The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]


Women Are Stronger Than Men …

A few weeks ago, I saw these 2 headlines being shared on social media …

Look at them!

Seriously, the fact women deal with this blatant – and subtle – prejudicial shit every single day and don’t want to kill every man they meet, is proof they’re stronger than any man can be.

I cannot tell you how much I really, really hope sperm stops depression in men as well as women.

Not just because depression is an incredibly debilitating illness, but the headlines and machismo bullshit we’ll see from all the misogynists around us, will be hysterical.

Though in a perfect world, it will be women’s pee that will be discovered as the ultimate ‘cure for all’ … because that would really fuck with them.

I’m so over this bullshit and I know I am not the only one … but as I discovered in my time in America, saying you don’t like something is not the same as doing something about it because we know the misogynists will keep doing their bit.

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Some People Need A Smack In The Face. With A Chair. Wrapped In Barbed Wire.
May 2, 2018, 6:10 am
Filed under: A Bit Of Inspiration, Attitude & Aptitude, Culture, Equality, Men, Sexism, Women

Remember a few weeks ago I wrote about the lack of female CSO’s … at least in comparison to male … and the need to fight against it by over-compensating for it?

Well, while my point of view was generally well received, I did cop some flack for it – unsurprisingly from men – and yet when you see the shit kids get exposed to from a young age, I wonder how they can feel the current situation is alright?

More so, I wonder how they can feel it’s fine if they’re parents to women?

Above are 2 pictures from an airline ‘duty free’ magazine.

Boys get to dream of being pilots.
Women get to dream of being air hostesses.

How many parents want their kids aspirations to be limited by their gender?

Of course there’s nothing wrong with being a member of the cabin crew – but that is about personal interests not gender limitations – and the only way this situation will change is if we remove the barriers and limitations placed on over 50% of the population and make space and opportunity for them to fulfill their potential.

Not – as I said in my original post – because it will make the world ‘fairer’ or even more ‘equal’ [though they both good reasons to do it], but because by enabling the potential of women, we all will experience the benefits of the way they see the World … a way that is often built on being better for everyone rather than just themselves.

Which, let’s be honest, is the definition of true leadership.

But there’s another reason for doing this.

It will make men better.

There is a lot to be said for being challenged by someone who expresses their talent in different ways to you.

Years ago – 2006, to be precise – I wrote about how the creative tension in the band The Who, pushed them to demand more from the music they were creating – as well as the people they were creating it with. Some of this was because of their occasional hatred for eachother, specifically Townsend and Entwistle, and some of it was because the band was so talented they would take someones musical ideas to ‘places’ they never imagined and they didn’t want to get left behind.

In other words, the tension pushed them higher … and given for so long women have had to play the support act to men – not just in companies but, as the pictures above show, in kids fashion – I believe it would be far more than just women winning if companies made more space for them to be the headline act.



Silent Sexism …

I need to rant.

You see I’m totally fucking over subtle sexism.

Don’t get me wrong, I am over overt sexism as well, but this subtle shit is doing my head in – especially in ads.

On face value, it’s nothing.

It almost feels normal in fact.

But when you stop for a second, you see the little digs.

The references to women loving shoes.

Or the colour pink.

Or some other cliched, sexist bullshit … like doing anything for doughnuts.

Oh they’ll say it’s “all in good fun”.

Or “… it’s not meant to be real, it’s advertising”.

They’ll claim you’re being too sensitive or that you “can’t say anything these days”.

Implying there was absolutely no other way they could approach the task they were given.

As if we’re bloody idiots.

And while some simply don’t get it – having spent their life living in the bubble of another era – deep down they know.

Or at least suspect.

The reality is they just don’t want to admit it.

Even if that’s just to themselves.

So they say this shit. Write this shit. Produce this shit.

And many will let it pass.

Mainly because they’re not paying close attention to the ads.

But it still seeps in.

Leaving it’s message.

Not the one the client wanted, but the one the old, conformist, sexist guys did.

And that’s why I think it’s the most dangerous sexism of all because when it’s done quietly, it affects slowly … creeping into the ears, eyes and minds of those who are exposed to it, while those who are aware of this shit, hear it like a scream.



Proof The Ad Industry Is Having A Tough Time …
September 6, 2017, 6:15 am
Filed under: Advertising, Comment, Marketing Fail, Sexism

I guess that as the sexist Kevin Roberts once ran this company – or one very much like it – it should not come as a surprise that they only sell men’s clothing.



How Raising A Child Reveals Whether You’re Full Of Shit …

I love my son.

I love him so much.

He is such a sweet kid.

Sure he’s a bit cheeky and a bit mischievous, but he’s just a lovely little boy.

I want his innocence and wonder to never leave him – but sadly, I know it will.

I also know things I’d never wish on anyone will happen to him.

Bullying.

Heartbreak.

Sadness.

And all I can do is try to prepare him for it in a way where he knows he can come through the other side.

Of course part of that will be by making sure he knows he is loved and supported unconditionally by his parents … the other part is making sure he is brought up with as much openness as possible.

One of those things is him understanding men and women are equal.

As I wrote about a while ago, my wife and I have had some stick from relative strangers in how we’re bringing Otis up.

One of the things they’ve ‘questioned’ is why we let Otis play with dolls and brooms, why we bought him a kitchen set and why we let him dance wherever and whenever the mood takes him.

Of course it’s none of their fucking business … but the fact is, we don’t want Otis to grow up thinking boys do this and girls do that and seeing our little boy being as happy playing with dolls as he is with his iPad is utterly wonderful.

I have to admit, I find the level of sexism around me frightening. I find it especially bad when I hear it from a man who has daughters. I literally cannot understand that.

And yet many ignore it exists.

They say any wrong behaviour is ‘cultural’ rather than sexist.

Of course there are cultural traits that define gender roles – especially in Asia – but that doesn’t mean they’re right or you have to carry on with them, even more so when you are not from this part of the World.

And yet it is everywhere – even in supposedly liberal and developed nations, as this wonderful piece by Hillary Clinton shows.

While Hillary says the way women are judged differently to men is ‘not bad, just a fact’, I find it deplorable.

But it’s true.

I remember having to tell one of my talented female planners to clap her hands a bit differently because it looked too much like a little girl and a bunch of sexist pricks would then judge her for that. I hated having to do that … but there was no way I was going to let this talented individual be ignored just because they had decided the way she applauds looks juvenile.

And that’s why I like what Cindy Gallop is doing.

Or what she’s trying to do.

My problem is she’s treating all white men as the enemy which, in my opinion, not only doesn’t serve her purpose any good, but is the sort of generalised bollocks that certain white men have treated females.

And that’s why Otis is being raised to see equality not prejudice … because values, roles and/or potential shouldn’t be evaluated or judged by gender or demographic, even if the way society operates – including those supposedly fighting against it – wants to keep that the norm.



Some People Use Tinder To Find People To Handcuff Then F**k Them For A Few Years …
June 24, 2015, 6:20 am
Filed under: Comment, Sexism, Social Media, Technology, Tinder

So a few weeks ago, I saw an entry on Facebook from a friend of mine who is a policeman in Nottingham.

This was it:

I have to be honest, I love it.

I don’t know if they found the guys profile because there’s a copper at the station who is looking for dates rather than robbers – or whether it is part of their overall approach to finding [alleged] criminals – but I think it’s ace.

It’s a bit similar – but not very much – to that story from years ago where a US Police department sent some fake “you’ve won money” letter to the homes of criminals that had avoided capture.

They were betting on the fact that someone in the house would let them about their ‘good fortune’ and let them know they did, because on a particular date, at a particular venue, they turned up to collect their cash only to collect some handcuffs and a prison sentence.

In one day, a bunch of crimes were cleared up simply because the cops knew people find it hard to turn down something free – especially when it’s valuable [and especially when you’re a criminal who does that sort of thing for a living] and that trying something different was worth giving a go when so many traditional approach end with nothing.

Lovely stuff.

But back to Tinder.

So for the last 12+ months, I’ve been on Tinder talking to men and women on Tinder about their experiences.

[Don’t worry, the wife knows and I say on my profile that I’m a happily married man. Besides, with my face, who the hell would swipe right on me?!]

I have to be honest, it’s been fascinating, especially when you start seeing the differences of the audience when you compare who is on it in say, China, to those on it in say, Portland.

I’ll be writing this all up in the next few months, but frankly, if you are a woman – and it’s mainly women – who enter the crazy world of Tinder dating in the hope of finding ‘the one’, you may end up feeling more disillusioned and disappointed than when you were at home on a Saturday evening eating Ben & Jerry’s in front of the television.

Watching Bridget Jones.

You see while Tinder makes it easy to “search” thanks to their gamification operating system, it appears that within hours of usage, people [read: men] forget they’re dealing with humans and their emotions and go cold – either in how they judge a potential match or what they do when they’ve connected. [Which seems to involve either asking for sex, sending a plethora of ‘dick pics’ or not making contact at all!]

Of course not everyone is like that and there’s been many relationships formed through an initial interaction with Tinder, but the evidence so far suggests there’s far more disappointment being created between people than emotional fulfilment. At least if you are going on there for pure reasons.

We shall see how things turn out over the next few months – as well as if this finding is something that is relative across geographies or more prevalent in certain countries [which definitely seems the case at this moment in time] – but like with everything in life, for every product that is hyped as being ‘revolutionary’, there is often a dark side that exists, even if it takes a few hours/weeks/months/years to present itself.

By all means am I not knocking what Tinder does/has achieved, I’m just highlighting that behind the headlines, you often find a far more interesting bunch of stories … as Nottinghamshire Police are also demonstrating.

That said, the Tinder for kids names – developed by, I think, an ad agency creative – is sheer bloody genius.

I wish I’d known about it when we were choosing Otis’ name … though I doubt I’d of managed to convince Jill to go with Ziggy, even if she had flicked right.

Which she wouldn’t have.

Bugger.



If You Want To Be A CEO, Make Sure You’re Called John. If You Don’t, Make Sure You’re A Woman.
May 21, 2015, 6:10 am
Filed under: Comment, Names, Sexism

And before anyone starts questioning me on this chart, just know I would agree with you.

I hate this sort of infographic because it’s been designed purely to gain PR headlines and drive dinner party conversation rather than shine a light on hard facts.

Why do I say that?

Well because I don’t believe their methodology would have been robust enough to make a claim like this.

For example, did they really look at the names of every major corporations CEO?

In every country?

And what does a ‘major corporation’ even mean?

By staff? By revenue? By profit?

But even if I ignore that, the fact that proves their data is flawed is the simple reality that there’s no way any shareholder would allow anyone called Robert to be CEO of a big company – let alone 3.4% of all major corporations.

That said, I believe the female statistic.

It would be funny if it wasn’t so utterly disgusting and tragic.

The percentages are even worse in Hollywood as this video so beautifully highlights:

For the record, while I found the way they delivered the horrendous percentages very funny, I do feel the men vs woman message is not going to achieve anything for them. Especially in the ego-filled movie industry.

Personally, I’d suggest that with so many famous and wealthy actresses in the biz – and some in the video – they should think about setting up a female run studio and show the men what they’re missing out on.

Apart from the fact ‘success is the greatest revenge’, the fact is all they need are 2 hits in a row and the rest of the business will shift because Hollywood is a copycat industry, preferring to swallow its pride rather than miss out on making an extra $1.

But that’s just me.

Oh … and while I’m at it, I probably do believe that John is the most popular CEO name.

It’s not because they are naturally gifted individuals … but because the name is safe, solid, conservative that might influence the board of directors at big companies to think they would make a more stable CEO. Someone who won’t rock the boat … someone who will keep the shareholders quiet … someone who won’t get rid of their perks.

Maybe.

Anyway, this has become a very long post for something I think is bollocks, so I’ll leave it there, even though I know most of you stopped reading after the picture.