Great gams on the new Secretary for Hotness

Cameron does Cabinet reshuffle. Cameron increases the number of women in the Cabinet. News media report on reshuffle and increase in number of women.

What’s the next sentence? You know this one.

Today’s coverage in the London Evening Standard was shocking. The male subjects who were profiled had standard bios – career highs and lows, nothing about their personal lives. Michael Gove was said to have “one of the most acute political brains of his generation”, while Philip Hammond apparently has “a hard edge” and set up his own companies at a very young age.

The profiles of the three women who’d been promoted, although containing factual and some complimentary descriptions, all mentioned their marital status and how many children they had. The unmarried woman – Esther McVey – was singled out for special treatment. In the West End final version of the paper, there were not one but two photos of her, one as a young TV presenter in a revealing crop-top and skin-tight satin trousers, and the other as she was this morning, the wind blowing up her otherwise respectable business skirt such that the slit parted and revealed a bit of thigh. In the text, of all the thousands of phrases she’s ever uttered in her time on GMTV, the journalist chose one in which she mentioned sex, and readers are also helpfully informed that she once flashed her underwear on air. Most disturbingly, she has an entire paragraph about her relationship status that would not be out of place in a gossip column. In it, we learn that although she’s “unmarried”, she’s been “linked” with two prominent men, one of whom proposed marriage. (One cannot help suddenly picturing her as a feisty Lizzy Bennet, spurning not only Mr Collins’ advances, but Mr Darcy’s as well!) Coyly, the piece concludes that she “shares a flat” with a male MP, and allows readers to draw their own conclusions.

[Read more…]

In private emails to football pals

Richard Scudamore, the head of the Premier League, supports women’s football, good on him, but – he talks the drearily familiar way about them when he lets his hair down.

Premier League chief Richard ­Scudamore’s sexist views are today exposed by his former PA.

She reveals how the boss who publicly backs women’s football exchanged sleazy emails with senior colleagues in which females were referred to as “gash”.

Yeah that’s no good. Talking about them as if the hole between the legs were all there is to them – that’s no good. [Read more…]

Ubiquitous? Actually, no.

PZ has a post on The Cunt Question (that’s where I saw Maki Naro’s tweet, and there are more there).

The defenses are hilarious, irrational, and indignant. It’s incredibly common to see people protest that it’s a perfectly acceptable word; everyone says it in England; it doesn’t have any sexual connotations at all, because apparently, people in the UK are so stupid that they don’t remember that it’s a word that refers to the female genitalia. The Argument from Regional Ubiquity simply doesn’t work — would we accept that Southerners get a free pass on calling people “nigger” because everyone down there is rednecked cracker, so it’s OK?

I must remember to call it that, because I have this argument over and over again. It’s The Argument from Regional Ubiquity and it is bullshit.

There are a lot of good comments.

The first, for instance, by aziraphale:

I’m a Brit and I have never, in my whole life, called anyone a cunt. Possibly because if I did, my female friends (mostly also Brits) would never speak to me again. [Read more…]

Gender segregation by Hasbro

They cannot be serious.

Via the Facebook page Destroy the Joint:

It’s Monopoly for Gurrulz.

Of all the icons in the universe that could be produced for “girls only”, perhaps the last one you’d think of would be good old Monopoly. Sadly – it has.

Monopoly “for girls” has been around for a while, but perhaps you haven’t heard of it. To make sure it is suitable for the “fairer sex”, it’s:
•Packaged in a keepsake storage box with removable tray and non-glass mirrored insert
•Has a pink game-board and dice with unique properties to buy such as spas and jewelry stores
•Has boutiques and malls instead of houses and hotels
•Has Instant Message and Text Message cards instead of Chance and Community Chest [Read more…]

It’s all about the hits

Says a guy at pubshare, and he ought to know.

He starts with a picture of a not-hot woman saying women are not for decoration, while hot women laugh at her. Geddit? Feminists ugly, hot women not feminists. Ugly women feminists because ugly, hot women not feminists because not ugly.

Then he explains that provocation gets hits, so when women talk about sexist shit, they’re just making sexist shit more popular. [Read more…]

Maybe some day a Sally Potatohead

From last spring, an item about Disney and 1938.

It shows a letter sent to a woman who had applied or asked about applying for a job as an animator at Disney Studios. The letter is signed by Mary Cleillegible. It says Disney doesn’t hire women as animators, for the cogent reason that Disney doesn’t hire women as animators.

Women do not do any of the creative work in connection with preparing the cartoons for the screen, as that work is performed entirely by young men. For this reason girls are not considered for the training school.

That’s helpful, isn’t it? Women don’t do that work, because that work is done entirely by men. For that reason “girls” are not considered. kthxbye

It’s a long time ago, but it makes me feel a bit sick even so. A door firmly slammed that simply can’t be opened. A desirable interesting job doing a new kind of art, that is formally reserved for men only, for no reason except that it is. Unapologetically. The woman who wrote the letter to ask about applying learns that it’s not something she can even attempt, The competition would naturally be fierce, but she can’t even try. [Read more…]

Decades after we decided as a society

Even the Telegraph has a blog post about the heroic adventures in schooling women of Elan Gale.

Look, joking aside, and God knows Elan is a risible clown who deserves all the pointing-and-laughing one can mete out, there’s something profoundly depressing about the fact that, decades after we decided as a society that using sexual threats and demands as a means of shutting women up was unacceptable, young men like Elan are still using them on strange women in public spaces and other young men are cheering them on. [Read more…]

The bus from hell

Meanwhile, also at UK universities, there’s laddish “banter”

This week, a video of the men’s hockey team at the University of Stirling appeared on YouTube, showing the male students on a packed bus, engaged in a shouted chant. The chant, filmed on a mobile phone, begins: “I used to work in Chicago, in a department store …” and becomes increasingly misogynistic, racist and offensive as the journey progresses. Now the video has been viewed tens of thousands of times online, the University says it has launched an investigation.

But this video represents so much more than a single, isolated incident. In just two horribly uncomfortable minutes, it sums up the reality of what female students are facing up and down the country – a reality that isn’t going away. [Read more…]

If only

Now read PZ on the silences, the neglect, the moving on to more important matters.

I would like to have read more about “Hearing from Women”, but not only could the writer not be troubled to include more of the women’s statements, but she didn’t even bother to link to any of the panelists. I can correct that, at least: Christie Aschwanden, Deborah Blum, Florence Williams, Kate Prengaman, Kathleen Raven, Maryn McKenna, and Emily Willingham. Isn’t that odd that an article purportedly about this panel didn’t even link to the panelists’ professional pages, neglected to even name one of them, yet still made that special effort to capture men’s opinions on it? [Read more…]