Ah feminist freedom. We have been freed from glimpses of perky nipples on a beaming young woman who is named (or credited as I like to think, for her nips) in The Sun paper. No more will you sit next to a person admiring such tits on public transport. No more will you be forced to explain breasts to your infant child. No more will you have to concern yourself over the agency of women in their late teens and early twenties. For, dear reader, Page 3 is kaphut. Well kind of. Look you are still going to have to look at women in undies or revealing outfits on Page 3, but you had to look at that on all the rest of the pages already. It's still totes a victory. I just don't know whose victory. Perhaps it's a step in the right direction, if what we hope to achieve for our children is prudery and repulsion over women's naked bodies.
My first Tom Jones encounter was in the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air via the famous Carlton Banks dance. The next was watching the disappointing film Mars Attacks and then out came the album that had everyone taking Tom Jones seriously again - but in an ironic way, yeah? Plus it appeared the Welsh crooner (I'm contractually obliged to say that) was in on it. Reload featured all the right people in 1999, The Cardigans, Cerys Matthews, Robbie Williams and the Stereophonics (did I mention it was 1999?) all made an appearance on the album. Suddenly we all loved Tom Jones again and since then he's allowed himself to go grey (so wise!) and portray himself as a mentor in the music industry. Some of us, it seems love him a little more than others.
One of the rather marvellous things about opinions is that they are individual and we can choose whether or not to share them. I have a lot of opinions and I choose to air them here alongside the views of others whose opinions tend to coincide with mine. One of the first rules Squeamish Louise and I came up with when creating Squeamish Bikini was a no snark rule. Which I tweaked when it looked like I was going to fall at the first hurdle and changed to a no snarking on the vulnerable rule. No snarking also covers a no sweeping statements rule. Now, fashion designer Stella McCartney does not have to adhere to SB house rules (it would be nice if everybody did though) but making statements regarding strong women and their lack of attractiveness seems a rather unwise snarky sweeping statement.
What is it, to be a woman? There are plenty of factors (though not, I believe, the genitalia you were born with) that come together to create womanhood. A lot of them are good and one of them is that to be a woman is to at one point or another wonder if your body happens to protrude out so far that that man couldn't help but brush past it or...did you just get groped? Groping is a tough thing to talk about. Because the honking of a boob or slapping of a butt is often thought of as funny. As is the surprised 'ooh!' reaction it usually receives. As with many sexual assaults the embarrassment and shame is all put upon the victim.
Ah nostalgia. Remember when women were women and men were men and everyone was just bloody classy and lived in moderation but also smoked and drank cocktails from noon and lived in the countryside and left their doors open and the ladies were real ladies with curves and wore knickers, not that anyone would upskirt them. Gosh it all just sounds a bit lovely. Why did we ever start addressing things such as abuse and rape? It just rocks the lovely, lovely boat. Of course some people just can't shh and don't use the internet and media properly. The internet is for cats, memes comparing women's body shape fashions, sharing stolen images of nude women and unsolicited criticism. We know this, Emma Watson knows this. Or do we...
When not appraising women physically the media and general public like to comment on their silliness. Silly girl. A woman makes a choice others disapprove of and she's a silly girl. Whether or not it is a wise decision does not negate the fact that the person who has made it is a grown woman and we rarely know all the many reasons that have gone into her final decision. Nor does it change the gravity of the situation. Particularly when it comes to the subject of domestic abuse. If your only comment is 'silly girl' then you are taking the wrong things and people into account. (TW)
Now that Brangelina have sealed their union officially all totally sympathetic eyes are now on poor Award-winning actress Jennifer Aniston. Well all eyes are on her ring finger. And if they could all eyes would be on her uterus. The tabloids have long monitored the contents of Aniston's uterus. Because she is a uterus toting celebrity woman and the only thing that will truly salve the pain of losing Brad Pitt to Angelina Jolie is surely a baby. Babies solve everything. Plus you guys, how awesome would Jennifer Aniston's maternity wardrobe be? AND this successful, rich actress is not getting any younger. So...y'know. Tick tock Aniston.
Occasionally we receive emails and tweets asking if we have noticed a certain news story or questioning why we haven't addressed such and such. I want to set all your fluttering minds at rest right now and tell you that the buttocks of Nicki Minaj have not escaped our attention. Minaj's butt has earned itself a lot of attention in its own right, and now it's being put centre stage with Minaj's new single Anaconda in an homage to both the thick body type and Sir Mix-a-lot. It's not the musical merit of the track that has got people talking - though I don't think anyone tires of the song I Like Big Butts, but the video which has been described as explicit and some journalists and social network users have registered their dislike of the video content. But why?
We all need friends. People who give us a shoulder to cry on, laugh at our jokes, sympathise with our problems. What sort of support can you expect from a good friend? Maybe buying you lunch when you're broke; helping you to move house; driving out to pick you up from where you've stranded yourself when your car breaks down. Or how about making headlines nationally by criticising a wide-ranging investigation into sexual abuse in the name of defending your honour? Because if you happen to be a friend of Stephen Fry, actor, gadget fan and self-appointed fact master, then that's the level of support you can expect.
Music fans, art lovers and injured animal carers were recently horrified to learn they had been listening to and watching a sexual predator. The disgraced TV presenter and entertainer Rolf Harris has been sentenced to five years, nine months in prison for 12 indecent assaults against four girls - one aged between seven or eight. Since judgement has been passed on Harris, Vanessa Feltz has announced that she was assaulted by Harris live on air, only to receive a barrage of abuse online. As Vanessa said when commenting on the hostile reaction she has received: "You think if people react like that, you can see why people don't come forward...I'm 52 and I can handle myself so imagine if I was a seven-year-old child, or 12 or 17...I'm not saying just if it's someone famous, but imagine if it was your dad, uncle or teacher...The kind of reaction I have had, I found so upsetting. I was upset by the outpouring of misogyny and hatred".