Tag Archives: tabloids

The question Laura Kuenssberg should have asked the editor of the Sun

Late on Friday night, the Sun published a column by Jeremy Clarkson.

You wouldn’t expect him to say anything nice about Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, to be honest.

Most of the article was merely his opinion on Harry and Meghan’s Netflix documentary. I think he’s wrong, but, again, no surprise there. He’s allowed to be.

But there was one part of that article which didn’t merely stray over the boundaries of acceptable behaviour, it stuck two fingers at them from outer space.

He described his hatred of Meghan as being deeper than his hatred of two other women, Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and serial killer Rose West. These are not two women you would normally compare. Then he said that he dreams of the day when Meghan is paraded naked through the streets of every town in Britain while people chanted “Shame”at her and chucked crap at her.

Words matter and too often in the right wing press, they fuel a toxic culture which makes life less safe for every marginalised group in this country, from disabled people, to immigrants to women to trans people. This vivid description of humiliating violence to a woman, presented as an aspiration, has no place on the pages of a newspaper in a civilised society.

Most reasonable people will think that Clarkson is just being a twit again, but it will intensify the hatred of a few. We just have to hope that nobody takes his words too literally.

Jeremy Clarkson has always been obnoxious. It is what he does. The first time I wrote to him was in response to an article he wrote on women drivers a quarter of a century ago. I actually got a quite funny and self-deprecating reply from him. But that was a world away from what he wrote about Meghan.

Harry comes in for criticism too, deliberately misnamed for comic effect and portrayed as Meghan’s puppet. It’s a typical misogynist trope to assume that any woman you don’t like is somehow controlling those around her, usually with some sort of sexual temptation. And in this case there is no somehow about it. Clarkson says that explicitly.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 16 Comments
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