According to the Independent, Tory hereditary peer Lord Lucas has called for gender-neutral loos to be scrapped because they make women feel “uncomfortable”. He has blamed a culture of “wokeness” for the introduction of unisex toilets at places such as the Old Vic theatre in London, which recently converted all of its male and female lavatories to gender-neutral toilets.
Lord Lucas went on to say that gender-neutral facilities disadvantage women who do not, for reasons of discomfort or religion, “wish to find themselves in an enclosed, unobserved space with men,” saying, “There are a number of very strange men in this world”.
If he wants to feel really uncomfortable, he should try queuing to use the loos.
A bit more anti “wokeness”, as French shoe designer Christian Louboutin says “super-high heels” can free women. He insists that wearing his towering six-inch stilettos is a “form of liberty” — even if it means women have to walk slowly and carefully, tottering along for fear of a broken ankle, in his iconic red-soled creations. He also added that if the shoes “stop you running”, that is something “positive”. (I think we have found one of those “very strange men”.)
“Women do not want to give up wearing high heels,” the designer told AFP in an interview ahead of The Exhibitionist, a retrospective of his career in Paris. “I don’t think about comfort when I design. No shoe with a 12cm (5 inch) heel is comfortable… but people do not come to me looking for a pair of slippers.” (If I had the money, I would be tempted to call him out on that.)
There is some bad news in the Guardian if you want to live forever, as research has shown that a century-long rise in life expectancy in the UK has stalled since 2010. Life expectancy at birth had been going up: women were gaining an extra year of life every five years and men an additional 12 months every three-and-a-half years, but austerity cuts, deep cuts in NHS and social care spending have had a negative effect.
Sir Michael Marmot, the director of the Institute of Health Equity at University College London, pointed out that in 1919 men lived for an average of 52.5 years and women for 56.1 years. That rose to 64.1 years and 68.7 years respectively by 1946. Life expectancy then rose in an almost unbroken gradual upward curve to 77.1 years for men and 81.4 years for women in 2005 and again to 78.7 and 82.6 in 2010, the year David Cameron’s Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition took office.
Since then life expectancy has continued to creep upwards, but at a much slower rate, and according to the latest Office for National Statistics data, in 2015 average life expectancy in Britain was 79.6 years for men and 83.1 years for women.
We like to get a story in each week about fitness, and this week The Sun reports on a new gadget for your pet dog, which works like a Fitbit and allows you to monitor their health, and to track their activity when they are alone.
According to the report, the device, which works through fur, could also aid sniffer dogs hunting bombs, drugs and missing persons. The developers say they are working on ways it can be used for other animals, and as it also works through clothing we could all end up wearing one.
Some more news that could hit your longevity: according to a story in the Daily Mail, drivers of expensive cars are more dangerous to pedestrians. Research carried out at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas, showed that the chance of a driver stopping at a zebra crossing fell by 3% for every £800 rise in their vehicle’s value. Attempting to explain this phenomenon, they quoted a study that showed that people of “higher social class” were more likely to have feelings of justice and narcissism, concluding that a possible explanation may be that drivers of cars with a higher value felt a sense of superiority over other road users.
The research team said that the results highlighted the need to educate drivers as they may not know they are legally required to stop for pedestrians! What kind of driving test do they have over there?
It is amazing what people can get worked up about. A bit of a brew ha ha (brouhaha) developed on Twitter after Tory Chancellor Rishi Sunak posted a picture, in which he appeared to be making a tea round for his Treasury staff.
There was an immediate backlash, with calls by some for a boycott of the brand.
Yorkshire tea responded by asking people to be kind.
Some nice news to end on in a story from Australia about a five-legged frog. A common green tree frog was found in a backyard, and whilst it was functional it was thought the additional limb was hindering the frog’s ability to feed. Following the surgery the frog will be released back into the wild.
Just don’t tell the French, or they will be after its genome. 5 legs for the price of 4.
- The Independent
- The Guardian
- The Sun