The Jimmy Savile abuse scandal means men across Britain will sleep uneasily, remembering past 'conquests'

Instead of faux-outrage and arse-covering about history, I’d be happier to hear strident plans to protect and listen to young women in the future. More of that, please

Share
Related Topics

Amid all the hand-wringing and harrumphing over Jimmy Savile’s alleged behaviour with teenagers in the 1970s and 80s – and any subsequent cover up – what one won’t hear much is a blasé sigh and, “Well, it was all quite normal then.” Which it was. We’ve never had much of a clue how to protect young women from older male predators, or whether to believe them when they blow the whistle. If recent events in Rochdale tell us anything, we’re still almost as clueless now.

My memories of the 80s are that schoolgirls were by and large fair game as long as they were vaguely post-pubescent. Grass on the pitch, ho ho etc. Cars would pull up at the school gate to collect “girlfriends”.

The family planning centre dished out pills willy-nilly. The age of consent was treated much as wearing your seatbelt or driving home when hammered. A petty law. I mean, blimey, these men with teen girls weren’t paedophiles!

These weren’t your common or garden sexual perverts in bi-focal lenses and raincoats loitering by infant school railings waiting for handstand season. These were simply older guys, totally well-adjusted, in their thirties and forties who seemed to surround themselves with young women of circa O-level age and get them drunk and have sex with them. Nothing to see here.

I don’t remember the word paedophile ever surfacing, not until the mid-90s, when it was suddenly a national threat. I do remember men in the 1980s chuckling over other men “who like their bananas green”. Every town and village in Great Britain had its ageing lotharios, its oldest swingers in town, those men who were seemingly magnetic to younger birds.

Oh help yourself, society shrugged back then. They’re only daft young women. And to be honest, they shouldn’t slink about in make-up and bras and go in pubs if they don’t want to confuse fellas. I mean, it’s hard to tell what age young lasses are these days! And they’re very forward.

We laughed at the film Rita, Sue and Bob Too! – and rightfully so. It’s a funny film. We had a wry smile at Bill Wyman’s child bride, tutting, “Well, this is bound to end in tears.” (He met her at 13, why didn’t it end in jail?) When Jonathan King was made persona non grata for using his fame to entice underage young men, King quacked that this was homophobic as his male hetero counterparts had been at this game for decades. Though it pains me to agree with King, in a wonky way he was correct.

Over the past few days, I’ve heard people gasp about cover-ups and about upset girls being ignored, peppered with a lot of, “Well why didn’t these women say something sooner?” I think these three things tie neatly together.

Instead of faux outrage and arse-covering about history, I’d be happier to hear strident plans to protect and listen to young women in the future, strident plans to stop older men manipulating younger teenage girls, national outrage about sex trafficking of teens in this country now. If you’re 42 with a 17-year-old girlfriend, well you’re legally in the clear, but I still find you vaguely revolting.

The interesting thing about how we treated young women in the 1970s and 80s is it’s really a ticking time bomb as these naive young fillies grow into angry broads. There must be men the length and breadth of Britain who observe scandals like Jimmy Savile’s and sleep uneasily remembering past conquests.

Because it’s all got so hardline now, hasn’t it? All this paedophile business. It’s so very unforgiving. I mean, it’s not really rape if she was 15 and she came to your house without a struggle, is it? And so what if you told her you knew important people and maybe bought her a few presents. That doesn’t make you creepy, does it?

She was 15  – or was it 14? – but she looked at least 20. See the problem with women now is they’re all so bloody educated and they’ve got so many rights, they can tie men up in knots about the past and the police will bloody listen. Well,  actually the police are beginning to listen, when pushed, and take it rather seriously. Soon,  pervert, soon.

How do Saudi women get to the Ikea store? Exactly

Until this week, I viewed Ikea as largely a place where bored people went to throw bags of tealights on the floor, slurp meatballs and let their children run about emitting a noise like a fork in a lawnmower. Ikea wasn’t a place to offend my feminist sensibilities. Sure, they offend my horticultural sensibilities when their giant Yuccas die before you’re out of the carpark, and I can hardly forgive the 1990s when everyone’s homes were full of vile balsa-wood CD towers, but they’ve never offended me as a woman. Until they permitted the Saudi Arabian Ikea catalogue to be published with all the women airbrushed out, leaving just scenes of men, looking at kitchen equipment with their children. Or pointing at storage solutions with an expression that seemed to say: “This type of thing, bedding, clothes horses, colanders, totally fascinates me!”

Maybe Ikea don’t mind if Saudi women shop there. Maybe they don’t mind if I shop there in Tottenham. Maybe they bowed down to Saudi patriarchal culture because, let’s face it, without a man driving, the women can’t get there or back in the first place.

Mary, Mary light contrary

Despite Mary Berry from The Great British Bake Off being so slim she possibly has to run around in the shower to get wet, she claims to eat up to 80 small pieces of cake within the filming of one episode. There have been 23 episodes so far. This woman has eaten 1,840 pieces of cake since the show began. Mary Berry is so slim that, aged 77, she can wear size small Zara bomber jackets made for teenage girls and look amazing. I ate a Greggs corned beef pasty last March and my body-con dresses groan and say, “Jesus Christ, are you kidding?” when I open the wardrobe. Mary Berry must have a pact with Satan. She’s having her cake and eating it.

READ MORE:
Don't get hitched just to buy a house
Heard the joke about Rolf Harris? It isn’t funny
How George Osborne could become a threat to Planet Earth

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Operations Manager

£45000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Panel & Cabinet Wireman

£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Panel Wireman required for small electro...

Recruitment Genius: Electronics Test Engineer

£25000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An SME based in East Cheshire, ...

Recruitment Genius: Marketing Assistant

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Do you have previous experience...

Day In a Page

Read Next
The Queen spoke of respect for all cultures and faiths in her Christmas message  

Decoding the Queen's speech: Was Her Majesty taking a swipe at Ukip?

Jane Merrick
Iraqi soldiers trained by the US were routed by IS’s smaller force  

War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

Patrick Cockburn
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015