Newt In A Tea Cup











{December 11, 2006}   The Default

Reading the newspaper is something I love doing. Obsessively. I am, it seems, a bit of a paper junkie. I read ‘The Times’, ‘The Guardian’, sometimes ‘The Independent’ and, of course, the free papers that are handed to me on my morning commute – ‘The Argus Lite’ and ‘The Metro’. And this is where it gets interesting. Both are, forgive my judgement, sound-bite papers and only a couple of steps above ‘The Sun’ in terms of quality, mainly because they don’t have Page 3 girls (yet).

They are basically the paper of the journalist who doesn’t bother with deep research and whose longest article is not even half a page, despite the large print and even larger title. They are also brimming with subtle, but oh-so-there sexism.

Look – the paper of the uneducated, of those floating on the jetsam of what society feeds us, of those not looking for any mental improvement, lies in a sexist gutter.

NOTE: When I say uneducated I mean those who do not think for themselves and do not study around issues. I do not wish to base an argument on classism, please!

We can take from this what we will – a lazy life, a self-centred life (as advocated by lad’s mags) and a default life in our society is embedded with little instances of sexism on every page. Since this is the journalism that comes without thinking (and not saying that other newspapers don’t have their problems) this shows us what the default attitude is. Not a conclusive scientific study but it is no coincidence that those who prize intellectual ignorance tend to also advocate sexism.

Because sexism, along with racism, is the sociological, historical and still, though to a lesser degree, economic base of our society, the default fabric of our society is defective. To rise above this default it requires a conscious effort.

Notions of equality are something that our society squashes out of children through object lessons whilst preaching the end of prejudice at the same time. As a result we believe that the injustice is the herald that we have truly arrived and are better off (may I point to ladette culture and the rise of stripping?).

If we do not think, if we do not educate ourselves, we do not stay at the level our grandmothers have fought to achieve; we quickly snap back like a rubber-band to the default position.

The fight isn’t over until equality is the default.

Look around.

We’ve got a long way to go.

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