Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Two Snippets

Too busy for "real" blogging but a couple of interesting things.

1) Did a Radio Five Live discussion this morning with the truly dreadful Lynette Burrows. We were responding to news (against all odds in a rather reasonable article in the Telegraph) that courts have overturned a decision by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority to reduce compensation payouts to rape victims by 25% if they had been drinking. Needless to say Lynette was full of wisdom on the subject insisting there must be a "culpability factor" for women who get drunk and go about with their "bosoms hanging out". She also likened the situation to that of drunk-drivers who kill people...? Weird considering the people being penalised for being drunk in that scenario are the culprits, rather than the victims! Anyway it all got rather heated. Lynette also suggested that once a woman has consented to sex she cannot ever withdraw that consent which is (a) legally not the case and (b) a frightening idea. She added that she "didn't believe" that as many as 1 in 20 women in the UK had been raped (statistics suggesting it is much worse than that can be found here). So much to argue with, what worries me is why the BBC allows voices like hers on national radio - it legitimises her wrong and offensive opinions.

2) Bad language. Yesterday a family came to my show with two kids aged 9 and 11. As they arrived my marketing team had a quick word with them to check that they knew the show would contain swearing and talk about sex. They were cool with that. Once the audience had come in I told them not to worry about there being kids in, that I had checked with the parents and that we would be swearing and this wasn't a problem. Then I got on with the show. Two guys arrived late and crept in at the back having missed that. After the show they angrily marched up to me and berated me for using the word "cunt" (the word appears in my show exactly once). I explained of course that we'd discussed it before they'd arrived thinking this would calm them down. Amazingly they stayed angry and insisted that I should have used the word "twat" instead...? I personally like the word "cunt" as I have expounded at length on this blog before, but it gave me an excuse to look up the etymology of "twat" and I am delighted to report that it derives from the Old English from the Northern English from the Viking "thwaite" meaning a small clearing in a forrest (rather picturesque I think you'll agree). "Thwaite" of course is the second half of my viking surname, the first half being "Smur", which means light rain (still used here in Scotland in some places) so I now have the joy of translating my surname as "rainy cunt" or even maybe "wet cunt"! This makes me very happy indeed, which I am sure is not what the petition-starters wanted...

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4 Comments:

Blogger butterflywings said...

LOL at the last bit! Cool name!

I will admit something very embarrassing: I didn't even realise "twat" refers to that part of the female anatomy until quite recently (and I am not 12).

Yeah, vagina meaning "receptacle"...why doesn't that surprise me.

I don't particularly care about the language people use, except that I object to "cunt" and "twat" being used as insults - implying that the female genitalia are bad and dirty, i.e. being compared to them is an insult, is so misogynist.

10:13 pm  
Blogger v said...

im bloody annoyed i missed you on five live, i listen to it quite often to get my blood moving. ill check the site to see if theyve put it online...

10:35 pm  
Blogger Ink and Indigo said...

1. Zoe Williams wrote an excellent article on this: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/aug/13/justice.women

2. Men telling you what to call your cunt? I think I'd show them a few more words they didn't like...

11:45 am  
Blogger Cruella said...

Cheers - I only had about half an hour's notice myself so couldn't put a warning up.

And yes I alway think "cunt" is only an insult if you don't like cunts...

2:40 pm  

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