Thursday, March 27, 2008

Hands Off Heather

Well apologies for the recent radio silence on here and on the podcast too - we were supposed to be going to the Glasgow Comedy Festival, then we weren't, then we were and between that and the Stop The Strip Pub campaign I've not had a minute to myself.

Back to "normal" now. Whatever that is. And I keep looking at the papers and thinking that now it's all over maybe people will leave Heather Mills alone. I really don't understand why she's so hated. What "crimes" is she supposed to have committed? Who has she murdered? As far as I can see what she's done is:

1) Said that Paul MacCartney drinks too much and takes drugs. Of course he does, he's a pop star. No-one complains when Amy Winehouse's Dad says she's on crack, people tut tut about her for taking drugs. Isn't it taking drugs that's against the law - not talking about it?

2) Said that Paul hit her. Is that so hard to believe? That a guy high on booze and drugs might hit his wife? Don't we know that that happens all the time?

3) Poured water on a lawyer. Since when did lawyers become the good guys? It's only water, not water-boarding.

4) Described their relationship differently to the way Paul described it. Because normally ex partners agree completely on these things... She's not employed half her own family on expenses while they trot round Eton on a polo pony!

5) Asked for money after her marriage broke down. Initially we were told she would ask for £100m or more. Later it turned out that she wasn't actually asking for that much. Plus - lest we forget - she has a child to raise. A child whose father is worth at least £400m. A child that needs protection growing up (especially after the way the media has covered the story) and a child that is already accustomed to good care, nannies and expensive schools. So when the news emerged that she had settled for £25.4m, why did the papers not cheer her accepting the much lower figure?

6) Appeared in a topless photo-shoot. You know like the ones The Sun publishes EVERY DAY.

But really, really, the very worst you could say she did was cynically married a pop star for money. So what? How many of us can honestly say we are 100% certain we wouldn't?

And remember there were days when I looked at the papers and found four of the first five pages dedicated to hate-journalism about her. Where is the sense of perspective? What about the murderers, rapists and violent attackers? Where are the victims of corporate-run third world sweat shops? The prisoners of conscience? The victims of NHS cut backs, knife crime and the lack of adequate drug rehabilitation facilities? The women of Darfur facing rape and starvation daily while newspapers in the UK whine about a disabled woman who had the nerve to marry someone famous and it didn't work out.


Anonymous said...

From outside the UK, I couldn't understand the hating either.

The spite in Hizzonour's reasons - reported front page of the Australian broadsheets no less?! - was some of the poorer stuff to come from men in old-fashioned long frocks.

butterflywings said...

I agree...why is Heather so hated? I tried to think of actual reasons, and can't really think of any other than the ones you state.
All anyone says is "I just don't like her" and "She has issues" - who said you have to, and who doesn't?!
I do think Paul owes money to his child - but I don't believe in women getting money for no reason in divorce cases. If she sacrificed her career to a. support him in his or b. raise a child fair enough, but the (ex)-wife only deserves money in proportion to that.
I just don't think women should be seen as dependent creatures, who leach money from men rather than make their own! I guess it's just me, if I split up with someone I'd feel like I didn't *want* their money, but then I wouldn't choose to be a stay-at-home mum.

UneFemmePlusCourageuse said...

Yeah--while I don't want to think that one of the Beatles hit his wife, and kind of hope she is making this part up (while knowing that it is almost certainly true), I do not understand the vitriol.

Unknown said...

Strange. I have no idea whether Paul McCartney hit his wife. How are do you know with near certainty it's true?

Cruella said...

Well I know a couple of things:

I know that 1 in 4 women in the UK is a victim of domestic violence at some point in their lives.

I know that a high proportion of domestic violence incidents occur under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

I know that incidence of false reporting of domestic violence is pretty low.

But my point here is not that he did hit her, it's that the press haven't even considered that possibility - they have merely reported it as "she's made false claims". They are reporting it with apparent certainty that the allegations are false. I think that's wrong.

Unknown said...

I hope you don't mind being drawn into discussion on what is now a relatively old post, but I'm genuinely interested in this point and not simply trolling. It's your point of view I want to question, and I hope you have time to reply.

I know that incidence of false reporting of domestic violence is pretty low.

When is a report of domestic violence deemed false? When the CPS or the police won't follow up the prosection? When a judge decides the complainant has maliciously fabricated the allegation? Who decides when a report is false?
My point is: what is the difference between a false report and a case in which the woman is simply not believed?


The answer is when men such as you claim 'allegations of men committing violence against women are false.'

Remember false claims of men committing sexual and physical violence against their partners are very low in number. Just the same as false motor insurance claims are no higher or lower than other false allegations such as claiming one man mugged another one.

Unknown said...

Firstly, when I make a claim on my insurance policy I do not support my claim by saying 'False reporting of motor insurance claims is very low, so I must be telling the truth'.

Secondly, how do you know that false reporting of these matters is low? I'm not disagreeing with you, I'm just asking you what you're basing that on. You hold the view so vociferously I'm sure you won't have any trouble substantiating it.

I think there is something wrong with the conviction rates for sexual violence against women, and I believe the law should be changed - that means we are broadly in agreement, but legal argument has to be rigorous and so far you've failed to answer my questions with anything substantial.

Maybe I'm in the wrong place for a serious discussion.