Sunday, 20 April 2008

shoddy journalism: John Prescott

Is this headline the Times' words, or Prescott's? I think the Times'. Hence the outrage that follows.

What an appalling way to characterise an eating disorder. I'm not particularly bothered by the inference that men aren't supposed to have bulimia. Of course that is a fairly crap and crass thing to believe, but at least that fuck-up is immediately noticeable.

Look at the title again.
The juxtaposition of 'big man' and 'girl's illness' - how utterly, utterly atrocious. The obvious point is that they've used the dominant 'man' for the male, and the submissive 'girl's' to refer to the female. If you have this disease, you are automatically demoted to the apparently weaker sex. Why are they allowed to do this?

The underlying implied message that this 'girl's illness' (and I'm not sure about that apostrophe, actually, Times) is acceptable in young women. The article, read in conjunction with the headline, makes bulimia sounds like viable relief for stressed-out females, even adding Princess Diana to the mix as a role model in the pursuit of thinness.

Kudos to John Prescott for speaking out. I don't necessarily agree with the way he presents his experience - masculinising it with vodka, for example - but everyone works through it in a different way. I could say a lot more. I'm totally overreacting.

Fuck the Times for that headline.

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