Category Archives: Facts about women that must be true because they were in the media

The problem with surveys sponsored by cosmetics companies

Is – you guessed it – they tend to be bullshit. Like this one: Sydney women high maintenance, more sophisticated – survey:

SYDNEY women are high maintenance and superficial and spend more money on their appearance than other Australian women, a new survey reveals.

Women spend about $78 on beauty each month in New South Wales – almost $10 more than the national average, the survey of more than 1800 women found.

Given that there is no more information in the article about these figures, it could also mean that cosmetics are more expensive in Sydney. Which is more than likely. But that certainly doesn’t lead to the claim that “Sydney women are high maintenance and superficial”. That sentence is there just to get readers saying ‘yes, that’s true, I can’t get a date with a hot woman, so therefore Sydney women are high maintenance and superficial bitches’, which completely ignores the fact that someone likely to make such a statement (and to only be interested in “hot women”) is usually an arsehole and is single for a reason.

Now, this story comes from the Nutrimetics Beauty Lab Report which, no doubt, is more bollocks about why women should buy Nutrimetics products to feel better about themselves. Anyway, I enlisted my Google-finger, and this is from the media release:

Some of the specific findings were:
• For 60.3% of Australian women, ‘beauty’ is not only about physical attractiveness, but also personality, achievements and sense of self
• 95.4% of women agreed that ‘inner beauty’ is what is most important
• Rural residents of Australia think less of the physical aspects of ‘beauty’ (56.3%), compared to the national average (60.3%), indicating that city slickers are more self conscious
• Aussie women enjoy spending time perfecting their appearance with the average beauty routine taking each woman 24 minutes a day or 146 hours a year
• 89.4% of women ranked successful Australian women as positive influences whilst three quarters (74.4%) agreed that celebrities and models had a negative impact upon shaping perceptions of beauty.

It’s a bit different, huh?

It’s easy to see why these stories get the coverage they do – they’re “fun” stories that get clicks. But they’re not fun. They are, as Bitch Magazine rightly calls them, sexist media stunts:

Sexist Media Stunts reinforce stereotypes about women under the guise of being “provocative”. Of course readers are going to get pissed about an article comparing adult women to predatory jungle cats – that’s the whole point. The writer, and often an editor, then responds to ensuing outrage by claiming their SMS was an attempt to “provoke debate”—though dollars to doughnuts the “debate” being exploited is a tired stereotype about women that’s been disproved decades ago. And it’s a one-two punch when publications (and readers thrilled to see their misogynist worldview reflected in the media) are quick to accuse detractors of tweaking out on political correctness.

Now, journos don’t sit around and work out how to frame stories in a misogynistic way. (Or if they do, they keep these meetings very quiet and they don’t invite me. Which would make sense because I’d be the annoying person ruining their plans.) The problem is that nobody thinks about this stuff. Journalists all write the same way and no one thinks about what their words actually mean.

Um, what?

Brian Holden has an odd piece in today’s Online Opinion: Feminism must ultimately fail if it ignores hormones. And by odd, I mean completely fucking delusional with a touch of offensive thrown in for good measure.

Apparently, Yugoslavia collapsed because men have hormones, and women have problems during pregnancy because of their hormones, and hormones cause men to rape.

Um, not following you there, Brian. If hormones caused men to rape, then men would be raping all over the place. There’d be rape on the bus, at work, in the queue for coffee, while taking the kids to see The Wiggles. By saying that rape is just a result of hormones, you take away people’s ability to make decisions.

Differing hormones do more than cause the physical gender differences. They contribute to differing perspectives emerging out of male brain tissue and female brain tissue.

Really? Do people still believe that male brain tissue looks different to female brain tissue?

Because male physical strength and aggression defined what the social structure was going to be, it is only in recent times that women have been permitted to demonstrate that they were the intellectual equals of men. How could such an overwhelming force lasting millennia ever be eliminated such that there can be true equality? It can’t be because it is DNA-based.

Ah, we can’t have true equality because it’s not in our DNA. And then there’s something about how if we suddenly lost electricity, the country would be taken over by alpha males and the feminists would have diddly squat. This guy is bonkers.

Nature has designed the hormones dominant in females not to be the boss hormones, but to be the nurturing hormones.

Sigh. Reckon someone’s feeling a little emasculated by having a female Prime Minister. But the next line is pure fucking gold:

Feminists should notice that life in this country offers limitless ways to enjoy it without being the boss of anyone.

Bah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Those stupid feminists. They should be making me a sandwich and not trying to be a boss.

Then there’s some bullshit about how it’s feminism’s fault that men don’t want to get married, and then this:

Women now dress-up as soldiers and police officers in boots and with guns.

Those women aren’t real soldiers and cops, you understand, they’re just playing dress ups. Like hot cops. And if women are sexually harassed or raped while in the armed forces, it’s because they’re in the “wrong environment”.

Then he goes on and on, about feminists being deluded and how the only thing that will give women fulfilment is to be a mother. To a son. Don’t want them raising any pesky feminists now, do we?

Misogyny, Sam de Brito style

Sam de Brito’s All men are liars column gives me the shits. It’s tired, it’s predictable, and it’s very clearly women-hating.

Today’s unsurprising offering in the Sun Herald is called Absolutely fatuous. Not sure if that’s referring to women, or to de Brito.

How’s this for a theory? The more obsessed a woman is with clothes, shoes and handbags, the more utterly barren her interior life.

This is going to be fun.

This is not to suggest all fashionably dressed chicks are completely vacuous – but what he means is, they probably are – or that conspicuous consumers of womens clothing cannot be “‘spiritual” in a yoga-class, lighting-candles-for-their-dead-nana, feng-shui kind of way – which means if you go to yoga, miss your grandmother and believe in ancient Chinese spirituality, then you’re an idiot with no spiritual life.

See, Sam’s read about Avis Cardella, a former fashion editor who wrote Spent, memoirs of a shopping addict, and figured he’d add it to his anti-women armoury. He uses an example of just one woman who shopped to take her mind off her life, to dismiss all women as “absolutely fatuous”.

And while pissing on his column is too easy, I’m going to do it anyway.

But is it possible to have one’s moral compass in working order and spend $2500 on a handbag or own 100 pairs of shoes?

Does this apply to a bloke who owns a $2500 bbq? I doubt it. Because that would be an essential item, right? Rather than buying one from Kmart that does the job.

Can you make a worthwhile contribution to humankind if you waste half your life glomming over “what people are wearing” photo spreads and heeding the utterances of Anna Wintour or Garance Dore?

Bwah har har, it’s like shooting fish in a barrel: Does this mean his All men are liars column is a worthwhile contribution to humankind?

Sam de Brito thinks all women are the same, and that’s what I have a problem with. (At least he seems to have stopped calling himself a feminist.) I know fashion editors who make monthly contributions to Médecins Sans Frontières. I know women who love shoes and also sponsor children through World Vision. I know women who won’t leave the house without a full face of make up, but who volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters. And just as de Brito uses one example to “prove” his point, I can use several to disprove it.

He then shows his elitist mentality by calling men who buy sporting memorabilia “truly sad members of my gender” and writes:

These are men so terrified of the void at their heart they fill it with statistics and arguments over who was the greatest goal kicker of the 1990s.

That’s one way of looking at it. The other way is seeing fans for what they really are: people who are really passionate about something. Is he really saying that having passion in your life makes you a spiritual vacuum? I hate sport, but I’d rather hang out a rugby league fanatic than with someone whose head is so far up his own arse he couldn’t smell a fart in a car.

Yes, there are many gals – gals? Who actually uses that word? – who know their designers and lead fruitful, productive lives, but I’m talking about the type of woman who actually believes owning a pair of hot pants and knee-high socks before anyone else will bring them happiness.

I challenge anyone to find someone who believes that being the first to own these things brings happiness.

He then says women with a “compulsive desire to shop” are simply “self-involved”. So, does this apply to anyone who does something compulsively, like, say, wash their hands, or is it just women who do things that Sam de Brito doesn’t approve of?

He then says something or other about dresses and shoes not being feminine, but I couldn’t be arsed working it out.

Oh, and I think he compulsively Googles himself, because “Sam de Brito” turns up in my search terms almost every freakin’ day. How embarrassing.

The perfect vagina?

SBS is showing a doco on Friday night called The Perfect Vagina. They are promoting it as:

In an age where boob jobs, liposuction, tummy tucks and botox are now commonplace it would seem that women have found a new part of the body to worry about … their vaginas.

Surgery that promises better-looking vaginas has become one of the fastest growing areas of plastic surgery and in the last year the number of vaginal cosmetic operations performed on British women has almost tripled. But many people argue that this latest trend is personal vanity gone too far. In this documentary our female author – fascinated by the fact that women will mutilate their vaginas all in the name of beauty – will go on a mission to find out why, despite still being a huge taboo, women have suddenly become so obsessed with this part of their body.

Shame they didn’t call it The Perfect Vulva, because that’s what’s getting sliced.

Seems a big step backwards from the Hungry Beast story revealing that censorship is making women feel their vulvas aren’t pretty enough.

You know, I think my vagina and vulva are perfect. They work, and they look just fine, thankyouverymuch.

All the important news

Today, page three of the Sydney Morning Herald: Frock and roll for women as tidy Monday slips into frazzled Friday:

AS YOU lope into work this morning and blink at the computer screen, cast your eyes around you. Does Jenny from accounts look a little lopsided? Is Mary from HR slightly unkempt?

According to an English study, it’s only going to get worse.

Research by a British department store, Debenhams, shows women spend an average of 76 minutes getting ready on a Monday, a figure which dips to 40 minutes by Tuesday.

For starters, who’s buying the idea that a department store paid someone to conduct this important research for the good of the nation, as opposed to getting women to buy shit? Who’s buying the idea that these stats didn’t just come from the PR team asking the women in the office? Can I see a show of hands? Hmm, exactly as I suspected: ten out of ten News with Nipples readers can see through this bullshit. Had better put out a media release so that gets picked up by the international media and reported as a Fact About Women.

But back to the article, because it gets better:

The findings are an insight into the important but under-studied world of how women get dressed in the morning. While men simply have to decide on ties and socks, girls face far more intricate choices, between skirts, trousers, dresses, blouses and shirts. And that’s before accessories are considered.

Now, I know Jacqueline Maley is a funny lady, so it’s possible the entire piece is taking the piss. BUT, if that’s the case it should be on the back page, not on page three.

[Kate Watson, a 26-year-old journalist from Potts Point] tries to simplify her preparations by studying the weather and laying out an outfit every night before work. But if the forecast is wrong, she is flummoxed.

Oh, those crazy girls in the office with their puny brains getting flummoxed by a bit of rain.

Reinforcing the tired idea that women are gold-diggers

I hate the term gold-digger. Particularly when used to describe a young woman who is with a rich old guy. If you decide that she’s only with him because of his money, then you have to accept that he’s only with her because of her youth/beauty. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship. But no, that bit always get ignored when the chance to bitch about women comes up.

Anyway. Check out this bullshit on the Daily Telegraph website:

The story: Justine Laycock secretly marries $93 million lottery winner Nigel Page:

WHEN Nigel Page won a whopping $93 million, among the world’s largest single lottery winners, he was pictured celebrating alongside his equally ecstatic girlfriend.

But Justine Laycock’s name was not on the cheque for winning the EuroMillions lottery jackpot in February because the couple were not married.

Now, two months on, Miss Laycock has become Mrs Page, ensuring she would be entitled to a larger share of her husband’s fortune and the $78,000-a-week interest it accrues should they part, The Daily Mail newspaper in the UK reports.

So, we have a couple who have been together for eight years, getting married after a lottery win. Not that surprising.

Asked if they had married to guarantee Mrs Page, 41, a share of the jackpot, her father said: “I have no idea.”

Legal experts told The Daily Mail that by marrying, Mrs Page had hugely increased her chances of receiving a slice of her husband’s fortune should they part. It is the largest lotto win in the UK.

“If a couple enjoys a long-term marriage rather than cohabiting, the partner is more likely to be entitled to an equal share of their combined assets. If an individual dies without leaving a will, their assets are automatically awarded to their husband or wife,” Evonnie Chan, a barrister specialising in family law, told The Daily Mail.

“This is not the case for cohabitees.”

So, rather than admit they have no story, the Daily Mail has used the opportunity to imply that, a) she only married him so she could get her filthy gold-digging hands on his money, and b) that makes her the smartest woman in the world because women don’t have any other way of securing their financial future. I’m surprised they didn’t say “Schemey bitch only hooked up with him eight years ago because she knew he’d win the lottery”.

It’s not my dream

Did you see the offensive Freedom furniture ad in the Sydney Morning Herald on the weekend? Shopping is not my dream:

With just eight words, Freedom has ensured I will never shop there. Mind you, it’s kind of a moot point, because I’d never buy their crappy furniture anyway.

Update: The comments turn into a discussion of Tony Abbott on last night’s Four Corners, which I didn’t watch because I was at The Pixies.