Be the mum you’ve always wanted to be: lose weight.

26 Oct

Dear Morpeth Slimming World Consultant,

I am writing to thank you for the leaflet you kindly posted through my door this morning along with all the takeaway spam and Lidl adverts. It reminded me of a key quality that all mothers should strive to possess if they truly want the best for their children: the desire to be thinner.

Occasionally I think about having children in the future, if I am able to. I wonder if I would make a good mother. Will I be patient, selfless, caring enough? Can I be strict, or will I spoil my offspring horribly? Will I suffer from post-natal depression? What if something happens to my children due to my own lack of shrewdness? Will they be born healthy? What if looking after my baby doesn’t come naturally to me? As you will have noted, “will I be slim enough?” had, up until now, yet to feature in my list of future motherhood anxieties. Should I have children in the future, I will add “need to lose weight” to the catalogue of guilt that will no doubt be plaguing me.

Of course, it would be wrong of me to fail to acknowledge that your leaflet is not the sole mother-shaming instrument out there. Women’s magazines and several newspapers are full of weight-loss and fitness tips from celebrity mothers who have succeeded in their “quests” to lose baby bumps, which implies that all new mothers should be striving for this goal. But the honesty of your leaflet made it stand out from the crowd: slimming is simply a must-have quality for any woman who wants to be an amazing mum. The message is clear.

Forgive me, however, for there is something which I do not understand. What is it, exactly, that makes slimming mums better than ones that aren’t on a diet or weight-loss exercise regime? Can they play better? Do they care and love more? Are they better at discipline? Are they better equipped to pass body-guilt on to their own children, thereby reproducing a market necessary for the survival of the capitalist weight-loss industry? Do share.

Yours faithfully,

Natural Woman

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If you slim down, you could be the mum you’ve always wanted to be

Re-blog: Cosmo for Latinas: Are You FIESTY, CURVY, and HOT-BLOODED Enough to Try It?

11 Oct

I’m not sure how to re-blog from a site hosted on a platform other than wordpress, so I’m copy-pasted the blog I wrote for Vagenda (http://vagendamag.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/cosmo-for-latinas-are-you-fiesty-curvy.html):

The quality of my daily internet procrastination time has just been shat on by the discovery of Cosmo Latina, which reaches new pits of unintentional hilarity, extreme patronisation and eye-watering levels of facepalm, even by Cosmo’s scraping-out-the-portaloo-cistern standards. Give it a read and you’ll be wallowing up to your chocho* in racismo and machismo quicker than you can shriek Devious Maids in a Mejicano accent. As one of our Twitter followers put it after coming across an article entitled ‘Find out what makes the hombres tick!’: WTF? Are the people at Old El Paso making magazines now?

Before we start, a note on language: Cosmo Latina (I will call it C-La for short) is written mainly in English but is peppered, at random, with Spanish words. I like to call this strange-speak Cospañol. I will use Cospañol throughout this article so that you too can experience its full horror without having to go near C-La yourself.

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First stop: I salsaed over to the beauty section, or “bronze belleza”, as C-La likes to call it. The first feature, “Four Ways Your Phone is Ruining Your Skin,” is accompanied with a photograph of a woman gleefully toothbrushing her own face with what looks like bubblebath. Presumably (although it’s not explained anywhere in the text, so perhaps it’s just another odd variation on the weird and baffling world of Cosmo sex tips), this is a suggested method for ridding your face of the adverse effects of using a phone, which, according to C-La, include “early wrinkles”, “crows feet”, “dark spots”, “acne” in the “phone zone” of your face (that’s the danger area from “your temple to your chin,” apparently) and – new portmanteau of the year… wait for it – “Text Neck.” Are you actually fucking joking me, C-La? Text Neck???

“Admit it, whether you’re walking, sitting, or laying down you’re usually staring down at your phone. According to cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank, constantly looking down causes the collagen in your neck to break down, leaving that turkey-looking neck.”

No Cosmo Latina (I’m calling you by your full name because you’ve been very naughty), funnily enough I don’t need to admit that the majority of my life is spent “staring down at my phone” because my default position is slouching my shoulders and either smiling or frowning, depending on whether or not I’m having a Latina-style feisty day. When I lay down, it tends to be with the intention of inducing sleep, and if I’m staring down whilst walking, that’s usually to avoid stepping in a turd. As for “that turkey-looking neck,” could your drop the knowing “that” please? In fact could you drop the whole paranoia-enducing, shaming reference to women’s bodies looking like turkeys? And maybe tell your “Cosmetic Dermatologist” (aka professional face-butcher who likes to wield his little body-hate knife around the necks of victims of The Patriarchy) to crawl back into the misogynist arsehole from whence he came? Cheers.

Let’s turn to the highlights of the gossip column, ingeniously entitled “Qué está pasando?” or, for the non-Cospañol speakers, “What is Happening?” First up: congratulations are in order for Victoria’s Secret model Adriana Lima, who managed to, in C-La’s soothsaying words, “save herself,” until marriage. ¡Ole Adriana! ¡A tequila for you! Says C-La, “We really respect that a hot woman like that can ward off all the sucio men out there to wait for Mr. Right.” I don’t know what to do first: wipe off the vomit that I’ve just projected over all the slut-shaming that’s inhabiting my screen as I read this article, or ask, would C-La consider it less of an achievement for a non-“hot” woman to maintain her “purity”? There are so many issues with this quote that I’m going to stop analysing it and instead perform the headdesk move of desperation.

In other news, in stories so boring that I actually cried a bit, Paulina Rubio “makes fun of Simon Cowell’s Moobs,” and Shakira wins a price for sexiest curves, but doesn’t attend “probs because she was spending time with her beauty baby Milan.” Her beauty baby. Moobs. And, just so you know, C-Latina women are “fun and feisty” females, rather than their “fun and fearless” regular (implicitly non-latina) Cosmo counterparts, cos latinas are more quick-tempered and irrational than white Cosmo readers, obv.

Adios to the gossip section.

Despite the repeated assertion throughout the magazine that all Latina women are curvy (actual quotes: “you don’t want to be skinny”, “in Colombia everybody’s very voluptuous, and you’re supposed to be”), the section dubiously dubbed “Fashion” seems to be devoted to ways to cover up your curvas, including top ten dresses for disguising your implicitly unsightly “panchito”*, and ways to get around the – quote – “tough” feat of looking nice if you “have junk in the trunk” (that’s “a large bottom” in normal speak). Are you comfortable in your body? Do you like the way it looks in clothes? Well you shouldn’t. Move over, gordita*.

The next fashion feature is on dressing for the office. This can’t go too wrong, right? Wrong. The article begins with the tale of a banker who was sacked for being “too sexy” after having been forbidden by her employers (Citibank) from wearing turtlenecks, pencil skirts, heels, or fitted suits, as her colleagues, reportedly, could not concentrate on their work. I expected the article to continue in an outraged fashion calling out sexism and discrimination in the workplace, providing useful advice on how to deal with such issues and information on legal rights (OK, I didn’t. But if the context had been anything other than a Cosmo magazine, I would have) but sadly, C-La decides to side with Citibank on this one, and decides to offer some tips for other women “with curves” who work in offices and don’t want to be sacked because their colleagues are pervertidos:

“you want to blend in”

“If you have to, go up a size” with the sympathetic caveat “we know how daunting it can be to have to go up a size–especially if you’re already feeling some sort of way about the size you typically wear”

“When it comes to pants, a wider leg can be more flattering particularly for those of us with lovely lady lumps. Save anything remotely tight for after 5 drinks or on the weekend.”

“in the case of hemlines, always err on having the hem as close to the knee (or longer) as possible.”

“Under no circumstances should there be any cleavage in a conservative work environment.”

C-La, this victim-blaming path you are going down is a dark, dangerous and turd-ridden one. Tears are falling on my un-moisturised hands as I write. I’m crying because this article was written IN 2013. IN A WOMEN’S MAGAZINE. FOR WOMEN. NOT FOR SELF-JUSTIFYING OFFICE PERVERTS. And C-La, for the record, I have what you would probably call curvy boobs and bum, and actually the “some sort of way” I feel about my body is that I like it. That’s despite all your hard work to make me hate it. Soz.

Over to the “Love and Sex” section. (Corgasmo! See what I did there?!) As hard as it was to resist headlines such as “The Best Position for his Sign”, “Should You Break Up if your Suegra* is a Bitch?” and “The Absolute Best Ugly Cries in History” (complete with a devastated Britney Spears looking “ugly” whilst sobbing her heart out), it was the How to Seduce Men feature that drew me in. Having a Latino partner myself, I thought I could do with a few tips on how to keep him interested:

“Style in stilettos: High heels always rate number one on men’s fave accessory—and this is a look we Latinas can pull off while running to the grocery store. Forgo comfy flats and trainers, as every Latina worth her salt should have one pair of killer take-this tacones ready to go. These fun multi-colored snakeskin pair from Carlos Santana are super fun and boner producing ($78.99, carlosshoes.com).”

Funny that: I never knew that (Carlos Santana-designed?) stilettos were the keystone of Latina identity (wait, what’s that faint rumbling? Ah, sorry – just Frida Kahlo turning in her grave). Anyway, when I’m getting ready to go to the supermarket I often stop to ponder what the best footwear option would be. But, like a true Cosmo girl, my choice always comes down to that one crucial factor: no, not comfort, not that. When going to the supermarket, I always ensure that my shoes are “boner producing.” Cos what every real (latina) lady wants is a man getting una ereción whilst perving on her in the meat aisle.

“Whisper papi in his ear: The next time your man is lost in his computer, sidle up behind him and softly ask, “You seem stressed, can I help you with anything, papi?” Ears are super erogenous zones, so his motor will be running. Plus, hearing such a familiar term delivered in a naughty way is total turn on.”

Despite my better judgement, I decided to road test this one. Turns out that light references to incest whilst playing internet chess is not a turn on for my hombre (if it is for you and your partner, then great, I just wish Cosmo would include a tip based on ask your partner what s/he likes amongst their monthly smorgasbord of sexy advice, and that they wouldn’t depict their advice as guaranteed to work. Not everyone likes the same thing, and by implying that they do, Cosmo also implies that you are a sexual failure if their “fullproof” tips don’t work for you).

“Show some skin: Gorgeous Cubana Eva Mendes, who’s dating Hollywood’s hottest actor, Ryan Gosling, shows off her tanned glowing cuerpo every chance she gets, saying, “I’m not at all ashamed or frightened about showing my body.” Choose a strapless dress, one-shouldered number, sexy shorts, or rock a mini to drive him wild.”

I’ve been trying to digest this one. I keep on trying, but it won’t go down. It just keeps coming back up soaked in the bile of hypocrisy. Perhaps if we hadn’t been exposed to women’s mags, with their monthly doses of body dismorphia-enducing weight-loss tips, air-brushed, white-washed models, cosmetic surgery adverts, and tips on how to look better, dress better, be less fat, be more man-pleasing and be less everything-that-we-are-naturally, many women would be less ashamed of their bodies.

After returning from the kitchen where I stood next to the open fridge door for 5 minutes until the burning anger in my head had calmed down, I attempted to lighten things up by reading the sex horoscope. Mine says:

“Nothing like a little danger to heighten your senses, which is why you’ll want to hit up seedier pursuits to find your orgasm now. Yes, toys, swinger parties and porn will be all ways to explore your sexuality, as it’ll be the great unknown that you’ll want to come for.

Single: Straight-up and pure lust is addicting now. Let it be a habit you want more of.

Hooked-up: If your man gets too pushy, push back even harder. Tension is your aphrodisiac now.”

That last bit. I can’t… I just can’t… It’s too much. All I’ll say is that men pushing their partners to do things that they don’t want to (including things they perceive as dangerous, swinger parties or “seedier pursuits,” whatever that’s supposed to mean) = good reason to end your relationship/massive consent fail/possible sexual assault rather than a reason to “play your aphrodisiac card and withhold sex”

Next up: The Best Places to Have Public Sex without Getting Caught (Note to C-La: “public sex” (dogging?) has a rather different connotation to “sex in public places,” (not necessarily dogging?) but anyway…)

“At the park: The park is common place—it’s as sexy as doing it in the wild but eliminates the risk of getting bitten in the a** by something weird. Just make sure the timing is right. Go into the gazebo or a shady area by a tree that’s blocked off from street view. The last thing you want is a little kid to catch you mid-act.”

Getting bitten in the ass by something weird… you’ve underestimated my partner C-La. I’m baffled by the almost philosophical-sounding observation that “the park is a common place,” (is that a Yoda quote?) and what is meant by “the wild”? If they mean the countryside, then their readers should beware angry farmers in lambing season. The thought of sex in my local park “in a shady area by a tree” just makes me sad and brings to mind teenagers and supermarket own-brand cider. Surely this is not spicy, sassy and caliente enough for sexy latinas? On the other hand, I’m pleased C-La reminded its audience that sex in front of child strangers is not advisable.

“in a utility closet: people almost never go in those old utility closets. We believe they were strictly put there for people to um, bone. Just be careful for all the dust mites that are probably floating around in there. You’ll want to make this one a quickie.”

Actually C-La, I think utility closets were strictly put there for cleaners (you know, those people who do one of the most socially useful jobs but get paid a poverty wage, who you might have seen cleaning up your mess when you stayed late at the office that time?) to store their cleaning stuff. Just sayin’.

Sorry, but I’ve had to skip the rest of the content, which, besides from the sexism and racismo (check out the they must be joking …oh god… they’re not joking are they, could-they-be-more-racially-stereotyped recipes sponsored by Unilever, the wonderful makers of Fair and Lovely skin lightening cream: two types of enchiladas, two varieties of salsa, Mexicano casserole and … get ready for it… TEQUILA salmon) has the charisma-black-hole effect most often associated with the character of Sergeant Brody’s wife in Homeland. Besides, I need to go and get my bikini line brasileñoed before my macho gets home.

C-La seems no different to standard Cosmo: it’s the same old heterosexist rag convincing women of all their flaws and providing them with the (pricey) “solutions,” but with added use of racist clichés of the sexy, sensual, curvy Latina, who is a slave to her “fierce”, uncontrollable temper. Why does Cosmo feel it has the right to assign these traits to an entire group of women? Why does Cosmo assume that Latina is a homogenous group? Why did Hearst (the owners of Cosmo) decide to create this spin-off targeting a specific ethnic group? Did they feel bad that their standard mag is generally white-washed? If so, would it have been preferable to have tried to address the racism and white-centrism within the initial magazine instead of creating a patronising offshoot? Who knows. At the end of the day, this new magazine is just another attempt by Hearst to sell shit to what they see as an emerging and lucrative market.

Oh well. Back it is to regular Cosmo, welcoming me with open arms and 16 “ovary-tickling” pictures of “DILFS and their cute babies”. Fuck it. I’m suffering from overexposure to racist exoticism and The Patriarchy. If anyone needs me, I’ll be in the recovery position in my clamshell.

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* vagina
* belly
* fatty
*mother-in-law

For more delicious cosmocking try the dedicated thread on the Pervocracy blog

What your favourite crisp flavour says about your bedroom personality

11 Sep
Hello, I’m a feminazi and my hobbies do not include women’s magazines. Here are my top five reasons why:

1) They made puberty about 100% worse than it had to be
2) They create insecurities in readers in order to  sell them the useless, expensive “must-have” “solutions”. Their enormous readership of women deserve better.
3) Their covers (and the models inside too) are generally white-washed,  air-brushed, soaked in make-up and digitally “improved” with computer-aided artistry.
4) The content is designed to reinforce sexist but classic stereotypes of (white, capitalist, able-bodied and minded, heterosexual, middle-class) women such as the bitchy, jealous girlfriend who constantly compares herself to other bitchy, jealous, power-and-male-approval-hungry women, the high-powered, sex-and-the-city-style thirty-something obsessed with Gucci handbags and £1k shoes, or the ultra-feminine angel who has a secret “sexy, sassy” side to her personality, which can be evidenced by the shape of her bikini line. In short, they present an ideal for women which is white, material-rich, cosmetically enhanced  and centred around man-pleasing (by which I mean being sexy for men, cleaning up after them and making them feel “manly”) and imply we are failing if we do not fit within these ideals.
5) They are so boring that people have been known to weep by the time they reach the second page.

As Jezebel have pointed out, one of the most hilarious aspects of women’s magazines are the monthly quizzes, which consistently  reiterate sexist stereotypes and tired clichés. Below is a quiz created by me for your pleasure and personal growth. I have used a list of quizzes and “personality tests” available at the time of writing on Cosmopolitan’s website (http://www.cosmopolitan.com/sitemap/section_5339) as a muse.

Are you female enough to entrap a man?/What does your favourite crisp flavour say about your bedroom style?/Is your sock choice sending him mixed signals?/What’s your leg hair personality?

1) Body Dilemma! It’s that time of the month. Disgusting!!! Cringe! What do you do???

A) You disguise your tampons as sweets and hide in your room, wallowing in shame, until your womb has finished menstruating. God forbid you ask him to buy you some tampons, since, according to Cosmo, this will make him feel emasculated and he will most likely dump you.
B) You tell him all his faults and demand that he take you shoe shopping/turn into a mad, irrational shewolf and howl at the moon
C) You choose a sexy, sassy tampon to match your personality such as a Tampax Pearl with its own cute mini skirt, scented sanitary pads and/or a girly sanitary-ware holder with a totes hilaire logo such as “If only two wrongs made a Mr Right”
D) You wonder why it’s blue

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 Via hellogiggles.com
2) What’s your ideal job?

A) Unpaid Domestic Labourer
B) A PR Executive/Glossy Mag Editor/Interior Designer/Online Vintage Jewellery Emporium Owner/Pejazzle Consultant
C) Doctor’s Assistant (no.4 best job in the world “for women”, according to Cosmo)
D) A Cat

3) What makes you feel euphoric?

A) Wearing pink/buying shoes. Shoes!!!!!!!!
B) Eating probiotic yoghurt
C) Being skinnier than your best friend/Slimming World
D) Fantasizing about the Miliband twins

4) What will be top of your cosmetic surgery wish-list when you snag your dream job (see question 2) and become a shemillionairess?

A) Bigger breasts
B) Cellulite reduction
C) Botox-face
D) I want a My Little Pony tail of pink and purple and sparkly glitter/enough surgery to become an actual sexy centaur

5) Dating Dilemma! You’re going on a date and the guy is really hot. You might be tempted to sleep with him but don’t want to as he will then know what a total skank you are. What do you do?

A) Follow Cosmo’s advice and wear a “fake chastity belt”
B) Don’t wax your bikini line/Wear granny pants. If the worst comes to the worst and the slut inside you overrules your good sense and you go back to his place, do as Cosmo says and hide the pants “under his bath mat” lest he sees the big pants and recoils in horror
C) “Holding out” will definitely make a man commit, and prevents shameful additions to your “sex number”, so if you feel the urge, just think: “his wang could be gross
D) You only date gay men

6) (This question is sponsored by Helena Frith Powell) At home with your man, you do the majority of the housework because

A) of cavemen. Evolution blah blah. Whilst man (more specifically your white, middle-class boyfriend) is better suited to the higher-paid, socially useless professions and having free time when he is not at work, woman prefers and is well-adapted to unpaid (but useful) tedium. Besides, you are the Chief Executive of the house
B) Men are necessary but stupid. They have specific disabilities that prevent them from realising domestic activities
C) You love to clean surfaces. The pleasant scent of your cleaning products make them fun to use and eliminating odours is your hobby. You feel that the cleanliness of your surfaces – in particular your skirting boards and kitchen island with its faux-marble worktop – is a personal statement about you and your personality. You tend to view women with unclean surfaces in a negative light.
D) You sacked your maid. You now do all the housework yourself whilst dressed in a varied array of Ann Summers outfits.

7) What’s your worst personality flaw?
A) You are tight-fisted, buying only supermarket own-brand creams to correct your aging face
B) You are lazy. You probably only shave your legs in summer and don’t remove your eye make-up properly
C) Your breasts are different sizes
D) You’re not human. You’re a playboy bunny rabbit and have no flaws to speak of.

8) Dinner Party Dilemma! You’ve heard there’s a crisis in Syria, but you don’t have any views ready for tonight’s social occasion. What do you consult to inform your opinion-development?
A) Kim Kardashian’s twitter-feed
B) Justin Bieber’s T-shirt
C) Nothing: it is unladylike to voice opinions on international geopolitics, so you pursue your latest Bag-Crush via Ebay instead
D) Whatever. You think the late Osama Bin Laden may have been hot if he’d have shaved his beard (See September 2013 UK Glamour magazine for more celebrities you should secretly fancy)

9) Totes fashion nightmare! On the way home from town on the peasant waggon, some benefit scrounging, teenage mother’s vile offspring vommed in the bag containing your best frenemy’s new dress. It’s  her work “Winter Festival” party tonight, and although she has plenty of other dresses, they’ve all been worn before. What do you advise your frenemy to do?
A) You offer to lend her a dress, which you know will be far too small for her. She’ll look totes trashy and it will be a major fashion-fail so you high five your inner green monster 😉
B) Tell her not to go: nothing’s worth the risk of being tagged in the same Facebook-look twice.
C) Advise that she uses the money she’d been saving up for a flat deposit to purchase the latest haute-couture look featured in this month’s Grazia
D) You create her a Gok-Wan-inspired high-end look, by fashioning a dress from lavender-scented bin liners and the sanitary towels left over from the periods you are pretending you’ve never had (see question 1).

What your answers reveal about your secret bubbly personality

If your answered mostly As, you could potentially bag a guy if you lose some weight and go on a spa day.

If you answered mostly Bs, your favourite crisp flavour is salt and vinegar and your shoe personality is kitten heels, but bear in mind that eating too much protein is resulting in unattractive acne all over your forehead: try MaxFactor Ageless Elixir Beige Foundation to cover it up if you are thinking of leaving the house.

If you answered mostly Cs, you are probably a lesbian and your celebrity personality match is Karl Lagerfeld’s Chihuahua. You are destined to professional and romantic failure unless you devote more of your budget to fashion and beauty.

If you answered mostly Ds, you are clearly insane and should seek medical help. You probably do your own DIY and your ideal age for marriage is 26.

If you answered mostly As but one D, you are a Pisces who enjoys long walks with dogs and bikram yoga. Burlesque is your recommended sexercise, and the patterns of Uranus say your boyfriend is probably cheating on you because you ate more than your share of cheese fondue.

#deardave

23 Aug

Hi Dave,

Thanks for your patronising note to Sarah.

Reading your email to her, I had assumed that Sarah was a 9-year-old girl guide who had sent you a postcard from the Costa del Sol. Then I read her open letter to you, and realised she was a campaigns professional inviting you to a meeting. She wasn’t on holiday. She was at a conference.

I would imagine that Sarah, her colleagues and their supporters do not see their twitter activism as “enjoyable banter.” This is because they have to live with the consequences of the constant sexual objectification of women in the media every day. Your extremely condescending and rather Victorian response to Sarah – addressing her as if she were a small child and dismissing her questions entirely – illustrates the intrinsically sexist way in which you view women.

I’m sorry that the pillar of your “newspaper” is the image of a topless teenager dolled-up and presented for the male gaze (alongside fully-clothed men doing useful activities). But then again, your whole “newspaper” is a pillar for misogynism, racism and homophobia.

I hope you will get rid of page 3, but I’d rather your whole “newspaper” just disappeared. Until then, I will continue to judge people who buy it when I pass them in WHSmith 🙂

Regards

Joanna

From http://nomorepage3.org/news/letters-to-the-editor-part-1/:

“20 August 2013

Hi Sarah

Thanks for your note. Unfortunately, we don’t have time for holidays here! I’m glad you had a good weekend. I am a fan of the Guides – I was a Scout myself. To save you any further effort, I won’t be changing my stance on Page 3. It is a pillar of the paper, the readers (both male and female) like it and I do not for one moment believe it is the basis of all evil. There are, I believe, many much more worthy targets you could be turning your admirable attentions to. I will continue to enjoy the Twitter banter. Regards David. david.dinsmore@news.co.uk

From http://nomorepage3.org/news/dear-dave-an-open-letter-to-dave-dinsmore-about-girl-guidinggirl-scouting/:

“20 August 2013

Dear Dave

I wanted to write to fill you in on the amazing experience that I have had at the WAGGGS (World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts) European Conference. I was there on behalf of No More Page 3 as one of the key note speakers. That’s right; it’s not just Girl Guiding UK that is showing an interest in our campaign, it’s the whole European organisation. The reason that we were invited is because they are an organisation that works hard to create a safe space for young women and girls to be themselves, to grow and develop in a wonderful bubble of support and respect. They talk a lot about their members becoming “change agents” who work to improve the world around them. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to you that they feel very strongly that the pressure on girls these days to look or be a certain way is having a negative impact on their ability to become the powerful young women they ought to be.

I was planning on giving you all the details of my presentation and what the media is doing to make the lives of young women and girls so much harder. But you know what, I’m not going waste your time with that when really all I want to know is, will you meet with a couple of the Guiding UK Advocates and listen to their stories? I want you to sit opposite some of these incredible young women and hear how Page 3 impacts them and the lives of the girls and young women they represent.

After listening to them, do you think that you would be able to look them in the eye and tell them that it’s just about money? That the damage done to young women’s body image and perception in society as sexualised, ultra perfect beings is less important than selling newspapers?

Can you even prove that your sales would drop? Have you asked your readers? What happened when your predecessor dropped Page 3 in favour of Help for Heroes t-shirts? Did the sales tailspin into single figures because people didn’t know where to turn for their boobs?

Your argument is disingenuous and unproven. Talk to some Guides Dave, be a change agent yourself and make this world a little bit better for all of us.

Kind regards,

Sarah
No More Page 3”

Letter to Robin Thicke

21 Aug

Dear Mr Thicke,

I am writing to you out of a very real concern for your health. Following, via the media, your behaviour of late, I have reason to believe that you suffer from the relatively rare condition of Thickism. Please see the excerpt below from my Oxford Handbook of Medicine for more information on the ailment.

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There are a few recent incidents in particular that have alerted me to the possibility that you may have contracted Thickism:

1) You publicly acknowledged that your song, Blurred Lines, sounds and feels a lot like Marvin Gaye’s Got to Give it Up. You then, earlier this week, began proceedings to sue the Gaye estate in order to force them to announce that you did not, in fact, copy elements of their deceased relative’s work. This behaviour shows typical Thickist elements: your actions in raising the lawsuit are antithetical to the assertion made in your previous public statement. They also display misplaced arrogance (your song, undoubtedly, could not have been so catchy without the Marvin Gaye hooks, yet you decide to sue his family).

2) You announced in a media interview “what a pleasure it (was) to degrade women” in the video and lyrics of your misogynistic rape song Blurred Lines. Then, when called out globally for promoting rape and violence against women, you, antithetically to your first statement, announced that the song was “actually a feminist movement within itself.” This assertion, or mansplaination, shows Thickist levels of delusion.

Robin. Lets make this clear. Your song and video are not “a feminist movement.”

Blurred Lines: a song in which you and your buddies attempt to “liberate” a “good girl” by telling her that she wants “crazy, wild sex.” However, she is not asking for this. You repeat the lyrics “I know you want it” and “do it like it hurt” whilst your musical partner occasionally mentions “I’ll give you something big enough to tear your ass in two.”

Then we come to the video. Three young, naked women prancing in an infantilised manner around three older, fully-clothed, predatory-looking men, who tail, bite, pull the hair of, and blow smoke in the faces of said women. Just a bit of “degrading”, “fun” (your words not mine). Violence against, and sexual objectification of, women. Is this any different to all the other examples of sexist portrayal of women we see in the media every day? No. Does that make it OK? No.

Your song lyrics– about a man in a bar who “knows” a young girl really wants “crazy, wild” sex with him but won’t say so – puts the all too common occurrence of men claiming that they thought no meant yes (the so-called but non-existent blurred lines of consent) as their excuse for raping someone. Sorry Robin. Such men are not feminists. They are rapists.

It’s not that I can’t take a sexist joke (actually I can’t), but your sexist bit of fun is damaging. Your idea that sexual consent is a blurred concept is, unfortunately, deeply ingrained in the way our society treats sexual assault. As Elizabeth Plank points out, the concept is what drives many to doubt the veracity of rape allegations. It’s why most victims never report their rape. It’s, as she says, the reason why 97% of rapists will never see a day in prison.

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Robin Thicke: feminisn’t

On another note, your sense of entitlement to the “hottest bitch in this place” (whatever the place is) shows elements of Thickist misplaced arrogance. You are not hot. Your creepy half-smirk, dark sunglasses and sinister tailing of naked young girls whilst in your full suit make you look like a perverted pantomime villain stroke sex pest. Maybe just go and put a modesty bag over your head.

Your retort to those who say your song is sexist is also a sign of Thickest arrogance and mansplaination. You say that we can’t deal with nudity and hate the human body. Please don’t patronise me Robin. My problem is not with the nude female form but with sexual objectification and songs misconstruing the meaning of sexual consent, both of which contribute to Rape Culture.

3) You directed the young naked girls in your Blurred Lines video to hold balloons carrying the slogan Robin Thicke Has A Massive Dick. My experience tells me that men who feel the need to announce in public that their manhood is sizable usually do so due to psychological complexes caused by their small penises. Again, announcing the opposite of the truth is a clear sign of Thickism. If you do have a small penis, which I strongly suspect you do, it is almost sure that you are suffering from the aforementioned condition and I suggest you seek medical help immediately.

As a form of treatment, I suggest you read The Second Sex by Simone De Beauvoir and perhaps donate some of the money you made from your song to your local rape crisis centre.

Sincerely,

Your feminist GP

Benefit scrounging parents to build pyramid for new Royal Overlord

23 Jul

Amid celebrations  for the birth of a new Royal Overlord, David Cameron has called for Britons to support his new Great British Pyramid programme, which will replace the previous Welfare State initiative endorsed by past governments.

Through the programme, peasants who have broken Great British protocol by, for example, seeking support when they are sick, old, with caring responsibilities or without a job will be forced to contribute to the building of a Great British Pyramid in homage to our newly born third-in-line to the throne.  Peasants who refuse to serve their stint pulling ton-heavy stones with old ropes as their only aid will be denied benefits indefinitely. In an interesting twist to this government policy, construction works will be filmed for a new BBC2 television series. Building on the success of previous series such as The Great British Bake Off and The Great British Sewing Bee, The Great British Pyramid will see peasants competing to pull the heaviest weight each day in return for extra working tax credits.

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A DWP mock-up of how the scheme will look in practice

Iain Duncan Smith, Secretary of State for the Department of Work and Pensions, said in a statement today, “the Great British Pyramid initiative returns fairness to the benefits system. It gives the taxpayer justice by ensuring that workshy scroungers will no longer get something for nothing.” Other organisations and experts have criticized the Great British Pyramid Scheme, along with wider welfare cuts. Disability Rights groups in particular have struck out at the government over what they see as a war on disabled people, citing the abolition of the Disability Living Allowance and the inhumanity of ATOS work assessments amongst other complaints. Says Mr Cameron,

“if disabled people are fit enough to attend protests against cuts, or indeed to voice their resistance to said cuts via the worldwide web, then they are fit enough to build a pyramid for our future King. However, the government does realise that not all disabled people are fit enough to haul rocks. We therefore plan to use ATOS assessments to refer the less able disabled to other pyramid-related duties, such as making blood and vital organ sacrifices in order to boost the future King’s favour with the Gods.”

According to government aids, the first intake of peasants to work on the Great British Pyramid will be sourced from the scrounger group known as Single Mothers. This group is also to be the worst effected by the wider welfare reform cuts currently hitting the nation. Says Satwat Rehman of One Parent Families Scotland,

“cuts to child benefit, child tax credits, help with childcare costs and most appallingly benefits for expectant mothers could prove to be the tipping point for lone parents and their children already being pushed to the brink by cuts to public services, rising living and childcare costs.”

In the view of feminist Laurie Pennie and other critics of these government policies, such targeting of single mothers by the orchestrators of welfare reform is down to a cruel mixture of sexism and classism. On the other hand, Duncan Smith refutes critics with his assertion that, “if single mothers didn’t want to be homeless, poor and hungry, then they shouldn’t have opened their legs in the first place.” Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, where housing benefit caps are resulting in critical levels of homelessness amongst single mother-led families, says,

“single mothers should go to university to find a husband. If single mothers can’t afford the £9000 per semester fees, as long as they are young and beautiful then they can access finance through the Sugar Baby mechanism, in which anonymous male members of our current parliament and our fat cat corporate cronies will fund their studies in return for sex.

In other news: the most popular government policy announced this month is Kristallnacht, in which Britons are encouraged to call UK Border Agency Brownshirts if they discover their neighbours are “illegal immigrants”. Official government thugs will then be sent round during the night to forcibly remove the illegal persons and bungle them into vans for their detention, physical assault by G4S staff (who, incidentally, are also now responsible for services for victims of rape in the Birmingham and Walsall areas), then deportation.

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Screen shot of an actual Home Office tweet

*Please note that some of this news has been embellished with figments of my imagination.

Ensuring femininity on holiday 3

17 Jul

Once again I’m passing my summer in piropolandia (cat-calling land) aka Andalusia, where every young woman’s street harassment dreams come true. Whilst bronzing my bikini body by the pool, I have had the chance to sample the Andalusian edition of ¡Qué Me Dices! (Fancy That!), which is the woman’s Saturday supplement of the catholic right’s newspaper La Razón.

The magazine is a fascinating read on many levels. Perhaps the aspect of  it that most baffles me is the juxtaposition of an advert for a catholic, diamond encrusted gold charm bracelet (complete with one of god’s commandments on each of the ten charms) with three A4 pages of adverts for prostitutes and erotic phone lines.

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One advertisement in particular caught my attention: that for “Lolitas,” implicitly aimed at the Andalusian gentleman for whom the underage partner is preferred. In case there is a need to remind the reader, international laws dictate that a child cannot consensually prostitute her or himself and thereby automatically classes punters who buy sex from children as guilty of rape and paedophilia, and pimps of sexual exploitation. As well as the obvious question as to why there are three pages of prostitute publicity in a woman’s supplement, one also feels compelled to ask Fancy That’s editors: do Catholicism and paedophilia really go well together? Oh.

Fancy That’s most inspiring feature this week is its cover story “The Secret’s of Charlize Theron.” I have photographed this for you below, and highlighted ways in which you can recreate Charlize’s secrets with your own resources at home.

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Remember ladies, “being pretty isn’t easy” so, hell, you better be making an effort

Road test Charlize’s secrets in your very own Laborattoir*

As Fancy That reminds its readers, “being pretty isn’t easy,” but it is implicitly necessary, hence the need to study Charlize’s secrets and apply them to oneself. If you stack up the prices of the products Fancy That says you need if you want to look like Charlize Theron, you will find that the total exceeds €500. Lets remind ourselves of Andalusia’s economic situation. With unemployment at a high of 36.87%, more families made homeless on a daily basis, and food banks becoming a necessity for ever more people, should Fancy That really be spending its existence persuading women that, without expensive products, women will never be as pretty as they ought to be? Well, yes, for beauty in a woman is so vital a quality that it should be your top priority even when you have lost your livelihood and home. So if you don’t have €500 lying around, then why not, just as I have, create your very own home laborattoir for fabricating beauty products? As well as using them yourself, you could also convince your friends that they are in need of such products and flog them for a buck or two. Ideas follow.

FANCY THAT SAYS: Charlize uses “phytoserum” to make her breasts “better”, “firmer” and “more volumised”.  NATURAL WOMAN SAYS: Kill a wasp and extract its sting. (Watch out girls, here comes “the science bit!” – best get a man to read this then explain it to you slowly…) Your immune system reacts to the wasp venom by sending in blood cells to fight the invading chemicals. The extra blood supply results in swelling. If you rub venom all over your chest your breasts will therefore grow, and it won’t cost you €42 (but you could sell it for that).

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FANCY THAT SAYS: At €83.07, Lift Bras miraculously “tones (Charlize´s) arms, especially the zone below the bicep, which is prone to being flaccid.” NATURAL WOMAN SAYS: Add semen to your regular moisturising cream. This will prevent flaccidity, aka chicken wings. If you don’t have a man to hand, any other male mammal can be used.

ImageFANCY THAT SAYS: Charlize uses “Frownies” to stick back the frowns around her forehead and eyes. NATURAL WOMAN SAYS: sellotape is cheaper than Frownies, but is basically the same thing.

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I have taped back all the wrinkles on my forehead, yet you can barely see the sellotape. Ten years younger, instantly.

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FANCY THAT SAYS: Charlize sprays Eau Sublimatrice/Moisturizing Beauty Water on her legs when wearing dresses or shorts. NATURAL WOMAN SAYS: Take tap water and place it in a plastic bottle with a perforated lid. As long as you give the water a French or scientific-sounding name, it will make your leg instantly beautiful when sprayed. Unlike other natural resources, water has yet to be fully privatised, so this method is currently free for all.

legSpray

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Spray Beauty Water on your leg and it will be beautiful, instantly

Enjoy! Before you navigate away from this page, take a final thought from Fancy That!

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“Fancy That” has spotted this famous Spanish actor in the supermarket. The magazine makes the observation, “the actor, interested in vegetables, even went to the extent of touching – without making use of the plastic gloves – the artichokes in the market”. Well,  just fancy that!

*Laborattoir: a laboratory where animals die so you can be beautiful. You might also be interested in Garnier’s “laboratoire” by Mitchell and Webb: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOYCkHFMnVc.

Liberal Democrat party riddled with Phantom Hands Syndrome*

1 Jul

Nick Clegg, leader of the Liberal Democrat party has confirmed today at a press conference that the majority of the group’s female members and party activists suffer from the highly contagious phenomenon of Phantom Hands Syndrome.

The Syndrome, first discovered by Faith Healer George Boak, 70, of Lightcliffe, West Yorkshire, causes victims to imagine that they are being molested. Boak encountered the disease amongst several of his female patients, who, due to their condition, accused him of indecent assault.

Says Clegg, who had previously been criticised for initially pretending he knew nothing of the complaints, later admitting that he had ignored several party activists’ accusations of sexual harassment by Lord Rennard and finally attempted to banalise the allegations by referring to them as “unwanted attention” rather than sexual molestation, “during the twenty years that accusations were made against Lord Rennard, there was also a two decade bout of Phantom Hands amongst all our female party members. This was not a coincidence. A separate investigation into the specific allegations about Lord Rennard will take place under our disciplinary procedure. All women involved in the accusations will be disciplined and will then step down from their posts for health reasons. There is therefore no need for any Liberal Democrats to attend diversity training.

According, A4EG4S, the health organisation previously known as the NHS, “Phantom Hands is a syndrome caused by sensations that originate in the spinal cord and brain. It is most common amongst women who come into contact with chauvinistic men. It can be treated by repeatedly undermining and ridiculing the patient until she realises that she is a hysterical, lying, attention-seeking lunatic.”

On the Rennard incident, a feminist organisation commented, “sexual harassment serves to remind women that our role as a sex object will always trump any other qualities we possess and therefore we can never be on equal terms with men who also possess those qualities – be they political skills, sporting prowess or the ability to stand on a stage and make others laugh. We can always be put back in our rightful place with an unwanted, insistent brush of the thigh or an invitation to have sex with a man who holds the keys to the hatch in the glass ceiling” (quote from The F-Word.com).

Several expert commentators have suggested that self-identification as feminist and Phantom Hands syndrome may be linked.

*Please note that this news is made up by me.

Top Tips for a Disappointing Sex Life

15 Jun

Favourite headline: “So you ate a cupcake? Fast moves to burn it off!”

Women’s magazines serve an important role for those who wish to be better females. With their narrow views of what constitutes fashion, beauty and feminine behaviour, magazines promote a one-dimensional image of how a “proper” woman should be, thereby making “woman” a simple, un-nuanced target for capitalist corporations to market to. Of course, a key aspect of magazine womanhood is knowing how to please your man (women’s magazines don’t do gay, polyamory, bi or any other non-heterosexual inclination), including (as the endless “mindblowing”, “dynamite”, utterly ridiculous, boringly choreographed and repetitive sex tips every week indicate) physically. The likes of Cosmo and Glamour help us to realise how disappointing we are in the bedroom and highlight the danger of our significant others straying as a result.  Best, then, to follow the magazines “tips” (normally sponsored by a consultant “sexpert” who invariably has a new book out) no matter how, odd, shall we say, they may seem. They are guaranteed to “make your man go wild” (although, I sometimes worry, “wild” in what sense?). Below are fifteen of the best, with some added advice from moi!

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Via mookychick.co.uk

1) “Press a fork (firmly, but don’t break the skin or anything) into different parts of his body — his butt cheeks, his pecs, his thighs.” As my colleague noted, you could also use the fork to wake him up if he falls asleep on top of you. Incidentally, it’s lucky Cosmo clarified that one shouldn’t “break the skin”. Many females that don’t read Cosmo probably still think that is a legitimate pulling technique, no doubt.

2) “Want to make oral sex a sweet treat for him? Mashed banana or peaches inside your vajayjay is a great way to tempt him downstairs for dessert! It’ll drive him wild!” (Via Vagenda: road-tesing Cosmo’s sex tips). If you must train your man to pleasure you by using foodstuffs, in the same way you might train your pet to fetch with dog biscuits, I wonder if you might be better off getting yourself a new man. Besides, I’m not sure if storing fruit in your genitals would cause mould. In any case, if you decide to go ahead, and your man meets the mashed yield he finds in your vagina with a bemused or scared expression, just moan his name or something… that will make it normal again.

3) “Finger-Food Foreplay: Have a romantic dinner without utensils so you can feed each other. There’s something sensual about placing food in your partner’s mouth. It’s such fun — especially when you serve stuff that’s not supposed to be eaten with your hands, like salads or pasta. After a meal like this, serve yourself for dessert.” (Via Cosmo favourite sex tips) Tried this with a Big Mac  in Macdonald’s on Sunday. No one wanted desert.  

4) “Mix one tablespoon of saliva (the kind deep in your throat works best — its viscosity makes it a good substitute for lube) with one tablespoon of water to stretch the spit.” (Via nerve.com) Cosmo leaves it up to us what to do with this delicious concoction. But be warned, if mixing one part phlegm to one part water ignites your passions, it is possible that you have found a new low amongst the mucus-lined depths of erotic boredom.

5) “Dip your breasts in edible body paint, and use them to ‘sponge paint’ his entire body. Then lick it off.” (Via Cosmo’s 50 ways to be boobilicious) Interesting. If this much body paint proves a little costly, you could always take inspiration from tip 3 and blend your favourite dinner (be it steak and chips, roast chicken, whatever tickles your fancy!) in the food processor, slop it all over yourself, and launch yourself at him like the erotic trooper that you are.  Then lick it off.  

6) “A little nip: Try a little playful bite or nibble when you’re giving your man all-over kisses. Hot spots for nibbling include his neck, stomach, inner thigh and bum.” (Via Cosmo kissing tips). If you are tired of nibbling your man’s bottom (it can become quite laborious, I find), you could always enlist the help of an obliging rodent.

hamster 7) “Sexpert” Henry, 25, says, “If we’re somewhere semi-public and can’t go at each other, press your hips against mine and massage me with your pelvis.” (via Cosmo’s sex tips from guys). Nope. No danger of that going wrong. No one will notice that. But, just in case, maybe don’t try this on public beaches in Dubai.

8) “Sprinkle a little pepper under his nose right before he climaxes. Sneezing can feel similar to an orgasm and amplify the feel-good effects.” (Via Cosmo Blow His Mind Moves) You could also try to get Bird Flu and pass it to him, to heighten the sneezing pleasure for both of you.

9) “Blow hot air from your mouth through his underwear” (Via Cosmo Blow His Mind Moves) I’m glad Cosmo specified “from your mouth”! I was just about to go to the shops and stock up on baked beans! Phew! That could have been embarrassing!

10) To get into the festive mood, Glamour magazines “The Reindeer”, which is “your basic doggie style position. But with one or both parties using their hands to mime antlers. Festive! Also, great for testing your balance!” (Via Glamour magazine). I always like a good excuse to test my balance. Nothing else to add here really, other than do make sure you save this one for a special evening over Christmas. There’s nothing sadder than doing “The Reindeer” on a work night in January, and I should know. But you could always design your own “fun specials” for different times of the year or other religious festivals: do send in any ideas!

11) “Hold his penis in one hand and lightly slap it with the other… you can tap it back and forth like you’re volleying a tennis ball and lightly pinch the skin on his shaft and testicles. Many women make the mistake of being too gentle.” (Via The best of Cosmo ridiculous tips at Nerve.com). Perhaps I have misunderstood the extent of the sensitivities of the male glands, but my gut instinct is that, should you try this tip, your man may wonder what he has done to make you so angry with him that you would perform this ritual. But then again, my forehand volley is more powerful than most – perhaps I’m just too tame. An alternative would be to lay some peach stones (left over from tip 2) on the bed, lay his “member” on top of them, and stomp down hard.

12) “Give him a beer facial — the combination of the egg white and the yeast in the hops hydrates and improves skin elasticity… but you can just tell him that your lips can’t resist his delicious, beer-flavored face.” (Via Nerve.com). I’m not sure what this means. I have thrown beer in the face of a man before, but I’m not sure that either of us regarded it as foreplay. Nevertheless, best blindly trust the sooth-saying words of Cosmopolitan magazine and massage your man with egg white and hops.

13) “Use the back of a brush to swat his thighs when he steps out of the shower – wet skin is more sensitive” (Via buzzfeed.com). This works best if you do it as a surprise, and, as one of my twitter followers recommended, if you use a toilet brush. 

14) “Want to experience new sensations that will literally blow his mind? Get him to cover his penis in bicarbonate of soda and secretly fill your vagina with vinegar. Get ready for an explosive time!” (via… OK, I made that one up.)

15) “While it’s essential that you’re comfortable with each other and to be yourself with your partner, there are certain things your lover never need witness. Remember, whilst he may know that we aren’t entirely hairless beings, he doesn’t need to see the actual shaving of the underarms…” (via Glamour’s G-Spot Blog). This tip strikes me as especially problematic. If only they’d stopped writing at the first comma. Will making the reader feel she should be ashamed of (parts of) her body improve her sex life? Or rather, is feeling completely comfortable and free of shame, and trusting that your partner will not be disgusted by your body a precursor to more pleasure? Perhaps Glamour magazine should go f*** itself, as it were. 

Finally, let’s end with some classic Glamour imperative DOs and DON’Ts! DON’T let Glamour, Cosmo etc. make you feel anxious, insecure and that only he matters (of course, if this isn’t the case and this parallel cosmos of mostly food-related sex tips turns you on, fine). But isn’t it a shame that, given that Cosmopolitan alone has a readership of 3 million (made up of many teenage girls for whom tips like this  constitute sex education) that women’s magazines don’t offer something better? Actually, it’s not a shame. It’s a feminist issue. DO (really do!) read these: http://blog.museumofsex.com/the-internal-clitoris/ http://www.crunkfeministcollective.com/2011/05/16/it-gets-wetter-a-message-to-women-who-frequently-have-horrible-rushed-sex-nsfw/

What kind of rape apologist are you?

4 Jun

TRIGGER WARNING: The following contains descriptions that may serve as triggers for survivors of sexual violence

So you’ve done the Marie Claire, What Shoe Heel Are you most Like? quiz,  Glamour’s questionnaire has confirmed that – congratulations – you are ‘Ana’ enough to date Christian Grey, and you know which which romantic comedy cliché you are (that last quiz is genious, btw), but you still don’t know who you really are? Well laydeez and gentleman, don’t stress! Our quiz this week will take you one step further on your exciting journey of self-discovery through ridiculous monthly magazine quizzes as you find out, are you a rape apologist, and if so, what kind?

1) When is it ok to have sex with someone without her/his consent?

a) When they are unconscious

b) When they are asleep

c) When you perceive them to be “really fit” and a bit “slutty”

d) When they look older than 13

e) When they are drunk and/or high on drugs

f) Never

If you answered f), go straight to the “Results” section below

2) In cases of alleged rape, the accuser is obviously lying/the accuser shouldn’t have justice if the accused is…

a) Really, really good at football

b) A Left-wing, anti-corporate hero

c) A “Uni Lad” partaking in hilarious “banter”

d) A famous, arty, well-connected director

e) Her boyfriend

3) If one accuses someone else of rape apology, this is most likely because one is…

a) Lacking in compassion. Many young lives are ruined when rapists who are minors are punished for their (natural) sexual misconduct, apparently

b) A raving republican involved in a complot against wikileaks

c) A “dyke”

d) Like one of the baddies in Les Miserables

e) Confused about what rape is. “Rape isn’t always rape”

Results

If you answered mostly a), you are probably…

A CNN Style Rape Apologist!

You think it is super sad when rapists are caught 😦 If they are young (like the young star football players from Steubenville who repeatedly gang raped a girl and circulated their films of the incidents via social media) being on the sex-offenders list means they might have trouble getting a job in the future 😦

If you answered mostly b) you are probably…

A “Free Assange”-style Rape Apologist!

Along with John Pilger, Ken Loach, Michael Moore, Noam Chomsky and many more high profile, respectable leftie fellahs, you probably feel really sad about wikileaks founder Julian Assange being cooped up in the Ecuadorian embassy. If a gal consents to sex once, surely it’s not rape if you roll on top of her again and start going at it when she’s sleeping. And if a girl says she won’t have sex unless you wear a condom, if you don’t bother putting one on and force her legs open a bit, that’s not rape, is it? You’re with George Galloway: it’s just “bad sexual etiquette.”

If you answered mostly c), you are probably…

A Uni Lad Rape Apologist!

You think rape is hilaire!!! And, as your fave magazine (Uni Lad is voted number one lads mag for male UK university students, apparently!) has noted, 85% of rapes go unreported, so you’ll probably get away with it! Hilarious! If any “bitch” tells you that this isn’t funny, just tell her that’s she’s a “dyke” (she’s probs just bitter cos she’s ugly and no1 wants to do her!) It’s all about the bantaaaaaah! Just remember to say “surprise”!

If you answered mostly d), you are probably…

A Hollywood A-Lister  or French Foreign Minister-style Rape Apologist!

So a famous film director rapes a 13 year-old girl. So he did something that was wrong. So he sought exile in France to avoiding having to go to prison after being charged with, and pleading guilty to, unlawful sex with a minor. But, do we really have to keep on hounding the poor guy? He’s getting old now and his films are so beautiful. Plus, Polanski’s a stickler for old-fashioned romance!

If you answered mostly e), you are probably…

Nick Ross, ex-Crimewatch presenter famous for his interesting retort against Miriam O’Reilly’s complaint of BBC ageism/sexism, “I’ve never worked with a minger”! Ross rightfully points out that many victims “tend to feel dirty, embarrassed, racked with revulsion and self-blame after their rape”, and therefore suggests that we give the victims a voice in these cases and acknowledge that their rape wasn’t really rape (it would be patronising not to, says Nick), especially if the perpetrator was their boyfriend, or if the victim was drunk or high on drugs. Thanks Nick. You and Kenneth Clark, who finds date rape confusing and not always that serious, probably get on well.

If you are an aspiring Nick Ross-style rape apologist, Gloss Watch’s brilliant style-guide may help you.

If you answered f) to the first question…

I’m sorry you have to share this earth with human beings that fall into categories a) to e).