Saturday, 29 October 2011

Sneery male writers

Reading what I normally find an intelligent site, Craig Murray which makes a decent analysis of the state of the world, I was annoyed by a (superficial? trivial?) issue today. He refers to Polly Toynbee as 'that poor deluded old bat'. Is there a male equivalent? Should anyone be referred to in this way, however much you disagree with their opinions?

Is the female version of ad hominem ad mulierem? I really fear that man cannot include woman in this case, since the patronising tone seems saved especially for women.

Yes, Polly can be too forgiving of the Labour Party, but where is the real alternative? Is it not true that the lesser of two evils is nevertheless, less evil. I paraphrase Chomsky, I think. And i do think that this government is more 'evil' than the last one.

I don't often allow myself to be provoked into a rant these days, but this did it. Hit both buttons - ageism and sexism.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Women in Tunisia

hope that their rights are not side-lined as the new democracy takes shape.

Guardian/Observer publishes article by their Paris correspondent, Angelique Chrisafis.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Ms/Miss/Mrs - Madame/Mademoiselle

A load of trivial bullshit, or something more?

Have you ever been in the position of being asked 'Miss or Mrs' and feeling annoyed, embarrassed, put on the spot? Perhaps it applies more to my generation (60+) than to younger women, but it always struck me as acutely unfair that personal questions start from something so simple as a child wishing to write a teacher's name on an exercise book.
For a man, it's just 'Mr'. No problem, no wondering. Simple.

And even now, in England, Ms is seen as the title mainly used by stroppy feminists, though it is useful in business situations, when a single title avoids the embarrassment of using the 'wrong' one.

In France feminists are demanding that all adult women should use the title 'Madame'. Now, would it be more practical, more equal, more feminist for all female English speakers over 18 to use 'Mrs'?

The fact that people think about this doesn't mean they cannot also think about social injustice, violence, people-trafficking.