Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Jodie Marsh - paragon of feminism?

I was intrigued to read an article yesterday which was essentially estolling the virtues of minor celebrity and ex glamour girl Jodie Marsh. It compared her (in an essentially rather tenuous way) with Louise Mensch and Laurie Penny. The latter 2 ladies were on Newsnight the other evening, actively being ignored by the nation, whilst Marsh was trending on twitter as some sort of guerrila anti bullying afficionado.

In case you are unfamiliar with Marsh, she is a former glamour girl, originally made famous from a minor TV documentary 'Essex Wives'. She became a tabloid favourite, simply because she seemed desperate to get attention for any reason whatsoever. Her most famous 'outfit' was a belt squashed over her breasts. She also waxed lyrical about being a glamour model but having 'real tits, not fake', as though being bestowed with a pair of breasts like all other females of the species is somehow something to be admired and emulated. Oh, er, OK, then. Well done you for being born female, excellent stuff...........

Her attention seeking escalated from merely flashing her tits to having a series of 'encounters' with various males of the species; such luminaries as Calum Best, an ex bouncer of Westlife and an ex of Jordan (whom she subsequently 'married' in an MTV show but let's not dwell on that). She wore a shirt with her ex lovers's names on with rankings out of 10 - classy stuff. Not only did she share the minutaie of her everyday shags she also had a spectacularly entertaining blog which detailed EVERYTHING you didn't want to know. (As an aside, she even quoted me on there and argued the toss about something I'd written - well a forum alias that I have. It may just be one of my proudest moments).. Interspersed with all this, was the continual assertion that Jodie is highly intelligent, got 300 GCSE's at A* and 'could have been' a lawyer or a vet - if she hadn't chosen to get her tits out of course)..... Whilst all this was brewing and she was getting into spats with celebrities and civilians online, she also set herself up as some sort of anti-bullying amabassador. Jodie was bullied at school, oh yes. Jodie doesn't milk this every 2 minutes, oh no...Her Mother paid for a nose job because Jodie was bullied about her nose. Jodie knows all about bullying and as such was appointed as an ambassador for anti-bullying charity, BeatBullying. Unfortunately, Jodie's tenure in this role was short lived; they dumped her for essentially being a bully. Jodie, with her 300 GCSE's, was essentially hoisted by her own petard and too stupid to realise that blogging vitriol about her fellow celebs post her appearance on CBB was at best, completely misguided and inappropriate. Here is their statement:

"Beatbullying has been asked by members of the public to make a statement on text contained on a blog on ambassador Jodie Marsh's website.

It is central to the Beatbullying ethos to speak out against bullying whenever and wherever it happens and by supporting and working with thousands of young people from across the UK we make a real difference to the lives of those affected by bullying. This work is helped by the generous support of our celebrity ambassadors, one of whom is Jodie Marsh.

We have examined Jodie Marsh's blog and we regret that some statements have been perceived as conflicting with her Beatbullying work. We can confirm that Beatbullying does not endorse any of our ambassador’s personal opinions.

It is important to point out that over the last 18 months Jodie has made an enormous contribution to the work of Beatbullying, and we have had hundreds of emails from young people who felt comforted and supported by Jodie’s very public anti-bullying statements.

Beatbullying continues to be hugely grateful to Jodie for choosing us as her charity during her stay in the Celebrity Big Brother House. The money raised will continue to ensure that we can reach out to 100’s of young people who lay in bed at night terrified to go to school the next morning."

Jodie skimmed over this of course and continued to appoint herself as a bullying guru; no-one has suffered more than Jodie, of course (eye roll optional).

Fast forward a few years and Marsh has continued on this theme. These days she seems to have stopped the glamour modelling, although she did buy herself a pair of massive comedy knockers. She is now also a bodybuilder, to some degree of success it would seem. She is still championing the bullying though and has done various TV documentaries on the subject. One of them elicited a #JodieAgainstBullying hashtag campaign on twitter. The article I mentioned earlier waxed very lyrical about Marsh and states that 'Jodie is amazing; she was a straight A student at school, she was smart enough, but was bullied for being ugly.' Marsh herself states 'If I hadn't been bullied, I would have been a vet'. Right. OK then, everything is somebody else's fault, and despite your effortless intelligence, you were bullied and therefore flopped your tits out and acted like a cunt. Great; glad that's cleared up then. In addition to championing anti bullying, this article then goes on to champion Marsh as a modern figurehead of feminism. This, I'm afraid, is where I almost fell off my chair laughing.... Jodie Marsh - a feminist role model? Purlease.

'Feminism is, ultimately, about girls like Jodie Marsh. It’s about the girl wants to be a vet but learns that she will get more respect by taking her top off.'

No. Feminism is about making choices. It is about being bloody accountable for your actions. If you were bullied at school (and let's be honest, who wasn't to some degree or another), if you are insecure and wrapped in self loathing, you have a CHOICE to not get your tits out to NOT act like a prick, to NOT be famous for the sake of being famous and to not be such a hypocrite that you don't have the emotional intelligence to practice what you preach. If Marsh WAS a feminist paragon, she would admit her failings, admit that she isn't a vet or a lawyer because it was easier to make money through infamy and not because someone flushed her coat down the loo at school. Jodie Marsh, you are not a feminist in my eyes - and never could be.

Friday, 16 August 2013

Room 101 - PEOPLE TOP 3

I'm on a roll now. I'm also having a 'less than productive' week at work.

1. Samantha Roberts

Who? Samantha Roberts; the woman who has lost a recent high court battle to stop her son having life saving radiotherapy. No, I don't have children, and no, God forbid, if myself, or any of my friends were in a similar situation, it is difficult to know how reactions would manifest themselves; however, what I do know is that the child's welfare would be paramount and would come before incessant media appearances making me look increasingly unhinged. What's astonishing about this woman is her STAGGERING ignorance and inability to articulate even the most basic of rational arguments. She claims that she 'doesn't want Neon to know how ill he is', but she's more than happy to be glammed up to the nines on the Daybreak sofa every 10 minutes, telling us all in great detail anyway. She claims that there are several alternative therapies that have been used for years in Australia that don't involve damaging amounts of radiotherapy. When pressed further she 'wasn't sure exactly' what they are but they have an amazing success rate. She says that now he is undergoing conventional treatment he is 'not doing that well despite what the press is reporting'. This seems to contravene the general consensus that he is doing very well and well on the road to recovery. She says he is 'slurring his words' and 'not himself' - yes, he has a brain tumour! I realise that chemo and radiotherapy are very very fraught with side effects (especially for a child) but they are PROVEN methods of curing this bastard disease and certainly have a lot higher efficacy rate than green tea and flotation tanks. The NHS has many flaws, but ultimately it knows what it is doing, and has done it for many years.

What is most despicable in this woman's crusade, is her assertion that she is concerned that radiotherapy will render her child infertile, thus destroying her chances of having grandchildren. Oh dear me. Firstly, he's not going to be providing much in the way of grandchildren if he's dead. Secondly, he might not go on to have or want children in any case. Is that your primary motivator? Your absurd ego and wish to 'carry on the family line'? Also he has a twin sister who might go on to have children so it's not as if Neon is her only hope in this respect. This woman is simply a selfish, irresponsible egotist. As an additional point, as a woman who is so anti science, she named her children after components of chemical elements (the sister has an equally silly name which escapes me now). I just hope these children grow up healthy and happy and are not too damaged by their fame hungry, silly Mother.

2. Katie Hopkins

Daily Mail's troll de jour whose sole purpose in life is to say the most controversial thing to get a reaction and keep the Daily Mail's avid readership chomping at the bit. Rabid Tory who despises fat people, the poor and anybody working class who might be called Chantelle. Says it's common to call your children after geographical locations despite calling one of her daughters India. Most recently criticised Kelly Brook for being 'fat'. Kelly is never going to win Mastermind and my left arm is probably a better actress; however, she is nothing resembling fat - she has a fantastic womanly shape and a pair of tits grown men and women can only weep over. Hopkins might be slim but she has a face like a cancerous potato and is about as charming and appealing as the corpse of Idi Amin. Also has a propensity to drop her knickers for any old hooray Henry that is willing. Again, I hope her children grow up healthy and happy and actually disown the old crone.


3. Chris Brown

Wife beating prannet who seems to display astonishing levels of self entitlement and immaturity. Instead of learning from his experiences (and subsequent punishment) when he beat up then girlfriend Rihanna, seems to have reverted to type as a charmless, virulent thug. with constant tales of drink driving, brawls in clubs and glassings. He seems unable to go the toilet without getting embroiled in a fight with his own reflection. He is simply a weeping sore on the anus of humanity.

Room 101 - a continuing theme

1. The word 'panty'.

No; it's knickers, pants, undercrackers or pantaloons. Panty is a hideously twee word, conjuring up images of old men lined up in department stores sniffing gussets (or perhaps that's just me). As a logical conclusion - panty liners.... Ew. Just the name is enough to make me rage. This is a word that should be consigned to history FOREVER.


2. Sanitary towel adverts

'Have a happy period'. Yes, as I sit in agony whilst my womb contracts and I have murderous, irrational thoughts and steam pile my way through 14 galaxy bars, I feel delightedly content. I have several issues with most sanitary product advertising. Firstly, the blue liquid they use... Come ON - these things are designed for periods - periods involve blood - which is RED. Stop being so bloody stupid. Periods literally make the world go round - why cover it up? The latest ones from Always seem to be correlating sanitary towels with silk scarves as women hold the towels up to their faces and look whimsically to camera. I don't care what these things look like or what material they're made of - THEY ARE JUST GOING IN MY KNICKERS, I'M NOT WEARING THEM AS FASHION ACCESSORIES FOR FUCK'S SAKE. Frankly, I'm just happy to use anything that stops those hideous accidents you get as a teen where you stuff your 'panties' in the washing machine due to 'overflow'. It's really the tweeness and the message that periods are nice fluffy things that can just be assuaged with a bit of 'silk' stuffed in your pants that is embarrassingly contrived and wrong. Periods are horrible, painful things and advertising for these products should be practical and to the point 'these will stop you getting blood on your clothes when you're on the blob. If you feel murderous, keep away from your husband'. I might write a pitch...

3. Boob jobs

I'm not talking mastectomy's (obviously) or cases where self esteem decrees them a necessity - (i.e. an anorexic whose breasts never grew as a teen etc). I'm talking about this proliferation of boob jobs that seem to have sprung up from nowhere over the last 10 years or so. Women as young as 19 are queuing up to have their tits stuffed with huge sacs of silicone....  Mainly, they look terrible, particularly if the women are especially skinny but have massive tits busting out all over the place (Victoria Beckham a few years ago being a case in point). People like the ghastly Katie Price have made this fashionable and many young girls actually aspire to forget their education, get their tits done and earn money. Scarily depressing. As an aside, I was watching an old TOTP the other day and Pan's People all had quite small breasts but they looked in proportion.. They weren't actually *that* small, I guess we've just become desensitised to these big silly fake norks. How sad.

Thursday, 15 August 2013

My own Room 101 - top 3

Thanks to Sarah Miles for this rather inspiring idea for a chance to rant... Has to be said though, that it is rather difficult to pick just 3 things that I would like to banish forever, and it would be easy to pick say 3 celebrities (yes, Katie Price would be number 1). So, here goes:

1. Hair extensions

I do not understand the popularity of these strange adornments. Yes, I have quite thick hair and am quite lucky in that respect, but why are you relying on 3rd world orphans to provide you with a head of lustrous hair - why not - shock horror, grow it naturally, or get a decent haircut? No matter how expensive, no matter how famous the celebrity head that they are displayed upon; they look vile and you can ALWAYS see the line where they have been sewn in. Mostly, they look like sheets of cheap tatty nylon; totally synthetic. (Disclaimer - the only exception to this rule might be if people who lose their hair through illness, i.e. cancer patients use them as a 'pep up')

2. Geese

Geese are the beasts of Satan - FACT. They terrify me; ever since as a wee 3 year old, I tried to feed one a piece of mouldy bread (ever the philanthropist even as a young child, obvs) and the bastard thing bit my little finger, hard. If I see one, even at a distance, I develop a cold sweat and get the shakes.


3. Botox

Worried about getting old? Why not inject yourself with some carciogenic rat poison and leave your face immobile? Similar to hair extensions, no matter how expensive, botox always looks terrible - waxy, sheeny and false. I'm a great believer in making the best of what God has (or indeed hasn't), bestowed upon us - healthy eating, exercise, make up, even a bit (OK a lot) of hair dye, but why is society so obsessed with eradicating the signs of age? Nobody looks improved afterwards - Kylie now resembles a china doll and as examples of how it can REALLY go wrong - step forward Priscilla Presley and the fantastic Joan Rivers. Wrinkles are a sign of a life well lived and I'm buggered if I'm arsed about looking my age. (Please quote me on this in 2 years)...

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Womanhood

This is a topic that I've written about before and seems to be very much 'de jour' what with the likes of Caitlin Moran et al giving their input. The lovely Sarah Miles has asked me to blog something and as I haven't blogged since January, I thought it was high time I put pen to paper, quill to scroll, finger to mouse etc. (I'm not getting paid by the word, I just like rambling)....

I was quite surprised that I haven't blogged since January. I update my facebook status pretty much every time I have a bath, am always swearing (eruditely I like to think) on twitter and posting various reams of utter nonsense on showbiz forums so the fact that my blog, which in essence, should be my 'showcase' gets treated like an unwanted xmas present is perhaps rather telling. I do want to change this blog actually and make it more focused so watch this space (although don't expect much by December if my current laziness persists)...

I am no doubt repeating things wot I have already wrote (innit) but 1) you probably haven't read this before and 2) if you have it was so long ago that I last posted you may well have forgotten (phew). The essence of this blog post is about modern notions of womanhood/feminism (call it what you will) and how far we have come - or indeed haven't. It was mainly inspired by a rant I wrote in response to Nick Ross (Crimewatch stalwart) who recently claimed that: 'Rape isn't always rape'. This followed a very silly recent diatribe by 'national treasure' Joanna Lumley who claimed that women should not get too drunk and dress provocatively as they will encourage rapists.. (I am paraphrasing somewhat but that was the gist). Now, Lumley has a real point that women should be careful NOT to get too drunk because it isn't good for the health and you can get into trouble, but the astonishing assertion that a drunk woman wearing a low cut top and/or short skirt might attract a lurking rapist (twiddly moustache - optional) is quite frankly mind numbingly stupid. Rape is, for the most part, about power and not sex. It's not about men being unable to contain themselves over the sight of a side boob, but about relinquishing control and showing the 'fairer sex' that they might be able to push babies out of themselves but they are innately physically weaker. How about we quit blaming the victims, allow women to wear what they want and start addressing those who are fundamentally in the wrong - the rapists themselves? How about saying to men before a night out 'don't get too drunk and don't rape anyone'.. Or is that overly simplistic? Furthermore, to say that 'rape isn't always rape' is fundamentally wrong. If a woman does not consent to sex it is rape, irrespective of if he/she is/are stone cold sober or has/have consumed 20 jagerbombs and several illegal substances. Yes, there are varying reasons behind rape, but essentially, it is the same crime each time. That. Is. All.

Now I am 41 (sob), my outlook and appearance (if I am honest) is completely different to my 20's. Back then I did used to attract attention from men, and being completely honest (again), I loved it.  I used to get into some VERY dodgy situations (perhaps the most memorable being escorted home by 2 strange Norwegian men in viking hats who took me to my door and I made them tea; not a euphemism, actual earl grey). Nothing happened - they were decent men, but it COULD have been an extremely different outcome. Now I am older and (perhaps) wiser and also happily married so unlikely to seek out any men in viking hats (although if any are reading)......Would Joanna Lumley be shaking her fist whilst reading this and decrying my actions, saying that I was 'asking for it' that evening? Probably. Would she be right? No she bloody well wouldn't. I might have been behaving irresponsibly but I wasn't 'asking to be raped'.

Appearance is something that women are always judged over - men too, to an extent, (especially nowadays)but women much more so. When you're young and beautiful that's a lot more edifying than once you reach middle age... Perhaps women's most staunch critics, however, are women themselves. You only have to open the average women's weekly to be confronted by pictures of 'Z list soap star's amazing bikini curves', Read how I lost 3 stone in 10 days' etc. These magazines sell so they are clearly pandering to our own innate insecurities which is quite frightening. Advertisers on TV pander to this obsession with galling adverts of diet food where we are gently patted on the head and told 'you can eat these caramel slices guilt free'. Gee, thanks. Heartening to know I can eat some cardboard coated chocolate substitute without feeling like a heifer. Women who are older than 50 on the telly are routinely thrown on the scrapheap, whilst flabby, baggy unsightly specimens of the male variety seem to be able to work until they drop dead. Meanwhile, if, as a woman, you dare to criticise another woman for a valid reason (i.e. Katie Price for being, well for just being), you are routinely accused of being 'jealous' of 'letting down the sisterhood'. What rot. Women are just as capable and critical as Men and bestowing criticism on someone of the same sex just shows you have an opinion and a brain. How patronising to assume that we should all meekly pat each other on the back 'cos we is women, innit'.

So, I'm sure Emmeline Pankhurst would concede that we're getting there but we still have a way to go. We're still judging ourselves - and being judged - on what we look like, how much we weigh and what we wear. & we're still pretty much responsible for men who rape us being unable to stop themselves. Ross & Lumley - hang your heads in shame.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Broken record....

This is something that I have posted about before and will no doubt post about again: Recruitment Consultants and Agencies.

At the start (as usual), I post my normal disclaimer that I am an ex recruiter myself and have lots of credible and fantastic recruitment consultant friends who will probably read this. None of what I am writing reflects on anyone whom I know personally. Special mentions to those I consider amongst the best: Hannah Robinson, Laura Harris, Sophie Buck, Liz Southwick - to name but 4. If I were to name all the consultants I was in touch with and who I rated, we'd be here all night.....;-)

Again, I find myself looking for work. My contract ends 15/02 and due to the nature of the market generally, my last few roles have been temp/contract which suits me fine. I know how it works and like to consider myself as a pretty good, proactive candidate with lots of experience: In short; a potential source of commission to anyone willing to help! Sadly, my experience generally is that there are so many poor, ill educated and bad mannered consultants out there who quite frankly give the industry a bad name and reinforce the age old adage 'never trust a recruitment consultant'. (I may have made that adage up but generally they do have a fairly shitty reputation).

I'm not going to name and shame the bad ones - again, we'd be here until 2075.

I appreciate that recruitment is desperately busy but the lack of response I get is staggering. I get phoned left right and centre about new roles all sounding promising; my CV goes across, sometimes I get an interview. Last week, I was called about a role at a company in Summertown, the girl who called said she thought of me 'instantly' and that I was 'perfect' for the role. (I met this bint once and loathed her on sight as found her incredibly disingenuous but ho hum). I chased her after 4 days and was told 'they have not selected you - no idea why'. Fab; really, really helpful. Following an interview (also last week), was advised that 'I have no feedback but they've decided they need someone who drives'. So, I took unpaid leave for an interview that YOU as a Consultant hadn't properly verified - I would say that's desperately lame and unprofessional - if I was being polite.

Then, yesterday, the pinnacle of my experiences thus far: I get a call from a lass who has been 'passed on' my CV by a colleague. From the start, her inexperience and inability to listen absolutely shone through. I told her what I'm NOT looking for in terms of location, salary and terms and she says 'I've got a role in Milton Park paying a basic of £18k'. 'That's the complete opposite of what I'm looking for and is 7k too little'. 'Sure, what about Estate Agency?' 'I don't drive'. 'I'll make a note of that'. 'It's on the top of my CV' and on it goes. You expect me to work with you and take you seriously when you don't have any listening skills?

The other thing that boils my piss is job adverts. So many agencies don't seem to have any understanding of age legislation or discriminatory terminology, describing companies or roles as 'dynamic' 'youthful' and needing 'young' or 'mature' candidates. I am also stunned by the bad spelling and grammar that is frankly indicative of a lax approach - how difficult is the spell check facility? It makes you and your company look unprofessional and thick - and it's not a company I would want to work with.

So - my advice to any aspiring Consultants out there:

Drop the bullshit
Learn to spell or use spellchecker
Listen - keep your enthusiasm and inexperience in check (if applicable)
Get colleagues to check job adverts
Always extend the courtesy of replying to emails even if a brief note
Don't make promises you can't keep
Be honest and credible at all times
Don't be over familiar if you don't know me
Always give feedback regularly - if no response from Client after a few days explain this without ME having to chase YOU
Make sure your Linkedin profile is credible and not littered with spelling mistakes
Always give the impression of having a brain even if not true
Always make me feel as though I am important and not just a chore in a long 'to do' list
Remember that I can make you money and if you are unprofessional and lacking in credibility I will not work with you
I have friends and Clients who I will name and shame to, if I have to
Your job is to generate revnue but if you cut corners in doing so it will catch up with you
If you think a job isn't right for me - say - and give tangible reasons why.

You're welcome - fuckwits.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Ho ho bloody ho

Bah humbug should really be my middle name(s) - (I have 2 in case you were wondering - Elizabeth Jane). I digress.

It's that time of year again - 'the most wonderful time of the year'. Christmas - dontcha just love it? Yes and no I would have to say. It is nice to have a break and spend time with loved ones but I do feel it all goes more than a bit OTT these days.

It starts in September (sometimes towards mid August) as you stealthily wander round Debenhams/M&S/Primark at the tail end of the sales, looking for bargains etc and you start to see xmas displays, a few garlands of tinsel, which become ever more pronounced. Then, the infiltration of xmas music, usually from October onwards. (Anyone else think that Noddy Holder must be the most smug bugger in the history of the universe - his wife must have strong earplugs)? I find it absurd. Let's start getting excited about Xmas at the end of November onwards; let's not wish 3/4 of the year away worrying about what size turkey we're going to buy and if Tarquin would prefer an i-pad or a google tablet in his stocking. OK, I don't have kids and I do appreciate that kids tend to get excited earlier on - but even so - reign it in a bit people.

Also, the whole point of Xmas does seem to have become lost in a quagmire of commercialism and in some cases downright greed. People seem more worried about stockpiling their trollies with enough brussel sprouts and stilton to feed a small continent rather than taking time to reflect on what's important. We are supposed to live in a Christian country and it doesn't get much more Christian than Xmas - but do we really care about Christ's birthday per se any more? I would say no. I hold my hands up and say that I do believe in God but never go to church (I think it's a very flawed institution) so I'm a massive hypocrite (ho hum) but if I get the opportunity, I love churches at xmas - carol services, stained glass; just the beauty of it all.

My hypocrisy also extends to another level - whilst I bemoan the inherent greed and commercialism; what am I doing to fight against it? Diddly bloody squat is what. Some people volunteer at hospices or homeless shelters: I have not done this before. I should and will actually think about it for next year.

It's a massive old cliche - but Xmas is not a happy time for everyone. Some people are alone, desperate, suicidal and dreading a time where their happiness and joy is supposed to be paramount. It's the inate saturation of the media et al that decrees: 'You WILL be happy, you WILL dress up lots, eat and drink too much and narrowly avoid snogging Roger from accounts at the Xmas party'. It's all a bit 'desperate'.

In any case, I heartily wish each and every one of you (or 1 of you plus the inevitable google spambots), a very merry Christmas and Happy New Year and genuinely hope 2013 is happy, peaceful and fun. I am going to disregard all I have written here and stuff myself with champers, mince pies and sausage rolls. Well, it is Xmas...

Oh, and as it goes, as far as I know, there is not a Roger in our accounts department. Oh well, maybe next year....