Some early morning responses
Louise Livesey // 17 June 2008
Dear Radio 4,
Firstly Owen and Amy Philcox didn’t become “victims to their parent’s acrimonious divorce” they became victims of their father who killed them. Lets stop writing out men’s responsibility for their actions shall we? Especially as this was someone who sent his wife and, separately another family member, nailbombs through the post and left her a phone message taunting her about killing the children just before he did it. I mean this is a man who knowingly and willingly murdered his children during a custody visit. Frankly I think this means the rescinding of his “Man of the Year 2005” award which is somehow being used to imply that he was a good and fine man and therefore she must be to blame. Plus, dear BBC, your headline of “Gassed Man was going through divorce” grammatically suggests he was gassed by an unknown other rather than he gassed himself and his children. In the same article you give space to Matt O’Conner from Families Need Fathers to suggest this is a relatively rare occurence and yet there is no response from an expert to talk about the actual prevalence of male violence against children in divorce proceedings. Neutral reporting? I think not.
Secondly, why is it a sports feature to talk about how Royal Ascot has written to ticket holders to clarify the female dress code? I mean 1. quite why women need to be singled out to be told streaky fake tan is a faux pas (Stringfellow anyone?) and 2. why this needs national media attention and an interview with an Ascot groundsman I don’t understand. Not the finest moment of incisive journalism really, considering you chose not to talk about a shortage of neonatal nurses, missing woman Dolina Maclean, the religious discrimination against Sarika Singh or murder of a woman and child in Northern Ireland (names not released) through dangerous driving all covered on the BBC website). But no the width of women’s dress straps and the length of their skirts is obviously far more important. God forbid we should ever think that the BBC isn’t a bastion of white, male, prurient privilege!
And finally, whilst we’re talking gender stuff, why is it on your website the link covering whether academics are turning a blind eye to plagiarism is accompanied by a back-photo of two female graduating students? Are you suggesting it’s women, more than men, who are committing plagiarism?