Saturday 11 June 2016

Laura in the lions' den

Millicent Garrett Fawcett, founder of the Fawcett Society 

Woman's Hour debated 150 years of feminism on Tuesday. 

I enjoyed it, and I suspect you might too if you fancy catching up with it on the iPlayer. 

Unusually for Woman's Hour, Jane Garvey's guests didn't all sing from the same feminist hymn sheet. Three of them did, but one didn't - and the one who didn't was Laura Perrins of The Conservative Woman

So it was 3:1 against Laura, but at least someone who thinks like Laura was, for once, invited onto Woman's Hour - which is something. 

Or, more accurately, it was 4:1...and this is really where the BBC bias comes in, I think. 

Jane Garvey could have been non-interventionist and allowed the discussion to flow, or she could have consistently played devil's advocate and 'taken the side' of Laura Perrins, given that Laura was so clearly outnumbered and, thus, the underdog.

But she did neither. In fact, she did the exact opposite.

While asking non-challenging questions to her other guests, it was only Laura who got the challenging ones and all the hostile interruptions - and there were quite a lot of them! (Listen to Jane's interventions here: 6.02, 6.05, 9.49, 14.43, 16.38, 16.54, 17.13, 17.55, 18.12, 20.54).

The BBC presenter was far from neutral, despite one halfhearted devil's advocate question (at around the 19.10 mark).

The first thing to get Ms. Garvey's goat, incidentally, was Laura's citing of a Fawcett Society finding that a mere 7% of British people (9% of women and 4% of men) actually describe themselves as 'feminists'. That would mean (as Laura pointed out) that 93% of British people don't identify themselves as 'feminists' (unlike all of her fellow guests {and all the presenters} on Woman's Hour)....though it must also be said, in counterpoint to that finding, that this same survey did say that 74% of women described themselves as being "sympathetic to feminism". 

Fortunately, Laura was more than capable of holding her own against all of this - and not only against the BBC presenter but against her fellow guests too.

And, naturally, that didn't please everyone.

Here's Newsnight 'senior broadcast journalist' Jess Brammar, for example, nearly choking on her lentil soup over Laura's battling underdog performance:


  1. Nice catch on Jess Brammar, Craig. A quick perusal of her tweets reveals the usual assemblage of right-on groupthink. Here's one complaining about a Leave bus driving by:

    She was also clearly upset by criticisms of the three Remain women in that debate against Boris, Pearson, and Leadsome. It wasn't anyone else's fault that they came across as mean-spirited with all those personal attacks on Boris instead of attempting to debate the issues properly. Similes and metaphors will present themselves, and it's not sexist to make a quip about female fictional characters, as they are all female. If it was all men she'd be complaining about it being a 'sausage fest' or some such anyway.

    She even made a complimentary tweet about Cameron, defending his response to that delusional, worked-up, tattooed-and-pierced girl who ranted about how the @#$%^ing Tories @#$%ed everything up. But that's just the BBC being biased in favor of the Tory Government, right? Pro-Remain bias is more like it.

    1. And this:


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