Celebrating Alcohol Abuse

More and more, on every social platform, there is a recurring theme of fashion magazines promoting and encouraging women to drink alcohol … lots and lots of alcohol.

I know for a fact that we are powerfully intuitive, wise and sensitive, beautiful women who feel everything, all the time. This power is easily and swiftly reduced by the numbing effects of alcohol.

This latest delish promotion from Marie Claire is selling the solution to all your problems, “Did we mention you’ll always have a drink in your hand? … the fruit punch is booze goals”. The insidiousness then goes on to play to your guilt and lets you know that the tour company will give “20% of it’s proceed to [hurricane] relief efforts” and remember ladies, “Ready, set, booze!”. A beautifully edited video with lashings of gorgeous cocktails, beaches, palm trees, crystal clear water and sunshine to tantalise you into booking. Throw in a few shots of hurricane devastation and you have the perfect seductive package to justify a ‘glamourous’, alcohol fuelled vacation that you will send you back to work needing a detox.

Here’s another classic from Marie Claire via Cosmopolitan celebrating how you need a jug and not a glass to drink wine. Actually, don’t worry about the jug, just drink vodka straight from the bottle.

National Vodka Day (is that even a thing?!) was a big hitter for Cosmopolitan with this video getting a tidy 6.2m views – that’s a lot of shots ..

Cosmo are also encouraging hiding wine so you can keep your habit hidden “When you need a desk-side pick me up” or you need to take your meeting from business to boozy”.

Harpers Bazaar are really giving it up for women to start drinking on Friday with this latest offering that has over 62k views (and counting!) and the comments from women celebrating how drunk they get on Friday

Cosmo strike again, I’ll stop for one drink *three drinks later* – 1.7m views!

There are numerous ‘studies’ that are released that celebrate that “three glasses of champagne a day/a glass of red wine is good for you” … Harpers Bazaar’s obvious advertorial piece with this informative embedded video from Elle promoting the benefits of drinking rose is among the many articles promoting alcohol consumption.

Every single one of these videos promotes the denigration of women – and these are only a few examples of the many out there. I know they are seen as just-for-fun and that no-one takes them seriously … but in truth they are celebrating self-abuse and excess consumption and making it normal to need, hide, indulge and binge on booze. It’s on your holidays with you, your Friday night and all your friends are with you when you have it. How can I have fun without it? I deserve it!

We have created a drinking obsessed culture.  According to Breastcancer.org women are now 15% more likely to get breast cancer than women who consume none. Breastcancer.org are really clear in what the facts reveal about alcohol and it’s direct links to breast cancer.

“Compared to women who don’t drink at all, women who have three alcoholic drinks per week have a 15% higher risk of breast cancer. Experts estimate that the risk of breast cancer goes up another 10% for each additional drink women regularly have each day.

Teen and tween girls aged 9 to 15 who drink three to five drinks a week have three times the risk of developing benign breast lumps. (Certain categories of non-cancerous breast lumps are associated with a higher risk of breast cancer later in life.)

While only a few studies have been done on drinking alcohol and the risk of recurrence, a 2009 study found that drinking even a few alcoholic beverages per week (three to four drinks) increased the risk of breast cancer coming back in women who’d been diagnosed with early-stage disease.

The bottom line is that regularly drinking alcohol can harm your health, even if you don’t binge drink or get drunk. All types of alcohol count. One drink equals 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor.”

Sobering statistics? One can only hope.

Based on the consumption promoted by our best selling women’s magazines, there’s no amount of breast cancer research that will help one iota of women if women continue to buy into this alcohol infused life that is supposed to be so glamorous and acceptable. A life that is supposed to build amazing friendships and memories …

The fashion mags are being read by young women who are being encouraged to drink a lot, often and with their friends. Where is the responsibility by our elders? Where are the women publishers who are being mentors to our young women? Alcohol related violence towards young women in universities, colleges and schools is on the rise. When are we going to be responsible and lead by example?

These NHS statistics released in May 2017 expose:

“Alcohol-related hospital admissions in England have increased by 64% in a decade and are at their highest ever level, prompting experts to warn that baby boomers are continuing to risk their health through frequent and excessive drinking.

Surveys found 60% of women aged 45 to 64 and 69% of men of the same age had drunk alcohol in the last week – the highest proportions of any age group.”

For women aged 45 to 64, we are in the most divine period of our lives. Our true expression is to mentor, support and nurture people at home, in the workplace and society as a whole.

Step up ladies. It’s time to try another way, this one isn’t working.

My comment on JK Rowling’s Leveson Inquiry Response

I’m disappointed that Mr Cameron is submissive to the press and not able to stand up and do what is right for the people of the UK. He is the elected leader of this country and he is not taking responsibility for the whole, but bending to a few ‘in power’ to not be the true leader we need now.

The Leveson Inquiry was an expensive, time consuming exercise intended to support the ALL the citizens of the UK, with no bias. The outcome should be for the benefit of the whole and a true leader would see the impact on every individual and not the profits of a few. These few have too much power, are unaccountable and Teflon.

It’s appalling that the recommendations are not being fully considered before being rejected. I agree that all people should have the opportunity to hold the press accountable for lies, intrusion, manipulation and harassment of ordinary citizens.

Mr Cameron could have used this as an opportunity to be strong and decisive and make a stand for truth. We will have to wait to see if the PCC is dissolved – and what then will hold the press accountable?

Response to the Letter from 10 Downing Street

November 13, 2012

Susan Alleyne
Ministerial Support Team
Department for Culture, Media and Sport
2-4 Cockspur Street
London SW1Y 5DH

Your Ref: 218392/SA/01

Dear Ms. Alleyne,

I am very disappointed that the Government’s stance is that they will wait for the recommendations from the Leveson Inquiry.

The contradictory advice that the Press Complaints Commission is the recommended avenue should a complaint need to be raised against a publication; “However, the Code does not cover matters of taste and decency because what is offensive to one reader may be utterly innocuous to another” is an inadequate response. We have already submitted a complaint to them about the Evening Standard and were told that there’s nothing they [the PCC] can do. Which is why I felt to write to David Cameron in the first place. The PCC are inundated with complaints about sexual images in newspapers – and they have no power to act on them. What are you as a Government going to do about that?

Further, when you say “We know that some people find some of the content of newspapers and adult magazines offensive, and I can assure you that the Government if particularly concerned that children should not be exposed to inappropriate material of any kind.” Really? We are NOT talking about adult magazines; we are talking about daily newspapers. You are allowing abuse of children by colluding with the press.

The question that urgently requires a response is; why are you continuing to defend a man’s right to ogle, over a child’s right to innocence?

Adult magazines used to be on the top shelf, with a cover. Now they are on every magazine rack in every supermarket – Nuts, Loaded, Esquire, FHM – all have semi-naked women on their covers. Objectification is rife. Where are concerned citizens to go when we need to raise a concern? Your recommendation is to go to the police, who are already overwhelmed by alcohol related violence and increasing domestic violence. That’s your solution as a Government? To overload the police force by not taking responsibility to change an archaic system that allows the press to remain unaccountable?

The Obscene Publications Act 1957 you mention brings up no results on the Legislation.gov.uk website. Could you please advise where I can access a copy? The Wikipedia page has some information that deems it a useless act as only one person, on appeal, was convicted in the history of the act since 1957. So this doesn’t seem a relevant option to use in a case against a newspaper. And the recommended fine is only £100, hardly a deterrent.

I would like to know the details of the out come of the meeting Ed Vaizey had on the issue of the representation of women in the media. Great that they devoted a meeting to the issue, but from your letter, no decisive outcome was achieved. What is the status of the Communications Review? It is blatantly obvious that existing regulation is not a fit for the modern media environment.

Unfortunately, the truth is that no one is taking responsibility. The supermarkets are not stopping putting the sexual images away from the eyes of children, the papers, and it now the Government, are allowing this to continue and claiming a “body confidence campaign” will somehow build self-esteem. Yet every day, young children see semi-naked women on magazine covers while their parents are buying the groceries. Their parents are bringing home newspapers that have sexually graphic images of women and it’s accepted as the norm.

The NSPCC has just released a report on the qualitative study of children, young people and ‘sexting’. It makes for shocking reading about the state of our children’s lives and what we have created. We are out of control – following numbly in the footsteps of the press. I recommend you taking a few minutes to review the chilling information it uncovers.

From the report: Brian McNair (2002) has argued Western society has become a ‘striptease culture’ preoccupied with confession, revelation and exposure. This is connected to an ongoing breakdown or renegotiation of the boundary between public and private, which is itself the outcome of multiple, intersecting factors including the partial success of the women’s and sexual liberation movements, shifts in media regulation away from censorship and towards ‘an informed consumer model’ (Bragg & Buckingham, 2009), and the possibilities opened up by rapid technological change.”

“Perhaps the broadest level at which sexism operates in the young people’s lives is to be found in the deeply rooted notion that girls and young women’s bodies are somehow the property of boys and young men.”

Would you like this to be your daughter? Gang raped at the age of eleven by a group of ten or more fourteen-year-old boys outside her school? This is happening every day somewhere in London. And still the Government is taking no responsibility for the images our innocent children are seeing every day. The men that ogle are fathers, brothers, uncles, grandfathers and professionals and are seen as role models to our young men – those boys are upholding that behaviour as normal.

Why are we continuing to defend a man’s right to ogle, over a child’s right to innocence?

ENOUGH.

Seriously. Enough with our complacent attitude towards the treatment of women in our society by the Media. We need to step up and take responsibility for the impact that the Media has on our attitude towards women.

We have a dossier that’s growing every day. Please let me know if you would like to see examples of the trash we are allowing – it’s too big to post.

Yours truly,

Sarah M Cloutier

Leveson Inquiry Submission Three

 

November 13, 2012

 

The Leveson Inquiry
Royal Courts of Justice,
Strand,
London
WC2A 2LL

 

 

Abuse of Women in/by the Media – Leveson Inquiry Submission Three

 

 

“ANY FAILURE WITHIN THE MEDIA AFFECTS ALL OF US”

 

Lord Justice Leveson opened the hearings on 14 November 2011, saying: “The press provides an essential check on all aspects of public life. That is why any failure within the media affects all of us. At the heart of this Inquiry, therefore, may be one simple question: who guards the guardians?”

 

I call on the Leveson Inquiry to establish a monitor for the Abuse of Women in/by the Media and to create a platform for this type of journalism to stop as part of Module 4: Submissions on The Future Regime for the Press.

 

With no response to my first two letters, I will continue to send updates on the state of the Press in the UK with the hope that you will take the responsibility given to you by the Government. In a recent letter I received from the Department of Media, Culture and Sport, they will not act on any of the concerns I have brought up with your Inquiry and the Prime Minister. They said they are going to wait to see what your recommendations are.

 

In the absence of any true leadership from the Government on the denigration of women in/by the media, we are left with the option of going to the police to stem the flow of obscenity from our Press. The Obscene Publications Act 1959, which was quoted by the Department of Media, Culture and Sport letter as the avenue to raise a complaint, it appears has had only one conviction since its inception. This doesn’t bode well for concerned citizens like myself who are seeing the erosion of value and the explosion of how women are sexualised in/by the Press.

 

The denigration has become so mainstream that we no longer see it. We are numb to it.

 

We made a formal complaint to the PCC on 22 October 2012 in response to the continued objectification of women in the London Evening Standard. We spoke with them yesterday and were informed that there is no part of the PCC that deals with complaints about the soft porn images in the print media. We are now investigating further as they keep a log of these complaints and share this with you. They did advise us that they have shared this information with the Leveson Inquiry so I am very keen to know what you are planning to do to stop this insanity. The set-up in it’s current form means that concerned people of the community have no where to go to stop the out-of-control press. They are unaccountable for their actions in this regard.

 

The Government’s response “However, the code does not cover mattes of taste and decency because what is offensive to one reader may be utterly innocuous to another” is unfortunately a stock standard response to the whole subject of sexualisation and objectification of women in the press. Are we not to be supported in our aim to reduce and remove the denigration of women in our newspapers, in print and online?

 

You must do something. For if not you, then who will, if the Government are unwilling to take any true responsibility here?

 

Or are we as concerned citizens, being forced by this unsupportive legislation, to go to the police and make a formal complaint when we see this abuse? Are the police not busy enough without having to deal with a Press that have created a system in which they are not held accountable? How convenient.

 

The question that urgently requires a response is; why are we continuing to defend a man’s right to ogle, over a child’s right to innocence?

 

The NSPCC has just released a report on the qualitative study of children, young people and ‘sexting’. It makes for shocking reading about the state of our children’s lives and what we have created. We are out of control – following numbly in the footsteps of the press.

 

From the report: Brian McNair (2002) has argued Western society has become a ‘striptease culture’ preoccupied with confession, revelation and exposure. This is connected to an ongoing breakdown or renegotiation of the boundary between public and private, which is itself the outcome of multiple, intersecting factors including the partial success of the women’s and sexual liberation movements, shifts in media regulation away from censorship and towards ‘an informed consumer model’ (Bragg & Buckingham, 2009), and the possibilities opened up by rapid technological change.”

 

“Perhaps the broadest level at which sexism operates in the young people’s lives is to be found in the deeply rooted notion that girls and young women’s bodies are somehow the property of boys and young men.”

 

Would you like this to be your daughter? Gang raped at the age of eleven by a group of ten or more fourteen-year-old boys outside her school? This is happening every day somewhere in London. And still the Government is taking no responsibility for the images our innocent children are seeing every day. The men that ogle are fathers, brothers, uncles, grandfathers and professionals and are seen as role models to our young men – those boys are upholding that behaviour as normal.

 

Why are we continuing to defend a man’s right to ogle, over a child’s right to innocence?

 

ENOUGH.

 

Seriously. Enough with our complacent attitude towards the treatment of women in our society by the Media. We need to step up and take responsibility for the impact that the Media has on our attitude towards women.

 

Attached is a comprehensive dossier that has been compiled over a five-week period up to 11 November 2012. You will see that there is a pattern of language used and repetitive images proving we have an issue with the treatment of women in the UK press. Please let me know if you would like to see more examples of this trash we are allowing – there’s plenty more where that came from.

 

ENOUGH.

 

Seriously. We need to step up and take responsibility for the impact that the Media has on our attitude towards women and children.

 

I welcome any questions or for more information.

 

With thanks,

 

 

Sarah Michon Cloutier

 

PS. I’m reminded of the Library at Shawshank Prison and Andy Dufresne sending a letter every week to the state body asking for books and funding – and they gave him what he wanted to shut him up – let’s hope that works for us with the Leveson Inquiry …

 

Second Letter to Prime Minister David Cameron

October 31, 2012

Mr. David Cameron
Prime Minister
10 Downing Street
London SW1A 2AA

Dear Mr. Cameron,

“ANY FAILURE WITHIN THE MEDIA AFFECTS ALL OF US”

Lord Justice Leveson opened the hearings on 14 November 2011, saying: “The press provides an essential check on all aspects of public life. That is why any failure within the media affects all of us. At the heart of this Inquiry, therefore, may be one simple question: who guards the guardians?”

In your own words printed in The Times on 25 October 2012, “What matters most of all is we are going to have a regulatory system in which the public will have confidence, that if mistakes are made there are proper corrections, that if newspapers do the wrong thing they can get fined, there is a proper investigation when things go wrong”.

You show a clear support for the Legal system, and NOT the people who voted you in. All lawyers will be wringing their hands with glee, knowing they will be filling their coffers in no time. You have shown no regard for the innocent person, who is lied about, vilified, attacked, abused and denigrated by an out-of-control Media juggernaut that is rarely held accountable. How could one man or woman ever feel that they have the money or time available to sue a monolith such as The Times, for example? There is no support for the average person to feel they can stand up to that force.

Your comment also very clearly shows that you are only interested in the end result of the abuse from the Media, litigation. You are not seeking to PREVENT it from occurring in the first place. Why is that? Unfortunately, we exist in a society that waits for something terrible to happen BEFORE we act. There is an obvious pattern of abuse, yet we allow it to continue and to be acceptable. Let’s turn the tables.

By using the word “mistakes” you are lessening the charge against the press. What they did and continue to do are not mistakes, but systematic and calculated abuse to create a story.  This is why the Leveson Inquiry was set up.

It is your responsibility as leader of THE PEOPLE’S ELECTED GOVERNMENT to stand up for the people and say ENOUGH to this abusive power held by the Media.

Your full responsibility is needed now and the dismissive hope that “there is a proper investigation when things go wrong” is unsubstantiated with the current reflection of justice.

How can a Nigerian national only now be sentenced to trafficking young orphan girls out of Nigeria, through England and into Europe on fake passports for sex slavery, when it had now been proven that he’s been doing it since at least 2009? This is not a ‘mistake’ – this is criminal collusion.

How can people have known about the predator Jimmy Savile for over 50 years and still stand by and do nothing? The recent statement from the BBC that he was banned from the Children in Need charity OVER A DECADE AGO because the charity’s executives found him “creepy” and wanted to prevent him having contact with youngsters. This is not a ‘mistake’ – this is criminal collusion.

Both these examples prove the FACT THAT we have become so complacent to the abuse of children that authorities are using ineffectual legal mumbo jumbo instead of truth to not be exposed in their criminal collusion.

Mr Cameron, will you be the one that stands up and says ‘ENOUGH’? Or does it have to be one of your daughters that has porn on her phone and is exposed in the press about her sex-tape before you will look at the ROT we live with as a society every day? Or will you be the one to hand the keys to the perpetrator, like they gave them to Jimmy Savile at Stoke Mandeville Hospital?

What about holding those police accountable who dismissed the complaints against Jimmy Savile? And the BBC staff that knew what was going on ten years ago? The customs officials who let those orphan girls be trafficked into sex slavery? No one is being held to account. Why is that?

We know that sex slavery, pornography, domestic violence and sexual abuse of children are big issues that are seemingly complicated and tough to stop. In truth, we have allowed all these to become normal, expected and commonplace. Are we really simply going to allow these to continue unabated because no one has the guts to stand up and do something about them?

And so to return to the current abuse of people in/by the Media …

If you allow this current situation to continue, we are allowing the endemic abuse of ‘powerless’ people; children, orphans, women, men and low-income earners. You are choosing to support the ‘powerful’ in society to continue to crush the ‘powerless’ and seemingly taking pride in the fact with your comments in The Times. Are you not in criminal collusion by not making this behaviour unacceptable?

Governments all over the world have brought in regulation for the Finance industry to stop greed and theft, so you must for the abuse of people in/by the media. Or is it that the men affected by the greed and theft by the banks had more sway than the average person who is assaulted by the dismissive, abusive and invasive nature of the Media. As a society, we are no longer numb and submissive and we need your support to dis-engage the Media’s deceptive illusion.

Granted there are some traditional reporters that expose truth. However, there are many more that have no accountability on their vile trade of abuse. A very decisive line needs to be drawn and it’s your responsibility to make a stand.

Here is a real opportunity for you to choose to go with real change and truth and be seen in history as a true leader.

In November, we are launching our campaign Enough! – Stop the Abuse of Women in/by the Media. Attached is the press release, a dossier (growing every day) of some examples of recent front pages, letters to the Leveson Inquiry and to the Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard. This is a real issue that we have researched extensively to show that there is no longer the option to ignore this damaging pattern of systematic, calculated abuse.

Enough.

I welcome your questions and would make myself available to meet with you or one of your team to discuss this further.

Yours truly,

Sarah Cloutier
London

Abraham Lincoln and Governance

My amazing friend, Victoria Carter, wrote this and it has so touched me that I felt to share it with you all:

In my heart today, is just what government & governance is actually about.. What IS true governance? In the last couple of days, I have (again) found myself drawn to the amazing man that Abraham Lincoln was. A politician, who felt and considered every decision so very deeply… for he knew the great responsibility of governing PEOPLE. He cared most deeply for all.

Two brief examples… At the end of the civil war, he made no efforts towards glorifying any ‘victory’ (of the Union), but rather immediately set about bringing the people together (i.e. towards a truly lived ‘union’). At Gettysburg, in dedicating a cemetery for soldiers, Lincoln spoke of a “government of the people, by the people, for the people”, that those who had perished “shall not have died in vain” for this true form of governance “of the people…”, “shall not perish from the earth”.

I am deeply touched by this man’s example, so much so that I can no longer ‘give up’ and numbly accept the many ill ways our government & its systems operate, nor the fact that there are issues of great importance for all, for our times and future times, that ask us to not hold back in clearly calling for response from those who are “in power”. Lincoln earthed something for us all, but what have we done with it since?

We ALL have the power to speak up and communicate with our local members, & even our prime ministers (as Sarah Cloutier has done), on the issues we know with absolute clarity, are deeply important for all. So to those of us who may have long given up on having any capacity to truly call for change, I say, let’s shake off the cobwebs and reclaim the part we can all play – it’s about all of us, it’s about humanity. Let’s turn the tide. With deep love, Victoria
Thank you so much Victoria – true Governance comes from us all with our true voice.

The Show Must Go On?

Latin – collusionem “act of colluding,” from colludere, from com- “together” + ludere “to play,” from ludus “game” (see ludicrous).

English – collusion – secret agreement for a fraudulent purpose; connivance; conspiracy. To defraud another of his or her rights.

Esther Rantzen (English journalist and television presented who worked at he BBC from 1965-2006 and founder of the child protection charity, ChildLine) is quoted in the ITV documentary Exposure: Tthe Other Side of Jimmy Savile, “We colluded in this”.

There are now over 200 claims of sexual abuse and pedophilia against Jimmy Savile from women (who were girls) from charities he was the patron, hospitals he volunteered in, while he was at the BBC, in the girl’s home he was a patron – over a period of about 60 years. The man was a predator and if he was alive, the documentary claims he would be arrested.

Let’s start this performance with a play on words from the definitions …

  • Have we been silenced from speaking truth because we are unwittingly being deceived into a secret agreement for a fraudulent purpose?
  • Are we playing a ludicrous game together to defraud another of his or her rights?
  • Is the collusion another level of the numb stupor we are in?
  • Are we blind to the collusion of ignorance and apathy?
  • Are we acting and performing as puppets in some secret agreement?
  • Are we sticking together in the game to not be singled out in truth?

My recent letters to the PM’s were an expression I find natural and effortless. My truth is an expression of our truth and all of humanity – all equally so. So why then did I feel to control the manner and time of their release? When the truth needs telling so desperately, why do we hold back saying it?

Yes, we speakers of truth have been persecuted in the past, but that’s not happening today. The only persecution is to HOLD BACK – oh the irony.

The pain of holding back truth is now greater than silence.

The women speaking publicly about their treatment at the hands of Jimmy Savile are a tiny speck of society who are saying no to collusion in abuse. They were afraid of Savile and have not felt comfortable in coming forward until after his death. Even now, some of the women are still afraid and had their identity changed and voices digitally altered in the interviews.

We continue to accept abuse and allow it every day. These women were colluding in Savile’s ‘celebrity’ and the crumbs of attention they were receiving were enough for them to accept the sexual abuse. I know pedophilia first hand and the impact of keeping silent had a huge impact on how I lived my life. I was promiscuous, and took drugs, alcohol and food to numb myself.

In truth, the abuse continues when we don’t take responsibility for ourselves. In my case, it is an ongoing tender treatment of myself that stops the spiral of self-abuse. In holding back sending the letter because ‘it wasn’t going in the right format’, I was in truth being abusive to myself and humanity. My centralised view of myself had an impact on the whole. Thank God I’ve sent it and stopped the collusion in silence!

But that’s the game! We are so centralised and think that what we do doesn’t affect anyone else. We collude with the game and defraud another of his or her rights. We allow abuse to permeate everything and live a performance, scripted for us to be accepted and liked and not wanting to be singled out.

The show must go on. Really?

We are all invested in the collusion, as Esther Rantzen says, ‘We colluded in this’. We have allowed this lie to perpetuate and we create lies and justifications to keep our tiny world spinning around with little regard for our brothers.

The show needs to be cancelled. No curtain call. No standing ovation. One final bow. Enough.