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Berk! August 17, 2005

Posted by Winter in media.

Stolid 9 o’clock news presenter Michael Buerk has gone a bit berzerk. In an interview with the radio times, he decries the fact that “Life is lived in accordance with women’s rules” and men are now merely “sperm donors”. Apparently the “shift in the balance of power between the sexes” has (yes you guessed it) gone “too far” and “The result is men are becoming more like women.” They keep on saying this and what the fuck is it supposed mean? He continues: “Most women aren’t going to want an unemployable sperm donor loafing around and making the house look untidy.” Speak for yourself mate. None of the men in my life fall into the “unemployable sperm donor” category thank you very much and I’m way beyond worrying about house tidiness issues. Change the record Michael, it’s old and scratched and caught in a backlash loop. Yes, I know he’s probably just trying to be provocative and I probably should ignore it, but it pisses me off whenever somone comes out with this kind of crap yet again: “Oh, please won’t you think of the men! Women are emasculating them, stealing their jobs, snatching their bodies, turning them into frogs”… or whatever else it is we’re supposed to be doing to them in our insane and bloodthirsty quest for equality of opportunity. It never ceases to amaze me that they expect us women to give a shit. Talk about male privilege! Am I supposed to get worried because a few exceptionally privileged and well-paid middle-class men are sitting around feeling a bit sad because they’ve got a female boss? Is it feminism’s fault that the mines and factories have closed? I’m perfectly prepared to listen to and get concerned about serious problems confronting men, but I am not going to be swayed by this kind of patriarchal whingeing. When we encounter the “things have gone too far” narrative, we should never forget that 150 years ago society would have cheerfully imprisoned us in whalebone and brickwork, barred us from higher education and the professions and sentenced us to bear children until our wombs fell out with never a care for our pain. Now they want us to worry about their feelings. Women have had to fight for every inch of ground and it’s particularly sad because we never wanted to fight with men. When people say things have gone “too far” what do they really want? Shall we send less of our daughters to university? Michael is personally afronted because where he’s worked in the past he finds that “Almost all the big jobs in broadcasting were held by women – the controllers of BBC One television and Radio 4 for example. These are the people who decide what we see and hear.” Oh no, how terrible…because men haven’t been deciding what we see and hear about for the last several thousand years have they? Even if what he says is true, and women are taking over broadcasting (which I seriously doubt) I would generally feel inclined to cheer them on. But before I start cheering, here’s some sobering information from the Fawcett Society :

Just two per cent of executive directors of our top 100 companies are women.
Only around 15 per cent of UK national newspapers have a woman editor.
Of the 12 judges in the House of Lords – the highest court in the land – there is only one woman

So it’s not quite time to panic yet boys.

Moreover, before I shed any tears for the predicament of male broadcasters, I have a few more pressing concerns. I’ll give your problems a thought after you’ve declared a moral panic about the epidemic of violence against women. I want headlines. Hell, I want sirens. 1 in 4 Eupropean women will experience domestic violence. 190,000 odd cases of serious sexual assault and rape in the UK per year. And on a world scale…well, lets not get started on that here, but we all know it’s the stuff of nightmares. In their campaign to stop violence against women Amnesty want it declared the “greatest human rights scandel of our time.”

Broadcast that, Berk.



1. Naiades - August 17, 2005

Couldn’t have said it better myself. Hah, he’s just worried because he’s hitting the ‘evening of his carrerr’ and the girls are doing it better than him these days.

2. Emma - August 19, 2005

I’m so gutted that he’s such an arsepiece! Who knew?

3. Winter - August 19, 2005

I know! Who’d have thought he was such a dick?

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