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.
game of thrones reviewWarning: spoilers
North London meets The Exorcist in eerie suburban drama
Filming to begin on two new series due to be aired on Dave from next year
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 2 'Fire at every person you see': Israeli soldiers reveal they were ordered to shoot to kill in Gaza – even if the targets may have been civilians
- 3 General Election 2015: 14-year-old boy asks Nick Clegg – 'can you kill Katie Hopkins?'
- 4 Uploading pictures to find out how old you are gives Microsoft the right to post them wherever they want
- 5 YouTube social experiment shows just how easy it is to kidnap a child
Top Gear: Jodie Kidd, Philip Glenister and Guy Martin 'in advanced talks' to join show
X-Men Apocalypse: First look at Jubilee and Jean Grey played by Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner
American Horror Story: Hotel Angela Bassett set to make 'lots of trouble' with Lady Gaga in season 5
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
Game of Thrones season 5 episode 4 - review: Sansa is in danger of becoming another footnote in Westeros' bloody history
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
In defence of liberal democracy
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils