Diane Abbott attacks Britain’s ‘striptease culture’


by Sunny Hundal    
8:33 am - January 22nd 2013

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Labour shadow minister Diane Abbott will today call for better sex education in an attack on Britain’s “hyper-sexualised” and “striptease” culture.

In a speech to the Fabian Society Women’s network today she will say:

It’s a hyper-sexualised British culture in which women are objectified, objectify one another, and are encouraged to objectify themselves; where homophobic bullying is normalised; and young boys’ world view is shaped by hardcore American pornography and other dark corners of the internet.

She will say she isn’t arguing for “prudishness or hankering after some rose-tinted picture of childhood”, but for better education and better tools for parents to control what sort of content their children can access.

Parents and teachers have a duty to ensure that children develop a healthy view of sexuality, she will say.

We need to talk about how we put families, and not the lowest common denominator of the market, back in control. We’ve got to build a society based on open-minded family values, and not ‘anything goes’ market values.

The speech won’t call for censorship either, but she will propose that it should be easier for parents and teachers to block adult and age-restricted material for kids.

We’re seeing an alien, warped view of sex normalised into our culture, engrained by the invisible hand of the market.

The shadow health minister will also call on the government to publish its review of personal, social, health and economics (PSHE) education, and sexual health policy document.

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Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


1. Chaise Guevara

Uh, “striptease” culture? Weirdly specific thing to call it.

“She will say she isn’t arguing for “prudishness or hankering after some rose-tinted picture of childhood”, but for better education and better tools for parents to control what sort of content their children can access.”

I think she’s worrying about nowt, and anyone who can use “striptease” as a scary word is pretty obviously a prude. But at least she’s going the right way about it.

“The speech won’t call for censorship either, but she will propose that it should be easier for parents and teachers to block adult and age-restricted material for kids.”

I don’t see what teachers have to do with this. Surely there isn’t any adult material within their sphere of control anyway?

I agree that Britain is hypersexualised and that women – and men as well actually – are objectified and encouraged to objectify themselves. But what is Diane Abbot actually proposing?

“We’ve got to build a society based on open-minded family values, and not ‘anything goes’ market values” – well that doesn’t mean anything, it’s such a vague statement it says nothing at all. Might I suggest that Diane comes up with specifics or stays silent.

Peace

Vote for virtue, motherhood and apple pie.

At least she’s correctly identified the source of hypersexualisation as being the result of market forces rather than the patriarchy or kyriarchy.

5. Chaise Guevara

@ 4 Cylux

“At least she’s correctly identified the source of hypersexualisation as being the result of market forces rather than the patriarchy or kyriarchy.”

In a broad sense, “people going out in skimpy clothes because they know it helps them to pull” counts as a market force, and I’m guessing that’s the main driver of what we’re apparently calling hyper-sexualisation for some reason.

Hyper-sexualisation! It’s almost as scary as those killographic video games I’ve been hearing about.

It’s a hyper-sexualised British culture in which women are objectified, objectify one another, and are encouraged to objectify themselves; where homophobic bullying is normalised; and young boys’ world view is shaped by hardcore American pornography and other dark corners of the internet.

I like the way she gets in the old left kneejerk anti-Americanism into it because, hey, American hardcore produced by a regulated industry is far worse than Russian or Asian porn, what with it being American and all.

Too bad there isn’t a larger Israeli porn industry as the Left could really go apeshit.

We’ve got to build a society based on open-minded family values, and not ‘anything goes’ market values.

Ah, right: Family Values vs. American Cultural Imperislism. Gotta resist America even if it means embracing a family institution which is inheritantly patriarchal and heteronormative.

At least she’s consistant in supporting reactionary social structures at home as well as abroad.

“At least she’s consistant in supporting reactionary social structures at home as well as abroad.”

What’s so reactionary about children growing up with the two people who created them?

I don’t think there’s a great difference between Abbott or Keith Vaz’s harrassment of adult industry consumers and the fuckwads attacking others for their alternative lifestyles in Tower Hamlets: they both think expressions of sexuality outside narrow parameters is dirty.

What’s so reactionary about children growing up with the two people who created them?

Because relationships aren’t just about producing babies.

At what point does “hypersexualisation” become “hyposexualisation” of men leading to the rising incidence of ED, falling sperm counts and the increasing demand for sex reassignment surgery on the NHS?

Why do I keep finding all this stuff on the web about the “hot wife” phenomenon and cuckolding?

“The cost of cleaning up UK rivers, streams and drinking water supplies that have been contaminated with synthetic hormones could be up to £30bn.

“[A] report by the European Union revealed the extent to which chemicals from contraceptive pills are polluting our waterways. High levels of the female hormone Oestrogen contaminate water supplies as it returns to the water system from the millions of women on the pill or hormone replacement therapy (HRT). It is also found in some industrial chemicals. Oestrogen is not filtered out on a large scale meaning it is ingested by anyone drinking water straight from the tap without a water filtration system.”
http://www.cascade-water-filters.co.uk/how-female-hormones-are-contaminating-our-water-supply.aspx

By many reports on the web: “Fish, apparently male, are developing female sexual organs.”

The “striptease culture” is the market response to female ascendancy. Girls have overtaken boys in school leaving exams and the majority of undergraduates are now women.

11. Chaise Guevara

@ 8 Shatterface

“I don’t think there’s a great difference between Abbott or Keith Vaz’s harrassment of adult industry consumers and the fuckwads attacking others for their alternative lifestyles in Tower Hamlets: they both think expressions of sexuality outside narrow parameters is dirty.”

Nail on the head. This is just another example of trying to change other people’s private lives because you (not you) find them distasteful – although I should point out again that Abbott is at least trying to do it fairly noninvasively, rather than banning pornography or changing indecent exposure law to include the baring of the ankles.

12. Chaise Guevara

@ 10 Bob B

“At what point does “hypersexualisation” become “hyposexualisation” of men leading to the rising incidence of ED, falling sperm counts and the increasing demand for sex reassignment surgery on the NHS?”

You went a bit mad at the end there, but I do think part of what drives this sort of thing is a hatred of male sexuality. It may also include hatred of female sexuality – probably does in this case.

“Why do I keep finding all this stuff on the web about the “hot wife” phenomenon and cuckolding?”

Because you keep typing it into Google, Bob. What’s the “hot wife” phenomenon?

“The “striptease culture” is the market response to female ascendancy. Girls have overtaken boys in school leaving exams and the majority of undergraduates are now women.”

Female liberation, not ascendancy. I can see no sensible link between female academic success and skimpy outfits in nightclubs, except maybe some very vague issue around personal confidence.

Women dress like this now because they’re allowed to.

Chaise: “Female liberation, not ascendancy. I can see no sensible link between female academic success and skimpy outfits in nightclubs, except maybe some very vague issue around personal confidence.”

Look at the evidence – which supports my thesis. The striptease culture is a predictable market reaction in order to revive male interest in women as women. If Simone de Beauvoir were writing her feminist manual now, she could put as the title: The Premier Sex.

Look at the incredible international sales of the Shades of Grey triology – which I’ve seen being read openly on public transport by young women. That didn’t used to happen with Clevland’s Fanny Hill or Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover. And note that the author of the Shades of Grey triology is a woman.

“There were 26.4 million households in the UK in 2012. Of these, 29 per cent consisted of only one person .” [ONS on the 2011 Census]

“There are currently almost 7 million people living alone in England compared to 3 million in 1971 and the number is projected to increase to around 9 million by 2021. This increase has come about despite a relatively stable population so, for example, around 14% of the population in England currently live alone compared with 6.5% in 1971. Around half of those living alone are of working age whilst the other half are of pensionable age.” [Joseph Rowntree Foundation]
http://www.jrf.org.uk/sites/files/jrf/palmer-9781859354759.pdf

That’s reckoned to be officially important because single person households cost the NHS and social services extra spending.

I suggest you google to find out more on hot wife phenomena.

At what point does “hypersexualisation” become “hyposexualisation” of men leading to the rising incidence of ED, falling sperm counts and the increasing demand for sex reassignment surgery on the NHS?

I’m not aware of any cases of men ever requesting gender reassignment because of a lack of strip shows.

Please don’t help.

15. Chaise Guevara

@ 13 Bob B

“Look at the evidence – which supports my thesis.”

What evidence? So women are more comfortable reading porn and there are more single households. Both of those support my thesis, not yours.

“I suggest you google to find out more on hot wife phenomena”

I’m at work. I’m not googling “hot wife”. If it means something I’m sure you can sum it up.

That’s reckoned to be officially important because single person households cost the NHS and social services extra spending.

I’m not going to get married to save tax payers money: I have to pay tax for their children’s education. I think they get the better part of the deal.

Well said B, I din’t even know Abbott was a fabian

Chaise: “What evidence? ”

Try re-reading the post @10. It’s not just that girls overtaking boys in school leaving exams or that the majority of undergraduates are now women.

Among men, why the increase in the incidence of ED, the falling sperm count and the increasing demand for sex reassignment surgery on the NHS? What is happening to fish gives us an insight. There are mutually consistent trends in the evidence.

Why do I keep finding all this stuff on the web about the “hot wife” phenomenon and cuckolding?

I know what you mean – I cum across it all the time.

Oh well, that’s enough politics for the day, I’m off to look at Youporn – it’s more fun!

I think what Bob wants to look at is endocrine disrupters, particularly the routes of exposure part. Starts to look a lot less like a female ascendancy problem then old chum.

Shades of DH Lawrence

“Gardener ‘beat woman with a rope in sadomasochistic sex session they planned after reading Fifty Shades Of Grey’”

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2266318/Gardener-beat-woman-rope-sadomasochistic-sex-session-planned-reading-Fifty-Shades-Grey.html

22. Chaise Guevara

@ 18 Bob B

“Among men, why the increase in the incidence of ED, the falling sperm count and the increasing demand for sex reassignment surgery on the NHS? What is happening to fish gives us an insight. There are mutually consistent trends in the evidence.”

You’re just assuming that’s the cause, though. I’m leaving sex reassignment out of it, because I reckon that’s just because it’s becoming more socially acceptable, and perhaps the tech is getting better or cheaper. So let’s consider possible reasons for the other two.

It could be men feeling emasculated due to earning less than their wife etc. I wouldn’t call that “female ascendency” though, I’d call it equality (in a broad sense, not in each individual relationship.

Or it could be environmental factors. Possibly chemical. Maybe those hormones you say are in the water supply, maybe the sort of food we eat or drugs we take.

I don’t see what any of this has to do with Abbott’s stupid “striptease culture” though.

23. Chaise Guevara

@ 19 Deviant

“I know what you mean – I cum across it all the time.”

…Aaaand that’s why I don’t want to type it into Google.

Rather suspicious that Bob can’t just tell me what he’s on about, though.

24. Chaise Guevara

One more thing: why on earth is an article about people being all horrid and licentious illustrated with a picture of a gagged woman? Was it a choice between that and Sad Woman Holding Cushion? Do you even think before you choose pictures on this site?

In response to the request by Chaise here @15, try this on: The Science of Cuckoldry (2009), by Susan Gower:
http://www.hotwifeblog.com/2009/10/21/science-of-cukoldry/

IMO that more or less demolishes Diane Abbott’s claims about an increase in a striptease culture.

What we have is a predictable business search for profitable market opportunities arising from the ascendancy of feminism.

Recall that famous occasion when the chief prosecutor, Mervyn Griffith-Jones, in the trial of Penguin Books in 1960 for (re)publishing Lady Chatterley’s Lover, asked if it were the kind of book “you would wish your wife or servants to read”. Much has transpired since then. Btw recap that we had a Conservative government at the time of that trial.

Try this report in the Indpendent of 12 April 2012 on lap dancing clubs:

“The human cost of UK’s £300m addiction to lap-dancing – Amy stopped working in lap- dancing clubs six months ago. For a while she enjoyed the work: it brought in much- needed cash at a time when money was short, the rent was due and immediate job options were limited. But eventually she knew it was time to quit. . . . ” [Independent]

Better still, read up about Dr Brooke Magnanti in her role as Belle de Jour. And this from the BBC website:

“Greater numbers of students in England are turning to prostitution to fund their education, the National Union of Students (NUS) claims. The NUS also says students are turning to gambling and taking part in medical experiments to fund their studies.”

26. white trash

“open-minded family values”

Yeah yeah Diane, what you really mean is you want it all to go back to “now children, when a man and a woman are really, really in love, they get married, and then a baby comes along …”

Talk about the conservative left. Why do they even bother having separate parties. Oh yes, keeping up appearances.

27. Chaise Guevara

@ 25 Bob B

Bob, I told you I was at work and that link just smacked into the content filter.

Stop being a dick.

Family values?

“Unmarried couples are now more likely than married couples to have children. ” [Telegraph 1 November 2012]
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9649093/Number-of-unmarried-parents-doubles.html

The Science of Cuckoldry???

Sorry, Bob, that’s not evidence. That’s a sex therapist’s piss poor attempt to rework Don Symons’ work on the evolution of human sexuality into a quasi-feminist pop psychology moneyspinner while mangling Symons’ work beyond all recognition.

Women have a ‘dual sex drive’? Bollocks.

30. white trash

You’ve got to hand it to Diane though, this topic is pure comedy.

@Chaise and Bob B whatever other factors may also be involved, hot-wifing is as much a product of our aging demographic profile as anything else.

Fact is that straight sex is super-exciting for youngsters, and fair enough, we’ve all been at that stage, but when you’re on into your forties, fifties, sixties … nineties, whatever, esp with the same partner, it’s a natural urge to need to liven things up some.

Oh and Bob, you might need to check your computer usage, because I never get any hot wives or cuckoldry on mine, more’s the pity.

The best I ever get is stuff like “datavisualization charting multi series” which is nowhere near as interesting.

21 Refresh

The writing in Fifty Shades of Grey triology has none of the great qualities of DH Lawrence. “The Rainbow” is widely rated his finest novel but that was also banned at one time, as well as “Lady Chatterley’s Lover”. With all Lawrence’s “thinking with the blood” notions, Bertrand Russell described Lawrence as a “fascist” in his History of Western Philosophy but that doesn’t detract from the power and evocative quality of Lawrence’s writing. The striking factors about the Shades of Grey triology are the huge international sales in a short time and the fact that the author is a woman. Those who have read Pauline Reage’s The Story of O (1954) may recall that it was written in response to a challenge from the author’s lover, Jean Paulhan, that women couldn’t write good pornography:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anne_Desclos

Sadly, what emerges from the discussion here IMO is how out-of-touch Diane Abbott is. Some years back, I found: Confessions of a Working Girl, by Miss S (Penguin Books) among the best-selling family paperbacks in the Tesco superstore I used to shop at. It was another, but well-written tale of a student working her way through college at the massage parlour down the road from her lodgings.

32. Shatterface

The writing in Fifty Shades of Grey triology has none of the great qualities of DH Lawrence

J.G. Ballard’s Crash is more my thing.

30 White trash:

“Fact is that straight sex is super-exciting for youngsters, and fair enough, we’ve all been at that stage, but when you’re on into your forties, fifties, sixties … nineties, whatever, esp with the same partner, it’s a natural urge to need to liven things up some.”

Note these differences:

Life expectancy (England): Male – 78 versus Women – 82
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-19410699

“Data from the Office for National Statistics shows that the number of suicides among men aged over 55 has risen by 12% over the past decade, while suicides by men aged under 34 dropped by 30%. . . Official statistics show that 4,517 people in England and Wales killed themselves in 2010, of whom 75% were men” [Guardian 15 July 2012]

34. white trash

Hi Bob @33, not sure what you mean.
Could you be more, er, explicit?

35. Shatterface

“Data from the Office for National Statistics shows that the number of suicides among men aged over 55 has risen by 12% over the past decade, while suicides by men aged under 34 dropped by 30%. . . Official statistics show that 4,517 people in England and Wales killed themselves in 2010, of whom 75% were men” [Guardian 15 July 2012]

I’m trying to work out what the hell this has to do with a the hyper-sexualizing of popular culture – assuming the ‘suicide’ statistics you quote aren’t a cover story for accidental death caused by asphyxiwanking.

36. Shatterface

“The human cost of UK’s £300m addiction to lap-dancing – Amy stopped working in lap- dancing clubs six months ago. For a while she enjoyed the work: it brought in much- needed cash at a time when money was short, the rent was due and immediate job options were limited. But eventually she knew it was time to quit. . . . ” [Independent]

That’s a bizarre type of ‘addiction’: one that iis financially proffitable and one you can quit when the time comes.

Sounds like a part time job.

Having gone to read the independent article about strippers getting less money during the downturn I can’t help but notice that the headline “The human cost of UK’s £300m addiction to lap-dancing” and strapline “The strip club industry is surviving the downturn, but only by targeting the most vulnerable, as women are paid less to perform”, have pretty much fuck all to do with the following article.

“Of the 197 dancers interviewed by the University of Leeds researchers, 70 per cent of respondents reported leaving at least one shift with no money to show for it. Nonetheless, job satisfaction remained high at 74 per cent with the most popular perks being the flexible hours and the ability to earn cash straight away.” doesn’t exactly paint a grim picture of exploitation.

34 White Trash

“Could you be more, er, explicit?”

With longer life expectancy than men and a much lower suicide rate, as well as the better grades in school leaving exams, women are the premier sex, so much so that men are increasingly intimidated in addition to being feminised by the female hormones in the water supply. Evidence of the increasing feminisation – besides the hot wife and cuckolding phenomena – is that the life expectancy gap for men and women is shrinking, which is what we should expect to observe if the feminisation theory is valid.

The intimidation factor is why the percentage single person households is rising and why so many babies are born nowadays to unmarried couples.

All this striptease culture and what goes with it is a predictable market response to revive men’s interest in women as women. Predictably, women complain while collecting cash doing the lap dancing and writing porn and then blasting men for being fixated with the striptease and the porn as that “objectifies” women.

@5

In a broad sense, “people going out in skimpy clothes because they know it helps them to pull” counts as a market force, and I’m guessing that’s the main driver of what we’re apparently calling hyper-sexualisation for some reason.

Nah it’s more along the lines of, “Phwoor! Look at that shirtless guy’s abs. Buy our Diet Cola.” As far as market forces go anyway. I’ve no idea why sexualised has changed to hypersexualised, but apparently it’s got something to do with France and lingerie for kids, probably airbrushing too no doubt.

Bob B,

That report in the Daily Mail I linked to was the funniest thing I have seen in quite a long.

Its a must read. Given the guy also employed CCTV around his house, its only a matter of time the tape appears on You’ve Been Framed, that is if Diane Abbot is right and our children are being left undefended from uncontrollable market forces.

Sounds like she’s joined the ‘Muslim Patrol’ in East London.

better tools for parents to control what sort of content their children can access [...]

The speech won’t call for censorship either, but she will propose that it should be easier for parents and teachers to block adult and age-restricted material for kids.

Abbott should get together with Claire Perry and set up an ISP that does parental controls and site blocking the way they think it should be done. If they are right that lots of people want it, they will make lots of money (and will deserve to, because they’ve made something people want). If they are wrong, they won’t. Either way, they wouldn’t be forcing anyone to do anything they don’t want to. If they actually believed their own rhetoric, they would do this.

But are they going to do this? No, they are not. Instead they want to threaten ISPs with violence unless the ISPs do what they want.

@12: I do think part of what drives this sort of thing is a hatred of male sexuality. It may also include hatred of female sexuality

Some people are uptight about sexuality full stop.

“our children are being left undefended from uncontrollable market forces.”

“British teenage girls are biggest binge drinkers in Europe”
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9369328/British-teenage-girls-are-biggest-binge-drinkers-in-Europe.html

With longer life expectancy than men and a much lower suicide rate, as well as the better grades in school leaving exams, women are the premier sex, so much so that men are increasingly intimidated in addition to being feminised by the female hormones in the water supply. Evidence of the increasing feminisation – besides the hot wife and cuckolding phenomena – is that the life expectancy gap for men and women is shrinking, which is what we should expect to observe if the feminisation theory is valid.

The intimidation factor is why the percentage single person households is rising and why so many babies are born nowadays to unmarried couples.

Luckily for those fears of feminisation Bob’s just produced by and far the biggest set of bollocks to chase em off.
For a start the higher suicide rate for men is usually due to middle aged blues, feeling useless and with nothing left to offer, particularly if said man is divorced and any children have grown up and are thoroughly independent, rather than being intimidated by women. Better exam grades tell us that girls are much better at sitting still and doing what they’re told, which is pretty much all teaching counts for in these days of ‘training for employment passed off as education’. The hormones in the water thing is often trotted out as a reason for banning contraceptives, but what you would expect from that is an increase in the incidence of intersex people being born, not intimidated men.

“Evidence of the increasing feminisation – besides the hot wife and cuckolding phenomena” is a fantastic piece of cobblers which ignores one fact of male sexuality, that kinks are more likely present than not, cuckolding belongs in the same box with foot fetishes, S&M, dogging, exhibitionism, swingers parties etc, and are only evidence of sexual liberation and a desire to actually discuss what turns you on with your partner. Something which didn’t happen so much in the days of ‘lie back and think of England’.

“is that the life expectancy gap for men and women is shrinking, which is what we should expect to observe if the feminisation theory is valid.” Course you’re leaving out that for women life expectancy has effectively plateaued, as well as men no longer necessarily working themselves into early graves.

The intimidation factor is why the percentage single person households is rising and why so many babies are born nowadays to unmarried couples.
This is just a non-sequitur. Bit self-contradictory as well to be honest

“It’s a hyper-sexualised British culture in which women are objectified, objectify one another, and are encouraged to objectify themselves; where homophobic bullying is normalised; and young boys’ world view is shaped by hardcore American pornography and other dark corners of the internet.”

I think this is moralism, frankly, which is the last thing the left should be engaging in.

In what way should our culture be less sexualised? Why can’t we accept that sex is a good thing? What happened to the sexual revolution?

How is homophobic bullying in any way caused by a “sexualised” society? Was the past a halcyon age of gay-friendliness, or was it much, much worse?

Isn’t the fear of boys being “shaped” by US pornography just another expression of the age-old conservative notion that mass culture will corrupt the young? Like the idea that novels would corrupt young women in the 18th century?

Let’s be blunt, the growing “sexualisation” of society has gone hand-in-hand with a massive improvement in the conditions of women and LGBT people.

Better sex education? Yes, let’s have it, but leave the moralising at the door.

I have a lot in common with Diane Abbott politically, and I think she’s an admirable person in many ways, but I sincerely hope her efforts in this direction fail.

Bob B,

I would add online gambling to binge drinking.

Both of which we can attribute to the failure to control advertising and dropping of regulations by the very moral Tony Blair. All because those industries create jobs.

It would not surprise me if a figure not-dissimilar to Blair had rationalised slavery in much the same way.

“It’s a hyper-sexualised British culture in which women are objectified, objectify one another, and are encouraged to objectify themselves.”

“Young boys’ world view is shaped by hardcore American pornography and other dark corners of the internet.”

“We need to talk about how we put families, and not the lowest common denominator of the market, back in control. We’ve got to build a society based on open-minded family values, and not ‘anything goes’ market values.”

“We’re seeing an alien, warped view of sex normalised into our culture, engrained by the invisible hand of the market.”

The Hackney roots of Blue Labour are showing after all.

Diane Abbott is still wrong to put her faith in the Sex Education racket. But the foundations are very solid indeed. We can deal with the roof when we come to have to put it on.

You cannot be both a capitalist and a conservative. It is plainly and simply impossible.

49. Shatterface

Evidence of the increasing feminisation – besides the hot wife and cuckolding phenomena.

Just who are women cuckolding their husbands with if all men are being emasculated?

50. Shatterface

Let’s be blunt, the growing “sexualisation” of society has gone hand-in-hand with a massive improvement in the conditions of women and LGBT people.

Most of the gay men I know found gay porn a safe way to explore their sexuality before daring chat up another man.

Most straight kids will see porn before they have sex of course but they’ll generally enter the world of adult sexuality incrementally through more socially encouraged practices like holding hands, kissing, heavy petting, etc. long before they reach the age of consent.

Cylux: “Something which didn’t happen so much in the days of ‘lie back and think of England’. ”

Exactly when was that? Before John Cleland produced Fanny Hill in 1748 and got arrested? Before Walter produced My Secret Life in 1888? Before the Yellow book of Aubrey Beardsley? Before Edward VII and his adulterous affairs? Before Vita Sackville-West? Before Before James Joyce published Ulysses in 1922? Before Frank Harris produced his autobiography: My Life and Loves in 1922? Before Radcliffe Hall’s The Well of Loneliness, published in 1928? Before the Bloomsbury group? Before the original, uncensored publication of Lady Chatterley’s Lover in 1928?

Exactly when was that? Before John Cleland produced Fanny Hill in 1748 and got arrested? Before Walter produced My Secret Life in 1888? Before the Yellow book of Aubrey Beardsley? Before Edward VII and his adulterous affairs? Before Vita Sackville-West? Before Before James Joyce published Ulysses in 1922? Before Frank Harris produced his autobiography: My Life and Loves in 1922? Before Radcliffe Hall’s The Well of Loneliness, published in 1928? Before the Bloomsbury group? Before the original, uncensored publication of Lady Chatterley’s Lover in 1928?

Er, not in front of the servants please Bob, we don’t want them getting ideas now do we?

Deviant: “Er, not in front of the servants please Bob, we don’t want them getting ideas now do we?”

Try this informal history of the lives and loves of the Bloomsbury Group by Paul Levy:
http://www.ua.es/personal/jalvarez/Word/Adiciones%20de%202005/levy.rtf

As another observer put it, everybody was sleeping with everybody else at various points . . .

Is “Hypersexualization” something to do with faster broadband access?

I hope so. I googled Diane Abbot a moment ago, and I’ve never seen a BBW MILF take so long to get undressed. Not even a Black/Ebony one.

YAY for Diane Abbott.
Nay for most of the comments here.

One solution: Ban all pr0n. It’s evil.

Peace.

A lot of what i have read in these comments,
just seem to me to be an excuse for selfish
behaviour.
I was taught once you have kids their
wellbeing becomes the overriding priority,
your life goes on the backburner.
So if Diane Abbott is concerned about the
the welfare of children, good for her.

@51 So you’re claiming the feminisation of men started way back in 1748 now? Plus just because it’s in a book doesn’t mean it’s prevalent practice at the time, 50 Shades of Grey might have shifted a few copies, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that BDSM has become mainstream, anymore than the popularity of the Twilight series indicates a boom in the vampire population.

Plus wasn’t it like up to like the 1970′s where in the majority of households the only book they had was the bible?

59. Chaise Guevara

@ 39 Cylux

“Nah it’s more along the lines of, “Phwoor! Look at that shirtless guy’s abs. Buy our Diet Cola.” As far as market forces go anyway.”

That would be market forces affecting advertising, though, not market forces affecting culture.

@59 You’ve lost me. Far as I can see its market forces using sex to sell something completely unrelated to sex. Once everyone’s doing that then fatigue sets in so you need to push the boundaries to get people’s attention, thus accentuating sexual aspects of whoever you’re using to hawk your goods with. Plus the rest of the media is competing with advertisers for people’s attention too. Whether or not you regard what regularly appears on the telly or in magazines counts as culture is up to you really. But that is how market forces lead to hyper sexualised images and not say misogyny.

61. Chaise Guevara

@ 60 Cylux

My understanding of the “market forces” thing is that they were being blamed for (sigh) hyper-sexualised behaviour in people, rather than (or as well as) images in the media. Hence me saying you were talking about advertising rather than culture.

Everything’s down to market forces anyway, so I think it’s a moot point.

@61 Naa, hypersexualised behaviour in people is usually associated with bipolar disorders.

63. Chaise Guevara

@ 62 Cylux

Presumably that’s only if you use the term properly, rather than the hysterical way it seems to be being used here.

Could be worse. According to the Beeb’s article on this, the UK is being “pornified”. I have no idea what that means.

@ Bob 53.

Errrr, I think you’ve made my point for me. The Bloomsbury group were a tiny elite bunch of intelectuals who lived lives far removed from those of ordinary people.

Once again, not in front of the servants Bob, you’ll give them ideas and then I won’t be able to get a decent scullery maid.

Chaise: “According to the Beeb’s article on this, the UK is being ‘pornified’. I have no idea what that means.”

It means that Diane Abbott has encountered manifestations of the Shades of Grey triology. By recent press reports: “Fifty Shades of Grey has become the best-selling book in Britain since records began, surpassing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows with sales of 5.3 million copies.”
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/booknews/9459779/50-Shades-of-Grey-is-best-selling-book-of-all-time.html

Sadly, I think our heritage of historic porn literature and writing escaped her notice. The interesting aspect about this is that pornography in the English literary canon – Cleland’s Fanny Hill (1748) and DH Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley (1928) – is about rumbustious straight sex whereas the equivalents in the French literary canon – De Sade (18th century) and L’Histoire d’O (1954) – are about sado-masochism.

66. Shatterface

@61 Naa, hypersexualised behaviour in people is usually associated with bipolar disorders.

I’ve never been called hypersexualised before but you’ve made my day!

67. white trash

@Mary Tracy 55
You are a poe and I claim my five pounds.

Spending less time in front of the television, internet and more reading is a good place to start. A decent parent should know, monitor and control what their child watches.

69. Truth's spokesperson 551000

Funny! Say the MASS GANG RAPE by MUSLIM GANGS of NON-MUSLIM/WHITE girls, that’s been happening for years ALL OVER the country, is part of a ‘culture’ and you get called a racist and an Islamophobe.

But typical of racist Tweeting Abbott that she wallows in the chance to attack a spot of ‘British’ (read mostly white) culture over the treatment of girls/children.

Next she’ll be saying the Muslim thugs threatening women for not covering up, men drinking and making Homophobic threats in “Muslim areas” are the victims of Islamaphobia too.

70. white trash

Oh Bob, Bob, Bob. you have some maybe half valid points in among what you’ve written here, but you are conflating far too many disparate and half-digested pieces of info in a way that isn’t justified, IMO.

For a start, as a born female, I really don’t feel that women are in ascendancy over men in any meaningful way. Something like this may appear to be happening to the superficial – or interested – eye, but if you analyse more closely you’ll see that this B-movie style fantasy of women marching round over poor cringing men is no more than that; a fantasy.

Far more real are overwhelming structural factors such as the scrapping of industrial work in this country and its replacement with the service sector. What this means is that female characteristics are now far more in demand than male in the British workplace. Physically powerful, traditionally masculine males are increasingly being thrown aside by employers.

This is very convenenient for those in charge as feminine people, in groups and on average, tend to be more compliant and more amenable to control than more masculine people.

You also seem to be inventing a myth that the French do S&M and Brits not so much. For one thing, de Sade’s works are as much political and moral philosophy as anything else – as is clear if you see Marat/Sade (RSC 1967) – and for another there is some in Fanny Hill itself as well as so much historically in this country that flagellation has been described as “the English vice” :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sadism_and_masochism_in_fiction

White trash

“Something like this may appear to be happening to the superficial – or interested – eye, but if you analyse more closely you’ll see that this B-movie style fantasy of women marching round over poor cringing men is no more than that; a fantasy.”

C’mon. The observable consequence of girls overtaking boys in school leaving exams is that the majority of undergrads at uni are now women. Sadly, it wasn’t like that when I was a student. Within a few years, the majority of GPs will be women. As for “cringing men”, I keep finding endless stuff on the web about female-led marriages, the unquenchable needs of hotwives and men becoming reconciled to cuckoldry. There was even a recent post somewhere on the web reporting that women were topping the league of hedge-fund managers.

“Physically powerful, traditionally masculine males are increasingly being thrown aside by employers.”

Absolutely true. Men are taking comfort in watching football instead.

The French regard De Sade’s writing as a valued part of the France’s literary heritage. As for “la vice Anglaise”, the French have variously applied that description to condoms, flagellation and sodomy, depending on the issue of the moment, so to speak, but then France and England were historic enemies for centuries. I once asked an engaging French assistante, over here to help us speak French, as to why this had survived for so long. Because of Jeanne d’Arc was all she would say. I responded by remarking that the ecclesiastical authorities in France had burned Jeanne d’Arc at the stake. Btw I wonder why it is “la vice” and not “le vice” – I had to kook it up to be sure.

What is true is that Britain retained corporal punishment in schools years after it was abandoned in other west European countries and then we had that epidemic of Satanic abuse starting the the late 1980s, followed by the epidemic of Munchausen’s Syndome By Proxy. In contrast, those continentals compensated with the clerical abuse of children on a epidemic scale while we only had Jimmy Saville to compare with the likes of Dutroux in Belgium and Fritzl and Natascha Kampusch in Austria. Harold Shipman’s serial homicides of the elderly made much less addictive reading.

For interest, I looked for the latest news about Natasha Kampusch, try this:

Kampusch movie shows harrowing new pics:
http://austriantimes.at/news/Panorama/2013-01-17/46542/Kampusch_Movie_shows_harrowing_new_pics

“It was clear. Only one of us would survive. In the end, that was me. And not him,” she said in an interview.

Can’t quite believe the comments here. I didn’t read prudishness into Abbott’s speech or see anything to suggest she thinks sex is dirty or wants a return to 50s style traditional families. She said ‘open-minded’ before ‘family values’ for a start.

I happen to agree with her that children need age-appropriate education so that they develop a healthy adult sexuality. Surely nobody would dispute that p0rn is more available to teenagers than ever before? Or do people naively believe that it has no effect on teenagers’ attitudes to sex and relationships? Particularly if it’s violent or coercive?

Yes the word ‘striptease’ is outdated and I have no idea why she singles out ‘American’ p0rn but her points are valid.

This trailer for an educational film about straight relationships is a good example of serious issues about how boys and girls relate to each other, that need to be dealt with in schools:

http://www.mediaed.org/cgi-bin/commerce.cgi?preadd=action&key=250

74. Shatterface

I happen to agree with her that children need age-appropriate education so that they develop a healthy adult sexuality. Surely nobody would dispute that p0rn is more available to teenagers than ever before?

I think its hard to make a case you aren’t being prudish when you insist on using euphemisms like ‘p0rn’.

If we are using euphemisms, I vote for ‘Grumble Vids’.

76. Chaise Guevara

“Can’t quite believe the comments here. I didn’t read prudishness into Abbott’s speech or see anything to suggest she thinks sex is dirty or wants a return to 50s style traditional families. She said ‘open-minded’ before ‘family values’ for a start.”

Difficult to be sure without more detail on what she’s actually objecting to, but I’m prepared to guess it’s things like half-naked models being used to sell stuff, people going out in skimpy clothes and sleeping with each other, etc. If so I don’t know what her issue is.

Assuming that’s the case, she evidentally thinks some aspects of sex are dirty and/or unwanted. And that’s obviously true, but I wouldn’t count boob tubes among them.

“I happen to agree with her that children need age-appropriate education so that they develop a healthy adult sexuality.”

Everyone here does, I think. Assuming you’re not anti-sex-ed, the above is trivially true (who would say they want age-inappropriate sex ed or to encourage unhealthy attitudes?). The issue is that there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with sex ed at the moment, so I for one am suspicious about what sort of changes she’d make to support her personal definition of “healthy”.

“Surely nobody would dispute that p0rn is more available to teenagers than ever before? Or do people naively believe that it has no effect on teenagers’ attitudes to sex and relationships?”

Definitely and I doubt it.

73 Violet: “Surely nobody would dispute that p0rn is more available to teenagers than ever before?”

That’s because of the internet. If, and only if, you go looking for it, porn is not difficult to find on the web.

That acquittal of Penguin Books in 1960 for publishing Lady Chatterley’s Lover uncensored is what opened access to pornographic literature in Britain. Go into any good bookshop with a stock of literature nowadays and there on the shelves in alphabetical order will be Cleland, DH Lawrence and Reage.

The movie of The Story of O on DVD can be bought from Amazon and there is also a DVD of the Danish TV series in 10 episodes, where it was rated for viewing at age 15. We really need to compare what they do in other countries – like visiting the central shopping district in Copenhagen or watching shows on TV in Japan.

Japan is the obvious counter to claims that porn fosters sex crimes. The incidence of rape there is low but Japan has long historic tradition of erotic art with “shunga”, the roots of which go back to the shogunate when the feudal overlords were obliged by the Shogun to keep their families with retainers in Edo (renamed Tokyo after the Meiji revolution in 1868) whenever they travelled back to their estates in the country to collect rents and settle local business:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shunga

Japan rivals America over which has the larger porn industry. As might be expected, “liberal” San Francisco in America has what is probably the largest studio for making porn videos – try the Wikipedia entry for: San Francisco Armory.

Btw Sir Robert Mark was brought in as an outsider to become Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police in 1972 to clean up the force. Some members of the elite Flying Squad were implicated in porn publishing.

For info: Peter Ackworth, the entrepreneur who bought the Armory Building in the Mission District of San Francisco in 2006 and turned it into a studio for making porn videos and providing allied services, is a Brit:

Peter Acworth was born in Derbyshire, England, to a sculptor and a Jesuit priest. He studied at Mathematics at Cambridge University, Management at Ecole HEC, Paris and Finance at Columbia Business School before moving to San Francisco in 1998 to start Kink.com.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-acworth/

Japan is the obvious counter to claims that porn fosters sex crimes. The incidence of rape there is low

Molesting on trains on the other hand…

80. Just Visiting

Bob B

> falling sperm counts

Of the many things you’ve been claiming here Bob, this one does have evidence:


“Now Spanish sperm takes a kick to the cojones
Male fertility falling, shock study shows
… has fallen 38 per cent in the last decade”

Cylux: “Molesting on trains on the other hand…”

True enough – the extent of over-crowding on the subway and surface trains in Tokyo during rush hours has to be experienced to be believed. There is also the youthful “sport” of using those self-focusing compact cameras to take photos “upskirt”, especially while travelling on elevators:
http://greenhousejapan.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/chikan-danger-safety-japan.html#!/2012/04/chikan-danger-safety-japan.html

But then there are competitive upskirt game shows on TV in Japan. Famously posted on the web, there was a video clip of a live sex show, taken in one of the stadiums used for Sumo wrestling and packed out with a large exclusive audience of excited teen girls. Mrs Whitehouse would have been really shocked at their interest – and the extent of audience participation.

JV: Spanish sperm count fallen 38pc in last decade?

Isn’t that just what we should expect to find from Spanish dietary preferences and the extent of those male fish with female sex organs?

“If you have ever been to Spain, or had a friend from Spain, you know that Spaniards have a love affair with seafood. ”
http://spanishfood.about.com/od/cookingtipsandbasics/a/spanishseafood.htm

Among the many joys from reading the Guardian in the early 1960s was Michael Frayn’s column with its regular progress reports on the promotional campaigning in America of the Society for Indecency to Naked Animals (SINA) with slogans such as: “Decency today means morality tomorrow” and “A nude horse is a rude horse.”
http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/hoax/archive/permalink/the_society_for_indecency_to_naked_animals/

Some Americans took very seriously the challenging issue of whether animals have the moral right to offend some by going around without clothing.

@71

and men becoming reconciled to cuckoldry.

As an aside, what makes you think they’re being ‘reconciled’? Have you entertained the idea that perhaps it gets um hot?

Cylux: “As an aside, what makes you think they’re being ‘reconciled’? Have you entertained the idea that perhaps it gets um hot?”

Quite possibly – in which case, men have become fully reconciled to their own predilections, which their willing partners are readily disposed to gratify. (-:

We really need to get away from delusions that there is something rather novel about all this. Try checking on Barbara Villiers, the mistress of Charles II:

“Barbara Villiers (1640-1709) was Charles II’s leading mistress during the first decade of his reign, and the mother of five of his children. She set the standard for beauty in her day, but to the King’s critics she represented all that was bad about the new regime.”
http://www.npg.org.uk/support/donation/past-appeals/duchess-of-cleveland-appeal.php

Recap the Duke of Wellington retort when Harriette Wilson attempted a little extortion in 1824: “Publish and be damned.” There is a passage Elizabeth Longford’s two-volume biography of Wellington in which she mentions his attendance at exciting house parties at Belvoir Castle, the residence of the Duke of Rutland.

David Cameron is the direct descendant of William IV. “At his death William had no surviving legitimate children, though he was survived by eight of the ten illegitimate children he had by the actress Dorothea Jordan, with whom he cohabited for 20 years. ” [Wikipedia]

As for Edward VII, he “had mistresses throughout his married life. . At least fifty-five liaisons are conjectured.” [Wikipedia]

Try this topical report in The Guardian for 10 August 2000 about the divorce case of the Duchess of Argyll in 1963:

Unidentified lover in Duchess of Argyll divorce case exposed as not one but two men – a cabinet minister and a swashbuckling movie star.

@83 And what does any of that have to do with your original claim regarding –

“At what point does “hypersexualisation” become “hyposexualisation” of men leading to the rising incidence of ED, falling sperm counts and the increasing demand for sex reassignment surgery on the NHS?”

You seem to be jumping up and down pointing at things, often mutually exclusive things, with no coherent point to offer. I know throwing enough spaghetti at the wall will make something stick, but you should really refrain from using the Gish Gallop technique.

Cylux: “You seem to be jumping up and down pointing at things, often mutually exclusive things, with no coherent point to offer.”

The central issue is whether Diane Abbott is right about Britain having developed “a striptease culture” and about the “pornification” of our times.

I’m saying that on the historical evidence, there is absolutely nothing at all new about a striptease culture or about pornification except that either or both have become greatly feminised with recent trends toward female ascendancy – as evinced by girls overtaking boys in school leaving exams, the majority of undergrads now being women, and by the Shades of Grey publishing phenomenon with a woman author. Cuckoldry and the hotwife stuff on the web are further evidence of female ascendancy – in previous posts I omitted to mention the cuckolding affair which went on for decades between Lady Dorothy Macmillan and Bob Boothby or the insights to be gained from Harold Pinter’s perennially popular play: Betrayal (1978).

The footnote references to Denmark and Japan show that we need to take stock of trends in other countries to assess whether Britain is embarked on anything especially different. On the evidence, we aren’t. In the early 1990s, I started to note news reports in the English language press in Japan about the increasing growth of casual prostitution there by schoolgirls:

“The number of teenage prostitutes began to climb around 1974. By 1984 the number reached alarming levels and is still increasing. National Police Agency statistics for 1995 show that 5,841 female minors were involved in telephone club liaisons or other sex-related activities. One quarter of these girls were still in junior high school. There was a 16.2 percent increase from previous years. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government survey of 110 schools in 1996 found that 4 percent of high-school girls, and 3.8 percent from junior high, had acted as paid escorts.”
http://www.public.iastate.edu/~rhetoric/105H17/nnguyen/cof.html

The reason I came upon these reports was the result of looking on the web for news of early market trends in the sales of mobile phones. The Japanese have a fetish for new products and in the mid 1990s every with-it schoolgirl there just had to have one of those new mobile phones but these were expensive at that time so how were they going to buy one? The geisha tradition in Japan has an ancient heritage. The public reaction in Japan to news about schoolgirl prostitution was one of mild concern, not hysterical outrage.

@85

I’m saying that on the historical evidence, there is absolutely nothing at all new about a striptease culture or about pornification except that either or both have become greatly feminised

At best you can merely claim that said things are more widespread, the existence of raunchy novels in the past doesn’t mean they were that well thumbed by all the populace, as Deviant @64 pointed out, one of your examples was of one of the most removed-from-society cliques going. Secondly, written porn being contained in novels is a far cry from raunchy images being used to sell things plastered all over the place. It’s like trying to argue that because it’s legal to own a shotgun in the UK that varied gun ownership is widespread and commonplace.

Cuckoldry and the hotwife stuff on the web are further evidence of female ascendancy

No, they are not. IF they were the only recently produced porn on the web you might be on to something, they clearly are not, in fact they make up a minority of pornography produced. The overwhelming majority of porn is still men with big dicks destroying fucking young women. Even the homebrew amateur stuff. You might as well argue that the existence of Old + Young porn indicates evidence of elderly ascendancy, or that Chubby & BBW porn indicates evidence of fat ascendancy, or that revenge ‘My Ex Girlfriend’ Porn indicates evidence of bastard ascendancy.

As an aside, women in general prefer the more interactive porn, ie Cam To Cam, while men in general prefer more voyeuristic watching vids. Try and fit that one into your ascendancy matrix.

The public reaction in Japan to news about schoolgirl prostitution was one of mild concern, not hysterical outrage.

Japan also happens to be a primary producer of animated rape porn, which combined with the whole ‘feeling up girls on crowded public trains’ thing doesn’t exactly paint them to be a society that respects women all that much. So, muted response to schoolgirl prostitution – not that surprising.

Cylux

Walter’s My Secret Life (1888) gives us insights into the social history of London towards the end of the 19th century that accords with the findings of social surveys of those times – casual prostitution was rife because the alternatives for most working teen girls were not very appealing and the wages were miserably low:
http://www.victorianlondon.org/crime/numbersofprostitutes.htm

Daniel Defoe had recognised what created the social context. In his essay on the education of women of 1719, he wrote:

“I have often thought of it as one of the most barbarous customs in the world, considering us as a civilized and a Christian country, that we deny the advantages of learning to women. We reproach the sex every day with folly and impertinence; while I am confident, had they the advantages of education equal to us, they would be guilty of less than ourselves.”

His novel Moll Flanders (1721) showed one potential outcome of denying opportunities for schooling.

We properly celebrate the novels of Jane Austen, a rare example of an educated woman of her time, but seldom reflect on that famous opening line of her most celebrated novel: Pride and Prejudice (1813):

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”

Only a wife? Suppose we change it to a young woman’s perspective: “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single young woman in search of a good fortune, must be in want of a lover.” She also probably knew something of early 19th century social gossip about the affairs berween the Duchess of Devonshire and Earl Grey, who became prime minister, and between Caroline Lamb, wife of Lord Melbourne, who also became prime minister, and Lord Byron.

That thought about affairs couldn’t be unfamiliar to any who knew of the Authurian legends from popular versions of Le Morte d’Arthur (1485), with their tale of the adulterous love affair between Sir Lancelot, the best of knights, and Guinevere, wife of Arthur. And btw Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales mentions cuckolding.

Compare the perspective of a young woman in Japan. She will know of the Tale of Genji, written by Murasaki Shikibu in the 1040s, before the Norman conquest of England, because many scenes from the narrative were often portrayed on screen art to be found nowadays in Japan’s art galleries. The story is about love affairs in the Heian imperial court as courtesans strive for attention and social advantage. And the geisha tradition has ancient roots. The teen girl in Japan will also know about Shunga erotic art, which is often very explicit.

Is there really anything especially new about a striptease culture?

69 a sensible voice in al this

It was surprising that Diane Abbott, a Cambridge history graduate, made no reference to the Restoration Comedies or to the verse of John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester. A selection of his verse is available online at:
http://www.luminarium.org/eightlit/rochester/wilmotbib.htm

He died relatively young, most likely from some STD.

Perhaps the difference these days is that there is so much heterosexual activity amongst young people.

Not so many years ago, the sexes were kept apart, as much as possible anyway, but this isn’t to say that nothing sexual ever happened.

What went on between males at school, and in public toilets etc etc may remain one of our more bizarre social secrets. Things seem to have calmed down on that front with, a) legalisation, and, b) young ladies joining in.

Jack: “Perhaps the difference these days is that there is so much heterosexual activity amongst young people.”

Absolutely. University colleges and halls of residence are mostly mixed-sex nowadays. It certainly wasn’t like that when I was an undergrad in the 1950s. The chaperone requirements and curfews in those times are laughable in retrospect.

The watershed was the acquittal in 1960 of Penguin books for publishing an unexpurgated edition of DH Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover. That came towards the end of a new wave of novels and drama which broke with the received literary heritage. John Osborne’s epoch marking play: Look Back in Anger, was first produced at the Royal Court in 1956. Amis’s novel: Lucky Jim, had been published in 1954 although some mark the start as John Wain: Hurry on Down (1953).

Other novels in that same genre were Françoise Sagan: Bonjour Tristesse (1954), John Braine: Room at the Top (1957), Alan Sillitoe: Saturday Night Sunday Morning (1958), Malcolm Bradbury: Eating People is Wrong (1959), Keith Waterhouse Billy Liar (1959), Stan Barstow: A Kind of Loving (1960). This was Julie Christie in Darling, a movie characterising the London social scene in the swinging sixties, for which she was awarded a best actress Oscar in 1966:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Se7k5YjQEqQ

Diane Abbott must have inadvertently overlooked this promotion of striptease:

Juliette Greco: Déshabillez-moi
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XyqIs8xPCd0

Latest update: try this rousing duet with French pop star Jenifer Bartoli and French film actress Marion Cotillard singing: Milord:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDx1jla8kkE

By observation, the appreciative audience is largely female yet this song is a celebration of prostitution. This accords with a long and familiar French tradition of venerating the profession. The popular French musical Irma La Douce of the late 1950s was another celebration.

@93 & 94 – I’m not entirely sure what relevance they have to a discussion regarding changes to British culture.

As an aside I was queuing up in post office to renew my passport the other day when someone’s daughter standing with their mother a few people behind, no more than about 6 years old, spontaneously started singing One Direction’s latest catchy single’s chorus. “Lets go crazy crazy crazy till we see the sun” etc, an artfully euphemistic song about having passionate rampant one night stands, while young. My rueful dark humour couldn’t help but pipe up with ‘Bet Jimmy Savile would’ve loved her.’ Still, all harmless fun aye?

95 Cylux: “I’m not entirely sure what relevance they have to a discussion regarding changes to British culture.”

Just referencing other national cultures for comparison to show that there’s been nothing unusual in popular interest in portrayals of sex relations either recently or in decades and even centuries past.

Julia Roberts made her break through into movie stardom with a film: Pretty Woman (1990) – which is accessible on YouTube btw. This a romantic comedy about a street prostitute in Hollywood who, by chance, picks up a very wealthy business tycoon, played by Richard Gere, and all ends very happily.

What’s relevant here is that this film has been a huge international success. By accounts on the web, it cost less than USD 80m to make and has since pulled in getting on for 10 times that in gross revenues. It would be easy – and even credible – to claim that it glamourises prostitution, as do that Milord song and the French musical of the 1950s: Irma La Douce, but their charm wins through so outrage becomes laughable.

Much the same applies to Diane Abbott’s concerns about Britain’s striptease culture and pornification. If there is valid cause for complaints, it is because some manifestations are so gross and because there is often no charm. She would do better to focus on this map of local teen pregnancy rates in England in 2009 from The Guardian
http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2011/feb/22/teenage-pregnancy-rates-england-wales-map#_

Fortunately, the situation has improved since:

“The teen pregnancy rate in England and Wales has reached its lowest since 1969, new data shows. Figures from the Office for National Statistics show conceptions in under-18s fell to 34,633 in 2010 compared with 38,259 in 2009, a drop of 9.5%.2 [BBC website February 2012]

But our recent history of teen pregnancies compares badly with most other west European countries. That and Britain’s high ranking in the teen binge drinking league table are valid causes for concern.

Try getting outraged about this:

Colette Renard singing: Irma La Douce
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYz1McbeXsM

@97 A thought occurs, I recall pointing out up thread that the term ‘hypersexualised’ when used to describe culture originated in France.

There may well be implications from that for your continued trick of asking ‘whatabout France?’ Or to put it in plain English, French campaigners noticed they had a big problem with excessive sexualised images leading to sexualised images of children appearing in regular publications long before Diane Abbott brought up the matter on the subject of British culture.


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