The UK does not want 'Hooters'. It is a retrograde step for a country dedicated to gender equality

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Let the feminist bashing commence...

This morning, the BEP printed a story about the petition and Hooters allegedly breaching its licencing conditions. Here is the story. The story itself, as BEP pieces go, isn't too bad. The comments, un-moderated, are another thing. True, today (so far) there have been less of the abusive insults. Instead, there is a willful ignorance about the fact feminism even exists.

For example. A wag called DockLobster posted: Surely these "feminists" should be looking at other agendas rather than constantly picking on Hooters. What about the abundance of massage parlours on Stokes Croft, prostitution in St Pauls and Easton and strip clubs in the centre? There's more publicity in taking on a cake I see...

To which I, as EffOffHeff, replied: Firstly, I'm unclear why you put the word "feminists" in quote marks. I presume it is because you either think feminists are a made-up construct, or that you wish they were. Maybe you think it's a clever way of portraying your perceived "power" over feminists, by pretending they don't exist (though, if feminists don't exist, why does the BEP delight in regularly printing stories that generate the wealth of comments that they do? Oh right, because these so-say feminists annoy people like you, who enjoy posting misinformed comments that you think make you look smug). Maybe it makes you feel important, and better than them. That's up to you (it's also called 'patriarchy'). Go ahead and misuse punctuation all you like. Plenty of other people on here do it, too.

Secondly, the inconsistent reporting of the BEP (by which they only choose the more titillating feminist stories to report on, hence the boring wealth of Hooters stories they print) means that you - and any others who jump at the chance to join in some feminist-bashing, but can't be bothered to do some research of your own, or even engage with the council in your own way in order to gain an informed perspective on what's actually happening in our city - have no idea of the sheer wealth of feminist activity that happens in Bristol.

The BEP chooses not to report on the many, many other feminist campaigns in the city they apparently represent - that's their decision. It's not good news reporting, but that's the BEP for you. Having no rival newspaper in Bristol (aside from the WDP, which they also own), the BEP is in the luxurious position of being able to edit the news as they see fit. Sadly, this tactic means that people who only get their news from this one source have an equally narrow-eyed view on what happens in this city, tarnished with the same Daily Mail-inflected brush as the rest of what they print.

If I was you, I wouldn't be so quick to criticise others without arming myself with the facts first. I also wouldn't rely on the BEP as my sole source of news. However, presumably you just saw the word "Hooters" in the headline and, like your fellow unhelpful commenters here (and on previous stories) thought "yippee, an ideal chance to talk about something I don't understand and make myself feel powerful for 2 minutes". Good for you. Am sure you'll go far with such an open-minded approach.

I look forward (ahem) to logging on tomorrow and seeing what nonsense replies DockLobster and friends have come up with. Let the feminist bashing commence...

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