8 Celebrities Who Look Like A Quality Street

This is actually an article in the Huffington Post. I’m not going to link to it since they don’t need the advertising clicks, but this is the world we live in: not only are women body-shamed for having bodies, our clothing is policed for looking like “chocolate wrappers”.

Screen Shot 2015-07-08 at 12.00.09 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-08 at 12.00.17 PM

Celebrity women get trashed in the media for going out in jeans or trackie bottoms, but also shamed for dressing up in designer clothes for events they are required to wear. As women, we need to stop consuming media that shames women for their bodies. We may not be able to stop it but we can certainly cause financial harm to such online media by refusing to click.

Kim Kardashian is a better choice than Caitlyn Jenner for the BBC Women’s Hour

This is the response the from BBC to my complaint about the inclusion of transwoman Caitlyn Jenner on the Women’s Hour Power List:

We note you were unhappy that Caitlyn Jenner featured on the Woman’s Hour Power List 2015.

This list featured women involved in a wide range of areas, from politics and fashion to journalism and entertainment. As stated on the Woman’s Hour website, “The aim of this year’s list was to identify a range of women who have an exceptionally large impact on our lives, not just because of their job title but because of their personal ability to influence others.”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/1wsc6xjTph1CvN5jWzLtfzT/womans-hour-2015-power-list-influencers

The list was decided upon by a panel of judges, headed up by journalist and broadcaster Emma Barnett and including human rights lawyer Helena Kennedy QC and Radio 1 DJ Gemma Cairney. They looked at well-known women’s personal ability to influence others. You can read more about the judges here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/1YmbsbyVkMDTXgjwgn9P4Ff/the-womans-hour-2015-power-list-influencers

As the following BBC News article on Caitlyn Jenner’s inclusion notes:

“Speaking about Jenner’s inclusion in this year’s top 10, Daily Mail columnist and judge Sarah Vine acknowledged it was controversial, for several reasons.

“Initially… many of us felt that Kim Kardashian would have to appear somewhere – not because any of us felt any particular admiration for the woman, but simply because her influence on millions of women worldwide is undeniable.

“But then the Caitlyn Jenner story broke and I in particular felt that she trumped all others in the celebrity stakes.”

She added: “I understand why someone like Jenner might make people feel uncomfortable; but she is a human being like the rest of us and should not be denied the same rights – or indeed respect – as those who live more conventional lives.

“As to her influence, it can only be to the good if a wider audience can learn to understand her experience.””

Woman’s Hour editor Alice Feinstein also gave her thoughts on the list, adding:

“”The way power operates in today’s global, interconnected society is not straightforward – brokers of hard power like prime ministers, presidents and CEOs are no longer calling all the shots.

“What I wanted to examine in this year’s list of influencers is how women are operating outside traditional power structures to get things done.””

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-33344317

We hope this is helpful in explaining the focus of this list, and giving more insight into the judges’ decisions, but we appreciate that you may continue to disagree with Caitlyn Jenner’s inclusion and we appreciate your feedback.

Please know complaints are sent to programme makers and senior management every morning and we’ve included your points in our overnight reports. These reports are among the most widely read sources of feedback in the BBC ensuring that complaints are seen quickly by the right people.

I would have preferred Kim Kardashian be on the power list instead of Caitlyn Jenner, since Kardashian has not:

  1. Killed another woman this year with her car. Unlike Jenner who killed Kim Howe
  2. Kardashian financially supports her daughter. Unlike Jenner who failed to financially support his sons from his first marriage.
  3. Kardashian hasn’t bragged about stealing anyone’s underwear. Unlike Jenner who stole his stepdaughters’ underwear and wore it. Which is massively creepy and the type of activity sexual predators enjoy.

Obviously, the BBC doesn’t let little things like child abuse or killing women get in the way of declaring an abusive man a great woman. I can’t wait to see next year’s list. Maybe they will include a child sexual predator for funnsies.

Rihanna’s BBHMM is misogyny – and it is no different than Tarantino

I’ve only just watched Rihanna’s Bitch Better Have My Money. I’m in a house with 5 children under the age of 10 – none of whom sleep at the same time. It’s taken this long to get them all out of the house/ asleep so I can watch it on the computer. There’s only one in a house with no wifi so that the children’s internet usage can be monitored – or, as the children point out, Nanna can’t actually work out how to set up the wifi. Either way, there are difficulties in responding to events in a timely manner – particularly since 3 of the 5 are literate.

I wasn’t going to write about the video since everything that I would have wanted to say has already been written. I changed my mind when I read this piece of drivel in the Guardian:

the themes of sexualised violence, seemingly gratuitous nudity and non-consensual BDSM sent segments of the world’s media into a state of apoplexy

There is no such thing as “non-consensual” sexual anything. It is sexual violence. In this context, the sexual violence is accompanied by physical violence. Women who are sexually assaulted are not responsible nor do they ‘deserve’ it.

It is, as Helen Lewis and Sian and crooked rib have argued, simply another media form which celebrates punishing a woman for the behaviour of a man. It is an inherently misogynistic theme.

I have to be honest, though, had I not read Sunny Singh’s article in Media Diversified, I would not have recognised the opening scene as an

acknowledgement of the historical erasure of women of colour by white women who – as a group – have benefitted from both white supremacy and colonialism.

I watched the video with Singh’s comments in mind and I suspect she is right in stating that the

individualised subversion (and reversal) of historical structural racialized and gendered violence is why BBHMM has upset so many (primarily white) commentators?

The criticism directed at Rihanna reflects our racist, misogynistic media. Charlie Sheen, who actively engages in violence against women in both in his real life as well as in his career as an actor, is rarely held accountable for his behaviour. Quentin Tarantino has a houseful of accolades from his peers (and money from fans) for glorifying and excusing male violence. Roman Polanski got a standing ovation at the Oscars despite raping a child. The media rarely mention Sean Penn’s history of domestic violence.

If Eminem had made this video, the media would be talking about Grammy awards and platinum album sales. It would win video of the year at the American Music Awards and secure him a place in the Hip Hop equivalent of the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame.

Much of the media criticism is because Rihanna is a Black woman, but it doesn’t mean feminists should refrain from criticizing the video. It means we need to ensure that we do not hold Rihanna to a higher standard than other musicians – that we recognize the ways in which racism and misogyny play a part in how Rihanna’s video is represented in the media.

It also means calling bullshit when a commentator claims that “non-consensual BDSM” exists. Because it doesn’t. No consent is sexual violence. It is that simple.

Caitlyn Jenner makes Woman’s Hour Power List

Shall we enumerate the ways in which Caitlyn Jenner has helped women:

1. Killed Kim Howe with his car.

2. Failed to financially support his children.

3. Stole his teenage step-daughter’s underwear to wear it around the house.

4. Reinforced neurosexism and heteronormativity with his stance on ‘female brains’ and ‘female souls’.

So, Bruce Jenner makes the list for doing sweet fuck all for women. Fabu-fucking-doodle. Next we’ll see Charlie Sheen on the list for not insulting, denigrating and threatening. one of the mother’s of his children for a period of 24 hours.

 

I made a formal complaint to the BBC here.

Caitlyn Jenner, a transgender woman who has killed a woman (Kim Howe) through dangerous driving, failed to financially support her children from previous relationships, and who admitted to stealing and wearing her step-daughter’s lingerie has been placed on Women’s Hour Power List. What precisely has Jenner done for women that negate killing a woman, financial child abuse, and stealing her stepdaughter’s lingerie (which in and of itself is deeply creepy)?

Could Woman’s Hour not find any women to place on this list that haven’t committed criminal offences like financial child abuse? Or, not killed anyone recently?

Jenner’s inclusion makes a mockery of the idea of a power list.

Bruce Jenner killed a woman

Kim Howe was killed in February of this year when her car was rear-ended by Bruce Jenner and then pushed into oncoming traffic.

Kim Howe is dead because of the actions of Bruce Jenner. It would be nice if some of the hagiographies being written recently would remember that Kim Howe was a real person. That she matters too.

Katie Hopkins: Misogyny and Women-Hating 101

According to the Huffington Post, a 14 year old boy called Harvey Cuffe asked Nick Clegg and asked him if he could have Hopkins killed or arrested. Nick Clegg suggested this was a “brilliant question”.

The Huffington Post is under the impression that this is also a great question. Because threatening to kill a woman for having offensive and criminal opinions is completely normal.

Clegg is already on record suggesting that Hopkins would make the best Bond villain, despite telling Cuffe that the best response to Hopkins is to ignore her. I disagree with this: Hopkins article on migrants was a hate crime. But, she wasn’t the only person to commit a hate crime in that incident. The editor of the Sun, which published it, should also be investigated for a hate crime. Every single media outlet that gives Hopkins to spew hatred is responsible for disseminating her opinions.

Hopkins also isn’t the only mainstream figure to hold such views. Hell, Nigel Farage holds similar opinions and he’s on the BBC so often they might as well hire him. Our current government ended rescue services in the Mediterranean to prevent migrants from drowning on over-crowded and unsafe boats. People actually died from this policy but I don’t very much Cuffe would have asked to have the people who voted for these policies killed. Nor, would Clegg have called it a “brilliant question”.

There is no way Cuffe would have asked a politician if he wanted to kill a man who made similar statements. And there are a whole load of men writing horrendously racist shit every single day: Brendan O’Neill, Richard Littlejohn and Milo Yiannopoulos spring to mind. I don’t see exhortations to have them killed or arrested. This is without addressing the misogyny these men also spew.

The very same people blathering on about free speech and #JeSuisCharlieHebdo are the same ones haranguing Hopkins. I have to wonder if the Charlie Hebdo staff were mostly female would we have seen the mass protests in support? Or, if there staff were non-white? Because, I sincerely doubt the Cameron and Clegg would have travelled to Paris for a march in support of the free speech of journalists in Saudi Arabia arrested for being critical of the government. Frankly, I don’t believe they’d celebrate the free speech of journalists and bloggers in the UK who are critical of ConDem policies.

Focusing on Hopkins is an easy scapegoat. It challenges nothing. All Clegg has done is tell a 14 year old boy that it’s acceptable to want to kill women he disagrees with. That’s misogyny. Not a discussion of free speech or an attempt to end systemic racism within UK media.

Katie Hopkins should be investigated for committing a hate crime, as should David Dinsmore and Hopkin’s direct line managers. But, 14 year old boys wanting her killed is as serious a problem as her statements about migrants are.

There is nothing brave about exhorting the death of a woman who writes criminal and offensive statements in the media. It’s just woman-hating 101. And it allows the structures of racism and misogyny to remain in place.

Real bravery would be holding the media accountable for publishing these statements.

Jay Leno can fuck right off

So, Jay Leno has now joined the line-up of dudes who claim they believe the women who have accused Bill Cosby of rape Yep, apparently Leno has always known that Cosby is a sexual predator. And, he believes all the women. But, he still has Cosby on his talk show.  Because it’s easy to come out pro-women after years of women being labeled liars & some other dude calling Cosby out.

Since we can’t possibly allow profit to drop by supporting women by refusing to have a sexual predator on your talk show which has a bazillion members of the audience and regularly won the most watched show in its time slot. Nope, instead Leno until a whole bunch of decades later to come out to support women.

Leno can take his sanctimonious twaddle elsewhere because I genuinely don’t give a shit about the number of rich, white dudes lining up now to claim they believe women when they could have done something 20 years ago. Leno is a coward – not a supporter of women’s rights.

Some reservations about the coverage of Bill Cosby

I’ve seen speculation about the possibility of Bill Cosby abusing one/ some of the children who appeared on the Cosby Show. I’m very concerned about this speculation because it is extremely harmful to survivors and non- survivors. No one has the right to speculate publicly about whether or not a woman has experienced rape. No one has the right to identify rape victims publicly without consent.

It is clear Bill Cosby is a serial rapist who has been allowed to continue perpetrating rape due to his position in society. Women have spoken publicly about their experiences. We cannot allow other women be forced into speaking publicly about rape, regardless of whether or not they experienced it.

Women have the right to privacy. We don’t need to name other women. We already know he’s a serial rapist.

Fuck you Jezebel

So, Jezebel weighs in on the discussions around Lena Dunham’s troubling passages in her autobiography by insinuating Women of Colour are just being a tad hysterical about the whole thing and the follows it up with this charming paragraph:

It is fundamentally difficult for people—parents, researchers, peers—to identify the fuzzy and necessarily, inherently self-defined line between normative childhood behavior and potential sexual abuse. Women, and people who have worked with victims of sexual abuse or been victims themselves, are (quite understandably) more likely to describe a behavior as abusive that other people would describe as normal, unremarkable, fine.

Us survivors of child sexual abuse are just too damn emotional to be able to do things like read books and come to conclusions. It’s understandable that people working with vulnerable children are more likely to describe a behaviour as abusive: not that they are more likely to recognise the signs of child abuse than someone who isn’t.

The sneering tone of the article makes it clear that any challenge to the construction of Dunham The Quirky Wondergirl is women over-reacting. Nothing more. Nothing less.

#DickheadDetox: Pharrell Williams for refusing to listen

Because he’s apparently the dude who wrote most of Blurred Lines – a song he’s allowed Robin Thicke to get most of the credit – and backlash for. And, despite hundreds of thousands of women explaining why they found it triggering, he’s decided it’s totes ok because he wrote the song from a “good place”. <pardon me whilst I vomit>

So, Williams gets on the list until he’s actually listened to the advice from every Rape Crisis centre on the freaking planet and realises that his Girl Power talk means fuck all unless he starts taking responsibility for the consequences of his actions.

From the Independent:

The chorus – “I know you want it” – was that T.I.’s part too?

“No, I wrote that. But what’s wrong with that? I know I want it!”

Some commentators have called it a “bit a rape-y”.

“Mmm. Well they have some creepy friends. Because, by the way, when did I say it meant sex?”

It’s heavily inplied.

“When did I say anything about sex?”

We go round the houses a bit. Finally Pharrell says: “You have to make sure that you’re coming from a decent place. And I was coming from a decent place. Because when you look at the song in totality you realise that the song’s about a woman who wanted to… who felt something, but decided to take it out on the dancefloor. I’d never want to say anything about sex. Like, ‘rape-y’ would mean, ‘I’m gonna do this to you, you know you want me to do that to you…’”