The shame of retro-sexism

WE haven’t “done” TV for ages, so when someone finally fixed a plug and flicked a switch and jiggled the antennae, I was a bit kooky with excitement. I’ve missed my box.

But a week in, and I’m almost sorry we did it. Not because I’ve gone off Desperate Housewives or become too anally retentive to stomach, hearing Jerry Springer misbehaving in the background while I cook, but solely because of the adverts.

Instead of moving with the times and getting constitutional and equalised and full of praise for multitasking, multilingual, multi-bloody-brilliant women, we’ve gone retro sexist – in a subtle, shameful way.

Take the body cream advert which keeps repeating on me like an oily doughnut.

Pretty woman hangs out at train station and spots cute guy on another platform. Looks are exchanged, desires stir but the train gets in the way.

However, all’s not lost, because by slathering on product ‘x’ daily, you’ll have better, younger-looking skin in just 24 hours. And this means that he’ll not only spot you across a crowded station, he’ll damn well change trains, jump platforms and beat down doors in his quest to touch your better, younger-looking skin.

At no stage during this sickly-sweet courtship is the man required to buff, shave, polish or moisturise. If she wants him, she’s got to work it, baby. All he has to do is be in the right place at the right time.

It gets worse. A bubbly mom with frazzled hair bounces into view at what we women call “suicide hour” – that time just after whine o’clock when children become mini-demons from whine hell, husbands boldly disappear and cats get under your hot, sweaty, worked-to-the-bone feet.

“Look, family!” she gloats, waving a plastic bag at a bored man and their progeny, a floppy-haired boy teenager and his little monkey-faced brother. “This is dinner! And it cooks in the bag! All I have to do is pop into the kitchen and this bit of miracle convenience food will do the rest!”

Hang on a second. She’s getting excited about cooking supper in a bag?

Clearly, the only reason why is because every single night, 365 days a year (except Mother’s Day, when they get her a pizza take-out), she’s drumming up recipes single-handedly in a bid to feed a hoard of hungry men – none of whom seem the least bit grateful.

We’re being let down, ladies. Madonna’s being lambasted for not “acting her age” on stage and bedding a toy boy – but who ever told off Mick Jagger for doing the same? Nothing’s changed; society is still a male bitch, if you ask me.

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