The practice is called wigging: stuntmen don wigs and women’s clothing to resemble female actors while filming risky action scenes.

Camera angles, special effects and editing preserve the illusion that it is a pulchritudinous star leaping off a building or driving through a window rather than a man in drag.

Audiences may not know or care but stuntwomen do because it means less work for them.

One is now mounting what is believed to be the first legal challenge to wigging. Deven MacNair, a Los Angeles-based stunt performer, is planning to sue a production company and Hollywood’s acting union over a male colleague performing a stunt in drag instead of giving the job to a stuntwoman.

“The practice is so common,” she told the Guardian on Wednesday. “It’s historical sexism – this is how it’s been done since the beginning of time.”

The answer is to insist that the act of donning a wig makes one a woman. For in this modern age there is no other definition is there, just the claim?

Doesn’t this just kill an argument

But to hear Linda Bellos, the veteran feminist campaigner, arguing on the radio this week against allowing trans candidates to join Labour’s all-women shortlists because she didn’t feel a trans woman could “represent me” was as depressing as reading Bergdorf’s tweet. There are men in parliament now, never mind trans politicians, who represent my feelings about stamping out sexual harassment at Westminster better than older women insisting that a hand on the knee doesn’t matter.

Thus dies the line that it matters more who represents rather than what they represent. The race, gender, orientation, of our representatives doesn’t matter, only their policies.

Well, OK, I’m fine with that myself. But it does rather kill about 90% of today’s left wing politics, doesn’t it?

No Zoe, that’s actually the important question

That is the hot-button pay-gap question of the day – do women choose low-paid sectors because they are more naturally suited to them? Or is this all a gender construct, with the patriarchy putting centuries of graft into persuading one sex that they are hardwired to do the stuff the other sex doesn’t like the look of? Always happy to wade into a fight about gender essentialism, I sometimes forget to reject the premise. It doesn’t matter why women go into female-dominated sectors. The only question that matters is why women’s work is less well-paid.

Elsewhere on the Uber gender earnings gap

None of that is external discrimination by customers or the employer in any manner. Yet there’s still that 7 percent gap in earnings, which gives us two important points in that ongoing conversation about gender equity.

If in the entire absence of any form of discrimination we’re seeing a gender earnings gap, then we cannot go around shouting that the existence of a gender earnings gap is due to discrimination. Which rather explodes the rhetoric of that 77-cent gap.

But much more importantly, we’ve got to decide what we’d like to do about this.

Or, as we might put it, men are paid exactly the same as women, men earn more than women.


Wibble, wibble, wibble

Love Island finalist Olivia Attwood has shed light on the alleged Love Island gender pay gap, revealing that female stars were reportedly offered less than their male counterparts for the same work after leaving the show.

The women and men who participated in the reality television show, in which single contestants are sent to an island and instructed to couple up and find love, were given a variety of employment opportunities with outside companies after the programme ended.

Although ITV offers an equal prize for winning the show, regardless of gender, stars have allegedly found that other companies they have worked with offered women less money.

The jobs on offer included nightclub appearances, paid sponsorships on social media, media appearances and partnerships with brands.

Ms Attwood claimed that women were offered less money for these roles than the men who participated in the reality television show.

Different slebs are worth different amounts for sleb appearances.

Shock, Horror.

Kerry Katona will turn up to the opening of an envelope, Daniel Craig will not, their prices are different. Ho hum.

This is most odd about feminism

Margaret Atwood: Equalising wealth is a key piece of the puzzle

It would appear that Ms. Atwood doesn’t know that wealth is unequally spread – women have more of it*. All those widows…..

* So I recall, at least.

Lola Okolosie: Free childcare is essential for equality

Why? Takes two to tango, why shouldn’t both who tangoed cover the costs of having done so?

Polly Toynbee: Gender equality will take generations
How long will it take to de-objectify women?

About when humans aren’t humans then.

No, this does not mean that women are only objects. But to demand that they never are is to deny the basics of human sexuality – for both men and women.

Athene Donald: Automation may disrupt gender roles

I think automation will cause quite a disruption in terms of work and gender roles, but this is a real unknown. People can speculate all they like but we are humans and don’t necessarily behave as the rational actors that economists describe.

Idiocy. We can look at what automation has done to gender roles. It will be as it was isn’t a bad rule of thumb really – and this past couple of hundred years has changed gender roles rather considerably, hasn’t it?

Julie Bindel: Working-class feminists will rise

There will be an uprising of those the labour movement has forgotten. Hair-splitting, divisive “identity politics” based on individual “rights” will be replaced with a revolutionary movement based on a recognition of structural inequalities and new ways to end oppression.

Ah, yes, the revolution.

Don’t believe these numbers at all

A survey into the effects of period poverty in Scotland has revealed the desperate lengths women go to, including resorting to using old clothes or newspapers, when they cannot afford sanitary protection.

Research by the grassroots group Women for Independence, which will be released in full next month, reveals nearly one in five women have experienced period poverty – when females struggle to pay for basic sanitary products on a monthly basis, which has a significant impact on their hygiene, health and wellbeing.

20%? Can’t find a couple of quid a month? Not a number I believe.

She said: “It takes me right back to my own experiences as a teenage girl. My parents were addicts, so they were in and out of mental institutions and prison. As the eldest of five, I was carer for my siblings. There was never any money, so I used what we had at home: socks, toilet roll. You do what you can, washing more regularly.

Not really a money problem, eh?

Pretty women no longer allowed near penis extensions

Former grid girls have had their say on the controversial decision to ban them from Formula One

One of the interesting responses being:

However, famous former grid girl Melinda Messenger, 46, said that while she ‘personally had a great time’ and ‘made good money’, she did back the ban and saw it as a sign that the sport was ‘heading in a positive direction’.

To translate: I was able to trade my youth and seeming fertility into cash. Now that both have faded my competition should not be allowed to do so.

Jail might be merited here, don’t you think?

A woman who accused BT engineer of raping her claimed she sent text messages threatening to ‘ruin his life’ out of ‘anger’.

Other messages the women sent to 19-year-old Connor Fitzgerald read: ‘If I can’t have you, no-one can.’

The allegations meant the teenager spent three months on remand at HMP High Down in Banstead, Surrey.

Mr Fitzgerald, who lost his job as a BT engineer in south London, was only exonerated after the family handed prosecutors vital texts that helped to clear him.

Now, his accuser has admitted sending the texts to ‘ruin’ him.

‘I said I wanted to ‘ruin his life’ in anger because I couldn’t believe after being with me that he’d move on so quickly with someone else,’ she told the Sun Online.

False allegations should carry at least the punishment that he suffered, no?

And a legal question. If she’s charged – say with perversion of the course – then she loses that anonymity, doesn’t she? Or does she? My point being that men she might meet in the future have an interest in knowing that treating her in a less than gentlemanly manner might lead to three months in chokey. But we’re not going to get that anonymity as a basic rule dropped.

But, if charging with perversion causes the anonymity to fail already, then simply charging all false claims with perversion leads us to a useful end point – the abolition of anonymity for those who make such false claims. Well, to the extent that a claim of a false claim is true…..

So, here’s a good reporter then

Sarah Montague, the BBC Radio 4 Today presenter, has attacked the corporation’s gender pay report and said its findings are “very hard to believe”.

Montague said she was “gobsmacked” by the claim that the gender pay gap for presenters and journalists is only 6.8 per cent, well below the national average.

Montague, who has remained largely silent on the issue since the pay disclosures in July, said: “There is a problem. I was gobsmacked when I saw the suggestion from PwC that in the on-air presenting group [the pay gap] was only 6.8 per cent.

“I find that very hard to believe. I’d love to know who was in the group, who they were looking at, who was excluded and how they did the metrics of it. I’d just love to know that.”

Why not try reading the report?

Jessica Valenti’s latest demand

We’re told romance wouldn’t survive if men couldn’t pursue women who said “no” the first time,

She doesn’t even bother to think, does she?

So, if the only women you’re ever going to have sex with are those who say yes at the first time of asking that’s going to make dating damn cheap, isn’t it?

The scene. A bar. Man and woman, have just met, standing at bar.

Male: “Fancy a shag?”

Female: “No.”

Male: “Well, that’s saved my buying you an evening, or three, of booze, hasn’t it?”

Alternative reading of the scene:

The scene. A bar. Man and woman, have just met, standing at bar.

Male: “Fancy a shag?”

Female: “Yes.”

Male: “Well, that’s saved my buying you an evening, or three, of booze, hasn’t it?”

Female logic, eh?

“I do not want any more money, that is not what it’s about,” she added.

“This will not resolve my problem. My problem will be resolved by an acknowledgment that my work was of equal value to the men I served alongside as an international editor.

“An apology would be nice.”

Gracie said she had no desire to “get into a fight” with male colleagues who were paid more than her.

“One of the things that’s made me sad is the tendency for this to turn into a comparison between me and the North America editor, and me and the Middle East editor,” she told MPs.

Your entire case rests upon such a comparison. You insist that you should get equal pay for the same work. So, how can we know if it’s equal work or not unless we compare?

What should 21 st century feminism produce?

Juliet Jacques
Writer and critic

It’s hard for me to single out any issue when gender-based oppression remains so rife, but I feel that feminism, socialism, anti-racism and LGBTQI movements should be inseparable, and that any struggles for equality must proceed on that basis.


We’ll be gender equal when socialism makes us all poor?

Really most unaware. The most remarkable thing about this capitalist free marketry being quite how pro-women it is. No other socio-economic system has ever managed to tame the terrors of childbirth, deliver control of fertility, near abolish heavy domestic labour, free women from being mere economic appurtenances of their menfolk….

Isn’t Zoe ignorant?

The answers are generally found at the level of the individual – a bit more philanthropy from the rich, a bit more aspiration from the poor, chuck in some technological innovation (could we build an app to tell Bangladeshi fishermen where the fish have moved since the typhoon? Let’s get on it, folks! Iterate!) and the task is in hand.

Silly girl. We’ve already done that, it’s the mobile phone.

Seriously, the Ur study of how mobiles create wealth is sardine fishermen off Kerala.


So, this equality of wages lark then

The BBC is under pressure to cut the salaries of “untouchable” male stars including Chris Evans and Gary Lineker, ahead of a report into the on-screen gender pay gap.

Women at the corporation questioned why the the pair are maintained on such exorbitant salaries – £1.75m for Lineker and at least £2.2 million for Evans.

The BBC claims that it cannot cut the pay of entertainment and sports personalities as it has done for news presenters, because there is too much competition from Netflix, Amazon and BT.

It appears that it is about cutting good salaries in order to be equal then.

Arriving soon on platform 9 3/4 is the insistence that Third World poverty will be solved by lower wages for bankers.

A slightly odd question about sexism

How much more shock do we have the energy to articulate? How many more times do we need to become enraged at the status quo before something changes? The Financial Times’ scoop on the behaviour of senior city figures at the Presidents Club gala charity dinner has unleashed new fury about the institutionalised acceptance of harassment of women. But what is particularly depressing about this exposé is that it simply captures in slightly sharper focus a reality with which we should all be very familiar.

So, let us accept, arguendo, that men are indeed sexist pigs.

Wouldn’t we prefer that they do this in private, by invitation only, rather than in the streets where they might frighten the horses?

The alternative apparently being that men must not be men.


Barmy old bat but sensible with it

If you spread your legs because he said ‘be nice to me and I’ll give you a job in a movie’ then I’m afraid that’s tantamount to consent, and it’s too late now to start whingeing about that,” said the feminist writer.

However, she also said this doesn’t excuse the behaviour of predatory men like Harvey Weinstein.

Quite, there is a dividing line there, isn’t there?