Feminists Against Censorship

Fighting Censorship in the UK since 1989.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Compensation for Big Brother Contestant

It has been reported that Lesley Sanderson, a contestant from the 2005 series of Big Brother, has received a payout because of a false claim in the Sunday Sport that she had a threesome. Her advocate told the judge that the story caused her "huge distress, humiliation and embarrassment" and that "she found it horrific and extremely upsetting, especially knowing that it would be read by her friends and family. She still finds it difficult to go out socially knowing that people have read the false claims about her."

While I appreciate that Sanderson would want to put the untrue story straight and seek compensation from the paper for printing it, I would also say it's rather sad that we still live in an age where the suggestion that a woman has had a threesome is something that can cause "huge distress, humiliation and embarrassment." The story seems to indicate that, even in 2006, we women are subjected to the same scrutiny as we ever were. We are free to bare our breasts or proudly and publicly refer to their size (as Sanderson frequently did during the show) but enjoying sex with more than one man at a time would be somehow shameful.

It seems that, yet again, the ominipresent Conservative critique wins the day. We might not be expected to play "virgins" anymore, but we're still under pressure to defend our precious reputations by not being seen to do anything that could lead to us being branded as "whores".

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