When i was about 4 years old, my mum tells me that one day i didn’t feel very well. Apparantly i was dissatisfied with the level of sympathy my parents gave me, so i proceeded to fashion myslef a homemade badge! It was a little circle…sort of…with a safety pin taped on the back, and on the front i had written with crayons ‘poor me!’. My mum still has it! And sometimes, even now, i feel like wearing it! Today is one of those days. Things i thought were going well have suddenly not worked out and i feel kinda lost right now.
Anyway, something else that is annoying me right now (sorry about all this moaning!) is a BBC website called Slink.
I run an online forum at work and someone wrote in to point out what AWFUL and VILE advice this website is giving to teenagers. It is aimed at teenage girls and here is an example of some of the terrible advice that the ‘agony uncle’ gives…these are answers given to genuine questions asked by children.
Q – What do boys expect on a first date?
A – The only time we’d expect the works is if we’d heard you were easy and were going out with you for that specific reason. But no one wants to be that kind of girl, do they?
Q – Why are boys mean to girls they fancy?
A – It’s better to look like a bastard than a wimp. So we’ll do everything possible to avoid looking like a wimp, even if it means being a bastard. The reason is simple: girls prefer bastards to wimps. So it’s your fault really.
Q – Does age matter to boys?
A – As some boys get older they start going for younger girls. Often this is because they’re easier to impress, easier to control and, well, just easier. So watch out!
Can you believe this crap? Easier to control? Do you think this fool knows that 40% of teenagers in the UK are in abusive relationships and that power and control are central to this. Does he not realise that 2 women a week are killed because of domestic violence? And how about the fact that 70% of teenage mothers are in violent relationships? No? Well perhaps he should find this stuff out before giving disgusting, masochistic, unsafe ‘advice’. Lots of teenagers must use the internet to get advice, and you would think that the BBC would offer more support.
On another section of the site, girls are writing in with ‘real life stories’ where they are disclosing abuse, violence, forced marriages etc. Then under each one, dozens of others are leaving comments saying they too are going through the same thing. You may think that this would be a great opportunity for the BBC to link to some helplines, websites as well as responding and offering support and advice, but no. There is nothing of the sort. This is outrageous. They have a repsonsibility to practice responsible broadcasting. What kind of message is this giving to young people?
Anyway, i am making an official complaint with several other organisations that also work to eliminate violence against women. Wish us luck and join the campaign! If you are also shocked by this, please do something. You can use the official BBC complaints form. We all have a duty of care and we need to act. Now.
Rant over. Now where is that badge?xx