«

»

Nov 07 2005

Women’s Poverty: Unsexy

While I’m out of the office this morning, I offer you this headline* as evidence that the sexiness mandate is officially out of control.

The editor put the kibosh on “It won’t suck you off, lads, but maybe you should think about giving a shit anyway.”

The subsequent article addresses the grim, poverty-stricken futures of millions of British women.
____________________________
* “The women’s pension crisis is deeply unsexy, but serious”

19 comments

  1. nina

    Holy crap! I can’t even wrap my Monday morning brain around that.

  2. norbizness

    Forgive my pre-coffee semantics excursion, but doesn’t “sexy” have a slightly different and broader meaning as an adjective modifying “news story”?

    In other words, “sex appeal” for a story can involve any number of titillating factors (violence, humilitation of the rich and powerful, and, of course, sex). And let’s face it: hearing the word “pension” is a real drag! It’s a real the anti-Viagra, like imagining having to shave Paul Sorvino’s back.

  3. bitchphd

    Yeah, Norbiz, but in context, come on. It’s obviously playing on both meanings of the word.

  4. Mandos

    Yeah, I took “unsexy” to be a Britishism meaning something rather different; they’re saying that the news is devoted to sex appeal, and this important issue doesn’t have enough sex appeal to make it to the front page. ie, it’s a critique of the sexiness mandate more than anything.

  5. Hattie

    As Britain goes, so goes America, so be ready for a big jump in poverty among older women in the U.S.
    I lived and brought up kids in Switzerland for 13 years and am therefore entitled to a small pension not connected to my husband’s pension, but my very own. The Swiss understand the social value of motherhood and pay for it. How about that?

  6. Rene

    I really hate the use of “sexy” to describe architecture, mathematic formulae, political theories, smoothie-maker designs, and anything else that doesn’t have genital organs. My father-in-law uses it to describe everything from Vladimir Kagan sofas to stock portfolios, which leads me to believe that he must have read it in the Wall Street Journal somewhere, which leads me to believe that it’s officially ceased being anything but another bullshit word to flatter the tiny and deeply unsexy brains of the captains of industry. Maybe a headline like that serves a useful purpose, if the purpose is to keep me from reading something that will almost certainly be useless.

    I’m also sick unto death of the phrase “at the end of the day.” No political implications, probably, but I still fucking hate it. It’s the “my bad” of our day.

    Rene

  7. Mark Early

    At the end of the day isn’t it just the end of the day?

  8. teh l4m3

    Rene: That is a horrible linguistic affectation which we can only hope dies with our parents.

  9. Steph

    The whole article makes it sound like it’s women’s fault that they will be poor in later life. Silly them to rely on their husbands and the state to provide for them in their old age. They should have avoided pregnancy and childrearing and all their societally dictated proper roles and went to work to earn some money to be self-sufficient in their retirement.

    Then the newspaper would have lauded them for being responsible and able to take care of themselves. Since clearly as women who raised families and washed clothing, and made meals and managed family finances and made sure everyone had food and clothes they were certainly unable to think ahead and plan for retirement… right? Right? RIGHT?

  10. jayann

    Yeah, I took “unsexy” to be a Britishism meaning something rather different;

    you’re right: it means the issue doesn’t have “news appeal”

    The whole article makes it sound like it’s women’s fault that they will be poor in later life

    that isn’t what it’s saying. This is the point:

    real horror confronting women, which is that so few qualify for the basic state pension. The reason is hard-wired in the way we live, which is the greater likelihood of women, not men, caring for children and older relatives; therefore taking paid work in dribs and drabs; and therefore failing to accumulate the 35 years of contributions needed. The vast majority of part-time workers are women, and the pension system is not set up to accommodate part-timers.

    and the piece is calling for that injustice to be put right.

    BTW a woman (or man) who hasn’t got enough contribution-years to get the basic pension gets an add-on that brings them up to it (and qualifies for other benefits too).

  11. jayann

    sorry,

    >>>>>
    the whole article makes it sound like it’s women’s fault that they will be poor in later life

    that isn’t what it’s saying. This is the point: (etc.)
    <<<<

  12. jayann

    I lived and brought up kids in Switzerland for 13 years and am therefore entitled to a small pension not connected to my husband’s pension, but my very own.

    Here Home Responsibilities Protection can be used to waive qualifying years for someone caring for a child under 16 or someone who’s sick or disabled — or who’s sick/disabled or has very low earnings or is a registered foster carer. And missing contribution years can be bought in cheaply. But the whole scheme is a) overly based on the idea there’ll be a husband’s pension b) *mean* (the current US system is far better) c) amazingly complex.

  13. Hattie

    Jayann: I assume “here” is Great Britain?

  14. Hissy Cat

    Oy Va Voy

  15. rajmahall

    Well, Jesus Christ.

  16. Jill

    Ugh, come on Twisty, if it’s about chicks and it’s not sexy, I don’t want to read it. Please link to Maxim next time.

  17. The Fat Lady Sings

    I gotta tell you – this is something that scares the living shit out of me. I have worked as an artist all of my life. Trust me – it wasn’t conducive to hoarding large sums of cash. I’ve been homeless – when I was in my twenties – it was the single worst thing that ever happened to me; and I was young enough to endure it, and even recover. I couldn’t face it in my 70′s – and that’s no lie. And yes – if it’s happening in Britton, it will happen here as well; in fact, I would say it already is.

  18. Joolya

    it’s the “but” (unsexy BUT serious) that really makes that headline pop.

  19. jayann

    Hattie, Great Britain, yes. Sorry not to say so.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>