Failed Femmes: Pity and Scorn in the Daily Mail Part 2
Holly Combe // 6 November 2007
As well as trumpeting the plight of the Unwell Lady, the Daily Mail has also been busy scorning the Brazen Hussies. This piece treats us to lots of photos of drunken women, alongside the usual hand-wringing about their antics. (Doesn’t the Daily Mail wheel this one out quite regularly?) This time, they’re pissed off that these women are daring to boast about their behaviour on Facebook. No matter that there are also plenty of groups with lads bragging in a similar manner. It’s the ladies who need to learn how to behave. As Nina from Reading says, “blokes have been doing this for generations” so “why is it that women are always been given a hard time?” *
A stock response perhaps. But there are plenty of predictable comments from supporters of the article too. For example, Sara from Sydney asks whether these women “honestly think behaviour of that sort is attractive to the opposite sex?” Hasn’t it occurred to her that maybe these terrible traitors to socially constructed femininity aren’t basing their every move on how much they appeal to men?
The comment about “bad things” happening if you lie there with your knickers off is pretty offensive too. After all, that sort of thing rarely seems to be said when it’s a bloke who is lying there with his trousers round his ankles after his mates have played a drunken prank on him. (Apparently, he’d be safe.) As ever, it seems that men get to be sweepingly insulted as a bunch of amoral sex beasts but, ultimately, are given special privileges because of this assumption. Women, meanwhile, still get to be protected and controlled. What great progress we’ve made.
* For the record, I don’t think boozing is all good and would take the view that alcohol causes more problems than many other drugs. That’s another article though…
Thanks to Emily Turner for alerting me to the second story.
Photo by Mallix, shared under a Creative Commons Licence.