First (thanks to The Times): Miss Cauliflower is truly the silly prude that I have always suspected her to be:
I clean myself, which surprises people. I shower every day. I shave all the parts you’re meant to shave as a woman nowadays. Obviously, nobody is like Helen [the "protagonist" of Wetlands]. But the fun in writing the book was getting all the secret stuff out — all the things women are ashamed about. For instance, with my husband, I don’t leave dirty knickers lying around. I hide them, take them myself to the washing machine. Why am I so embarrassed, even in my own flat?Haven't I said it all along: Miss Roche is a frigging nut case. I mean: how dirty do the knickers of a well-showered woman get in 24 hours?
Would someone please find her a sensible psychologist specialising in behaviour therapy to sort out her various spleens? How this person managed to conceive a child, let alone go through pregnancy, give birth and then mop up kid poo and puke is beyond me.
And would someone please find me a sensible psychologist specialising in behaviour therapy to sort out my obsession with Charlotte Roche?
Secondly, over at the Guardian, Ruth Sunderland finally heralds this paper's long overdue entry into the 1970s. In her Comment is Free post on the Davos meeting of the World Economic Forum she writes:
The big theme at this year's World Economic Forum (WEF) was "Shaping the Post-Crisis World". The idea that that can be achieved while excluding half the population is breathtaking in its arrogance and shows that the male Davos elite remains mired in its own preening self-regard and complacency. They have wrecked the world economy, but seem oblivious to the idea they may not be the best people to rebuild it. Ignoring the contribution women can make is ridiculous at any time, but how much more so when there is a clear need to reflect on the macho, tooth- and-claw brand of capitalism that caused the crunch in the first place.
Macho capitalism ... Ruthy, sister -- your brave attempt to keep the purple flag flying is very sweet indeed, but I really think that in perpetuating the myth -- comforting though it may be -- that women are better people than men you are oversimplifying matters.
Let me draw your attention to a case that is currently occupying the public debate in German (which you probably haven't heard about, the only German topic Britons have been willing to engage with for months being bloody Wetlands).
This case involves a representative of what you, Ruthy, would probably consider "the better sex": Maria-Elizabeth Schaeffler, a Franconian entrepreneur who last year took over the German tire manufacturer Continental with the aim of
putting her family business on the global economic map helping the ailing firm -- on tick, of course.
Realising that she has overextended herself financially with this deal, Mrs Schaeffler has been doing a fair bit of canvassing for state funding amongst her cronies in the CSU, much to the dismay of the rest of the government. Both Peer Steinbrück and Angela Merkel have refused point blank to come to her aid.
UPDATE: The German press is all aflutter, because -- ooh, aah -- Charlie Roach is getting plenty of media attention in Britain right now. Here's the link for the more than meta-information.