Below is a letter sent to the Editor of the Irish Independent in response to some of the recent Kevin Myers articles. Anyone who would like to support the same cause can also send a letter to firstname.lastname@example.org. you can also check out occupykevinmyers!
Thanks to the CF supporter who sent this in!
I write to you to complain about what can only be described as a sustained campaign by your journalist Mr Myers to offend, marginalise and insult. While I understand that good writing often aims to provoke, it is my belief, and the belief of many others that Mr Myers has, in fact, gone too far. In regard to his article on the January 19th, to call the leader of the US a ‘mulatto’ is not only offensive but vulgar. While Myer’s contention was that Obama was not entirely black, there were several words which are acceptable to use here, ‘bi-racial’, ‘mixed-race’, etc. Myers may not wish to be politically correct, and while this is a valid wish, there is no need to be downright offensive. In the same article he wrote this sentence “or professional writers to use language so meaninglessly is rather like a GP prescribing a brace of Tijuana trollops, and a good night’s condom-free rogering, to a patient whose wilting dong is dripping with pox.” Metaphorical language is expected in most good journalistic writing, but this is vile. His final paragraph “Perhaps we could put both affairs, plus those left liberal mountebank hacks who so freely use the r-r-w term, on an Italian cruiseliner: I wonder if the splendid Captain Francesco Schettino – who is unexpectedly free this summer – can be persuaded to take them all on a coastal tour of Somalia’s many gorgeous holiday resorts?” is equally vulgar and ill-timed.
However, his rants about women, (February 2nd and January 12) are what have me writing to you today. I call your attention to these two codes of conduct in the Press Council’s Code of Conduct.
Principle 4 – Respect for Rights
Everyone has constitutional protection for his or her good name. Newspapers and magazines shall not knowingly publish matter based on malicious misrepresentation or unfounded accusations, and must take reasonable care in checking facts before publication.
Principle 8 – Prejudice
Newspapers and magazines shall not publish material intended or likely to cause grave offence or stir up hatred against an individual or group on the basis of their race, religion, nationality, colour, ethnic origin, membership of the travelling community, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, illness or age.
It is my belief that Mr Myers directly and explicitly contravenes these two principles. I present you with these quotes from January 12 “Loud declarations of the existence of trafficking are not the same as proof. Moreover, the NWC will not support the right of free women to become prostitutes, or defend their conditions as working girls. Because, at bottom, the NWC are an order of missionary lay-nuns who wish to impose their convictions on all of society; and of course, aided by a supine caste of male political castrati, they are damned close to succeeding.”
“Since then, lady-gardens have been extensively redesigned and reshaped, so much so that many women dispose entirely of the foliage. This is hairdressing on a vast scale, yet for all the talk of feminist honesty, it is publicly an almost a totally taboo topic. And of course, no sensible man would ever dream of mentioning it. I certainly never would. Why? Because it would be offensive to women …”
“By the age of 30, most she-doctors have decided that they really don’t like toiling over the seeping cadavers of the drunken near-dead in hospital casualty at 2am, and by the age of 35, have either ceased practising or are working office-hours only, presumably treating that curious but invaluable species, the office-hours unwell. As a matter of medical curiosity — is it actually possible to be a militant feminist and a caring nurse?”
If you can explain to me how this is not intended to or likely to cause grave offence I will attempt to understand your position. However, I’d be surprised if you could argue such an untenable position.
I draw your attention to the following written on Feb 2:
“THE fictions of the equality industry are never quite as ludicrous as they are in tennis, a sport infested with egalitarian mumbojumbo and feminist voodoo. At least at Wimbledon, chaps are still paid more than the girls. But how long before the stout bastions of the English Lawn Tennis Club fall to the assaults of abuse, whingeing and feminist curses that are the standard weaponry in all such sieges?”
“Where the girls absolutely do win is in sexual allure, for both male and female spectators. Indeed, for decades, one of the main talking points of wenches’ tennis has been their knickers. Moreover, the lanky Russian Sharapova looks like a supermodel, and every time she hits the ball she sounds as she’s having a deeply intimate experience, the sharing of which she has chosen, very kindly, to include in the overall cost of admission.”
“An Australian male tennis champion is now as likely as Germaine Greer, lap-dancer. So the sisters presumably would have had no problem bullying these antipodean wimps into accepting that 99 points over 82 minutes is worth the same as 369 points over 353 minutes, and that a she-champ whose very fastest individual serve is 23kmh slower than the average speed of the he-champ’s should be paid the same as him.”
Again I urge you to explain to me how this is good journalistic practice and in accordance with the rules laid down for your profession.
I await your reply,
*Name with Cork Feminista*