Sheena McDonald debunks some Circular arguments.
Breasts and Mrs 'l‘hatcher. Discuss.
It's all to do with ~ nice round things -- like munbers. ()r footballs.
liy er auctionet a signed football'.’ .\'o. well. I hadn't either.
lhcrc‘s six.actually.saidthe organiser. proudly. l-‘romsix different 3
clubs -should raise a lot! ()K') We“. ()K. Should. I suppose. \\ hethcr or not they did is. however. not the issue here -- although collectors of such spectacularly useless curiosities may be intrigued to know that the l lamilton Acmlemicals‘ ball raised four times the amount attracted by the ('eltic globe. . . \Vhat made saucers of my eyes was the brief encounter with a pink and heavy young mart in straining shirt-front and pin-striped two-piece. w ho w addled over to the dais towards the end of the
I eytenuated ball-roupand wittin
tugged at my skirt. I looked down at a glistening pie-dish physog. A fool moon.
Is this - he asked. with what the mirror had clearly and treacheroUsly told him was a winning leer -- is this
the kind of auction where you take your blouse off for the highest
l’ause and consider. If every tnale
- meinberol'the llouseof(’ommons
\\ as obliged to wear a plausible prosthesis which presented to the world the contours and profile of the female torso. would that august body hay e a different perception ol'(‘lare
l: Short .\II’ and her derided attempts
to reclaim the dignity and proper liyeliness and loveliness ol hall the nation‘.’
Probably not. any more than
w edging a gherkin into my MKS
scanties would giye me the remotest insight into why American film actors are apparently obliged to play so-calletl lo\ e-scctles clad throughout in w interw eight boxers. \y hile their partners seem convinced (w ith the help of a few nice round numbers'.’) that the sw iltest route to attracting the cold gold unseeing
ga/e of old ()scar to your book-end is by ripping youryest off.
And there's another anomaly 3 l low come classical dancers from l’apua New ( iuinea. dressed
authentically in grass skirts and the
Utltl shark‘s tooth :tl'e Considered to
be iolly seenin teamtime y iewing
and Michael ( ‘lat'k‘s pet'lectly - formed gluteus masimus isn'l'.‘ l5orew arned is lorearrned. children
it's high time lady bird brought out a basic primer for future tray ellcrs through the Western \\ orld ol .‘ylamniary . then perhaps I wouldn't hay e had to find an answer for young
(ieorgie l’orgie in the pin-stripe.
Sure. I said. How much do you think taking your blouse oft should raise’.’
l ()h. I know 5 Spoilsporl? Killioy
l 2'l'hc List 8-— 2l January NBS
puritan dyke snob. frustrated spinster! Not to mention hypocrite! Really? I don't think so. Yes. I think the human body is beautiful and. yes. I think breasts are most beautiful and fascinating. and their depiction can be properly erotic — and I think most women might agree. But when you warp fascination to create fetish. then you lost the part that is human. And. worse. that dehumanised attitude comes to dominate the entire view. and shame turns to blame. and the voyeur can only justify his betrayal of mother. sister. wife by slipping the entire sex down a peg — creating a slightly different species. called women. Putting them on a pedestal. you could say.
'l‘osh. said the newspaper editor. one of the mighty band of men and women — dedicated to enveloping the country in an immobile. unresisting. masturbatory ha/e Rtllililshl ll creates jolts. - lget thousands of letters and photos every week from girls who want to appear in my paper (alas for nice round figures! ) — it's harmless fun! And I‘ll tell you something — I‘d never print a picture of a completely naked woman - oh no! .lust above the waist!
You bet. A completely naked woman is exactly that. A human being. A young girl profl'ering her unveiled breasts is no classic fertility symbol. is no artistic celebration. is not harmless fun ~ is a fetish. is half a body. half a woman. and reduces the man who watches. The only thing that is equally shared between the
\Vhieh hasn't left much room for .‘ylrs'l‘hatcher. but then she’s dominated the column inches fairly
: comprehensively‘ this New Year.
thanks to nice round numbers-
.‘sllllll. to be precise ~ provoking a cornucopiaoftributes: she‘s ruthless. authoritarian. over the top.
unreasonable. Make no mistake. such encomia from her ( male ) colleagues are the clearest proofof admiration and respect in a nation where the ruling sex pines to return to the breast. It all gets a bit ma/y when you start trying to work out who’s fooling who. but maybe w e’ll ncy er have to in this Never-Never land. where Mummy is always up before us and tucks us in at the end of the day.
And the conclusion'.’ ladies. if you want to get ahead in whatever profession you favour -- only show half the goods. But. gentlemen. if you want to get happy. cherehe/ la lemme -‘ ttll of her?
Which makes for a pretty incompatible start to the .\'ew Year" .\'ey er mind. it‘s leap year — and remember. girls. if he says no. he has to buy you a pair of gloves. And if I carry on in this vein. 1 should have achieved a nice round number of pairs by' the end of the year? Bottoms up!
Greenock-born writer Peter McDougall‘s work returns to Scottish screensthis month. On 19January his ‘Down Where The Buffalo 60‘ opens BBC Scotland‘s new networked 'PlayOn One‘ season. The much-troubled production stars American method actor Harvey Keitel as Carl. a serviceman based at Holy Loch and married to a local woman. and examines the stresses and confusions brought to their lives by what McDougall sees as the theme ofall his work.the mental (and sometimes physical) misplacement of people.
In the case of Buffalo. that theme gets a rather more sombre variation than in his earlier mordant lragi-comedies (Another Saturday Night. Elephanf's Graveyard. JustA Boy‘s Game); the punctured bravado of youth gives way to a more brooding reflection. partly pre-figured in Shoot ForThe Sun. asforty hoversinto view.
‘I think of myselfas menopausal.‘ says McDougall. who has recently moved backto Glasgow. after many years in London. ‘I don‘tknow what I‘m supposed to be doing any more. orwhere I‘m supposed to be going. and Carl feels exactlythat. You then have to makethat into a story. so you introduce otherelements. about the shore patrol. and his out ofwork brother-in-law. who is also a misplaced character.
Even if he had been working. he would still have the same dissatisfaction about what he is doing with himself.
'Basically. I have always written in this area because lfeel myselfto bea misplaced person. In London. for example. I know whento use my accent in certain meetings. or when to kick down a door and threaten someone. bull also know when to shutup back in Greenock. when somebody starts to pull a ‘let‘s face it. you're nothing buta wanker' numberon me. You have to balance both these things. butyou are aware thatyou don‘t really belong in either place any more.
‘I left Glasgow when Iwas 17 with this constant idea that it must be better somewhere else. but it never is. The real problem. of course. is that when you cross borders into other countries. you don‘t leave youridentity atthe border-post. it comes with you.‘ (Kenny Mathieson)
human drama in which the
' issue of sexual harrassment
and the story of an ordinary woman‘s politicisation would draw people intothe complexity ofa work
Business As Usual is one of only two films to resultfrom Cannon‘s now sadly defunct
programme to fund dealing in issues olclass low-budget British features and ecomomics in
by promising new talent. contemporary Britain. She Written and tilted“ DY was initially sceptical that Lein-An Barrett. it stars Cannon would suppon he, Glenda JaFl‘SO" “3 film. 'lwasn‘tvery hopeful L'Velpum'a" Shop about Canon because my managefess WhOlal‘esa view ofthem was shlock. stand against her boss‘s bums‘ ms and guns. This sexual harrassmentofthe mmdidnrtseemm beup
staff and finds herself unceremoniously sacked. Persuaded to fight a clear case of unfairdismissal.
she becomes the spearhead of a national campaign for reinstatement. The film is based on a successful trade union dispute in Liverpool
Barrett had previously made the short film An Epic Poem before devoting her energiesto researching. writing and raising the moneyfor Business As Usual. ‘When my mum and dad came out ofthe screening of An Epic Poem . at the National Film Theatre 2 they said. ‘Yeah. it's very pretty. but what‘s it about?‘
I thought what I've got to do
is make movies that relate
to mum and dad because they‘re mytarget l audience.‘
With her parents in mind. Barrett determined that Business As Usual
could not be labelled as an overtly feminist orpolitical film but would be an involving
theirstreet butwithin 48 hours they agreed to put up the rest of the money forthe movie and I though. ‘God this is a real choiceto make‘ because l had raised over half the money bythis time from setting up a trade union consortium and doing pre-salesto TV abroad.l had to make the decision
Glenda Jackson in Barrett‘s ‘Business as Usual"