Ben Peek (benpeek) wrote,
Ben Peek

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The World's Most Powerful Spouses Do Tea, Jamie Oliver Cooks

On my days off, I usually manage to catch the SBS news. It's two days a week, at most, less if I get caught up in other things.

Last night, however, I did catch it, and there was a piece there about Michelle Obama and Sarah Brown, doing tea. It came after a piece about their husbands, leaders of the UK and the USA, and the important international issues that they are discussing, and it struck me that, most sadly, their wives were nothing but entertainers for the world, the little lady who brings the international (or national) audience into the house, gives them biscuits, and makes mindless chit chat while the men handle the real work in smoky dens with assistants in short skirts. It kind of sucked, to be honest. Watching it I saw all the negative female representations that you try to avoid falling into when you write, and when you interact with women. I watched as the news reporter (also a woman) commented on the fashionable, yet sensible style of Michelle Obama's clothing; I'm fairly sure she didn't go into Target and buy her own clothes, but there the reporter felt it necessary to inform me that the reason why Michelle was dressed so was because it showed a sympathy to the plight that many people in the world are feeling in this moment. Of course, the same reporter's moment of daring was to scream out to Michelle Obama and ask her how she liked Britain. "Fine," she said. One word mouthed from a distance. Shortly after that, the same reporter told me about the fact that Michelle and Sarah and JK Rowling and more women would be meeting for a dinner on Downing Street, put together by Jamie Oliver himself, the menu of which did not look like things I could just go up and pick up from the corner store for a few pound. Since it was in Britain, I just felt like adding that bit about the pound there. We all know real money is in dollars, however, but there needed to be a joke here somewhere.

Maybe I was in a mood about things, but the more I watched, the more I wanted to kick something. There were images of women drinking tea with cancer victims. A bit of mindless chit chat, an autograph, some fake interest in people below their social standing, then back to a glamorous dinner in which, I can only imagine, the women later stripped down and fought each other with pillows. Perhaps Jamie Oliver was tied to the bed and they used him shamelessly. He seems like the kind of guy who would be into that.

I shouldn't be surprised, and I should've flipped the channel, but I would only have ended up with the Biggest Loser, and maybe I was watching a version of that already.


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