The Girl with the Edinburgh Tattoo

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Archive for the month “September, 2013”

Burkas or Burlesque?

ImageSo David Cameron struggles with the concept of being a feminist? It’s a difficult declaration to make these days when you’re a woman so why should we be surprised when the cause is effectively on life support, just getting wheeled out by the chattering classes at dinner parties and in order to put the PM on the spot? I suppose when you see what’s kicking off around the world right now it’s no surprise that the subject should be put on the back burner. After all, who cares? We pretty much have equality now, the battle has been won and we can afford to take things to a different level. We’ve got the freedom to take it to the extreme, behave like dickheads and play the ‘it’s empowerment’ card when criticised. And with this New Feminism – what do we inevitably find at the centre of the discussion? What to wear – more or less, literally.

I’ve seen both sides of the coin recently and neither has struck me as being particularly empowering for women. Firstly let’s take the inalienable right for a woman to take off her clothes in public in the name of entertainment – stripping, right? No, silly – they’ve given it a veneer of middle-class respectability and called it ‘burlesque‘. It’s so life-affirming for the woman, filled with post-modern irony and it was all over the Edinburgh Fringe like a bad case of herpes. Particularly depressing was that while there were loads of talented women doing stand-up, solo shows – in fact everything that the men were doing – it did seem a lot of the time that all they were called on to do was get ’em out and shake ’em about. I thought it bad enough at the start of the Fringe when happening upon the Silhouette Burlesque, but at least the women were exhibiting a few circus and vocal skills while they stripped, but by the time of wandering into the Voodoo Rooms on the last night it seemed that we had really reached the fag-end of endeavour. While male performers were allowed to sing and tell jokes, a lone female took to the stage dressed as Margaret Thatcher and took her clothes off. Yes, that was her sole contribution. I don’t think I have to point out the irony of a powerful woman – whatever your politics – being reduced to a mute, naked mannequin…

I suppose the other side of the coin is a woman having the right to cover herself up from head to toe and walk down the street without attracting attention or disapproval. Now if we’re talking a boiler suit and balaclava we wouldn’t be surprised at getting the attention but should we be shocked when disapproval is shown towards women who wear the niqab or burka in public? Well, in the current climate – and there’s no escaping it, none of us lives in a vacuum – anyone who presents this image and cries foul when criticised is being disingenuous at best and a wannabe Samantha Lewthwaite at worst, and whether the reason cited is ‘doing it for my faith’ or ‘doing it for my sisters’ it all seems a bit hollow and another screwed-up idea of female empowerment.

So whether you want to walk down the street wearing next to nothing saying ‘fuck me’ or cover yourself from head to toe saying ‘fuck you’ … go ahead, but maybe stop and think first just exactly who you’re empowering and who you’re harming with your actions.

Whose Oil Is It Anyway? We’re Bigger – And Greener – Than That!

ImageI happened upon the Scottish Greens website this morning and read a pro-independence piece by supporter and former BBC reporter Louise Batchelor. I’m completely stumped as to how anyone claiming to have Green credentials can support Independence. Surely Green issues are worldwide issues and erecting parochial little land borders is like arranging to buy some sticking plaster for that huge, gaping wound that everyone knows has probably gone past the gangrene stage. We all have to try to make things better on a global scale though so is it entirely sensible to close ourselves off from like-minded people that make up a lot of the population in England, Wales and Ireland? Should we align ourselves instead with Iceland, Greece or Cyprus? All of whom are proving that you can be too small to succeed and I’m sure they have no other option right now but to put Green issues on the back burner.
Final thoughts –
Interesting to see the Scottish Greens using a ‘stop Donald Trump‘ image on their website considering that their new BF is Alex Salmond who originally welcomed the shredded-wheat-topped-one with open arms!

Fifty Shades of Green (for envy)


Robert Pattinson – the ideal Mr Grey according to E L James?

Interesting to see the casting for the inevitable big screen version of the astonishingly popular bonk-buster Fifty Shades of Grey. Comments of ‘who?’ and ‘what the… ?’ destined to be just as inevitable. It is thought that the ‘avoiding-like-the-plague’ by ‘big-name-stars’ of this particular project is not so much to do with the ‘challenging’ subject matter but rather that the taint of a turkey is hard to shift from one’s cv. It does put one in mind of the whole Da Vinci Code debacle. Book hugely hyped and therefore hugely popular – any film version would just have to be on a hiding to nothing. Or just maybe on the big screen there ain’t no hiding place for the numerous literary and plot flaws. Now, I don’t come to bury FSOG – there’s plenty lining up to do that already and the scent of sour grapes is never that nice. And whilst sales of my own The Rachel Redemption are ticking over quite nicely I can’t claim – just yet – that Hollywood is contacting me re my thoughts on casting. Shame, as I have it all figured out already. (Check it out on my sister blog dedicated to the whole subject.) That’s the beauty of fantasy casting – you can have whoever you want. The casting of my central – Princess Diana-inspired – character was difficult but I don’t think I would ever have chosen Naomi Watts!

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