The Council of Europe is an organisation which aims to uphold human rights across Europe (beyond the EU and reaching as far as Russia). The European Court of Human Rights was established under the auspices of the Council of Europe.
The Council has recently been considering the issue of sexism being everywhere and has penned a long list of recommendations that are taken straight out of the uncompromising language of extreme feminism. The council explains in a press release:
New Council of Europe action against sexism
In March 2019, the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers adopted a new Recommendation on Preventing and Combating Sexism. Not only does this text contain the first ever internationally agreed definition of sexism, but it also proposes a set of
concrete measures to combat this wide-spread phenomenon.
Sexism is present in all areas of life. From catcalls on the street, to women being ignored during work meetings, to boys being bombarded with aggressive role-models in video games. It is also there when comments are made about politicians on the
length of their skirts rather than their latest parliamentary report. When sexist behaviour accumulates, it can lead to an acceptance of discrimination and even violence.
Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland said that No-one should be discriminated against because of their sex. This is a basic principle which we are still far from respecting in practice. Through efforts to prevent and combat sexist behaviour, the
Council of Europe wants to help ensure a level playing field for women and men, boys and girls.
Sexism is harmful and lies at the root of gender inequality. It produces feelings of worthlessness, self-censorship, changes in behaviour, and a deterioration in health. Sexism affects women and girls disproportionately. Some groups of women,
such as politicians, journalists, women's human rights defenders, or young women, may be particularly vulnerable to acts of sexism. But it can also affect men and boys, when they don't conform to stereotyped gender roles. Moreover, the impact of
sexism can be worse for some women and men due to ethnicity, age, disability, social origin, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation or other factors.
To address these issues and encourage the full implementation of the Recommendation, the Council of Europe has just launched a video and action page under the hashtag #stopsexism and the slogan See it. Name it. Stop it. The aim is to help the
wider public identify acts of sexism and take a stand against them.
The Music Marathon is a music programme on Gold which is broadcast on AM radio in Manchester, London, Derby and Nottingham and nationally on DAB. The licences for these services are held by Global Radio Limited.
Ofcom received a complaint about offensive language (“yellow Chinkies”) in the music track Melting Pot, a song from 1969 by Blue Mink . No introduction to the track was broadcast, or any other content discussing it. The track
included the following lyrics:
“Take a pinch of white man,
Wrap him up in black skin,
Add a touch of blue blood,
And a little bitty bit of Red Indian boy.
Oh, Curly Latin kinkies,
Mixed with yellow Chinkies,
If you lump it all together
And you got a recipe for a get along scene;
Oh what a beautiful dream
If it could only come true, you know, you know.
What we need is a great big melting pot,
Big enough to take the world and all it’s got
And keep it stirring for a hundred years or more
And turn out coffee-coloured people by the score”.
We considered that references in the lyrics (including “yellow Chinkies”, “Red Indian boy”, “curly Latin kinkies” and “coffee-coloured people”) raised potential issues under Rule 2.3 of the Code:
Rule 2.3: “In applying generally accepted standards broadcasters must ensure that material which may cause offence is justified by the context...Such material may include, but is not limited to, offensive language…discriminatory treatment or
language (for example on the grounds of…race…) Appropriate information should also be broadcast where it would assist in avoiding or minimising offence”.
Global Radio said that it understood some of the lyrics in this song had the potential to cause offence but said that the other lyrics and the context of the time it was written and released mitigated the potential for offence. It said that the
offensive language was not intended to be used in a derogatory fashion in the song. It said that the term yellow Chinkies was not used as an insulting term directed at a person of Chinese origin. The Licensee said that it is clear from the
lyrics of the song that the message of the song is racial harmony, inclusivity and equality
The Licensee said that following the complaint notification from Ofcom, it had permanently removed the track from Gold's playlist.
Ofcom decision: Resolved
We considered that the use of the term yellow was a derogatory reference to the skin colour of Chinese people. We therefore considered that the phrase yellow Chinkies had the potential to be highly offensive.
Ofcom's research does not provide direct evidence for the offensiveness of the terms Red Indian boy , curly Latin kinkies and coffee-coloured people . However, Ofcom considered that Red Indian is generally understood
to be a pejorative term in modern speech and is frequently replaced with Native American . Although the terms curly Latin kinkies and coffee-coloured people are not widely understood to be racial slurs in modern society,
unlike the terms Chinky and Red Indian , we considered that they had the potential to cause offence because they could also be considered derogatory references to particular ethnic groups.
In our view, the potential offence caused by these lyrics may have been heightened by the cumulative effect of the repeated use of this language during the verse and chorus
In considering the context of the broadcast, Ofcom took into account that Melting Pot was released in 1969 by Blue Mink, and reached number three in the UK Singles chart and number 11 in Ireland in 1970. We considered that, although this song was
popular at the time, the passage of time (nearly 40 years) may have not made it sufficiently well-known today to mitigate the potential for offence.
Ofcom also considered Global's argument that any offence was mitigated in this case by the positive intention of the song, which was a message of racial harmony.
We did not agree that this provided sufficient context to mitigate the potential for offence. The title Melting Pot, which may have provided an indication of the track's overall message, was not broadcast, nor was the song introduced with any
contextual information that would have highlighted its overall message to listeners. There was also no other context provided to justify the broadcast of the offensive language.
For all of the reasons above, Ofcom's Decision is that this potentially offensive material was not justified by the context.
However, we took into account the steps taken by the Licensee following notification of the complaint from Ofcom. We acknowledged that it said it had removed the track permanently from Gold's playlist.
Our Decision therefore, is that this case is resolved.
Content from previous decades can be broadcast under the Code. However generally accepted standards clearly change significantly over time, and audience expectations of older content may not be sufficient to justify its broadcast. Where older
material contains content, such as language, which has the potential to cause offence to today's audiences, broadcasters should consider carefully how to provide sufficient context to comply with Rule 2.3 of the Code.
Update: Please leave it alone. I just think it's ridiculous
Sixties band Blue Mink has blasted a radio station's decision to drop their racial harmony promoting song Melting Pot from its playlist.
TV censor Ofcom made a politically correct decision to ban the song after one listener complained about the lyrics when the song was played on Gold.
African-American lead singer Madeline Bell said:
It took years to suddenly decide in this politically correct time that we live in that it was an offensive and racist record. We're worrying about the lyrics of a protest song about making coffee-coloured people. The song is 50 years old.
Please leave it alone. I just think it's ridiculous.
Bell, ho performs Blue Mink songs as part of her solo routine, has vowed to continue performing Melting Pot.
What's the difference between a child throwing a tantrum and religious groups asking for a ban on something that hurt religious sentiments? Absolutely nothing, except maybe the child can be cajoled into understanding that they might be wrong. Try
doing that with the religious group and you'll be facing trolls, bans, and rape, death or beheading threats. Thankfully, when it comes to the recent call for banning the streaming platform Netflix, those demanding it have taken recourse to the
law and filed a police complaint.
Their concern? According to Shiv Sena committee member Ramesh Solanki, who filed the complaint, Netflix original shows are promoting anti-Hindu propaganda. The shows in question include Sacred Games 2 (a Hindu godman encouraging
terrorism), Leila (depicts a dystopian society divided on the basis of caste) and comedian Hasan Minhaj's Patriot Act (claims how the Lok Sabha elections 2019 disenfranchised minorities).
The collected edition of Avengers: The Children's Crusade has been banned from a Brazilian book festival for featuring a kiss between two male characters.
In an unexpected move, Rio de Janeiro mayor Marcelo Crivella has announced that the translated edition of the Marvel comic book series Avengers: The Children's Crusade would be removed from the literary festival Riocentro Bienal do Livro so as to
protect the city's children from what he described as sexual content for minors.
The so-called sexual content in question is an on-panel kiss between two fully clothed male characters, Wiccan and Hulkling, who are in committed relationship.
Officials at the festival initially refused to comply with the order, although the matter was complicated by the fact that the majority of outlets didn't have the material in stock in the first place, with the one storefront that did reporting
that copies had already sold out two days earlier.
An ad for PETA displayed on the side of buses, seen in February 2019, included the text Don't let them pull the wool over your eyes. Wool is just as cruel as fur. GO WOOL-FREE THIS WINTER PeTA. Beside the text was an image of a woman with the
neck of her jumper pulled over her face.
Ten complainants, who believed that sheep needed to be shorn for health reasons and therefore wool should not be compared to fur, challenged whether the claim wool is just as cruel as fur was misleading and could be substantiated.
ASA Assessment: Complaints upheld
The ASA considered that the general public were aware that in the fur industry animals were often kept in poor conditions and were killed for their fur, and that they would interpret the ad's reference to cruelty in that context. We considered
that people who saw the ad would therefore understand the claim wool is just as cruel as fur to refer generally to the conditions in which sheep were kept and the effects on sheep of the methods used to obtain their wool. We considered that
although the public would recognise the ad was from an animal rights organisation and as such that the claim would represent its views, it was presented as a factual claim and a direct comparison between the two industries.
In terms of wool production in the UK, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Code of Recommendations for the welfare of livestock had specific guidelines on the shearing process to ensure they were adhering to the standards of
animal welfare which was required by law. Those guidelines stated that every mature sheep should have its fleece removed at least once a year by experienced and competent trained shearers who should take care in ensuring that the sheep's skin was
not cut. We considered that demonstrated that the main method of obtaining wool from sheep by shearing would not be regarded by consumers as being cruel.
The Code of Recommendations and additional guidance also included specific provisions for the health, treatment, transportation and living conditions that sheep should be kept in for the overall benefit of their welfare. We considered this
demonstrated that in the UK, there were standards to prevent cruelty to sheep.
We considered people who saw the ad would interpret the claim wool is just as cruel as fur as equating the conditions in which sheep were kept and the methods by which wool was obtained with the conditions and methods used in the fur industry.
However, sheep were not killed for their wool as animals were in the fur industry and there were standards in place relating to their general welfare including relating to the shearing process. We therefore concluded on that basis that the claim
was misleading and in breach of the Code.
The ad must not appear in its current form. We told PETA not to use the claim wool is just as cruel as fur in future.
A Catholic school in Nashville, Tennessee has banned the Harry Potter series because a reverend at the school claims the books include both good and evil magic, as well as spells, which, if read by a human can conjure evil spirits, according
to the Tennessean.
The publication obtained an email from Rev. Dan Reehil, a pastor at Saint Edwards Catholic School parish, which was sent to parents. In the email, Reehil explains in the email that he has consulted several exorcists in the U.S. and Rome, and it
was recommended that the school remove the books, the Tennessean reports.