Women should be able to report wolf-whistling, catcalling and unwanted attention on public transport to the police as
hate crimes, according to Grimsby's MP, Melanie Onn.
The Labour front-bench politician has secured a debate in Parliament on Wednesday, March 7, to call for misogyny to be made a hate crime. The town's MP said women should not have to put up with unwanted behaviour in public and claims that a law
change would make women more confident in reporting such behaviours.
Surely in tetchy and angry times, when so many are so 'easily offended, surely we don't want people to be given the power to cause so much harm to others for trivial reasons. EVeryone will just end up hating everyone else even more.
A well-placed source told me recently that late last year the BBC pulled plans to show the Oscar-winning film American Beauty on BBC1. Why? Because it stars Kevin Spacey, who had at that point just been accused of sexually inappropriate
Spacey, who is now seeking treatment for his problems, has not been convicted in court of any of the offences levelled at him but the BBC seems to have decided it must shield licence fee payers from works of fiction he has appeared in anyway. No
film involving Spacey has been broadcast by the BBC -- or any other terrestrial TV channel -- for months.
The same goes for Woody Allen. In 1992 he was accused of sexually molesting his adopted daughter, Dylan.
The writer asked the main TV companies for their comments but they weren't willing to say anything worthwhile. Channel 4 was the only company even willing to allude to #MeToo reaction. A spokesman said:
Channel 4 and Film4 are always mindful of current events when scheduling films for broadcast. We select films on a case by case basis, taking into account the nature of the films and the likely impact their broadcast might have on our audiences
given current events.
The Australian 9 News programme is asking whether the word 'retard' should be banned.
It was once an acceptable American word describe someone with a mental disability, but it has now become a word more generally used as an insult. However it seems to very much the word that triggers the most passionate criticism.
Now, a new social media campaign is aimed at curbing the use of the word. Every time you type 'retard' on Twitter, a video will pop up of a person with a disability explaining why it upsets them.
The campaign, firmly backed by Western Australia Disability Services Minister Stephen Dawson. He said:
I think many people will watch these videos, realise what they're saying offends people, and change their ways.
He added that it's not so much about censorship, and more about encouraging people to be mindful of how the words they use might affect people.
But in reality there is a tokenism to such efforts. What ever is defined as a polite term soon becomes open to use as an insult and so it becomes a never ending cycle. A token ban doesn't help much when there is such a rich vein of replacement
terms. And even if impolite terms are frowned up, the English language is rich enough to compose equally devastating insults even using nominally polite terms.
Have a look - if you can tolerate it - at Catherine Bennett's latest outpouring of whorephobic, misandric bile in the Observer. The silly moo completely denies agency to sex workers.
It's as if Max Mosley's friend with the Ph.D. continuing as professional submissive - presumably as a rational choice because it yields more dosh for shorter hours than organic chemistry - passes over her head.
What is a purportedly liberal newspaper doing employing this squalid authoritarian?
Compare the lack of interest shown by media, politicians and assorted celebrities to the cholera epidemic causing thousands of deaths in Haiti, with the hysterical outrage expressed about Oxfam officials consorting with prostitutes
One of the most watched TV shows in the world has broken the most basic of PC rules by featuring a sketch that had Asian actors
in blackface and black actors dressed as monkeys.
The annual Chinese Lunar New Year gala by CCTV is a four-hour event and is watched by some 700 million people each year. This year, one of the many comedy routines featured throughout the show was one intended to depict China's relationship with
There were plenty of 'outraged' tweets published from those that know the rules.
A Melbourne cinema's operators have cancelled a screening of the iconic 1970s film Deep Throat amid complaints from a women's campaign group, the Coalition Against Trafficking Women in Australia (CATWA).
Gerard Damiano's pornographic film was scheduled for a rare public screening at The Astor in St Kilda on March 19. The screening was to have been followed by a panel discussion.
In a message responding to the complaints, Palace programming director Kim Petalas said the film was booked for cultural purposes as a reflection on the changing political, censorship and cinema exhibition landscape in the USA in the early 1970s.
After receiving the complaints The Astor's leaseholders, Palace Cinemas, quickly made the decision to cancel the screening.
Feminist concerns about Deep Throat stem not just from its sexually explicit nature but from the personal testimony of its star Linda Lovelace who later accused her former husband Chuck Trainor of forcing her into pornography at gunpoint.
Oxfam officials will try to convince the government it should keep its government funding - despite claims of sexual
misconduct by its aid workers.
Aid workers apparently paid for prostitutes in a villa rented by Oxfam. The charity noted that there was no evidence of the sex workers being under-aged. It is also reported that no recipients of aid were involved.
Four of the aid workers were sacked and 3 were asked to resign.
And for some reason, these punishments are simply not enough for a baying lynch mob of the politically correct.
There are suggestions that the aid workers should have been reported to the local police as sex work is illegal in the country. But what sort of people would call for people to be allowed to rot in a foreign prison as punishment for something that
is not even a crime in the UK.
The UK Government's International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt has said Oxfam must account for the way it handled the claims or it risks losing government funding, worth 2£32m in the last financial year. Michelle Russell, director of
investigations at the Charity Commission will also be part of the talks.
Mordaunt told the BBC's Andrew Marr the charity had failed in its moral leadership over the scandal. She said Oxfam did absolutely the wrong thing by not reporting details of the allegations. She said no organisation could be a government partner
if it did not have the moral leadership to do the right thing.
Ahead of the government meeting, Oxfam announced new measures for the prevention and handling of sexual abuse cases. The charity will also introduce tougher vetting of staff and mandatory safeguarding training for new recruits.
Perhaps job adverts for aid workers will now read: "Only saints need apply. If the halo slips, must be willing to be burnt at the stake or be left to rot in foreign jails".
Stockholm council is set to ban sexy outdoor advertising. Daniel Hellden, one of Stockholm's deputy mayors and a
long-serving Green Party activist with a political and personal mission to:
Make sure women aren't made to feel uncomfortable by explicit or gender stereotyped advertising in public spaces. I know my daughters, they don't like it. They feel bad. We should not as a city be part of this sort of advertising. I have a
responsibility to the citizens of Stockholm to ban this.
Hellden notes that record immigration to the Swedish capital has fuelled a wider awareness of stereotyping and a need to avoid racist undertones in public spaces.
His efforts to stamp out discriminatory billboards, digital displays or information boards will come to a head later this month, when the City Council is expected to approve a ban on racist and sexist advertisements.
The censorship rules about what constitutes a sexist or racist advertisements will follow those set out by the country's very politically correct nationwide advertising censor, Reklamombudsmannen (RO). But whereas RO cannot issue sanctions to
companies in breach of the guidelines, Stockholm's council will be able to order them to take down offensive billboards within 24 hours.
Inevitably the move has supporters and critics. The Swedish Women's Lobby recently labelled Sweden the worst in the Nordics when it comes to gender images, due to being the only country in the region lacking legislation against sexism and
stereotyping in advertising.
But Stockholm's plans to try and step up efforts against discrimination have come under fire from The Association of Swedish Advertisers, which represents agencies and marketing professionals. Its chief executive, Anders Ericson, argues that
despite complaints from what he describes as a really strong group of feminists, Sweden is already doing a really terrific job in self-regulation. He fears a ban will increase red tape and curb freedom of expression.
Manchester Art Gallery has censored a historic artwork seemingly in response to #MeToo
concerns about men gazing on naked women.
John William Waterhouse's painting Hylas and the Nymphs was painted in 1896 and depicts pubescent, naked nymphs tempting a handsome young man to his doom. It is one of the most recognisable of the pre-Raphaelite paintings.
Although framing the decision as some sort of prompt for a debate, the censorship seems permanent as the gallery has also announced that will also be erased from the post card selection in the gallery shop.
Clare Gannaway, the gallery's 'curator' of contemporary art, explained the censorship on grounds of political correctness. She spoke about the work, and related paintings which were exhibited in a room titled In Pursuit of Beauty :
The title was a bad one, as it was male artists pursuing women's bodies, and paintings that presented the female body as a passive decorative art form or a femme fatale.
For me personally, there is a sense of embarrassment that we haven't dealt with it sooner. Our attention has been elsewhere ... we've collectively forgotten to look at this space and think about it properly. We want to do something about it now
because we have forgotten about it for so long.
She added that the debates around Time's Up and #MeToo had fed into the decision.
She also invented a bizarre take on "I don't believe in censorship...BUT...". She claimed
The aim of the removal was to provoke debate, not to censor. It wasn't about denying the existence of particular artworks. [ ...BUT... it was about preventing men from gazing on the female form].
The response so far has been mixed. Some have said it sets a dangerous precedent, while others have called it po-faced and politically correct.
I particularly enjoyed a blunt reader comment on a miserable Guardian editorial piece
supporting the censorship. TheGreatRonRafferty commented:
Nope, it's censorship. The reason it has been removed is because it shows women's breasts, but now we're being fed bunkum, because those who would hide women's breasts aren't willing to say so.
And an the subject of journalistic accuracy, Andrew Sutton wrote to the Guardian:
Your arts correspondent, Mark Brown, repeatedly refers to Waterhouse as a Pre-Raphaelite. Waterhouse was a prominent Victorian painter contemporary with the Pre-Raphaelite brotherhood, but was never a member and to refer to him as such is just
Manchester Art Gallery said the censored painting will be back on display on Saturday, seemingly on council
orders. It's been clear that many people feel very strongly about the issues raised, Manchester City Council said.
Critics have been robustly condemning the curators for being puritanical and politically correct.
The gallery's interim director Amanda Wallace said:
We were hoping the experiment would stimulate discussion, and it's fair to say we've had that in spades - and not just from local people but from art-lovers around the world.
Throughout the painting's seven day absence, it's been clear that many people feel very strongly about the issues raised, and we now plan to harness this strength of feeling for some further debate on these wider issues.
Presumably the politically correct curators have been living in their own little Guardian reading filter bubble and simply didn't realise how few people supported their views on the censorship of art.
Offsite Comment: Perhaps a little sensitivity training for the staff of the gallery might be in order
The gallery is on tricky ground. Was it censoring Waterhouse's painting? Gannaway says no, but how else do you describe the removal of an
artwork because someone objects to its subject matter on the grounds of a debate that actually has nothing to do with it? Perhaps a little sensitivity training for the staff of the gallery might be in order.
The belief that art needs to be contextualised in this way is not only deeply patronising -- it is also opening up a gap between
the art world and the public. Mounting their moral high horses, curators and critics see the role of the arts as one of correcting the way people think about the world -- to make people see the world as it is seen by these elites: riven by gender
bias, racism, homophobia, Islamophobia, corporate corruption, environmental irresponsibility, and so forth.
Piers Morgan secured the first international interview with Donald Trump last week.
However the interviewer came across as bit arse lickey. The BBC's Mash Report concurred and broadcast a cartoon to illustrate the point.
Piers Morgan launched a blistering on the BBC after it aired a cartoon depicting the British journalist with his nose up President Trump's backside. Morgan accused the corporation of double standards. He wrote:
Amusing though this image may be to many people, can you imagine the BBC broadcasting it if the President was Hillary Clinton or the interviewer was a woman?
The BBC thinks this is OK to broadcast. But if it depicted high profile women, there would be outrage. Why the double standard? If they did it to Hilary Clinton and Laura Kuenssberg - somebody WOULD be sacked.
Surely a valid point but it hardly deflects the humour. US columnist and television personality Perez Hilton agreed and retweeted Morgan, adding: Solid point from Piers.
A BBC spokesperson said:
The BBC has a rich heritage of satire and The Mash Report takes a satirical and surreal look at the week's big stories. This brand of humour is well known to BBC Two audiences who tune in to watch the programme.
Joshua North, who was prosecuted by Humberside police with the help of counter-terror experts, has been cleared
by a jury over his satirical Facebook post where he called for national batter gypos day. A costs order in North's favour will be made.
North had responded on Facebook after national news reported that travellers had caused trouble in Cleethorpes. North said he made the statement to mock other people's 'hateful comments'.
North said the case had led to almost two years of hell for him and his family and noted that there was no investigation into my side of the story.
After he was cleared of inciting racial hatred Joshua North, from Cleethorpes, blasted the decision to prosecute him as political correctness gone mad. He said:
I told the police, if you check all my other Facebook posts, it indicates that I'm very friendly to immigrants, other races and religions.
The decision to prosecute was criticised by North's lawyer who said the case had been brought with 'the full force of the resources of the counter-terrorism unit'. He said:
I am disappointed that the prosecution, who had the full force of the resources of the counter-terrorism unit behind them, did not at any point consider what kind of a person Joshua actually is.
Had they spent any time thinking about him, looking at his other posts or even considering the possibility of another interpretation other than that they fixed upon, it would have occurred to them that Joshua is the last person to incite racial
Instead, they fixed on an interpretation and they refused to consider any other possibility even after he had advanced his position in interview.
What we have is a young, kind, decent, liberal, broad-minded man who works hard and who has been put through hell.
After the case concluded, Humberside Police defended its decision to charge North, stating it takes hate crime allegations seriously.
It is not merely the depiction of sex that is problematic, but als o how it made the actors feel. Much of the issue undoubtedly stems from the fact that all of these films [ Zola Tells
All, Nymphomaniac, Frida, Elle, Fifty Shades of Grey ] -- with the exception of Sam Taylor-Wood's Fifty Shades of Grey -- have male directors. The male gaze, and how it objectifies women, is so deeply embedded in the film industry psyche
that it has become the default.
One possible solution is an on-set intimacy director -- a professional who choreographs sex scenes to ensure the least discomfort for actors and least scope for inappropriate behaviour. Perhaps predictably, there has been huffing and puffing from
(mostly male) voices who decry the idea of reintroducing a form of cultural self-censorship. Marc Simon, an entertainment lawyer, was quoted in The Hollywood Reporter : There may be concern in this zero-tolerance climate that creativity and
creative opportunity could be restrained.
The comedian Hari Kondabolu has produced a TV documentary titled The Problem with Apu that claims that the Simpson's stereotypically Indian shopkeeper character, Apu, has a negative impact.
for the upcoming truTV documentary The Problem with Apu shows Kondabolu's conversations with a number of South Asian actors and comedians, including Kal Penn, Hasan Minhaj, and Sakina Jaffrey, all talking about how the character has affected their
personal and professional lives.
Offsite comment: In defence of Apu
Don't let offence-takers kill off The Simpsons shopkeeper.