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onscenity network - what they think of mumsnet campaign

(60 Posts)
weeonion Tue 14-Jun-11 16:15:22

"Being inane, however, does not mean ineffective: these slogans compel our assent, and indeed in the case of Mumsnet, emptiness and circularity are fundamental to reaching its audience. The campaign invites us to be part of a ‘we’ who know true girlhood, against a despicable ‘other’ who is at best ignorant and at worst bent on destroying it. Attempt to define what girls are or should do, however, and this cosy conspiracy will soon unravel: some associate girls with piano-playing and horse-riding, as if a privileged middle class existence is attainable and desired by all; feminists are unlikely to warm to the virtues of ‘pink tea parties and frilly dresses’ extolled by others; and those for whom ‘playing with dolls’ encapsulates innocuous girlishness presumably airbrush Bratz out of the picture."

hmm - what do you think of this from the blog of Onscenity network

a network funded through Arts & Human research council funding.

madwomanintheattic Tue 14-Jun-11 16:43:32

the first bit makes more sense with the bit you left out - talking about the title 'let girls be girls'. otherwise it doesn't make sense and sounds a bit, well, inane. grin

i hadn't seen the blog before though - so thanks for link.

catinthehat2 Tue 14-Jun-11 16:46:57

self indulgent
poorly phrased

meaningless and yes, wanktastic onanistic

will that do?

<surely you don't intend that we open the link shock>

madwomanintheattic Tue 14-Jun-11 16:52:49

oh, there's lots more, cat. interesting to see the mumsnet campaign alongside international equivalents (tis not just a uk entity), whether you agree with the cut and paste or not.

if we only read stuff we agreed with, mn would shut down, surely? wink

sunshineandbooks Tue 14-Jun-11 16:57:05

cat couldn't have put it better myself.

They may be getting funding from the Arts and Human Research Council but they're clearly not getting the Clear English Campaign crystal mark

On the plus side, if no one can understand what the hell they're on about, there's nothing to worry about.

Jux Tue 14-Jun-11 16:57:37

I think it is a reasonable view point.

catinthehat2 Tue 14-Jun-11 16:58:47

"whether you agree with the cut and paste or not"

wouldn't go that far - I couldn't actually make head nor tail out of it grin

in my world of style, no 'slogan' 'compels' anything, let alone 'assent'

you have more patience than I do

madwomanintheattic Tue 14-Jun-11 17:03:02

well, i didn't understand it to start with, because it starts in the middle of the blog post, so i clicked to work out what on earth it was on about. it does make more sense when you read it from the beginning instead of in the middle. leaving off the opening gambit is a sure way of making it sound incomprehensible... but i'm sure it wasn't deliberate... wink

i should be working though, am now 3 minutes past my mn cut-off point!

weeonion Tue 14-Jun-11 17:08:15

sorry - i should have put a bit more context into that post! i was reading the whole list of blog posts and came across the reference to mumsnet and wanted to find out what you thought.

I didnt intend it to be incomprehensible without the link but was interested in what mumsnetters thought of the idea that the "let girls be girls" campaign was based on "emptiness and circularity are fundamental to reaching its audience. The campaign invites us to be part of a ‘we’ who know true girlhood, against a despicable ‘other’ who is at best ignorant and at worst bent on destroying it."

madwomanintheattic Tue 14-Jun-11 17:11:13


MillyR Tue 14-Jun-11 18:13:47

That is the most irritating website I have ever seen.

dittany Tue 14-Jun-11 18:54:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MillyR Tue 14-Jun-11 20:11:04

It would seem from that website that there are quite a lot of people being paid to put research and put together pro-porn arguments.

I have been told before that the reason that there is no research refuting the stats showing how damaging porn is, is because the research hasn't been carried out to show the benefits of porn.

Well clearly there are lots of people looking for such pro-porn evidence. They have simply failed to find it.

weeonion Wed 15-Jun-11 15:01:49

i was recently at one their events and there was no discussion at all about how porn may be problematic. It was all one big happy party for the presenters with no dissenting voices or even anyone suggesting that this might need to be looked at. A well known UK pornographer was there and was offering to make sex education videos, as she really knew what sex was like. Mumsnetters came under quite a bit of fire with scathing comments and jokes. They have received a fair bit of funding and really want it to be the network that determines policy around sexual health, sex education and policy.

madwomanintheattic Wed 15-Jun-11 15:12:54

have they met up with mn about the campaign, weeo?

weeonion Wed 15-Jun-11 15:14:48

MWITA - i dont know if they met with MN re the let girls be girls campaign. i would be surprised if they had, given their comments about MN generally.

madwomanintheattic Wed 15-Jun-11 15:50:30

that's why i was curious, really. they seem to have interacted in a fairly superficial way, which is unusual for a research group... or maybe not. grin

where's their actual research then? didn't investigate the site properly, but the blog is just a blog, really. where's the real mccoy that they are paid to produce?

it's interesting if they do see themselves as the arbiters (or wannabe arbiters) of this particular arena. i assume mn didn't bother to find out if/ that they existed and approach them, either. don't think they are mentioned by reg bailey, either, are they? (could be wrong. it didn't leap out from his discussion) were they involved with his report?

i'd much rather academic research was actually in the fray, so to speak. maybe they haven't got to that point yet. (or maybe they have, i just haven't noticed it. might have a google around using some of the research group names later.) just read the blog really. there's probably a list of articles on the site somewhere...

v interesting though. thanks again. <curious why you were there, though... grin feel free to pm or remain mysterious as you see fit!>

weeonion Wed 15-Jun-11 15:58:25

MWITA - i was there through my work. 2 seminars of interest to me - well in the titles at least! grin

One seminar was on "porn consumers' and the other "sex, health and the media." i was really looking foward to hearing research presented but any that was (certainly at the porn consumers session) was neither robust nor could they draw out the claims they did from it.

i felt very uncomfortable at both days and tbh just wanted away from it all. I am sure there were other audience members who were as uneasy as i but it really was not a safe place to be a dissenting voice.

Threadworm8 Wed 15-Jun-11 16:01:47

Interesting article about it here. It does seem to have a lot of respected academics involved (Buckingham, for eg, has a major book out with Polity very shortly on the subject of commercialisation/sexualisation of children), but it is disconcerting that it seems to have a pro-porn (or at least anti-conern-about porn) starting-point. and the blog looks awfully flabby. Seems a bit odd really.

madwomanintheattic Wed 15-Jun-11 16:05:24

weird. normally these types of affairs are pushing their work at you... are the links for the seminars etc on the website? or were they just pushed out round the unis?

how very odd. there's a great schwack of internationals as well... huh.

seems v superficial... <ponders> it can't be, really. i mean they must be doing something. ach, i'll have a look later and see if i can dig anything up.

weeonion Wed 15-Jun-11 16:07:49

oh - just to pick up on your other points.

they are a network of researchers, academics and activists who have undertaken study within their own fields eg Clarissa smith, Feona Attwood etc. They want to come together to present their research as the evidence base against the moral panic of sexualisation and campaigns (such as MN Let girls be girls).

I dont think they collectively responded to the bailey review but as individuals they did and since its publication - have been quite vocal on all their blogs etc.

They have been around for a while and to my knowledge really came to fruition after a rather tense conference in Leeds a couple of years ago. the original idea was to create a network where differing opinions could come together to find a middle ground for debate and discussion. A good idea possibly but from what i have seen and read - there is little effort to reach out and engage beyond in-jokes and slating.
it was particularly fun to watch the reactions of some of those who had directly criticised my work on the thursday without realising i was there to then have to say hello on the friday. grin

madwomanintheattic Wed 15-Jun-11 16:20:19

i mean, i can see that it would be really very interesting, but the actuality is a bit lame - as you say it looks a bit like in-jokes and slating without any of the actual evidence base that they are supposed to be producing.

is the onscenity blog just a cut and paste of different snippets from their own individual blogs then? that would explain why it's not making an awful lot of sense - presumably each individual blog is a bit more robust, and taken out of context the individual ones seem a bit randomly ranty. someone needs to co-ordinate submissions to the blog...

i would have loved to have been a fly on the wall when they realised who you were. i've been in a similar position. always better to let them finish digging the hole before you introduce yourself. grin

damn. i want it to be worth it. i can see that it would be a worthwhile enterprise done properly. but they need to get it together.

<oh, and well done thready!>

weeonion Wed 15-Jun-11 16:27:43

thanks for that link thready.

What i read about them really did not stand up at their events.

the blog, afaik, is a collection of writing from their members. it is not a cut and paste from their own respective blogs but writings for onscenity.

i actually cant find out how to become a member.......

madwomanintheattic Wed 15-Jun-11 16:37:07

it ought to be brilliant. i am cross that it's not. grin

surprised about the blog though shock i would have thought that it would be a bit more cohesive if it's actually specifically for that. although i suppose depends what the remit is. 'be ranty about moral panic' seems to cut it currently. there's no necessity to be meaty in a blog, but i would have thought that there would be a bit... more.... flesh on the bones...?
<runs out of metaphor>

madwomanintheattic Wed 15-Jun-11 16:41:42

ha ha ha. i just skipped through that health/ media resource pack. it advocates use of twitter to promote your work etc. onscenity have a twitter link, so i thought i'd have look.



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