It was good to see Mike Hosking dumping on the Aaron Smith clickbait story (about a quickie in a public loo) and, by implication, his own bosses/moneychangers who passed the story for publication. The chap who took the shot of the couple entering the loo got the biggest dump and has apologised. Have Mike’s minders who passed the story for publication squirmed out mea culpas? I don’t think so.
Later my brain cells kicked in: was Mike’s posturing a reflection of male self-interest? I hope not. But the unidentified woman in the story didn’t rate an apology. She too may have been distressed, worried about being outed.
Most of us have passed on from seeing women as temptresses but our sexual conduct still comes under the spotlight in court cases, attitudes to teen pregnancy around DPB issues. This too can be very hurtful, demoralising. Mike has had some pretty unsympathetic things to say about people on benefits. Let’s take a closer look at one of the worst examples of clickbait since the story of feebleminded Adam in the Garden of Eden.
CLAIMS OF RISING TEEN BIRTH RATES HAVE BEEN POLITICAL CLICKBAIT EVER SINCE THEY STARTED TO DECLINE IN 1966. READ THAT SENTENCE AGAIN. AND AGAIN. Yes, teen births have fallen by approximately two thirds over the last fifty years.* i.e. from about the same time a prototype DPB was introduced but not available to unmarried women (neither were contraception or abortion).
MOST MEDIA, COMMENTATORS AND A LOT OF POLITICIANS HAVE CLUNG TO THE UGLY TROPE THAT YOUNG WOMEN WERE VENAL SLUTS WHEN IT CAME TO THE DPB. The word clickbait didn’t exist fifty years ago but that is what it was: It’s one of the worst exmples of political smearing in modern history, up there with feeble minded Adam blaming Eve in the garden of Eden wayback.
Was it coincidental that men dominated Parliament, the media and commentary during this period? Still do? THE MALE IMPREGNATOR RARELY GOT A MENTION ALTHOUGH HE HAD ACCESS TO CONDOMS FROM THE END OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. He doesn’t get much of a one even now.
Yes, the media was scraping the bottom of the barrel for the Aaron Smith story. Yes, Hosking has got his head round this malodorous method of making bucks. But has he ever apologised for the negative outcomes of his own malodorous socio-political comments aka clickbait. Or chided colleagues for the same offence? He has been less than kind to people on benefits. His victims’ hurt will last a lot longer than Aaron Smith’s and may have much wider social repercussions in respect of women’s sexuality, male sexual confusion and fear, sexual harrassment and rape.