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"The Bitch! column is regularly written by Michael Knell.
"The Bitch!" respects no boundaries other than that of the common decency required for a family-friendly web site. This column (which is usually updated every week but more often should something demand comment) is often controversial and should not necessarily be taken to reflect the views of the AstaBGay web site which has no political or religious allegiance. In other words, "The Bitch!" may have a go at anything or everything as she sees fit - it's merely a matter of time before it's you or yours!
Full marks to Ken Livingstone for banning the Sandals holidays advertisements on the London Underground. Also to Barclaycard who have stopped promoting them as well. It's nice to see the Barclays crowd being sensible - their stance on apartheid once was thought to be unforgivable. However, time heals and it appears they have learnt some lessons, so I suppose we should forget all that now. But the fact that it is not illegal for Sandals to blatantly advertise their holidays "for mixed couples only" shows we still have some way to go before being considered equal enough to enjoy the protection that other groups do. At present, it is only through some decent people / companies refusing to run / promote these kind of ads that we may find ourselves in any way protected from this "in your face" discrimination, and that is wrong. Discrimination like this should be punishable under the law! And, whilst on this subject, it's about time that ITV and Sky TV stopped showing Sandals commercials. There should be a total ban on them until this company changes its policy. In my book, showing a gay kiss on Coronation Street, or showing the occasional gay film, does not excuse television advertising executives from acting responsibly!
I see that Scotland, always ready to be one step ahead of us either voluntarily or "guinea pig" inflicted, are looking to use "lesbian dolls" as part of sex education in their schools. Under a project headed by the Lesbian Mothers Scotland group, which is partially funded by Lottery cash, children will be using the dolls to debate and learn about such issues as racism, gender, culture and religion. Nothing wrong with that, I guess, although one or two people have had to have a gripe - notably the Catholic Church in Scotland. But didn't something immediately spring into your mind when you read this? Like: What the hell is a lesbian doll? Or a gay one, come to that? How do you know? More to lose sleep over! So far I've imagined someone throwing a box-load of boy and girl dolls into the air and waiting to see which ones land next to each other. Surely that can't be how it's done. I mean, such a selection process would hardly prove to be conclusive, would it? I do hope someone explains it all to me before I find myself being arrested for doing research in the toy department of some large store!
News that a hospital in Wales has appealed for donations of up-to-date magazines after a patient discovered a 29-year-old Sunday Telegraph supplement in a waiting room made me laugh - and provoked some thought. (Apparently the place was only built twelve years ago, so everyone is wondering how on earth this reading matter got there.) Strangely, my thoughts wandered away to visualising the operating theatre there; the elderly anaesthetist with a bottle of ammonia and a cotton wool bud in his hand standing over a terrified patient saying, "I can remember when all we had was a bottle of whisky and a leather strap to bite on." Hmmm... Maybe it was all something to do with what was in my glass at the time. But, thinking more on the subject; the reading literature in waiting rooms is strange, isn't it? And, apart from perhaps in your local GUM clinic, have you ever seen anything gay to read? Posing a further question: What is there gay to read that's not littered with porn and graphically explicit advertisements for male escorts and masseurs? If there is anything, please donate it to a waiting room somewhere when you've finished with it - we are so under-represented in this area. It would make a refreshing change from the usual gardening rubbish, Countrylife, Woman's Weekly and Bella!
Other things I've seen in the news recently that warrant a comment include:
Research by the Halifax shows that "The Cottage" is the most popular name for a house in the UK.
- Whaaaat! Really? - If only they knew!
Figures from car insurers esure show that drivers of pink cars registered with the firm make most claims on their insurance.
- Presumably for a broken nail - the dizzy Queens!
And a study carried out by the University of East London (UEL) and the Institute of Psychiatry claims to prove that sexual orientation is decided before birth; that it is "hard-wired" into the human brain along with other key traits.
- Isn't this a case of the vicar preaching to the choir-boys? Most people have already accepted this fact. Those that haven't, won't. They never will. Remember, although we fly around the globe every day, and have satellite pictures of our planet revolving, there's still a sizeable Flat Earth Society with elements in just about every country in the world. Likewise, I suppose, we shall always have those who insist "gay" can be cured. Perhaps the stubbornness of such people has something to do with one of those other hard-wired key traits that this study mentions!
Back soon lovelies,
"The Bitch" 5/10/03.