Monday, July 29, 2013

Yes To Modesty Jackets

Unusually this morning, I was awake and in front of the BBC Breakfast news. Two stories caught my eye:

1. CoOp are to stop stocking magazines like FHM and Nuts unless they are to be sold in modesty jackets so that people don't have to look at the covers unless they buy them.

2. Theresa May has been diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.

On the surface, these two stories don't seem linked at all. Right? Well, kind of. I mean, don't panic... I'm not about to publish some excellent conspiracy theory on how prolonged exposure to plastic breasts causes diabetes (although I'm sure if we wanted to run that as an experiment we could find volunteers). It was a small detail that made me think of the link.

When explaining about the Theresa May story, the newsreader said that May had lost two stone earlier in the year - prompting debate that she was intending to run for leader of her party.

I mean my God.

Even a woman as high up in politics as Theresa May is having her body scrutinised to check her fitness for a job that requires very little physical prowess? She's not a bloody horse going to market - why on earth would she need to be 2 stone lighter to have any sway in the House? Is she going to be physically fighting for leadership? If so, crack on, I might start following the battle.

If there's some kind of attractiveness test for our leaders that they're all passing then the rest of the country need to be toning down their collective sexiness because we are making them look bad. Really bad.

In all my years of being vaguely aware of the hideous, skin crawling bullshit that gets written in newspapers and magazines, I have never noticed anyone questioning which of the male contenders for leadership were slim enough to have a chance of being taken seriously.

And this, to me, is a reminder that we still have a long way to go in getting women taken seriously as more than just bodies. If a dust cover on a magazine helps then cover them all up. Women and men and girls and boys have got to know it's not OK to allow physical summation of a woman's worth to supersede  their ability.

Of course women are sexy, I LOVE sexy pictures of women and if I want to buy one (a picture - not a sexy woman) then I want to be able to. But what I don't want is for my little girl to be idling round a supermarket while I check apples for bruises and to be bombarded with these images and to just have it low level impacted on to her consciousness that on top of everything else she's going to achieve it's important for people to think she's sexy. Hide Closer and Now and OK and Grazia as well. Hide it all and tell them they can come out of their covers when they've started printing something interesting about what women have achieved - and made that sexy.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Shower Rant

Not a funny one - stop reading now if you'll just want to hurl abuse when it's not funny. It's not a funny one.

So... the Royal Baby is coming. I don't really care. Other than that I love babies, think having babies is nice and hope it's healthy, I don't really care much about it. In fact, I only found out Kate Middleton was pregnant about two weeks ago. Despite what people would have you believe, it's remarkably easy to ignore things you don't care about if you avoid newspapers.

What I do care about is the amount of bile being spat about a thing that hasn't even been born yet. Grow Up. Twitter, I'm looking at you. Here is my problem; you are being crude, cruel and spiteful about something/someone based entirely upon the circumstances of its birth. Until that thing has offended you personally you cannot abuse it any more than you can mock a baby born in to poverty.

I have no problem with the Royal Family being who they are and doing what they do. I think  allowing myself to feel justified in hating them for their privileges opens me up to a lot of hatred from the 90% of the population that I was born with more privileges than. None of us can help it. Unless you were born into a solvent family with little chance of death and you swapped that for the lowest rung of civilisation you could find, you can't expect anyone above you to do the same.

People in the middle seem obsessed with the top folk coming down so that it's fair, without noticing they could step down too and meet people with less than them. Personally, I'd rather not be a Royal. "Here's all the tax payers' money you could ever want... now use it to buy what we tell you so you can get criticised for it afterwards."

Most people don't give up privilege. It's not human nature, I don't think it's particularly with in any nature (and I watch a lot of documentaries) it's just part of life. This baby will be born, we will collectively pay for it and to make ourselves feel better we'll buy some cheap clothes that someone else's baby stitched for about 50p a day. No one calling for the Royals to give up their birthright will go and work in a Primark factory so someone there can have his place in the privileged world. Sorry to spoil the fun - and just for the record I have no problem with the jokes and stuff about the birth etc, it's just the calling a newborn baby a parasitic leach and hoping it dies that I think is short sighted and plain stupid.

Enjoy your day.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Rolling Stone Wisdom

This week I finally got round to having my wisdom tooth removed. It looks like 2013 is the year for Alesha Dixon to finally be unchallenged in pole position on my list of things that make me want to break people.

The only body part I've ever had remotely linked to some level of intelligence and I'm having it removed. C'est la vie.

Call me a knob head, you won't be the first person (NHS reception staff are less than courteous in the mornings) but I'd opted for local anaesthetic as it's significantly cheaper for the NHS and I'm saving my coupons for the day I might have to have a child removed from somewhere I'm far more protective over than my mouth. If they ever make it possible to spit a child out then I'll transfer my coupons to getting snakes for hair which is the only form of cosmetic surgery I've ever considered.

So I was pretty nervous. Nervous is not the word, I was utterly terrifed. This is an important thing for you to know before I tell this story. I was petrified. By way of an explanation of how terrified I get in medical situations, a few weeks ago my sister fell down a cliff and when I took her to hospital for a check up, I nearly passed out when they took the brace off. She was fine.

So, I get into the chair and they inject me with the anaesthetic and I've been crying since I spelled my surname for the receptionist (That's K-N-O-B...) and the nurse puts on a worried face and asks me if I'm OK. Apparently I'm not reacting well to the anasethetic.

It's at this point that I realise I have neglected to tell them I suffer from panic attacks. They, in turn, have neglected to tell me there is adrenaline in the anaesthetic. It's a perfect storm of over stimulation. Like a firework display of sweat and prepubescant emotional outbursts. Imagine getting Tracey Beaker drunk and letting her fuck Justin Bieber. After a Red Bull. And some smack.

I am reacting badly to the anaesthetic... All of my limbs are trembling uncontrollably so the nurse just keeps saying, "Are you sure you had breakfast love? Did you have any breakfast? Can you tell me what you had for breakfast?" I'm trembling away, listening to the questions thinking, "When did I become Keith Richards?"

They had to get on and I was trying to calm down so I said to the Doctor, I'm just going to put my headphones in and close my eyes, please don't tell me about the procedure... just do it and pat me when I'm done. I don't want to know. I want this to be as much like my sex life as possible.

I want to know nothing. I want to be the Samantha Brick of tooth extractions. But my doctor just cannot help narrating.

"I'm just making a small incision..." LA LA LA
"I'm just wiggling it free..." LA LA LA

I got through it. I know I'm pathetic and other people cope with much worse and my hat goes off to them. They are much braver than me. I got through it by panciking and sweating and crying.

Now, when I say I sweated, I mean I REALLY sweated. Like that obese, topless hairy man that resides in every town and comes out in August to frighten children and promote Veet for the next generations copulative optimists.

I had really sweated, and in a leather chair you really feel the sweat. But, the thing was, I'd been so genuinely terrifed... I was quite worried, that I had done slightly more than sweat. I was really quite wet.

And the nurse goes, "Shall we get your boyfriend back in?"

How am I supposed to check? I can't ask the nurses, what if I have and he comes back in to be greeted with, "She's had a bit of an accident?" This is no time for finding out if he loves me - I'm chewing on some gauze and have been told I cannot rinse my mouth for 24 hours. There's no way to distract him.

If I've pissed myself during a tooth extraction then what the hell's coming out during childbirth?

"So... how are you feeling? Shall we get your boyfriend back in?"

Not until I'm absolutely certain I have not wet myself.

(I am definitely Keith Richards).