Monday, February 06, 2006


Jackie Ashley's latest piece in the Guardian paints a grim picture of modern relationships. She claims, without reference to any statistics whatsoever, that "Most divorcing men are treating their wife as they do their car, trading her in for a younger model." Luckily for her the Guardian itself has done the research for her last July when this article highlighted the fact that women are, on average, much happier than men after a divorce, and much happier than they were before the divorce. 7% of divorced men claim to feel "suicidal" (as do 3% of divorced women). I guess that 7% are not running around with Ms Ashley's "younger model". Also 46% of divorced women reported feeling "liberated" (as did 37% of divorced men).

Ms Ashley goes on to explain that this unevidenced behaviour from men has had an impact on women: "Hence the sad desperation of so many women to use the knife, the needle and the hormone tablets in order to stay as young-looking as possible". I'm no expert but I really don't think it's men who are driving women to the operating table. Surely everyone in their right mind is aware that relationships stop being about appearances after about the first fortnight. Meanwhile the media with its barrage of positive-angled stories about surgery, all the reality TV shows focussed on normalising plastic surgery and it's insistance on portraying only women in their twenties with tiny waists and perfect teeth, could only be said to be doing everything it can to encourage women to believe they need or want to undergo dangerous operations. Articles like Ms Ashley's only bolster that message.

Why does a supposedly high-brow paper persist in publishing this sort of nonsense?

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