29 October 2007


I just googled a pal of my sister's from school. She's now a Sky Sports presenter, and I went to YouTube to see what she's like on the telly. First three comments on the clips were these:

i'd fuck this girl so hard in her ass and fannie that she wudnt b able to piss and shit for a week ;)

i want her to give me a blowjob, and i cum on her tits. wow wat a cocktease lol, i want to suck on her tits, i want to do her in every hole, bet shes a right slut who would do anything.

I would putt in the rough wiv this lil filly,, Then punt a goal kick thru her legs, might just pot a pink red brown on mill. Not forgeting to score and touch down a try, then if she bowls me a googley i will serve her a ace finished by wanking into her open gob!!! Oops... Well you get wot i mean..... WHOLLLOP!

She's a very pretty woman (and presumably got the job at least partly because of that - that's how the media work), but she's also very good at what she does. I've seen better presenters, but I've seen far worse. Of the sixteen comments on that clip, only one isn't directly about her looks (or her age - the consensus is "legal"), and even then it's by someone with the same surname as her just saying "go [surname]!". Of the remaining fifteen comments, six are obscene.

Why is this even vaguely acceptable? I feel like crying.

What's in a name?

What do people think of this? I've just had a bit of an argument elsewhere on the internet with someone who described Margaret Sandra as "a self-indulgent twit" after he read this article. I was surprised by my own anger.

11 October 2007

Doris Lessing has been awarded the Nobel prize for literature

Doris Lessing is the 11th woman to be awarded the Nobel prize for literature. Her book The Golden Notebook is another of the books which really inspired me as a feminist. I'm utterly delighted about this.

07 October 2007

Sexual Politics: the limits of secularism, the time of coalition

Judith Butler - theorist on gender, power, identity and sexuality, and author of Gender Trouble - has a public lecture at the LSE on October 30th on progressive sexual politics and the rise of social movements based on ethnic and religious identity. The blurb for the lecture says:

This lecture considers the conditions for coalition that might exist between religious and sexual minorities through focusing on differential forms of state coercion. Several arguments have emerged in Europe and elsewhere, claiming that feminism and progressive sexual politics are threatened by new religious communities and the effects of Islam in particular and base their views on libertarian principles (feminism and progressive sexual politics rely on increasingly robust conceptions of personal liberty) and on criticisms of multiculturalism (cast as a relativist enterprise that is unable to ground strong normative claims). Such arguments tend to rely on conceptions of sexual or gender freedom which presume certain conceptions of secular progress and to forget or dismiss conceptions of sexual politics that are bound to anti-racist struggle. Without denying that clear tensions exist between religious traditions that condemn and forbid homosexuality and progressive sexual movements that tend to promote exclusionary conceptions of the secular, the lecture focuses on the importance of conceptions of cultural translation, antagonism, and the critique of state coercion to consider what ‘critical coalition’ might mean for religious and sexual minorities.

02 October 2007

How other feminists can keep one sane

This stupid, stupid article by David Cox on rape convictions (only published in the Comment is Free section on the Guardian website, which suggests it didn't make the cut for the print version) would really get me down if it weren't for the responses by super lovely great feminists here, here and here. Go feminists!

(Also I love how they all say 'don't even bother to read the comments'...)

Do men speak Martian and women Venusian?

Deborah Cameron, a feminist linguist at Oxford, thinks not in the excellent and interesting extracts from her book currently being serialised in the Guardian. (These things are usually only up for a week due to copyright restrictions.)

Edit: part 2 is here.

Just because it's testable doesn't make it innate

A new study by the University of Edinburgh suggests that although mean 'intelligence'* is the same for women and men, there are many more men in both the top and bottom 2 percent (reported in the Times, here). The study tests brothers and sisters, in a way that's meant to eliminate the differences in family background that may influence results - but even within the same family, the way boys are taught and encouraged may be different to the way girls are, so what does that prove? What I find even more questionable is the idea that this is somehow an evolutionary trait - surely the fact that men fall into both the top and bottom areas shows that there hasn't necessarily been an evolutionary advantage for more 'intelligent' men? The Times reports Joan Harvey of Newcastle University as saying: “Men and boys are socialised into higher levels of achievement.”

* lengthy complaint about the impossibility of defining, identifying and testing intelligence in any meaningful way deleted, see Stephen Jay Gould's The mismeasure of man for more.