Women – know your enemy
At a time when Governments in Britain and Ireland are looking at harsher legislation to prevent the 'objectification' of the female form, the Kate Middleton controversy reminds us of one thing – a woman's worst enemy isn't some casually sexist boor who thinks women are only good enough cooking and breeding.
It's other women themselves.
Let's put it this way, if Loaded magazine had appeared on the stands 24 hours after she had given birth and splashed with a headline: "How Katie Plans To Get Her Boobs Back" there would be uproar and scandal – and rightly bloody so.
But despite all the concerns about the unrealistic portrayal of women in men's magazines (and even a cursory glance at the likes of Zoo or Nuts is enough to make you despair for modern manhood), the uncomfortable truth remains that if you really want to see a woman's body dissected and sneered at; picked apart and picked on for every slight blemish or perceived imperfection, then you need look no further than the likes of Heat, Closer or Now.
Because no matter how objectified the female form may be in lads' mags, you're never going to see a picture of a sun-bathing woman being slagged off because she has a bit of cellulite.
Yet female-oriented publications are quite happy to use some pap shot of a minor female celebrity taken from a telescopic lens a mile away and then run close up shots of the orange peel she might have on her bum.
One need only look at Kelly Brook – and let's be honest, that's no great hardship – to see the levels of spite and enmity that women spit in her direction.
But it's not just someone like Brook.
In fact, you only have to randomly flick through a few pages of these publications and there's a good chance you will stumble across a few pages entitled 'What Were They Thinking?' and it will feature shots of women looking awful – too fat for that dress, too stumpy for those, too spotty for that toner etc.
Well, when I say you will see pictures of women looking 'awful', what I mean is that you see pictures of women who aren't posing and preened and primped to within a follicle of their lives.
So the next time you start to give out about men refusing to take women seriously, just ask them when they last bought one of these magazines.
Because if any element of the industry is guilty of treating women as mere objects, worthy only of being judged on their ability to lose baby weight, then it sure ain't coming from men.
Interestingly, Northern and Shell are experts at knowing their target market's appreciation for the female form – having become well known for such lovely magazines as Asian Babes and Horny Housewives.
Obviously this is a public service column and by now you're probably sick of seeing pictures of Kate Middleton.
So here's one of the lovely Kelly instead.
OKAY PEOPLE &NDASH; CRYSTAL BALLS TO THE READY . . .
If we demand anything in this country, then it is surely the right to have politicians who have some sort of dream; a vision for a better future.
That's not to say that we should believe in their particular dream, of course.
For instance, I certainly wouldn't want to live in Joe Higgins' dream world, where we all exist on a diet of turnips and any money we earn goes straight to the State.
But still, there's nothing wrong with a politician having a vision.
Unless you're James Reilly, that is.
Our lovely Minister for Health – and they say the Irish don't do irony – has a dream. But you might not be included.
Because he plans to have Ireland entirely cigaretten-frei by 2025.
In fact, he even went on the record as saying that this is a "battle we must not lose. We will continue until we have won".
For the record, the Minister's war on smoking is, just like the war on drugs, a war on his own citizens, most of whom would be forgiven for arguing that they will start to take the Minister for Health a bit more seriously when he puts the pies down for a few minutes.
So, as an occasional smoker who is the subject of such paternalistic – and uninvited, may I add – concern from Reilly, may I return this democratic favour by suggesting that he should start looking at some good fat camps?
That's not something I would ordinarily say about someone, you understand.
But if he is so concerned with butting in – as it were – to our business and our health, it seems only fair to reciprocate . . .
WHO'S A NAUGHTY BOY?
Justin Bieber (pictured) has, yet again, hit the headlines for spitting.
This time, the controversy has been kicked off by Bieber spitting at someone. Again.
Now, as much as this column abhors violence in any shape of form – I'm particularly against it when said violence is directed towards me, in fairness – I'm sure I'm not alone in waiting for the day when the little tyke spits at the wrong person.
Although it doesn't matter how much you would like to batter Bieber – you'd only attract the wrath of a million 13-year-old girls.
And we all know that's waaay too much trouble for any one person to deal with.