Women Need to Pick the Battles Worth Fighting for

Published: 18th September 2015 03:38 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th September 2015 03:38 AM   |  A+A-


The use of the word "slung" is wrong, too. Isn't the man - or the woman, for that matter - pulling the other person closer as a gesture of intimacy and protectiveness, rather than a sign of possession? I've never stopped to think about it before, it seems so natural.

Yet, thanks to OTT remarks like Dame Helen's, doing what comes naturally is becoming a minefield. There were reports this week of a 13-year-old boy in Baltimore who was arrested by police for kissing a 14-year-old girl at school against her will. The so-called Pikesville Kiss has become a cause celebre because the kisser now faces a second-degree assault charge. Blimey. If all the boys who played kiss chase at my school had been arrested, there wouldn't have been an empty jail cell in south Wales. (And the girls were even worse...)

The Pikesville snog follows a shocking incident involving a six-year-old boy from Colorado, who was suspended from school for kissing a girl on the hand. CNN reported that Hunter Yelton now has "sexual harassment" on his school record.

Who could blame poor Hunter if he decided to give the whole boy-girl thing a miss and go straight to a serious porn collection? My kids recently taught me the dating/texting acronym LMIRL - "Let's Meet In Real Life". How long before boys are so scared off by the fear of "inappropriate touching" that they think IRL isn't worth the risk?

That sad day is hastened by hysterics such as barrister Charlotte Proudman. Charlotte contacted solicitor Alexander Carter-Silk, asking him to add her to his LinkedIn network. Mr Carter-Silk's response was naff: "I appreciate that this is horrendously politically incorrect but that is a stunning picture," he wrote. The worst you could say about Mr Carter-Silk is he was guilty of sub-Persuaders Seventies smarm. But Ms Proudman chose to punish him by making the exchange public. It was, she claimed, "the first step on the sexist continuum that ends with violence against women".

Oh, do get a grip Charlotte Sillywoman. How unbelievably crass to link the terrors of domestic violence with your own slightly ruffled feelings. There are so many battles that need fighting, and women need to pick the ones that matter.

A young man putting his arm around his girlfriend is not one of them. As an RSC veteran, Helen Mirren should know her Shakespeare. This is what he had to say: "Love's arms are peace, 'gainst rule, 'gainst sense, 'gainst shame. And sweetens, in the suffering pangs it bears."

I think that settles it, don't you?

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