Columnists Julie Burchill

I’m sick of weak women being praised as ‘strong’

Why are we supposed to admire ‘brave’ Kelly Osbourne checking into a clinic because of her weight gain?

12 April 2014

9:00 AM

12 April 2014

9:00 AM

When I heard that the television pundit and all-round nepot Kelly Osbourne had gone into ‘food rehab’ upon gaining weight, I fair choked on my cronut. Crumbs! Is there any pleasure, weakness or habit that isn’t pathologised these days, even stuffing oneself out of sheer molten gluttony? I read on; incredibly, people were praising ‘strong’ Kelly and ‘brave’ Kelly. I made a memo to myself to mention to the svelte checkout girl at my local Tesco how brave and strong I was next time she raised an eyebrow at the amount of sweets and crisps I was giving a good home to.

Every woman seems to be strong and brave at the mo. Those who make themselves vomit after eating, those who starve themselves, those who slash at themselves. (Why not give blood and help others while harming yourself? Then at least something good’s coming out of it.) There was a TV commercial for deodorant awhile back which proclaimed boldly ‘EVERY woman is strong!’ What, even gold-diggers wearing heels so high they have to be assisted from bar-stool to bathroom while keeping a weather eye out for Premier League football players? A whole bunch of media broads got cross when L’Wren Scott was described as Mick Jagger’s girlfriend, protesting that she was, rather, a Strong Woman. But why? When I was growing up, the only Strong Women you ever heard of were long-gone circus freaks, or those Eastern Bloc shot-putters who were sniggeringly prevailed upon to take thrillingly named ‘sex tests’ by the harrumphing old Olympic committee.


These days you can’t move for them. I like tough broads, so you’d think I’d be down with this linguistic development, but I must say I shudder with distaste on nine times out of ten hearings. Just like men, women are not all brave and strong, any more than we can all run fast or write well. A dry drunk, a slasher, a puker or a gorger is particularly not strong or brave. If Kelly Osbourne is strong and brave for going to food rehab, then what words do we use about, say, women facing death in order to cast their vote in Afghanistan? If all women are ‘strong’ just because they sweat a bit in the gym — as in the deodorant ad — then what do we call the women in my friend Leila Segal’s photography exhibition ‘Voice of Freedom’, which opens in London next week and examines the impact of modern-day slavery on those who leave their African homes to set out for the safety of Israel and are tortured and trafficked on the way? As Leila says, ‘Choosing to live after you have been “sold” by a man you loved, then repeatedly raped and tortured; watched your kidnappers bury people alive in front of you; seen people beheaded. Choosing not only to live, but to publicly tell the story of what has been done to you to protect other young women, risking shaming and contempt on your own community. Choosing to love and trust again. That is strength.’

Brave and strong are important words; to overuse them, in the attempt to make women feel better about themselves, is a betrayal. Especially considering that every nation has a vast and mostly silent army of brave and strong women; the victims of the laughably cosily named ‘domestic violence’. I was once one of them, as were all of the co-founders of End Of, a pop-up fundraising campaign which has organised a party-for-pay on the evening of 29 April at Hove town hall. We were the lucky ones — we escaped, to not merely survive but thrive in our hard-won freedom. Two women a week are not so fortunate, and are murdered in this country alone by partners or ex-partners. In every country in the world, violence against women is so consistent and epic that it might well be called the longest terrorist campaign in history.

In India, they have the pink-clad women of the Gulabi Gang, who visit abusive husbands and threaten to beat them with large sticks unless they stop hitting their wives; here in Hove, where such behaviour is frowned upon, we are holding a frolicsome evening of music, reading and shameless disco-dancing under the End Of banner. Our actions may be frivolous, but our intent is true; to raise money for Rise, the Brighton domestic violence charity. Across the country, nearly 200 women a day — a day — are being turned away from refuges, while prosecutions are falling, both as a result of government cuts. More British women were killed through men’s violence last year than British troops killed in Afghanistan in the past three years.

When I thought of the name of our event — End Of — I didn’t for a moment mean it to seem as if I believe that a few hundred souls drinking and dancing on a school-night somewhere on the south coast will bring an end to this epidemic of hatred. Our aim is simply to raise a bit of cash for an admirable charity, and to add our voices to the increasing demand that domestic violence be perceived as a public rather than a private issue, and as a hate crime equivalent to that of racial or homophobic violence. It’s all too easy to throw up our hands in horror at the Indian rapes, or tut-tut over the Pistorius trial. But in my opinion, a society which does not take active steps to prevent the murder of two members of a disadvantaged group each week — a group who are attacked because they are women as surely as gay people are attacked for their sexuality or members of minority racial groups for their ethnic origin — cannot truly be called a civilised society. We are not saying that our campaign is the End Of domestic violence — but it may well be one tiny step towards the end of the beginning. We may not wear pink saris and carry big sticks, but we are legion, and we’re definitely coming to get you. That’s a threat and a promise, from the brave and the strong, both living and dead.

Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.

Rod Liddle is away.

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Show comments
  • Liz

    I suppose it’s no more corrosive than confusing rudeness with strength.

    • Trans Fan and Proud

      Couldn’t agree more, Liz. Julie Burchill confuses freedom of speech with freedom to be offensive. She is the Nigel Farage of journalism.

      • La Fold

        Freedom of speech is the freedom to be offensive you utter toby.

        • Kitty MLB

          Indeed. freedom of speech is the right
          to speak positively or negatively. The right to offend,
          and the right of others to offend you back- its could
          living in a democracy. Totalitarian dictatorships,
          the politically correct brigade, and socialism deplore
          it, because it places freedom into the hands of people
          and removed power from the hands who wish to
          dominate.

          • Shazza

            Totalitarian ideologies do develop methods to shut down any discussion and or criticism of their beliefs.

            A very successful example of this is the infamous ‘Islamophobia’. This construct was developed in the 90s by the Muslim Brotherhood and has proved to be a most effective tool in the global aims to spread this primitive culture.

            Consequently, telling the truth is now ‘hate speech’.

          • La Fold

            telling the truth, expressing an opinion, having an idea which doesnt fit into what is deemed acceptable they’re all supressed to create a herd mentality.

          • Liz

            Rude people behave in a very herd like way.

            They recycle the same phrases, use the same tactics, operate as groups, favour repetition.

          • La Fold

            And god forbid the world ever has rude people in it?! Tactics? What on earth are you gibbering on about now? Oh yes, i forgot you seem to think that everyone who doesnt agree with what you say is in cahoots together. Zoomer.

          • OldSchoolHistory

            “Hate”–a 1984-esque term developed by retards who can’t conjugate “hatred.”

          • Lewis Sullivan

            Oh do look up a definition of socialism. Of course you’re free to use it incorrectly, but it does make you look a bit silly. … into the hands of the people is socialism!

          • Liz

            Yes, but you are also allowed to be polite and thoughtful even when disagreeing with somebody. It’s a sign of a more rounded, stronger character.

        • Trans Fan and Proud

          The freedom to be ‘solely offensive’ is a poor use of that freedom in my view. Plus, the freedom of speech does not mean that there are no consequences for using that freedom.

          • La Fold

            It may be a poor use of that freedom but that doesnt mean that me, you or anyone else should have the right to tell her how to use that freedom. Much in the same way if someone wants to change sexuality why should i have the right to deny them that?

          • Trans Fan and Proud

            It is my view that if you use your freedom primarily to offend that is unhelpful. It is my right, under freedom of speech, to express that view. It is your right to disagree. If Julie Burchill actually accepted the right of individuals to define their own gender identity, then I wouldn’t find her half as offensive. As a cis woman, I do not deny the right of trans women to call themselves women, so I agree with your last sentence.

          • La Fold

            “It is my view” Exactamundo!
            You originally said that the author confuses freedom of speech with freedom to be offensive. I say that the freedom to be offensive is covered by freedom of speech.

          • Trans Fan and Proud

            Of course it is covered. What I am trying to say is that freedom of speech does not mean always having to be offensive. One also has the freedom to be compassionate.

          • La Fold

            One has the right to be compassionate or to be offensive, or to be indifferent, arrogant, callous, caring or in youre case entirely disingenious. You know fine well that you were trying to say that even if she has the freedom to speech she doesnt have the freedom to offend you. Well sadly she does.

          • Trans Fan and Proud

            I was saying that freedom of speech is not only the right to offend. The right to offend is a subset of freedom of speech. The two are not mutually exclusive terms. So I was not saying what you attribute to me at all. She has that freedom and uses it frequently. I have the right to comment.

          • La Fold

            You said “Couldn’t agree more, Liz. Julie Burchill confuses freedom of speech with freedom to be offensive. ” I say they are the same thing, in fact people wouldnt need a freedom of speech if we all agreed about everything and no one said anything anyone else found offensive, and no ammount of semantic back peddaling changes that.

          • Trans Fan and Proud

            The two are not to be confused though for the reason I’ve given. They are not interchangeable.

          • MC73

            I I was driven to stab myself in the eye as a result of reading your demented and unremittingly tedious and humourless drivellings, would that make them retrospectively count as incitement to violence? I’m prepared to do it for the sake of my fellow Speccie reader…

          • Trans Fan and Proud

            You’re very free to skip my comments. But if you do find yourself reading one by mistake, keep your ‘speccies’ on for health and safety reasons…

          • Fergus Pickering

            But if you say anything worth saying then you are bound to offend someone.

      • Simon

        Absolute nonsense.

        • Trans Fan and Proud

          Under the guise of freedom of speech, I have the right to express my view. You have the right to disagree. I stand by my opinion as being what I believe.

          • La Fold

            No one has taken away your freedom of speech, your right to diagree or your ability to air it here or anywhere else. You however say that the freedom to be offensive is not the same as freedom of speech. Many think it is.

          • Trans Fan and Proud

            Freedom to be offensive does not mean that you have to be! Of course we have the freedom to offend, but if we overuse it, if we show a lack of compassion in what we write then what price that freedom in human terms?

          • La Fold

            I hate to read between the lines but basically youre saying we have the right but dont you dare use it? What price in human terms? Turn it in flower. A maudlin sentiment which is actually contempt disguised compassion.

          • Trans Fan and Proud

            I’m suggesting it might be helpful to use the right to offend with caution – not in every single article you ever write…

          • La Fold

            Who are you to tell anyone what they can and can not write? If she wants to spend her career writing hateful bile in every sentence she ever writes then, like it or loathe it, thats up to her.

          • Trans Fan and Proud

            ‘Suggesting it might be helpful’ is not the same thing as ‘telling’….subtle difference………..

          • saffrin

            OK so if I said homosexulaity should be a criminal offence, would it be freedom of speech or offensive?
            Bye the way, you do realise the last Labour Government promoted this act of perversion and today’s Coalition has even given them the right to be recognised as being married in law?
            How sick is that?
            Jeeze, they even get offered kids for adoption.

          • Trans Fan and Proud

            In answer to your question: it would be both, in my view. ‘Bye the way’, ‘homosexulaity’ is not blessed by the Church…

          • Darnell Jackson

            At least not yet.

          • Trans Fan and Proud

            ‘Homosexulaity’ ‘Church’……..

          • Darnell Jackson

            I don’t know any gay people so couldn’t possibly comment.

          • Trans Fan and Proud

            Well, I guess ‘gayness’ is easier to spell than ‘homosexuality’…

          • Darnell Jackson

            I guess it is.

            Toodle pip!

          • Fergus Pickering

            Oh come along, duckie. And you so pretty? It’s your eyes, Darnell.

          • Kitty MLB

            Ah, those eyes peeking out of the closet keyhole, just waiting
            for Mr Darcy to appear with his masculine torso glistening with
            with sweat ( from manly pursuits) in the words of Jane Austen: And dear reader they were married.

          • Marie Louise Noonan

            Charlotte Brontë’s ‘Jane Eyre’ surely.

          • Kitty MLB

            Just mixing things up a little when being
            whimsical, like suggesting Mr Darcy was
            supposed to be gay.

          • Darnell Jackson

            Indeed, I have the most beautiful blue eyes.

          • Kitty MLB

            It should be, mere mortals have no right
            to dictate to other mere mortals.
            Why would God have an issue with same
            sex marriage, love is love.
            He would have an issue with what some
            of these priests get upto though.

          • tolpuddle1

            “With what some of these priests get up to” – you mean good, secular Brits don’t ?!

            Paedophile and homosexual acts are both gravely sinful in the Christian Church’s view of things. But the latter contains no element of cruelty (to others) and is therefore not criminal.

          • Kitty MLB

            I have no idea how anyone could link paedophilia and homosexuality, one is a true evil and the other about human
            love.
            This is the same catholic church who believes contraception
            is a sin against creation and at the same time millions
            of children in Africa are suffering due to having been born with Aids..is the suffering and death of little children not the real
            sin against creation.

          • tolpuddle1

            Homosexual acts are of course about sex, even in that minority of cases where genuine love is present. Such acts have always been regarded by all branches of the Christian Church (Protestant and Orthodox no less than Roman Catholic) as gravely sinful; this is part of Christianity’s biblical heritage and cannot be renounced, whatever liberal “Christians” may pretend. Churches that say homosexual behaviour is OK, become extinct.

            The Sexual Revolution has infiltrated the Catholic Church and inflicted large numbers of sexually-active paedophiles and gays upon its priesthood. The former – because of their criminality – have been exposed, but the latter are a more significant problem in the Church both by numbers and influence. The showdown in the Church between traditionalists and militant gays has yet to come; it may split or even destroy the structures of the Church, but the true, traditional Catholic Faith will of course in time emerge victorious.

          • tolpuddle1

            Very difficult to see how the Catholic Church can be blamed for the ravages of AIDS. Catholic teaching – abstinence before marriage and faithfulness within marriage – is the only lasting cure for AIDS. Condoms are a mere stopgap; they often fail to prevent HIV, as they often fail to prevent pregnancy (except when used by robots under laboratory conditions !). Though the use of condoms to prevent infection (as opposed to conception) is a debating point in the Church, not a matter of doctrine.

            The greater sin against nature is not tragically shortened lives, but to prevent children having lives in the first place. We in the West have a very dainty attitude towards human life – we only believe Life is Good if it’s wanted and healthy, affluent etc. Our rugged ancestors would have said that Life (whatever its sufferings) is always better than non-existence.

          • Doggie Roussel

            It’s immensely cruel if the KY is not handy …

          • Fergus Pickering

            It is freedom of speech. Some people will find it offensive.

          • saffrin

            Those that find it offensive are offensive in themselves.

          • Fergus Pickering

            Heavens, how dreadful. And worse, they actually do adopt children. Will this madness never stop. It’s the same with the blacks. They can adopt decent white children. Did you ever?

          • saffrin

            If you don’t see the dangers this will do to the minds of young children, you are either an idiot or a homo.

          • Kitty MLB

            You mean these young children brought up in a home
            full of love. Obviously a home with a father who abuses
            his children, hits his wife, and is a role model for ignorance
            and intolerance is so far better. open your mind.

          • saffrin

            Open yours.
            If you don’t see these children are going to grow up as homosexuals themselves you are out of your mind.
            The first relationship they seek will be with their own gender. It will be too late before they understand they have had their young minds twisted, possibly leader to suicide in later life.
            Those that support child adoption to homosexuals are as sick as the homosexuals themselves.
            It is one thing to decriminalise homosexual activity between adults, it is an entirely different thing to indoctrinate young minds into believing it is a normal activity among adults.
            It is ‘tolerated’, that is as far as it goes.

          • Kitty MLB

            I am somewhat flabbergasted. Not only do you believe
            homosexuals are criminals,( bear in mind people used to
            be locked up and have degrading tests done on them) but
            you believe any children they adopt will be so scared that
            they will commit suicide- I really have no answer for such
            darkness of thought.
            Following your logic that children of homosexual couples
            will also be ‘ brainwashed’ into the total oblivion of homophobia, then why are there any gay people, baring
            in mind you need two genders to create them.
            Those children of straight people should have been
            brainwashed against homosexuality, honestly.
            We have a country that ‘ tolerates’ those who might wish
            to blow us up, and yet some have issues with ‘ tolerating
            something that will have no effect on their actual lives.

          • saffrin

            An idiotic interpretation..
            .

          • Scott Birch

            Please, “saffrin,” explain how gay parents will make their children gay. And for your next trick, please explain how straight, traditional parents have made gay children.

          • Fergus Pickering

            Do you mean the blacks or the homosexuals or both? I shouldn’t let you adopt any sort of child. The damage you could do! Do you have any children, by the way? I sincerely hope not. You’ll turn them into right little Kevins.

  • Retired Nurse

    ‘being a cow’ and ‘witty’….

  • Kitty MLB

    The differences between these real strong and brave ladies from the subcontinent
    who you have in the picture above, ladies who could be killed for their
    noble actions . And comparing them to some people such as the attention seeking
    Miss Osbourne who wishes for a ‘ pat on the back’ and fake, sugary American style
    sympathy just for taking responsibility for her own existence is quite mindboggling.
    Clearly, we in the modern age are very mollycoddled and live very different lives to
    our grandparents who had real hardships.
    Brave is another word banded about these days, and I am sure when this lady
    is better she will be called brave. The same with the word ‘Hero’ sports
    people are now could heroes, whereas it should have a completely different
    meaning. We just feel we must have an opinion on some personal issue
    of someone else’s lives and just give out significant words as ‘strong’ as if
    they are meaningless.

    • La Fold

      I fully concur. Its the fethisisation of sentimentality.
      Going to food rehab? Just go for a jog!

      • tolpuddle1

        Gluttony is a bad habit – a sin – like drug addiction or alcohol abuse or excessive fondness for money.

        Who’s in a position to throw stones ?

        • La Fold

          Eh?
          I wouldnt say im fat but I definitely know where the chip shop is, which is why I go for run, thats all I was saying.

    • Christopher Beckett

      I agree but Kelly Osbourne isn’t taking any responsibility for herself, she’s passing it off onto ‘experts’. What can’t you go to rehab for nowadays?

      • La Fold

        I can remember That performing chimp called robbie williams going into rehab for caffiene addiction!! Why cant he just accept hes gay?

        • Trans Fan and Proud

          Is he gay?

          • La Fold

            Although I have no evidence and im using the worst type of pop psychology I deeply suspect he is. Hence the desperate attention seeking and destrcutive behaviour over the years, not to mention his truly horrendous music. All im saying is if he got himself off to the docks and and found himself a big strapping stoker from the coast of kuala lumpur he’ might be much happier and would stop pumping out the bilge he calls music.

          • Trans Fan and Proud

            You sound like you trained at the same school for pop psychology as Julie Burchill…

          • La Fold

            Maybe i did flower, maybe I just did.

          • RustyBertrand

            He admitted to being bi-polar. I try not to laugh at mental illness.

          • tolpuddle1

            That’s because you suffer from a mental illness that prompts you to laugh at the mentally ill.

          • Doggie Roussel

            Bi-polar bi-sexuals are hideously tormented souls.

          • La Fold

            Turn it in flower, youre too old to have a crush.
            Point out where I have laughed at any supposedly mental illness?

            I suffer from epilepsy. Does that mean if someone doesnt like me or says something about me itmakes them “disablist”? Course it doesnt. Zoomer.

          • Doggie Roussel

            Actually quite funny… he’s also best mates with Mr & Mrs Posh Spice and was a bridesmaid at Elt & David’s nuptials…

          • GraveDave

            Deserves a smile ; – )

        • GraveDave

          Well, there’s never been a better time to come out -evidently.

          Dublin priest tells congregation he is gay – and wins standing
          http://www.theguardian.com › World › Gay marriage
          9 Jan 2015 – Because he has admitted that he is gay he doesn’t change the person …have praised the priest’s decision to come out in front of worshippers.

          I’m coming out as gay, says married Army general – Daily Mail
          http://www.dailymail.co.uk/…/I-m-coming-gay-says-married-Army-general-hit...

          24 Jan 2015 – I’m coming out as gay, says married Army general to hit back at the bigots threatening my career: He is a father, he’s served in Iraq and …

          How I came out: Britain’s only openly gay footballer – BBC
          http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/25735717
          15 Jan 2014 – While openly gay Liam Davis is backed by his team-mates he thinks we’re still “two or three years” away from a top-flight player coming out.

          Tory schools minister Nick Gibb comes out as gay after …
          metro.co.uk › UK › Nick Gibb
          2 days ago – A Tory minister has come out as gay following a 29-year secret relationship. Schools minister Nick Gibb also revealed to the Times he wou

          Police chief ‘comes out’ at Gay Pride event | Western Daily …

          http://www.westerndailypress.co.uk/Police-chief-comes-gap…/story.html
          24 Jun 2014 – A chief constable took to the stage at a community event – and came outas being gay. Suzette Davenport, who is head of Gloucestershire …

          James Bond next.

          MI5 makes it onto list of gay-friendly employers in Britain …
          http://www.dailymail.co.uk/…/MI5-makes-list-gay-friendly-employers-Britain-...

          11 Jan 2012 – MI5 has been named on a list of Britain’s most gay-friendly employers …In the dock: A group of Muslim men are accused of handing out a leaflet ….. ‘Forget Zayn… come to Love Island’: Lauren Richardson cashes in on One …

    • balance_and_reason

      Yes…thats what the article said….now, your point?

  • Rocksy

    Practically every post has bleated about ‘rights’. I haven’t so far seen one that mentions responsibility. Perhaps if we each focussed on our responsibilities, life would work out more smoothly for everyone.

    • La Fold

      So what would these responibilities be then?

      • Rocksy

        You need to be told?

        • La Fold

          Not at all, Id just like to know what you think the responibilites are

          • Rocksy

            Summing up would be along the lines of ‘Do unto others…..’
            Jesus. If only I could remember who said it.

          • saffrin

            ….before they do it to you’

          • Rocksy

            Predictable. I purposely left it open to see who would be the first to bite.

          • La Fold

            All very vague Rocksy fella. Come on you were the one bleating on about responsibilities but you dont even have the jacobs to lay them out in plain english.

          • Trans Fan and Proud

            See my post above…

      • Trans Fan and Proud

        What are ‘responibilities’?

        • La Fold

          Its called a typo treacle, and pointing them out is the last resort of someone desperately losing an argument. Zoomer.

          • Trans Fan and Proud

            Once may be a typo (see your post below) – but twice? Possibly the stress caused by losing an argument…

          • La Fold

            That the best youve got? Im not losing anything, I aint back pedalling, playing sematics or having to pick up on spelling mistakes to try and make a point.

          • Trans Fan and Proud

            *you’ve

    • Liz

      Mmm. Like the responsibility not to sexually assault people? The responsibility not to discriminate? The responsibility to empathise with other people’s experience of this particular hegemony?

      • balance_and_reason

        Yes to the first….if you are suggesting that a person not discriminate against anything then you are mentally sub normal. I discriminate between a baked beans and coq-au -vin….does that make me bad?
        We have no responsibility to empathise with anyone. It is, up to a point, an admirable quality……I think you need to sit quietly for a year or so and think carefully about your life, your views, what is important, what is actually sustainable as a personal creed in the context of a pragmatic and practicable lifestyle.

      • Rocksy

        Of course. Rights are ours. Responsibilities are always other people’s.

        • La Fold

          Those responsibilites who cant even lay out for others?

  • Trans Fan and Proud

    “The violet-haired star was recently reported to have put herself
    through food rehab, which included consuming juices, in a bid to lose
    the weight she’s put on since splitting with Matthew Mosshart earlier
    this year

    But the TV personality, who never shies away from telling it how it is, took to her Twitter account to put people straight.

    “whom ever started the rumor that I’m in “fat rehab” what exactly is
    “fat rehab” is it a 12 step program if so what might they be? #SoFunny!
    (sic),” Kelly posted to her 3,65 million followers.!”

    Did Julie Burchill start the rumour to suit her ‘story’?!

  • Cogra Bro

    Every ones’ a hero these days. Haven’t you noticed?
    Personally I’m sick of bitchy little women given the freedom to vent their spite in magazines like this one.

    • Liz

      You okay with bitchy little men doing it day in and day out?

      • Kitty MLB

        I hope people are not besmirching little people- I’m small you see !
        But generally small women are somewhat opinionated, some
        are bitchy and the same with men- nothing to do with gender.
        Men can have big issues with being small- adorable though.

      • La Fold

        Sexist pig.

  • Cedwyn Aled

    I have read Julie Burchill since the 1970s – always have and always will.

    • gerontius

      You little welsh pervert you!
      Me to – not the welsh bit though

  • transponder

    Frederic Raphael describes his late daughter as valiant but not strong. An interesting assessment.

  • disqus_irgGt7XfYF

    These two lines in particular: “Why not give blood and help others while harming yourself? Then at least something good’s coming out of it” and “A dry drunk, a slasher, a puker or a gorger is particularly not strong or brave” make me feel a bit ill. I am so shocked and saddened to read this article. Are you actually serious? Do you have any clue what a woman with an eating disorder or who self-harms is likely to have been through in order to be using those coping strategies? Self-destructive though they are, self-harming behaviours are the only way many of us have had to survive. It is a testament to our strength and courage that we are still here at all. Show some respect, seriously.

  • John Lea

    Bring back Rod! Pleeeeease!

    • gerontius

      C’mon – lets have both.

  • Fela Heen

    Please come back Rod Liddle! Couid someone please pass Burchill some more Cronut Crumbs – get it right this time, dear.

  • Jacqueline

    What a bizarre article! An attempt to promote awareness of abuse and domestic violence mixed in with an attack on women who abuse themselves. The ignorance of mental health issues is astounding. “why not give blood and help others while harming yourself. Then at least something good’s coming out of it” Seriously?! Like self harming is some kind of hobby or having an eating disorder is just a new diet craze. Let’s hope the abused women the author is trying to advocate for never have any other issues going on their lives eh or I suspect any passion for supporting them may go out the window. I seriously wish the point of this article had stayed with the issue and not gone on some detour of commenting on issues they clearly have no understanding or experience of. And oh the point is kind of lost when the piece begins with attacking women when it’s a piece about supporting women who are attacked in society.

  • Doggie Roussel

    Pour épater le bourgeois… do we really need this androgynous loudmouth to lecture us…

    She is physically, emotionally and intellectually simply the pits…

  • tolpuddle1

    Does Julie Burchill – because she is brutal – imagine herself to be brave ?

    Does she – because she is shouty – imagine herself to be strong ?

    • Trans Fan and Proud

      I suspect yes and yes.

  • Trans Fan and Proud

    “Why not give blood and help others while harming yourself? Then at least something good’s coming out of it” You know, I think Julie Burchill is on to something here. I don’t cut myself but I’m affected by trichotillomania. For those of you who don’t know, trichotillomania is a condition where a person feels compelled to pull their hair out. It an impulse-control disorder (a psychological
    condition where you are unable to stop yourself carrying out a
    particular action). In some cases, trichotillomania may be a form of self-harm, where you deliberately injure yourself as a way of seeking temporary relief from emotional distress. You will experience an intense urge to pull your hair out and growing tension until you do. After pulling out your hair, you will feel a
    sense of relief. Pulling out hair on the head leaves bald patches.Trichotillomania can cause negative feelings, such as guilt. You may also feel embarrassed or ashamed about pulling your hair out, and may try to deny it or cover it up. Sometimes, trichotillomania can make you feel unattractive and can lead to low self-esteem.It is not known what causes trichotillomania, but there are several theories.Some experts think hair pulling is a type of addiction. The more you pull your hair out, the more you want to keep doing it. Trichotillomania may be a reflection of a mental health problem. Psychological and behavioural theories suggest that hair pulling may be a way of relieving stress or anxiety. Anyway, the point is, instead of feeling negative about myself, I am now planning on stuffing cushions with the hair I pull out so something good comes out of it.

    • Doggie Roussel

      I thought I was reading the Spectator… not the Broadmoor in-house magazine.

      • Trans Fan and Proud

        Luckily for me, the condition doesn’t need the protection of a high-security psychiatric hospital. Plus, as a woman, they wouldn’t have me!

    • gerontius

      “For those of you who don’t know (and want to know), trichotillomania is a
      condition where a person feels compelled to pull their hair out.”

      I didn’t want to know but unfortunately, now I do.

      • Trans Fan and Proud

        My pleasure…

  • Ray Barry

    Julie Burchill’s portrayal of domestic violence as something which men do to women is factually untrue. The England and Wales Crime Survey (previously the British Crime Survey) has consistently shown for the last 20 years that 40% of the victims of domestic violence and abuse are men. Indeed, last year, the survey recorded that among married couples, 51% of victims were husbands and 49% wives, making husbands rather than wives the majority victims within marriage.

    It is typical of feminist writers such as Julie Burchill to describe domestic violence without ever mentioning male victims. This is dishonesty. I challenge her to cite her source for this statistic in her article: “two women a week… are murdered in this country alone by partners or ex-partners.” The correct statistic from the England and Wales Crime Survey is: “two people a week are murdered…”

    This false feminist factoid which she relies on has been doing the rounds for years. Even Harriet Harman has stopped using it now. This year she wrote: “one woman a week is murdered by a partner or ex-partner.” Now, if two people a week are murdered and one of them is a woman, then the other must be a…? Ms Harman could not bring herself to finish this sentence, just as Julie Burchill cannot bring herself to acknowledge that nearly as many men are murdered by female partners as women are murdered by male partners.

    This claim which Julie Burchill made was not peripheral to her article. It was the founding premise for it. As such, unless she can cite her source for this statistic (which she will be unable to do) she should retract this false claim and the article which she founded on it.

  • Julie Burchill’s portrayal of domestic violence as something
    which men do to women is factually untrue. The England and Wales Crime Survey
    (previously the British Crime Survey) has consistently shown for the last 20
    years that 40% of the victims of domestic violence and abuse are men. Indeed,
    last year, the survey recorded that among married couples, 51% of victims were
    husbands and 49% wives, making husbands rather than wives the majority victims
    within marriage.

    It is typical of feminist writers such as Julie Burchill to
    describe domestic violence without ever mentioning male victims. This is
    dishonesty. I challenge her to cite her source for this statistic in her
    article: “two women a week… are murdered in this country alone by partners or
    ex-partners.” The correct statistic from the England and Wales Crime Survey is:
    “two people a week are murdered…”

    This false feminist factoid which she relies on has been
    doing the rounds for years. Even Harriet Harman has stopped using it now. This
    year she wrote: “one woman a week is murdered by a partner or ex-partner.” Now,
    if two people a week are murdered
    and one of them is a woman, then the
    other must be a…? Ms Harman could not bring herself to finish this sentence,
    just as Julie Burchill cannot bring herself to acknowledge that nearly as many
    men are murdered by female partners as women are murdered by male partners.

    This claim which Julie Burchill made was not peripheral to
    her article. It was the founding premise for it. As such, unless she can cite
    her source for this statistic (which she will be unable to do) she should
    retract this false claim and the article which she founded on it.

    • Mrs.JosephineHyde-Hartley

      Maybe she was only joking.

    • Trans Fan and Proud

      Have you got a link for any of the figures you’re quoting, Ray? Thanks.

    • Liz

      Domestic violence is violence committed by any relative or partner over the age of 18.

      A large proportion of attacks on men are carried out by other men.

      • Moputabee

        So explain why Lesbian domestic violence is the same or higher than hetero’s?

        Are you saying lesbians are more violent than hetero women?

        Talk about clutching at straws Liz!

  • The Skater

    Julie Burchill is coming to get bad men. Strikes me as disconnected and adding to the mix of aggressive behaviours out there causing problems. Read relationship pages on mumsnet and get a real taste of women being hurt and then women making excuses, putting off action which could inconvenience the criminal husbands. The reasons are clear. Women feel responsible for children, hubby’s income (must not lose his job, for example or the idea of need of the family home), general stability, there’s always room for improvement and so on. However, how are we failing our daughters? It makes me think carefully about whether my kid (17) has it loud and clear. Does she actually deeply know that no-one is allowed to wallop her or disrespect her in any other way? She hasn’t grown up with it, but what if a good relationship goes bad? Why do women still have this tendency to put themselves down in times of trouble? Julie’s campaign / energy would be better directed away from men (who can be arrested, dumped, left to be single) and towards education of women towards feeling clear minded in the face of difficulty, righteous rather than ashamed, bold enough to take action which may mean immediate disruption but long term respect and potential for joyous living. Just a thought… that women need positive influences more than shite blokes need threats from idealists.

  • Trans Fan and Proud

    “Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little
    voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.”


    Mary Anne Radmacher

  • Trans Fan and Proud

    It is typical of Trans Exclusionary Radical ‘Feminists’ like Julie Burchill to mention the prevalence of violence perpetrated against women and gays without mentioning violence against transgender people, especially trans women.

  • Alyson Cruise

    i feel like you could have bought a thesaurus, looked up strong, and spared us all your weird hate for people with illnesses.

  • Moputabee

    40% plus of victims of domestic violence are MEN.

    Using Julie’s figures, in the same manner as she does – One man every 10 days is killed by domestic violence.

    Why doesn’t Julie ever mention male victims of domestic violence?

  • Moputabee

    Lesbians have higher rates of domestic violence than hetero-sexual’s..

    Is Julie trying to say that hetero-sexual women are not as violent as lesbian women?

  • RODA

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    All thanks to DR LAWCY. If you are out there passing through this same kind of
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  • Phenix Rising

    … ignore women who bring drama and live your life with a real woman. you don’t need a porn start, you don’t need the girl that teases you with no intentions other than to mess with you for her p-sick laughs of psychotic breaks, you don’t really need a woman at all… unless you want kids… then you better pick and train VERY carefully. avoid metro women, they’re all diseased, they ARE… they sleep with everything men or women and are the ones who keep perpetuating STD/STI’s… since ya know they had to rename VD after all the hoes who want to shirk any and all accountability and responsibility, etc. Men, don’t sell yourselves short with any woman… they act up, hit, bite, steal, talk sh!t, hit some more, fight, argue just to get their itsy bitsy minds appeased for attention… faghettaboutit… most American women are trash and the trashy ones, like idiots who idolize the pill popping, boozing drug addict M.Monroe the OG USA Hoe… – ya, avoid those types of upbringings and mentalities. The “pretty ones” are the ugliest and most unskilled except for being born with round heels that they use, like all else, very well… learn to say NO and walk away… if these broads are so strong, guess what… like they said, they don’t need a man… and with an attitude like that the human race will have breed these types and mentalities out – it’s called natural selection, and women today are in a fad, when aren’t they? Shoes, anybody, anybody… Beuller… Beuller. Kelly O. is a fat pig who is worthless. She hates men because none want her lazy talent-less tail… and it makes her mad she GETS REJECTED. I HIGHLY SUGGEST YOU BOYS AND YOUNG MEN OUT THERE LISTEN UP… OR… be a mangina all your life actually believing anything you can do they can do better, until they get bored, until they whine, until they bitch, until they cry their fake crocodile tears… walk away from life long immaturity men and I’ll tell you why:

    BECAUSE WOMEN, LIKE BOTTLED AND CANNED BEER AND ALL THE REST… JUST LIKE YOU GUYS… HAS AN EXPIRATION DATE… and this is what scares them the most… nobody wanting to procreate with scum like them… so like I said, let them breed their mentality out of existence… and this is something men do not have to deal with, men can impregnate from puberty to dang near death, unlike women. Now not all women today are whores, but most of them are, and everybody knows it and knows that’s all those types of gals got to work with, for life… see why they act how they do, even through all their crazy whoremoanal excuses – yes I spelled it that way on purpose.

    … and learn to judge the winner females from the losers but most of all, look at the effort they put in and there’s your answer about that particular gal…

    and a secret to impart to make more sense:

    as a woman ages her options wane… as a man ages his options increase = because the female beast (literally, GOD had a wife ya know…)… and no real man will EVER wife up a blown out natural born hoe… and this IS… what they hate.

    Being useless by their own choices.
    Oh, but it’s a man’s fault.

    Kelly O. = just more female human garbage that we taught to talk and monkey see monkey do… that’s all… and she’s another dumb broads heroine… and she wishes she had mans power, and a cock and balls.

    real women build like real men.
    evil self absorbed whores destroy… look around men, let them breed themselves out of existence… because that’s all that’s happening… oh, but it’s your fault you don’t care what they do… it’s the ways the wanted it right?

    … and they just complain because the hoe next to them has better life game, that’s all.

    Cheers! : )

  • OldSchoolHistory

    Yeah, we should really just make it illegal to be male. I mean, we’re practically there. All we need to do now is define charges that they can’t do anything about and are expected to prove their innocence on as “hate” (oy vey), and then we can simply get the pigs into camps. Eventually, we can ban men entirely.

    Then we can move on to the White women who were foolish enough to trust us. Once the men are totally subdued, they will be the next target. After all, if anyone says anything about it, they’re just an evilracistnazi who hits women. Am I right, or what?

  • GraveDave

    Rod Liddle could have written this. Tee-hee.

  • gymnastroll2 and magicwolf135

    Women are very strong people whether others chose to accept it. All women, young or old, still realize and think about today how women didn’t have the right to vote. All women today are still waiting for the day to have equal pay also. Why? Because of our gender. My point is, Whether women work out or not, We are still very strong to suffer without the equal rights we deserve

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