Friday, July 28, 2006

More Edinburgh Plugging!

That's what the back of my Edinburgh flyers will look like. Cool huh? You can still book tickets by clicking on the website here.

Guess I Found My Brand!

Yes the soft drink for me is Coke Zero. I just adore their advertising campaign that compares their over-priced unhealthy fizz to something beyond our wildest dreams. Thats right folks, apparently Coke Zero is the soft drink equivalent of "a stag night without getting married".

Now since we all know stag nights are for guys (as opposed to hen nights for girls) we would seem to be working on the assumption that men don't want to get married. Well then don't. Save us all please! Statistics suggest women are much happier after a divorce than men so clearly marriage isn't doing very much for women.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Who says romance is dead?

Apparently not Joseph Dobbie as featured in today's Guardian and two thirds of e-mail inboxes around the world. He met a woman at a party and rather than just asking her out for a coffee he decided a firsst contact e-mail was a good point at which to mention that she made "time stand still" for him and that her smile was "the freshest of my special memories". The woman in question returned the favour by forwarding his e-mail to the four corners of the earth.

Well just for a change I was on BBC Leeds talking about it. It's kindof fun because it's all very Shakespearian the idea of someone under false presumptions declaring their undying love and then being made to look like an idiot. It's also a little odd though that someone should be so keen after a first meeting. Especially given he admits he was drunk at the time.

It's also funny how often the subject of "what women want" comes up. As if women are a totally homogenous group. If woman A wants flowers woman B must also want the same thing. And sometimes you even hear it about men too - that they all want the same thing - usually sex, big tits or a blow job, etc. This whole men-from-Mars, women-from-Venus thing is wildly unhealthy. As soon as we make assumptions about people based on gender (aside from "he's probably not pregnant") we're in deep water.

Friday, July 21, 2006

New blog

I have discovered a wonderful new blog by a young (so young she makes me feel old!) British feminist. It's called Diary of Barbie's Worst Enemy and you should go read it now! It rocks...

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Wagging the dog?

Zoe Williams really goes to town in the Guardian on media coverage of the so-called WAGs - the world cup footballers wives and girlfriends. And now we're hearing about the G8 WAGs and the Ryder Cup WAGs (who even wear matching outfits like girl guides or drum majorettes) and really the biggest problem I have with the whole thing is that it pre-supposes all the participants in the "main" event will be heterosexual men (it also assumes they're monogamous and in relationships). Well thats not true and not helpful.

Throughout the world cup every match started with some gesture towards the "Lets Kick Racism out of Football" campaign and I think that's great and I hope it works. Next up lets have a campaign to kick sexism out of football. I'd like to see the following measures campaigned for:

1) Equal funding for boys and girls youth development.
2) If women's tournaments do not have equal prize money to mens, then women must be allowed to play in the mens game - globally.
3) Half of all referees and assistant referees to be women, also physios, first aider, commentators, photographers and reporters.
4) Women being encouraged to train for and apply for roles as coaches and managers.
5) Greater media coverage of the women's game.
6) Players who beat their partners or are convicted of sexual assault or rape to be permanently barred from the game (like George Best, Gazza, Lee Sharpe for instance)
7) Stadium bans for fans who shout/sing sexist chants.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Religion and Feminism

Very interesting interview with Fadela Amara over on the Guardian website today. I've made the point before that religious freedom is all well and good but shouldn't be prioritised over human rights. She says "the first victims of fundamentalism are women. I don't care if it's Islamic fundamentalism or American evangelism. A fascist is a fascist". And she has a new book out.

This Made Me Go Ewwww!

I am not normally sqeamish about food - although I certainly don't go for McDonalds or other reconstituted corn starch-based fast food ick. I've eaten dog (in Vietnam), whale (in Japan - I know, i know but it had already been bought and paid for when I arrived so seemed like I might as well satify my curiosity), lamb's testicles (in a Lebanese restaurant in Oxford, I was convinced I was going to grow a beard afterwards!), etc. This guy has really made an effort though. There is a great article in New Scientist this week about the rise of noxious farming practices and how the political environment makes it increasingly difficult for us to get hold of quality food. Sadly only the first few paragraphs are on the free-to-view part of their website. Then you have to subscribe. It will have you racing for the grilled scorpions as fast as you like.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Just to Highlight

From a comment on an earlier post. Those interested in the anti-Lad Mag campaign and related issues, like strip clubs, lap dancing and the portrayal of woman in the media - Object are a fantastic organisation doing lots of good work to raise awareness. They have an online petition on the Lad Mags issue, please sign it link here.

Men rendered obsolete

Scientists can now make sperm without men. They've long been able to inject alternative DNA into existing sperm but this new step means that scientifically men are now obsolete. I wan on BBC Leeds yesterday talking about it with a real idiot.

I think it's a real shame that the fertility race seems to be speeding up more and more. There is no shortage of babies, there is however a shortage of good caring child-raisers. We need to celebrate those who dedicate time in their lives to raising children and encourage those who would like to do so to consider fostering and adoption as an option whether or not they have fertility problems. Any man who is only contributing sperm to the child-raising process is already obsolete, we just don't need any more of those.

That wasn't the way the on-air chat went however. What happened was some guy called Ian, qualifications unknown, started haraguing me on how feminism has "achieved nothing" and is just a load of boring old nonsense. Well I'm kinda glad to have the vote and the right to work in more or less any job I choose (obviously I don't have the physical strength to be a bishop... still) and I don't think it happened by accident.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Edinburgh tickets

I'm told these are selling well at the moment (hurray!) so if you want one, log on here and buy one (or two, three, four, etc...)!

The Voice of Public Opinion

Who knew it was THIS IDIOT?!! Yes it turns out that the Catholic Church in the form of Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor thinks, yes thinks, no evidence, that public opinion has changed on the subject of abortion and that the public wants the time-limit reduced from 24 weeks...

Now, speaking as a member of the public ... speaking as a young woman in a relationship, rather than a celibate priest, and hence a member of the public much more affected by abortion law than Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor ... I should like to say:

a) I don't want the law changed. I didn't before and I still don't, my opinion is unchanged.

b) I don't want Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor considered a spokesperson for my opinion, not on any subject, ever.

The wrong KIND of babies!

Remember the problem of the declining population in Scotland. Those were the days eh? "Move to Scotland" they exhorted young people, especially university graduates. And they told the Scottish to be more friendly to in-comers. Now I notice there's a slightly different plan afoot. They're going to make drug and alcohol addicts promise not to have children. I guess the first plan worked too well. I guess they're trying to ease off on it now... Or is it? Maybe they want more babies in Scotland but only the RIGHT KIND of babies.

Here's a radical solution: how about offering support for kids throughout their childhood so that it's possible for the kids of drug and alcohol addicted parents to become university graduates?

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The Official Scale of Permissible Prejudice...

I think it's great that homophobic artists are being forced to cancel shows in the UK. Isn't it time though we did the same thing with artists who use misogynist lyrics, such as Eminem?

Here are some lyrics from "The Eminem Show", for which the noxious little misogynist won a Grammy:

"Now I don't wanna hit no women when this chick's got it coming
Someone better get this bitch before she gets kicked in the stomach
And she's pregnant, but she's egging me on, begging me to throw her
Off the steps on this porch, my only weapon is force"

For more information on the subject check out the Tolerance website.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Lines now open...

Tickets for my four remaining shows at the Etcetera Theatre are still on sale, the shows are 6pm (finished by 7:15pm) on 7th, 8th, 22nd and 23rd July. The Etcetera is upstairs from the Oxford Arms on Camden High Street. Tickets are £7.50/£6 concs and you can book 'em on 020 7482 2857.

For those people coming up to Edinburgh (or already there) tickets for the festival are now on sale online. Click here to buy some! The first couple of days are "previews" so are cheaper and then the next couple we're offering 2-for-1 so cheaper if you have mates.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Want to help?

I had a brief e-mail conversation this week with Clare Curtis-Thomas (the MP who is pushing the anti-Lad Mags bill in parliament). She's very much in need of support and asks those who support her efforts to have Lad Mags (and the Daily Sport "newspaper") classified as pornography and moved to the top shelf to undertake the following:

If you wish to have this bill supported, please contact your local MP and ask for their help.

It may also be useful if you could write to Robert Walker, the CEO of WHSmith. His address is WH Smith PLC, 180 Wardour Street , London W1F 8FY Alternatively you can also write to Juliet Cavilla who deals with complaints – she is at W H Smith, Greenbridge Rd , Swindon , SN3 3LD