Jameela Jamil

Three weeks ago, a documentary I made called Porn: What’s The Harm was aired on the BBC.

The documentary was investigating whether it was healthy that children as young as 11 were now watching porn. Not just finding catalogues of tits in their big brother’s cupboard, but really explicit, extreme and hardcore video imagery.

What we found is that it appears the combination of natural childish curiosity, technology making the internet (and therefore porn) so very accessible, and society considering sex a subject too awkward to discuss with our youth… is turning into something of a disaster.

What worries me a little about this, is that Pornography is now becoming the next generation’s first introduction to sex. I don’t personally think that’s the healthiest sole port of call of what to expect in the bedroom. There is no real mention of trust, intimacy and vitally… protection. Consent is becoming a grey area, and people really seriously hurting one another is becoming common place. The fact that rape has such a popular platform within pornographic entertainment, is a pretty strong indication as to where the internet is taking us.

But more importantly, it is taking our children with it. I am well aware that when I see some very extreme things in pornography, it is indeed consensual, the actors are paid, it’s fantasy. But I’m 28. If I was 11, I wouldn’t be able to separate it from reality. Kid’s movies make the people blue, or winged or animated in order to illustrate the departure from what is real. The people they see in porn are just regular looking people. So how are they supposed to know what they are and aren’t expected to do/receive/like?

The way women are written about in porn titles is so degrading it makes me cry. Bitch, slut, whore. So many of the descriptions are different ways to hurt and punish women. Violent rape that is carelessly described sometimes in the title as “real rape video” where a young woman is violently assaulted by many many men, can be found literally all over the internet. (How do kids know whether this is real or fake?) The men have enormous genitalia. The women have to have tiny genitalia but enormous breasts. The men stay erect for extraordinary amounts of time. The women orgasm throughout. NOBODY HAS PUBIC HAIR so our genitalia looks like that of children… It’s a lot of pressure, and it’s a lot of nonsense to be left to a child to draw their own conclusions about.

We can’t realistically stop our kids from seeing it, as even if we block their personal access, there is always someone with a way around it. So we have to open up the conversation and explain that Porn is a bastardization of reality, and that you only ever have to do what feels right to you personally, and that consent is the biggest factor in sex. The documentary was to urge parents and schools to educate their children about what they are seeing and confronted by almost daily.


Teenagers responded to the documentary very positively. There was a clear urge for society to open up the conversation. They are young, they are intelligent, they want to learn. But my word, did we get the knickers of porn loving adults in a right twist!!!!!

Oh they were very defensive about porn, without realising we weren’t attacking the entire concept of porn, just children watching it and thinking it was real.


Due to time constraints, I imagine it was hard for the editors of the documentary to let me have a full say, in context. But three weeks later I am still getting such ignorant abuse from (predominantly) men who are scared I am attacking porn, that I want to have my say.


So if you care to read on, here is where I stand on pornography. Once and for all.


I am not anti all pornography. I am supportive of pornography that is safe, clearly consensual and a demonstration of all parties involved being satisfied and catered to. I think for those of us that like it, or want to learn about sex from it, or indeed… can’t necessarily always get access to actual Sex… that it’s a gift of sorts. It would be ignorant to deny all the people in the world who can’t be physically satisfied where and when they want, the access to something that can stimulate them.


HOWEVER! My support does not extend to extreme violence, and more importantly, rape. I don’t care what you say, or who finds it “hot”, male or female. It’s one of the worst things that can happen to a person, it is not entertainment. SO WHAT that it’s actors? So what that they are paid? It is not ok to use it purely as a form of arousal. That condones it somehow.

I do not understand how Child abuse imagery and Rape are separated in the fantasy stakes? So many people when I question the use of rape as pornographic entertainment, argue, saying that it’s not right to curtail people’s fantasies! But surely then you are curtailing the fantasy of someone who likes to watch sex with children? You all seem so keen to not judge… So…What if the child was paid, and not actually penetrated, and the parents consented. Would you be ok with that? Nobody gets hurt and you are being non judgemental about people’s fantasies. Or does that not sit well with you? Does it make you uncomfortable the idea of even acting out something so fucking heinous?


That’s how I feel about rape pornography. Have we lost our minds to think it is ok to show this as something to get off to? Is it ok to refer to women as sluts and bitches but never use derrogatory names for the men? Do we have to hurt women so much?


Do we always need to “punish the pussy”? Can we not just be “nice to the pussy” for a change?

Why is porn so angry with women?

So much of what I have found in the past few months has displayed what I can only describe as a cemetery of women’s rights.

I am sad that it’s hard to find porn that cherishes both people. I am sad that kissing in porn is a privilege and not a right. I am sad that the more degrading to women porn is, the more hits it receives. I am sad to think of what sex means to the next generation and that I don’t feel like the children I have one day, the girls especially, will be safe in the bedroom. Or the street even.
I like sex. I don’t know if that’s what Porn really is any more.

“Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit” they say.

Forgive me, but I think this is only usually said by people who don’t speak it. For it is a language all of it’s own. A language that cannot really be taught. A dry humour to the point of near dehydration. It’s essentially the mardy, illegitimate child of irony. And I bloody love it.


I think it’s up there with the finest of the things Britain excels in. Along with MUSIC, street style and Bill Nighy (Shit. and Helen Mirren. we MUST not forget Helen Mirren.)
I think when executed well and tastefully, it’s actually a very elevated form of humour. I love a hidden treasure, the way Brigitte Bardot’s clingy sweater dresses hinted at a Goddess’ body without letting us see it immediately in all it’s bare and obvious glory. Sarcasm encourages the pause for thought that we are losing in every day communication. With technology making us all so very accessible, our response times are becoming frustratingly immediate. Sarcasm requires a mandatory beat. A moment to soak. Followed by a searching look for a smirk that acknowledges your veiled marriage of comedy and complaint. I also love it’s dependency on tone, meaning it’s near impossible to get across smoothly in text… so we are often forced to use human contact for the sarcastic exchange.

I will admit that there are some unattractive qualities to it. I’ve never been an advocate of passive aggression, and sarcasm is most definitely a blood relative of said evil. It is a humour than when used poorly and lazily, fills you with the same crushing disappointment you get from a very, very bad shag. It is also at times the weapon used to try to undermine another’s intelligence for one’s own amusement. But all good things when abused, have the power to morph into some sort of monster. Look at the Internet for Christ’s sake.

I love the heat of the connection, the moment your sarcasm is caught by a stranger or vice versa. It’s a short lived but solid gold bond built between two minds. Instantly you know you are surfing the same wavelength and a moment is born. I applaud the fact that we British, who love a good old fashioned moan, can conceal it in the guise of comedic effect. It shows an effort to not entirely piss all over the mood of the room. Just ever so neatly in the corner.


I don’t understand why it gets so much bad press. It’s not a bullying humour… and at least it’s not that ghastly, crude, shock value comedy we are so bombarded with these days. Or the kind of comedy that only targets the vulnerable and defenseless. (The trademark ammunition of only the emotionally spineless.)

Surely as long as said humour is around, and circulating on an ever festering Twitter and such, Sarcasm shall never be the lowest form of wit.


I Jameela Jamil, stand, hand on heart in undying, unfaltering support of this gown within which we dress our woes

Yesterday word broke that Chris Martin and Gwynneth Paltrow had decided to part ways. It was like an oil slick near a crematorium. We knew instantly only seconds would separate us from what can only be a flaming onslaught of hate and shit that infested the already festering world of Twitter. Everybody had an opinion. The majority of which were smug and snide. Delighted, almost relieved to hear the the “golden couple” had finally failed at something!!!! Marriage!!! YES!!!! We can all sleep at night! Thank fuck for that.

Who wants to see a couple who between them have Oscars, Grammys, Brits, international super status, a terrifyingly low body fat percentage, cute kids, bucket loads of cash and quite a nice reputation devoid of beating each other, showing us their anuses or taking drugs on Instagram, be Successful at MARRIAGE TOO? No no no, these animals must be stopped. How dare they REJECT GLUTEN???!!!! Fuckers. Burn them. Burn them!!!


AND SHE HAS A GURU? You’re telling me these blonde white people practice a religion that is also practiced by an enormous portion of our species? They didn’t get the memo that you can only practice these things if you are brown… White people have to be Christian and Catholic right? They don’t deserve a peaceful and spiritual outlook on life! They are white and rich and from the west. They aren’t allowed… right?


He’s a dick as well. Doesn’t get wasted publicly and behave like an animal on stage. Writing beautifully crafted pop/rock melodies that will last the test of time. Look at that bastard doing all that work for charity whilst chewing on an organic granola bar!!!!


THANK GOD THIS FORCE OF EVIL IS NO LONGER UNITED.


Yes. I have seen Goop. It’s an extremist website preaching health and happiness. As a burger eating couch potato Brit, I do sometimes find it a little worthy of an eye roll. But what is she doing wrong here exactly? She looks amazing, she has an amazing life, she wants to spread the word on how others can experience the same. All we do is search for those things. All magazines do is push articles our way on how to achieve those things. But that wench is voluntarily offering us advice that we can read at our leisure if we choose to go on her website?


At the end of the day, these are two really nice people, who raised a nice family, and were really nice to their kids, and spread nice positive messages to people. Their kids are dealing with the fact that they may never be tucked into bed by both their parents EVER again. They have no doubt watched endless tears and tensions leading up to this uncoupling (or whatever word she has chosen to soften the brutality of the situation for her kids.) And now they are going to read all of our shitty two cents on how funny we think it is their family has broken down.


Break Ups are horrendous. None of us behave with much/any dignity. It’s a horrible, vulnerable time in which you need to be comforted and left alone to gain 15lbs. Break ups involving kids are absolutely brutal for everyone involved. This scars them in a little way for life. And you as the parent never get a truly clean break. You are forever bound in the slight awkwardness of forever being in contact with someone you have seen very, very naked.

We can ridicule them as much as we like as we all sit around failing miserably most of the time, but not noticing because we are too busy pointing the finger at people like them. I fully include myself in this. What do any of us do that’s so great? In what way are we so “cool”? I have been guilty of scoffing at the idea of her macrobiotic diets as I sit on my stained sofa eating a sausage roll watching my cheeks get chubbier by the day. You know what? I’m a dick. How dare we persecute people for wanting to be well and happy and wishing the same on us?

Shame on you. Shame on me. Shame on us.

Good luck to them. Good work for carrying it out with a little dignity. Good GOD I hope they have kept their kids off the internet this week…

So they never have to see how vile we really all are.

I am a young asian woman, lucky enough to live in the west. I tread the line of fire as I use the adjective “Lucky” here. I know that. It looks like I am a westernized asian woman turning my back on my heritage. But I wonder, is it perhaps our heritage that turned its back on us? I can hand on heart declare that India is one of the most beautiful and with no exaggeration here, magical places in the world. It holds an unmatched vibrancy, history, spirituality and scenery. As such a sight to behold it doesn’t surprise me to see travellers in the hundreds of thousands flock there to ingest the culture. But buried beneath all of this light is a tremendous darkness that is at long last making its way to the surface. It’s so distressing, it’s becoming hard to breathe in the wake of cities within India being deemed by other countries as “The rape capital of the world.”

I consider myself lucky to live in a world that recognizes and respects the necessity of treating women like equals (to some degree). While there is still a fair amount of abhorrent sexual violence towards women (and men) here, there is more of a regard towards consequence. Women are more cared for and protected here. There are explicit adverts here to teach us not to get into unlicensed minicabs, there are self protection classes, rape alarms, there is a sense of tragedy and shame around the concept of sexual assault here. It is an act considered so vile that the mere mention of it here can turn a woman or indeed a man’s stomach. We have numerous hotlines, helplines and services at our fingertips to get to aid. We are nurtured and counseled and people of all sexes are educated about the severity of the situation. As a young woman who is born of the east, I can say, while the spark of revolution has been faintly lit, respect for our women is so far from the reality where I am from, that it can rob you of your ability to think straight.

How is it possible that in 2014, in a world capable of such progress, that something such as even the most basic form of equality is still so hard to master? How do men teach their sons and each other that women are so lesser that they are held in society as little more than a hole, a punching bag, and a commodity.

Yesterday in a newspaper, I read this:

"The religious feelings of people need to be respected and therefore saving the cow is one of the top priorities of the government," Nagendra Singh, the state public welfare minister, told the paper.”


Please do not misunderstand me here and think I am in any way shape or form disrespecting the importance of The Cow to Indian people. The sacred worship and love of any being can only be held in highest regard as far as I am concerned. Only it burns to have to swallow the fact that it is not apparent that a regard anywhere NEAR this is given to women within this culture. We are the mothers of the sons who commit these crimes. We provide life. Nurture. We are equally imperative to the future of mankind. We have the same minds. The same rights. The same hopes and fears. We are built for survival, not for the “use” of men. It is insane to me that it is commonplace for a woman to be raped on a moving bus in the middle of the day. It is insane to me that to wear jeans, a typically western clothing item, is to court sexual harassment, it is insane to me that it is an everyday part of life, borderline an assumption that young women, be it indiginous or tourist, have to constantly bat off the unwanted and unwarranted physical sexual advances of men in the street, on transport, in restaurants and in their schools. My mind is blown that you are not taught in school that you need permission to lay your fingers upon another human being. Another creation of the God you so highly regard.


How is gang rape something that exists within any culture whatsoever? How do men watch other men terrorize, violate and traumatise a woman and then go on to mimic the action? When I read this morning that less than a month ago in India, a 16 year old was gang raped twice by the same gang, the second time because she had reported the first crime, and then found mysteriously burned to death, I felt sick. But not so sick as when I read that in that same week it was reported that a group of young men in India, found a girl, distressed on a road side having just been gang raped, and they proceeded to gang rape her themselves. And it took the death of a 23 year old girl raped and beaten to death in the middle of the day on a bus home, for the world to take notice of this ageless crime, for young women to even have to gall to report these crimes?

How long has this been going on? Forever I can tell you. Of course women being allowed to walk the streets freely and at all times because of the ground breaking revolution allowing them to go to school and work, means they are easier prey than before, when it was once custom to be escorted everywhere by men… so it is perhaps a growing crime. Also there was once more shame around pre marital sex, even for men, which I believe is on the wane, as more and more seemingly have no problem helping themselves to vulnerable women.


It is all the perils of one singular evil. A lack of appropriate education in the basics of humanity.


Young boys do not grow up with the rape gene. We are not predisposed to hurt and traumatise one another. It is taught. It is tolerated. It is encouraged from somewhere. It is not an Asian trait to attack women. It is a lesson ingrained in the people, soaked in the blood and the hope of women everywhere. The simple fight of nurture versus nature. It starts with the parents, the workplaces, the religious groups, the elders and in my opinion, most importantly, the schools. In the same way an entire enormous country has been taught to respect and cherish an animal, they can be taught to do the same for one half of the damn population.

Putting everyone in jail for 20 years, when there is little money for a strong legal system, never mind enough jail space and staff to house such a wealth of criminals, means that it is very possible legal systems will at times fail to prosecute out of desperation to not have the jail structures burst their banks. What do you do? You lock up a bunch of rapists together for two decades and they do god knows what to each other in those prisons and still the tiniest percentage has learned little more than, “don’t get caught.” Or do you turn the crime into a moral prison sentence, one that can never fully be served… an emotional jail sentence. Do you stop the cause rather than the effect. Do we start a movement to teach young men to abhor and prevent this happening to their sisters, mothers, wives and friends? Rather than egging each other on and hunting in packs, can we see a movement of men stopping one another, questioning one another, and getting in the way?


While I am so relieved to know a legal system is in place and growing in severity, it is not the means to an end. The men I personally know in this country do not stop themselves from partaking in non consented sex with a person out of fear of punishment, but because they consider the act disgusting and terrifying. Us westerners have been capable of some of the worst crimes against humanity known to man, including slavery and tremendous mistreatment of women… even we are evolving. We are no more advanced in our ability to change than those in the east. We are just educated. All people have the astonishing capacity for change.

The time is well overdue. The indian people will only suffer. Tourism will decline shortly enough. The movement has started. They can no longer silence the people. The money will stop coming in from travel. The already devastating poverty will rise. They are only robbing themselves. We have to step in with compassion in order to teach compassion. An iron fist is a temporary fix only.


I am heartbroken to say that in spite of what I am missing out on culturally and spiritually that I am loathe to put my foot upon that soil as it is sodden with the blood and tears of women everywhere. It is sickening that in this day and age, a woman’s right to step out of her house unscathed is privilege and not a right.


We gasp in horror but we do nothing. It’s a circus to us. A distant nightmare so foreign to us we feel we need not engage.


Men need to step in and help. We need pioneers for change to teach the next generations the truth which they are starved of. This is not a case of men fighting for women. This is men fighting for human beings. We are as one. We are the future. We are important. We are in crisis.


We need a voice. Male Celebrities, Sportsmen, Politicians, Religious leaders, anyone with influence has to speak up and smear the deserved shame over the act of laying your unwanted hands upon a woman.

In america it took White leaders to accept the movement of the black community in order to create real and effective change. It is infurtiating, but it is something that needs to be changed in house. Men need to take responsibility for the acts of other men, step in and damn well do something. Don’t just stand there and tut from a distance. Speak. Teach. Move.


We need your help. It is embarrassing on your part that we even have to ask.

Tonight I posted a blog asking if it was necessary for Beyonce to push sex and nudity QUITE so aggressively in her new album, in a year when so many female artists are doing it. I dared to say it felt cliche for women to be stripping on poles for fully dressed men. When Kim Kardashian was naked in bound for a fully dressed Kanye, the world rained on them with blood. With pure, poisonous blood. Granted Beyonce’s talent far outweighs Kim’s…. but surely we are not going to use that as a weapon to defend similar behavior…

MY GOD what happened next made me question the concept of social media. Within minutes there were hundreds of worldwide replies calling me a bitch and a slut, wishing all different types of cancer on me, telling me I would be killed, telling me to watch my back. People incessantly kept posting to me pictures of me in a bits-totally-covered forties bathing suit calling me a whore… (I don’t think it’s the same as pole dancing in a g string on a stage… but what can you do…?) It was instant bullying for daring to have an opinion against the grain. A very Nazi Germany approach to democracy. Destroy any opposition. Intimidate them with death threats and abuse rather than have the presence of mind to remember we are all humans with rights. My blog was honest and polite, and written from a point of view of someone who had worshipped beyonce for her entire career, and was concerned by her new abruptly sexual angle. The vitriolic attack in exchange was the stuff of mad ranting savages. 

image

Beyonce is an intelligent woman who supports a society of equality and freedom of speech. She herself has written songs like “Nasty” telling girls they are “nasty” for leaving the house with too few clothes and how they should put clothes on… Beyonce would NOT advocate bullying in her name. That’s just using her name as an excuse to attack other human beings. Like war in the name of God. I have not yet met him/her/it formally, but I doubt God would be even vaguely impressed with the abhorrent misuse of their name. 

What one realises is people are sad, mad and lonely sometimes. They forget reality and interaction with others.

 Humanity is becoming a vintage concept. Antique even.

 

When One Direction fans threatened to castrate or burn down GQ workers for commenting on Harry Styles’ well documented love life, 1D as a band were mortified. When Justin Bieber fans find the twitter account of a girl merely seen next to him in a photo… the death threats and stalking that ensues is shit your pants scary. I’ve personally heard him speak of his hatred and fear of this effect. This is no specific disrespect to those fan groups by the way, Merely recent examples of some extreme “adulation based” temper to an excessive degree… 

I wonder what I would have done had I been 15 and without a support network to talk to, being on the end of very real and hateful comments… at 27, I have the ability to step back and realise it is momentary rage projected at me that is meant for their parents/teachers/own selves… As a teen, every word slices you as if it were a written truth. It is a life sentence in 140 characters. It’s so alarming the pack mentality formed by these bullies online, and the speed of the abuse. It’s so overwhelming for young  or vulnerable people. You can see how the frenzy leads to devastating drastic action like suicide. 

The bullies never consider this. (I don’t think. Jesus… I hope anyway…)

Are we safe online? Have we abused our platform for social networking. Are we weaving a network of fear, intimidation and hate? Comments boards are not a playground for democracy anymore. They are becoming a festering breeding ground for some very malicious people who hide behind false names and photos. Wearing their anonymity as a concealer, masking all of their insecurities, vulnerabilities and basic human manners. As a society, whilst I acknowledge the majority just use social networking to learn, communicate rationally, and post beautifully filtered selfies… The number of those who don’t respect the common courtesy rule, is outrageously large and growing by the hour. Can we as a society be trusted? Have the bad people ruined it for us? Is it all going to be taken away?

Justin Bieber has just launched a selfies app in which people can either like their photo, or there is no option to say anything at all? Is this anti democracy that you are given no voice if it is of the opposition? Or is this what we have come to because protecting people, especially young people, has become so difficult. I see the abuse people give one another, not just me on twitter, young kids even, and it makes me not want to allow my children within this minefield that is the internet. When does it stop? How many more people have to break down or hurt themselves until the desire to crucify another within 140 characters or so, dies out? It’s almost a sport now. An arena of emotional bloodshed. As with everything, when we push the boat too far, exceptional clamps from higher powers that be, come and formidably take everything away from us. Policing is coming. We are being watched. We are being monitored and we are being assessed for our own safety. Our test run so far is becoming a historical disaster. May the celebrities who are examples to our youth speak out and urge their fans to stop this, and may we all learn to argue without the intent to destroy… before it’s too late and we lose it all. They gave it to us. They can take it away. 

Let us learn to veer away from our animal barbarianism and incorporate some basic civility into our communication. An ability to argue without terrorising. A freedom to express an objection without beating another down, essentially carry all of our emotional potty training onto the internet with us. 

Let us not be responsible for an imposed ban. Self inflicted injury is always the most painful. 

I’m asking for a barrage of hell with the fury unlike any other. As I do the unthinkable, and raise an eyebrow at Beyonce’s latest album offering. 

Now before your blood hits boiling temperature, I plead with you to bear in mind I am one of the biggest Beyonce fans I know. When I took my job on the official chart, I cited the opportunity to meet her, as my sole incentive for doing the show. I was exaggerating… but the love was there. She was my pillar of strength for women in media. Someone who never had to bend to the rules of the man to sell a record. She was a bit sexual but in an empowering and dominating way. And, most importantly, the sexuality was only one of her supreme gifts. There was her incredible choreography, her startling voice, and her gift for not just a song, but a bloody anthem. 

In and amongst a year of what seems like female sexploitation in music gone mad… she was always the lighthouse giving us hope that there was a direction you could take that went against the tide and landed you beautifully on the shore of success. 

That lighthouse has now faded. It has lost its power a little. It’s harder to see. Harder to follow.

When I first bought the visual album I went straight for the videos. And drowned in my own bias, at first, I was blown away. Simply because she is so spectacularly beautiful it is hard to even contemplate. Her body is that of one that must have been crafted by the gods, her flair for mastering every style and look available to women, and above all else, that voice. A one in a million sound. I was clapping in glee, jumping up and down, rejoicing at what was the art, the  colour, the visuals, the care taken with each and every video, the statements, the queen of performance captivating you on every level. 

But…by the time I had worked all the way through the album to get to Flawless… that excitement had waned somewhat. I was exhausted. I had to stop and catch my breath. I felt as if i had overdosed on booty. I had been deafened by what I had seen. I’d not been able to take in the music because I was so distracted by what was starting to feel like a Little Kim extravaganza…

Flawless is a phenomenal song, with a brilliant video! Why is she wearing lingerie in a WAR with her underboob out, totally pointlessly? Come on now B…. 

Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, Miley, Iggy Azaelea, what separates Beyonce anymore? These are just talented women who have talked themselves into the idea, SET BY MEN, that a woman’s sexuality sells above all else. They have deluded themselves into thinking it’s “feminism” if you get your fanny out on “your terms.” Feminism is equality. Jay z doesn’t get his balls out (Thank jesus) to sell a record. Naturally, in Beyonce’s videos, he’s fully clothed, watching her, practically nude, dance for him, be it on a chaise longue, a pole, a piano, a steering wheel… She’s at HIS service. “She just wants to be the kind of girl he likes… she keeps singing.” What’s the message here? Like me because I am here to dance for you to service you, to be YOUR fantasy, i cooked for you naked, blah blah blah. Naked naked naked, boobs boobs boobs, sex sex sex, fanny fanny fanny…. ARRRRGGGGHHHH! 

imageimageimageimageimage

What’s the point? That women can be sexual? 


Ok. So… What stimulates YOU beyonce? What do YOU like to see? What do you think women will find arousing to watch while they listen to your songs? What turns YOU on beyonce? Because so far it’s only your underboob I am marvelling at. It’s your buttocks spread apart by a pole, it’s you airhumping a piano… for a man who is sitting in a chair silently watching you. 

Or you’re rope dancing with another practically naked girl, for Jay Z (fully clothed again….) or dancing in the headlights of a car in your underwear, for Jay Z, (fully clothed.) He then takes your clothes off. We don’t even see his elbow…

Even in Blow, an empowering song about oral sex for a woman’s pleasure, it’s just half naked girls shimmying at the camera. Sausage free zone. 

Where are the naked men? Why aren’t they swinging round a pole? Why am I not seeing a drop of sweat hike it’s way slowly down the curves of a man’s chest and abs? 

I am also curious as to why the most incredible looking woman alive, with access to the most beautiful clothes in the world, all of which she can wear like no-one else, is in her pants for almost  every. single. video. Did the video budget mean she had to forego wardrobe for 17 videos? 

IS IT POSSIBLE…(I am merely querying, not stating…) is it possible at all that in a climate of women OUT-FANNYING each other to sell records… a la Miley, Nicki Minaj and Rihanna… doing everything other than having a live smear test on stage, that Beyonce has succumbed to what gets attention? Has she watched Ms Cyrus become a worldwide generational sensation purely for being overtly hypersexed with an added dose of shock value? Has she watched the world celebrate Rihanna in all her naked and “fierce”glory and decided that if you can’t beat it, you join it, you do it better and on a bigger budget?

Ok so she wins. She has been the most shocking, the sexiest, the fiercest of 2013 (and maybe all time). But what has been lost? Our idea that the most powerful woman in music doesn’t need to use her decorated glutes to push ahead in the world. 

It’s so depressing it has taken me so long to even get to the music. Is the album good? There is some fine work there, Flawless being a stroke of genius. Blow another smash hit. WOULD the album get such applause without the videos? I am not so sure. Had she been an unknown and we had just heard the record, would we have dedicated a day to talking about it? I cannot say for sure that it would. 



The messages are strong and at times very admirable. You should be happy with your looks, standard, you should enjoy sex and not be ashamed of doing so, good and true, Cunnilingus is a right not a privellege, marvellous stuff, You should love your baby, yes, You should be a powerful woman. Bang on babe. 

But all of it is just visually drenched in sex and bum. It’s soaked all the way through. The way that gravy dominates the taste of food. Enhancing it at times for sure, but essentially masking the essence of what is presented on the plate. Are our palettes so amateur we can no longer appreciate a good piece of music without seeing a woman’s inner thigh? Is it our fault? Have we driven these women to it? 

On the plus side, thanks to the volume of images of Beyonce behaving like a (Bloody amazingly beautiful) stripper… and the lengths she goes to to push the boundary… I don’t know where else everyone can go now? She’s done it all pretty much. 

Rihanna must have thrown her computer out of the window upon consuming Bey’s new style. Miley would have shat her actual pants. (If she was even wearing pants…)

Maybe this will spark something new? Women in music almost have no choice but to find another way to express their sound without using their bare skin so relentlessly. Otherwise now they just look like a cheap Beyonce copy… Maybe she has done us all a service? 

I’m so bored of having to use my eyes to hear a woman’s music nowadays. 

I agree your sexuality is an important and beautiful part of being a woman. But remember, it is not all of you. It is not the coat you have to wear to make people curious to see what is underneath. Flourish in the deliciousness that is a woman’s right to an assortment of delights.

She is still one of the most incredible women in entertainment’s history, and as far as female artists emulating strippers as of late goes… she is the BEST. She killed it, but along with that, she took down a little slice hope for the next generation. 

Sex sells sex sells sex sells… Women are selling it… and yet we appear to be making a loss.

Is that good business? 

I’m a Celeb is back. Bringing with it, a token hottie who the world can watch shower provocatively whilst the water dances down her splendid curves. Job Done. We all know it’s coming. Those of us who can accept that there are people in this world who are smarter, funnier or more genetically “gifted” than us, just learn to relax and enjoy the sight to behold. 

But then there are others. They just cannot accept it. Unfortunately more often than not, when it comes to a beautiful woman… it’s other women who tend to object. Shortly what follows is the jealous justification. That’s when it starts to become embarrassing on our part. 

image

As soon as Amy Willerton, this years I’m A Celeb meat, stepped into the jungle and stripped down to her bikini, I knew their would be trouble. She’s an Amazonian goddess. Built like the old school supermodels from the good old days, the Elle Macphersons and Cindy Crawfords… Long, Strong and Achingly beautiful. She wears virtually no make up, in the sweltering heat of the jungle, she looks as if she’s the reason the Bikini was invented, and to top it off, she’s really nice, down to earth, and not without a brain. What many women would deem, “A nightmare.” Good luck to her. 

It was two days in the jungle before the papers published details of a 3.5k beauty treatment Ms.Willerton had before going into the jungle. It was hours before the claws came out. Mail Online Comment boards of women protesting her beauty was not real and natural because she’d had some absurd facial, some eyelashes put in and wore a little lip tint. The point at which angry women commenting under any pictures of Amy, were lowering themselves to include that she’s not a natural beauty because she was WEARING NAIL POLISH…. was when my amusement started to turn to a silent rage. 

Then came last night’s passive aggressive attack on Amy. Fuelled massively by Lucy Pargeter. A woman who dared to criticise Amy for flaunting her looks, and posing provocatively in magazines, and perpetuating the ideals for beauty. I’m sorry… THIS WOMAN????image

While I agree that unrealistic standards are set for young women by these damn pageants and competitions invented originally by men, are very damaging. I don’t think it’s fair to guilt trip the girl for taking an opportunity that was there. If these pageants didn’t exist, girls wouldn’t enter. If women didn’t FLOCK to watch America’s Next Top Model, we wouldn’t be almost 10 years into the show. You can’t blame the beautiful girl that took the opportunity. Especially not when you yourself have more than maximized on your own looks. 

Then Olympian, Rebecca Adlington got in a fluster. Days of pent up frustration over Amy’s attractiveness, poured out of its seams, and flooded the jungle. Being faced with the ideal that you feel you are not, and are bullied for not being, has to be hard. The abuse Becky has recieved for NO good reason, is quite literally, sickening. It is NOT okay to criticize a person over their looks. She’s a damn athlete, not a model. Recounting stories of cruel tweets and comments over her face, becky cried, and the country’s heart broke.

   image

However, this morning delivered many columns written by women, about these two women. Katie Hind, of the Mirror, wrote what was dressed beautifully as a support piece for Becky, which was actually a take down piece of Amy. 

“Clearly Amy Willerton does fit the bill. She’s very pretty and she has an amazing body - yes, we know blah blah blah. She’s also got a decent pair of breasts on her, which she shows off in a bikini most of the time.

She is also rather shameless. Now, I hate to do down women but washing Joey’s hair? Can’t he do it himself? I know he can’t tell the time or blow his nose but surely, surely he knows how to shampoo his mop?”

So WHAT if she washed someone’s hair? It’s called flirting. We’re all guilty of it… 

Hind then went on to write…

“Come on Becky, lets be realistic here. Amy might not be a glamour model in the same way Katie Price is, or any of those who have subsequently graced the front covers of lads’ mags. But, she won’t always look so beautiful or slim. One day, it will all be gone, she’ll be forgotten and the chances are she will be struggling to make ends meet.”

Jesus Christ! Ouch. What an unneccessary and cruel thing to wish on a young girl who has done nothing but be sweet to everyone, becky included, and nancy around in a bikini, as you do in sweltering jungle heat. 

This is not good enough. We are not being fair. This is a social form of inverted snobbery. You cannot criticise people for not living up to the ideals of conventional beauty, but in equal turn, you CANNOT criticise people because they do. It’s STILL bullying. We cannot only accept women if they are flawed, because then we feel better about ourselves. That’s our own insecurity projected onto another. 

Becky is special, talented, respected, attractive and loved by a man she loves, and by a huge portion of this country. Lucy needs to accept that age comes to us all and that she still looks great, and that there will inevitably be younger, fresher, prettier girls to come. And Amy needs to keep on keeping on. She was bullied as a teenager for being ugly, she had some facials, sorted out her eyebrows, went to a gym, and did her nails to feel better, and low and behold, now she’s being bullied for that. 

As a woman, when it comes to looks…you can’t win. What a bloody waste of time. 

Every morning this week I’ve fallen out of my bed, grabbed my phone, and waded through my twitter feed expecting to read about the Typhoon which has devastated so many tens and thousands of people. It made sense to me that it would dominate all other topics of conversation. 

I was wrong. Instead I have spent the entire week hearing of Lily Allen’s new controversial video. Hard Out Here. Everyone’s having their say. It’s (bafflingly) splitting the nation. Few people aren’t weighing in. 

I personally thought the song and video were well executed delivering a straight forward message. A good point well made. I saw little scope for such mass debate, so I was curious… and I decided to read. 

The moment I almost threw my laptop out of the window was when I knew it was time to say something. 

Let us start with the Racism debate. I have read Newspaper articles, at least 40 blogs and countless tweets in defence of the “poor, nameless, voiceless black girls gyrating in the video.” SORRY?

Well having watched the video several times… I can count 4 black girls and three white girls, not to mention Lily, who is fully involved in all of the licking, flicking and twerking. Not to mention the only one to perform Bananalingus. 


Exhibit A) Non black dancer being photographed in her underwear.

 

Exhibit B) Non black dancer being spanked on all fours. Nobody appears to be concerned for her. 


Exhibit C) Non black dancer with black dancer sharing what I assume is supposed to be “Tips”

imageimageimage

So, I repeat… SORRY???

It is almost racist to discount the girls who aren’t black. 

It’s just a bunch of women from all backgrounds dancing provocatively as they have for years. It’s so preposterous I cannot even be bothered to further discuss it. Pictures are said to be worth a thousand words… and I personally believe the ones above speak volumes. 

Regarding her exploitation of women in general, by using them for shock value in the guise of satire…

I don’t believe this to be true. The whole video is such an obvious and outrageous parody. For god’s sake, the woman dances around giant balloons spelling out to us that she has a Baggy Pussy.

She is merely making the obvious point that women are exploited in Music Videos. Which of course they are. We have always known this…

A la Nelly’s Hot in Here video

image

Or Ludacris’ charming song about how he has HOs in different AREA CODES aparently. That’s nice isn’t it? 

rimage.

The tragedy here, is that nobody has ever made such a brazen pop at the video culture that portrays women as little more than a mindless, jiggling, play thing. 

So some of you say that she has further perpetuated the problem by again sexualising girls and having them all twerking in slow motion with champagne pouring down their lithe bodies. 

But How else can you show what you are revolting against, without SHOWING IT? When we see movies about War, Murder or Crime, we don’t kick off that they showed the perpetrations. We understand that we are being told a story clearly to identify the evils. 

When we watch films about Murder and Kidnapping, we know that we are being shown the horror of an act. We don’t expect Liam Neeson to just sit there for two hours and describe how bad it is… We need to SEE it. For Impact. 

Hard out Here is scarcely different. Lily Allen in a pretty dress singing at us about the perils of the entertainment industry in her cute little voice, would be almost entirely overlooked and possibly dismissed as another bitter feminist. But she shows it in it’s most honest light. Nothing in her video have we not seen before. If anything it’s tame. (Anyone remember the video for My Neck, My back…?)

Nobody can argue that this is how the music industry is, and nobody can look away anymore because she has smeared it across our faces. Marinading us in the shame that we as a collective have allowed this to continue for so long. If women don’t want to be objectified, then women have to take a stand. Don’t buy the records, don’t give the videos the views, and DEFINITELY don’t turn up to the damn casting that issues Uniform as a Gstring and little else. 

Women like Adele, Lily Allen, Emeli Sande and Alicia Keys, have never had to show us their bum cheeks to sell a million records. Does that mean they weren’t told it was the way forward? No. Does it mean they had the faith in their talent to not be bullied into the pidgeon hole? Hell Yes. 

As someone who has herself experienced sexism and attempted sexualisation in this industry, I can  vouch for the fact that it is indeed… Hard out Here for a Bitch.

Lily’s video made me rise to my feet and applaud because she didn’t just bitch and moan about the shackles the way the rest of us do.. She took a sledgehammer and smashed the lock. 

We grow out of clothes, bed-time stories, boybands, braiding your entire head, sleeping in your parents’ bed, boyfriends, marriage even, and nobody blinks an eye. In fact it’s actually pretty well- documented how to deal with all of the above.

But for some reason, nobody tells you what to do when you outgrow your friends. I’ve only really been grown-up enough to experience this to its most painful extent in the past six years. It’s different when school separates you because then it’s out of everyone’s hands, and nobody holds it against one another so much. But why doesn’t anyone prepare you for outgrowing your friends as adults? And why is it SO much more awkward and politically incorrect than when you want to break up with a lover?

Things happen, like jobs, boyfriends, babies, travel, hobbies, habits and general life sometimes gets in the way. They change you every day, especially after your early teens, because you become less adaptable. Like a jelly, you start to set in the shape you will be for the rest of your life. It’s not possible to always fit the same people as you once did.

As with lovers, it is in fact possible to just be friends with a person for a certain quota of your life. Friendships, like relationships, often have sell-by dates. At one point in time, during a certain phase in your life, you were suitable for one another.

Thankfully, I made most of my friends after the age of 20, so I had a fairly good idea of our compatibility, and 90 per cent of my friendships, I can foresee lasting longer than my teeth. But a couple have slipped through the net lately. I’ve lost my connection with a couple of my closest friends. I don’t know how it happened, but it’s no different from falling out of love. There is no incident, anger, or blame – it’s just a silent, weak parting of ways.

Suddenly you are looking at that person you once considered one of your limbs and you just think, “I have no idea who you are.”. It’s the worst feeling. But who are you to expect them to revert to the person you initially became friends with, and who are they to expect the same of you? Life is about growth and change.

Sometimes, when we grow up, we grow in separate directions. It just means you have to be an adult, bite the bitter bullet and call it a day. It’s OK to feel this way. You are entitled to do this! ‘Friends are forever’ is a sweet, but impractical concept. Nothing is forever. Other than cellulite, of course. That bastard never goes away.

The Miley Cyrus debate got me thinking. All we talk about (myself included) is what we do see… not what we don’t see. I’m constantly confused as to why I don’t see more disabled people in mainstream entertainment, as I believe it is approximately a  staggering 11 million people who inhabit the uk, whilst living with an impairment or disability. And yet I see few on a night out, in a club, on the telly, for something other than a show about being disabled, I don’t see them in the charts often. I believeAndrea Begley, who suffers a sight impairment, had a brief moment in the top 40, after she’d won The Voice. The press surrounding her win, all introduced her as partially sighted… Not spectacularly gifted. I know Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder were tremendous successes, but in a time when radio ruled the waves, and nobody was forced to really deal with their “situation.” Ian Drury of Blockheads fame certainly made a dent, but again, not really in a time of television and internet exposure. And since them, only the lead singer of the Mystery Jets, Blaine, who has spinal bifida, has managed to succeed, with little attention drawn to his disability. I bet a lot of you reading this didn’t even know he had a disability. Because it ISN’T a damn issue. I tried, but I couldn’t count up to even ten people with a significantly debilitating disability, who had succeeded in music/film/entertainment in general. Don’t even get me started on the figures regarding those who are wheelchair bound.

Is it possible that in 11 million people there are almost none with the talent to succeed in music? Is it possible that almost none of these 11 MILLION people have presenting or acting talent? Is it possible we are living in the forties again? When they would white up Nat King Cole on television in the hopes nobody would know he was black, otherwise they couldn’t be seen? Are we still living in the bubble of ignorance? 

70 years later, thankfully, we don’t write, Black Alexandra Burke won X factor this year. We just write her name and about her music. We don’t find it bizarre that Beyonce and Jay z are some of music’s leaders, and that Oprah is one of the most successful women in entertainment. We don’t blink that a lot of caucasian artists such as Eminem and Iggy Azalea, strongly emulate African American culture in their artistry. It’s a truth universally acknowledged that we all are equals. Ella Fitzgerald was not allowed to eat in the same restaurants she would sing in. Nowadays she would be given her own table, heaped with champagne and caviar. 

So it appears we are capable of change. The prejudices against ethnicities stemmed from fear and ignorance. The same thing happens now with disability. If we haven’t directly experienced it, we don’t really have much exposure to it in our every day culture. The Paralympics was a groundbreaking moment in society that created something aspirational within the realms of disability. And about bloody time too. But again, the buzz died down, and we are back to a day to day existence, forgetting that there is a HUGE portion of our own public who we have cast aside and forgotten once more. 

I was hit by a car at 17 and was unable to walk for over a year. I was unsure as to whether or not I would be able to walk again. I’m still the same girl, with the same mind, I’m no more able than I was before, to sit on a sofa and talk about Pitbull’s new video. Sit at my laptop and write columns, or read out the top 40… Nor would someone in a wheelchair find it any harder to sit in a recording studio and sing, or sit on stage and perform to Wembley. So what’s our beef? They aren’t sexy enough? What defines sexy? Who defines sexy? In some cultures skinny is hot, in others skinny is vile and a sign of poverty and ill health, some cultures love dark skin, some celebrate fairer colours. I see sex appeal beyond disability in the same way I see sex appeal beyond colour and sexuality. It doesn’t occur to me to take them into consideration. It’s our responsibility to teach the next generation to think the same. Because you know what? Some of the funniest, brightest and bravest people I know are the friends of mine with severe Cerebral Palsy. We as a society are missing out on so many people who can teach us a thing or two about perspective and empathy and can write about depths of life beyond, “don’t be shy, touch my bum, this is life.” (the cheeky girls)

If I may quickly keep the devil’s advocate in check, I am not stating that disability makes you a better/nicer/smarter/more talented. I merely stating that it doesn’t mean you aren’t. 

I refuse to buy into the preposterous notion that there are just no disabled people talented enough to make it in entertainment and that’s why they aren’t all over our screens. I feel that the lack of other pioneers in the industry deters a lot of them from trying as they feel they will be shut down instantly. This is our fault as a generation. We need to be more open to change, and focus less on the disability itself over the person. And we also need to campaign to get advertising brands to include disability in their promotion. Why is showing a woman of a size 14 on a soap advert so radical? And if it has succeeded, why not go a step further and make sure we are truly inclusive of all. 

I am a woman on a mission, to prove there is talent within a world of people NO different than ourselves. 

Will you join me? 

Tonight, I sparked a ferocious twitter debate and ended up fighting with a couple of angry women/little girls. All of whom I would like to respond to, but without the shackles that are a 140 letter word limit. 

The whole thing started when I made the mistake of buying into the hype and watching Miley Cyrus’ much talked about MTV VMA 2013 awards performance. I had to watch it seven times in a row to fully digest what I had seen. A nude latex bikini clad Cyrus, was sticking her tongue out provocatively, and grinding her bare bottom deep into Robin Thicke’s crotch, after having grabbed said crotch on stage in front of the world. What ensued was a lot of her touching her own vagina, and then the old classic, pretend to have sex with a giant foam finger by thrusting it on said vagina aggressively. 

Where do I even begin? 

Other than to say that tonight I watched a woman who was using “sexuality” to protest her freedom as a woman, but who was actually aiding our slavery in a pidgeon hole with an inbuilt stripping pole. 

Before I knew it my twitter rant merely pleading little girls who idolise Miley, to know that you don’t have to behave like a stripper to get ahead in life, unless you want to… turned into a very different discussion of whether or not it’s okay for men to objectify women…Heaven help me. 

Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t suggest we all wear space suits and throw out our make up and razors. In fact, I think women who own their power, sexuality and love of their bodies, rule the world. Beyonce for example. She is nobody’s toy. She is in control. She dances in a way that implies she is strong and “fierce.”  (If I were a man I’d be terrified of her in the bedroom… whilst extremely grateful of course…) Taylor Swift is seldom without a bum cheek out on stage, but again, is nobody’s little sex doll. Jennifer Lawrence wears the tiniest, side boob extravaganza dresses I’ve seen in years, she is nobody’s play thing. These women portray themselves talent first. Tits later. When they dance it is for themselves as an expression of I. AM. WOMAN. It is not purely to titillate a man. It is to seemingly show off and titillate themselves. There is no slow motion slut dropping for male artists, breast grabbing and masturbation on stage, in sight. They have nothing to prove, other than you can be smart, strong, talented AND sexy. If you damn well feel like it…

But the moment you use a man, who is fully dressed, as something to pole dance on… you are making him the focus of attention. You are there to please HIM. If she wanted to do something really radical, she would have demanded Robin Thicke also wear latex pants, and he could drop it to the floor once or twice for her perhaps… That’s fair. It’s a little close to porn, but it’s fair. But that would never happen would it? Why? Because Robin Thicke doesn’t feel the need to. The greatest performance of the night went to Justin Timberlake, who wore a hat and scarf over a full suit. A man who is a bonifide sex symbol, without ever having to demonstrate his “oral” skills. I’m yet to see Jay Z, Snoop Dogg or Kanye slut drop in a gold thong, shaking their testes against Katy Perry, Rihanna or Ellie Goulding… though, believe me, it would make my bloody day. The mere idea of it is preposterous, because we are a world unaccustomed to men selling sex to be noticed, quite the way women traditionally are known to. And who’s to say women wouldn’t do the same were the tables turned?

I don’t know a single woman, whose first comment after seeing Magic Mike, was, “Great Acting.” No.. it was deservedly lascivious commentary on the genius that is Channing Tatum’s lithe body, How Alex Pettifer can really rock a banana hammock, and Matthew Mconahey’s pelvic floor technique. 

The thing is, it took men until 2012 to even portray themselves in the mainstream in the role of “play thing.”

Women have been doing it since I can remember.

 I understand and respect all human’s deserve full freedom and self expression… But then if we constantly choose sexuality as the focus for what we represent, then can we bitch and moan when Male music videos, use our image in a sexual way? If I wear a cross I expect people will assume I’m christian, if I walk around saying racist things, I expect people to assume I am a bigot, If I walk around constantly with books, I accept people assuming I am a bookworm. Our behaviour and clothes are our advertising. They are the tools and markers with which people establish their opinions about and associations with us upon. If we promote sex and submission, people will naturally look for us in the Sex aisle of life’s supermarket. 

Look at Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines video…it caused a huge furore amongst feminists worldwide, due to it’s BRAZEN objectification of women as sources of sexual amusement. 

Do I think Robin Thicke seems like a bit of a sad, dirty old bugger who needs to prove he is attractive by showing the world how many “bitches” he has? Yes. Do I think he’s the sole culprit of this step back in women’s rights to be seen as equal? No. The female director, the model agents who supplied the girls and the models themselves were equally involved and willing. Every woman who crawls along the floor submissively in a video, allows herself to be spanked on air, or appears in a video where the lyrics involved are “ho” “slut” or “bitch” is an accessory to the Murder of Women’s progress. 

We have to stop believing the power is not ours. We aren’t going to take it by EMBODYING the stereotype.  And we have to stop believing that we are entitled to the hypocrisy that is, “Do as I say, not as I do.” We have to learn how to strike a balance. 

Female Rapper, Iggy Azalea came on my show venting that she was sick of people talking about her bottom and sexuality rather than her lyrics. Well perhaps you shouldn’t eat an ice lolly as if it were a penis, in a song called, “pussy” about your.. well you get the point…imageimageimage

and you shouldn’t spit a large portion of your verses with your bum facing the audience while you shake it at them provocatively, if that’s not what you want to be known predominantly for. I’m not saying you can’t have both. But in every walk of life, execute first with the asset you consider your strongest. If it’s how hot you are, then don’t condemn us for talking about how hot you are.

 I’m sure Miley would be a little hurt and shocked if she waved her privates at a camera, as she does so frequently, and nobody noticed or cared… 

For the idiot who implied I was suggesting rape is acceptable for provocative women. No. Jesus Christ, of course not. Rape is considered often more an act of power than lust, and nobody is ever deserving of it. Ever. It’s a form of sick violence that is not justifiable under any circumstance.

So what is my point here? That I pray the next generation doesn’t buy into the nonsense propaganda mine was fed. Which is that sex sells. It does, but it’s not the only commodity on the market. You can be successful with your clothes on. You can be powerful and commanding with your clothes off. You can be who and what you want and achieve your goals your way. Nobody has the right or ability to force you to misrepresent yourself. That’s your choice. 

Just be aware that the consequence that is opinion, will follow your projection of who you are. So please be thoughtful. 

I am sad to say that despite meeting Miley Cyrus and thinking she was smart, beautiful and talented, I walked away from watching that performance with nothing positive to say other than,

"Beautiful girl with a great waxist…" 

I’ve been especially ranty today, and if you have had no interest in the subject of my fury, then I can only apologise for the thirty odd tweets dedicated to the debate of Man Vs Press.

It all started as I learned of the tragic death of a teacher who’d made the, in my opinion, incredibly brave and admirable decision to change sex, in the name of their personal happiness. Parents, displeased with the school’s support of said teacher’s decision, decided to take it to the press, rather than handle it with any grace or discretion. Now, a journalist has a choice and a moral obligation that is required in order to justify the power of their well distributed written word. The Accrington post, and more criminally, Richard Littlejohn, of the Daily Mail, the second highest distributed newspaper in the Uk, did not abide by any such moral conduct. He saw a salacious angle and attacked it with bias and venom. 

I am aware The Daily Mail have inherited a certain reputation over the years, but having met many of their journalists, I can safely say they are far more decent and humane than they are painted out to be. However, there are always the cancers in any establishment, which can drag all of those with them to the ground, smearing them in shame that they did not earn themselves. I believe it is well known, that Littlejohn, is representative of said disease. A man who has carved a career out of harpooning people and instigating (perhaps unintentionally) hate campaigns against those without the platform to speak up for themselves. He takes it into little or no consideration the consequences of his actions, not factoring in, that behind the stories, are human beings, flesh and bone.

Within days of the article surfacing, this poor teacher was subjected to extreme harassment from the press. It became some sort of extravaganza. Ms.Meadows was forced to sneak in, out and around her house to avoid hungry journalists, clawing at her for a slice of her already slaughtered dignity, to spread across their pages as if it were a jam of some sort. 

Now I’ve had a taste of press harassment in the past. I’ve said careless, silly things that have been taken out of context and blown vastly out of proportion resulting in some sort of witch hunt. Sometimes even without provocation or cause my family have been approached and offered bribes for dirt on me. So I can tell you first hand, it’s incredibly unpleasant. It’s easy to shrug off and assume you just “wouldn’t care what people think.” But the impotency in the inability to stand up for yourself and tell your side of the story in full, is really hard to deal with. However, I’m in the public eye. I have a public job, that I wasn’t forced into, and that I benefit from highly. It doesn’t excuse all the intrusion, but it does somewhat justify it. A teacher in a primary school, who has made no special effort to live a life in the public eye, however, is NOT fair game. 

Once I uttered my first complaint within 140 characters this morning, the twitter debate ignited.

The majority were in agreement, with what, to be honest, is a no brainer demand, “Leave innocent people alone.”

However some astonishing points were raised that I’d like to address, should you wish to engage further.

1. “They’re just doing their job.”

What??? Fine, report a rape, or a murder, heinous biggotry or some awful criminal money laundering or trafficking. Fair enough. Expose those people. Not people who are making a life choice, that effectively, really hurts nobody. Our Big Brother culture can not extend to those who are simply getting on with their lives, in a civilised, legal fashion. 

2. “Those kids were too young to be exposed to transgender, they must keep their innocence.”

WHAT??? What is there to be “exposed” to about transgender? Somebody didn’t feel comfortable with something about themselves, so they made a big change to better their lives and be happier. It’s just a far more extreme version of a tit job or extreme weight loss. It hurts nobody. It’s not negative. There is no shame in the desire to change or “better” oneself. If anything, it’s easier to explain to children when they are younger as they are less rigid in their beliefs, and easier to mould. It’s no different to homosexuality, the earlier they see it and learn that it’s not bad or scary, the less they will surround their ideas of it with fear and shame. I for one think an operation of that magnitude is incredibly brave. It isn’t something we readily accept in society yet, and if you are willing to go against the grain and welcome judgement, in the name of your own inner peace, then more power to you. I can’t imagine the struggle that lead you that point. 

3. “She should have just moved schools.”

Are you fucking kidding me? Right, appease people, to make it easier on the ignorant. Had we taken THAT stance in life, there would be no homosexual or people from varied ethnicities in any respected trade. I believe they are somewhat still in the minority. Which is devastating in such a cosmopolitan age.

4 “If they were mentally unstable enough to kill themselves, they shouldn’t have been teaching,”

Being uncomfortable in the body you are born with is not a sign of mental instability. It does of course often come coupled with some unfortunate feelings of inadequacy, depression and lost identity. But in perhaps less drastic ways, I’m sure a lot of us can relate to feeling trapped in our lives and even who we are. Desperate for an escape and a complete fresh start as the person we hoped we would be before life got in the way. Then once you make the decision, you have to accept that it will be a big transition for your community and family even, that you will evoke some ignorant bigotry, and will have your own personal need for adjustment. It’s a bold move. But THEN to be publicly ridiculed and judged on a national scale by people who have never met you, when you’ve done nothing to provoke media attention, must be a straw capable of breaking a camel’s back. There is no warning, you have no publicist to protect you or guide you through. There is a hysteria and panic in the air. You feel as though you are living your life in a fishbowl filled with your own blood. It’s so overwhelming it can, at times feel like it will never end. Some of us, can’t cope. You can’t be certain, put in the same exact life and situation, you would not also crumble. 

My point is, we need to face up to the fact that we are way behind in the Tolerance game. It is an agonising amount of time people have waited to be allowed to express themselves freely within society without backlash. In the name of evolution I think we SHOULD teach children about homosexuality and transgender and expose them to every race and culture. This does not rob them of “innocence” as these things, are innocent. But it arms them with a lack of fear and ignorance. Two of the most crippling societal downfalls. If you are unhappy with who you are, you should bloody change it. Self love and acceptance is important, but sometimes self love can be expressed through the willing to change. Someday we may find out that loads of people wish they were a different gender. Who ever thought arse implants would be a thing? 

Kudos to the school that tried to stand by Ms. Meadows, shame on you to the parents who went to the press, shame on you to Littlejohn for turning someone’s emotional plight into a soap opera for his own professional gain, and shame on us all for allowing any of this to still be an issue in our world.