December 2008

I am at my parent’s house being forced to watch Strictly Come Dancing and it’s a disturbing experience. Here are some things I don’t understand…

1. Why do the women need to be semi-naked in order to dance?
They are all clad in slit to the waist and/or bum scrapping ‘dresses’ for no obvious reason. Costumes are one thing, but I’ve just watched Lisa Snowdon (a model/ actress as far as I can tell), dance in what only be described as a swimming costume, and a bloody small on at that! WHY?
(Admittedly some of the men’s outfits are pretty dubious, but the women are, as ever, worse off)

2. Have the BBC got their own sweat shop for sowing the sequins on to these (tiny) outfits?
Because everyone seems to have about 6 different outfits and there are about 7,000 different people dancing…So I can only assume that the BBC have taken over a primark sweat shop for the duration of the show in order to make then

3. Why is Bruce Forsythe allowed out and more to the point when is someone going to have enough of him letching over them and knock his teeth out?
It’s like watching a pervy uncle at a family wedding, leering over the semi naked women, brushing up against them and making really inappropriate jokes. I feel quite ill.

Answers on the back of a postcard (or in the form of comments) please….!


… Use the number zero, of course! Breasts and zeros are both (roughly) round, you can see them pretty much anywhere you go, men didn’t understand either concept for many, many years…

More to the point, through the geeky amusement that is Bad Science, I’ve been alerted to the truly awful formula published in The Sun. See what I do in the name of research? I actually go to The Sun’s website. Be proud of me. Even Ben Goldacre didn’t do that.

I like to think that if we pitted the articles against each other, something like this might happen:

The Sun: BOOOOOOBS!!!!

Ben Goldacre: Um, your maths is totally wrong

TS: Ha ha – “Boobfin” – geddit?! “Boffin” – but for BOOBS! Geddit?!!!

BG: Oh, God, and your pet mathematician went to Cambridge..

TS: Look! Numbers!! 0 x 70 x (20 x 5 + 32) /75 = 123.2.**

BG: No, you fools! No! 0 x [anything] = 0. Seriously. Stick to thinking about breasts. Or hire better mathematicians.


BG: Yeah, that’s better.

*Of course, an easier way of combining maths with breasts is to remember that women can count. But this is The Sun we’re talking about!

** The actual “formula” is as follows:

“The equation is O=NP(20C+B)/75.

To figure out the naughtiness rating (O), you times the number of nipples exposed, from zero to two or expressed as fractions of nipple shown (N) with the percentage of exposed frontal surface area (P).

The sum in brackets is 20 multiplied by the cup size (C), where A cup is one, B is two, C is three and D or above is five.

Add that figure to B, the bust measurement in inches. Then divide your answer by 75. Any score higher than 100 is counted as obscene.”

And I wholeheartedly apologise for letting the words “naughtiness” and “rating” into the blog. It will only happen again if The Mail decides that they, too, want a stupid, pointless, non-news item involving numbers and breasts.

Because I’ve been entertaining Kirsten for the weekend, which has meant running around bookshops and taking part in the general lewd debauchery of the Friday night social, I had little time to check out the horrors of real life.

Instead, I’m broadening my cultural horizons with a book I found in an Oxfam shop:

Facing the Mirror: Lesbian Writing from India.

So far, I’ve found my one word of Hindi (“didi” – “sister”) and my Spanish has come in useful, too (“Que bonita! Nuestra Senorita de la Cocina!” – how beautiful! Our young Lady of the kitchen!”).

And I’ve found references to Anglo-Indians, which pleases me immensely, given that I’ve got some Anglo blood in me. My mother (who likes that kind of referencing, and who once came into my bedroom for no other reason than to tell me, “it’s a shame you’re not a lesbian- I’m so tolerant!”) would no doubt be very approving of my reading material!

I wish, I really wish it were April Fools’ Day.

Failing that, I wish I hadn’t seen this in The Metro today.

The headline?

“No time for a real woman? Date a robot instead”


I would be more coherent, but… but… what?!

“She doesn’t need holidays, food or rest and she will work almost 24 hours a day. She is the perfect woman.'”

The [male] inventor of the “fembot” (I kid you not) truly believes that the ‘perfect woman’ is an automaton without feelings or life?

Well, doesn’t that explain a lot?!

Oh, and also – “Mr Le denies he built his ‘partner’ for sex, although he does admit she could be programmed to climax.”

Uh huh. Sure. Even though the name you gave your robot means “love child”, even though you “never had time to find a human girlfriend”, even though “men want to touch her”, even though “she has a stunning figure… and can orgasm on demand”, you didn’t build her for sex.

How silly of me!

Also, as an aside, I’d like to give a dishonourable mention to The Metro for the assumption that their readers are only sexually interested in sex dolls women. And another mention for promoting that tired stereotype that real women ‘can’t do’ directions. All in the first paragraph.

What do we think to this article?

Is it more bad than good, or more good than bad?

At the moment, I’m ambivalent. And that’s because it seems to go, roughly speaking, Good Quote – Bad Quote – Good Quote – Bad Quote. And so on.

For example, taking one paragraph straight from the article:

Good Quote – “Afterwards, I wonder whether my disgust with my denuded body signified a deeper discomfort with the transformation itself.”

Bad Quote – “Is a man chasing a heightened feminity, I ask myself, actually draining himself of his essential juices?”

Good Quote* “Or maybe it has to do with the fact that, whichever way you dice it, I am a ginger and my skin was not designed to be exposed.”

It is not as offensive as it could be. I don’t think it’s entirely inoffensive either, however. I did think that this quote was worth mentioning, though, so that’s what I’m going to leave you with:

“I understand that [flamboyant drag] is also an attempt to tell the world of your aspirations. Quite whether those aspirations could ever match up to reality is another matter, especially when this feminine ideal is one created entirely by men.”
Emphasis mine.

* It’s a Good Quote there in the sense that he redeems himself slightly for being a bloody fool by being foolish in a way that tries to negate the previous (more serious) foolery. Not because I have anything against ginger people!

…. That would be this man.

From the BBC:

“A drink-driver who killed a father and son in a motorway crash was performing a sex act on himself minutes before the collision, a court heard.

…[He] pleaded guilty to two counts of causing death by dangerous driving and one count of driving with excess alcohol at a previous hearing.

The court heard that [his] erect penis was exposed when motorists came to his aid after the crash.”

The Observer today had a really interesting section on women in 2008. There was a couple of interesting interviews, analysis of how far women have come in various areas of society (such as politics, the city etc etc etc), and an overview of the last 80 years in terms of feminist developments.

Great! It’s about time women and feminist issues got more press.

Shame they couldn’t get one basic fact right isn’t it?
In the overview section, they do in fact call the 70’s “the decade of bra burning”.

*bangs head on desk*

Let’s get this straight… No feminists ever burnt bras!!!

The full explanation for this stupid myth is here but in short, at the 1968 Miss World pageant, feminists threw some of the trappings of femininity in to a bin, but never set it on fire.

So, no feminists have ever burnt their bras. And probably none ever will. The next person to mention it to me may however be set on fire themselves.


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