What a result. So, a few humourless women have succeeded in getting an ale made by a small Midlands brewer withdrawn from sale in the House of Commons. Why? Because it is wittily named 'top totty'. Granted it's not a particularly original joke (the image on the pump features a bunny girl – hey Mr Caveman come and ogle my plastic tits whilst I waggle my nylon tail) and if it elicited more than a small snigger from most blokes I'd be surprised.
Let them laugh, I say. Let them think themselves humorous for choosing it next time they are in Strangers Bar and please ladies, turn a blind eye. Why? Because MPs should quite frankly be concentrating their efforts on more important issues. That anyone found time to wage a war on this amazes me. Their inboxes and letter trays should be full of cases highlighting serious, damaging discrimination against women and yet they prefer to ignore the (inevitable) backlog and spend time railing against a mildly amusing name for a beer.
I spent way too much time in my researcher years frequenting the drinking dens in question and in those days Top Totty was not stocked. The bars were still crammed full of lecherous, leery, lonely old male MPs looking for a bed warmer for their London pad. The addition of a picture of a bird in her scanties will have done nothing to egg such creatures on, so what exactly is the point of banning it?
Top Totty strikes me as a vintage/nostalgic branding exercise and to penalise a small-time brewery for a weak joke reminds me just how self-obsessed our many MPs truly are.
What happens now is that stocks are removed and the small brewery takes a big financial hit (though I am hoping the press coverage will have a reverse effect for their sake). The former MP for the area where it's made is as far from a letch as you could imagine. He is seen in a photo on the brewery website posing on the Commons Terrace with a pint of Top Totty in hand. Why? To support a local, innovative business, not to suggest that a lass in a bikini is worthy of promotion.
How are women likely to achieve greater equality when some people insist on fighting insignificant battles? There are simply far bigger fish to fry. I know a few male dinosaurs who argue that women are so obsessed with banning everything men like that they shoot themselves in the foot and become mere killjoys. If more indifference was shown towards such immature and puerile sniggering at these sorts of images then the female MPs opposing Top Totty wouldn't come across as shrieky harpies overreacting at the sight of a cleavage.
I find it staggering that young women totter round town centres on a Saturday night in scraps of clothing displaying their assets, queued in their droves to become bunnies at the reopened Playboy Club and describe in graphic detail their latest vajazzle on TOWIE. I may not buy into their image of what constitutes a woman but the fact is this is no minority. Sadly, these are the masses and for the female MP’s to appear ignorant of this fact shows just how out of touch they truly are. Has Kate Green MP never seen a hen night in her constituency? Does she not know that Ann Summers shops exist? Is she not meant to be representing the concerns of her constituents as opposed to launching her own crusades? Did she poll the folk of Old Trafford and ask them whether they were offended by such images? If she had I am sure there are plenty of folk who have fond memories of Big D peanuts, as found in every pub in the 1980’s. Top Totty strikes me as a vintage/nostalgic branding exercise and to penalise a small-time brewery for a weak joke reminds me just how self-obsessed our many MPs truly are. Get your nose out of the Grauniad and Spare Rib, Ms Green and look at the world around you. You’d be far more effective in opposition if you tried out such a revolutionary stance.
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