Episode 83 – 6th May 2011

What’s Mad Nad Dorries been up to now? Why don’t youths vote? And why should Ann Summers make you angry? Find out in this week’s show!


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The Youth Vote (1:56) by James Firth
Mad Nad’s Abstinence (9:34) by Jennie Rigg
Mad Nad’s Theocracy? (14:46) by Salim Fadhley
Republic (21:14) by James O’Malley & Liz Lutgendorff
Superinjunctions & Wikipedia (25:30) by Tom Morris
Dangerous Cycling (33:50) by Tim Beadle
Ann Summers Anger (43:38) by Natalie Dzerins & Charlotte Hooson-Sykes

11 thoughts on “Episode 83 – 6th May 2011

  1. Jennie Rigg has a great voice and great turn of phrase.

    I think though she misses how feminist discourse on sexuality is also ‘sexist’ and it pits men as predators against poor women ‘victims’ eg of rape all the time.

    as for the myth of men being the ‘givers’ and women the ‘receivers’ of sex. yes this is a myth but like most myths it also has an element of truth in it. Freud characterised the ‘active’ and ‘passive’ in sex acts as ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’. Not as ‘man’ and ‘woman’ but I think that dynamic is worth exploring more. Especially as it includes homosexual sex and so if discussed intelligently is actually a way in to understanding power, gender and sex.

    But I will never be allowed near school children to talk about sex as I am a certified ‘pervert’ as well as a ‘troll’!

  2. About cycling…

    I’m a cyclist, and I don’t drive at all, but I’ve found that motorists are getting better at paying attention to bikes. Pedestrians are getting worse though. Drivers actually pay *some* attention to their surroundings were as most pedestrians in city centres completely ignore their surroundings in favour of chatting on the mobiles and gawping slack-jawed at shop fronts whilst they stroll into a cycle path.

    In my daily journey across Leicester, I see at least one person per day step out into the road without looking – presumably because they can’t hear any car engines it must be safe.

    This is probably an issue of planning and education. Towns need more, better, and more clearly marked cycle lanes (many are the same colour as the pavement and have worn down symbols) – and pedestrians need to be educated and made to understand that they don’t be default own all public areas that aren’t roads (Leicester city centre is a prime example – you get dirty looks cycling near the clock tower even though the area is full of bike rails and even vans delivering things to the shops).

    Maybe I’m displaying the same sort of tribal bias here, but I think most pedestrian-cyclist accidents are caused by the least attentive party rather than the heaviest one i.e. the pedestrian. Given the zombie-like disposition of most pedestrians in areas they legally or otherwise share with cyclists, such accidents must be quite common. Perhaps the lenient sentence for the cyclist took into account the very low fatality rate of cyclists hitting pedestrians, recognizing that hitting someone in a car at 30-40mph has a good chance of killing someone whilst riding into someone has an extremely low chance of killing them.

  3. I walk, ride a bike and drive a car. Can someone please tell me which neat box I sit in, please?

    If you step away from the Cyclist/Pedestrian/Motorist mentality, I think it’s quite easy to see the real problem: pretty much everyone is in too much of a hurry. This is why the cars are speeding much too fast, the cyclists are flying through red lights and the pedestrians won’t take the 30 seconds required to wait at a crossing. We all need to learn to chill out a bit.

  4. @Pete: I know what you mean, but as when driving, I think we should cycle with the expectation that people will walk out in front of us. Streets are for *people*.

    @Nick: I walk, drive and cycle too. I just had my “aggrieved cyclist” hat on for that report. I agree, though, that everyone should slow down, and not just in travel terms.

  5. “Maybe I’m displaying the same sort of tribal bias here, but I think most pedestrian-cyclist accidents are caused by the least attentive party rather than the heaviest one i.e. the pedestrian.”

    I’m predominantly a cyclist (I spend more time riding a bike in an average week than I do walking or driving to a destination). I’d argue that the pedestrian should, pretty much, be able to bimble about without a care in the world. On my commute, it’s easy to identify the potential lemmings, and I slow and cover my brakes when I’m around them. Similarly, alongside crowded pavements or on shared use paths (hawk! spit!) I’m conscious of the need to be able to stop in the distance I can see to be clear.

    You can’t completely eliminate the risk of someone stepping out right in front of you, of course, but my own experience in Manchester is that you can reduce it significantly.

  6. Nick: I never go through red lights. Most of the close calls I’ve seen other cyclists get into have been due to disregarding the rules of the road in that way. If you stop at red lights, give way when you should etc. most cars won’t be a risk to you.

    I guess I’m strange, but looking at it this way I tend to blame the *smaller* party for incidents, even though I have never owned a car and don’t have a full license. At least I’m being consistent (I make one exception though; left-hand drive lorries are a deathtrap that should not be allowed on our roads. By not swapping loads over at Dover haulage companies are causing lethal accidents on the motorway in order to lower their costs)

    I guess my reasoning is that the larger you are, the more rules you have to follow, and the more predictable your actions are to other people. Pedestrians routinely make very sudden changes in direction, often across cycle lanes or even roads, without looking – this would be considered criminally dangerous for a motorist to do.

    John – I like you have developed a bit of a lemming-sense, but the problem is people can transition from careful pedestrian behaviour to lemming behaviour in the blink of any eye.

  7. QRG: Freud has been systematically debunked by psychologists for about a century now, according to my psychologist Ex anyway, so I wouldn’t set much store by what he says; but then I am naturally wary of any binary system of classification, but perhaps that’s a product of being both bisexual and a Lib Dem ;)

    Active/Passive I would object to in terms of sexual behaviour, never mind masculine/feminine. At the risk of crudity, being penetrated can be very active, and penetrating can be very lie-back-and-think-of-*insertcountryhere*, and that is only one tiny part of sexual behaviour. The full spectrum of sex defies linear axes for all but the most vanilla of people in my experience.

    * resisting playing the pervier than thou game *

    FWIW I do generally object to the “all men are rapists” mentality prevalent in some feminisms, and agree with you that the depiction of men as predators is sexist, and to be honest I would have thought that would be clear on listening to my report. I guess I need to work on my clarity.

    Thanks for your compliments on my delivery, though.

    * not touching the cyclist/motorist/pedestrian thing with a bargepole, as a motorcyclist *

  8. Well Jennie I don’t know your ex but I do know Freud from reading him in the original and I am sticking with his basic analysis, sometimes the old ones are the best!

    Freud was a massive promoter of the latent bisexuality within us all, but the people who have ‘debunked’ him have ignored this element of his work.

    I won’t play the ‘pervier than thou’ game either! I just meant that my views and writings are treated as ‘sick’ and ‘vile’ and ‘perverted’ by quite a few readers especially feminist ones.

  9. I walk, i don’t even have a bike , and i’m really comfortable here in Leicester, noboy and nothing makes me sad. But i have to agree that we are in too much of a hurry, and that happends because everybody has to reach somewhere , school , work, meeting.

  10. QRG: neither is there a definitive definition of feminism ;)

    I cleave to the Belinda Brooks-Gordon school of feminism; a lot of rad-fem types would say this makes me worse than the most ardent Male Chauvinist

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