... but I stopped. Now I'm a dad, and may blog again...

Friday, February 03, 2012

515: Make mine a Top Totty

Instead of doing something important like sorting out this country's fucked-up libel law, you know like they should be, some MPs, well, one, is engaging herself with something entirely more trivial, and all together more overstepping the mark and impinging on free speech and free enterprise. That was a rambling and overlong sentence I know, but I'm full of petty and futile rage. According to MEN, Metro and BBC News, Labour MP shadow equalities minister Kate Green took offence to a beer called Top Totty being sold at the Westminster pub, The Strangers' Bar. The pump has a cute drawing of a blonde lady in a white bikini and a description of Top Totty, a blonde beer, as a "stunningly seductive, voluptuous variety of hops with a fruity, fresh finish".

Kate Green saw it, was offended, (or perhaps didn't actually see it because the BBC says she was "'disturbed' to hear it was on sale" my italics) and within 90 minutes her actions had somehow lead to Top Totty being withdrawn from sale. This can only be described as a gross misuse of her influence to stifle free speech and free enterprise. No members of the public she represents were offended, she was acting entirely on own whim, and even if it is offencive, so fucking what? Free speech is of paramount importance, even if it causes offence. Being offended by something does not give you the right to remove it from the public domain; it gives you the right to complain and be upset. The right to cause offence should always trump the right to be offended.

What makes this especially disgusting is Kate Green's abuse of her power. Today I walked past the main entrance to the shop I work in. I rarely see in the windows because I enter and leave via a staff entrance on the other side of the building. I noticed a very very large poster advertising underwear and comprising entirely of a photography of a staggeringly sexy model looking sultry in her bra and knickers. Sights like this are common and I am confident in saying that Kate Green sees them as often as we all do. Is she constantly staggering around in a persistent tut of indignant offence? Does she fight against every commercial sexualised image of a semi-clad female? Or is she merely flexing her muscles against Top Totty and The Strangers' Bar because she knows she has some direct influence?

Every single person, or official body, she took her complaint to should have said, "you are entitled to be offended, but you have no right to remove this from sale. It is none of your business; if you don't like it, tough." What I really hate about this whole thing is that the most sensible statement appears to have come from Mike Nattrass, a MEP for horrid populist right-wing party UKIP: "This sort of knee-jerk Puritanism does more damage to the cause of equality than a thousand beer labels. It suggests that to be in favour of equality you must be a dour-faced, insult-searching misery".

As an aside I would like to address anyone who wants to complain about the objectification of women as sexual objects: I would like to suggest that women are sexual objects, as are men; indeed humans are sexual objects. How could we be described as anything else? We are objects who think about sex, have sex, think about sex, have sex, ecsextra, etc, &c... Of course we are so much more than just sexual objects, men and women alike. We are thinkers, workers, friends, scientists, artists, geniuses, idiots, and everything else and in between.

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