I was really proud of our Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone for speaking out against the X Factor's decision to show some fairly sexually explicit performances from Rihanna and Christina Aguilera when they knew perfectly well that young children would be watching. Her remarks were quite balanced:
‘It was a bit much because so many young kids – seven and eight-year-olds – watch it.’She's not saying that nobody should watch it, just that it should not be on a family show.
I was interested in the comments of psychologist Dr Linda Papadopoulos in the same show:
'What is happening is that sex seems to have become the most important thing. Christina Aguilera and Rihanna are very talented singers and yet the whole performance is not about skill, it is about being sexy.
‘Children are being bombarded with the message that being sexy and being sexual is the way to be appreciated or to be validated. This is a terrible message to be sending out.’I wrote last year about my concerns about strippers appearing on Britain's Got Talent. I don't mind what adults watch, but programmes broadcast in the early evening, with a family audience, should not contain such explicit material. It does no favours to either our young boys or girls to give out the message that women are there to be sexual playthings for the entertainment of men.
Lynne argued earlier this year against Made in Dagenham, a film about the fight for equal pay, being given a 15 certificate because of a few incidences of the word that rhymes with duck. Why am I not surprised that Burlesque, a film about a young girl going to LA and working in a Burlesque club, gets a 12A? Why should you need to wait till you're 15 to see a film about women fighting for equality while a film which is much more disrespectful to women gets a 12?