Monthly Archives: September 2012

“Milk for Real Men” and the Universal Credit

Walking home from work the other day I saw this ad staring back at me on a phone box.

Silly for a number of reasons:

  1. Am I not a real man if I don’t drink milk whilst hanging off cliffs?
  2. Am I not a real man if I’m not muscled up to the max or if I choose not to buy bulking products that will make me bigger?
  3. If I’m not a real man does this mean I’m a woman? Gasp! The horror of such a concept!

I know this ad is really a shameless ploy into getting me to feel ashamed of myself and purchase their product, but really it just made me extra glad that I’m not a buff dude who ploughs money into such companies.

I’ve been a member of the Bevan Foundation for a couple of years no. It’s a bit weird to be a paid-up member of a think tank, it’s not something I ever thought I’d do, but actually it’s just about getting great news updates on social justice issues in Wales – so basically bang on the money considering what I’m interested in. Their blog is well worth a read. Victoria Winckler has blogged about the threat of Universal Credit to Equality. It’s an interesting article as it’s not what I’d initially thought of when I heard about the Universal Credit, but not only will the credit severely affect the disabled and exclude those that are the wrong side of the digital divide, but it will also entrench divisions of labour in households.

The BBC’s programme ‘Women at the top‘ has looked at why so few women make it to the top in the world of business. I’d comment further, but I haven’t had the chance to watch this yet as I don’t have a TV and a certain telecoms company that I won’t mention (Orange) are ridiculously slow in getting our broadband installed.

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Tories, recessions, Leveson and Page 3

I’ve spent some time on this blog trying to be apolitical, I’ve defended Louise Mensch…. ok that’s about it. Haven’t managed to push myself any further to the right than that. Turns out it’s for good reason…..

Dr Fox (the other one, not the guy above – this has probably been done loads) has said that paternity leave should be axed. What an idiot. This punishes, men, women and families. Right, there’s a deficit. But at what point do we stop cutting away at people’s quality of life? Hate to sound like a broken record, but actually…. at what point do we finally agree that the recession was caused by a greedy banking culture and stop taking people’s rights away?

John Whittingdale, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee chairman, has suggested Lord Justice Leveson had invited “anybody who has a grudge against the press” to give evidence. He says “Things like the question of Page Three girls. That’s a controversial issue but you don’t need a judicial inquiry to look into that.” Which is rubbish. What’s the point in having a judicial enquiry into the conduct of the press, but then ignoring the conduct of the press?

Kira Cochrane has taken this point on and examined the current campaign against page 3. This article on Lucy-Anne Holmes and her campaign against Page 3 is quite compelling. She actually says the reason behind the success of this is because of Leveson and the focus on press behaviour. Makes me think that Whittingdale’s comments should be taken with a fistful of salt.

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Scary kids

Children. They scare me. And having children scares me even more. Which is why the whole abortion debate interests me. Obviously we’re talking about women’s bodies, their choice with what to do with their bodies, but this decision ultimately decides whether men end being Dads (whether they want to or not).

Scary (but unsurprising) then to read this article by Kate Smurthwaite saying that that fact that abortion rates are stable is not reported, and that the media has such control over our conceptions of what is happening.

Lucy Mangan, who’s a columnist for the Guardian has also written a good article summing up people in both the UK and US should remain vigilant on the issue.

Awesome then, watching this video from Samantha Bee on the Daily Show, looking at the contradiction between Republicans saying that women should not have a choice over abortion, then iterating the importance of Romney having a choice over which policies he implements! Pretty good skewering of the whole Pro-Choice versus Pro-Life argument!

There’s been women and politics news in the UK too – only 4 women are in Cameron’s cabinet reshuffle, and everyone is white. Not exactly a multicultural vision for the UK then.

Last but not least, apparently the Spectator ran a story claiming that women are the richer sex (don’t think it would surprise anyone to find out they aren’t, as illustrated in this article by Alex Hern), which serves to show how unsurprisingly dodgy the media can be, and how we need to critique what we’re being told. Martin Robbins has also put a great entry on his blog looking at putting Daily Mail style captions on photos – genius and serves to highlight the point.

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