Yesterday Newsnight was on the Twitter agenda, because guess who was on… Katie Price! I know! Is she even allowed to vote? Because she’s certainly not allowed an opinion on breast implants, even though she owes her career to them and has undergone several procedures.
OK so the suggestion that an age limit of 21 be imposed on breast augmentation surgery was hardly ground breaking stuff but nor was it the stupidest thing I ever heard.
We covered the PIP implant scandal and the Squeamish policy is that your body is your business (I am always happy to interfere in a legal, nitpicky manner if that is what you’re after) so let’s move on from that to the irritation caused by Katie Price being on the show.
It isn’t that I can’t see how it could be a little amusing to see a celebrity on programmes such as Newsnight. But Jordan, Jodie Marsh or any other women who have carved out similar careers receive a special reception when they contribute on such shows. A raised eyebrow, ‘what can she possibly have to say?’
At what point does a woman relinquish her right to an opinion and at what point do people choose not to listen? We don’t seem to want to hear what a scrubbed clean female politician nor a trussed up female celebrity has to say.
Jordan didn’t threaten to biro a little face on one of her breasts and have it feed her lines, ‘Jeremy, the Twins say and age limit of 21 should be implemented’ or attempt ventriloquism with them. She’s had several augmentation surgeries and is able to give an informed opinion as a plastic surgery patient who underwent surgery believing her surgeon the most capable, which wasn’t always the case.
Newsnight invited Naomi Wolf on to the programme for a Beauty Myth perspective and Health Minister Anne Milton. The report accompanying the programme interviewed women with PIP implants and plastic surgeons. No plastic surgeon or healthcare provider agreed to be on the show, in the interest of balance the other guest logically needed to be Jordan.
When Jeremy Paxman was informed by one woman about her implant rupture he asked if she had been to the doctor about it. She very graciously answered yes, instead of the answer he deserved. Of course she had been to her GP. The woman has foreign chemicals leaking into her lymph nodes the question is why she is supposed to be satisfied with her GP not knowing much about implant ruptures and not referring her to anyone.
Women who profess to be feminists were treating Katie Price with a similar patronising manner. Huge resentment took over that Price had been invited on to the programme. Recently Julie Burchill wrote in the Guardian asking to be ‘spared whining women’. Fed up of women who devote hours of the day to preening and pampering, Burchill commented: “Tellingly, spending a huge proportion of one's income on preening oneself for men's approval ("I'm doing it for me, not for men" – oh, give it a rest, you lying cow!) as a leisure option has gone hand in hand with the rise of ceaseless recreational moaning about men, and if I thought that I had to spend three-quarters of my time and money turning myself into a hairless, poreless living doll in order to get someone's affection, I'd probably resent them too. But the cult of pampering – like fashion – is not a thing that straight men make women do.”
If you wax, highlight, gloss or enhance anything that comes out of your mouth is apparently going to be whiney nonsense. If you’re content with a Body Shop cucumber cleanser anything coming out of your mouth is apparently going to be…whiney nonsense.
When women get the chance to speak out, whether it’s Katie Price or Julie Burchill what does it mean that we are sent into a bit of a panic? So few women seem to get airtime on programmes such as Newsnight the fear is those who do will act as representatives for womankind.
Men don’t take to social networks to pour scorn or display amusement when actors or comedians are invited to offer up their opinion (expert or otherwise) on Newsnight et al. If it’s Peter Andre they might smirk but it ends with, ‘glad I’m not Peter Andre’ rather than ‘I don’t want Peter Andre speaking for me’.
Katie Price was referred to like a silly child by feminists on their various online platforms. The women featured in Newsnight were lined up and talked at like silly school children. No link? Or is this what a feminist looks like?