Monitor; All the News of the World: Female role models
Saturday 14 November 1998
of acceptable role models for today's teenage girls
ROLE MODELS are very important. Leading by example can inspire people to high achievement. But is a pop star or an actress the right person for teenage girls to follow? We have nothing against Geri Halliwell (until she sings). But she's all image and no substance. Girls should be encouraged to model themselves on nurses, businesswomen or teachers. That's what they should wannabe.
LIKE SOME girlie mag in need of yet another pathetic face-lift, the women's unit was yesterday relaunched by that bevy of women ministers, Jowell, Jay and Liddell. The ever-earnest Ms Jowell has just been politically empowered to make the staggering revelation that many girls are more likely to look up to their mothers than to pop stars. Such condescending guff demeans both government and women. New Labour's apology for a women's unit - an idea whose time has gone - is dwindling into the politics of gesture at its most patronising.
THE BIGGEST achievement of the Women's Unit will be if it manages to co-ordinate thinking across departments without creating a bureaucratic burden of its own. Too often policy is made or laws passed that, out of thoughtlessness rather than malice, are worse for women than for men. But the test for this administration will be if joined-up thinking is turned into joined-up action. The final test of success will be when a Women's Unit is genuinely no longer needed at all.
TEENAGE GIRLS, patronisingly cast as a tribe of Spice Girl groupies, were depressed. So, one hopes, was the Women's Unit, undermined by a paradox of its own devising. Its better ideas were reasonably aired in serious newspapers beloved of the Seventies feminists whose priorities it has remaindered. Ordinary girls and women, its new targets, would only have inferred that the new aim is the Barbiefication of Britain - an outcome best described, in male tribal parlance, as a spectacular own goal.
Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'music
Review: Cilla, ITV TV
To mark Tolstoy's 186th birthdaybooks
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 2 Watch a man race the Circle line - and win
- 3 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 4 Grandmas keep accidentally tagging themselves as Grandmaster Flash on Facebook
- 5 Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'
Star Trek 3 to begin shooting within six months
Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
The Walking Dead season 5 air date, trailer and season 4 recap
Robin Thicke’s hit 'Blurred Lines' lands him in court, and he had 'almost no part' in writing it
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly