The Times They Ain’t a Changin’

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Louise Wener, TFI Friday, June 1996

“It says here that she claims she had journalists interview her just because they fancied her…I don’t want you to think that’s the case this evening, I want you to know it’s the case this evening.”

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

Phew.

Great banter.

That was Chris Evans’ opening gambit in his interview with Louise Wener on TFI Friday back in June, 1996.

The opening gambit.

Not even so much as a “How are you?” before the aggressive flirting and diminishing her to the status of an object began.

Not that that would have made it any better.

It’s terribly uncomfortable to watch anyone hitting on someone so aggressively.

This isn’t a coy glance or a slowly emerging chemistry between two adults.

This is just a fairly awful man letting a woman know that he wants to go to bed with her.

He then goes on to make some fairly lurid remarks about the fact that Louise was no longer in a relationship with Jon but was now dating Andy from the band…that leads Evans to suggest that she is “working her way through” the men in the band and was “having the time of your life”.

Cor.

Phwoar.

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Louise Wener, The Ralph Little Show, BBC Television 2002

Fast forward six years and Wener is being interviewed by another “bloke” on television.  This time she is not “just” a pop star, she is a published author…a serious figure.

This time the interview will focus on her talents as a writer.

This time, in a new decade, the approach will be less loaded, or Loaded, and more careful.

Nope.

The interviewer, Anthony from “The Royle Family”, decides it is entirely appropriate to share his wanton teenage fantasies about Louise and to let everyone know about her role in his onanism.

Vile.

Because she knows the rules of engagement Louise tries hard to maintain a veneer of quiet amusement but I’m fairly confident that having men speak to you in this manner, and doing so in front of thousands of strangers, must be very draining.

Exhausting.

It would be lovely to think that things have improved.

They haven’t.

Every day on Twitter or in certain newspapers women are rounded on, hounded, attacked and brutalised for the dress they have chosen to wear, for their weight, their hair, their “hotness” or otherwise.

I’m no radical feminist, I may not even be a feminist depending on who you speak to, but I have a radical solution to this sort of ugliness…stop it.

Radical.