Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Wimbledon Women

A report yesterday in the Daily Male says Wimbledon officials actually admit they put more attractive female players on centre court and leave the most talented, less attractive female players on outer courts.

Today I was watching the tennis from the sofa largely because I'm something of a fan of the Williams sisters who are much more likely to use the phrase "I'll play any bloke who's brave enough"* than "I'm hoping to move into glamour modeling" and at one point Serena Williams graciously pointed out to the umpire that her opponent had won the point. The (male) BBC commentator (whose name I do not know) commented "One thing that Richard's done - he's made them very good on court. There's no bitching about line calls".

Argh! Excuse me while I bang my head against this handy wall. Firstly Richard Williams did not build his daughters in some sort of lab. Their successes and their graciousness is their own - no one sees Murray win a point and congratulates his coach or his Mum. Secondly if Murray complains about a line call would a commentator say "Oh dear, Murray's bitching about the line call"? One standard for men and a totally different one for women.

*They did this once and lost to a guy ranked about 200th, but not without winning some games on the way there.

"Hilarious" Prostitution Story

This story is hilarious as long as you block out in your mind the notion that women trapped in the sex industry are actually people. I see this happen so often - the idea that a story about unusual behaviour related to prostitution is funny. Who on earth released the story to the press? Police? How sick is that? Shouldn't they be asking what can be done to help this woman? Puke.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Chilling Read

Computer problems here which mean myself and Mr Cru are currently sharing a computer - hence why I've hardly blogged for ages. Anyway to keep you radicalised until it gets sorted out try this piece from The Curvature for size...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Rape and the Police


This story from yesterday's London Paper is shocking and horrifying. One element of it that I am still spitting about is the time line. Police were "today" (i.e. yesterday) hunting for a rapist who attacked a woman on 3rd July last year.

This guy hid in a roof above a toilet and leaped down to rape a teenage. He doesn't sound to me like the kind of guy who should be left to roam the streets for a year before being apprehended. How many other women have been attacked while the police did nothing? And how hard would it have been for the rapist to leave the country in the space of a year thus ensuring he never faces charges for his crimes.

Only a few months ago we were horrified to discover John Worboys had been left by police to roam the streets searching for new victims while outstanding cases against him were left to fester. When are police going to start taking rape seriously?

But of course The London Paper doesn't bother asking questions to chase up that angle (like when was the crime reported and why has it taken so long to chase up on it?), instead it focuses on the fact that Bono and Prince Harry sometimes went to the nightclub in question. Well whoopee - I wonder what they usually have to drink and what they think of the music... oh hold on didn't someone mention rape a minute ago? So question two: When is The London Paper - and other media - going to take rape seriously?

F****** Sexism

I was on Five Live on Tuesday night as Richard Bacon's "presenter's friend" which is a really fun job where you get to chat about all the subjects that come up. We interviewed Pete Waterman and met an amazing duo called Nathan Flutebox Lee and Beardyman (whose act you may have seen on YouTube and is really quite amazing). In between the subject of Gordon Ramsay was up for discussion.

In case you have missed the story in question Ramsay is over in Australia at the moment promoting a new restaurant and took the time to appear on a TV chat show hosted by Tracy Grimshaw. While on air he said a few rather rude things to her about her appearance, making fun of a mole on her lip. She took it as a joke and laughed it off. Then at his live show he held up a really horrible picture of a woman on all fours with six breasts and a pig's head and said "This is Tracy Grimshaw". Some sources claim he also suggested she was a lesbian (cos that's an insult right?).

And brilliantly something happened. Grimshaw herself responded to the situation saying she had been very upset by it. She also said - and I love this quote - "Obviously Gordon thinks that any woman who doesn't find him attractive must be gay. For the record, I don't. And I'm not.". The Women's Forum Australia made a statement saying "Why should he get paid for depicting a woman as an animal and publicly deriding her looks? He shouldn't make money through the verbal abuse of women." and even the Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd joined in saying Ramsay was "a new form of low life". After initially dismissing it as a joke Ramsay has now been forced to make a very public apology.

Well you know me readers - the last thing I would want to be considered is smug but I do think us feminists can smell a misogynist coming at 200 yards and I've known from day one that Ramsay has a bad attitude towards women. Firstly I remember in one of his early TV shows he had a special section in which he campaigned to "Get women back in the kitchen". The concept behind it was of course a perfectly reasonable one - to encourage people to make more home-cooked food - but he had to make it about women and about reviving antiquated Victorian ideals that have destroyed women's lives for centuries.

Secondly remember when he had three-year-olds going round in badges that said "I'm a vegetarian tart"? I even blogged about it.

So lashing of "Well Done Australia" served up with a sprinkling of "I Told You So".

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Abortion Debate

I wrote a piece for Reuters yesterday about the murder of Dr George Tiller and the implications for current abortion issues here. My piece here or the "balanced"* debate here.

*"Balanced" is very much a matter of opinion I think.