Category Archives: Uncategorized

Newsnight, gender bias and The Mail

I can’t say I regularly watch Newsnight. It’s good to keep up with current affairs, but it tends to be filled with people like me – white middle class guys telling you why what they think is right. It’s ironic then that Friday’s Newsnight (which you can watch here) was slated for having a bias against men on the panel on multinationals avoiding tax. Richard Murphy has claimed that sexual discrimination led to him not being on the panel, with Ellie Mae O’Hagan taking his place instead. Unsurprisingly the Mail approach this cynically, and instead of looking at O’Hagan’s contribution, they look at Poppy Dinsey, who is on the panel as she is running a small business. The Mail rages about how Dinsey “features daily shots of her in outfits including plunging tops, bikinis, and, once, a Playboy bunny costume”. The Mail unsurprisingly seems to think women can’t be attractive and a panellist. You can read O’Hagan’s statement on the whole affair here, which include my favourite last line ever:

And my sign off is an epithet to the Daily Mail: fuck you.

I’m wary that I’m getting sucked into supplying links to the Daily Mail website here, which sucks and also shows that I’m not clever enough to oppose the Mail strategy of putting and incendiary article out there and wait for people to click on it and get annoyed. But Kate Reardon has called for the term “feminism” to be ditched as it’s got negative connotations. Whether this is a legitimate argument can be debated, but it would be easier to defend if the last line wasn’t such a sweeping generalisation (“Of course, sophisticated,  successful branding often relies on being quite manipulative –  but hey, that’s one of the tools that comes as standard in any female arsenal”) and the headline wasn’t so ridiculous (“Ditch the dungarees, it’s time feminism slipped into something sexy”).

On a nicer note – this is quite a cool article in the Huffington Post about how the US Department of State is  trying to make it easier for both women and men to balance their careers with their families. I’ve previously blogged on Anne Marie Slaughter’s comments and how I didn’t think this was a gender issue, but it’s also good to see the department taking a similar stance. As the article says, data points include “how the workforce is changing, including how the eager men are, as well as women, to spend more time with their children and how eager young women are to advance their careers”. Good stuff!

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Louise Mensch & Police and Crime Commissioners

Bit late on reporting this, it’s fair to say I’m not due for a career in the media with timing like this. But… Louise Mensch has quit as MP for Corby. Which sucks for 2 reasons:

1) People searching for “Louise Mensch” and “boyfriend” is the top way people arrive at my blog

2) She’s made politics interesting to people who normally wouldn’t bother getting into it.

I’m not a fan of her politics, but she’s not been afraid of getting involved and being controversial, which is quite rare for a public figure. She’s described herself as a Feminist (despite Laurie Penny’s reservations in the above clip), and actually says what she thinks, something that we could do with more of from Politicians. There are loads of articles online looking at the traditional “women can’t have it all” shenanigans, but really, why don’t we question why more male MPs don’t resign to spend time with their families?

Anyway, links to interesting stuff – Helen Lewis of the New Statesman, Janice Atkinson-Small of the Mail who seems like an idiot, but who is right in saying

I’m sad to see Louise go because she was a woman with courage, who had opinions, was media-savvy, was a successful author and she was an alternative and acceptable face of Conservatism.

Last but not least on this, Rowan Davies vs Sarah Ditum in the Guardian.

Today’s blog is very much about politics – more than 80% of the new Police and Crime Commissioners will be male. Bit scary in terms of representation, and even scarier in terms of democracy as the turnout is likely to be very low.

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Best review ever, plus flirting with Maggie Thatcher

First things first, this has done the rounds on Twitter and Facebook, but I’ve just gotta post it again cos it says more about Chris Brown than I could ever say myself! Having been in bands, bad reviews and criticism really stung me, but don’t thing this review could have happened to a better candidate, as I’ve previously blogged about.

Hannah Betts has written for the Guardian about why feminism and flirting go together well. She then goes on to talk about Maggie Thatcher’s flirting skills…. not sure about this, and apologies if you’re as disturbed as me by the image of Maggie T trying her best to seduce you!

Women’s Aid are urging people to respond to the UK Government’s Universal Credit consultation as it could affect women’s refuges. Seems like another ill-thought out example of how the Tories approach welfare, with lots of disabled people already being hit by their policies.

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