The Sun Has Put Its Red Top On
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.
Do It Yourself
In case you've missed all of the coverage so far, I'd like to draw your attention to the fact that on Tuesday, the Audiovisual Media Services Regulations 2014 was brought in, censoring pornography by banning the depictions of a list of acts. It's not illegal to watch porn featuring these acts if it was made abroad, but none of them can be depicted on video on demand services made in the UK. The list includes spanking, caning, restraint, watersports and strangulation. So maybe you're thinking that if you're not into kinky sex this doesn't affect you. But that's not all: face sitting and female ejaculation are all also on the list.
Strip Down Sexism
Ah, fashion. I for one love it. I love commenting on it, I love looking at it and sometimes I love thinking that I am wearing it and that everyone else is wrong. It's not always polite to comment on fashion, or someone's fashion choice. Particularly if you are going to comment on your impression of their morality from their fashion choice. But sometimes it is. There have been two cases of this recently. In one fashion comment incident a man appeared on TV to discuss the amazing Rosetta mission wearing a shirt covered in pictures of busty women with many people took issue with. In another a woman in Kenya was assaulted by a group of men for wearing 'tempting' attire. Hey, here's a quiz for Tuesday, which person deserves a group of people rushing to their defence?
With pick up artists, street harassment, the re-discovery of laddism and good old fashioned misogyny creating an atmosphere that makes women and girls feel unsafe it is unsurprising that a new dating app is in the works. My Twitter feed is full of screenshots of inappropriate messages via OKCupid et al that women on the site have received. Men have sent them creepy compliments, sexual demands, angry notes once they realise they have been rejected and then pleading when they remember using capital letters on a stranger rarely works and doesn't count as negging. Which totally always works. Moving on from Tinder's swipe left policy dating app like Siren was, perhaps, inevitable. But is it a good idea?
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.
You can usually rely on the TV show Loose Women for a controversial quote, just as you can rely on the Daily Mail comment section for some horrific opinions - that they are totally entitled to no matter how damaging! Free speech and all that. Yesterday Judy Finnegan made her Loose Women debut and during a discussion about Ched Evans made the kind of comments that might best have been preceded with the popular but senseless phrase "to be fair" (to alert you to unfairness) and perhaps "I'm not a rapist, but..." (to alert you to a comment that supports rape). On a show about women, for women Finnegan joined in the throng of people who question what the victim of a rape was thinking, rather than the rapist.
One of the main tricks to a good ad campaign is that you don't see the wheels turning. If you look at an advert campaign and imagine, not an aspirational image in which your life is improved by the subject of the advert, but a board meeting in which people deliver a slightly out of touch idea then it's failed. You see it in campaigns for yoghurt 'what concerns women the most?' 'Picking the kids up from school without looking bloated'. When I look at TfL's new #GetHomeSafeSelfie campaign urging women to be cabwise and not get into unbooked minicabs I do not see a surge in women getting home safe and recording the achievement. I see a TfL employee asking their senior if they have ever heard of selfies and the Twitter.
A Touching Piece
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...
Live near a university? You have probably been fresher spotting then. Right this minute 18 and 19 year olds across the country are wandering what decorations will best convey their fun but deep personality in their new halls of residence, attempting to seem blase about drinking games, fending off tired cliches involved a diet of Baked Beans and being flummoxed by the microwave. They are also attending Freshers Fairs, picking up free things in plastic bags and joining (or not joining) various societies. At Dundee University however there will be one stand missing during Freshers week, that of SPUC.