Election sexism watch (episode 3)
Posted on April 9, 2010
Bloody hell, I hadn’t envisaged there’d be enough of this sexist shite* to fill up a fresh blog post every sodding day! Ah well, here we go with episode 3 then….
Much to the combined frustration of just about everyone everywhere (well okay, me and some of my friends, and the handful of people who read this blog) the Mail is still banging on about the (mythical, entirely invented by journos) “war of the wives”.
First up it’s Jan Moir, who appears to have landed the role as the Mail’s principal “first wives” correspondent:
War of the wives: Sam goes solo…but did she really need to call on Daddy?
“Of course, Tory wives have never seen a Tory wife quite like Sam. No wonder the grassroots matrons disapprove of her and her fancy Notting Hill ways.
Out on the stump yesterday, Mrs Cameron’s dress-down outfit of skinny jeans and cotton jacket spoke of the high street and affordability, not of privilege and expense. Or twin sets and blue rinses.
That won’t have gone down well with the old guard. And traditionally, Tory wives are there to make the sandwiches and keep their opinions to themselves.”
and then there’s Maysa Rawi:
War of the wives: SamCam dresses down for her solo election debut as Sarah Brown lays on the style
“She might be the creative director of a luxury leather goods brand, but Samantha Cameron appears to be trying desperately hard to go unnoticed in the fashion department.
After two days on the campaign trail, the Tory leader’s ‘Secret Weapon’ wife, who works for Bond Street-based Smythson, appears to be playing it safe with an unusually underwhelming wardrobe.
Meanwhile, Sarah Brown continues to find her fashion footing. After a shaky start, the Prime Minister’s wife got it right today as she met Labour MP Jim Fitzpatrick in east London.”
And how about this little comment, at the end of a piece where they plug the above article:
“By the way, the MailOnline is an equal opportunity blogger, so if you’d like to add your own view on who looks best out of Sam and Sarah, feel free to add a reader comment (even if you’re a man).”
Seriously, does anyone besides the press actually give a shit what these women wear? Or who looks best out of Sam and Sarah?
Well, unfortunately, even the Guardian hasn’t been able to resist joining in this nonsensical “first wives” fashion debate. Here’s Imogen Fox:
Stylewatch: the campaign cardigan
“Day two and Sarah Brown’s election wardrobe seems to be heavily reliant on the plain coloured cardigan. Yesterday’s version was lime yellow with a round neck, while on Tuesday she showcased a powder violet version from Reiss, styled with a narrow leather belt….
….A “normal” cardigan is totally on message, a boyfriend blazer as worn by Sam Cam would be far too fashion for Brown right now. A real pity because Brown has proven that she has an eye for a good designer label. It is too early for Brown to lose faith with the campaign cardigan, but to boost her style rating she needs to button it up and add a much wider leather belt for definition.”
Someone. Just. Shoot. Me. Now.
And here’s one I missed from the Telegraph a couple of days ago:
Chic maternity solutions for Samantha Cameron
“Last week, a blooming Samantha Cameron was spotted in a brown Harrison dress, statement necklace and patent pumps. A million pregnant women gazed at that photo – and debated whether to cry or have another slice of cake.”
A reader sent me this next one, and what a joy it is. Here’s Paul Waugh at the Evening Standard:
Snog, Marry, Avoid – early verdicts for Brown, Cam, Clegg
“The folks at Nottingham University’s School of Politics and International Relations have been doing some research.
In particular, they have been studying the political views of women aged 24-35 and on lower incomes. This particular group, dubbed the Lambrini Ladies (much to the irritation of Dizzy yesterday), are described as:
“Young, female and feisty…represents the millions of British women who have views but don’t vote….despite their reluctance to take to the polls, these women are far from ignorant about policy”….
…..When asked if they would ‘snog’ (yes, nice and polite version of the usual trio), ‘marry’ or ‘avoid’ the leaders of the main political parties, the results were as follows….”
So the appallingly named “Lambrini Ladies” are “far from ignorant about policy”, and yet the only part of the research Waugh is interested in reporting is the bit that totally and utterly trivialises them. Nice one.
Meanwhile, the BBC’s Jon Sopel tweeted this little gem yesterday afternoon (thanks Justin!):
Ah yes, Denis McShane’s other half. What’sername again?
Although to give him (some) credit, he quickly followed it up with this:
Nice save there Jon. Although maybe next time you might want to try and put a little bit more conviction behind it.
And was I the only one who spotted the caption the BBC put up during their interview with Miriam Gonzalez Durantez yesterday afternoon? (and yes, mea culpa, I did refer to her as Miriam Clegg in yesterday’s post. Personally, I blame the Daily Mail).
Anyway, for those who missed it, in big bold lettering under her name, the beeb’s caption read:
Nick Clegg’s wife
Perhaps Jon Sopel could have a quiet word, and remind his bosses that “the women exist in their own right and are not defined by their husbands”….
Right, that’s it for this edition. Now for the sake of my sanity, and because I do actually have a life (honestly, I really do), I’ll be taking a break ( arf, “take a break women”, geddit?) over the weekend. But rest assured, I’ll be back with what I expect to be a bumper crop on Monday.
*If you see any glaring examples of sexist shite during the General Election campaign that you think I may have missed, feel free to email them to me at cathryne_1999 at hotmail.co.uk
Really? Why should you have to do this – and to have some much shite to write about too? WE ARE LIVING IN 2010 NOT 1910.
FFS! There are not enough expletives or adjectives to describe my state of mind over all of this. Are you going to do a CIF article about it? Please!
To be fair, it’s not unreasonable to mention that Miriam Gonzalez Durantez is “Nick Clegg’s wife” – it *is* relevant to the context, presumably.
The whole fashion thing is ridiculous though.
I’ve been awoken from my blogging drought this week. Partly cos it’s the holidays, and partly because of political campaigns annoying me.
Though, they should mention any other qualifications she has to speak about the election as well.
But I don’t know who she is so I don’t know if she has any.
I want to know how much flipping annual leave Samantha Cameron has. Does she work for the world’s most generous employers? As Ms Durantez pointed out, most people can’t just take several weeks off work at the drop of a hat to trail round after their spouse. And no I’m not voting on the basis of what anyone’s wife does/says, but if I was, I’d be voting lib dem.
Can I also point out that I know at least one gay man who intends to vote on how attractive he thinks the politicians are, so the ‘snog,marry,avoid’ article linked above is homophobic.
Polly – What? How is that article homophobic? Please, do elucidate.
It ignores the existence of gay men who may also wish to snog marry or avoid Cameron, Brown and Clegg, Elaine. Don’t get much more homophobic than that.
IE it’s heteronormative. It was also a weak attempt at a “joke” on my part.
And indeed bisexual men.
I’m not sure I follow – were you joking about it being homophobic, or not?
That article ignores a lot of things, but I hardly think having a limited scope, as all research must do, is a realistic or useful thing to complain about. Besides, whether one likes it or not, hetero *is* the norm, in the statistical sense. That’s bound to be reflected culturally and academically. It isn’t homophobia. I don’t think you do gay men any favours by suggesting that it is.
Market forces dictate the reporting of sociological research that relates to, and is of interest to, a larger portion of society. And researching one thing does not imply that one is ignoring the existance of others.
Sorry, but I never heard such a load of ridiculous clap-trap. By your reasoning, your comment is pretty misogynist, by seeking to deny women space.
My desk is complaining again. Elaine, if you really can’t see the homophobia (though heteromormativity may have been a better word) in suggesting that the only people who fancy men are women, (or by implication that all women are heterosexual) I think I’m wasting my time.
Besides, whether one likes it or not, hetero *is* the norm, in the statistical sense.
makes me certain I’m wasting my time. So I’ll leave you to think what you want, if that’s ok with you.
Except to add that I don’t see how acknowledging the existence of gay men ‘denies women space’.
Who was suggesting that the only people who fancy men are straight women?
Of course such a suggestion would be objectionable, but no-one has made this suggestion!
And what is wrong with acknowledging the fact that there are more straight women than there are gay men? If one isn’t allowed to acknowledge the numerical minority of a group, I’d say that’s a pretty homophobic in itself!
Not being allowed to talk about women without being obliged to mention men? yeah, that kind of is denying women space.
Wow. People are making a big fuss over an incredibly minor point.
Shall we make sure we’re completely representative? What about the straight men? Which political leaders would they consider switching teams for? When we talk about women fancying politicians, should we make sure we include all demographic groups? Single, married, divorced? Retired? Early 30s? Sixth-formers? Did I miss anyone out?
I’d hate to have to take offence on someone else’s behalf when I’m missing the point completely.
Hear hear Phil! Well said!