Rant & Rave (17/03/13)

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The Independent Online


Every so often, something happens to confront women with the absolute stupidity of what we have ended up doing to ourselves. It happened last year in a Cherry Healey documentary, when a group of teenage girls pointed out to a grown woman the embarrassing absurdity of regularly pulling out all of her body hair. And it happened again last week, thanks to Sarah Jessica Parker's shoes.

SJP is famous for wearing very high heels, and it seems that they have knackered her feet. "That bone," a doctor has told her, "doesn't belong there."

There's a new book out at the end of this month called Fifty Shades of Feminism in which 50 brilliant women write about interesting stuff. Sandi Toksvig's short essay comparing high heels to foot binding will make women feel like idiots for not having realised before just what we are doing. "I'm not suggesting some sort of 'brogue-only' movement…" she writes. Having looked at Sarah Jessica's foot bones and Victoria Beckham's bunions, let's hurry up and suggest it.


If journalists had to invent the perfect headline, it would undoubtedly contain the words "Vatican" and "gay sauna", so hats (and towels) off to the story that the Holy See owns a £21m chunk of a building containing Europe's biggest gay sauna.

Throughout a week of boring reports that led with "Still no news on the new Pope", repeating this story kept non-believers laughing around the world. And perhaps it even contributed to one of the fastest pope-choosings in recent history. Had the conclave read the headlines, too? Was it: "Hurry up, lads, and all back to mine for a dip in the steam room"?