour of the photograph of Kim Kardashian on the cover of Zoo magazine's 26 May edition that draws the reader in: the expensive lacy red and black lingerie (colours woven into the rest of the cover), the artfully
pseudo-natural hair and the heavy makeup. She presents herself in a sexually provocative way: breasts thrust forward, head pointing submissively downwards, thumbs resting inside her underwear, and legs stretched apart as she kneels on what is intended to
look like bed sheets.
I'm afraid the rest of the piece is nonsense Daily Mail 'outrage' fodder though.
In a speech to the Institute of Development Professionals in Education (IDPE) this week, Dr Helen Wright, headmistress of St Mary's Calne, a private girls boarding school in Wiltshire, will say:
It is not too strong a statement, I venture to suggest, to say that almost everything that is wrong with Western society today can be summed up in that one symbolic photo of Miss Kim Kardashian on the front of Zoo magazine.
The descent of Western civilisation can practically be read into every curve (of which, you will note, there are indeed many). Officially the hottest woman in the world? Really? Is this what we want our young people to aim for? Is this what success
should mean to them?
House of Commons, Questions re Culture, Media and Sport, 16th May 2012.
Keith Vaz (Leicester East, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport whether his Department has any plans to place further restrictions on the content of video games following the testimony of Anders Breivik.
Edward Vaizey (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Culture, Communications and Creative Industries), Business, Innovation and Skills; Wantage, Conservative)
The Government is currently moving towards strengthening the laws in respect of video game regulation. We have recently announced our intention to designate officers of the Video Standards Council as the authorities responsible for the
classification of video games. When that process is complete, it will for the first time be a legal requirement for all video games suitable for those aged 12 or over to be classified. It will be an offence to supply a video game in breach of its
classification. In addition, there is one extra safeguard in the UK that is not part of the general Pan European Games Information scheme that we will be using: in the UK, there will be the option of refusing classification where a video game
cannot fit within the published PEGI criteria. If a game that |s not exempt has no classification, it will be an offence to supply it to anyone.
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport how many representations his Department has received from the Pan European Game Information Service in relation to newly-published video games.
The Pan European Games Information system is the mechanism by which video games are rated. The bodies that implement the scheme are independent of Government and have not made any representations about newly-published video games
Attempts to link last year's Norway shootings to Call of Duty are spectacularly misguided. Moral panic about violent video games is based on prejudice, ignorance and the selective use of flawed research
Labour MP Keith Vaz has worked tirelessly in recent years to demonstrate the link between violent video games and historic acts of violence,
tracing the correlation right back to the tragic consequences that Rome: Total War inflicted on the Gauls. As far back as 2004, he was attempting to link the murder of Stefan Pakeerah to Manhunter, undeterred by the minor point that his killer
didn't have the game. By 2010 he was using an Early Day Motion to tie Counter-Strike to pretty much every newsworthy use of a gun that year.
In recent weeks the tireless MP has used the 2011 Norway attacks to put Call of Duty in his sights. In a new EDM he asks the House of Commons to note that in his submission of evidence to the court [Anders] Breivik describes how he trained for
the attacks using the video game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare; and to declare that he is disturbed that Breivik used the game to help hone his 'target acquisition' and the suggestion that the simulation prepared him for the attacks.
Dealing with Vaz's various claims it's tempting to take him out to a pub, get him extremely drunk, and have correlation does not equal causation! tattooed on his forehead while he sleeps. Before that, though, it's worth putting all this in
context. Let's start by recounting a brief history of video games and violent crime, told through game releases and British Crime Survey figures. Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin:
TV viewers have got their knickers in a twist over the sight of cartoon women dancing in bikinis and a large woman flashing her underwear in an advert.
The 30-second TV ad for insurance company confused.com has resulted in 37 nutter complaints from 'outraged' members of the public who ludicrously claim it is too overly sexual.
Cartoon characters with large breasts in skimpy bikinis are shown jumping up and down in slow motion to the Village People's YMCA song - while another woman's short dress rides up to expose her pink knickers.
The ASA has investigated the firm's ad and has found the complaints to be bollox.
A spokesman for the authority said the organisation had received a number of complaints on a range of issues including that the ads were misleading in the representation of the value of nectar points. Other complaints were logged because the advert was
overly sexual and inappropriate for children to see, and that it is offensive in stereotyping on religious and race grounds. The spokesman said: We have decided, following an ASA Council decision, that there were no grounds to take any action on
The Mothers' Union today slammed the advert for increasing the creeping sexualisation of television. A spokesprat said:
This advert increases our major concern about the drip-drip affect of sexualisation of everyone on television. It is having an impact on everyone - including children - and we need to protect them from this wallpapering of sexualisation.
It is high time something is done about this. We need to become aware of what is going on before the drip-drip becomes a torrent.
Object is a nutter campaign group that rant about more or less any form of sex entertainment that is enjoyed by men. The group is amongst the most prominent of those campaigning for a miserable life.
OBJECT's founder and CEO Sasha Rakoff is now retiring citing the need for rest and time with her family.
Anna van Heeswijk has been appointed as the new CEO of Object.
She came to the attention of the press after she gave evidence to the Leveson inquiry about the supposedly sexist portrayal of women in the press. Armed with a catalogue of images published by the Sun, the Sport and the Star, she claimed to be exposing
how frequently women are portrayed as sex objects through features like Page Three.
She has said re Page 3:
Our argument and solutions are simple. This type of sexually objectifying material would be restricted on television because of the recognised harms associated with these stereotyped portrayals of women and it would be considered sexual harassment if it
was in the workplace. Why is it, then, that they should be printed in mainstream newspapers which are not age-restricted and are sold and displayed at child's eye level?
On lap dancing;
Lap-dancing clubs are often sites of exploitation. They create no-go zones for women who fear walking past them at night and they promote sexist stereotypes of women as sex objects,
And as for prostitution, Van Heeswijk describes this as the;
A billboard which links death with eating meat has been criticised by the National Obesity Forum (NOF).
The advert from animal rights campaigners, Peta, shows a coffin-shaped pie and asks the question Not ready to meat your maker? . It also recommends veganism in the fight against obesity.
Tam Fry, from the NOF, said the advert was laughable and an attempt to make a point out of others' misfortune. He said it was ridiculous that Gloucester had been targeted because the city was one of the less obese areas in the country:
We want to do all we can to lessen obesity but I do not think it appropriate at all to draw attention to it in this manner.
Yvonne Taylor, from Peta, said the billboard was deigned to highlight a link between meat pies and pasties and obesity and other ailments:
The best thing that coffin dodgers can do for their health and to help animals is to go vegan.