Is Fairfax “Daily Life” having a laugh?

5 Apr

I just read this piece by Clementine Ford at the Fairfax “women’s business” Daily Life website. Ford’s piece is called “Stop telling women what to wear.” It’s worth a read.

But just look at what surrounds it. fashion ads. Advanced style icons. The best style on the street. Stockholm style. The look of the day sizzle reel. Search for all the latest fashions here. Daily style with fifty different fashion looks. The article boldly titled “Stop telling us what to wear” is embedded in more fashion advice than a woman can poke a stick at.

We’ll let them have their whinge, says Fairfax. But everyone knows what’s really important. Everyone knows they LOVE being told what they should wear so when they’ve finished reading the article and getting all riled up about the patriarchy controlling them,  they can just click on to any one of these options and CHOOSE A LOOK. Nobody’s telling them which look, for God’s sake. They have FREE CHOICE.

But wait! There’s more!  “Advanced style icons” features a 72-year-old model! We can look forward to being told what we should wear even into old age! That’s a relief. Even if I can’t remember the name for whatever, at least I’ll know how I should dress when I’m trying.

Truth is, I’m not a subscriber to the “patriarchy makes us do it” theory of victimisation, and there’s plenty of good female role models who don’t appear to be overly concerned about their appearance. We need to find out how they managed that, then teach our girls. However, the disregard for its content demonstrated by situating Ford’s article in the middle of a blitz of fashion advertising is interesting. Is Fairfax having a laugh?

I’m about to take off for a few days, venturing across the border into the cultural wasteland that Queensland has apparently become in the few days since Campbell Newman took office and axed the Premier’s Literary Awards. There’s an interesting piece here in New Matilda, in which Mark Fletcher argues that the axing is no loss.

Happy holidays, may your chocolate be good chocolate, and may you not eat more than is healthy for you. On the other hand, everyone needs to indulge now and again. Just make sure you are fashionably dressed when you throw up.  See you next week!

The Chocolate Shoe

28 Responses to “Is Fairfax “Daily Life” having a laugh?”

  1. Hypocritophobe April 5, 2012 at 3:41 pm #

    Interesting Junk-stapositioning.


    • conor January 26, 2013 at 9:19 am #

      The irony is that Clementine Ford constantly criticises the dumbing down of women’s views and forums and then is part of this! Makes you wonder about her intelligence!Dailylife should be removing all such advertisements and encouraging advertising from companies and people that align with a feminist ideal. Clearly they are not!


  2. Doug Quixote April 5, 2012 at 4:27 pm #

    As for Campbell Newman :

    “He spent thirteen years in the army, resigning with the rank of Major in 1993. At Duntroon he was nicknamed “Noddy”, in reference both to his appearance and to his misadventures during his time in the Army.” PC Plod?

    Perhaps he may institute an award for stories on “Adventures in Toyland”.

    Noddy? He should get on well with Big Ears Abbott . . .


    • Hypocritophobe April 5, 2012 at 4:49 pm #

      Who’d play alongside Bronny in the Punch and Judy Show?

      (Not Judy Bishop,I hope)
      Barnaby is the croc for sure.Scaley, cold blooded, all mouth, swamp dwelling, unloved in the suburbs, prehistoric, foam in the corner of his gob,death breath and disproportionately small brain.


    • Trevor Melksham April 6, 2012 at 7:11 am #

      I always have a raucous chortle when I see Campbell Newman. He is a dead spit for ‘Bulldog’ out of Frasier.

      With that mental image, it’s hard to take him seriously.


  3. hudsongodfrey April 5, 2012 at 10:27 pm #

    There’s a thought. We don’t like being told what we’re supposed to want or not by the patronising, the condescending and the politically correct. Would be pundits lose our respect when on a slow news day they chime in with an obvious button pusher of an article masquerading as serious social commentary. We get that.

    Yet we could go to school on that fact that the surrounding advertising is respected for what it is. It advocates the purchase of a certain product or service in an openly straightforward manner and can for the most part be taken on face value and accepted as such. It may be occasionally brash and intrusive, but patronising and condescending are accusations rarely if ever levelled against it.

    Advertising were it to use “cash for comment” would be frowned upon and quite possibly actionable. Once again highlighting our expectation of the differences between punditry and spruiking.

    Advertising while ubiquitous is largely unremarkable so long as it is less than offensive to certain other pundits who shall for reasons of extreme obviousness remain nameless.

    Maybe the message that can’t be ignored is that ideologically based commentary aimed at influencing our choices is generally more controversial than advertisers’ attempts to influence them. Once and for all it can be shown by this that we know the difference between an honest attempt to sell and somebody who lacks the creativity and drive to come up with a better alternative product bemoaning the fact that they don’t have something to offer in place of the fashions. music, art or confectionery of which they so thoroughly disapprove.

    Poor little unfulfilled pundits!


  4. Doug Quixote April 6, 2012 at 9:36 am #

    I put up this post in reply to Joel Hodge’s latest effort :

    The assumptions made are quite breathtaking.

    The first is that there is a god. The next is that he sent his own son, a part of his tripartite godhead, to be born as a virgin birth.

    The scene shifts to the end of the 30 years of this being’s incarnate life : the assumptions go on that he in fact died upon the cross, that he then (assuming the foregoing) rose from the dead on the third day, appeared to his disciples and then eventually departed into heaven.

    Anyone who believes all of this certainly has faith, there is no other word for it, though ‘fideism’ comes close.

    If you, dear reader, can believe all that, I have a very nice bridge for sale; currently located near the Sydney Opera House, it would look good in your own city – think of the publicity for your own parish! And only a million bucks. Please send your bank cheque to me care of the Drum, first in best bridged.


  5. Doug Quixote April 7, 2012 at 11:19 pm #

    All quiet on the Western Front. Jennifer goes away for a few days, and some religious types are commemorating/celebrating/navel gazing over something which may or may not have happened 2000 years ago in the middle east.

    Are you all asleep? I am pondering a topic for discussion in Jennifer’s absence.

    Any ideas?


  6. Hypocritophobe April 8, 2012 at 12:13 pm #

    Perhaps an idea of what the non-religious can name their 4 day holiday when WE achieve secular equality.
    As long as religion impacts on the running of our society I think every single one of them needs a public holiday to recognise/celebrate themselves.Including atheists etc.
    looks like we get to work 12 days a year in an inclusive society.

    How about Veg Days?


    • Doug Quixote April 8, 2012 at 3:57 pm #

      I’ve often thought that the Jews get a pretty good allotment of holy days; I play bridge, and I could fire a cannon through our bridge club at passover, hanukah and a few others(?).without hitting anything.

      As you say, hypo, about 12 days a year for those committed to multicultural polyholidayism.

      Atheists need a dedicated holiday too, where the duly appointed spokespersons get to preach to society in general, with a Special Message a homily and a blessing.

      A name for the non-holy day??

      I thought of Hitchens’ birthday, but 13th April will clash too often with Easter.

      Look at this list : you, dear reader, may get an inspiration.

      Perhaps Helen Keller’s birthday, 27th June?


  7. Macabre April 8, 2012 at 4:07 pm #

    I would go with Frank Zappa’s birthday, but 21 December is too close to . . .


    What about John Lennon Day, 9 October?


  8. DontSueMeMTR April 8, 2012 at 4:55 pm #

    “Atheists need a dedicated holiday too, where the duly appointed spokespersons get to preach to society in general, with a Special Message a homily and a blessing.”

    After which, everyone is encouraged to contest, ridicule or improve upon the message, homily and blessing. To me, this is the true spirit of Atheism. People thinking critically for themselves.


    • helvityni April 8, 2012 at 6:44 pm #

      All I ask is that shops, coffee lounges and all the restaurants be kept open for people to go out and enjoy themselves, be the public holiday for God lovers or for the Godless…

      We are not living in the fifties, are we…


    • Doug Quixote April 8, 2012 at 7:34 pm #

      Thousands in chorus : “Yes we are all individuals!”

      Lone voice : I’m not.


  9. Doug Quixote April 8, 2012 at 7:53 pm #

    “The true spirit of atheism”, eh? “Stop falling about laughing, you there in the third row.”

    “This is serious,” says the lecturer.

    “No it’s not!”

    It is, and that person can write out 100 times “I must not contradict the lecturer”.

    Now children repeat after me “the Re-pro-duct-ive Organs”

    No, as you were that was last week . . . Now where was I, ?

    “Oh yes, atheism. Now pay attention. You will all be taught all about religion, to inoculate you against the likes of George Pell, Kevin Donnelly and Joel Hodge. Stop groaning boy!”

    Now this year you will discover how perfectly moderated, I mean divinely dictated the Bible was. By the end of your five year course you will know all about theology, so that you will be able to discourse knowledgeably about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin and know just what crap – er, I mean intelligent creationist thought – intelligent idiots will try to foist upon you. . . .

    (Ed : More of the same can be found at Galactic Central filed under ‘F’ for Faecal Matter.)


  10. Doug Quixote April 9, 2012 at 10:35 am #

    Tankard Reist has an article – the usual article – in the SMH today. Whilst I sympathise with the cause as regards the commercialisation and sexualisation of children, and commodification generally, the article takes us nowhere.

    She concludes :

    “It is time for corporate social responsibility in this area. If industry continues to show almost no willingness to be proactive, then someone should step in and make it do the right thing. Corporate profits shouldn’t come before the welfare of children and young people.”

    The “someone should step in” is the bit that scares me.




    • Hypocritophobe April 9, 2012 at 11:22 am #

      She is just continuing her push into politics.
      Would not be surprised if she got a gig soon.
      Maybe QLD,maybe Federal.
      She will probably either run in the next election,or seek appointment (possibly already rubber stamped) as an adviser on women/girls.

      Collective Spout and it’s cheer squad/memberships keyboards would be currently running hot, aimed squarely at influencing those who make policy decisions and appoint arbiters.

      A misery inflicted is a misery shared.


  11. Hypocritophobe April 9, 2012 at 11:31 am #

    ….and anyone answering yes to her very first question ;

    “Ever feel like you’re living in a giant porn theme park?”

    should seek psychiatric help,if it’s not too late.
    (Steer away from the church sponsored ones)
    That includes the zombie-fodder who listen to, and believe this trash.

    She makes hyperbole look like mime.


  12. Hypocritophobe April 9, 2012 at 2:02 pm #

    Two sets of rules?

    Is Abbott going to count this as a boat not ‘stopped’ by Labor?


    • Doug Quixote April 9, 2012 at 3:51 pm #

      That border protection is an issue in Australia is the biggest joke in history.

      The only ones who arrive here without the apparent intention of claiming asylum are people like these, in Hypo’s ref (above).

      They might actually be amongst the only ones to reach Australian waters without being intercepted, though I’ll bet London to a brick that our surveillance spotted them weeks ago.

      Ask the USA about border protection, and the countries on the border of the EU. It just isn’t an issue here.


  13. paul walter April 10, 2012 at 12:58 am #

    Am glad Jennifer mentioned the fact that articles in newspapers of Clementine Ford’s type are always embedded within huge mounds of advertising bullshit often inamicable to what the given writer is trying to discuss.
    Much of Ford’s article proposes that kids within the cultural soup have early been inculcated into them expectations of how they should feel in themselves, appear and be to others and its darkly amusing that the immediate impulse of a reader, to take matters into her/his own hands, is directed by surrounding advertising read ina consequent humour, into reproducing the same conditioned responses, with non choices limited to clothing and accessories.
    Ya wanna be “independent”- prove it by going down to David Jones and buying a stormy little black number for four hundred and then pile another few hundred on the credit card on lingerie and makeup, just to prove your independence…
    I don’t think so.
    Over the decades media has spent hundreds of $millions of money cumulatively, on producing just such a result employing just such modes, employing psychologists and the like, for men, women, kids- you name it.


    • helvityni April 10, 2012 at 7:04 am #

      Sorry folks, but I can’t read Clementine, I find her terribly irritating…I tried…


      • conor February 8, 2013 at 8:24 pm #

        I find her self righteous, inconsistent and too cowardly to admit the misandry and resentment that permeates so much of her writing.


  14. paul walter April 10, 2012 at 1:48 am #

    Just had a quick scan of the MTR article Doug mentioned. I largely agree with Doug’s take, although I wouldn’t be too worried about any regulation, self imposed or otherwise, for reasons I alluded to above (previous post).These reasons are investigated far more thoroughly by Media Watch from time to time, anyway.
    Big business never worried about Bhopal or Bernie Banton, why would a few screwed-up local kids bother them?
    SMH itself was a little arrogant in juxtaposing a saucy photo of what MTR is critical of, as predicted by Jennifer Wilson, a seasoned cultural campaigner in ironic form
    I actually found Tankard Reist a little toned-down.
    What she, Ford and even most people here are talking about, is reinforcement of culturally acquired traits. It’s not possible to seal kids up hermetically, culture is inculcated or inscribed a long time for anyone is conscious of it, by that time we at best involved in is a little selective unpicking of stuff we have not probably been ever conscious of, we are so habituated to it. But at least, comes the plaintive wail, can’t “they” tone it down a bit?
    The dozen or so comments in response to MTR I sampled indicated the resulting problem.
    There was a polarisation, some comments from relatively unsophisticated women deeply into the heroinics of their mothering roles, against boorish males with little appreciation of the complexities of modern marketing and advertising.
    And you could easily imagine the smirks of Fairfax marketing executives faces, in response to this state of affairs.


    • doug quixote April 14, 2012 at 7:08 pm #

      My guess is that MTR was told to “tone it down” to get mainstream publication in the Sydney Morning Herald, still a fine newspaper of record.


  15. Hypocritophobe April 14, 2012 at 9:38 am #

    Speaking of having a ‘laff’, and only ‘you know where’,

    “I believe the NRA has been too timid,” Mr Gingrich said. He said as president he would submit to the United Nations a treaty extending the right to bear arms to everyone on the planet.

    “The Second Amendment is an amendment for all mankind,” he said.


    I JUST can’t wait.Cheers Newt.
    (It’s a pity suburban Sydney seems to have ‘jumped the gun’, on this policy.)


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