Still an issue in 2020

A young man (whom shall, of course, remain nameless) wrote to me recently in absolute exasperation regarding the song WAP by somebody called Cardi Gan (or was it B? Who knows or even really cares?) - I'd honestly never heard of them/it, so I had a listen and basically wished I hadn't bothered. I implore you, don't give them the oxygen of publicity by listening to it. It is quite awful in every way.


It's one of those hateful pieces that shows really clearly how disrespecting overs disrespects the self. The sort of thing its best to ignore, and wait for that section of society to basically, grow up a little. But hey, it's the nature of the Pop Parade...


However, with quite a mature mindset, this young man was more shocked and aggrieved by seeing "sex experts' and 'sex educators' in the media "falling over themselves to either support it or mock anybody who criticizes it."


It isn't something I followed at the time so I shall have to take his word for it (which I'm happy to do).

He asked me if I have any tips on how to cope in a world where sex educators are seemingly now supporting body shaming in this way...


First of all, I'd say shrug it off and dwell on the positives. It takes time, a long time, probably a generation at least to effect a change in social attitudes. The world, even now, hasn't eradicated racism or gender inequalities. These kinds of puerile flare-ups in the media will just keep going around - even in so-called educated circles. But yet, the more positive messages are now out there and are being re-iterated in more and more social circles.


Just last month I did an interview on the BBC's Alhan's World podcast


To be honest, this is also somewhat puerile (I think that's his style) - but you know, that might just mean it reaches some of the folk who are Listening to Cardi Gan's little ditty so I'm fine with it.


Of course, the other way to cope is to challenge negative behaviours. If I had seen the kind of tweets my correspondent refers to I would certainly have challenged them - and dealt with the inevitable mockery that might have followed. But that's just not possible for many folks, I get that. But there is a responsibility to challenge prejudice of any kind wherever we meet it. Perhaps create an avatar account specifically for that purpose - so you can take part in the global conversation in safe anonymity. Yeah, yeah we're all meant to be heroes and it's cowardly hiding behind avatars - NOT.


In any oppressive world where we live as a minority, it's fair enough to protect ourselves. After all, those V-for-Vendetta protesters have their masks! It's more important to enable the positive conversation than to worry about the etiquette of avatars.


So I'd ask all my subscribes to challenge this kind of media storm - and feel free to do so behind a mask if that makes it possible



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written by Ant Smith and Illustrated by Christine Adams