The Trouble With Women With Anne Robinson review – borderline farcical

The Trouble With Women With Anne Robinson review – borderline farcical

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The problem with women, if not the world, is that we are not all Anne Robinson. This is the firm opinion of Legendary Fleet Street Journalist Anne Robinson (to give her her full title). We have not all grown up in a domestic matriarchy, inherited our mother’s business savvy and ambition and fought our way in the man’s world of newspaper production from the 60s onwards, demanding pay rises, netting promotions, becoming the first female assistant editor (of the Daily Mirror), ignoring obstacles and sloughing off sexual harassment on our way to journalistic glory and a successful presenting career.

As a result, ran the working hypothesis of last night’s documentary The Trouble With Women, presented by Robinson, today’s generation is full of timid, fragile little things who blame men for their every problem and who start online campaigns against harassment instead of just jamming the perpetrators’ balls in the photocopier and going off for a pint with his mates.

I paraphrase. But not by much.

The hour was divided into five unedifying and uninstructive parts in which Robinson mostly went from wholly contemptuous of the issue under examination to slightly less contemptuous when offered a personal point of identification.

The Trouble With Women with Anne Robinson.



The Trouble With Women With Anne Robinson. Photograph: BBC/Wild Pictures

In the first, Anne was Disappointed By Children and Their Parents, when she asked them to draw pictures of a surgeon, a firefighter and an engineer and they all drew men. She really thought she had, by being a Legendary Fleet Street Journalist for so long, taught them better than that. Then she was taken round a toy shop and shown how divided the marketing is for boys and girls. It makes her think of her grandson, who likes ballet, and now she understands it is wrong to market things differently for boys and girls.

In the second, Anne is Disappointed by Feminists, because they got Formula One grid girls banned, which is no different from sexy dancing and why shouldn’t women make money from their looks, and, anyway, Robinson had a facelift 14 years ago for herself, no one else, and it was her money to spend, and feminism is the right of women to do, say and dress however they want – the end. And what’s all this nonsense about #MeToo? She talks to a group of millennials that includes a young family friend she evidently cares for and hears how she gets rubbed up against by men on the tube and was masturbated over at 14. Robinson seems genuinely shocked that, despite the fact that she was Legendary Assistant Fleet Street of the Daily Mirror 14 years ago, this kind of thing is still going on now. #MeToo is now OK, carry on.

Part three: Anne is Amazed, Appalled Then Grudgingly Impressed by a Househusband and His Breadwinning Wife. But still, does he not worry that his testicles will fall off? No. Then his wife is very lucky to have him, but Robinson can’t really see this sort of thing taking off, because most women will always find it too hard not to be the one their crying child comes to first. Next!

Part four: Anne Tackles Her Favourite Subject: Money. Women need to stop being lazy and earn more money and stop being cowards and ask for pay rises. Anne always did and it was easy – that’s how she became a Legendary Editor of the Daily Fleet Street – but now she despairs, because no one is.

In the finale, she meets the only people to meet with her wholehearted approval, a group of care assistants in Glasgow who have successfully sued the council for paying them less than the rates paid for male-dominated municipal jobs such as bin collection and gravedigging. These are what she is looking for! Tough broads fighting The Man, like Anne Robinson sort of did to become Legendary Street Mirror Fleet Journalist Editor Woman.

It was borderline farcical. There was no insight, no consideration of anything deeper than Anne’s ill-informed opinion, no attempt to challenge her assumptions (why do we consider a woman “lucky” to have a husband who shares childcare?), no attempt to situate individual experience within a systemic problem. No nothing, really, except the occasional tinkle of a single scale falling reluctantly from a contemptuous eye.

Glasgow council has still not paid up, by the way. Presumably Legendary Journalist Anne Robinson will remain on the case until it does.



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