culture, Equal Treatment, equality, Labour Party, Media

I came across this story in the “Sun” today (not, I hasten to add, a rag I generally read)

Despite this, Susan Boyle has had a top week

This story is so sick it takes your breath away.  Los Angeles based film company “Kick Ass Films” are offering life-long celibate Susan Boyle $1 million to lose her virginity on screen  The boss of “Kick Ass” Mark Kulkis is on record as saying, “…after 47 years of virginity I’m sure Susan is also anxious to get something cracking as soon as possible.”

I, along with very many others, am pleased for Susan and wish her all the very best.  I think that’s enough said.  Her private life is her own.


Body Image, Equal Treatment, ethic minority, Evening Standard, Freedom of Speech, Gender, Immigration, Women's Rights

The often taboo topic of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) was raised sensitively in the media last month.

Thousands of girls mutilated in Britain

Reversing female circumcision

I am proud that the UK is leading the way in Europe by assisting victims of this savage crime quickly and confidently via advertising a targeted NHS service to reverse female circumcision.

In the European Parliament one of the changes in attitude that the Daphne fund (one of the EU’s prime sources of funding for awareness-raising, prevention and protection of victims of FGM) sought to achieve is an end to the grimly scandal mongering tones occasionally struck by media’s coverage of FGM. Such tones often only serve to make affected women feel guilty, hence wounding them psychologically and increasing their sense of being an outsider.

I think it is an outrage that, despite 25 years of legislation, not a single person has faced prosecution for the barbarous act of female circumcision, which claims the well-being of approximately 500 girls a year in Britain.

At the end of last month I supported a resolution, put forward in the European Parliament Women’s Committee, to make all EU Member States enforce their existing laws on FGM and introduce new tough measures to stamp out cultural tolerance of this practice.

Locally everyone can make a difference by helping to integrate immigrant families more successfully. Female genital mutilation is carried out in accordance with tradition in certain communities in the UK. These traditions come from other parts of the world and flourish in other European countries.

There therefore needs to be a massive global effort to break through these barriers and protect girls from this barbaric practice.

A very good video explaining the effects and attitudes towards FGM in Somaliland can be seen here:


Employees, Employers, Equal Rights, Equal Treatment, Guardian, Staff

Yet again the British media are blaming the EU for legislation of Britain’s own making. “Guardian” jounalist Claire Dyer, who should know better, has implied that the EU has “forced” new legislation into Britain concerning staff dealing with customers.

There is just one small problem – the EU directive on Equal Treatment, which she rightfully cites in her article “New sexual harassment laws to protect staff from customers” (31st March 2008), does not actually say anything about staff dealing with customers. This part of the legislation coming into force on the 6th of April is the result of the British based Equal Opportunities Commission winning a ruling in the British High Court concerning how the European directive should be implemented.

This was, therefore, purely a British based decision.