I have been reading Craig Murray, writing about his time as an ambassador in Uzbekistan. There is a lot of interesting stuff about how Tony Blair and co accepted that it was ok to take as evidence material that had been gained through torture by other regimes. A strange double standard that says we don’t actually torture but we let other people do it.
At one point Craig Murray talks to young women who tell him that it was standard practice for the police in Uzbekistan to rape women, in fact to invent reasons to question women so that they could rape them. Families then covered it up as, of course, girls had to be virgins when they married. There’s another double standard!
Talking to the young women made Craig Murray reflect on his own behaviour towards women. Declaring that he had had been “fortunate to have a number of extremely enjoyable relationships”, he went on to reflect: “I was always prone to falling head over heels in love. But these relationships had one thing in common. Whether in Central Europe, Russia, the Caribbean, Asia or Africa,there had always been a startling economic gap between the girl and me. I was much richer than them, or anyone whom they might normally meet.” To what extent, he wondered, was he really different from the Uzbek police? “Plainly, beautiful girls do not normally fancy greying, pot-bellied weaklings with bad teeth.”
Indeed! Take that to heart, Harvey Weinstein at al.
Craig Murray said his conversation with the Uzbek girls “resulted in a distinct change in (his) behaviour”. Maybe those accused of abusing their positions of power should be made to read Craig Murray.
It didn’t seem to stop him admiring, and describing at length.the beauty of the women he came across, but that is a different matter, I suppose. And then, he describes men and their good or bad looks with similar detail. So we can’t really accuse him of too much bias.
In the United States Miss America, the annual televised pageant, has announced that it will be scrapping the swimsuit portion from this year’s event. Instead of rating contestants on how they look in a bikini, judges will now rank the women on “who you are as a person from the inside of your soul”.
They are also getting rid of the evening gown section and asking contestants to wear clothes that make them feel confident. A spokeswoman for the pageant said: “We’ve heard from a lot of young women who say, ‘We’d love to be a part of your program but we don’t want to be out there in high heels and a swimsuit.’ So guess what, you don’t have to do that anymore.”
After 97 years of the competition, I suppose it’s time for a change.
Earlier this year Formula One decided to stop using the “grid girls”, scantily-clad models of more decorative use than anything else. I wonder if the Tour de France organisers will follow suit.
Meanwhile in a primary school in Inverness, I read yesterday, they announced that girls and boys will compete together on sports day instead of having boys’ events and girls’ events. It makes sense. Their physical development is pretty much level at that point. But some people have complained, saying that their sons are being bullied because they have been beaten by girls. Poor things!
Time to educate them all to be accepting of each other and to recognise the equality.
Surely in the egg and spoon race there should not be a problem. After all men and women compete against each other in equestrian events. And in football, girls and boys are allowed to play together up until the age of 18 after the Football Association changed the rules in 2015, and girls’ teams can play against boys’ teams in organised leagues up to the age of 12.
Time for more up to date attitudes all round.