BBC – Culture – The surprising history of the word ‘dude’
Which came first, the chicken or the Fabergé egg – the world itself, or the artistic expressions we use to see and describe it? While it is always observed with surprise when reality appears to imitate art, in fact the world of painting, drawing, and sculpture is responsible for giving us a great deal of the language with which we understand and articulate our experience of being in the universe.
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Before anyone ever walked through a ‘landscape’, an artist painted one. The word itself was devised in the early 17th Century not to describe an actual out-of-doors expanse of inland terrain or a gardener’s manicuring of a natural scene. Rather, ‘landscape’ was created to denote a painterly illusion of such rural reality: the rendering in pigment on canvas of a 2D replica of hills and fields, rivers and trees – not the thing itself.
A quick glance back at the words we use every day to discuss our experience of the world reveals a hidden reliance on language hatched by art and artists. To dig deeper into the biographies of such ordinary words as ‘silhouette’, ‘panorama’ and ‘dude’ is to uncover surprising histories that change the way we understand and appreciate their resonance and ever-evolving meaning. What follows is a brief exploration of some of the more fascinating coinages of words that have long since eased their way from their artistic origins into casual conversation.
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To the modern ear, calling something ‘grotesque’ is just a swankier way of saying it’s grim and nasty. But this particular kind of ghastly nastiness has an intriguing cultural backstory – one that plunges us deep below ground and into the time-buried rooms of a long-lost palace. It’s thought that the word ‘grotesque’ likely owes its origin to weird wall designs that were rediscovered in Rome in the early 15th Century when a young boy fell through a fissure in the city’s Esquiline Hill.
The dark chamber into which the boy collapsed was a basement of the fabled first-Century Domus Aurea – an elaborate compound built by Emperor Nero after the great fire of 64 AD. Imagine the child’s shock when he found himself surrounded by an elaborate braid of arabesque patterns into which were woven a macabre menagerie of hybrid human-beasts. The space itself was labelled a ‘ grotto ’ (meaning ‘cave’) for the manner in which it was accessed by the many visitors it soon attracted (including Michelangelo and Raphael), who were variously lowered down by ropes or left to crawl inside. ‘Grotto’ in turn gave birth to ‘ grottesco ’ (or ‘resembling a grotto’). By stripping away its sense of shadowy mystery and retaining only its hint of hideousness, our modern usage of ‘grotesque’ has muted the word’s edgy magic.
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‘Silhouette’ isn’t so much a word one says as whispers. Like a compressed one-word poem, silhouette’s syllables respire with an easy elegance that seems utterly in harmony with the exquisite simplicity of the phenomenon for which it stands: the fleeting shadow of someone cast against a white wall. That is what it means, right? In fact, the word’s origin is rather less liltingly lyrical than you might guess. It was coined in the 18th Century as a kind of sarcastic dig against the economic policies of Louis XV’s Treasury Chief, Étienne de Silhouette.
In an effort to bring France’s swelling debts under control, Silhouette proposed taxing those who displayed signs of conspicuous wealth, such as the ownership of expensive works of art. Soon, anything that smacked of extreme frugality was said to be done ‘ à la Silhouette’ , including the production of cheap likenesses of sitters cut out from black paper instead of more elaborately painted portraits. It wasn’t long before the nickname ‘silhouette’ stuck, the music of the word long outliving the snippy circumstances of its coinage.
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‘Picturesque’ is the word we reach for to describe the allure of a charming vista or natural scene. Surely it is a word at furthest possible remove from the realm of propaganda? In fact, it has a rather sinister political past. Derived from the Italian word ‘ pittoresco ’, ‘picturesque’ was seized upon at the end of the 18th Century by upper-class British artists who had been inspired by the luminous Italian landscape paintings they’d encountered while visiting the great hubs of European culture on what became known as The Grand Tour.
But the ‘picturesque’ paintings that artists such as William Gilpin began to create differed strikingly from the wide-open and liberating vistas you find in paintings by such masters of ‘ pittoresco ’ style as Claude Lorrain or Salvator Rosa. The winding paths and meandering rivers that lead one’s eye from the shadowy foreground in a Claude painting, to the soul-soaring horizons in his sun-soaked distance, are suddenly shut down – the liberating journey of the eye is blocked.
Some cultural critics have suggested that proponents of the British picturesque may have been motivated by fear of political revolution spreading from France to England, and so sabotaged its power in order to keep the aspirations of observers of their work in check. No wonder the US transcendentalist Ralph Waldo Emerson, who believed in the ascent of spirit, once asserted: “ pictures must not be too picturesque ”.
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Say the word ‘panorama’ and the whole world opens up. Its sprightly syllables launch the imagination outward as far as the soul can see into a whirling and unbroken orbit of near omniscience. A ‘panorama’ implies a vertiginous ascent and visual spin that places each one of us at the very centre of all we survey. How strange then, to discover that the word itself was in fact coined to describe an entirely indoor, cloistered and windowless experience.
The word was introduced around 1789, the year the Bastille prison fell, by the artist Robert Barker to describe a contraption for which he’d sought a patent two years earlier. The invention, modestly described in the application as ‘Apparatus for Exhibiting Pictures’, involved enveloping an observer in an enclosed, circular chamber, or rotunda, whose cylindrical walls were covered with a seamless and all-encompassing depiction of an encircling vista. A popular panorama that Barker installed in London’s Leicester Square attracted visitors for 70 years, from 1793 to 1863. The first panoramas weren’t panoramic at all, but pretty prisons.
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These days, anything that’s out of the ordinary is called ‘surreal’. A writer for the Washington Post this month described the trend of scriptwriters suing their own agents as a “surreal turn”. The next day, a journalist for the Hollywood Reporter characterised the press conference that the US Attorney General held before releasing the long-awaited report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election as a “surreal TV presser”. It wasn’t always so. The French intellectual who coined the word ‘surreal’ a century ago had rather higher hopes for his linguistic invention.
Rather than a derogatory synonym for ‘preposterous’, ‘surreal’ was intended to signify our secret access to universal truths
Writing in a letter dated March 1917, the playwright and art critic Guillaume Apollinaire attempted to capture the essence of a new ballet by Erik Satie and Jean Cocteau. “All things considered”, Apollinaire said of the production of Parade, in which performers pranced around in bizarre, boxy costumes designed by the pioneering Cubist painter Pablo Picasso, “I think in fact it is better to adopt surrealism than supernaturalism, which I first used.”
Apollinaire would promote his minting of the word ‘surrealism’ (by which he hoped to capture the ballet’s ‘visionary’ quality) by enshrining it in the programme notes, which he was invited to write. Now floating in the air of avant-garde Paris, the term was eventually picked up by artists (such as Salvador Dalí and René Magritte) fascinated by the power of the unconscious mind to produce images, symbols, and statements that supersede the realities of ordinary reason and experience. Rather than a derogatory synonym for ‘preposterous’, ‘surreal’ was intended to signify our secret access to universal truths.
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Few words are as mobile in their meaning as ‘mobile’. Handy shorthand today for ‘mobile telephone’, the word was also an abbreviation in the 17th Century for the insulting phrase ‘ mobile vulgus’ , used condescendingly to describe the hoi polloi. Eventually ‘mobile’, as a stand-in for riffraff and rabble, was compressed further still to the slur we still use today: ‘mob’.
In 1931, the US sculptor Alexander Calder and the French avant-garde pioneer Marcel Duchamp added another twist to the word’s meaning. Not knowing what to call his new kinetic works, comprised of abstract shapes bobbing with perfect balance from string and wires, Calder asked Duchamp for his advice. Duchamp, who’d already shocked the world 14 years earlier by declaring a urinal a work of art, did what Duchamp did best, and re-appropriated a readymade construction by giving it a new spin. Voila : ‘mobile’.
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Before there was ‘bro’, there was ‘dude’: that informal address that slaps you on the back with one hand, gives you a White Russian with the other, and says, ‘hey, I woke up at noon too, man’. For the past 20 years, Jeff Bridge’s portrayal of The Dude in the Coen Brothers’ film The Big Lebowski (1998) has epitomised the seductive spirit of dudeness. Dishevelled, stoned and disorientated, The Dude’s laid-back attitude is difficult to square with the artsy origin of the word itself, which seems to have entered popular discourse in the early 1880s as shorthand for foppishly turned-out male followers of the Aesthetic Movement – a short-lived artistic vogue that championed superficial fashion and decadent beauty (‘art for art’s sake’) and was associated with ostentatiously-attired artists such as James McNeill Whistler and Dante Gabriel Rossetti.
It’s thought that ‘dude’ is an abbreviation of ‘Doodle’ in ‘Yankee Doodle’, and probably refers to the new-fangled ‘dandy’ that the song describes. Originally sung in the late 18th Century by British soldiers keen to lampoon the American colonists with whom they were at war, the ditty, by the end of the 19th Century, had been embraced in the US as a patriotic anthem.
By then, an indigenous species of fastidiously over-styled popinjays had emerged in America to rival the British dandy, and it is to this new breed of primly dressed aesthetes that the term ‘dude’ was attached. Over time, the silk cravats and tapered trousers, varnished shoes and stripy vests worn by such proponents of the trend as Evander Berry Wall (the New York City socialite who was dubbed ‘King of the Dudes’) would be stripped away, leaving little more than a countercultural attitude to define what it means to be a Dude (or an El Duderino , if you’re not into the whole brevity thing).
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Trump pledges billions in new Florida disaster relief funding – NBCNews.com
WASHINGTON — Speaking at a campaign rally in Panama City Beach on Wednesday night, announced plans to deliver $448 million in new disaster relief funding to the Florida Panhandle and blamed Democrats for stalling relief efforts in the seven months since Hurricane Michael devastated the area. “Tonight I am pleased to announce that my administration will be allocating $448 million in HUD disaster funds,” Trump said speaking to the crowd in an outdoor amphitheater in one of the areas hit hardest by last October’s hurricane. “We’ve already given you billions of dollars, and there’s a lot more coming.”
Funding deals to address the damage caused by Hurricane Michael have stalled amid disagreement on whether to include a relief package for Puerto Rico, which is still struggling to recover from Hurricane Maria in 2017.
Trump takes aim at 2020 candidates: Crazy Bernie, Sleepy Joe May 9, 2019 02:39 “So now we need Democrats in Congress to work with us to pass an acceptable bill,” Trump said. “You’re getting your money one way or another, and we’re not going to let anybody hold it up.”
“I am doing the most allowed by law to support the people of Florida,” he added. “The money is coming immediately. No games, no gimmicks. We’re just doing it.”
Although Republicans signaled this week that they are open to including Puerto Rico in a multibillion-dollar disaster aid package, Trump again reiterated his opposition to providing more support to the U.S. territory.
“That’s Puerto Rico. They don’t like me,” Trump said, holding up a piece of paper that appeared to depict a chart representing the amount of aid given to Puerto Rico compared to other areas affected by natural disasters, lamenting that too much had already been allocated to them. “They complained they want more money,” he added.
Before arriving at the amphitheater, Trump toured areas still recovering from the hurricane, including the Tyndall Air Force Base, which was severely damaged during the storm.
“We are actually going to have many more people working at Tyndall than you had before the hurricane,” Trump promised rallygoers. “So be prepared.”
On a day when the House Judiciary Committee voted to recommend holding Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress and the president himself asserted executive privilege over special counsel Robert Mueller’s unredacted report, Trump largely — though not entirely — steered clear of spotlighting the recent escalation in his legal faceoffs with Democratic lawmakers .
“And now the Democrats — we have a great attorney general — now the Democrats are saying, ‘We want more,'” he said. “You know it was going to be like, ‘We want the Mueller report.’ Now they say, “Mueller report? We want to start all over again.'”
Trump was in friendly territory Wednesday night in Bay County, where he won 70 percent of the vote in 2016. He narrowly carried the state by just 1.2 percentage points, or roughly 113,000 votes.
Despite Trump’s promises Wednesday night to provide more disaster funding, he has recently taken heat from some Floridians for Washington’s slow response to the storm as thousands of people are still displaced from their homes and business remain shuttered heading into the summer tourism season.
The importance of Florida, which carries the third most electoral-college votes, behind California and Texas, was not lost on Trump on Wednesday night, as he quickly pivoted to his potential 2020 opponents.
“You got some real beauties,” Trump said of the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates. “You’ve got a choice between Sleepy Joe and Crazy Bernie.”
Trump also made fun of Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, mocking his last name and laughing at the idea of him representing the country on the global stage. He joked he wanted “to be in that room” watching Buttigieg negotiate with leaders like President Xi Jinping of China.
And he dismissed former Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas, who earlier this year hosted a counter-rally to the president’s El Paso campaign visit. “Boy, is he falling like a rock. What the hell happened to Beto?” Trump said.
“Pick somebody, and let’s start this thing,” he added.
Lauren Egan Lauren Egan reports for NBC News, based in Washington.
U.S. stock futures fall after Trump claims China ‘broke the deal’
U.S. stocks pulled well off the day’s lows Thursday but the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq finished lower for a fourth session as trade tensions ramped up after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened tariff retaliation on China, which he claims “broke the deal”.
However, some of the fears were assuaged after Trump disclosed that he’s received a missive from Chinese President Xi Jinping just hours before U.S. and Chinese officials were set to resume trade talks in Washington.
How did the benchmark indexes fare? The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.00% fell 138.97 points, or 0.5%, to end at 25,828.36 after falling by as much as 450 points earlier. The S&P 500 index SPX, -0.04% dropped 8.70 points, or 0.3%, to 2,870.72 and the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, -0.25% lost 32.73 points, or 0.4%, to 7,910.59.
What drove the market? Anxiety over the prospect of a deepening trade dispute between the U.S. and China has weighed on stock markets all week, after Trump voiced frustration over the pace of talks in a Sunday tweet. Those fears were compounded Wednesday evening when the president accused the Chinese of negotiating in bad faith and reneging on commitments made in previous rounds of negotiation.
In response, the White House has threatened to raise tariffs on $200 billion in annual Chinese exports to the U.S. to 25% from the current 10% at 12:01 Eastern Time Friday.
The rift has come amid accusations by the U.S. that China has been trying to back out of already agreed measures, prompting Trump to slap higher tariffs on the country. China has taken a tougher stance on negotiations because officials believed the U.S. was ready to compromise, based on recent actions and comments by Trump, The Wall Street Journal reported .
But Trump’s disclosure that he received a “beautiful letter” from Xi and his suggestion that there was scope for a deal helped to ease some of the pressure on the market as Beijing’s top trade envoys, including Vice Premier Liu He, arrived in Washington to resume negotiations.
What were analysts saying? Before Trump’s Sunday tweet, when greater tariffs were threatened, “our sources in Washington were anticipating a ‘weak’ deal with few genuine Chinese concessions,” wrote James Sweeney, chief economist for Credit Suisse, in a note to clients.
“Moreover, no large institutional investors were predicting — at least publicly — an imminent tariff increase,” he added. “While the tweet led to a selloff in China’s equity markets on Monday, the relatively muted market reaction in Europe and the U.S.A. suggests that a large tariff increase remains a tail risk rather than a base-case scenario.”
“Trade negotiating tactics are clearly being used by both the U.S. and China,” wrote Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda, in a research note. “Give-and-take was to be expected by both sides as we near an ultimate conclusion to a trade deal. Recent obstacles have seen the risk of a total collapse grow which means we could be finally nearing a deal.”
“While the base case remains for a deal to be reached, the timing is uncertain, but likely to occur by early June at the latest.” he added. “If we see a disastrous outcome this week, we could see a 10% correction with U.S. equities. A framework agreement is likely to see stocks attempt another run at making fresh record highs.”
What speakers and data were in focus? Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell discussed the “crucial” problems of stagnant middle-class incomes and economic mobility at the Fed’s community development research conference Thursday morning.
The number of people who applied for jobless benefits in the week ended May 4 fell slightly to 228,000, the Labor Department said Thursday, above the 218,000 expected by economists polled by MarketWatch.
U.S. wholesale prices rose 0.2% in April , below the 0.3% increase expected by economists, per a MarketWatch poll. The annual increase in producer prices remained flat at 2.2%.
The U.S. trade deficit widened in March versus February, but the bilateral deficit with China fell to the lowest level in three years, the Commerce Department said Thursday .
Wholesale inventories in the U.S. fell 0.1% in March , the Commerce Department said Thursday, versus consensus expectations of a 0.3% rise, according to FactSet.
Which stocks were in focus? Shares of Etsy Inc . ETSY, +1.99% sank 11% after the online marketplace reported first-quarter earnings Wednesday evening, with the company reporting profit and sales that grew more slowly that analysts had predicted.
Shares of Tapestry Inc . TPR, -2.62% rallied 8.5% after the parent company of Coach and Kate Spade brands reported fiscal third-quarter earnings that beat expectations and authorized a $1 billion stock repurchase program.
Shares of Perrigo Company PLC PRGO, -1.20% jumped 7% after the company announced a “self-care transformation plan” and long-term growth targets during an investor day held Thursday.
Shares of AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc . AMC, +0.40% skidded 7% after the cinema chain operator posted a wider-than-expected loss for the first quarter.
Shares of e.l.f Beauty Inc . ELF, -1.31% slumped 7.3% after the company reported a surprise loss on for the three-month period ended in March on Wednesday evening.
Shares of Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc. ARNA, +4.11% reversed direction to rise 3.5% after the drug company reported first-quarter earnings that disappointed Wall Street .
How were other markets trading? In Asia , trade tensions rattled markets, with the Hang Seng Index HSI, +0.84% down 2.4%, and the Shanghai Composite Index SHCOMP, +3.10% off 1.5%. The Stoxx Europe 600 SXXP, +0.32% fell 1.7%.
Gold GCM9, +0.23% settled higher , the U.S. dollar fell against the Japanese yen USDJPY, +0.09% perceived by investors as a haven investment, and crude oil prices CLM9, +0.05% the declined .
—Barbara Kollmeyer contributed to this report
May Ready To Delay Brexit To August As Talks With Labour Limp On
Australia Brasil Canada España France Ελλάδα (Greece) India Italia 日本 (Japan) 한국 (Korea) Maghreb Québec (en français) United Kingdom United States POLITICS 07/05/2019 21:37 BST | Updated 08/05/2019 08:57 BST May Ready To Delay Brexit To August As Talks With Labour Limp On Midsummer ‘slippage’ amid lack of cross-party breakthrough. By Paul Waugh Theresa May is ready to delay Brexit to August in yet another bid to buy time for a compromise deal with Labour.
In her latest attempt to break the deadlock, the prime minister has set the House of Commons’ summer recess as a new deadline for Parliament to sign off her EU-UK ‘divorce deal’.
Newly-elected MEPs would even be allowed to take their seats in Strasbourg, as long as MPs finally approve May’s plans by the time they head off for their break in late July.
Under the fallback plan, devised to give more time for talks with the opposition, the UK would finally quit the EU on August 1.
Both No.10 and the PM’s de facto deputy David Lidington floated the new idea of a mid-summer Exit Day as talks resumed in Whitehall between ministers and Jeremy Corbyn’s top team.
Labour’s shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey said that the Tories had failed once more to show any movement on a customs union.
Tory backbenchers, already furious with May over her failure to get Britain out of the EU by March 29, reacted with dismay as Lidington formally confirmed the UK would take part in European Parliament elections later this month.
May has missed not just the March 29 deadline but also a late April deadline to avoid holding the Euro elections.
No.10 had hoped that if a deal with Labour could be done by June 30, elected MEPs won’t have to take their seats.
But backbench anger was set to intensify as Downing Street signalled further slippage in the date for Brexit, with the option of a summer exit day.
The PM’s spokesman said: “In relation to parliamentary timetables, we will look to complete this ideally by 30 June, but if not then by the summer recess.”
His remarks echoed those of Lidington, who had revealed that he hopes to “certainly to get this done and dusted by the summer recess”, which traditionally starts in late July.
After the last Brussels summit, May was forced into accepting a long extension to the UK’s EU membership to possibly October 31.
Few MPs at the time believed she would last until the autumn, but the latest summer idea is sure to fuel suspicions that an even longer delay could be likely.
After three hours of talks, Long-Bailey said there was still a failure to agree key issues of substance.
“Discussions today were very robust and we’re having further meetings this week where we hope to make some progress.
“The government needs to move on its red lines and we expect to make compromises, but without a government that’s willing to compromise, it’s difficult to see how any agreement can be reached, and I think the government is aware of that.”
But Long-Bailey said there had been no movement towards a customs union, temporary or otherwise, and would only say another referendum was “one of many options”.
She said: “We haven’t had any movement or agreement on a customs union, certainly not today, but we will see what the rest of the week holds.”
A No.10 spokesman said: “Today’s meeting was constructive and detailed. The teams have agreed to meet again for follow-up talks tomorrow afternoon, recognising the need to resolve the current Brexit deadlock in parliament.”
Related… May Clings On As Threat Of Early Leadership Contest Grows Suggest a correction Paul Waugh Executive Editor, Politics, HuffPost UK
Let’s Stop Tolerating The Intolerable, And Bar Men Who Threaten Women From Election
Australia Brasil Canada España France Ελλάδα (Greece) India Italia 日本 (Japan) 한국 (Korea) Maghreb Québec (en français) United Kingdom United States THE BLOG 08/05/2019 16:58 BST | Updated 11 hours ago Let’s Stop Tolerating The Intolerable, And Bar Men Who Threaten Women From Election Men threaten rape for one reason only: to silence and intimidate women. Since when was it okay to put that on the ballot paper? Sam Smethers Chief Executive, Fawcett Society The seven Nolan principles of public life are universally recognised as representing the standards to which those who hold public office should be held accountable.
These principles – selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership – undoubtedly hold true today as high ideals. But do they also apply to those seeking public office? Those who stand for election to represent us? More importantly, do they miss the blindingly obvious? That those seeking elected office should not be, for example (just plucking something out of the air now), promoting, threatening or joking about rape.
When Lord Nolan was devising his seven principles I suspect he never once considered that someone who would seek selection for an election and who would then actually be selected by a registered political party in this country would publicly, shamelessly, behave in this way. That he would then be defended by the leader of his political party , not deselected. But here we are. In 2019. This is our politics, our public life now.
At this point we could focus on how we got here. The mainstreaming of extreme views and the politics of hate; the lies and deceit; the shouting down, the Twitter pile-ons, the hostile environment, the rage against ‘others’ women, migrants, black people, Muslims, Jews, LGBT people (or indeed any combination of the above), the misogyny, the objectification, the silencing, the backlash, all multiplied and spread by social media, like an unchecked measles virus.
The rules of the game were designed for a different era, when this behaviour simply wasn’t thought possible – but we have descended through too many tiers of Dante’s Inferno now. We have seen an MP murdered. We are seeing others receiving multiple death and rape threats. Many have additional security in place. Some of our local councillors live in fear of being targeted because their constituents know their address. Our politics have changed, so too must our response. We must be clear-sighted and must not be naïve. The abusers have been playing us.
Free speech is not an unqualified right. If my free speech intimidates, threatens or silences others then my right may have been exercised but their rights are constrained, or denied altogether. If his free speech includes talking about committing an act of rape, treating it as a joke, surely we should not be seeing his name on a ballot paper in an election, inviting the electorate to vote for him, endorsing his conduct?
There are already multiple disqualifications in place for those seeking to become candidates in local , European or parliamentary elections. These include if you are a judge, a member of the House of Lords, if you are bankrupt, if you have been guilty of corrupt or fraudulent electoral practices, or if you have been convicted of an offence and have been sentenced to more than a year in prison (three months for locals). But there is nothing about threatening behaviour on the part of the individual seeking selection. So it is possible for a candidate to be publicly talking about raping a woman, and for that candidate’s name to remain on the ballot paper. Even if the police investigate and decide that there has been a criminal offence, the individual might possibly be charged, but probably not convicted before the election takes place.
Barcroft Media via Getty Images
This is why I have started a petition to change the law to disqualify people for life (and I would add, with financial penalties for political parties if they fail to deselect these candidates, yes it has to hurt) from standing for election if they are promoting rape or violence.
Some say this is a bad idea, it’s all too difficult to enforce. How could the Electoral Commission make a judgement in these cases? There are many grey areas in life, true. But the acceptability of promoting rape isn’t one of them.
This is about power. There is only one reason why men threaten rape. It is to silence and intimidate women. Since when was it okay to put that on the ballot paper? I accept that the way we change the law needs careful thought, with exemptions for those who have used violence in pursuit of a political cause, for example in Northern Ireland.
But please let’s have the conversation about how we prevent our electoral system from legitimising conduct which is all about intimidating, violating and abusing others. Conduct which gives a green light to hundreds and thousands more to do the same. It’s time to stop tolerating the intolerable. To stop bemoaning the state of our politics and start doing something to change it.
Sam Smethers is chief executive of the Fawcett Society
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