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Stephanie Tolond - University of Salford

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The 40p difference

Posted: Mar 29, 2012

 We all live in a binge drinking culture. Will adding 40p on a unit of alcohol really change over 25 years of excessive lifestyles? I would like to believe that it would, but in reality it really won’t.

It will not stop an estranged dad from drinking 12 cans of strongbow a night, it will just mean he can’t afford to pay his rent or try to finance his children in any way.  It will not stop cash strapped students from pre-drinking at home before a night out, it will probably make them do it more. And it will not stop the 20-something yuppies from having a night out on a Friday after a difficult week at work.

Photo taken by david365

It might stop people drinking for the sake of drinking on a Tuesday night in the house, but it will not stop people from going out every once in a while and getting drunk.  As I’m sure increasing the legal drinking age to 21 will not stop binge drinking either.

 Many children under 18 will have drank alcohol, but it is becoming more and more common for them to drink too much. The average child under 18 is drinking nearly 13 units a week, over double the amount consumed by minors in 1992. The point being, the drinking age has had little impact on who drinks, so why would that change now? 


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The Naked Truth

Posted: Mar 29, 2012

Most women will agree that prejudice against females is still a major problem in Britain and around the world today.  So it was with great happiness when German newspaper Bild abolished their page 1 girls in aid of International Women’s Day after 27 years.

 This however has done nothing to stop page 1 nudity in British newspapers like the Sport and the Daily Star. These shouldn’t be called newspapers if all they do is advertise sex and fantasies to men. There is no reason to have pornography in a newspaper for the simple fact that it’s not informing the public about the news. The editors need to be less bothered about the sex appeal of their paper and more bothered about employing good journalists to source proper stories that will inform the public about the world. I’m sure that most men like to look at naked women but there is a time and a place for this and it should not be in the British news.

It would be stupid women to ever think we can stop the production of porn magazines, and why should we want to because then we would be supressing the freedom of men, but the nudity should be kept to the inside of the magazine. The front covers of magazines like Zoo and FHM contain full frontal nudity that offends everyone but the men that read them. It is not fair to have them in full display for children to see because then they grow up with the impression that women are just sexual objects and not gender equals.

It would also be unfair of women that are against pornographic magazines to demand the whole industry be stopped. This would just make women sexist because it would be supressing the freedom of the women that want to pose nude. There is no doubt that these women are sexy and they made the choice to pose naked.

 In my eyes gender equality is the freedom of equal choice for everyone, so ultra-feminists need to stop suggesting that women are forced to pose nude and that porn should be stopped. It shouldn’t. We all need to stop the unnecessary nudity in the news and on the front of magazines so that people have the choice if and when to view it rather than be forced to, because sex should not sell. 

Photo taken by Philip Schatz


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Who is the Real Victim?

Posted: Mar 28, 2012

 Actor Dennis Waterman has come out today and admitted that he punched his ex-wife, Rula Lenska. His behaviour is horrifying, more so because the problem is not “strong, intelligent women”. The problem is resorting to violence against a loved one.  

The real question this story raised to me is why did it make the news and why is everyone horrified by it? Is it the brutality of a man hitting his wife? Or do you see past the gender and see domestic violence in any form gruesome? I do.

I believe that domestic violence against anyone of any gender is shocking, so why does it seem in our society that men hitting women is far worse than women hitting men? The crime is the same and the punishment is the same no matter what gender or sexuality you are. Statistics show more than 40% of domestic violence is actually against men. Ironically, women nearly have equality with men when it comes to abusing their partners.

Photo taken by Peter Klashorst- marks made by high heels

Campaigners for domestic abuse against men say that it is an injustice that “there is little or no support for male victims.” There are around 7500 refuge places for female victims but none at all for men.  There are plenty of studies that show that women can be just as violent as men but still the majority of society believes men to be the villains of domestic violence.

We all know that Chris Brown beat Rihanna and Ike abused Tina Turner, (there is even a film about it) but did you know Lionel Richie and Bill Clinton have been on the receiving end of violence from their wives?

Many men are embarrassed to admit they have been domestically abused by a woman because stereotypes portray them as strong and dominant but this is not the case. Male victims are also taken less seriously by the police than women that are abused. All cases of domestic abuse should be treated the same. Maybe that way more men will come forward. 

Photo taken by Tinou Bao

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The end of a Murdoch Reign?

Posted: Feb 29, 2012

 In 2009 James Murdoch gave the MacTaggart lecture at the Edinburgh Television Festival where he claimed a "dominant BBC threatened independent journalism in the UK." At the same speech he also questioned the government's regulation of the media.

Can it now be seen as ironic that this man has today stepped down from his executive position at News International after the News of the World phone hacking scandal? The phone hacking scandal can only be explained as a repulsive stunt by News International to monopolise the industry by creating trashy and easy journalism for the employees. Hypocritically, this easy journalism is what threatens independent journalists in the industry, not the BBC's large ownership of British television media. 

How can this man claim that the BBC ruins the chances of independent journalism when it is owned by the taxpayer? I would rather be monopolised by the BBC and their on the fence approach to politics and current affairs than be told what to believe by the tyranny of News Corp.

James Murdoch took the newly created post of Deputy COO of News Corp in March 2011 and is now 'stepping down' after under a year. I am aware that the phone hacking scandal has been going on for some years but, surely you have to question the ethics of a man who is willing to overlook the invasion into the privacy of many celebrities and, more shockingly, the parents of missing or dead children just to get ahead.

Luckily for us, the Murdochs' have dropped their bid to buy out the whole of BSkyB so our TV's our safe for now but I will be surprised if this is the end of the scandals for News Corp. 

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This will help me to sleep well tonight...

Posted: Feb 28, 2012

 We have all lain awake in the middle of the night trying to force sleep whilst worrying what all these years of so little of it will do to us in the long run. Well fear no more. Scientists are now claiming that having a full 8 hours sleep is unnatural. Imagine this, in the 1500’s people had two sleeps! People generally slept for four hours and then woke up for a couple of hours to smoke, socialise, read or have sex. After these activities they would then go back to sleep.

But surely nowadays waking up in the middle of the night would be a total pain in the backside, even if it was for all the right activities. I for one would not have time to dedicate ten hours of my day for sleep and a relaxation break. The only people that seem to have a similar sleep patterns are new mums and I would not class changing and feeding crying babies as relaxing.

In our society we have too many distractions to actually go to bed at a reasonable hour to prepare ourselves for this. Many of us are workaholics, lose track of time on social networking sites and spend far too much time away from our beds to be in them for so long.

But maybe reverting back to this dated way of sleeping will help people with their sleeping problems, which I for one seem to have, or maybe it will just help with the intimacy issues most couples seem to complain about in this day and age.

So is it a load of rubbish or will it actually help to not only relax us more as people but to build on our relationships?<p><a href="">Image: photostock /</a></p>

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