SARAH VINE: It’s toxic femininity to treat men as sex objects
And the award for most tasteless joke at the BAFTAs goes to… Rebel Wilson, for the one about the biggest prize British cinema has to offer being ‘a go’ on Tom Hiddleston.
In truth, it was a close-run thing between that and her one about wanting to sit on Daniel Craig, which the BBC deemed so crude, it was cut from the live broadcast.
But there were others. She managed to get in a swipe at J.K. Rowling in a skit about her ‘transformational’ weight loss (get it?).
I assume Wilson was going for a Ricky Gervais-at-the-Oscars sort of vibe. Trouble is, Gervais is clever as well as funny. But she isn’t.
But her performance didn’t just underline how ill-equipped she was as a presenter.
It also gave us an insight into the ugly double standards of modern so-called feminism — a mentality that ties itself in knots in its desire to espouse the principles of wokeness while demonstrating the most antediluvian forms of prejudice.
SARAH VINE: I assume Wilson was going for a Ricky Gervais-at-the-Oscars sort of vibe. Trouble is, Gervais is clever as well as funny. But she isn’t. (Pictured: Rebel Wilson while presenting this year’s BAFTAs)
SARAH VINE: Wilson’s crude sexual innuendo, directed at Hiddleston (pictured), Craig and, in passing, Benedict Cumberbatch, was more the kind of thing you would have expected from Benny Hill or Bernard Manning:sexist, lascivious, demeaning and, frankly, predatory.
Wilson made a joke about wanting to ‘sit on’ Daniel Craig (pictured) during her BAFTAs presenting gig
Wilson’s crude sexual innuendo, directed at Hiddleston, Craig and, in passing, Benedict Cumberbatch, was more the kind of thing you would have expected from Benny Hill or Bernard Manning:sexist, lascivious, demeaning and, frankly, predatory.
THAT is, precisely what the #MeToo movement has been justifiably railing against for years.
Only because the objects of these jibes are male, it is deemed permissible. Well, it’s not.
Can you imagine if a male comedian had said something similar about Lily James, or any of the other actresses there?
If, for example, Harry Enfield had been presenting and had cracked a joke about ‘having a go’ on Lady Gaga or ‘sitting’ on Salma Hayek?
The internet would have lit up with fury. He would have been denounced by all, driven from his job, very possibly arrested and thoroughly cancelled.
SARAH VINE: Women can’t rail against objectification, then treat men as sex objects, for laughs or otherwise — especially because in this day and age, men can’t really fight back.
But as Wilson is a woman, she gets away with it. She can embarrass Hiddleston (who looked mortified) and no one bats an eyelid.
We have come a long way since it was acceptable for men to salivate over attractive women in public without facing opprobrium.
A long way since Michael Parkinson could ask Helen Mirren if her ‘equipment’ got in the way of her being recognised as a serious actress, while apparently ogling her breasts like some drunken uncle at a wedding. And that’s a good thing.
Women have a right to be treated with respect, no matter how much their appearance may stir the appreciation of the opposite sex. But so do men.
Women can’t rail against objectification, then treat men as sex objects, for laughs or otherwise — especially because in this day and age, men can’t really fight back.
Wilson’s generation of women are steadfast in their rejection of ‘toxic masculinity’. Yet wasn’t her behaviour toxic femininity?
The #MeToo movement has made great strides in levelling the playing field for women who don’t wish to go through life dodging bottom-patters and sexual aggressors. But we won’t make things any better — or do our daughters any favours — if we sit back and laugh when someone like Wilson repeats those same offences.
Personally, I don’t want to live in a world where men have tread on eggshells around women for fear of being accused of goodness knows what.
But as we do, we owe it to ourselves not to squander the gains we’ve made by behaving like slavering idiots.
In a world full of digital mayhem, I find comfort in the idea that Arts Minister Lord Parkinson is fighting to prevent the sale of a collection of 17th-century lute music to a foreign buyer.
It’s worth £214,200. Shall we have a whip-round?
Lily’s put her foot in it
Generally when one’s feet go an odd green colour and seem covered in strange excrescences, you know it’s time to visit the chiropodist.
But not Lily James. This, ladies and gentlemen, is what’s known as high fashion.
Lily James attends the British Vogue and Tiffany & Co. Fashion and Film Party at Annabel’s on March 13, 2022 in London
What is it about fashion and ugly footwear?
The other day I received an email from a Spanish designer inviting me to spend £180 on ‘jelly sandals’ that looked like something Roald Dahl’s monstrous Miss Trunchbull might wear to soothe her bunions.
Scientists have found out gulls don’t scavenge for food randomly — they keep returning to certain preferred chippies.
I can’t say this surprises me. Animals are very savvy.
My dogs are fed at 6pm every day. At five to six they get up from the sofa, stretch, then sit down by their bowl. I could set my watch by it.
If I’m busy or late, Snowy bangs his bowl with his paw.
How do they know what time it is? They can’t tell the time. Or read. Or can they?
It reminds me of a line from the film Aliens.
When the lights go out, Ripley gasps: ‘They cut the power.’
Private Hudson replies: ‘How could they cut the power, man? They’re animals!’
Ah yes. Doesn’t mean they’re stupid, though.
How I felt Joanna’s pain
Joanna Scanlan, who took home this year’s Best Actress award at the Baftas for her remarkable performance in After Love, says the pressures of a hostile male environment at Cambridge University kick-started her lifelong battle with her weight.
‘It was literally a protective mechanism,’ she says. ‘There was a sexually aggressive atmosphere: intimidating, frightening.
‘My extra padding prevented me from being an obvious target.’
I must confess, this really resonated with me. I think a lot of obese people — myself included — put on weight as a protective mechanism.
Joanna Scanlan took home this year’s Best Actress award at the Baftas for her remarkable performance in After Love (pictured with award)
It is both a cushion against life’s blows and a way of keeping people, especially men, at arm’s length.
When I was about 18, I suddenly found myself attracting a lot of male attention and I couldn’t really cope with it.
Subsequently I began to put on weight and, although I didn’t realise it at the time, I think it was my way of withdrawing physically from the world.
Scanlan is the first person I’ve ever come across who has framed that human frailty so well.
Perhaps that goes some way towards explaining why she’s such a great actress.
Emma Watson is frightfully pleased with herself, isn’t she?
Turning up at the Baftas and making sly jokes at the expense of J.K. Rowling.
Remind me, what starring roles has Watson had since Harry Potter?
SARAH VINE: Emma Watson is just another woke flash in the pan. (Pictured: Watson at the Baftas)
Beauty And The Beast? Some tedious adaptation of Little Women? A couple of perfume ads?
Harry Potter will delight children for generations to come. Watson is just another woke flash in the pan.
Who are the real racists?
Dr Tony Sewell, the author of last year’s race report which concluded that there was no evidence to suggest Britain was ‘institutionally racist’, has had his offer of an honorary degree from Nottingham University withdrawn.
It seems that Dr Sewell had failed to find racism around every corner, as the liberal Establishment expected — a notion that, of course, displays significant prejudice itself.
As Dr Sewell put it: ‘Some groups feel they can tell black people how to be black and, in effect, indulge a form of racism by doing that.’
Maybe someone should point out to the people concerned at Nottingham University that no one owns anyone in this day and age — slavery having been outlawed here in 1807.
Michael Gove and I may not always see eye to eye, but I’m immensely proud of him for managing to turn around this homes-for-refugees plan in such a short space of time.
As for all those people busy trolling him because he hasn’t himself volunteered to host any refugees from Ukraine, that’s because he is no longer living in the family home we jointly own, so it’s not in his gift.
He is too honourable to point that out, so I thought I would do it for him.
Forget ‘people who menstruate’ and ‘individuals with a cervix’ — the latest woke buzzword is ‘bleeders’, from a company flogging menstrual products.
‘Most bleeders know how they are impacted by their period,’ gushes CEO and founder Daniella Peri.
I think the word you’re searching for is ‘women’, Daniella. Bleeding fool.