Tag Archives: objectification

#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.

Image

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.

Image

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

In response to Sun’s request for a naked photoshoot

10 May

Dear Matthew,

I am writing to you in response to the request that popped up in my inbox earlier this afternoon. I have also copied in Charity Comms, which deemed your request as relevant to charities that fall into the “women’s group”, “children” or “family welfare” categories. I do hope that you receive several replies from “women’s groups” and that said “women’s groups” tell you exactly what they think of you.

Picture 2

Let me recount for you a memory from my childhood. I recall a day out with my father in which we passed a man on a bench staring fixatedly at the highly sexualised image of a bare-breasted young woman in a newspaper. I remember how this sight provoked a feeling of surprise, disgust and anger but, given my young age, I could not articulate why. When my father and I returned home, I found my mother breastfeeding my younger sister. My immediate reaction was to fetch a tea towel to cover her bare chest, lest a stranger should ogle at her body in the style of that same repulsive man in the street. I think that is the day that I became a feminist. I wanted my mother, my sister and indeed women and girls in general to be seen by all as more than objects, mere pieces of meat, for men’s sexual gratification. Your newspaper, filled with men in clothes doing “useful” things, a single giant image of a girl in her pants, and, apparently, as of Tuesday, naked Real Women TM in “nude thongs” who can only “get happier” when men rate their bodies favourably, is, therefore, not one of my favourite publications. Just so you know.

Your request implies that women have psychological problems and that we are “overly negative” on ourselves when we “needn’t be.” I completely agree that many women have a much lower sense of self-worth than they should have. We are plagued by body dismorphia, eating disorders, shame and crippling insecurities. However, I would argue that having men publicly rate the sexual attractiveness of naked women does little to improve women’s self-confidence and self-worth. Rather, it does the exact opposite. Why do women, generally speaking, have such low body confidence? Because we are taught, you might even say brainwashed, from birth by the mainstream media, fairytales, toys, films, advertisements, adults, peers and so on that our worth is inextricably tied-up with male approval and that male approval is dependant on being beautiful, attractive and sexually available. We can escape this, not by having Sun Readers, Gok Wan, Dove or Boots tell us that we possess Real Beauty TM, but by severing the ties between our self-worth and our perceived sexual attractiveness. The “health feature” you plan for Tuesday’s edition of The Sun, on the other hand, reaffirms for many women that their very happiness and psychological wellbeing should be based on male perceptions of their naked bodies.

I would like to end my letter in a civilised fashion. However, I’ve had a long day at work, which was made longer by my outrage at receiving your shitty request. So, I’m just going to bid you farewell immaturely and, in a petty fashion, wish that someone who is more technically savvy than me photoshops a picture of you (and perhaps also Rupert Murdoch and your other misogynist colleagues) so that you appear naked but for a “nude thong”, ready to be rated by millions. I wonder if a Sun psychologist will tell you that this is an empowering experience and that you will “get happier” as a result. I think not.

Joanna

David Cameron: a style guide

27 Apr

Inspired by a recent 6-page-long analysis of St Margaret Thatcher’s style, “look” and “power dressing”, I have of late been thinking of the way in which we analyse the dressing, grooming and physical appearance of our women politicians. Such focus on their clothes and looks helps to demean the political campaigns and professional activities of such women, which is important since, after all, no country is safe with a female in charge. Instead of seeking power, women should stick to what they do best: sitting pretty and looking sexy for the male population. If women need help and support in this mission, they can consult magazines such as Glamour, which remind women of the ugly, fat, imperfect beings that they are and convince readers of the need to purchase expensive products that aid ladies to look better.

If you are a male politician eager to shepherd the woman vote, you could do worse than to be interviewed by a woman’s fashion mag. After all, despite the fact that David Cameron’s austerity cuts disproportionately affect women and are likely to regress women’s equality, I will still vote for him because, ever since he was interviewed in Glamour and Grazia magazines, he just seems so fashionable and stylish 🙂 (David Cameron has launched a concerted strategy to woo the woman-vote by appearing in misogynistic fashion mags! I know this is old news but I’ve been out of the political loop lately as my focus on the crippling but incredibly successful Gywneth Paltrow No Food Diet  has left me too weak to read newspapers). Anyway, to cut to the chase: all this has called for a Natural Woman exclusive interview with the Prime Minister himself, our very own, real-life, Mr Darcy. Enjoy…

 Natural Woman: Welcome Prime Minister! And yes, girls, he’s just as hot in real life 🙂

Prime Minister: Thank you! It’s a pleasure to be here. Please, call me Dave.

Natural Woman: So, Call Me Dave, what’s your process for grooming every morning?

Call Me Dave: Well, I like to cleanse, tone and moisturise. You see, with all the stress of being Prime Minister, my skin tends to suffer. My forehead in particular gets really dry, especially on PMQ Wednesdays, because the salty sweat I excrete with all the lies and half-truths really agitates the skin.

Anyway, after moisturising, I like to apply foundation. It makes my skin tone nice and even. Then, about 6:30 every morning, my Celebrity Stylist arrives. He’s great – he gives me the perfect, slick comb-over and applies some great hair product to keep the style shiny and in-place all day. I truly believe the comb-over is the best style for today’s Tory gentleman. It’s classy, timeless, perfect for any occasion or workplace, and can be manipulated to suit any face shape – even my famously two-faced Lib Dem colleague Cleggy gets away with it!

Natural Woman: Great – that sounds very thorough! Although, in our view, there is always more you could do to look better… Anyway, with such an in-depth beauty regime, how do you find the time to run the country?

Call Me Dave: Ah well, I’m a lucky man! My wonderful wife SamCam helps me with most of the important decisions. For example, if ever I get Delhi-belly following too much curry post party conference, she helps consult my skid marks the next day. Together, we follow our inner-spirits to help us interpret the telling, sooth-saying shapes on the toilet bowl or my pants, which are sent to us by Dame Thatcher, from beyond the grave. This process always guides the most crucial of my policy decisions, as you can probably tell.

Natural Woman: Inspirational! So, Call Me Dave, do you own a ManBag?

Call Me Dave: Of course! Briefcases just don’t cut the mustard these days. I need a bag with room to hold all my papers, evil plans to exterminate Britain’s underclass, my gym clothes (it’s really important for me to keep in shape, especially since SamCam and I have got a holiday coming up) and my diary, so that I can keep track of my appointments for drinkypoos with George.

So anyway, the manbag is bang on trend yet still looks great paired with my vintage two-piece suits. Oh, and the full-grain leather shell feels just wonderful against my skin if I’ve decided to flash a little flesh 😉

Natural Woman: I can imagine…

Call Me Dave: Calm down dear 😉

Natural Woman: Cheeky! Call Me Dave, you’re a hoot! I’m so voting for you in the next election 🙂

 Gallery of Call Me Dave’s Five Key Looks for Summer

Image

Call Me Dave gets down with the plebs by ruffling his hair and bravely going tieless. Booyakasha!

Image

Call Me Dave wooing the woman-vote with this dashing, Hugh-Grantesque look. This pic was taken during Dave’s days at the Bullingdon club, a members-only gathering for the rich and posh with a penchant for partaking in arson (not the good kind!) now and then.

Image

Dave teasingly leaves a few buttons open… strip-tease sexy… or perhaps the belly roles indicate that Dave’s let himself go of late – Could it be the trauma of the breakdown in his relationship with Cleggy? Watch Made in Chelsea, which has kindly sponsored this article, to find out.

Image

Dave attempting to get his body beach-ready (Natural Woman has sold this photograph to Heat magazine, where Call Me Dave will deservedly be ripped to pieces for daring to look so ugly in public).

Image

By creating a Slim silhouette with his soft-shouldered jacket and clean lines, Call Me Dave managed to persuade two common people to perform a Bullingdon sándwich. Tragically, he broke the spell by farting.

Letter to CNN’s rape apologists

21 Mar

Dear Ms Crowley and Ms Harlow,

After a few days away from the Anglophone media, I was this morning alerted to your news report, date 17th March, on the trial of the Steubenville rapists: the high school boys who kidnapped a 16 year old girl who was vomiting at the roadside and fell unconscious, then drove her – over a period of several hours – from party to party where they repeatedly gang raped and urinated on her. They and their delighted, laughing pals filmed the attacks whilst shouting comments such as “she is so raped,” “they raped her quicker than Mike Tyson!”, “they raped her more than the Duke lacrosse team!”; and she was “deader than Trayvon Martin” and then shared videos and photographs via social media, which, incidentally, went viral. Laurie Penny has compared these images to the photographs taken between the 1880’s and 1930’s, which show white Americans grinning beneath the naked mutilated body of a black man or woman hanging behind them from a tree. The lynching photographs were souvenirs of a collective action whose participants felt perfectly justified in what they had done, just as those Steubenville boys did. And you reinforce their sense of justification.

As you are no doubt aware, when the girl (commonly known in the media as Jane Doe) and her family reported the crime to the police, she began to receive death threats as inhabitants of the town of Steubenville, Ohio, united in an attempted mass cover up of the rapes, in order to protect the implicated young boys, who happened to be the town’s star football players.

You could say that Jane Doe has been raped many times: firstly by the boys that invaded her unconscious body; secondly by the party-goers who watched and did nothing; thirdly by the people that delighted in sharing and mocking pictures of her ordeal via social media; and now by the great masses of rape apologists who rally behind her rapists rather than her (you may count yourselves in this final category).

Pardon the digression. Back to your news report. To jog your memories, here is a link to your report: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2cvUCDjLDIk. I have also enclosed a transcript of your dialogue in case your internet connection is too slow for you to watch the video comfortably (see below).

In your report, the two of you, plus your “expert”, Paul Callan, express incredible levels of sadness, sympathy and regret for those poor rapists who will spend over a year in a detention centre for their crimes. You feel, I quote, “incredibly emotional” at the sight of these boys crying in court as “their lives fell apart”. Indeed, Ms Harlow, in terms of the compassion you feel for the two boys, you say that you’ve “never experienced anything like it.” All three of you lament that these boys will now be labeled as sex offenders for their whole lives, despite being “good students.”

It’s so very sad when rapists get caught, especially when they are good students. I feel your pain… I really do (I don’t) … and so I have developed a few tips to help you help other defenceless young boys in potential danger of having their lives ruined with custodial sentences and appearances on the sex offenders register:

1) Don’t commit a sex offence*

I can’t think of any more tips.

Yours sincerely,

Joanna Allan

* Kidnapping someone, repeatedly raping them, urinating on them and filming it constitutes a sex offence.

P.S. Will CNN be televising a public apology for this appalling piece of journalism?

P.P.S Your report on this trial breaks my heart. I have never been more amazed and disgusted by anything I have read or heard from a journalist.

TRANSCRIPT FROM CNN NEWS REPORT ON STEUBENVILLE VERDICT

CROWLEY: “Again, this case was played out in juvenile court, that is why there was a judge, no jury. He decided on the verdict, as well as, you heard there, talking about the sentence.

We want to go now to CNN’s Poppy Harlow. She is in Steubenville, and has been covering this trial.

I cannot imagine having just watched this on the feed coming in. How emotional that must have been sitting in the courtroom.”

POPPY HARLOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: “I’ve never experienced anything like it, Candy. It was incredibly emotional — incredibly difficult even for an outsider like me to watch what happened as these two young men that had such promising futures, star football players, very good students, literally watched as they believe their life fell apart.

One of — one of the young men, Ma’lik Richmond, when that sentence came down, he collapsed. He collapsed in the arms of his attorney, Walter Madison. He said to me, “My life is over. No one is going to want me now.”

Very serious crime here. Both found guilty of raping this 16- year-old girl at a series of parties back in August, alcohol-fueled parties. Alcohol is a huge part in this.

But Trent Mays was also found guilty on a second count and that is of felony illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material because he took a photograph of the victim laying naked on the floor that night. Trent Mays will serve two years in a juvenile detention facility. Ma’lik Richmond will serve one year on that one count that he was found guilty for.

I want to let our viewers listen because for the first time in this entire trial we have now heard from the two young men. Trent Mays stood up, apologizing to the victim’s family in court. After him, Ma’lik Richmond.”

Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRENT MAYS, FOUND GUILTY OF RAPING IN JUVENILE COURT: “I would really like to apologize to (INAUDIBLE), her family, my family and community. No pictures should have been sent out or should be taken. That’s all. Thank you.”

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: “Anything you’d like to say, Ma’lik?”

MA’LIK RICHMOND, FOUND GUILTY OF RAPE IN JUVENILE COURT:” I would like to apologize. I had no intention to do anything like that and I’m sorry to put you guys through this. (INAUDIBLE) I’m sorry.”

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARLOW:” I was sitting about three feet from Ma’lik when he gave that statement. It was very difficult to watch.

You know, something that came up throughout this sentencing. Ma’lik’s father had gotten up and spoke. Ma’lik has been living with guardians. His father, a former alcoholic, gotten to a lot of trouble with the law, been in prison before.

And his father stood up and he told the court, ‘I feel responsible for this. I feel like I wasn’t there for my son.’ And before that, he came over to the bench where his son was sitting. He approached him, he hugged him and whispered in his ear.

And Ma’lik’s attorney said to us in a courtroom, I have never heard Ma’lik’s father before say, I love you. He’s never told his son that. But he just did today.

This was an incredibly emotional day. These two juveniles being carried out and they will be committed today, Candy.”

I want to bring in Paul Callan, our CNN legal contributor.

You know, Paul, a 16-year-old now just sobbing in court, regardless of what big football players they are, still sound like 16 year olds. The other one, 17. A 16-year-old victim.

The thing is, when you listen to it and you realize that they could stay until they’re 21, they are going to get credit for time served. What’s the lasting effect, though, on two young men being found guilty in juvenile court of rape, essentially?

PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL CONTRIBUTOR: Well, you know, Candy, we’ve seen here a courtroom drenched in tears and tragedy and, you know, Poppy’s description, I think, you know, sums it all up. But across America scenes like this happen all the time.

I know as a prosecutor and defense attorney, when that verdict is handed down, usually it’s just the family and families of the defendants and the victims, there’s always that moment of just lives are destroyed. And lives have already been destroyed by the crime. And we got a chance to see that.

But in terms of what happens now, yes, the most severe thing with these young men is being labeled as registered sex offenders. That label is now placed on them by Ohio law and, by the way, the laws in most other states now require such a designation in the face of such a serious crime.

That will haunt them for the rest of their lives. Employers, when looking up their background, will see they’re registered sex offender. When they move into a new neighborhood and somebody goes on the Internet where these things are posted. Neighbors will know they’re a registered sex offender.

It’s really something that will have a lasting impact. Much more of a lasting impact than going to a juvenile facility for one or two years.

An Open Letter to the Editor of the Sunday Times’ Style Magazine: to encourage one’s child daughter to become a sexual, fasting object, or not?

18 Jan

Dear Ms Long,

Whilst waiting for my tea to brew in the kitchen at work yesterday, I came across an abandoned issue of the Sunday Times Style magazine (dated 13 January 2013). I often turn to publications such as your own in order to learn how to be a proper woman. As such, conflicting messages about how women should behave are very distressing to me. It is with a recent highly confusing experience in mind, in which one article contradicted the messages given by the rest of the magazine, that I write to you.

Let us first analyse the article that jars with the rest of your publication’s content, Freedom to Choose. This piece intelligently highlights the damage the mainstream media causes to young girls. It argues that the media teaches young girls that they are sexual objects, causes insecurity amongst girls by making “how they look, and their “hotness”… an obsession”, and that they are “products” whose worth is determined by how others evaluate theirs looks.

The piece describes how very young girls are constantly: “hammered by the media by the need to be sexy” and taught, above all else, that “(their) looks are the most important things about (them).”

The article helpfully highlights for the reader how to avoid the sexualisation of their young daughters, and how to help girls to have their own space and security to become women at their own pace. To jog your mind, here are three top strategies and tips that your article recommends:

1) “Because (the sexualisation) starts very young … we can choose which magazines and other media to buy”;

2) “Girls’ magazines generally do more harm than good”; and

3) “shared meals at fixed times, where everyone is at the table” can help.

My confusion lies in the juxtaposition of these sensible messages with the general philosophy offered by your publication. Pray, why does the rest of your magazine blatantly contradict all three of these messages?

For the benefit of my blog readers who may not have a copy of your magazine to hand (I will post this letter on my blog), let me now give a brief overview of the contents of your publication:

  • Cover: Photo of a skinny woman who is posing as if she is expecting to be penetrated from behind, penetrated orally and penetrated in her visible cleavage, and who, implicitly, is presently on “the fasting diet”
  • Inner cover: advert for make-up that gives a “face lift” effect
  • p.1: contents
  • p.2: advert for low-fat ready meal
  • p.3: editor’s update featuring JLO’s dressing habits
  • p.4: perfume advert with skinny model posing as if she is about to perform fellatio
  • p.5: photos of expensive clothes and jewellery to buy (prices range from £70 to £775)
  • p.6: advert for low-fat ready meal
  • p.7: photos of kids clothes, furniture and cooking utensils to buy
  • pp. 8-9: car advert
  • pp. 10-14: article and photos entitled, West End Girl: She’s Bisexual, Boho and Brilliant
  • p. 15-18: article about a model and her naked photo shoot, featuring photo in which the female model appears to be being raped (note distressed facial expression) by the male model
  • p. 19: competition featuring ticket to catwalk show as prize
  • p. 20: tips on what you should wear
  • pp. 21-25: photos of skinny models who appear to be about to perform fellatio
  • pp. 26-27: 4 tips on how to make your face look better
  • pp.28-36: your cover story: the fasting diet and why it is brilliant
  • p. 37: advert for a car whose seats mimic the curves of an attractive woman
  • p. 38: dilemmas page
  • pp.39 -43: article on what furniture one should buy
  • pp. 44-45: article on restaurants that sell low fat food
  • p. 46: advertisement for the Sunday Times
  • p. 47: star signs
  • p. 48: problem page
  • Inside cover: competition to win a makeover
  • Back cover: advert for anti-ageing cream

Your eight-page-long cover story, entitled The Fasting Diet deserves special attention, I believe. It advocates the new intermittent fasting diet, in which participants should starve themselves for two 24-hour periods per week. The piece disperses text with photos of the skinny, scantily clad cover model in various sexually suggestive poses.  Without boring you further with the content of an article of which you are already, no doubt, familiar, let me enlighten my blog readers with a few choice quotes from the piece:

  • “Fasting teaches you what it means to be hungry”
  • on “feed days”, “be very careful about measuring exactly what you eat. Don’t guess.”
  • “you must learn not to be afraid of hunger”
  • “what you need to do is set up a system of immediate rewards. For example, if I get through the next two fast days, I can buy a new lipstick… obviously do not use food as a reward. (Buy) a pack of gold stars and put a …reward chart up on the wall”
  • “I know nutritionists bang on about the importance of breakfast… but why wake up Annie Appetite before you need to?”
  • “If you’re feeling faint, 70 calories of low-fat yoghurt takes the edge off”
  • “There is something addictive about waking up feeling hungry”
  • “Last Sunday… I had a slice of chocolate and walnut cake. But it was fine, because I knew I was fasting the next day”
  • “(when fasting), people tend… to raise their intake of tea and coffee, though obviously if you add milk, you’ll have to keep a close eye on that.”

I think my blog readers will get the idea.

Let me summarise the problem for you. If I pay attention to the three tips from the Freedom to Choose article, I would NEVER, EVER GO ANYWHERE NEAR STYLE MAGAZINE, given its use of highly sexualised images of women, tips on how to look better and younger, and strategies on how to cope with daily life when you are starving yourself for aesthetic reasons (as, you imply, all proper women should).

I therefore ask, Ms Long, was the anomaly of an article on how to empower young girls by promoting healthy eating habits and encouraging them to realise that their looks are not their only source of self-worth published in your magazine by mistake? Am I right to judge the rest of your magazine as a pile of worthless, sexist hypocrisy that makes women feel insecure and inadequate, and which I should probably shove up my objectified, fasting, and perpetually-ready-for-sex bottom?

Please advise.

In anticipation,

Joanna Allan

Promoting female friendliness in IT, from @sssukiii

19 Aug

In 1997 Sadie Plant’s book ‘Zeros and Ones’ explored the history of women’s unheralded influence on IT and technology. The book traced Ada Lovelace’s essential contributions to Babbage’s Difference Engine, as well as the tangible link between traditionally female activities, such as typing, weaving and forming networked communities, active, empowered online communities.

More than ten years on the IT industry still has a long way to go in terms of addressing its women and appealing to new generations of women. Since the 1980s, the number of female undergraduates in IT -related fields has decreased, according to the Computing Research Association. In 2011, roughly 12% of computer programming degrees were awarded to women.

A new wave of socially conscious technology users, led by organisations such as Future Gov, may help to educate the sector and give recognition to the creative value of a female tech-enabled work force. There have also been several clumsier pink-bow branded campaigns, but at least these recognise the need to address the gender gap in an industry which has a growing influence on our daily lives.

As with many service-based industries, success in IT requires empathy, problem solving and the ability to listen and learn fast. These are skills which place people first, before their machines, which is why it’s ridiculous when IT suppliers appeal exclusively to men. In fact they should be doing everything they can to stop the decline in female IT workers.

When sexist scenarios pan out in IT, they’re ridiculous because the effect is so jarring to an intellectually charged crowd. At 2012’s modestly titled ‘Internet world’, at Earls Court, the novelty of scantily-clad girls employed by a certain server hosting provider offering a passing group of female marketers leaflets was dead in the water.

Sexist advertising campaigns by cheap hosting provider, Go Daddy take irrelevance to new levels. Wikipedia’s offers an extensive description of their marketing:

Go Daddy’s advertising is produced in-house, and typically contains sexually suggestive material… CEO Bob Parsons refers to the marketing as “GoDaddy-esque” which he describes as “fun, edgy and a bit inappropriate.” Most of Go Daddy’s early TV ads starred former WWE Diva Candice Michelle, in some sort of sexual-related theme.

Needless to day, this defiant old school sexism, has invited a plethora of social media backlash, damaging the both the brand’s integrity and the image of the industry it’s meant to support. From a marketers point of view their adverts may raise awareness of their service, but that’s unlikely to lead to life long customers. Businesses may be motivated by the savings they offer, but at an immeasurable cost to their own reputations.

Fortunately, whilst certain elements of the tech industry keep prehistoric values alive, others forge ahead. A design and problem solving led approach is led by organisation such as Future gov, IDEO and ARUP’s drivers of change, which aim to harness technology in a people-focused and positive way.

Glistening like wet otters

5 Aug

If you’ve been watching the Olympics this month, like me, you’ve probably become concerned about all the media attention that has been devoted to women competing in manly activities and displaying unfeminine personality traits such as ambition, competitiveness and strength. Not only are we seeing more women competing in sport on our television sets (quite rightly, we generally keep women competing in non-feminine sports off our screens) than ever before but also large swathes of society seem to be tuning in and even celebrating women’s sporting achievements. By day three of the Olympics, I was beginning to panic about this. How could so much female success been possible, when only 0.5% of UK investment in elite athletes is devoted to women (http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-radio/2011/nov/05/women-sport-point-five-sponsorship)? What sort of examples would we be setting for our daughters in terms of femininity? Where was the much-deserved recognition for the bodies and beauty of our more attractive female athletes?

Just as I was beginning to despair, Boris Johnson, the cherished ruler of our capital city, saved the day with a classic quote in his Telegraph column that put Olympic women back in their place and highlighted that their jobs as elite athletes are acceptable only as long as they maintain their more important roles as decorative eye candy for our male spectators. Boris, perhaps the best politician ever to grace our Earth (apart from, arguably, Silvio Berlusconi), helpfully pointed out that the “semi-naked women” competing in the beach volleyball competition were “glistening like wet otters.” Phew. Bojo has a lesson here for us all girls: if you must compete in sport, make sure you look sexy whilst doing so.

Image

Did you know that Bojo is also an elite athlete? He does cycling, zip wiring, and swimming (in the river Wandle): Wow! Go Boris! Go Engerland!

What are little girls made of? Sugar and spice and…

3 Aug

Below is a picture of a girl. She is a baby, yet you can already tell that she is going to become a well-presented, socially acceptable woman one day. If only my parents had treated my sister and I in a similar fashion, we wouldn’t have to work so hard today to be more womanly and alluring. Indeed, I would have no need to be writing this blog today.

Image

When we were children, my father enjoyed ironing and my mother made us wear trousers and play in the mud. Mum and Dad’s utter disregard for gender norms f*cked us up royally in the psychological department, resulting in one particularly unsavoury incident in which my sister and I shaved the heads of our Barbie dolls and burnt their plastic bodies to a shard.  I’m ashamed and embarrassed, but it is better to share this uncomfortable memory so that the reader can learn from it. We must prevent such acts of violence against dolls that provide us with a body image that all girls can spend their lives aspiring to.

If you want your daughter to grow up properly, you must start young and make the importance of feminine gender roles, particularly the necessity for women to give an impression of constant sexual availability, clear from birth. Fortunately, gender-aware capitalism has provided us with a few little gems to make our jobs as nurturing mothers easier:

ImageMake sure your daughter knows she’s on earth to sexually titillate with this delightful pole dancing kit “suitable for participants of 11 years and upwards”, previously available in the Children’s toys department of Tesco and Asda (before the feminazis had them removed). Note especially the pretty pink garter and fake money – perhaps a male member of your family could use the latter to play too 🙂

Image

In the same regard as the kit above, check out this pole dancing doll. Cute!

Image

Tasteful little thong for your seven year old. I especially like the heart with “eye candy” written inside, and the rectangle with “wink wink” on. Tee hee!

ImageGive your girl some lovely playboy stationary to take to school with her. Who knows? Maybe she too might be a top role model for all young western women and become Heff’s next concubine (see below). We can all dream!

ImageImage

“Virgin Waxing” is the latest craze for young girls and their mums. The theory is, if you start waxing your daughter’s bikini line from age 8, before puberty starts, it will remove all the hair roots and nothing will ever grow back. A top example of preventative action against non-womanliness. Non?

Image

We all know how helpful airbrushing is for women who have failed to look their best in photographs. Voila! The innovative “stylin’ studio” can help girls to learn how to airbrush away all their physical faults, as well as showing them a million other ways in which they could look better. Hurrah! I want one!

Image

A great way to make sure that your daughter grows up always striving to look better is to lower her self-esteem from a young age. What better way to do this than by giving her a push-up bra before she’s even old enough to walk? Thanks Abercrombie and Fitch (a similar product used to be available in Primark, but sadly the feminazis struck again).

Image

My Cleaning Trolley, “girls only”, cannot fail to make your daughter aware of the future domestic role that she must play.

Image

Once again, Barbie brings us a little diamond. This time, with it’s “beautiful girl – press any button” yellow star, we have “Benign Girl”, which, I believe, fully embodies everything we should want from our girls. Benign. Thank you Barbie.

Ensuring femininity whilst on holiday 2

1 Aug

Once again leafing through the modern day woman’s bible that is Mujer Hoy (Woman Today. See blog post 31st July) I realised that the latino ladies depicted in the magazines – brunette, slender, olive-skinned beauties – were far more feminine than me. Something had to be done. Copying the pensive pose adopted by Woman Today‘s top model and expert in “tropical seduction”, I contemplated what to do.

I found that pouting my lips as if wishing to perform fellatio indeed does help the process of thinking, and I realised that, if I donned a bathing suit along with high heels, make up and excessive jewellery and headwear, I might appear more like a feminine-ideal and attract a moody gentleman such as he with crossed arms in the photo below, taken from Woman Today magazine.

After riding down to the local town centre in this outfit, my very own gentleman friend did indeed appear a little more moody than usual, but sadly he did not find the outfit particularly attractive. Furthermore, I found that trying to ride a motorbike in heels is not particularly practical, and I fear my trip to the village centre in swimming suit and headwear has made me even more of a social pariah amongst the local Andaluz community than I was before. I’m not sure what went wrong. Perhaps I should not have “ridden” the motorbike (leave the driving to the guys, girls), but merely stood beside it and stuck my bum out. That said, Don Francisco, father-in-law of the local Mayor, did ask if I’d like to join his wife and he for a jolly threesome, so maybe the outing was worth it after all.