Sunday, July 13, 2008

Let nobody say I can't take criticism

Let nobody say I can't take criticism. I posted a blog story on Thursday night (Abbott Looks To Get Cheeky) about Diane Abbott MP trying to score intellectual points off the Cheeky Girls on BBC's "This Week", and received the following response:

"I follow your blog with interest and from it am aware you promote equalities at KCC. Whilst I appreciate the point you are making about Ms Abbott scoring intellectual points I'm really disappointed you found it necessary to comment on their physical appearance, and refer to them as 'girls'. It was not necessary and undermines your valid point about Ms Abbot's behaviour. It's this kind of language that perpetuates stereotypical attitudes about women."

On Friday, I spoke to several female colleagues, and most of them agreed with the comments above. The general feeling was that if referring to a female under say, sixteen, she's a girl, but above that she's a woman.

So I'm sorry, and I apologise. But although I may have used inappropriate terminology, I still feel that the way the Cheeky Girls looked, combined with their youth, was perhaps the main reason for Ms Abbott's attack. After all, she hadn't reacted in the same way to Julian Fellowes earlier in the programme, nor to Nigel Kennedy a week or two before.

But thanks to whoever posted the anonymous comment, and triggered my sharp learning curve.

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