Just in case you weren’t sure, the Metro Newspaper is here to remind you…

For an example, see yesterday’s “Good Week, Bad Week” column, a celebrity gossip corner which appears to be aimed primarily at bashing female celebrities. At least, all five of the items were about women and none of them were especially complimentary.

Good week:

  • Angeline Jolie has given $1m to two charities, and is described (not without a hint of sarky snidery) as an “orphan-adopting wonder woman” carrying out “saintly works”. Next, she is called “mega-lipped” and described as “wibbling” when she speaks of her admiration for doctors and other care workers operating in war zones.
  • Paris Hilton is “praised” for giving $100 to a tramp, although the snidery continues as the writer smugly informs us that it was for the benefit of a paparazzo, that the tramp said something cheeky to her, and that in an unrelated incident Paris admitted in a police interview (as a witness, after a burglary at her ex’s house) that she was “not that smart” – the interview was being taped and the tapes have been aired on TV. In the public interest, I’m sure.
  • Whitney Houston has cleaned herself up and is planning a come-back – but the columnist nevertheless cannot help but describe her as a “madwoman” and talk about constipation. One cannot feel that the writer is quite on Whitney’s side on this. But is (s)he on anyone’s?

Bad week:

  • Anna Nicole-Smith is in trouble for flogging some pictures of her family to the press in order to pay for her son’s funeral. It is not the death of her son which makes it a bad week, but the news that she has stooped so low as to sell the pictures in order to pay for his funeral. Some value system. The author does, however, express the hope that this doesn’t “finish off our favourite flesh-flashing kook”.
  • Finally, Janet Jackson gets slagged off again for her “wardrobe malfunction”, this time the excuse being that she is flashing her boobs on her new music video – as all female artists have to do to some extent, it seems to me, if they are to be allowed to sing at all. The concluding remarks: “Put them away, Grandma.” Nice.

If that didn’t convince you that Metro hates (has absolutely no respect for) women, then try this one on for size. It appears on the very next page, in the Letters section:

“Bernadette Bean (Metro, Thu) suggested the IT Screen Goddesses Calendar* should challenge the perception that “women are merely sex symbols” who pose in calendars. BB, baby, sugarcheeks – that’s precisely what it does. It shows that women are many splendoured beings who can pose in sexy calendars and still be high-value IT workers – their intellect and sexuality are in no way contradictory or exclusive.”

[*This is, apparently, a pin-up calendar featuring only clever women who are good at computer stuff.]

In other words, smart girls can be hot chicks, too. And somehow this is supposed to challenge the perception that women are sex? Sorry (heads-up, pun alert), does not compute.

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