Femail watch

// 15 January 2008

I was inspired to do another round-up post on the excesses of the Daily Mail’s ‘Femail’ section by this

story by a self-confessed ‘female chauvinist pig’.

While Angela Epstein sheepishly recognises that what she calls “my

latent male chauvinism” is not a good thing, she is unapologetic.

Some choice quotes:

With a female pilot at the helm, my husband immediately

made some comment about women drivers before returning to his


I, on the other hand, felt uncomfortable and found it hard to relax

for the rest of the flight. All I could think about was this young

woman – well, she sounded young – cradling 200 lives in the palm of

her hand.

Of Hillary Clinton:

Could it be that Mrs Clinton’s mannish trouser suits and

selfaggrandising, policy-driven speeches smack of the masculine touch

– and what heterosexual woman wants fake machismo in


Of French president Nicholas Sarkozy:

Sarkozy’s tough take on social reform (along with his

ability to bag a former supermodel) reeks of the kind of

testosterone-fuelled power that makes a female electorate


And on her own daughter (whose attitudes have nothing to do with being

brought up by this pair, of course!):

My chauvinistic feelings may be sourced in the fact

that every girl inherits the princess gene which dictates her

desire for a strong male role model to cosset and comfort


I see it in my three-year-old daughter who runs to her older

brothers or her daddy when a dog barks at her in the park. She trusts

them more than me to protect her.

Although this is probably the most woman-hating of everything

published in Femail recently, as usual, it is not an isolated

incident. We also have this

story about how long fringes are “putting lives at risk”.

The reason? In a survey of 1,000 female drivers, 1% – that’s 10 women

to you and me – “admitted they had had an accident or a near-miss or

made a sudden manoeuvre after their vision was impaired by their


Of course, most people wouldn’t think that 10 ‘sudden manoeuvres’

merited coverage in a national newspaper, but if there’s a ‘women are

flippant creatures, why are they allowed on the road anyway’ angle to

be had, you can be sure the Mail will seize on it! You might be

interested to know that there were over a

quarter of a million road casualties in the UK in 2006. But we are

concerned with 10 women women who didn’t have an accident. Great

reporting, second best-selling paper in the UK!

And, no, this isn’t made up for by a sensible

and interesting piece in which newsreader Selina Scott identifies how female presenters get dropped when they get older, while their male colleagues carry on broadcasting well into their grayer years.

So often you seen people coming through the system without

a strong journliastic background, who haven’t covered a wide range of


Photo by marimoon,

shared under a Creative Commons license

Have Your say

Comments are closed on this post

Further Reading

Has The F-Word whet your appetite? Check out our Resources section, for listings of feminist blogs, campaigns, feminist networks in the UK, mailing lists, international and national websites and charities of interest.

Write for us!

Got something to say? Something to review? News to discuss? Well we want to hear from you! Click here for more info

  • The F-Word on Twitter
  • The F-Word on Facebook
  • Our XML Feeds