In other news….
Louise Livesey // 17 July 2008
For the first time the Suzy Lamplugh Trust has issued safety advice to men. Not sure whether to view that as a victory for parity or just a way of ensuring we all feel vulnerable all of the time (note I think SLT does wonderful work, but I also feel women are taught to feel afriad disproportionate to the risk they face and in a way which doesn’t help them avoid it, just makes it easier to blame themselves if something does happen).
The Fabian Society has called for an end to the use of the word Chav because:
It was an example of the middle classes using language to belittle the lower classes. “The middle classes have always used language to distinguish themselves from those a few rungs below them on the ladder – we all know their old serviette/napkin, lounge/living room, settee/sofa tricks. But this is something new. This is middle class hatred of the white working class, pure and simple.”
Tom Hampson, Fabian Society in BBC News
The BBC visual selectors of course use a female image to demonstrate this – Little Britain‘s Vicki Pollard. Yet again gendering the discourse – way to go BBC!
Meanwhile one-fifth of MPs have admitted to mental health problems based on a sample of around 15% of MPs. Why should F Word readers care? Well because the WHO and others have pointed out experience of mental health problems is a very gendered one with the ratio of women to men diagnosed running at around 1.7:1. We also know some diagnoses are strongly gendered and ethnicised, like schizophrenia and combined anxiety/depression conditions. And we know that mental health issues have historically been used, and still are, to problematise non-conforming behaviours by women (see amongst others Phyllis Chesler, Susan Williams and Rebecca Shannonhouse, this article by Arlene Istar Lev. Here are a couple of feminist blogs on mental health issues – Mental Feminist and Crazy Like Us?.