Anyone who believes in gender stereotypes would have had a rude awakening at the European People's Party congress this week. Two representatives of Ukraine spoke at the event.
One, the six foot seven inch heavyweight boxer Vitali Klitschko. The other the ponytailed, diminutive (and currently wheelchair-using) Yulia Tymoshenko.
Both had come from their own recent personal hells in Ukraine – Klitschko from the minus 30 degree temperatures and flying bullets of Independence square, and Tymoshenko from two years in a prison hospital, where she alleges she was treated with brutality and violence.
What was interesting was the vast difference between their reactions to the events in Ukraine and how those reactions were the diametric opposite of what easy stereotypical assumptions would predict. Klitschko, the giant pugilist, thoughtfully detailed how – in his view – Viktor Yanukovych had betrayed democracy and how rebellion had flared, almost by accident, from peaceful protest.
He reiterated that membership of the EU was what the protesters sought, not removal of the President. He wasn't conciliatory. But he was most definitely not inflammatory.
Tymoshenko on the other hand, spoke of aggression. Of violence. Of resistance.
She spoke of the dead laying down their lives for Ukraine. She praised the EU for not having created its expansion 'under the barrel of a Kalashnikov' as she said Russia had done. She spoke of the imperative to eject Russia from Crimea.
She ended her speech with the repeated 'glory to Ukraine'.
While the two politicians shattered any misplaced stereotypes, they also gave an insight into the future of Ukraine's domestic political future – realpolitik, versus passion and patriotism.
It would be hard not to be moved by Yulia Timoshenko's fire, but when a man as used to fighting as Vitali Klitschko seems to want to avoid conflict, maybe his discretion should be allowed to outweigh her valour.
CAMERON'S SAD 'SELFIE' NOT COOL
British Prime Minister David Cameron has had the mickey taken out of him to an extraordinary degree after tweeting a 'selfie' of himself talking to Barack Obama on the phone.
This proves two things. One – Cameron is not cool (Clinton was cool. Remember what he did during calls with world leaders? I'll give you a clue, it begins with 'Monica'...). Two – a lot of Twitter users are weird.
David Cameron is Prime Minister of Britain. Why is he tweeting selfies? How needy and desperate can he be?
It's like the biggest tweet ever during the Oscars. Ellen DeGeneres claimed to have 'broken Twitter', and it was lauded worldwide as the most re-tweeted pic ever – two million re-tweets.
That's one 20th of the TV audience. One 20th. So why were all these celebs mugging like clowns to get in a shot that went to an audience 95pc smaller than the one already watching them?
Because a lot of Twitter users are weird.
SIGN OF SEXISM AT SPAR
THE SPAR IN THE IFSC THIS WEEK PUT AN AD IN ITS WINDOW ASKING FOR DELI STAFF AND STIPULATING 'WOMEN ONLY'.
UNSURPRISINGLY WHEN SPAR HQ (WHERE THE LAWYERS AND THE HR STAFF LIVE) FOUND OUT, THEY MADE WHAT THEY CALLED 'THE INDEPENDENT RETAILER' REMOVE THE SIGN. ONE ASSUMES THEY ROLLED IT UP AND WHACKED 'THE INDEPENDENT RETAILER' OVER THE HEAD WITH IT, SHOUTING 'WHAT KIND OF WALLY ARE YOU?'
BURGER KING'S NEW 'DIET' CHIPS
IN A MOVE CLEARLY DESIGNED TO SOFTEN THEIR 'UNHEALTHIEST FOOD ON THE PLANET' IMAGE, BURGER KING HAS LAUNCHED DIET CHIPS.
IT'S THE EQUIVALENT OF TACKLING ALCOHOLISM BY MAKING EVERYONE SWITCH FROM VODKA TO SHERRY – ON PAPER IT'S A STEP FORWARD, IN REALITY IT'S A WASTE OF TIME.
I WOULD LOVE IF PADDY POWER WOULD APPLY THEIR MARKETING ATTITUDE TO THE FAST FOOD CHAIN'S ADS – IMAGINE A BIG POSTER OF A WHOPPER WITH THE FOLLOWING WRITTEN ON IT: 'MMMM DELICIOUS. WITH FAT. AND SUGAR. AND SALT. IF YOU'RE WORRIED ABOUT THE SIZE OF YOUR ASS, DON'T EAT IT. OR DO, THEN RUN ROUND A BIT. BUT WE AIN'T CHANGING A THING.'