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Monthly Archives: June 2012

Liz Jones. Elizabeth Ann Jones. She’s a quirky little sausage isn’t she? Described as the Countess of Confessional Journalism by some and ‘that nutjob who somehow wangled a column at The Daily Mail’ by the rest of us, Liz brilliantly manages to put a warped, predominantly negative slant on every single aspect of life.

For those of you who are sensible, and don’t like reading things that make you want to lick battery acid rather than carry on living…I’m going to run through a few of her best articles/quotes, and add some thoughts.

1) “A warning to men wishing to avoid any chance of unwanted fatherhood: if a woman disappears to the loo immediately after sex, I suggest you find out exactly what she is up to.”

 This cheery quote comes from an article where Jones chatted about being driven to becoming a ‘sperm stealer’ because of her longing for a baby. She warned all the male Daily Mail readers who browse her column (a grand total of 7 probably) to watch out for signs that their wives and partners were going down the same path. Now, men can be weirded out by the mere mention of babies without Jones storming in and wiping her ovaries all over the show…so THANKS FOR THAT LIZ. Just to confirm, most of us will decide to become mothers at the same time our husbands feel ready to become fathers. We’ll probably do this thing where our husband puts his penis into our vagina, gets a bit excited and does a spunk. We won’t be lying on the floor of our bathroom, legs akimbo, holding a depressingly saggy condom over our crotch yelling “I’M DOING NOTHING, DON’T COME IN. YOU WON’T LIKE WHAT YOU SEE” at our terrified partner on the other side of the door. To conclude, if we’re in the bathroom after sex, we’re probably checking our foundation hasn’t gone blotchy and having a piss so we don’t get cystitis.
2) “Sport in school is the worst thing you can possibly inflict on children, particularly girls who are going through puberty and are necessarily self-conscious, often in pain and often vulnerable.”
 Another load of drivel, taken this time from a column where Jones discusses how she believes sport should be banned from schools because it’s the anti-christ and the main cause for terrorism and AIDS. Jones’ main arguments here are that girls end up looking ‘sinewy’, and that it alienates those who aren’t good enough to compete. If I remember correctly, while doing P.E at school I was normally too busy enjoying myself or getting annoyed that my netball skirt wasn’t short enough to attract attention from a random male sixth former who might happen to walk by as I was pivoting (I went to an all girls school, you had to grab opportunities where you could) to contemplate whether or not I looked like a pasty Fatima Whitbread.  With regards to those that don’t enjoy it. TOUGH. It’s important to exercise, just do the bare minimum if you don’t like it. No P.E teacher will drill you ’til you shit yourself or sick up on the athletics field because they’re not allowed to. Also, I’m mathematically dyslexic and went to a school where they considered you special needs if you didn’t know your ‘variables’ from your ‘integers’. You learn to get over doing things you don’t enjoy kids.
3) “I look down, and a little boy aged three, called Hassan, is looking up at me with a great big snotty grimace. He’s not about to steal my phone: he’s just trying to put his tiny fist in mine.  In any case, I realise, my fears are ridiculous. Who would he call? What would he look up on the internet?”
Someone at The Daily Mail thought it would be a really good idea to send Jones, a woman who must possess the same amount of compassion as a gnat’s cock, a woman who’s cried about being poor from her massive farmhouse in Somerset, and a woman who spent over £13, 000 on a facelift, to Somalia. And not one-way-ticket sort of ‘send’…but send her there to witness the suffering and write an article on it. I’m not entirely sure why no-one noticed the poor children in the refugee camps had already been through quite enough turmoil without lobbing a narcissistic nutcase at them, but hey ho. So…Jones fills us in on how she thought Hassan was going to mug her for her Blackberry, how her manicured feet look *way* better in sandals than those of a 23 year old with 3 children, and some stuff about her tiny waist. It’s not quite a Lenny Henry Comic Relief video montage of dreams. Thank goodness little Hassan and his rubbish snotty face don’t have the internet or no doubt Jones would have Googled herself before you could say “get your grubby hands off my phone you thieving bastard”.
4) “The other day, I was on a photo shoot with a famous model, and noticed she had thread veins on her legs, and a big mole on her neck. ‘How can she live with such flaws?’ I think. It’s easy to get one’s own faults out of proportion, so they become magnified. I think I am going to stop now with my tinkering.”
Here, we get a ‘brutal’ blow-by-blow account on Jones’ face-lift. She tells readers how, after looking in a few mirrors at a young age, she noticed she looked like she’d been hit with a pan and so began a lifetime of hatred towards her looks, along with article upon article about how cack her body is. She natters on about how no-one really notices, how she didn’t do it to please her boyfriend, and how she’s now *finally* got the face she deserves. Plus, as we can see from the above quote…she’s now in a wonderful position to slag off everyone else because her face is really fantastic and she’ll probably be chosen to promote every product in the world. And then when NASA finally pull their fingers of their arses and find aliens, she’ll promote theirs too. Because she now has the face of a cyborg. I should imagine the working class readers of The Daily Mail, sat at home crying and itching because they can’t afford thrush cream ’til their wages go in after the weekend really appreciate hearing about your face upheaval Liz.
5) “These women are the ultimate playground bullies: they know men hate make-up (my husband used to say I was like a moth, leaving dark smudges on him in my wake), so they pretend they need no help.”
And finally, comes this week’s gem. Jones lays into Holly Willoughby over the fresh-faced photo she tweeted yesterday, branding her ‘arrogant’ and ‘anti-feminist’. Basically, Jones is well hacked off that a young woman can get away with not wearing much make-up/doing her hair and goes all off her tits about it. When I saw the photos, I thought “lucky thing, bet she’s sat in some good lighting and put a bit of Vaseline on” and then had a nibble on some Fridge Raiders and did a yawn, which is exactly what Jones should have done. YES, she’s probably had her roots done recently, and YES she’s probably wearing eyelash extensions but does it really matter? Clearly, her main gripe here is that Holly’s happy, naturally blessed and got a beautiful family. Jones would deep-throat misery if she could, in a cemetery while getting pelted with dog shit. She’s not naturally blessed as we know from her face-lift articles. And her husband probably has that horrible, sweaty-top-lip feeling you get when you’ve been in the sun for ages and realise you need a poo while you’re nowhere near a toilet, whenever she walks into their bedroom of a night time. It’s just all a bit tragic.
The main point of my article is that it bothers me Jones has somewhere very public to air her shoddy thoughts…which always, despite her frequent claims of ‘I’M A FEMINIST’, do a good job of bashing women. Jones – get yourself a diary, therapist or just knob off love.

I’m going to attempt to make this post about my experiences of working at a ‘lads mag’, without hopefully offending too many people or rocking the feminist boat too much. I’m well aware it’s a sensitive subject, particularly following on from the responses to recent articles written by previous editors featured in National newspapers. I’m just going to be as honest about it as I can, express my thoughts on the subject and then probably turn the laptop off, eat some muesli and watch Family Guy.

When giving the answer “I work at Nuts magazine”, to the standard night-out question of “So what do you do?”, I get one of the following four responses;

1) *Rolls eyes* “So you’re a glamour model then? You don’t have to say you work there, you can just say you get your tits out”.

This particularly riles me. Unless I give the answer “licking Spencer from Made In Chelsea’s arsecrack ’til it’s clean” then I don’t believe anyone’s in a position to judge how I earn my money. If indeed I did just get my breasts out, and the gentleman I was talking to deemed that something to look down on, then he should make his excuses and leave politely. Not only that, ‘Chris’, you’ve got the charisma of a wank-sock lying over a damp flannel, so the fact you’ve made the assumption I’m not worth talking to leaves me rampantly chirpy and free to dance like a newborn calf with my friends without you lingering like the smell of Joop.

2) “Fuckin’ hell, bet it’s a bit of a nightmare working there isn’t it?”

Nope. Just to confirm, I don’t walk past my colleagues’ desks in the morning only to have them slap my arsecheeks or bellow anything about my ample bosom. I don’t have to make a little nest under my desk out of tampons and skipping ropes while my co-workers jeer and loudly drop the word ‘pussy’ into conversation while staring at me. They don’t walk around grabbing their crotches, telling me to make tea…or ANYTHING YOU MIGHT CONSIDER SEXIST. They’re normal men. Some are married, some aren’t. Some like sport, some don’t. Some like films, some like books, some like music. It’s weird but *sometimes* we have conversations about topics other than breasts and it’s all very nice. There are certain members of staff who play some absolutely abysmal tracks on the office ipod but that’s as offensive as it gets.

3) “How can you be happy knowing you’re objectifying women? Fair enough men work there, men are idiots. But YOU, you’re a girl”

This is always tough. Tough because when people ask what I do, it’s predominantly on a night out when they’ve been drinking and are therefore far more likely to squeal their wine breath over me and cause a wheelbarrow load of drama, both of which I like to avoid. Secondly, I’m not terribly good at confrontation and tend to become more shy than I normally am (or turn all ‘Dover’ and threaten to break their face if I’ve had gin). Finally, because I like to think I’m a feminist.

I personally have no problem with ladies getting naked and don’t feel lads mags exploit them. I just don’t. Nor, to my knowledge, do any of the women who get naked (though, strangely enough, they never actually seem to be consulted during these debates). I don’t feel that we objectify women…I think men are visual, like to see women in very little underwear and luckily there are women who are happy enough with their bodies to be photographed doing so. I, along with another girl, manage the Nuts Twitter account, and we have girls of all sizes sending in photos to get retweeted, which in turn usually earns them a positive response with our male followers. Should I consider any feedback foul or just plain ignorant then I tend to block the user and ask the girl to block them too. If I receive anything that’s sexist then I reply with something cutting. We then in turn nearly always receive an apology or desperate back-track, and the matter gets settled very quickly.

It’s often suggested that lads mags are encouraging the sexualisation of women, causing those involved to strive for the risky ‘champagne lifestyle’ and bombarding adolescent males with images of soft porn to the point that they see females solely as a organism of which to pump. Without getting into a huge debate, all I can confirm is that from talking to our readers, they all seem to be very aware that women are women, that they should be treated with respect and that they don’t exist only to be banged over a sofa in Oceana. Yes, there are idiots about…but I don’t think there’s a direct link between looking at images of women on a weekly basis and being a gimp.

The girls who get naked, do so because they want to…and why is it anyone’s business to stop them? I don’t personally want to be a glamour model, but I also don’t want to be a binman or an investment banker or a keyring or a Christmas tree. No I don’t hope that my daughter* becomes a glamour model, but there are hundreds of other professions I hope she doesn’t go into as well…however, should I have to choose between her being a happy glamour model or a miserable something else, then I’d rather she be happy. (*disclaimer: I don’t actually have a daughter).

4) “Oh what a surprise they got YOU working there”

I didn’t get hired because I have breasts. They didn’t hire me so they can gradually grind me down, shove me in a body stocking and plonk me in the magazine. I wear Converse to work, normally have croissant in my hair and talk about poo on average 6 times a day. I got hired to do the job that I do.

To conclude; in my world people are free to do what they want when they want, providing no-one gets hurt in the process. Everyone loves a chance to stick their oar in nowadays, and I genuinely can’t understand someone’s desire to be involved in what others are doing for no reason other than to moan. I’m not suggesting I love everything in the world of glamour, the fact that some of the girls act mind numbingly dense irritates me beyond belief…but there are women all over Britain who do that. I just won’t go to the pub with them.

Yes, I work at Nuts. And I like it.

(I’ll probably get the sack now)

 

 Another blog, and we’re back to dating. When I’m married and merrily living on my farm, I’ll take time out from drinking a lot of whisky and wearing many pairs of funky tights to write about how splendid my husband is, but until then…let’s begin.

 Truth is, I’m not entirely sure how I’ll ever end up married because dating’s really tiring me out. Picture Harry Potter lying on the floor as a Dementor hovers around, nightmaring the shit out of him…and you’ve got me along with whichever male happens to be interested. Except I have better glasses and don’t hang around with a face-achingly annoying girl called Hermione.

 Safe to say at 24 years of age, after one 2 year relationship and one 5 year relationship, I’m no commitment-phobe…I’m just struggling to understand why it’s all so pressure-y. There seems to be a current trend whereby you meet a guy, go on a couple of dates and text for a bit…only for them to get WAY angsty and start bombarding you with questions. And not even fun ones like “would you rather have a mayonnaise dispensing bellybutton or the ability to cry ketchup?”, but stuff like; “How much do you like me? Where do you see this going? Are you taking this seriously?”. Well, no. I’m not. Because generally, unless I’m watching a Louis Theroux documentary on orphans or just noticed that we’ve run out of Yorkshire Tea then I’m just daydreaming and being happy AND FOR CRYING OUT LOUD I’VE HAD A LONG DAY AT WORK SO STOP ASKING ME QUESTIONS AND LET ME EAT MY JAM ROLY POLY.

 The thing that bothers me most about this is that as women we tend to let it slide. You can either continue to date them, despite the fact your friends have nicknamed him ‘Foghorn Obsessivehorn’ or gently ease off on the text replies until they find someone else to Question Time to death. And this really isn’t just something that only happens to me…every one of my single friends has experienced of it; “So, he rang four times last night while he was drunk asking where I was and if he could see me tomorrow, or Monday, or Wednesday afternoon for lunch”, “He text to ask if I was intending on flirting with any blokes while I’m out tomorrow night, because he’s not sure he can date me if I’m talking to anyone else”….etc etc, the list is endless. Now we’d rather spend a lot of time licking the crotch of one of Mr Motivator’s tightest unitards than eat dinner with any of you.

I know it’s hard for men. They get moaned at for not being attentive enough, they typically have to make the first move, they feel like they have to check in with girls that really, they only banged because of the 11 shots the night before but they know if they get her to pop round she might swing past KFC and pick up a bucket on the way…so it’s a tough one. But just chill out.

If they’re not doing this, then it’s the classic Date & Run. This is where you spend quite a bit of time with a bloke, only for some sort of alarm to go off because presumably they think any more than three dates in, and you’ll be making a fuck-off MASSIVE Neil Buchanan Art Attack of his face in a nearby field using baby-gro’s and bridal magazines. So they disappear. We appreciate this more than the Captain Keeno situation because we it means don’t have to Google ‘how to spot a stalker’, but still…it’s a bit silly. And if it’s just a case of you not liking us enough to keep hanging out with, then just say. We won’t run off crying to a landfill site and drink ourselves to death.

If you’re a female who in my opinion, behaves like someone that isn’t mentally unstable then you’ll probably get told a lot of the time that when it comes to relationships, you ‘think like a bloke’. You don’t. You just think like a normal girl. I hate to point this out and blow the minds of any men reading this but some of us aren’t insane. If a guy texts one of my friends to see if she wants to go for coffee, she presumes he wants to go for coffee. If a guy asks if I want to go to the cinema, I presume there’s a film he wants to see. Weird that. Oh, and if we text to see if you fancy hanging out? It’s because we think you’re normal, fun, probably got a nice face and occasionally, we might want some sex. We even promise not to empty the contents of the condom back into us after too…as tempting as it might be to raise an unwanted child while you swan around sticking your willy in everything and forgetting we exist. 

Obviously there are girls out there who think sleeping together a few times means it’s time to hit Ikea and get some nice lamps for your new maisonette. A lot of girls. And I can imagine it’s quite tricky for men to shake off the inclination to keep all females at arm’s length until they can be assured they won’t turn up everywhere a la Gabriella ‘Queen of Chins’ Ellis from Made in Chelsea… but she’s not the norm. Ordinarily, most of us know that while we’re spending time with you, so are other girls. And that’s perfectly OK…because we’re doing the same with men. We also don’t need to hear from you every day because we’ve got other people to talk to, have hobbies or sometimes we (brace yourselves) just don’t really need to talk to you.

The best relationships, in my and my friends’ opinion, come from when you just fall into it. You’ve watched Free Willy and Finding Nemo quite a bit (usually on Sundays, because Sunday’s only really designed for couples), you’ve gone to the zoo together and bought a really big rubber, you’ve worn your glasses which make you look like Gretchen from Recess without feeling like a gimp…and you don’t need to ask where it’s going, because it’s just there.

Dating’s meant to be fun, relaxed and not full of questions or the constant need to see eachother. Just because you’ve found someone you like, you don’t need to become one entity and stop doing what you were doing before. Of course things change and you’ll start saying sentences like; “can’t make it I’m afraid, I’m going away for the weekend with The Mrs” and roll your eyes…but secretly, because you haven’t seen her in a couple of days, you’ll be looking forward to it. It’s just about finding that middle-ground between obsessive and aloof. And, if you’re me…it’s also about finding someone who’ll laze around in a lot of coffee shops, adopt quite a few really ugly animals and not find it weird that I still like colouring books as an adult (it’s relaxing).

So, to conclude…girl or boy, you don’t have to answer to anyone. Date those who’ve got their own lives and stuff going on. If that means swapping sex and zoo trips for a lot of time watching Snog, Marry or Avoid re-runs and eating jam with a spoon ’til someone worthwhile comes along, then so be it. It’s so much more fun than questions.