1) I was on BBC Breakfast TV this morning talking about Lad Mags again. They had me on with a guy (Derek) who used to edit Loaded and Maxim (or something like that). We were discussing whether the current voluntary code (which no-one adheres to) of not selling them to children should become a compulsory code. His argument was no because "some people enjoy them".
If there's one thing I hate more than those who argue in favour of porn, it's those who argue in favour of porn with logically meaningless arguments. So I said "some people enjoy child pornography - should we legalise that too?". And then it sort-of kicked off and there was a lot of raised voices and a lot of me interrupting him and making sure I got my point across since his wasn't even a point.
By the time I got home my inbox and text-box were full of messages from people saying "good job" and "well said", etc. Here's a sample one: "I saw you on telly this morning as I was getting ready for work. Your peremptory manner left the slimeball umming and erring. It was great to see.." (thanks Crispin!).
Then I got a facebook message from a guy I don't know. He must have looked me up by my unusual name. Fine. I get lots of people doing that to say they agree or the disagree with me. Cool. But instead he had messaged me to say that he hoped I didn't mind some unsolicited advice and that while he agreed with me he thought I should have been less forthright, and listened more.
As an incident this really shows how deeply entrenched male priveledge is doesn't it? Has he been invited to make repeated appearances on TV? Does he write an award-winning blog? Does he work as a professional public performer? Not that we know of, and yet he felt like he would just send me some advice, as a "favour". And that advice, as it happens, was to sit back and take it while a pornographer defended his sordid industry.
So I declined to respond (if you message people on Facebook they can then access your friends, etc for a month...) and instead reported it as harrassment. Still seething a bit though. Jeremy Clarkson can count himself lucky I didn't run into him today!
2) One thing I didn't get the chance to rant about today is the impact Lad Mags have on my industry (stand-up comedy). All of them publish sexist jokes which have become increasingly acceptible in recent years and as far as I can tell they more or less invented the "women aren't funny" myth.
At one point FHM (I think) ran some comedy awards and in the "Funniest woman" category were Catherine Tate, Jo Brand, Lily Savage*, Dame Edna Everage* and the option to vote for "none of them". As I recall despite the tone of the the piece Catherine Tate managed to win it.
I've actually been introduced to the stage and before I get to the mic heard audience members (guys) go "Uh, oh lads it's a bird, lets go to the bar...". And if some of them are saying that out loud you can bet some more are thinking it and before I've even started it means I have a harder job than the guys on before and after me.
The BBC of course takes a much more fair and gender-neutral view of comedy, as witnessed by these photos taken at the British Comedy Awards.
Comics: Male 2, Female 0
Comedy actors: Male 4, Female 2
Random totty: Male 0, Female 3
*Footnote for overseas readers. Lily Savage and Dame Edna Everage are male comedians who perform in drag.
(Photo by Matt Farrington Smith)