I know that I can usually be trusted to watch every reality show known to man, but I've never quite got Britain's Got Talent. My daughter loves it, though, especially the acts that, predictably, involve cute animals.
What I wasn't prepared for in last night's opening show of the new series was the final act they showed. Effectively, the woman gyrating on the stage in red stockings, suspenders and basque with strategically placed Union Jacks round her bum and bosom was a stripper. For all that people use the term "burlesque" to make this sort of activity sound exotic, in the end of the say, it still represents a massive disrespect to women.
I want my daughter to grow up with an idea that there are no barriers to what she can achieve based on her gender. It makes it all the more difficult if her future male partners or employers are being raised on the idea that women are merely there to be men's sexual playthings.
I am halfway through watching a series channel 4 did last week on the effects of pornography on secondary school students' perception of sex. It's very, very scary stuff although it wouldn't take a rocket scientist to work out the effects of the almost universal access to porn on the internet.
Predictably, girls felt pressure to have come up to the image and behaviour of female porn stars. Given that the entire porn industry pretty much is targetted at straight men, then a whole generation of boys is being taught that women are there to perform a subjugated rather than an equal role in a sexual relationship.
Not only that, but the boys who are watching porn will presumably go to work one day. How are they going to respect their female colleagues as equals if they have been brought up to see them as subservient architects of their sexual gratification?
When I was a student, and first got interested in these issues, porn was limited to some dodgy under the counter videos and top shelf magazines and to get anything really explicit you had to go to a sex shop. Now, for most of our kids, it's a few clicks away.
The inclusion of these acts in a family entertainment show brings the seedy world of the lapdancing club into our living rooms. I leave you with some thoughts on why that is not a good idea. If you haven't got time to look at those links, then the edited version is that reports of rape in the vicinity of lapdancing clubs are up by a third and of indecent assault are up by over 50%.