Western Standard

The Shotgun Blog

« Let's give money to dictators, it's always worked before...right? | Main | The Modern Method »

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Everything is Thatcher's fault

Lesley Riddoch, a columnist for the Scotsman, explores what is to blame for the decreased gap between male and female lifespan.

The main objective of most girls in our nominally equal, but actually macho society is to be slim and attractive to boys. Smoking, laxatives and bulimia are used as calculated aids in the endless battle for weight control.

Standing in a restaurant toilet queue lately, I heard two teenage girls calmly discuss the likelihood of being able to "chuck" their meals without everyone outside hearing.

Bulimia is not a strategy so much as it is a mental sickness. Ms. Riddoch's lack of compassion here is part of the problem for these girls. Actually it is not just men but women who do it to each other. The harshest people I know when it comes to a girl's looks are other girls. Women notice physical deficiencies in other women that a man has never heard of. Yes boys can be cruel but they are not the only ones. So please don't blame everything on the supposed "macho culture."

Scotland's obsession with football doesn't help. Girls don't value their own physical activity, because adult Scots don't.

This is just confusing. How is an obsession with sports leading to a lack of value towards physical activity? Just because the leading football/soccer leagues are male does not mean women are discouraged from joining their brothers in a pickup game.

Appearance has certainly become more important than action. And Scotland's drinking culture has been lapped up by girls, who see their right to get trashed as a perverse measure of gender equality. Perhaps life for young ladies is so boring and constrained in one walk of life, and so stressful and demanding in another, that getting drunk and behaving badly is the only way to escape the crushing boredom of low expectations.

Umm....no...I'm pretty sure they drink because it is fun. To assign some sort of deep motivation for getting drunk is to completely misunderstand why the vast majority of people get drunk. And in case you missed it, that reason is that it is fun. Besides the desire to escape boredom is a common youthful quest that crosses both genders. Ms. Riddoch is merely jumping up and down on what is clearly her own hobby horse.

But tempting as it is to blame ladette culture for the declining relative longevity of Scotswomen, it doesn't actually stack up.

Wait what...huh...what the hell is she talking about? Why did she just spend 90% of her column saying that women are all a bunch of weak willed drunks that are ruled by men? If not culture then who or what is to blame?

It takes 30-40 years to develop lung cancer, so the premature deaths of today were the young smokers of the 1970s and 1980s. About that time, much of working life collapsed, courtesy of Margaret Thatcher, and a generation of men was famously made unemployed and unemployable.

Ohhhhhhh! It is Maggie’s fault! That makes so much more sense. After all, an entire generation hasn't been working since 1979, which clearly causes women to smoke more cigarettes.

Ms. Riddoch I apologies for thinking you were a loony.

Posted by Hugh MacIntyre on December 17, 2009 | Permalink


Of course it doesn't help that the Oatmeal Savages have devolved into a statist nightmare where 70% of the economy is government.

Posted by: John Chittick | 2009-12-17 10:54:30 AM

Is the term "Oatmeal Savages" racist, bigotted, or none of the foregoing? How do you think Scots people would feel about that term? Would Free Masons be offended? I think they all would just laugh it off.

Posted by: Agha Ali Arkhan | 2009-12-17 11:25:12 AM

And the show goes on... Nobody is responsible or accountable for his actions, so blame someone or something.

Posted by: Alain | 2009-12-17 11:35:42 AM


I use the term freely as I have enough Scots blood in me to consider it somewhat self-deprecating. There may be the odd Norwegian that may be offended though.

Posted by: John Chittick | 2009-12-17 3:27:12 PM

JC: I am not offended even though I have Viking blood and many Scots relatives. I try not to offend them.

Posted by: Agha Ali Arkhan | 2009-12-17 3:54:35 PM

"Oatmeal Savage" is a compliment -- oats being about the only manly carb there is ;-)

But meanwhile, the Scots "wha hae wi' Wallace bled" are long gone.

The people who invented modern Capitalism are today 98% socialist. They'd rather give England the rest of their North Sea oil than see it privately owned at home.

These days they deep fry Mars bars and are a pale, flabby shadow of their former selves.

Posted by: John Collison | 2009-12-17 11:43:32 PM

JC: Oh Boy! My Scots are no where near yours! As I wrote before, I try not to offend them. They can be bloody dangerous.

Posted by: Agha Ali Arkhan | 2009-12-18 12:00:00 AM

@ "Agha Ali Arkhan"

I refer, sadly, to the Scots in Scotland today.

They have gone from robust Oatmeal Savages to among the fattest people in the world.

They have gone from proto-Capitalists, to all socialism all the time.

But I hold out hope - Alba gu brath!

P.S..The Scots diaspora are a different breed of cat...

Posted by: John Collison | 2009-12-18 12:10:52 AM

Hugh - Bravo, mate. It's good to see someone else telling it like it is regarding drinking: 'cause it is fun. That's why we do it.

Posted by: Walker Morrow | 2009-12-20 12:07:35 AM

And John Collison has gone from idiocy to - well, idiocy all the time. No different. Surprised his soap box hasn't broken yet.

Posted by: Dave Burgess | 2009-12-21 11:36:57 AM

And Dave Burgess always wanted to attain idiocy, but is still short the requisite IQ points so will have to settle for imbecility.

Posted by: JC | 2010-04-12 4:11:04 PM

How did a hardworking, pragmatic, full-blooded people like the Scots ever turn into such a sorry band of pathetic, pocket-picking socialists? More even than England, they're still trapped in the 1960s. They're like the Québec of Britain. If William Wallace could see his countrymen today, he might just have tossed aside his claymore and taken up farming.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2010-04-12 9:19:55 PM

And Dave Burgess always wanted to attain idiocy, but is still short the requisite IQ points so will have to settle for imbecility.

JC, the "classic" degrees of mental retardation are, in descending order of intelligence: moron, imbecile, idiot. Meaning that your calling Dave an imbecile, when he has supposedly striven merely for idiot, means that according to you, he has actually exceeded the requirements for idiot. Do you understand that, idiot?

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2010-04-12 9:25:34 PM

As for this "journalist," she should try not to think so much. Like so many identity-politics smut pushers, she is apparently educated beyond her intelligence. She also seems to think that emoting is the same as arguing.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2010-04-12 9:29:57 PM

Oh Boy! My Scots are no where near yours! As I wrote before, I try not to offend them. They can be bloody dangerous.

I'd worry more about the Irish. The Highlanders are largely the descendants of Irish pirates, did you know that? The Lowlanders are more of Germanic and Scandinavian stock and are a completely different breed of person.

Interestingly, though, William Wallace was not a Highlander; he was from Elderslie. Furthermore, his name suggests Welsh ancestry.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2010-04-12 9:38:25 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.