A miserable NUS whinge about Warwick University rowers and their naked calendar
|29th December 2012 |
Thanks to David
The National Union of Students has had a whinge at student societies raising funds and supporting charities through 'naked' calendars.
Notably the University of Warwick's Boat Club has produced a female and a male naked rowing club calendar. The
later (photographed) has heavily featured in the gay press because it is to raise money for the former rugby player Ben Cohen's StandUp Foundation that combats homophobic bullying. The Boat Club explains the background behind the calendars:
For the fourth year running, Warwick Rowing's Senior Men have stripped off to reveal all. Following the club's most successful season in it's 44 year history, the boys are proud to produce yet another calendar for your
enjoyment. The club relies heavily on its fundraising events and this has turned out to be the most successful. We wonder why!
On top of the Men's calendar we are pleased to announce the arrival of our first ever WOMEN'S NAKED
CALENDAR!! Our girls have followed in the footsteps of the Men and ripped off their lycra onesies for your pleasure and entertainment. They have decided that a portion of their calendar sales will be going to Macmillan Cancer Research and will be
specifically spent on research into cervical cancer.
But of course where there's fun and fund raising, there's sure to be a few misery guts not far behind. The National Union of Students says that universities should be safe places
which champion equality and dignity . Kelley Temple, the NUS women's officer spouted to the Times:
Not only do the women in these calendars find their photographs on pornographic websites without their consent,
they also receive on-going harassment on campus. More generally they contribute to an increasingly toxic air of misogyny and objectification on some campuses.
||20th November 2012 |
Analysing the Daily Mail article: 'Internet porn and the rape suspects aged 10'. Thanks to Therumbler
article from anorak.co.uk
Daily Mail has fun with 'fury' over Kingsmill advert
|11th November 2012
Thanks to MichaelG
See video from YouTube
A TV advert showing an 18 year old teenager posing provocatively in shortish school uniform skirt has prompted a few nutter complaints.
The Kingsmill bread advert shows a schoolgirl in the kitchen at breakfast. Her younger brother then relays
a warning from their father:
If you think you're going to school in that skirt, you can think again.
The girl, played by actress Tara Berwin, responds by defiantly hitching up her
mid-thigh length skirt to strike a provocative pose.
One 'outraged' viewer spouted on a web forum:
Perhaps it's because paedophilia is very much in the public consciousness at the moment but shouldn't this be
illegal? Nearly seeing up the skirt of a minor?
Another spewed on Mumsnet:
I really think it exploits teenage girls. At the end there is a girl dressed in a very short skirt, over-the-knee
stockings and it's basically her school uniform.
I just don't see how it's appropriate or what it has to do with a Kingsmill loaf. It's blatantly using sex to sell an everyday product. Another parent noted: I think it's grim, to
be honest. The same joke could've been made by dressing the girl in any number of other unsuitable-for-school outfits.
The camera lingers on her giving a twirl, and the over-the-knee socks make her look like she's in "naughty
schoolgirl" fancy dress. Yuk.
Of course the Daily Mail peppered the article with lots of sexy stills and exhorted readers to 'scroll down and watch the advert'.
The National Pensioners Convention recommends Candy by Robbie Williams
|7th November 2012 |
Thanks to Nick
See article from
A pensioners' group has attacked Robbie Williams for making a joke about violence towards the elderly.
The National Pensioners Convention (NPC) wants the star to apologise for remarks he made on BBC1's The Graham Norton Show .
His new music video for number one hit
Candy shows him punching an elderly woman.
During the chat show, Norton remarked:
That's quite a shocking image isn't it?
isn't it. They wanted me to kick a dog and I'm an animal lover, so I was just not having that. Then they said 'punch a pensioner' and I was like 'Yeah, I'm in'.
NPC general secretary Dot Gibson said:
Celebrities should think twice before making ageist comments which seem to imply that pensioners should be treated in a degrading way. Elder abuse is a serious issue and needs to be tackled rather than seen as a bit of a joke.
A BBC spokeswoman responded:
Robbie was a wonderful guest on this week's show and this comment was clearly a joke. Fans of The Graham Norton Show know, understand and expect this irreverent type of
banter amongst the guests. No offence was intended.
TV censor Ofcom said it had received one complaint over the on-air comments.
Miserable campaigners ask supermarkets to stop advertising in the Sun
|7th November 2012 |
4th November 2012. See article from
Nutters opposed to the Sun's topless Page 3 have targeted supermarkets across Britain as they stepped up their campaign for an advertising boycott of the tabloid.
Members of the campaign group No More Page 3 claimed Page 3 was a sexist relic of an
unhealthy 1970s culture that was at odds with the family values promoted by supermarkets. Founder Lucy-Anne Holmes said:
Supermarkets are selling family values and yet they are advertising with a newspaper that
encourages people to see women not as a human but as an object. We are calling for them to stop advertising with the Sun and send out a really positive message that they value their female customers.
No More Page 3 has written to four
supermarkets, Tesco, Morrisons, Sainsbury's and Asda, asking for a meeting to discuss the issue of advertising in the paper. Tesco and Morrisons said that they would meet campaigners, Sainsbury's and Asda have refused.
Local groups, organised via
Facebook, have petitioned shoppers outside stores in about five different locations. While
The campaign has attracted 51,000 signatures of support on a change.org petition.
In the past week the group confronted Lego with a spoof figure of a
topless girl after the toy company ran a joint promotion with the Sun.
Update: Authoritarian Feminists
7th November 2012. From Dan
Regarding the anti page 3 campaign. It seems now the Conservative Left and authoritarian feminists have adopted the tactics of Right wing moralists, harassing advertisers in order to stop them sponsoring things they object to.
The middle class
Conservative feminists and middle class Right wing puritans have found common ground in their censorious crusade to ban anything to do with sex and have found common ground in the tactics they adopt in an attempt to achieve this.
Also left wing
newspapers like The Guardian have adopted a Daily Mail outlook towards the sex industry but cover it up with faux concern over the objectification of women.
Stonewall announce their gay heroes and bigots nominations
|2nd November 2012
2nd October 2012. See article from
The Gay group Stonewall has announced the nominees for its annual Hero and Bigot of the Year Awards. The charity's 7th Stonewall Awards take place at the V&A on 1 November, and celebrate people who have made a positive impact on the lives of
Britain's 3.7 million lesbian, gay and bisexual people.
The Hero and Bigot of the Year awards are voted on by Stonewall's supporters.
Shortlist for Hero of the Year.
An individual who has encouraged, inspired or
achieved the most for lesbian, gay and bisexual people in the last year.
Ben & Jerry . Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield founded Ben & Jerry's ice cream in 1978 in Burlington, Vermont. Long-time supporters of equality for lesbian, gay and bisexual people.
. Jackie Crozier was Manchester Pride Festival Director between 2005 and 2011.
Tim Franks . Tim's work with the lesbian and gay community began more than 20 years ago with his involvement in a peer run youth
project in Nottingham.
Rev Giles Fraser . Giles Fraser came to national prominence in October 2011 as Canon Chancellor of St Paul's Cathedral during the Occupy London protests. He's long been an outspoken advocate of
equality for gay people and tolerance within the church.
Jessie J . It's been another incredible year for Jessie J. As well as joining BBC One's The Voice as a celebrity judge she wowed a global audience at the Olympic
Closing Ceremony. She tackled tabloid gossip about her sexuality head on, proudly reaffirming that she was bisexual and dismissing rumours as boring and untrue.
Shortlist for Bigot of the Year.
An individual who has gone out of their way to harm, hurt or snub lesbian, gay and bisexual people in the last year.
Alan Craig . In October 2011 Alan Craig caused outrage by comparing gay equality advocates to the invading forces of Nazi Germany and dubbing them the Gaystapo . In an incendiary Church of England Newspaper article
he claimed gay-rights storm troopers take no prisoners as they annex our wider culture and that the modest measure to extend marriage to same-sex couples was proof that Nazi expansionist ambitions are far from sated .
Simon Lokodo . Simon Lokodo, the Ugandan Ethics and Integrity Minister, disbanded the meetings of gay equality groups and arrested activists. According to Lokodo gay people are sick and seek to pervert children.
For a so-called Ethics and Integrity Minister to peddle such inflammatory propaganda is an ironic tragedy for Uganda's gay population.
Lord Maginnis . Lord Maginnis made headlines by referring to same-sex marriage as
unnatural and deviant behaviour and questioning if marriage equality would mean that every deviant practice has to be accommodated? Will the next thing be that we legislate for some sort of bestiality?
Cardinal Keith O'Brien
. Keith O'Brien has been a prominent opponent of marriage equality and made headlines with deeply offensive comments about same-sex couples. He's stated that same-sex relationships are harmful to the physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing and compared equal marriage to slavery and child abuse.
Archbishop Philip Tartaglia . Philip Tartaglia caused outrage in July when he claimed that the late David Cairns MP had died due to the fact he was gay and that a conspiracy of silence prevented people from
stating that being gay directly led to premature death.
Update: Christians Concerned about being seen as bigots
31st October 2012.See article from
Those nominated for Stonewall's Bigot of the Year award include a Cardinal, an Archbishop, a member of the House of Lords and the former leader of the Christian Peoples Alliance. They have all spoken out against gays in connection with government
plans to extend marriage to gay couples.
Christian Concern have found a way to fight back against Stonewall's highlighting of nasty comments from senior Christians.
According to Stonewall's website, the Awards evening is supported by high
street bank Barclays, global professional services firm PwC, the Queen's bank Coutts & Co and internet search engine Google.
Now in response to emails from christian campaigners, Coutts has informed Stonewall that it will withdraw its support
for the event unless the Bigot of the Year Award is dropped. Barclays has also told Stonewall that unless the Award is pulled, it will not support the event in the future.
Update: Calling a Bigot a Bigot
November 2012. See article from bbc.co.uk
Cardinal Keith O'Brien has been awarded the Bigot of the Year award by Stonewall. His extreme stance on gay marriage was singled out at the awards ceremony in London.
Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson won Politician of the Year, but was booed for
also criticising the bigot award. Davidson, who is gay, has been among cross-party support for a same-sex marriage bill which is being brought forward by the Scottish government, while Cardinal O'Brien has been a strong critic of the plans.
said it was important for young people to see that politics, gender or sexuality should be no barrier to success:
But where I disagree with Stonewall in these awards is the need to call people names like 'bigot'. It is
The case for equality is far better made by demonstrating the sort of generosity, tolerance and love we would wish to see more of in this world.
Stonewall Scotland director Colin Macfarlane said:
It's fitting that Stonewall's 10,000 supporters voted decisively to name Cardinal O'Brien as Bigot of the Year.
We've never called anyone a bigot just because they don't agree with us, but in
just the past 12 months the cardinal has gone well beyond what any normal person would call a decent level of public discourse.
Birmingham nutters are rating newsagent's porn sections
|30th October 2012
The Women's Networking Hub's Shelve It! scheme calls on newsagents, supermarkets and petrol stations to keep saucy magazines out of the view of children -- and asks the public to help complete an online porn rating map of Birmingham.
It! gives retailers ratings from five stars, which means no magazines are on view, to XXX, meaning they can be seen and reached by kids.
It covers not just lads' mags like FHM or Zoo, but also hardcore pornography.
Shahida Choudhry claims the magazines have a harmful effect.
Mother's Union to campaign for further TV censorship before the watershed
|24th October 2012 |
The Welsh branch of the Mother's Union is set to launch a campaign for further TV censorship targeting supposedly unsuitable pre-watershed programmes.
Parents are being asked to lobby TV censor Ofcom by sending bilingual postcards complaining
about the sexualised content and swearing on television and radio programmes that young children watch or listen to.
The campaign, being launched at the Senedd, is part of the Mothers' Union's UK-wide campaign called Bye Buy Childhood .
Sheila Jones, a social policy officer for the charity said:
Having gone around Wales talking to people about the Bye Buy Childhood campaign, we met lots of people who were appalled at the amount of material on
television before 9pm which they felt was inappropriate for children.
They were unhappy with suggestive moves and songs in staged dances, for example, the dress code of some young presenters and the amount of bad language. Many of
them were people who would not naturally go online to voice their concerns so we thought that a bilingual postcard they could fill in would be the most effective way for them to protest.
Vivienne Pattison, director of campaign group
Mediawatch-UK, commended the campaign and said many of the sexualised messages sent to our children were very subtle:
I recently complained to Ofcom about the latest series of X Factor, which my primary school-aged
daughter watches before the 9pm watershed. It had a stripper on there with a lime green thong and a fishnet bodystocking on top.
She did a very provocative dance and a lap-dance on Louis Walsh. This didn't need to be broadcast. I
feel there is a really subtle effect teaching our children that trying to make it to be successful or famous is to take your clothes off.
There were similar issues with half naked performances by Rihanna and Christina Aguilera on
the same show a few years ago. Ofcom didn't regulate and said it was 'right at the margins of acceptability.'
By failing to regulate that margin has become quite mainstream and the boundaries keep being pushed.
More than 10,000 postcards will be distributed to members of the Mothers' Union in Wales to start the campaign.
Muslim protestors gather outside Google HQ in London
|15th October 2012
See article from
Thousands of Muslims are engaging in a series of protests against Google HQ for what they say is a hateful and offensive anti-Islam video, claiming they now live in an age of mockery .
A protest by 10,000 Muslims outside the offices
of Google in London is the first in an attempt to force the company to censor an anti-Islamic film from YouTube
Organiser Masoud Alam said:
Our next protest will be at the offices of Google and YouTube across
the world. We are looking to ban this film.
This is not freedom of expression, there is a limit for that. This insult of the Prophet will not be allowed.
The group's next action was a march which Alam hoped
would be a million strong would take place in Hyde Park in the next few weeks.
Barricades were erected in front of Google's headquarters and a crowd bearing placards with the words We love our prophet more than our lives and Muhammad is
the founder of freedom of speech had amassed by lunchtime. One of the speakers, Sheikh Faiz Al-Aqtab Siddiqui, told The Daily Telegraph: Terrorism is not just people who kill human bodies, but who kill human feelings as well. The makers of this
film have terrorised 1.6 billion people.
Religion Beyond Criticism: Al-Qaida praises the killings
14th October 2012. See
article from guardian.co.uk
The leader of al-Qaida
has called for holy war against the United States and Israel over an anti-Islamic video which triggered mayhem in the Muslim world.
Ayman al-Zawahiri praised as demonstrators who breached the US embassy in Cairo and the attackers who stormed the
US consulate in Benghazi last month in violence linked to the film as honest and zealous .
In an audio message released by al-Qaida's media arm As-Sahab and posted on militant websites on Saturday, al-Zawahiri claimed Washington had allowed
the film's production under the pretext of freedom of expression, but this freedom did not prevent them from torturing Muslim prisoners .
Social workers 'outraged' at being being portrayed in a negative light
|10th October 2012 |
See article from
See article from
The British Association of Social Workers (BASW) is engaged in a battle with the BBC over a storyline in EastEnders .
The TV soap featured a social worker removing a baby from a teenage mother, Lola, apparently without sufficient grounds to
Many social workers took to Twitter and Facebook to say the episode made a mockery of their profession.
Bridget Robb, acting chief of the BASW, called the storyline shabby and said it had provoked real anger among a
profession well used to a less than accurate public and media perception of their jobs .
The BBC responded to complaints:
It is not our intention to portray social workers in a negative light. Whilst the
audience has seen how much Lola loves Lexi, and seen her behaving responsibly in caring for her baby, her social worker has not. Each time the social worker visited, she regularly saw worrying behaviour that concerned her. The social worker also
witnessed a series of other incidents and, under these circumstances; we believe the audience will have understood why she had to act quickly to remove Lexi when Lola was arrested for assault. There was no suggestion that the social worker's actions
arose from anything other than a genuine desire to protect Lexi, or that her concerns about Lola were unreasonable given the picture she and the previous social worker had formed over a substantial period of time. Although EastEnders tackles many social
issues and always carefully researches the details, it is a drama and Lola's story and that of the social worker are not intended to be representative of everyone in the same situation.
ASA turns down Alcohol Concern whinge about a TV advert for Estrella beer
October 2012 |
See article from
See advert from
A TV ad for Estrella beer told the story of a young male traveller meeting two young women and the three of them exploring a Spanish island. The ad opened with the man disembarking a ferry. This was followed by a close-up of the
profile of one of the women and a bottle of Estrella beer on a table. The man then approached the two women who were sitting outside a bar drinking Estrella and he showed them a map of the island. The following scenes featured the three characters
driving around the island, swimming, sunbathing, on a boat and at a beach party together. In one scene, the male traveller was shown carrying two bottles of Estrella on the beach. In another scene, the main character and the dark-haired woman were seen
trying hats on in the market and the woman kissed the man briefly on the lips. In another scene, bottles of Estrella were distributed to a group of friends at a lunch gathering. A further scene showed the male character at a beach party being greeted
affectionately by a male party-goer who was holding a bottle of Estrella. The ad ended with the male character being dropped off at the ferry terminal by the two women. He kissed his finger and planted this affectionately on the dark-haired woman's lips.
He walked up the gang plank and took a swig from his bottle of Estrella beer. As he lowered the bottle the story began again.
A soundtrack which played throughout the ad included the lyrics Tonight, I want to be
with you .
Alcohol Concern challenged whether the ad breached the Code, because they considered it:
- linked alcohol with sexual activity, sexual success or seduction;
- implied that alcohol contributed to the male character's popularity; and
- implied that
the success of the holiday depended on the presence of alcohol. BCAP Code 19.319.419.6 Response
ASA Assessment: Not Upheld
1. Not Upheld
The ASA noted that only two scenes featured physical affection between the main male character and one of the female characters. The first was
a scene where the two were trying on hats in the market and she gave him a brief kiss on the lips. The second was in the final scene when he said goodbye to her by kissing his index finger and planting it on her lips. We considered the theme music,
played throughout the ad, with the lyrics Tonight, I want to be with you alluded to a sexual attraction between the two characters. However, we considered that these interactions between the couple did not constitute sexual activity, sexual
success or seduction. We considered they were mildly flirtatious behaviours and noted that the Code did not preclude linking alcohol to flirtation or romance. We therefore concluded that the ad did not link alcohol with sexual activity, sexual success or
On this point, we investigated the ad under BCAP Code rule 19.6 (Alcohol) but did not find it in breach.
2. Not Upheld
We considered that the male character appeared
confident and popular from the outset. At the start of the ad, he was shown approaching the two women in a nearby bar to ask them for directions with his map of the island. During the exchange, the women were shown laughing. The three characters were
then shown driving around the island in a jeep, dancing and having a good time together at a beach party and then running along the beach and swimming together. The male character was not shown with alcohol until 20 seconds into the ad, at which point he
was seen holding two bottles of beer on the beach. Although he did not drink from them, we considered this scene established him as an Estrella beer drinker. We noted another scene briefly showed him clinking a bottle of Estrella with friends in
celebratory fashion before enjoying a meal. He was, however, not seen drinking any alcohol until the final scene when he took a swig from his bottle of Estrella beer whilst at the ferry terminal having said goodbye to his female companions. We considered
that it was established early on in the ad that the male character was a confident independent traveller who was open to and adept at making new friendships and that his confidence and popularity was not due to him having consumed alcohol. We therefore
concluded that the ad did not imply that alcohol contributed to the male character's popularity.
On this point, we investigated the ad under BCAP Code rule 19.3 (Alcohol) but did not find it in breach.
We agreed with Wells & Youngs' comment that the ad depicted an entire summer on the island of Formentera and that this was clear from the fact that the events shown were separated in time and space and the main
character was seen in different locations, wearing different clothes and with different friends. We also agreed with Clearcast's comment that alcohol featured in a realistic, incidental and minimal way. Although bottles of Estrella featured briefly
throughout the ad, they were incidental to the activities and fun the characters were having. None of the characters were seen drinking alcohol apart from the main male character who was seen drinking Estrella in the final scene at the end of his
holiday. In most of the scenes, such as the beach party scene, on the boat, and in the local market, alcohol did not feature at all. There was no suggestion that the characters were having a good time because of consuming alcohol; their exchanges were
playful, natural and spontaneous throughout the ad, regardless of whether or not alcohol was present. We therefore considered that the ad did not imply that the success of the holiday depended on the presence of alcohol.
point, we investigated the ad under BCAP Code rule 19.4 (Alcohol) but did not find it in breach.
Sex shop whingers cite other people's easy offence at lingerie display
|4th October 2012
28th September 2012. See
Lovecraft, a licensed sex shop in Cardiff has been selling lingerie, adult books, DVDs and toys since 2001. But now 29 local nutters have objected to the window display.
In a letter to Cardiff council, Severn Primary School headteacher Julie
Morris whinged that it featured four scantily female mannequins, one of whom is on her knees in a submissive pose :
I find this display offensive in that it portrays women as sex objects only.
Many of the children at the school walk past the shop regularly and I am unhappy about them seeing such a negative portrayal of women on a daily basis.
We have over 500 children at our school with many of our
children coming from Muslim families. I feel the lack of clothing on the models would offend the many Muslim families in the area.
In her letter of objection, Riverside's Labour councillor Iona Gordon said that as a woman she found
the display denigrates women :
But I also object because I represent members of many ethnic minority communities, many of whom observe the Muslim faith. I know both Muslim men and women find the window display
offensive on religious grounds.
Labour councillor Richard Cook claimed that the shop was in breach of the Sex Establishment Licensing Policy which states: No window shall contain any sign, advertising material, goods or display
likely to cause an offence to persons passing the window.
The objections call for the window display to be blacked-out.
Lovecraft's owner Simon Sternchuss said he was being discriminated against, claiming his displays were no different
to that of adult shop Ann Summers or lingerie chain La Senza.
If I had displays or pictures of naked men or women that would be considered offensive, but a dummy in a kneeling position is not offensive to anyone,
unless you are a narrow-minded individual.
Update: Nutters Thwarted
4th October 2012. See
A sex shop has been given permission to continue with window displays.
Ludicrous complaints had been received by Cardiff council about the
mannequins in the windows of Lovecraft, on Cowbridge Road East, Canton. Councillor Iona Gordon claimed that mannequins, in particular one deemed to be in a submissive pose , offended the religious sections of the community as well as being in
walking distance of local schools and local health centres.
But the council's Public Protection Committee renewed owner Simon Sternschuss's Sex Establishment Licence and did not impose any conditions on his displays.
Following the meeting
Gordon said that she was extremely disappointed that the local community's opinion was ignored by the committee:
I think it's really bad that the decision has gone this way. We will continue to lobby and make that man
take his mannequins down.