Posts Tagged ‘complicity’

If you follow the UK media at all, you will no doubt have seen a number of articles recently about the News of the World/Andy Coulson phone hacking scandal. In fact, it was an article in the New York Times which kicked off recent interest. The Guardian then started to pick it up (the linked article gives a bit of a round-up, and you can jump to related stories from there).

Apparently, The Guardian is running out of angles. Or something. Today, they have an article about an investigator who was convicted in 2005 of passing information on to newspapers. This is only related to the News of the World/Coulson scandal because it’s the same sort of thing – and, perhaps, because it provides some idea of the context in which this sort of illicit data-mining goes on.

This is what I’m interested in:

He said it seemed unfair that newspaper executives and journalists who commissioned him had not been convicted of any wrongdoing. “It would appear unfair,” he told the programme. “It would appear they should have stood and be counted but quite frankly I wasn’t expecting any support from them.

“[Journalists] actually asked me to do it on their behalf. I suppose you could view it as my Oliver Twist to the press’s Fagin. Something along those lines. Requests were asked of me by people who I viewed as really being above reproach. They were huge corporations. I assumed they knew what they were asking for.”

Shorter: Oh, how was I meant to know it was wrong when huge corporations asked me to do it!

Is it just me, or is anyone else having trouble being sympathetic?

(I may agree with him that it’s not fair that others also didn’t get hit with any penalties, but that’s no excuse for him!)

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I don’t wear make-up very often. I tend to reserve it for three general situations: (1) where formal wear is required; (2) slightly more formal than usual work situations (eg job interviews); and (3) when I’m in the mood, because playing dress-up can be fun sometimes.

I’m wearing my red lipstick today in honour of International Whore’s Day, so I’ve got a bit of eye make-up on as well to balance out the red lips.

A colleague – who I’ve known for a while, but with whom I’ve only recently started working, so she hasn’t seen me in make-up very often – just came in and said: “you look nice!”

I bit back the comments about perpetuation of the patriarchal feminine beauty standard and just told her about International Whore’s Day.

However, I feel the need to rant a bit.


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I’m feeling a little bit proud of myself. In the past 24 hours, I’ve made two complaints to supervisors about the marginally (ie socially) acceptable behaviour of young men, and been taken seriously. (Incidentally, both of the supervisors I spoke to were named Rachel. So: kudos to Rachels!)

There are descriptions of the complaints I made at the bottom of this post, but for me, the meat of it is about whingeing as a feminist act.

Whingeing, complaining, bitching (and their close relation, nagging) are all modes of communication that women are said to engage in more than men. Whenever we point out that something is wrong, we are accused of whingeing. Whenever we ask someone to do something, we are nagging. My apologies for the lack of links – I can’t think of any concrete examples. But my guess is that it’s happened to all of us. And it’s such a truism, it’s the subject of many jokes & cartoons (again, no concrete examples spring to mind).

[One exception: the trope that “men whinge when they’re sick”. But although that’s often the subject of jokes, it’s generally considered ok. Because they’re such reasonable manly macho men the rest of the time!]

[Yes, that was sarcasm. In case you were wondering.]


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Mary O’Hara asks if a comedian who groped a woman onstage was crossing the line. She discusses some of the online conversation that followed the event, and she seems to think that it’s clear it’s not. Which is good. I’m with her on that.

However. I find this interesting:

But like Knight, I wonder if members of the audience – or Stewart Lee, the comedian who hosted the event – should have intervened. The young woman had seemed to go on stage of her on volition, but had no reason to suspect she would be pinned to the floor and groped. I did shout “get him fucking off you”, but obviously not loud enough. [my emphasis]


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