Rant & Rave (10/03/13)


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The Independent Online


Rant & Rave is incensed by the new advert for olive oil spread, and its gratuitous objectification of the young male body. It shows a group of ladies enjoying their tasty Italian lunch on the beach, when a sun-tanned man steps out of the sea and removes his trunks under a towel. There's a bit of perving from the ladies; then they send their dog to whip off his towel so they can take a photo of his white bits.

Is it an ironic comment on the commodification of young skin by the prying lens of the media? I think not. Someone has just thought: "It's our turn now."

If Italian women really had anything to do with making the film, you can understand them wanting a bit of their own back. But ultimately, it doesn't help. We'll just get anti-feminists saying: "Ah, men may be paid 15 per cent more than women for doing the same jobs, but what about that sexist olive oil ad, eh?" In the long run, it's better for the sisterhood to let the man keep his trunks on.


But the media aren't always horrid. Last week, Bradford's Telegraph & Argus sent out its very own "Vicki Vale" (reporter Dave Barnett) to discover the identity of the Bradford Batman.

He grilled local Bruce Wayne types (such as the founder of the Morrisons supermarket empire), questioned West Yorkshire police, interviewed a local crime-fighting milkman, and stood on the office roof with a bat signal made from a waste paper bin. Sadly, by the time the piece went to press, Batman had been unmasked. But behaviour like this can only help to restore a nation's faith in its press. Let's see more of it.