Barbie talks back.

This week my 14 year old daughter very proudly showed me a video of Britney Spears’ newish single “piece of me”, in which young Britney talks back to all the paparazzi and sundry others who like to treat her as simply one more piece of ass (sic). While I’m not exactly a fan of Ms. Spears I must say it was quite refreshing to see a young woman telling a bunch of old perverts with cameras to take a hike and commenting on the hipocrisy of the media. This is something good to see in young women, finding their own voice and learning to stand up for themselves. The beginning of some personal boundaries, perhaps.

Britney’s having all sorts of troubles with her two young children, alleged drug experimentation and mental health issues… Well, what young mother hasn’t dealt with all that?

Seriously, half the population have to drug themselves to the eyeballs to get out of bed every morning, not to mention the binge drinking, so why are we using this one woman as such a scapegoat?

In a culture where single mothers are treated hideously in the media, downright vilified and abused in many instances, where 25% of the population live with domestic violence and at least 20% with mental illness, it would seem like better use of the circumstances to begin discussing the pressures on young mothers these days…

It doesn’t seem to have occurred to the Government, when they dreamt up the so called “baby bonus” that an awful lot of women are going to unfortunately end up in very similar situations to that being experienced by Britney… although without the reporters and without the cash and lawyers to defend her. How many more women have to strangle toddlers and dump their bodies in ponds in suitcases after being refused assistance, or young fathers drive their children into dams and drown them, before we admit we have a huge problem with the effects consumerism has on families? How are all these young women going to cope when they’re on single parent pensions and being treated like criminals?

With six billion people already on the planet, surely we ought to be fixing some of the social problems that are causing so much anguish before we bribe people into having more children.

We could begin by having a good look at the disparity in the cultural views on women… the old Victorian puritan ideal of madonnas and whores is still in full swing, for instance. Speaking of which, I saw “stupid, stupid men” on ABC2 last night about the women who work on the staff of one of those hideous mens’ magazines. It was so funny!

So while Britney deals with her and her family’s problems in the spotlight, and learns to both stand up and speak out for herself, more power to her!


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