The Dawn Chorus

Fresh Australian Feminism

Posts Tagged ‘gossip’

Note To The Age: It’s 2008, Not 1850

Posted by Clem Bastow on July 29, 2008

The coverage of Sienna Miller’s relationship with Balthazar Getty continues this week (evidently he said he was separated from his wife; it was news to her), and regardless of what you think of all parties involved, I stifled a groan when I saw this front page The Age Online piece:

Yes, it says “Scarlet woman”. Yes, it says “Sienna Miller’s affairs” (no doubt meant to be a hilarious play upon words).

Seriously, The Age, “scarlet woman”? A casual Wiki browse might have been in order for the subs:

Then again, it’s not as though they have a great reputation of being right-on to uphold. Why is it that in cases like this, everybody seems to forget that there is also a man involved, a man who – if we are to believe any of this muck – deceived both Miller and his wife and four children, and yet it’s Miller who is at the receiving end of most (nay, all) of the criticism bandied about?

I am not saying that Sienna Miller is without fault here, but it is not her fault, as the papers and gossips would have you believe. It takes two, as they say, to tango.

Posted in Blog Watch, Celebrity, Media Watch | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

Dame Helen Mirren’s Red Bikini: It’s Okay To Be Old, So Long As You’re “Hot”

Posted by Clem Bastow on July 24, 2008

(Note: If you haven’t seen the photos of Dame Helen Mirren on holidays in her red bikini yet, have a look, lest the rest of this post make no sense.)

I’ve to’ed and fro’ed over the whole “OMG Helen Mirren in a bikini!” fuss for the past week – there’s no doubt that Mirren looks smashing in her swimsuit, but it’s the media and blogosphere’s reaction that bothers me, because the not-so-hidden undertones to the coverage essentially say, “See, we’ll put a 63-year-old woman in our paper! (Provided she looks ‘hot’.)”

If Mirren stepped out in a bikini with equal confidence but instead showed off varicose veins, a sagging bosom or crepey skin, you can bet your boots the papers would be howling, “Put some clothes on, nanna!”

And while much of the coverage purports to be batting for visibility on behalf of older women, I can’t help but feel as though all this does is exert yet more pressure on women – both older and younger – who don’t manage to fit into that small and unforgiving genre of appearance known as “hot”.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in body image, Celebrity, Media Watch | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Apparently “Blonde Piece” Is Now An Appropriate Descriptive Term For A Woman

Posted by Clem Bastow on July 3, 2008

Reader and honorary Dawn Chorine Jessica alerted us to this frankly hideous passage in The Age‘s gossipy/society Diary section; the story concerns the upper crust’s horror at housing developments underway in the upmarket Victorian suburb of Toorak:

Pete, who split with wife Virginia and began dating Melissa Skirton, the blonde piece involved in the Sam Newman skirmish 10 years ago, seems to have survived the matrimonial bonfire nicely.

Yes, you read that correctly, “blonde piece”. And not just that, a “blonde piece” whose only credentials, apparently, are havng dated Sam Newman.

Reason #4680 never to move in “those” circles, if being tainted with archaic sexist terminology is what it takes to get in the society pages.

Posted in Media Watch | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Mariah Carey And Nick Cannon Marked For Death (Of Their Relationship)

Posted by Clem Bastow on June 25, 2008

Not long after they actually tied the knot, the bets are already being placed on whether or not Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon will break up. Not only that, but they’ll break up within six months! Hold onto your butts! So sayeth Life & Style Weekly, via BANG! Showbiz, via The Age (is your head spinning yet?):

The source told Life and Style Weekly magazine: “I give the marriage six months, tops. I can’t see it lasting.

“Nick does whatever Mariah wants him to – he’s like her puppy. It seems like he spends more time in the stores with Mariah’s credit card than he does with Mariah herself.

Mariah’s assistants and friends call him ‘Whipped Nick’ behind his back.
They have little respect for him because he won’t stand up for himself.”

Stand up for himself against what – his wife who wants to spoil him rotten? God save the poor dude.

It strikes me that there are many subtle things at play here beyond the simple drive for gossip magazine sales, most glaringly the fact that Mariah is older than Nick (eleven years older, shock horror!), and the fact that Mariah is more successful than Nick. And whether or not he really is spending more time in the stores with her credit card than with her (everyone conveniently likes to forget that men can be gold diggers, too), it seems the media is still veerrry uncomfortable with the traditional relationship/gender roles (read: powerful older dude pulls hot trophy wife) being turned on their heads.

On top of that, could we all agree not to use the term “pussy whipped”, or any of its variants from now on (this includes making the whip-crack sound vocal sound effect), please?

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »