Friday, February 25, 2005

Sickening or what?

Crime figures out today show that the rate of convictions in rape cases in the UK has fallen from 6% to 5.6% - the lowest rate EVER. Key issues mentioned are:

1) "sceptical" prosecutors and police often did not believe victims

"some evidence of poor investigation and understanding of the law"

Defendants were far more likely in rape case to claim the victim consented to the alleged attack.

An overestimation of the scale of false allegations among some officials led to victims losing confidence in the system.

So basically girls if you're raped this weekend, don't bother going to the police. They won't believe you and they won't do anything about it.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Funny women, sad men

Somewhere in deepest darkest Ontario, Dr Eric Bressler is researching the role of sense of humour in sexual attraction. For his latest "trick" he has polled 150 students about what they meant by a “sense of humour”. He found that: "for a woman, a GSOH means someone who makes her laugh. For a man, it means someone who laughs at his jokes." Presumably he means that overall there was a trend in that direction, I refuse to believe all 150 students responded exactly along gender lines.

I really pity the guys with such shrivelled senses of self confidence that they have to go out and find women who laugh at their jokes. I suppose they also prefer women who are impressed with their shoddy shelf-building and inept sexual fumbling. Come on lads, sort yourselves out please before you trouble us with your prescence...

Meanwhile those of you familiar with the Cru-blog will know that I do a bit of moonlighting as a stand-up comic, please email me for my upcoming gigs around London. My old stand-up teacher always reckoned that women had a natural advantage over men especially when it comes to observational comedy becuase they tend to notice more detail and be more aware of social tensions and relationships. Either way there are some great women out there telling jokes and here are a few I would recommend...

Julia Morris, Nina Conti, Jo Caulfield, Juliet Meyers, Debra-Jane Appleby and Danielle Ward.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Does the Pope smoke dope?

If not maybe he should consider taking it up! His latest book likens legal abortion to the holocaust. He says: "It was a legally elected parliament which allowed for the election of Hitler in Germany in the 1930s... We have to question the legal regulations that have been decided in the parliaments of present day democracies. The most direct association which comes to mind is the abortion laws... Parliaments which create and promulgate such laws must be aware that they are transgressing their powers and remain in open conflict with the law of God and the law of nature."

Now what strikes me (apart from some historical points about Germany in the 30s and some scientific points about the differences between an embryo or foetus and a post-birth baby, child or adult) is his view that parliaments "are transgressing their powers". So he is implying that countries should be run on religious lines first and the will of the people second. Doesn't seem very fair on people in those countries where the dominant religion is not catholicism. Frankly it doesn't seem very fair on people of other religions living in predominantly catholic countries.

Hitler's Germany (however "elected") forced civilians into committing atrocities. Laws legalising abortion do not force anyone to have an abortion against their wishes. The bible (which doesn't specifically mention abortion, and consistently describes the moment of birth as being the time when a person enters the world and begins to exist) preaches against lying and jealously. Should we be passing laws locking people up if they appear to have commited such sins?

Curiously when poor old beleaguered Ken Livingston drew parrallels between Nazi Germany and journalists he was heavily criticised for it. Should the Pope publically apologise to pro-choice campaigners and governments for his comments? I think so...

...I also think that as soon as we scratch the surface here we start to smell the familiar stench of any-old-law, any-old-story, any-old-theory, as long as it makes women's lives as miserable and arduous as possible. No thanks.

Monday, February 14, 2005

An alternative take on driving tests

Well us poor stupid women apparently need more lessons before we pass our driving tests, according to this article in the Guardian. Now we all know that women drivers have less accidents. That's why insurance premiums are lower for women. So maybe the people who give the tests are passing guys too quickly and failing too many women. Maybe - shock horror - they're discriminating, consciously or sub-consciously, against women. Maybe its articles like that one in the guardian, and comments by people like Roger Cummins, the DSA's chief driving examiner, that lead to this perception of women as bad drivers and thus to the discrimination.

Now they claim, and they may be right, that women are more cautious drivers. Women are often failed in driving tests for taking too long pulling out at junctions. Meanwhile men tend to be more rash and decisive, which results in them having more accidents. So should driving examiners stop failing people so quickly for being over-cautious and start failing more people for being over-confident? Might not be a bad plan. Should a responsible paper like the Guardian be printing articles entitled "Women 'need longer to learn to drive'" when we all know that women are better and safer drivers than men? Probably not.

Happy Valentine's Day all. xx

Monday, February 07, 2005

Aren't the 50s over yet?

Can't believe I didn't notice when it came out (I was overseas...) but anyway the Guardian has another piece of filler fluff out entitled "Why brainy women stay single". Well I'm sitting here, there's an old letter from MENSA in my drawer, that clearly says my IQ is 156, a bunch of flowers that I've had to stick into the caffetiere cos I'm out of vases on one side of my desk and a box of heart-shaped soft-centre choccies with an early Valentine's card on the other. So I guess it must be my job to say SOMETHING about the subject (or perhaps I'll just eat some more choccies first!).

Now firstly the article itself is by Margaret Cook - a woman famous purely for having been married to a little ugly bloke with an important job (Robin Cook), and having been ditched by him when he ran off with another woman. Surely the survey of views fielded by the paper should include some sample of women with successful relationships or women who prefer or enjoy being single too?

Secondly the "headline" statistic is that "each 16-point IQ increase relates to a 40% drop in marriage likelihood". statistically this cannot be true across the full IQ spectrum. If 100% of women with an IQ of 68 or less get married, then at IQ of 84, 60% get married, at IQ 100 it's 36%, IQ 116 it's 22%, IQ 132 it's 13%, IQ 148 it's 8%, IQ 164 it's 5%,... and if you're smart enough to work out the numbers this far presumably you are a confirmed spinster by now!

Now, here are some reasons why it might not be such a good idea to take the numbers at face value:

1) Maybe some of the smart women get married older. Perhaps because they're having careers first.
2) Maybe some smart women are more cautious about making marriage commitments. Maybe even smart men stupidly rush into promises they can't necessarily keep.
3) Maybe some smart women have renounced the out-of-date religious and social constructs of marriage and are having their own relationships on their own terms.
4) Maybe some smart women are able to earn their own money and survive financially without men, and maybe they want to do that.
5) Maybe some smart women are choosing not to have children, since they know how much this will damage their career.
6) Maybe some smart women are having relationships with not-so-smart men, but avoiding marriage to avoid losing half their savings, etc. in the divorce courts.
7) Maybe some smart women are lesbians.
8) Maybe some smart women are just happy single, or (shock horror) happy having short-term relationships and casual, debauched sex...!

Here are some "explanations" put forward by the various articles on the subject - and some comments on what's wrong with them:

1) "A chap with a high IQ is going to get a demanding job that is going to take up a lot of his energy and time. In many ways he wants a woman who is an old-fashioned wife and looks after the home". Is home-making and child-raising an easy job, well-suited to persons of low IQ?
2) "Women want independence but we are all hard-wired into wanting to be into relationships". Hard-wired by who? Despite the best efforts of the deeply sexist press and media industry, some of us like our independence.
3) "
It is true that men do not want women more intelligent than themselves. It bolsters their position if their partner is not too challenging". Well it may be true of SOME men, others may not need their position bolstering and may even enjoy the company of intelligent women.
4) "
They [men] retain their sexiness well into middle or even late life, because they do not rely simply on film-star good looks and a muscular physique". Hold on, this is a different arguement about attractiveness relative to age. If women are only attractive for about six months (tosh!) while men are attractive into their 80s then there must be loads more attractive guys around than girls. So even the unattractive girls should be able to bag one... go figure...
5) "
in Love Actually, Hugh Grant's suave prime minister finds a soulmate in Martine McCutcheon's comely tea-lady, while Colin Firth plays a writer who falls for a Portuguese woman. Knowing no English she cannot answer back". That's a film! It's not true...
6) "No man likes his wife to earn more than he does". Says who? "Darling, I love you, lets get married", "I have to tell you something", "What is it darling?", "I'm rich", "Oh no, how awful",... pur-lease. Any guy who can't deal with women who earn more than them should seek therapy now, not to mention penis enlargement drugs.

And finally here are three sides to the story which the journalism on the subject hasn't really covered:

1) Less intelligent men also showed up as being less likely to marry. Maybe we should be worried about these men, since they have no partner to look after them and with their low intelligence levels may find it difficult to get a decent job.
2) If true, shouldn't we be addressing why men are so insecure that they have to seek out less intelligent women than themselves?
3) Given that statistically single women and married men are happier than than the other two groups, maybe the way things are shifting is great news for us girls and bad news for the boys!

Then again (pause to eat another choccie) maybe its just that in my case my cracking tits and arse make up for my vile and off-putting intellectual personality! We may never know....

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

We don't need no... freedom?

Can someone American please tell me why the rebellious teenage youth in the land of freedom and opportunity don't actually want their freedom? This article has left me thoroughly gob-smacked (and I usually have an answer to most things). Has the culture of fear now entirely replaced the culture of freedom?

Silly boys!

We've known for a while that girls do better in school than boys. Susan Lewis, the chief inspector of schools in Wales, has brought out her annual report which highlights the issue, an is written up in the BBC report.

But why do the BBC, and Susan Lewis herself, have to treat this news as being some sort of symptom of problems in the education system? When girls do worse academically, as we saw two weeks ago, its reported as being due to "innate differences".

For example Ms Lewis says "Boys particularly are more likely to under achieve, be excluded from school or break the law". Well historically boys have been committing more crimes than girls for a long long time. I'm not going to fall into the trap of suggesting whether that might be an innate or a socially-generated situation. Its been true however even in societies where girls don't go to school and where no children go to school. So why do we need to change our education system to make special allowances for them? Lets ask a different question - why are all these harder-working, smarter girls growing up to lower-paid jobs?