That Old Double Standard

Can we talk about Heather Mills?

The - what do you call it? - estranged wife of Paul McCartney is currently dancing her arse off on Dancing with the Stars and many people on both sides of the Atlantic have decided opinions about her. Most of which appear to be negative, along the lines of gold digger, evil bitch, opportunist, etc. There also appears to be some very nasty, gleeful yapping about her past in porn. Now, I will not claim to know her after seeing her compete four times on a reality show that's mostly about dancing, but I've been thinking about this and I'm getting more and more annoyed.

I got curious and did a quick search on the net. The porn she is currently being lynched for by the British tabloids turns out to be posing for explicit pictures for an obscure German book in 1988. One book. Nineteen years ago. When she was 20. How shameful! How titillating! How delicious! And what a load of rubbish. Most of us have done something stupid when we were young and are just lucky that there are no pictures of it. It's not like she had a long and distinguished career in adult entertainment (so what if she had?) and I find the way the media and public are falling upon the morsel as a pack of rabid, slavering dogs not only distasteful, but also incredibly sexist.

A
nd speaking of sexism. Without knowing anything at all about her and McCartney's marriage, she is being denounced as a gold digger, someone who married McCartney for his money and now that she's put in four years, is divorcing him so she can get millions out of it. There are so many things wrong with this that I don't know where to start. Isn’t it interesting that the fact she is 25 years younger than her husband automatically means that she's a gold digger, but no one is accusing him of being a pervy old man, the quarter century difference only being proof of ill intentions for the woman. I find it astonishing that no one realizes the logical extension of this argument being that apparently, McCartney is so stupid he can't accurately judge a person's intentions, even after having spent years in a relationship with them. Of course, we've never really liked any of the Beatles wives, have we?

I
t bugs the snot out of me, this judgment of the woman. I don't know if she's a nice person or not - none of us do. And we don’t know what McCartney is like as a husband, either. No one knows what happens in other people's relationships, in their marriages, but still, we judge her, whereas Sir Paul, who as a former Beatle, apparently has reached a level of infallibility unattainable by the Pope, and it’s therefore inconceivable that perhaps he might share part of the blame for the collapse of the marriage. No, no! It is the evil witch, moneygrabbing whore and sure, we have proof of her unsavoury nature, because look! there are nekkid pictures in her past!

And they say there is no more need for feminism...

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