Tag Archives: men vs women

“Men are useless and lazy at buying gifts!” says catalogue company

“Men are useless and lazy at buying gifts!” says catalogue company

Christmas is just around the corner, and with it comes the opportunity to shower your special someone with affection, attention, and (most importantly) gifts. However, some of us are better at buying gifts than others – with men bringing up the rear, present-wise, due to their naturally lazy and unthoughtful nature.

It’s actually quite a shame that men are so unequivocally useless, given how much effort women put into Christmas. Men ought to be ashamed of themselves, and ought to find some kind of way to raise their game when it comes to shopping for gifts…

Even more depressingly, one in ten women will be expected to wrap all of the presents that go under the tree… even their own, according to a survey of 1,000 mums and dads by Littlewoods…

To help men out, Littlewoods have compiled a list of what mothers really want, and it’s topped with jewellery, perfume and handbags.

Oh, thank god for that then! Thank you, Littlewoods, for coming up with the perfect solution to the problem your own research convinced us exists.

“Men are useless and lazy!” says battery-flogging website, bafflingly

“Men are useless and lazy!” says battery-flogging website, bafflingly

Christmas is just around the corner, and with it comes a chance to see family and revel in the company of rarely-seen loved ones.

Unless, of course, your family includes both men and women – in that case, it’s mandatory that Christmas represents yet another campaign in the ever-waging battle of the sexes, according to news reports such as this one.

As for the company profiting from propagating this gender war at a time when even hostilities on the Western Front took a day off?

A spokesman for www.batterystation.co.uk, which commissioned the research, said: ‘There are so many things which need to be taken care of even weeks before Christmas day, it’s a shame that mums are bearing the brunt.

You might be struggling to see why a website selling batteries feels the need to drive a wedge between men and women – I know I certainly was. But the spokesman carries on,

‘And even the jobs which were traditionally left to dad, like buying the batteries and washing up, are now being looked after by mum, on top of everything else she already does.

‘If this is the case in your household, then it’s important to find ways of doing the jobs in the quickest and easiest way.’

I would, by this stage in my blogging history, consider myself something of a veteran of the PR bullshit world… but even I have to admit, I’m flabbergasted that batterystation.co.uk felt this was a viable angle to promote their services. It’s genuinely astonishing.

“Men are useless at arranging events!” says voucher website

“Men are useless at arranging events!” says voucher website

That’s right, sort your lives out men! Because, as we know, you’re all a bunch of overgrown children unable to look after yourselves without your female partner sorting everything out for you, right? It’s a wonder you even got dressed this morning!

Needless to say, whenever there’s this level of gender stereotyping in the media, there’s always a company behind it looking to profit… in this case a well-known voucher website:

Roy Blanga, managing director at Groupon UK who conducted the study, said: ‘It can be difficult to get events booked in when you’re dealing with friends and family.

‘But there are so many easy-to-use mobile apps and websites out there to help us find inspiration, there’s no reason not to the rescue the situation and organise a get-together in the spur of the moment.

‘We can quickly search online for deals on theatre trips, comedy gigs, or even holidays – all the information is available at our fingertips.’

We know you’re useless, men, but the least you could do is make an effort to arrange events – starting with the events listed on Groupon, for one.

Link

“Dogs are more important than men!” says animal charity looking to halve its potential donor pool

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“Men can’t be trusted to dress themselves, women should take control!” says clothing retailer

“Cleaning can be such a bore!” says cleaning company

With Spring theoretically approaching, it was nice of the Daily Mail to highlight exactly how all of the stereotypes around spring cleaning are actually entirely accurate:

What a filthy waste of time! Women spend a YEAR AND A HALF of their lives cleaning the house (but men only put in half as long)  

The women of Britain are waging a never-ending war with dirty floors, dust mites, grubby walls and unplumped pillows.

Female folk spend a staggering 12,896 hours during their lifetime tidying up and scrubbing the house, equating to a year and a half, according to new research.

But while the girls are spending, on average, four hours each week ensuring homes are spick and span, the boys admit to spending only half as long – just 6,448 hours in a lifetime.

Source: Daily Mail, 7 March 2013

Poor women, forever tidying up after we sloppy, slobbish men! If this is true, of course, as is ever the PR caveat. Especially given the source of the non-research:

The research by Rug Doctor also found that a third (32 per cent) of the population does the minimum cleaning required at home, with one in six (17 per cent) admitting to hating it altogether cleaning.

Rug Doctor, unsurprisingly, manufacture carpet cleaning machines – so while we all hate doing the little chores around the house, at least we know where to go to get a labour-saving device to help us out, now.

Still, of all of the chores we men (and, apparently, primarily women) do, carpet cleaning is pretty low in importance, right? Wrong!

Paul Fildes, marketing manager at Rug Doctor, said: ‘The survey uncovered some interesting findings about peoples’ perceptions when it comes to cleaning. 

‘While people spend a lot of time scrubbing their toilets and kitchen work surfaces, they may be missing areas that commonly harbour germs, such as door handles, and indeed their carpets which are breeding grounds for dust mites and bacteria if not deep cleaned regularly.’

Alas, it seems the most overlooked part of the cleaning regime – the carpet – is actually one of the most important… and we all owe a great debt to Rug Doctor for the research they carried out to convince us of this very fact.

What’s more, a quick glance at the watermark in the infographics reveals just who Rug Doctor paid to have this survey featured:

That would be PR firm Bright PR, putting paid to any doubt that this is anything more than a cheap PR survey masquerading as news.

“Men aren’t giving women the sex they need!” says erectile dysfunction treatment sellers

How’s you sex life, lately? Let me guess… underwhelming, frustrating and almost certainly far less exciting than literally every other human being on the planet’s sex life, right?

How did I know? Simple – I read it in a newspaper, near constantly, in a million different ways. You see, we’re all having less sex than everybody else, and that sex is less fulfilling and far more frustrating than the sex that everybody else is having. And this is true for everyone, obviously.

Take, as a useful example, a recent headline from the Daily Mail (I feature the Daily Mail on this site so often I really ought to assign a keyboard shortcut to those words, to cut down on keyboard wear and tear):

‘Not tonight, darling,’ say MEN: Women now more likely to want sex than their male partners (and his top ‘sexcuses’ are being tired, stressed or too full after dinner!)

It’s no longer women bailing out of late night intimacy with cries of headaches, stomach cramps and baby-related exhaustion.

These days men are actually more likely to be the ones saying ‘not tonight, darling’, with 62 per cent saying they turn down sex more frequently than their female partner, according to research.

New research from an online pharmacy in the UK has revealed that, despite common stereotypes, men are more likely to turn down intercourse with their partner than women – with ‘tiredness’ and ‘work stress’ cited as the most common male ‘sexcuses’.

Source: Daily Mail, 24 January 2013

Fancy that! What a turn up for the books, eh? Have you ever heard of anything quite so unlikely, ridiculous, controversial and utterly baffling as a man who doesn’t want and/or need to be sexually gratified every waking moment of his life? Set your flabbers to gasted. Etc.

Of course, what’s going on throughout this whole angle is something we see an awful lot of in the press – the creation of false norms of sexual behaviour which are then used as pejorative judgements, setting up the reader neatly for the discovery that their time between the sheets doesn’t match up to the fictional average, let alone the fantastical heights we ought to all be hitting with our sexual antics.

People far more educated and far more qualified than I have made the point in many ways before: when it comes to sex, there isn’t really a ‘normal’ to aim for, there’s no level to achieve, and there’s no standard we need to be aspiring to. If you, your partner and whoever else happens to be involved in your sex life all happen to be happy, you’re probably doing it right. 

Still, happiness is a hard thing to achieve in the face of media stories such as this one, with shocking bar-setting facts such as:

Only 9% say they have sex every day

The word ‘only’ being entirely load-bearing here – setting up an expectation that we ought to see more than 9% of people at it at least once every 24 hours. Of course, without adequately defining what is meant by ‘sex’ (and definitions vary right across the spectrum, even if the tabloid definition is reasonably reliably Biblical in it’s narrowness), it’s impossible for this nugget of opinion-poll nonsense to really mean anything. 

Similarly, how long would one have had to be engaging in a daily diddle before it was OK to tick the ‘every day, thankyouverymuchmister’ box in an opinion survey? To keep track, must we get our Man Card stamped after every shag, like a coffee shop loyalty card? If you missed a tumble a week ago on Wednesday, does your Man Card get taken off you? Or is that only if you have a good enough ‘sexcuse’ (a made up marketing word forming the peg of this piece)?

What we have here is a self-reported online study, which found that men think they turn down sex more often than their partner does. Presumably we’re only talking about heterosexual couplings, else the data would be bafflingly skewed. But as this is self-reported, how does the results from the men surveyed compare to the reports from female respondents in the poll?

The study, conducted by ukmedix.com, polled 1,922 British men aged over 18 and in a long-term relationship, and was conducted after the site noticed a marked increase in searches for libido enhancing medication throughout the first half of January.

There were no women included in the poll – because the company behind the poll weren’t using this story to sell to women, this time. Instead, what we have is a cynical marketing exercise in taking the often perfectly-healthy gamut of sexual desire and shoehorning it into an unwieldy and often-unachievable set of expectations, in order that an online pharmacy may then provide the chemical solution to the situation they’ve pretended is a problem:

Thomas O’Connell of ukmedix.com, commented on the findings: ‘Common stereotype would have us believe that it’s usually the fairer sex rolling out the not tonight darling’ line, but according to our results this is far from the truth.

‘According to our results, men up and down the UK are most frequently turning down intimacy, and to see the differences in “sexcuses” given and the real reasons for turning down sex was quite revealing.

‘It seems that men aren’t often honest with their partner about their reasons for avoiding intimacy, and it’s not work stress or tiredness getting men down; but confidence and libido issues. 

‘Whatever is getting in the way, we’d always suggest that men seek help to boost their love lives. There is no “normal” and how often couples get intimate is completely up to them, but if problems are affecting your love life, it’s always best to seek help rather than letting your love life suffer.’

While it is a good idea to seek help if you feel you have a genuine problem, it’s not a good idea to seek that help from an online pill-pusher who promotes themselves through (potentially intentionally) badly-conducted online opinion polls created with the expressed goal of convincing you that you have a problem, and that the solution can be bought for a relatively modest price. 

“Men do things usually associated with women!” says product traditionally associated with women

March 8th, 2012

The Daily Mail’s official OnePoll correspondent Maysa Rawi was red hot on the Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V again last week, with the following:

Crying over films, cuddling on the sofa and enjoying bubble baths….It’s the end of the macho man era (and most women prefer it that way)

Modern men have an increasingly soft center, and women prefer it that way. 

The modern man is a big softy who cries over films, likes cuddling on the sofa and enjoys a bubble bath, according to a study

The source of the press release? Ice cream manufacturer Haagen-Dazs, who you’d imagine might have a vested interest in telling the tale that men are soppy, soft and doing things traditionally associated with women… such as eating fancy ice cream in front of a romantic comedy.

It may well be that men are, in fact, engaging in behaviours that are stereotypically female – there’s no reason for them not to be, after all, if that’s what they want to do. However, without seeing the questions asked by Haagen-Dazs, and without seeing the results of the poll, it’s impossible to tell how genuine any of this information actually is. Yet, with the vested interest from the company behind the poll, there’s a significant reason to suspect the questions may well be biased.

In case there was any confusion, here’s the press release on the OnePoll website, which a casual glance shows is perhaps 90% identical to the article which made the Daily Mail.

“Paris is a great place to propose, girls!” says London to Paris train operator

March 7th, 2012

Last week was a Leap Day. I don’t usually feel the need to preface posts with a calendric context, but it seems somehow crucial this time, given that a Leap Day is a day in which an archaic tradition dictates women are allowed to do that most shocking and inappropriate thing of proposing to a man – a practice which is violently banned throughout the rest of the year, punishable by death under a law which stretches back to the time Catherine the Great attempted to wed a horse, merely so as to make their first time together really meaningful, or something.

OK, the latter half of that last sentence was entirely untrue, but you’d be hard pushed to believe that the notion of a woman proposing to her beau wasn’t highly illegal at every other point in the year had you so much as existed in the UK last week, given the way in which various and numerous facets of the media were falling over themselves (and each other) to talk-up the ‘magical lady proposal’ day.

It’s as if radio stations, inane TV mid-morning magazine shows, tabloids and glossy magazines were somehow clutching at any straw suitably palatably fluffy to pad out their content. Funny that.

We had The Sun, following five ‘wannabe brides’ as they did the unthinkable, the Scottish Sun reporting on three Scottish women who popped the question, the Mirror ambushing men conviently-closely to a prominently-mentioned bridal boutique, the Daily Mail bizarrely flogging an iPhone app, and many more.

Given the ubiquity of the storyline, it’s little surprise to see PR types fully took the opportunity to get their clients in the news, with this fine effort making the Daily Mail:

Single girls would leap at proposing …but they would still expect to be bought an engagement ring!

In an ordinary year, they might be happy to wait for the man to do the asking.

But almost half of unmarried women would take advantage of a leap year to propose to their partner on February 29 – though two thirds would still expect their partner to buy them a ring, a study has found.

It also revealed that three quarters of men nationwide would have ‘no problem’ with being proposed to.

In Bristol and Leeds, this jumps to 90 per cent. But those from Belfast are the least accommodating, with just 50 per cent open to the idea, the study by Eurostar found.

Rather amusingly, the press release which formed the basis (if not verbatim, this time) of the Daily Mail story led with the clunky title “Voulez-vous vous marier avec moi?…. but only if you’ll buy the ring!” – a continental affair unsurprisingly rejected by the Daily Mail. 

If it weren’t already apparent what the hook to this story is, it’s put beyond a doubt with:

When it comes to ideal locations, a third of those questioned for the Eurostar study said they thought Paris was the most romantic city in Europe, followed by Venice and Rome.  

Mary Walsh, from Eurostar, said: ‘It seems modern men have met their match in the modern woman, with thousands of ladies planning to get down on one knee this leap year.

‘Every year we see a jump in bookings to Paris for Valentines Day but this year we’ve also seen a surge on February 29, compared to a typical Wednesday.

So, the message is clear: “Girls, why not propose to your fella? By the way, we hear Paris is nice, and apparently you can get there by train these days…”

Stay classy, Eurostar!

“Engaged Man should be able to live like a bloke!” says company specialising in stag do events

February 24th, 2012

You really do have to feel sorry for the poor, poor man who was voted ‘Britain’s Most Under The Thumb Bloke’ this week. The award is said to make up the ‘big three’ of the awards season, along with the BAFTAS and the Oscars. 

Not really, of course – it’s pure PR nonsense. Still, it didn’t stop the Daily Mail buying it, and buying it at length:

‘I’m truly under the thumb’: Is this Britain’s most henpecked man?

He watches girly box-sets, wears boots because his partner saw them on TOWIE, and he always sits down to go to the loo so his other half doesn’t have to lift the toilet seat up – meet Britain’s most ‘under the thumb’ bloke.

Henpecked Mike Jeffries, 25, from Eastbourne, East Sussex, always has to sit down when he goes to the toilet so his controlling other half Joanna Felicitas, 23, doesn’t have to put the seat down later.

Mr Jeffries admits his fiancee, who he proposed to in 2009, carries out regular spot checks during his trips to the loo – and even phones him if he takes too long.

Aaaand so it goes on, with claim after claim about how under the thumb this poor chap is said to be. But what’s behind this story?

The eagle-eyed among you will have spotted the following in the story:

After a six-week hunt for the most henpecked man in the country, organisers at lads mag Zoo and Brighton based The Stag Company were in no doubt that Mr Jeffries should beat thousands of entries to land the dubious title.

So the awards are given by The Stag Company, whose site interviewed Mark after Valentine’s day, in handing over the award. In case you’re wondering, The Stag Company are:

…the online home of the stag do, The Stag Company, who have been sending the groom-to-be on tailor-made stag weekends for the past decade. 

And what prize did Mike get along with his title?

Once we’ve crowned our winner we’ll whisk them off on the most gruelling of manly weekends, the Newcastle stag do with 5 of your mates, as well as sending your iron lady to Bristol for a spa weekend 300 miles away

The story starts to get clearer – The Stag Company launch a search for the most outrageous stories, offering a decent-sounding prize to the couple with the most outrageous stories, and eventually find a couple with a very outrageous story. It might well be that everything Mike said about his girlfriend Joanna is true. Or it might well be that they embellished and exaggerated in order to win the prize, and The Stag Company were happy enough for this to happen as it gives them a better story to sell to the Daily Mail.

It’s not easy to check the veracity of Mike Jeffries’ story, remotely. His job as a football coach checks out, for example. However, I did find that Joanna Felicitas – described in the story as his controlling girlfriend – has form for winning competitions, apparently having won a competition from Splash FM in 2011 to go to Barbados:

My guess would be that Mike is not quite so extremely under the thumb as he’s made out to be, but that he and Joanna are canny enough to spot a way to win a competition when they see one – and good luck to them if that’s the case. 

Whether the stories Mark and Joanna tell are all true, or are exaggerated to win a competition, what’s undoubtedly true is that the whole competition – and the article in the Daily Mail – exists only to let you know that if you’re looking for a stripper-laden stag do, there’s a company who can do that for you.