Tag Archives: sexism

Reasons To Be Cheerful #50: Men On The Prowl

10 Sep

In my fairly extensive experience of being a member of the fairer sex, I have had the great pleasure (irritation) of being approached by a series of invariably ineligible men on the street, on public transport and in the office. But that’s just a lady’s life and god knows that we love the attention. After all, what says flattery more than a poorly thought out chat-up line? Here are my reasons to be cheerful.

1. Tactics

"Whistle and you'll get her attention!"

“Whistle and you’ll get her attention!”

I appreciate a bit of effort as much as the next, and I know that when a man goes that extra mile to try and impress me, he’s doing it because he really really respects me. Take last week when my friend and I were approached at our pub table by a man asking if he could sit with us. I rudely told him he could do what he wanted as we were going outside anyway, so imagine my embarrassment when I realised that he was in fact with his boyfriend. This led to some overcompensating on my part and the result that my friend and I found ourselves being chatted up by two apparently gay men. Never before have I felt so desirable as when this straight man (drunk and old) faked homosexuality to try and get into my pants.

2. Chat Up Lines

Yes please

Yes please

As a general rule chat-up lines don’t get much love. They’ve been designated to the bin of cheese, the one that contains lines like ‘did it hurt when you fell…. from heaven?’ and that one about your dad being a thief cos your eyes are diamonds or some such trifle. But at least they give us a laugh, right? Like when a man in a car asked for directions:

Me: “where to?”

Him: “your pants”

Sheer brilliance, no?

3. They Show You That Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number

age quote

(That may or may not denote a perversion)

The Clarks advertising team said you should act your shoe size, not your age and although – going by the ads – this seemed like a lot of fun, it was also fraught with impracticalities. How is a six-year-old to manage a job and a mortgage? It was boring considerations like these that prevented many people from heeding Clark’s life-affirming words. But there was a small, yet significant segment of the population that did choose to dumb it down. I’m talking about the men who apparently don’t see age; the ones that feel it’s absolutely fine to leer, lech, heckle and ask for your number, even though they’re clearly older than your dad. That confidence is H.O.T.

4. The Determination

In films, if someone is really determined to ‘make you his’ and acts in a way that is tantamount to harassment, it is seen as romantic dedication to the cause of love. So if someone follows you up the street despite your protestations that you are not interested, you should feel flattered. Similarly, if a man mutters creepy complimentary remarks about you to your boyfriend while standing behind the two of you, well it’s probably time to say out with the old and in with the new… Gretna Green here we come.

(REASONS TO BE PISSED OFF: Always thinking of a good putdown after it’s too late)



Reasons To Be Cheerful #32: Music Videos

22 May

When I was a teenager, everyday after school I got home and turned on MTV Base to watch the R&B videos of the day. There was lots of Tweet singing about ‘loving herself’ and Nelly getting hot in hurrr. But I guess music’s just not what it used to be. These days I indulge in a music video only occasionally, but when I do, I go to town. I’m talking entire hungover days (that’s approx 4pm-10pm). Here are some reasons to be cheerful about them:

1. The Fitties

Music vids are undoubtedly full of fitties. Whole armies of them in fact. Men, women, singers, dancers, frame-fillers – they’re all horrendously good-looking. Some are even naked. But weirdly enough, it’s nearly always the women that are naked. This is nothing new, it’s practically a standard – not even practically, just is. Just look at Pharrell’s latest video (and oldest actually). It would be weird for women to be wearing clothes in these. Or another favourite of mine, Pitbull. ¬†There’s nothing quite like seeing a man that looks like your pervy uncle being pawed by topless women. What glass ceiling?

No, let ME have him!

No, let ME have him!

**This is the tame version! It’s all Youtube would allow. For full effect just visualise the girls without tops.

2. The Variation

Now and then an original music video comes along; normally by someone like MIA or artists you’ve never even heard of like Bingo Players (see below). But most of the time diversity is just not a watchword for popstars. Nicki Minaj? She’s in a wig and not much else. Taylor Swift? Boring narrative about whichever famous male she’s just dumped so she can write a song about him. Guetta? He’s at a beach/some kind of Ibiza party DJing, obvs. Any male hiphop artist? Why, he’s somewhere surrounded by boobs and cars. But we’ve already covered that.


3. Celeb Appearances

These days you’re noone unless Pharrell Williams is in your video. Or maybe Kanye West, who also likes to do a little cameo. I like these celeb cameos because you get to see who’s mates with who in celebsville. It can be quite depressing though. Everyone and his mum’s boyfriend turn up in Chris Brown’s videos. Cheers for the solidarity.

Spot  Pharrell, Diddy, Bow Wow, T-Pain, Nelly and Timbaland.

4. Air Brushing

Airbrushing is everywhere these days. Forget the celebdom, just scrawl to your more annoying Facebook friends – you know the ones with all the selfies – and tell me honestly that there’s not been some rudimentary Photoshopping. Never-the-less, for me noone does airbrushing quite like the music video. And after all, who needs ‘features’ anyway?

It's Britney bitch

It’s Britney bitch

Breathe? Through plastic (this is Blu Cantrell in case you've forgotten)

Breathe? Through a plastic face? (this is Blu Cantrell in case you’ve forgotten)

(REASONS TO BE PISSED OFF: Noone goes to the videoshop just to rent out Thriller anymore. The magic of MTV is no more).