Monday, March 26, 2007

Don't Forget To Leave a Good-Looking Corpse...

...while you're still alive girls! The Huffington Post has the most thorough coverage on the subject I think. To summarise, the producers of what-were-we-expecting misogyny parade America's Next Top Model have set the women contestants the "challenge" of staging their own deaths. Luckily the size zero women already look pretty close to death in most cases so maybe the exercise was just to save on make-up...

The Right News For The Wrong Reason

Rapper Snoop Dogg has been refused a Visa to come and perform in the UK. And the concert's been cancelled as a result! In fact he's been refused because of a previous violent incident at Heathrow. What he should have been prevented from performing for is having lyrics clearly intended to incite hatred and violence against women. For instance:

"Can you control your hoe? (You got a bitch that wont do what you say)
You can’t control your hoe? (She hardheaded, she just won’t obey)
Can you control your hoe? (You’ve got to know what to do, and what to say)
You’ve got to put that bitch in her place, even if it’s slapping her in her face.
Ya got to control your hoe. Can you control your hoe? "

Love Not Actually

Spot the deliberate mistake. Stephen Marsh loved his wife deeply. So he took several lovers and started a sadomasochistic relationship with one of them behind his "beloved" wife's back. You know, just for a "bit of fun". But he loved his wife deeply, no really.

Is that the sort of evidence you would expect to hold water in a murder trial? No, me either.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Does Anyone Ever Actually Get Convicted of Rape?

Yet another stomach-churning story, this time from overseas. Key flaws in the defence's arguement - swallowed by the judges include:

Firstly they claim a discrpancy between the number of men accused and the number of men she said raped her. The offence they are charged with is "sexual aggression" so presumably the fourth guy sexually assaulted her without actually raping her. She also claims to have been blindfolded throughout the attack. So how is she supposed to count the number of guys attacking her while blindfolded?

Secondly - and this is the really nauseating bit - they claim "she had invited them to have sex "without a word". ". Yup "without a word". So she consented silently? Guys here's an idea - before having sex with a woman, ask her if she wants to have sex with you. Clever huh? Do I get a prize?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Born Again Virgins...

There's an article on Alternet about the phenomenon of Born-Again Virgins. Which is all very well and I find the subject kindof amusing until we get to the bit where the author, Amy DePaul says:

"There is a strong argument to be made on behalf of women -- Christian or not -- taking control of their bodies and making choices that are right for them."

Why does having sex mean you're not in control of your own body? The implication is that women who have sex are doing so because men want them to. Maybe some women actually like sex.

More importantly the whole article is about women's virginity, no mention is made of whether men should try the whole not-having-sex thing. No it's women for whom virginity is an issue - of course!

Is this Appropriate?

The BBC has published a glowing review of Phil Spector's career - to mark the beginning of his trial for the murder of Lana Clarkson. I think that's a bit sick.

Oranges are not the only Book Awards

Article in The Independent on the nominations for the Orange book award. The article starts off saying women's fiction is too domestic and not imaginative enough (that's right Ms Rowling, teenage wizzards and quidditch and platform 9 and 3/4 or whatever isn't imaginative enough, sorry). And it goes on to complain that there are too many books about "rural school teachers". Well someone must want to read about rural school teachers or no-one would publish such books. Then the article goes on to say women authors are doing so well that maybe there's no need for a special prize. Well hold on, you can't have it both ways. Either women are less imaginative than men and need special help or they're doing so well they don't need a prize - you REALLY can't claim that both are true.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Parental Rights and Wrongs

There is yet another push afoot to force contraception and abortion providers to tell girl's parents if such services are being requested. Tory MP Angela Watkinson says parents have a "right to know".

Well I agree, parents do have a right to know. If they wish to exercise that right they need only raise their children in a loving supportive environment where they make it clear that they are there to help, not to judge. Do that and your kids will tell you what's going on in their lives. When kids don't want to talk to their parents, there's a problem. Usually fear. To be honest if kids are getting pregnant while they're still at school, that's one sign that the parents haven't done the best job to start with.

If such a law were passed it would lead to:

1) More runaways, pregnant teenage runaways sleeping on the streets getting ill, getting raped and murdered, getting co-erced into prostitution and drugs, babies born hooked on drugs, infanticide.

2) More domestic violence and child abuse when abusive parents find out about their childrens sex lives.

3) More late term abortions - because why tell your parents you're having an abortion at 8 weeks when you can wait til 14 weeks, just after your 16th birthday, and have one secretly then?

4) More teenage pregnancy - because girls dont' want their parents to know they're taking contraception.

5) Even more teenage pregnancy - when parents find out and confiscate contraceptives.

6) More STDs - because teenagers don't want their parents to know they asked for free condoms.

7) Less education on the subject - because teenagers who feel unable to ask their parents for sexual advice will be afraid to visit clinics for advice in case their parents find out.

But of course Angela Watkinson han't thought about this. She's such an expert on the subject that she even added "The first thing [parents] learn may be when their children are reported to have some form of sexually transmitted disease", which would only make sense if everyone who requested contraception or abortion ended up with an STD. Clearly at least those requesting free condoms are less likely to get an STD, and it's perfectly possible to catch an STD without getting pregnant or using contraception.

But finally the whole thing is of course about knowing when GIRLS are having sex. No-one wants to talk to the parents of the boys who are getting teenagers pregnant, and no-one wants to talk to teenage boys whose girlfriends might be using contraception, nor indeed who might themselves be asking for free condoms. Because of course sex is only shocking and awful when women do it...

Monday, March 12, 2007

Action to take Today

The UK government will vote this Wednesday on the renewal of the Trident Nuclear programme. Blair wants to spend around $20bn on nuclear weapons which almost no-one in the rest of the country thinks is a good ideas. Johann Hari has done a lovely job in The Independent of explaining why "renewing" Trident puts us at more risk than ever of nuclear holocaust.

My own reasons for not wanting to "renew" (they use that word to make it seem less shocking, they mean BUYING NEW NUKES) the weapons stockpile is a little different. You see I'm not a world leader, I don't and never will have my finger on the nuclear button. So when Tony Blair describes Trident as a "deterrent" I don't get it. What he must mean is "I won't detonate my nukes unless someone nukes the UK". I really hope no evil despot anywhere around the world nukes the UK. If they do though then as I watch the flesh shrivel off my bones and melt into the blackened earth the last thing that will make me feel better is the sure knowledge that somewhere near the offending despot are hundreds of thousands of civilians who probably didn't even have the opportunity to vote against him and their flesh is being melted off their bones too. I was listening to Marcus Brigstock on the Now Show last week and he made this point rather succinctly when he said "When it comes to nuclear war, there's no such thing as one all".

And why is it that the only people with access to nuclear bunkers are the same people with access to the nuclear buttons? I could also point out how much good could be done in this country's health and education systems, as well as in international aid with $20bn.

Well two days to go to the vote and lots of MPs are showing signs of wanting to vote against it. If you haven't already done so please use the website to ask your MP to vote against the proposals.


Good news for Scottish fans of me and my comedy. Myself and Mr Cru are off on a mini-tour of Scotland during the latter half of this week and you can catch us at:

Thurs 15th Mar:
The Moffet Tavern, Forres, Scotland

Fri 16th Mar:
Flannigan's Elgin, Scotland

Sat 17th Mar:
The Harbour Bar, Buckie, Scotland

Real News!

Last night on my way back from gigs in Ladbroke Grove and Camden I was on a 341 bus going past Islington Green, up Essex Road when the bus stopped and ahead of up I witnessed at least 10 police cars and at least 30 police officers, half of whom were carrying guns, filling the road. Some of them were even crouched behind their cars pointing their guns across the roof. They appeared to have stopped a dark blue car and were going through it very carefully seat at a time and through the boot and bonnet too. The car was stopped right in the middle of the road - it hadn't pulled over and there was some broken glass on the road though it wasn't clear where from. I've been watching the news to see a story about a drive-by shooting or something but nothing coming up. Probably just plod over-reacting to a speeding infraction. Shame cos I was rather hoping to sell this picture for a small fortune to one of the tabloids:

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Women and War

It can't be fun going to war. And of course when things ain't fun you can guarantee they're even less fun for the women involved. This video is really shocking. Turns out female US military personel are routinely not going to the toilets on their own for fear of rape by their own male counterparts. This has led to some of them not drinking and subsequently dying of dehydration and the situation has been deliberately hushed up rather than addressed.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Showreel Time

I have a new showreel boys and grrls - which means all you Cru-blog fans in obscure parts of the world who don't get to come to my shows can experience the same effect from the comfort of your own living rooms/parlours/bedsits/hostels/internet cafes/offices. Just click here.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Family Facts and Figures

David Cameron has for some reason decided that the pressure on single parents isn't enough. I have no problem with him chasing up runaway parents (mostly Dads) for maintenance money. Forcing people who don't want to do so to spend time with children however doesn't strike me as a sensible plan and his focus on the importance of marriage above all else in child-raising offers little encouragement for the 1 in 4 women in this country who will be a victim of domestic violence in their lifetime.

His big piece of data is that "70% of young offenders are from lone-parent families". Well here's another piece of statistical data he seems to have overlooked: 80% of the benefits of a two-parent family come from the improved financial status. What single parents really need to enable them to raise their children well is quite often money.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

The Best Excuse For Abuse...

...religion of course! Being ostracised from your family is a form of abuse. Being shut out from your entire community and left without any support systems is even worse. When we hear about gay people who've been ostracised because of their sexuality we are rightly outraged. Similarly parents who turn their backs on disabled children or those who look a little different from the rest (such as when a recessive gene gives white parents a black child or vice versa) are considered contemptible without question. If your child however says "Hey I just figured out there may actually not be a big guy with a beard flying around on the clouds, playing the harp and simultaneously monitoring and judging everything that we do, not to mention writing a highly mis-interpretable book" then it's fine to never speak to them again and tell everyone in the family and community to do the same.