Sunday, 11 November 2012

Daily Mail Columnists Should Wear Burkas


Daily Mail columnist Liz Jones has provoked the ire of Twitter with by declaring that mummy bloggers are blinkered dimwits whose lives are spiced by Napisan. I'm afraid I have to sympathise with her, for all of her prejudices echo my own:

Writing about my life has pretty much ruined it. Supper last night was an elderly carrot glued to the fridge shelf by a pool of brown mucus and the floor was flooded when I left the bath taps running because Blogger has diverted me from domestic essentials. I've had to shut the children in front of the television when a new post has assailed me and some family members no longer speak to me because Twitter interactions leave me no time to reach the telephone.

But there is a big part of me that thinks writing should be hard: you should cringe whenever you press that 'publish' button. Artists – and I'm sorry, I do consider myself an artist – have to wrench the dirtiest, most disgusting part of their inner soul and show it to the world so that others can make of it what they will. I shed anguished tears before deciding go public about the shredded tissues that emerge from a hot cycle with the vicarage smalls and, if I were not burdened by artistry, I would never have found the courage to tell the world about what I did to the Vicar's Le Creuset. I am aghast when people say they will stop writing when it comes too hard for others, or too exposing. My confession about the business with the nipple tassles after the Sunday service left me feeling naked, but writing is only interesting when things go wrong.

Occasionally I raise my head from the cut-throat world of blogging and find myself confronted with Daily Mail columnists. I've not been a columnist's best friend over the years, not because I don't like newspapers, but because I'm the one left taming toddlers and scrubbing the lavatory rim, while columnists disappear on eight-hour stints in air-conditioned offices - or as I like to call them, holidays. 

It appears that Daily Mail column-writing has become the new powder room, enabling women to hog a desk in the workplace writing things like, and I quote, 'I was still smarting from the fact I'd discovered, via a casual remark on Twitter of all places, that my boyfriend had been to London and had not even bothered to get in touch with me. He'd been out to dinner and not invited me!'

Every Daily Mail columnist I read says pretty much the same thing. These women whinge about celebrities who show their faces without make up and ponder the relative merits of Strictly Come Dancing and The X-Factor. 

I have queasy feelings in my exhausted womb about all of this. The most influential tool we have - namely campaigning journalism - has been turned into a giant gossips' coven with women being PAID to sit at their desks, ignore mass annihilation in Syria and celebrity paedophile rings, to write about the vices of their ex husbands.

Questions raised in Daily Mail columns, and by God they are bitchy and competitive, range from ' 'How dare a greasy, tasteless chef insult superstar Nigella?' and 'Who'd have thought the sexiest dress ever made would be so demure?'.

Suddenly, rather than feeling I'm following a group of women who want to change the world, I am in a cage of lemmings ranting about traffic jams on Home Counties trunk roads and the pain of stiletto heels, so that they can remain in their latte-scented offices.

I had no idea that column writing could be so lucrative. I wonder too what their husbands (those of them that have managed to retain one) think of them and their rantings. I imagine it makes them feel like  proper men with little women who, instead of raising the next generation of tax payers, offer opinions on Kate Middleton's dress sense and how to look after ear piercings.

As I close my Daily Mail I feel the hand of patriarchy on my back. Women have again been duped into thinking that the world exists in their safe, open-plan offices and revolves around bitching.

Columnists might just as well don a burka and shuffle, so narrow is their vision.

106 comments:

  1. It is all so irrelevant and inconsequential isnt it and they are all so full of their own bile. I dont read papers havent done for years and I rarely read any of the newspaper columns that are tweeted as they are just so full of ranting. I would rather sit down with a good book or a seed catalogue. However, sadly the newspapers pay these women instead of employing women who are intelligent and have a valid comment to make but then I suppose they are pandering to their readership who like a good rant, especially the Daily Mail readers

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    1. The Mail and its writers are cleverer than you might think. They know their market minutely and can judge exactly how to get a rise out of their readership and thus boost their stats.

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    2. You are, quite simply, a genius...

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    3. Insults to my lovely blogger mates arouse my ire! Jones did all the legwork!

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  2. This is hilarious. Brilliant post among the many from today.

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    1. Thank you. Humour can be the best weapon. Jones is inured to rage.

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  3. Bravo ... bravo ... bravo! I can always rely on you to so wittily and cleverly reflect the mirror back. I should not have let myself feel so riled by Liz Jone's article, but I did ... and now I feel much calmer again - thank you :o).

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    1. I felt my own ire rising - until I realised that she must surely be sending herself up.

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  4. Amazing. Amazing. Amazing.

    I have tears of admiration and possibly the biggest lady crush in the World for you right now x

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  5. This is so good I may have to get your a Prada Bowling bag and your very own bowling ball to go in it. As a reward for making me howl! This season's colours of course! As featured in the Daily Fail. School gate chic!

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  6. Brilliant! Everyday I find blogs that are superior in every way to the drivel that woman spouts, this being a case in point. I do find myself wondering if Mumsnet didn't know exactly what they were doing when they booked her.

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    1. I'm sure they did. Liz Jones gets peoples backs up for a living. Generates publicity. Mumsnet wanted a bit of it and I don't blame them. It worked!

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  7. Wonderfully written and hilarious.

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  8. Best one of the day by a mile. Because of Liz Jones, I have had a very fun Sunday. The woman is clearly bonkers, but because of her, I feel normal, intelligent and full of life. Everything's relative.

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    1. I ended her piece with the same sensation. Pleasant, isn't it!

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  9. Indeed. Very well put.

    I tell you a campaign I'd love to be part of... one to shut down the Daily Fail. Oh and another one, to put Liz Jones out to pasture.

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    1. I'm quite fond of the Daily Mail. Keeps my prejudices well honed and causes me no end of pleasurable derision.

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  10. I have no idea who this Liz Jones person is, but she sounds to be clearly off her rocker from everything I am reading on Twitter.

    BTW, I thorough enjoyed the nipple tassle post.

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    1. We were talking about them at today's service. The elderly lay reader said she'd like thermal ones for winter.

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  11. This is the best post I've read on the Liz Jones issue! Absolutely hilarious take on it and all so true!

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  12. I love you for mentioning nipple tassels.That is all.

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    1. Well, it's our elderly lay reader who should take the credit...

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  13. Hoorah - a parody instead of a return stream of vitriol! Very funny and apt. Do have a look at my take from the other side of the stage! Eliza 50newblack.blogspot.co.uk

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  14. Feck me you are good lady!

    I LOVE this!

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    1. Any pleasure I can give you at this difficult time is a privilege!

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  15. 'Daily Mail' is a swear word in our house. Well done you! (anon Rach)

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    1. Better not admit that the Vicar and I read it on Mondays. Never sure if it's the journalism or the pub lunches that leave us feeling a bit queasy!

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  16. You win the Internet today! Very funny and nicely done.

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  17. You win the Internet today! Very funny and nicely done.

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  18. I don't need to read the daily fail's columns, I can catch up on twitter which kind of defeats the object of gaining sales!
    Ha so there DM!
    Excellently observed post as always which had me emoting out loud. Always makes the Mr suspicious.

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    1. Thank you. I got this through Twitter too. Must tune in to MS Jones more often, such a laugh she gave me!

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  19. And so it was declared, Anna Tims was the new leader of the "mummy blogging" army. Bravo that woman! x

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  20. Replies
    1. Easy peasy. The original article read like a parody. I just copied it.

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  21. I bow down to your genius. Fantastic post

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    1. Never mind about the homage - I'll have those sunglasses instead!

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  22. Abso-bloomin-lutely brilliant! :) x

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  23. Haha I think this is the best response to that drivel of a column I've read! Well done :-D

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  24. Triple LOL!!! This was fantastic writing--witty, informed, entertaining--even beautiful. Off to retweet.

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  25. I was a bit loathe to leave a comment when you had 48 last night, and now you have 73, but really couldn't resist saying very well done, coz it's had me giggling still! This is truly brilliant stuff and you weren't even there! I was and was driven to respond. This does it rather cleverly and nicely! I Didn't realise that she's deaf though, did you? Not that that excuses her shoddy behaviour and awful article.

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    1. I love it when you comment. It's people like you that make blogging so fun. Jones may be a perfectly nice woman. She just feels she has to make a living by getting people's backs up and I guess people read it else the DM wouldn't give her so much space.

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    2. That is so kind of you to say. It's mutual.

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  26. Well, you said it better than me, but I couldn't resist the irony of her piece - How on earth she thinks what she writes is relevant and interesting. Well done.

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  27. Oh, you are vair clever, missus.

    I am grateful that it's the DM columnists who get your proverbial goat, rather than its brilliant feature writers (ahem).

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    1. I was thinking of you as I wrote it hoping you wouldn't get the wrong idea!

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    2. Tee hee. When I start appearing in the DM clad only in a black frightwig and foliage a la Liz, I will deserve whatever blogular punishment you care to mete out!

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  28. You are so, SO talented. This is utterly brilliant. Thank you.

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    1. No, it's all Liz Jones' work. I just substituted a few nouns!

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    2. Wish you had substituted her on Saturday. We were taking bets on when she'd crack a smile. She didn't.

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  29. Lady, the standing ovation you deserve would sound so much better were all these complimentary folk in the same room. Utterly brilliant and I hope someone has forwarded the lovely Liz a framed copy.
    I am a recent follower and absolutley LOVE your blog xx

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    1. That's such a lovely thing to hear. You've been so kind with your comments since you started following. Have been thinking most fondly of you!

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  30. Oh this is so clever, though I am embarrassed to admit that, as it reveals that I did (in spite of myself) go and have a look at Liz Jones' article. That "maternity leaves, or holidays, as I like to call them" was the best bit, wasn't it?

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    1. The poor woman is frustrated by her 'empty womb' and envious of those of us with infant tribes!

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  31. Well done you what a marvellous parody, I wonder if you write your husband's sermons too?! What a pleasingly wonderful response to such an absurd piece ... I'm one of the people she purports to have spoken to at the event ... we met fleetingly in the lift (if you can call standing in an uncomfortable silence with my baby girl gurgling cheerfully to fill the void a meeting) and not a word was exchanged but she did take my blog name from my badge (although she in a disdainful and "I'm not bovvered" kind of way recalled it incorrectly). My meagre response to her ridiculous ranting is on my blog ... and I've now found another good thing to come out of all this nonsense ... and that is your blog, it is just excellent and I've had such fun looking through it this evening ... dizzy heights to aspire to ... well done and hurrah for a bit of cheer on an Autumn day ... Ellie

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    1. Well, don't your generous remarks just show how wrong she is about the bitchy world of blogging. I tried to find you on Google when I read the piece to offer solidarity but no wonder I failed if she miscopied you. Many thanks for coming by and being so encouraging.

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    2. Anna I'd also got my google searches a bit too tied down ... have now loosened them up and also added Mushy Brained Rambler as a key word too .. us amateurs!!

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  32. Absolutely brilliant - my favourite post of the day!

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  33. Brilliant response - what I love privately is that as an advertiser with a meaty budge that the fail likes to court, That Jones Woman keeps me smugly from spending my multiple pennies with them - mwah hah hah hah!

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    1. How interesting. One always assumes advertisers will go anywhere - and papers will accept any advertisers - so long as the price is right. You are definitely a cut above!

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  34. Thank god for you, is all I can say. What a bloody fantastic post - thankyou!

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    1. No thank you. I love people who comment and when a heady bit of flattery is added too....!

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  35. Being a professional writer gives your posts that extra edge.

    With regards to these columnists, the constant battle as they all try to be the next Richard Littlejohn, who himself is trying to be the next Glenn Beck, is tedious beyond belief.

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    1. Liz Jones must take full credit for most of the above prose. I agree. I have no desire to read about other people's messed up emotional lives. It's hard enough enduring them at dinner parties!

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