// 5 September 2005

Okay, there’s no point pretending any of the following is connected, it’s just a load of stuff I saw recently that I think’s interesting. So here goes!

First off, the BBC has apologised after 200 complaints were received about a TV show called “Bring Your Husband to Heel”. This delightful programme featured dog trainer Annie Clayton “using traditional dog-training techniques to improve husbands’ behaviour”. Truth be told, I didn’t watch the show as the title alone is enough to make me want to hurl a brick at the TV.

The Guardian report on this said: “The show, based around the premise that men share 85% of their DNA with dogs, uses hidden cameras to film the men, who think they are taking part in a documentary about relationship roles.”

The BBC said: “Bring Your Husband to Heel plays on the longstanding stereotype of wives nagging husbands about their failings and attempts to explore in a humorous way whether it is possible to find solutions to the stalemate using a different and unique method of instruction. The nature of the programme was clearly signposted.”

Ah. I get it. It’s ironic. How hilarious!

You see how that feels guys? Maybe now I’ll stop getting emails from anti-feminist blokes instructing me to get a sense of humour.

Elsewhere on the Guardian there’s an interesting interview with Ashely Jenson who played Maggie in Ricky Gervais’s post-Office followup, Extras. I’m glad someone else noticed how refreshing it is to see a well-written female character who can be best friends with a bloke, and be as silly as many male sitcom characters are as opposed to being cast as the “nag” or the boring woman who is “always right about everything”.

Interviewer Alice Wignall writes: “The friendship between Maggie and Andy is also hugely refreshing. In most shows where the central relationship is between a man and a woman, the romantic friction would have begun before the first ad break, even if destined never to be consummated. But Andy and Maggie, despite hanging out constantly, generate less sexual tension than an episode of Songs of Praise.”

Another good example of this is Fran from Black Books, played by Tamsin Greig (on a side note, the show’s website has some downloadable book jackets which should come in handy if you wanna read all those feminist books you keep meaning to read but feel slightly odd doing on the tube/bus: Cunt, Bitch, The Male Body, Whores and Other Feminists, Taking Charge of Your Fertility, Pornography, The Wise Wound, and so on and so on and so on!).

And finally, it you want an example of how low some U.S. anti-choice campaigners will go, check out Ms Musing’s post on how “Columbia Christians for Life” have explained the Hurrican Katrina tragedy. Apparently, satellite pictures of Hurricane Katrina “like a 6-week unborn human child… God’s message: REPENT AMERICA!”


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