jueves, 31 de marzo de 2016
El Clásico vivirá un ambiente eléctrico impregnado por la figura de Johan Cruyff. El duelo invita al barcelonista a compartir recuerdos, amuletos y emociones en la grada del Camp Nou y a sentirse protagonista de primera fila en un adiós multitudinario. Estarán todos. Desde la familia Cruyff a los últimos ocho presidentes, al aficionado de a pie. Los alicientes por el tributo a Johan tendrán continuidad en el césped, donde Iniesta ha anticipado que el triunfo será el homenaje de los jugadores de Luis Enrique al holandés. Andrés ha dado rango de final al partido pese a los diez puntos que les separan, lo que significa que hay muchos estímulos en juego además de poner en juego el prestigio; es decir que el Barça buscará su invicto 40 y los tres puntos porque su reto es obtener el título cuanto antes, quizá en la diada del 23 de abril por Sant Jordi, a tres jornadas del final, si logra mantener los nueve puntos de ventaja sobre el Atlético.
El Barça desea cerrar cuanto antes la Liga para volcarse en la Champions y la Copa. Es favorito claro, sabe de memoria cómo jugará y el ‘virus’ FIFA’ no ha trastocado la alineación de gala. El Madrid, centrado obsesivamente en su duelo europeo ante el Wolfsburgo, tiene el Clásico atragantado. Le incomoda tremendamente y le distrae. Viene jugando a trompicones y con muchos ratos de apatía. Pero tiene obligaciones. Ganarle a un grande como al Barça tras el 0-4 de la ida sin Messi, superar al Atlético en la tabla y hacer un juego que inyecte confianza entre su desolada afición.
De otro lado, Zidane, en estado interino si no gana la Champions, debe demostrar en el Camp Nou que es un entrenador capacitado para dirigir el Madrid. La continuidad de sus cracks también está en juego. Y Florentino no se puede permitir cerrar la temporada en blanco ante la amenaza de un segundo Triplete. Una gran ocasión blaugrana en un día para no olvidar.
In January, 29 sperm whales stranded on shores around the North Sea. The results of the necropsies (the animal equivalent of autopsies) of 13 of those whales, which beached in Germany, near the town of Tönning in Schleswig-Holstein, have just been released. The animals’ stomachs were filled with plastic debris. A 13-metre-long fishing net, a 70cm piece of plastic from a car and other pieces of plastic litter had been inadvertently ingested by the animals, who may have thought they were food, such as squid, their main diet, which they consume by sucking their prey into their mouths.
Robert Habeck, environment minister for the state of Schleswig-Holstein, said: “These findings show us the results of our plastic-oriented society. Animals inadvertently consume plastic and plastic waste, which causes them to suffer, and at worst, causes them to starve with full stomachs.” Nicola Hodgins, of Whale and Dolphin Conservation, added: “Although the large pieces will cause obvious problems and block the gut, we shouldn’t dismiss the smaller bits that could cause a more chronic problem for all species of cetacean – not just those who suction feed.”
The notion of these vast, sentient and placid creatures being stuffed with our trash is emblematic enough of the unequal relationship between man and sperm whale. The fact that the latter possess the largest brains of any animal that has ever lived only underlies this disconnection.
Sadly, to anyone who follows the ongoing story of our impact on cetaceans, the terrible predicament of German whales is not new – although the scale of last January’s strandings is. In 2011, a young sperm whale was found floating dead off the Greek island of Mykonos. Its stomach was so distended that scientists believed that the animal might have swallowed a giant squid. But when they dissected its four stomachs (sperm whales, although predators, have digestive processes similar to ruminants), they found almost 100 plastic bags and other pieces of debris. One bag had the telephone number of a souvlaki restaurant in Thessaloniki. The scientists joked, grimly, that the whale could not call up to complain about the damage caused by their product.
The scale of the fate of the North Sea whales calls to mind the nesting albatrosses of Midway Island, so poignantly recorded by photographer Chris Jordan. He documented the skeletal remains of young chicks, so bloated with the plastic they had been mistakenly fed by their parents – from beer can loops and bottle tops to cigarette lighters – that they had starved from lack of nutrition.
Our use and abuse of animals seems in inverse proportion to the almost ritual reverence in which we purport to hold them. Whales have become the marine icon of ecological threat. We pay obeisance to their grandeur. But sometimes I wonder if it isn’t all an illusion. We congratulate ourselves for having stopped hunting them (well, most of them). Yet many thousands of cetaceans are compromised or killed by the pollution we allow to escape into the ocean. We cannot make the direct connection between the plastic bottles of water and what they are doing to the ultimate source of their supply. Whales are still victims of our industrialisation, our insatiable thirst for growth at the expense of all else – if in not such a direct way as they were in the past.
Recently, visiting the secret storage unit where London’s Natural History Museum stows the thousands of specimens that they are unable – or reluctant – to display in the museum, the curator of vertebrates, Richard Sabin, showed me a nondescript cardboard box in a corner. He suggested I look inside. When I opened it, I found block after block of solid, pure, spermaceti wax, the solidified oil from the sperm whale’s head.
It is the materiality of the whale that haunts me. What it has provided, albeit unwittingly, to allow us to furnish and light our own lives. Even sperm whale excretions – in the form of ambergris – are the most valuable natural substances known to us, still used as a fixative in high-fashion perfumes. Set that usage against what we now know to be cultural animals, deeply bound by family ties. Of course, it is what makes us most alike that ultimately touches us – and which may be the saving of us both. I told Meera Syal, when we met at Radio 4 the other day, that whale society is entirely matriarchal, and in some species, male whales stay with their mothers all their lives. “Ah,” she said, “they’re Indian whales.”Whales, in boxes – that’s how we saw them. It was for this substance that American and British whaleships travelled to the South Seas. This stuff that, when liquid, lit the streets of London, New York, Berlin and Paris. It made candles and makeup; lubricated the machines of the industrial revolution. So fine is spermaceti oil that Nasa used it in their space mission, as it does not freeze in outer space.
When Mary Bousted, a former teacher and the general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, spoke out this week about the sexist school bullying that can prevent girls participating fully in the classroom, there were several possible responses one might have expected to see from the Department for Education.
This was not one of them: “Story from ATLUnion with no evidence is why sexism still exists. We should be celebrating the achievements and talents of women and girls.”
That the DfE should respond in this way is extraordinary, particularly as the defensive and combative tone of the tweet implies some kind of attack on the government itself, when Bousted in fact was simply discussing a problem she had observed during her own teaching career.
Bousted described an atmosphere that includes sexist bullying in the classroom, girls under pressure to appear attractive and compliant rather than clever and forthright, and sexist name-calling, both in real life and on social media.
All this is borne out by a huge amount of evidence, including a 2010 study by YouGov for the End Violence Against Women Coalition, which found that 71% of 16- to 18-year-olds hear sexist name-calling such as “slut” or “slag” used towards girls at school on a daily basis or a few times a week. The same study revealed that nearly one third (29%) of 16- to 18-year-old girls had been subjected to unwanted sexual touching at school.
Bousted’s comments come just days after new figures emerged showing that cases of “sexting” among under-16s have “skyrocketed”, with more than 13 times as many cases investigated by police in 2015 than in 2013. Last year, a freedom of information request revealed that over 5,500 sexual offences in UK schools were reported to police in the previous three years, including more than 600 rapes. With the school year in England 195 days long, that equates to almost one reported school rape per day. And those are just the cases referred to police.
Having visited schools up and down the country to talk to pupils of all ages about gender equality, the picture Bousted paints seems entirely accurate, and the opportunity to discuss these issues in the open is hugely welcome. For the DfE to issue such an extreme response, and to seem to want to shut down discussion of the problem, is troubling and disappointing.
To imply that speaking out about these issues perpetuates sexism is downright bizarre. Of course nobody is suggesting that every single child is experiencing the same problems, nor that we shouldn’t also celebrate the achievements of women and girls (as the DfE suggested in a statement to the Guardian) – of course we should. But we are doing a disservice to those who are experiencing sexual bullying if we try to ignore or dismiss it.
In reality, the problem is compounded by the normalisation of sexist stereotypes and attempts to sweep it under the carpet. This small selection of experiences of school harassment and sexual bullying that have been shared with the Everyday Sexism project shows how experiences like these could have an impact on girls’ confidence at school:
“I had to switch school because the sexual harassment got so bad”
“Rated out of 10 and asked if I’m ‘up for it’ by my male classmates, referred to as ‘slut’ instead of my name”
“In my A-level German class, 2 boys took it upon themselves to sexually harass the girls, by making lewd remarks and twanging our bra straps”
“My seven-year-old daughter being told not to be upset that a boy in her class put his hand up her skirt, it was boys being boys”
“I asked my sister when was the last time a girl in school was called a ‘slut’ by a boy. “It happens to everyone every day”
The project also receives regular reports of precisely the kind of sexist stereotypes and bullying that Bousted highlighted as preventing some girls from participating fully in class:
“A boy in my class told me ‘Just shut up, you ugly fat cow’ when I made a mistake. Teacher ignored. Never put hand up again’
“I shouted out the wrong answer in class the other day. Some guy told me to get back in the kitchen.”
And, most ironically of all, this girl’s experience:
“A boy in school told me to put my hand down when the teacher asked us if we thought sexism still exists.”
Perhaps the DfE would prefer we all put our hands down too. But denying its existence is not the way to tackle the very real problem of sexism at school
If you haven’t lived through it, it can be hard to understand the powerful urge many victims feel to deny we’ve been raped. It’s almost inherently an invisible dynamic, legible only when you already speak the language of silence. Only hours after my own assault, I remember telling the people who were trying to help me to leave me alone, that it was no big deal and I just wanted to sleep.
“The first person to tell me I was gang-raped was a therapist, seven years after the fact”, is how novelist Jessica Knoll put it in an essay this week that’s been burning up the internet. Knoll is the author of last summer’s hot beach read Luckiest Girl Alive, which tells the story of Ani, who suffers a gang rape in boarding school and doesn’t speak of it for years. Knoll’s beautifully raw missive, published on Tuesday in Lena Dunham’s Lenny Letter, serves as a coming-out of sorts, an acknowledgement that her character knows things about rape because Knoll herself does.
The impulse to deny your own rape isn’t just about the horror of the physical violence, though someone invading your sovereign body is, in fact, an ineffable horror. But more than that, the impulse to deny your own rape is an impulse born of the cultural meaning of victimhood. “I didn’t want to be one of those victim girls,” is a thing more than one survivor has told me. “I laughed, because laughing was easier than tending to my heart, which felt like a hot coal in my chest, on fire with shame,” is how Knoll put it.
Shame is the key word. It unlocks a constellation of secondary violences that we use to punish rape victims. Knoll was publicly slut-shamed by peers and even a teacher. One of the guys who raped her made her feel bad enough about using that word that she apologized to him and recanted. The public treats rape victims as alternately pathetic and scheming but either way suspect, too dumb to avoid getting drugged and used, but clever and vindictive enough to coordinate an elaborate group lie just because we don’t like some guy.
That’s the conclusion a judge seems to have come to in the case of Canadian radio star Jian Ghomeshi, who has been accused by more than 20 women of brutal and nonconsensual violence in the midst of sexual encounters. Four counts of sexual assault and one count related to an accusation of choking were brought against him. He was acquitted of all charges. One of the reasons cited by Judge William Horkins was the fact that some of the women stayed in touch with Ghomeshi after the alleged assaults happened. This, he felt, was “out of harmony” with the way he thought rape victims should behave.
The trouble is that denying rape doesn’t unrape you. It doesn’t ease the trauma, or blunt the impact of the violation. It doesn’t even protect you from the shame you’re running from. The shaming of rape victims is just an extension of the pervasive shaming of women for having bodies, for our wanting to control them, to feel safe in them, to feel pleasure in them, even. When we treat victims – even male victims – as too pathetic to have prevented their own violation, we are saying: you are weak like women are inherently weak. You are worthless like women are inherently worthless. And when we treat survivors who speak up as traitors and liars, we are saying, how dare you object. How dare you take up space. How dare you insist on your humanity.All those women did was what Knoll did. What I did, at least at first. What so many victims do, whose names we may never know. They decided, probably subconsciously, that it was better to deny the violence already done to them than to acknowledge it in a culture that dehumanizes victims at every turn. Given what happened when they did come forward – they were painted as liars, their sex lives examined in the national media and now there are calls for them to be tried for perjury – it’s hard to say they were wrong.
In explaining why she’s coming forward with her story now, after all these years of denial, Knoll writes of the power of seeing so many people, “critics and editors, publicists and Hollywood executives” as well as legions of fans acknowledging Ani’s violation (and by the transitive property, Knoll’s violation) for what it was: rape.
“Everyone is calling it rape now. There’s no reason I shouldn’t say what I know. There’s no reason to cover my head.” She’s speaking about her own story, of course – we have far to go before the same can be said about the culture at large. But she’s also telling us something crucial: survivors are listening. When we tell them we believe them, it can change their lives.
A liar should have a good memory': Model at the centre of Vernon Kay sexting scandal tweets Pinocchio message after TV star claims she got in touch with him first
scandal tweets Pinocchio message after TV star claims she got in touch with him first
- She and father-of-two Kay, 41, were back in contact six years after their messages almost cost him marriage to wife Tess Daly
- Kay has claimed it was Miss Sugden who had approached him and there was 'never any inappropriate intent'
- Miss Daly to stand by her husband after forgiving him for previous scanda
The glamour model at the centre of the Vernon Kay sexting scandal has broken her silence with a thinly-veiled tweet hitting out at a 'liar' after the TV star claimed she had got back in touch with him.
Rhian Sugden, 29, has not spoken publicly since it emerged that she and Kay, 41, had been back in contact, six years after their messages almost cost him his marriage to Strictly Come Dancing co-presenter Tess Daly.
But last night, the former Page Three Girl took to Twitter to post a picture of the Disney character Pinocchio, with the message: 'A liar should have a good memory. #TwoSides'. She deleted the tweet this morning.
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Rhian Sugden, glamour model at the centre of the Vernon Kay sexting scandal has broken her silence with a cryptic tweet, which has since been deleted, hitting out at a 'liar'
Father-of-two Vernon Kay, 41, reportedly tried to arrange a hotel tryst with Miss Sugden (right) - despite their text messages nearly ending his marriage to Strictly's Tess Daly (together left) six years ago
It is not known if Miss Sugden is referring to father-of-two Kay, but her tweet came after he posted a message on Facebook claiming she had got back in touch with him in December with 'information to pass on' about their 2010 scandal.
This afternoon, Miss Sugden was seen out in Wilmslow, Cheshire, where she visited a beauty spa, taking a phone call as she made her way inside for a beauty treatment.
She appeared tense as she took a phone call outside the spa, but was more relaxed once inside, casually dressed in sporty tracksuit bottoms and a vest top.
Her engagement ring, given to her by to soap actor fiance Oliver Mellor was clearly on show.
Miss Sugden looked relaxed and was dressed casually as she arrived for her treatments, while her engagement ring from fiance Oliver Mellor could be seen on her right hand
It emerged earlier this week that TV and radio presenter Kay, who has two daughters, Phoebe, 11, and Amber, six, with Miss Daly was trying to arrange a hotel meeting with Miss Sugden (pictured)
It emerged earlier this week that TV and radio presenter Kay, who has two daughters, Phoebe, 11, and Amber, six, with Miss Daly was trying to arrange meeting at a hotel with Miss Sugden.
But he claimed there was 'never any inappropriate intent' regarding his recent messages, and was just seeking 'answers to questions' he'd had since 2010.
He added that his wife was 'aware everything that has been discussed with Rhian'.
Last night, it was revealed that that Miss Daly is set to stand by her husband, six years after forgiving him for the previous scandal.
The pair are said to have held crunch talks over their marriage, which almost ended in 2010 after Kay was caught exchanging lewd text messages with Miss Sugden.
Miss Sugden was seen out and about in Manchester yesterday, looking pensive as she took a phone call
He was forced to make a public apology to his wife on Radio 1 and promised he would no longer contact Miss Sugden or four other women he had been caught messaging.
A source close to the couple said that despite her 'humiliation', Miss Daly, 46, is not likely to leave Kay and will justify this episode as 'entrapment'.
It also emerged that Ms Daly had given her husband one final chance to save their relationship but had issued him an ultimatum - to break off contact with the glamour model or lose his marriage.
A friend of the couple told The Sun: ‘Tess is utterly devastated but does not want to give up on her family. She met Vernon on Tuesday night and tore strips off him.
‘Vernon has obviously apologised for dragging it up again. Tess has forgiven him but only under some very strict conditions. The main one is that he never speaks to Rhian ever again.’
It emerged last night that Strictly Come Dancing star Miss Daly (pictured right, with co-host Claudia Winkleman) is set to stand by her husband, six years after forgiving him for the previous scandal
She has taken his actions 'really, really badly' and is likely to give him 'the frozen treatment' for a while, the source added, but ultimately she is set to forgive him.
All Star Family Fortunes TV host Kay pulled out of an appearance on BBC's The One Show on Tuesday 'to spend time with his family'.
However, he has been appearing on the Radio X breakfast show - where he has been filling in for regular host Chris Moyles - as normal this week, without mentioning the issues surrounding his personal life.
In an interview with Woman magazine on Tuesday, Kay said: ‘I’m 41 but I feel like I’m 19 still. It’s good to stay fit and keep up with the 20-year-olds. I love going clubbing... what’s wrong with that? It’s important to go out on your own, too.’
A source close to Kay told the Daily Mirror: ‘Rhian contacted him. The only thing Vernon is guilty of is responding to her messages when he should have left her well alone. He feels like he’s been stitched up.’
Vernon Kay looked glum as he left Radio X on Wednesday morning after presenting the daily breakfast show
Kay and Miss Sugden reportedly wanted to meet in January and February but did not go through with it.
A source told The Sun: 'Vernon regularly asked Rhian when she was going to be in London for modelling and she kept asking him if he was going to be in the Manchester area.
'They agreed to book a hotel room in January but it fell through ... Then they agreed to meet in London at the beginning of this month.
'But again the rendezvous failed to materialise because Vernon had family commitments at the last minute.
'The longer this has gone on, the more they have felt guilty. They've cooled it a bit recently and decided it wouldn't be the smartest move to be alone together in a hotel room.'
Kay allegedly even suggested the model wore a disguise so that nobody saw them together.
It was said in the latest claims that Kay had originally suggested dinner with Miss Sugden so she could have some 'closure' on their past sexting episode.
But the exchanges soon escalated and Kay was soon calling her and messaging her while he was at work with plans to meet, it was reported.
Miss Sugden is due to marry Mellor next year. It is unclear whether the planned ceremony will still go ahead.
Last night a spokesman for Kay declined to comment on his marriage.
There was no sign of Vernon Kay or wife Tess Daly at their home in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, yesterday