The Daily Mail remains an irony-free zone.
In this article, we’re given a lesson on feminism by a woman who stands up for Mary Whitehouse and her idea of moral values.
Mary Whitehouse, for anyone unfamiliar, was famous in the UK for running the “Clean Up TV” campaign, which sought to get anything remotely offensive removed from the airwaves. Her wrath extended to the sexism of Benny Hill, the violence of Tom and Jerry, and just about anything else that’s any fun at all.
Sandra Parsons in the Mail seems unsurprisingly blinkered to the notion of any kind of middle ground. Rihanna often looks sexy on TV shown during the daytime – therefore our nation’s youth are being tragically corrupted and the woman who thought gays could be “completely cured” by psychiatric therapy was right about everything.
And then there’s this bit of cluelessness:
Feminism means behaving as though you are equal to, not less than, a man, in every way: legally, professionally, financially, intellectually and sexually.
To do that you need independence and self-respect, neither of which is to be gained from sleeping around.
I’m not advocating prudery. But the belief that casual, meaningless sex empowers women is a dangerous delusion. It is a route not to self-fulfilment but to self-abasement.
Feminism means equality for women; now let me tell women about all the things they mustn’t do.
She’s already contradicted her own point about being “equal” a few paragraphs earlier, when she bemoans the terrible message given to young women by Sex And The City. Specifically, the message “that single girls could be just as promiscuous and predatory as men” (emphasis mine). Suddenly being equal is a terrible and dangerous thing.
It’s really not for you to say what women should or should not find empowering, Sandra. And Christ knows it’s not for me either, which is why, y’know, I generally don’t. If women and girls are getting the message that they’re not properly empowered unless they’re having a certain amount of sex, or conforming to some other sexual stereotype, I agree that that’s unhelpful and damaging. But calling it “self-abasement” for women to enjoy themselves in ways you’re not used to is far more degrading than any supposed “myths” about casual sex being liberating.
And in the next segment of the same page, Kylie Minogue is directly advised to date someone old and ugly, since her relationships with young and attractive people don’t seem to be working out. Is that empowering? I just don’t know any more.
Oh, dear God, I just looked at some of the comments below this article. I can’t tell if my brain is bleeding or if it’s just my eyes.