Several stories have been making waves in the UK this week. One was about an advertisement for a protein supplement. The ad featured a bikini-clad woman and a headline ‘Is your body beach ready?’ This sparked a bit of a protest, with a lot of people banging on about unrealistic expectations of what constitutes a well formed body. I was a bit confused by this, since the woman in question, while certainly slim, is far short of skinny. You can’t count her ribs or anything like that. We also have the fact that the Daily Mail and other papers will trot out the ‘Get ready for the beach’ diet plans as they do every year, and nobody bats an eyelid. Plus I don’t see a lot of feminists getting too aerated about the unhealthy body image aspirations of men when faced with advertising images of David Beckham with a perfect six pack and a pair of socks stuffed down his Calvin Kleins.
There’s something else too. The model, an Aussie called Renee Summerfield, claims to be a dyed in the wool vegan. Protein World products are all based on whey protein. How does that work?
We also had Poppy Smart, who called in the coppers because she was fed up of being wolf whistled by a bunch of builders. I can see that it would be extremely irritating to have some hairy arsed brickies whistling and leching at you, and even threatening in some circumstances. There’s even talk of making wolf whistling a specific crime, but I think that’s over-reacting a bit. Police have quite enough to do. They clearly thought so too, since they took no action, sensibly leaving the site foreman to sort it out. However, one of the limited-intelligence workforce said, ‘If she comes past again, I’ll whistle again if she’s lucky. I’ve snogged loads of birds by whistling at them.’ Perhaps a baseball bat can knock some sense into his thick skull. Or a simple, ‘Get lost, cockless,’ might work.
Odd bit of controversy that I simply don’t get. Quite a lot of comment about The Avengers film. Lots of women harrumphing about the fact that Scarlet Johannson’s character is referred to as a ‘slut.’ Hang on, she’s called the Black Widow. That’s all right but slut is not? Oh and by the way you idiot zealots, the character isn’t real. It’s fiction. You can say what you like about fictional characters. Look at my character Charlie if you want to see abuse of fictional characters. She’s bloody brilliant at it.
Lastly, my personal heroine of the week. Instead of faffing about on the fringes, Ione Wells struck a blow for women in general, and for her community and others. She was sexually assaulted at a Tube station, and bravely forwent her automatic right to anonymity and wrote an open letter to her attacker. It’s a masterpiece of sense and courage, a refusal to back down. You can find it here. http://www.cherwell.org/lifestyle/features/2015/04/24/not-guilty-a-letter-to-my-assaulter
If that doesn’t lift your spirits, I don’t know what will.