Showing relationships just as they are in everyday life

Emma Watson
Emma Watson
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Whoever would have thought that Disney films would be accused of promoting sexual perversion?

That’s the very last accusation which would normally spring to mind when you think of the studio’s films. Mind-numbing, cheesy, over-the-top maybe – but promoting ‘sexual deviancy’?

It seems that the new version of Beauty And The Beast is being called out in Russia for spreading sin.

What could that be? Well, with the title you can imagine all sorts, but actually it’s nothing so wild. It’s a gay relationship, between two men. Seemingly this is Disney’s first gay character and what a storm that’s causing.

It does make me laugh though, as my daughters have recently introduced me to a show called Teen Wolf. This is the modern version of that hairy beast which was Michael J Fox. And what a show the updated version is. Let me tell you, it is exceptionally easy on the eye.

Yes, it’s the standard teen fodder of supernatural goings-on, clever one-liners, students who’ve swallowed thesauruses and lived to tell the tale at high speed with no stumbling, showing detailed clarity of thought sequences, self-possession and general feel-goodery and not a zit in sight.

It’s got the mean authority figures and enough darkness to satisfy all. And while we have the heroines running around in ridiculously high heels (come on, you live in a city with werewolves and yet you still don’t buy footwear which could save your life?) the heroes are in the habit of stripping off at every opportunity to regale us with their muscular physiques.

Okay, so every now and then (particularly at full moon) they turn super beardy, have strange ears, glowing eyes and could definitely use a nailbrush. But most of the time they’re looking hot.

What is more interesting than the boy buffet, though, is the treatment of the gay characters. The show treats gay relationships exactly as it treats the straight ones. No-one bats an eyelid.

Is that promoting ‘sexual deviancy’, or showing relationships for what they are – the joining of two beings who find each other attractive physically, mentally and emotionally? Go Teen Wolf, go Beauty and the Beast.

WHY IS FEMINISM SUCH A HARD CONCEPT TO UNDERSTAND?

Actress Emma Watson has come under fire for a photoshoot she has done for the cover of Vanity Fair.

Once again the trolls are shouting loudly about control – whether a woman is allowed to be a feminist and also to show part of her breasts in a magazine.

Why is it that the challenge of feminism is still spoken about like this, picked over in terms of body parts?

To me, feminism is about equality. Emma Watson speaks up for equality of the sexes – and she does it brilliantly.

I don’t understand how this is such a hard concept for people to understand.

Why can’t we leave people be, in control of their own opinions and their own bodies, without having to disparage and accuse and try to take them down?

IT’S REMINDED ME THAT I DON’T FIND ENOUGH TIME TO READ

It’s almost a week after World Book Day and it’s time to reflect on what it meant for us.

For some World Book Day is frankly a bit of a chore, trying to come up with something creative to dress the offspring in (muggles are a staple factor in senior schools, what would we do without Harry Potter?).

But for others it’s a glorious celebration of all things reading.

I spent World Book Day visiting a school on the Isle of Wight, talking about books and writing.

But it has reminded me how little I find time to read these days, and how I need to take more opportunity to do so.

It’s also reminded me of how much I love the island, and the ‘back in time’ feel of life there.