Today a lion escaped from a zoo in Switzerland and a teenage boy was locked up in Singapore for criticising religion. The news has started to blur, to warp and wobble. The absurd and the real are hard to tell apart. A boy heaps angst on religion and is sent to jail for it. A lion gets out of its enclosure then panics, not knowing what to do next, until it’s shot.
I’ve lost track of who is bombing who in Syria. Can’t keep track of the freedom fighters and terrorists, rights groups and racist nationalists. The send-ups and the actual politicians. The Mighty Boosh used to be bizarre and now it’s a welcome relief from how weird reality’s getting. Watch it instead of the nightly news I say. Preserve your sanity a bit.
The first headline in my newsfeed one morning this week was about pay inequality for male models. Top modelling agent says male models ‘suffer big pay gap’. Apparently the top ten female models all make millions, while only the top three male models make over a million. Awww. All the stories of women suffering as a result of gender inequality around the world, and that was the headline news? Screw that! was my first response. Then I started to worry – was I a hypocrite if I claimed to care about gender inequality but scorned this example of it? Probably. Damn.
So, to assuage my guilt a bit I forced myself to think about it some more. And decided that maybe the headline was a turning point to be welcomed. Maybe it’s a sign that men have realised gender inequality is a thing.
In the same way that terrorism started on September 11, 2001 for many people in the Western world, maybe this exposé of pay inequality for male models is when gender inequality will become real (and so a thing to be feared and fought) for a large number of men. Even men stridently opposed to gender inequality would have been excused until now if they tried and failed to conjure up a full-blown sweaty-palmed fear of it. It’s hard to fear something that you know can’t hurt you.
So thank you mainstream media for shining a spotlight on this issue. Maybe the new momentum to stamp-out pay inequality for male models will have a spill-over effect for other niche industries where women face a similar problem, like management, medicine, business, teaching, science and sport.
A reader last week accused Me of being a “Land Rights for Gay Whales Wanker”. I’ll paraphrase his username and call him Up_Ya501, to protect his privacy. I’m not offended on the “wanker” front. What really pissed me off was that Up_Ya501 had been so damn lazy. A burning desire to slag-off as many minority/lefty groups in one short, sharp insult – fine. I get it. But at least aim for some internal consistency.
If you’re determined to include both indigenous rights activists and conservationists in your insult then PICK AN ENDANGERED LAND ANIMAL FOR FUCKS SAKE. A whale, sexual orientation notwithstanding, is clearly not going to be a pin-up for even the most hardcore land rights campaign. Land. Come on UpYa501, make a bit of an effort! Gay Pandas maybe. But whales? Jeezuz.