Friday, July 07, 2006


Spent most of today at the world's first 'shopping resort'. It was quite galling to see the suit I recently bought from Massimo Dutti is less than half the price here. I managed to grab a few bargains, then hit the snow. Not being a toff I can't ski or snowboard, so I was content to merely potter about in the 'snow park' and hurl myself down a few slides. It was quite a surreal experience and definitely a recommendation to anyone who visits, if only to experience a 40 degree temperature difference in a matter of minutes.
I committed a bit of a cultural faux pas as well today. An arab lady in the mall dropped her map, and I leant down to pick it up - I've been brought up proper see. When I handed it to her, she and her husband looked genuinely gobsmacked that a man should be helping a woman out in some way, women being not too high up the food chain in this part of the world. It's reasons like this that cause me to be a little dismissive of perceived grievances of many western feminists. There's a lot more to do in the rest of the world to give people (men and women) the freedom that we take for granted.


bagelmouse said...

*thuds head on desk* So, what, I should give up helping North London's abandoned kitties and help save tigers on the serengeti? (Or wherever they live...) A problem in your own backyard is still a problem, no matter what the problem is.

Will said...

Yes but I think you need to get some perspective. Our backyard is the world, and I reckon that anyone who doesn't think that is unfortunately a little misguided. Helping local kitties is a good thing, no doubt about it. It's better than helping no one. But surely rather than investing the extra in organic biodynamic cat food the money would be better spent with a cat charity in Athens feeding the thousands of strays there?

bagelmouse said...

Well, I already divert money from my salary to various charities. I think, if someone feels strongly about something and does whatever they feel they can to make a difference, they should be applauded, especially in this apathetic little world.

Jamie said...

I think Will's just trying to say that before people start ranting on about how evil or wrong Britain is, and how backwards we all are, they need to realise that we're one of the most equal, multicultural, tolerant, free and culturally advanced nations in the entire world.

Indeed, if we were not lucky enough to live in such a free and equal society, we wouldn't even have the opportunity to moan.

It's a bit like the anti capitalism shitefest of middle class children that happens every May. Or general Communist / anarchist nonsense. Funny how in actual anarchist countries (like Somalia) everyone is shit scared, malnourished, just wants a democratic government.


helen said...

I read of a survey recently about how Muslims and Non-Muslims view each other.

One of the things that struck me was the high precentages of Muslims suveyed in many countries (more than half in most Muslim countries surveyed) who believed Westerners were not respectful of women. Having grown up in the West where I do think women have a lot, not total but a lot of freedom, this suprised me. But really made me realise what a matter of perception something like "respect" is.

I can only presume that people in Muslims countries find the way images of semi-clad women all over the place and that our culture encourages women to model themselves as sex objects above anything else disrespectful. But I don't know because I've never been to Jordan and even if I did I'm sure I'd be too shy to ask.

This wasn't meant to turn into a rant about the evils of porn or the objectification of women. I just think its relevant that each culture is judging the other on a difference set of values.

kate said...

somalia isn't an 'anarchist country' jamie. in fact anarchist countries, by definition, can't exist. perhaps you should learn a bit about what anarchism actually means before you write it off?

Will said...

Well that's the thing isn't it - some people believe that covered women from head to toe is more respectful. The point being that in this country you have a choice. I'm sure that can be argued until the cows come home, but I don't think you can get away from thinking not allowing women to vote (for example) is just a tad disrespectful.

But if that's all you've known your whole life, are you likely to question it? Or maybe you'd think, 'look at those western women, they're all a bunch of slags with their skimpy clothes - that must be what happens when you give them the vote. I don't want to turn into that'.

It's funny cos I was reading an article about politics in the UAE, and the public's feeling about democracy. The general feeling was that what do they need democracy for - they're quite happy with how things are thankyouverymuch. And democracy just make politicians adopt policies as vote winners, rather than for the greater good.

Of course things are going quite nicely in the UAE, but all it takes is for the leader to die and his predessor to have opposing views as to the direction the country should take. Then the people might wish they lived in a democracy.