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.
Watch the new House of Cards series three trailerTV
Oscars 2015It was the first time Barney has compered the Academy Awards
Oscars 2015 From Meryl Streep whooping Patricia Arquette's equality speech to Chris Pine in tears
Oscars 2015 Mexican filmmaker uses speech to urge 'respect' for immigrants
TV ReviewThe intrigue deepens as we delve further but don't expect any answers just yet
Razzies 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards 'honours' Cameron Diaz and Kirk Cameron
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 This restaurant has misunderstood the concept of 'cheese and biscuits'
- 2 Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
- 3 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 4 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 5 The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
Broadchurch series 3: David Tennant and Olivia Colman to return for third season, ITV confirms
Poldark star Heida Reed says show is not that racy: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
Harris' List of Covent Garden Ladies: Georgian guide to London sex workers acquired by Wellcome Collection
House of Cards season 3: Claire Underwood is based on an eagle, says Robin Wright
Game of Thrones season 5 spoilers: What we can expect according to George RR Martin's books
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded