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Parents vote Miley Cyrus and Nicki Minaj as the worst role models for children

Miley’s not No 1

It might come as little surprise to discover that British parents have voted Miley Cyrus as the female celebrity they would least like as a role model for their children. In a poll of 2,287 parents with at least one child under 10, 78% voted Cyrus the worst example, followed by Nicki Minaj and Kim Kardashian. Meanwhile, the Duchess of Cambridge – who has, of course, made a career out of marrying a very famous and wealthy man – was ranked the best female role model for their kids. Would Cyrus, an inspiration to plenty of young women navigating their adolescence, sexuality and body hair, care? Probably not.

The 22-year-old, dubbed this week by the New York Times as “a performing tongue with a woman attached” is prepping to host the MTV Video Music Awards this weekend. In an interview with that newspaper, Cyrus was asked about the “the Nicki Minaj controversy” and replied:

“People forget that the choices that they make and how they treat people in life affect you in a really big way. If you do things with an open heart and you come at things with love, you would be heard and I would respect your statement. But I don’t respect your statement because of the anger that came with it. And it’s not anger like, ‘Guys, I’m frustrated about some things that are a bigger issue.’ You made it about you. Not to sound like a bitch, but that’s like, ‘Eh, I didn’t get my VMA.’

“If you want to make it about race, there’s a way you could do that. But don’t make it just about yourself. Say: ‘This is the reason why I think it’s important to be nominated. There’s girls everywhere with this body type.’

“What I read sounded very Nicki Minaj, which, if you know Nicki Minaj is not too kind. It’s not very polite. I think there’s a way you speak to people with openness and love … I know you can make it seem like, Oh I just don’t understand because I’m a white pop star. I know the statistics. I know what’s going on in the world. But to be honest, I don’t think MTV did that on purpose.”

So there we go.

Girl meets world

Rowan Blanchard, the 13-year-old Disney star of Girl Meets World, made waves across the internet this week when she took to Instagram to tackle the subject of “white feminism” for her 2.4m followers. In three posts taking in race, intersectionality, police brutality and gender equality, she wrote:

“‘White feminism’ forgets all about intersectional feminism. The way a black woman experiences sexism and inequality is different from the way a white woman experiences sexism and inequality. Likewise with trans-women and Hispanic women.”

Blanchard then went on to quote American academic Kimberlé Crenshaw, as if she were reciting lyrics from her favourite singer, Beyoncé.

“To only acknowledge feminism from a one sided view when the literal DEFINITION is the equality of the sexes is not feminism at all,” Blanchard’s lengthy post ends. “We need to be talking about this more. Discussion leads to change.”

“This is called ‘hitting the nail on the head’,” tweeted Emma Watson, actor and HeForShe campaigner.

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Hoovering your way thin is ‘a thing’

Ladies, it’s time to unplug that washing machine and get the scrubbing board out because, according to researchers from Manchester University and Royal Holloway University, women are getting fat owing to a lack of housework. No, it’s not a spoof. Thanks to labour-saving devices, and, well, it being 2015 and not the 1950s, women are reportedly spending on average 20% less time on chores than they were 30 years ago – and it’s affecting our waistlines. There’s no denying that people are leading more sedentary lives thanks to the luxuries of modern living, and that running a vacuum cleaner over the carpet is a good way of burning calories (although it isn’t a substitute for proper exercise). But that’s true for either sex, not just women. As feminist blogger Louise Pennington told the Huffington Post: “By this logic, men are larger today because they don’t get to spend their time telling women what to do.”

Toxic office syndrome

Women who work in male-dominated jobs have been found to have higher stress levels than those in jobs where there is a more equal split between sexes. The University of Indiana studied “token” women – when women make up only 15% of the workforce or less – and discovered that factors including sexual harassment, a lack of support and social isolation contributed to irregular stress patterns that could have a negative impact on health.

These are findings echoed in the anecdotes of workplace sexism reported in the Guardian by Laura Snapes this week. It’s been almost five years since the Equality Act was passed but, as Snapes says, it’s still easier for women who experience discrimination at work to quit their jobs rather than bring about change:

“With the lack of an obvious offence, it’s often a case of being crushed by a thousand tiny micro-aggressions; they can be hard to prove, both to an employer and to yourself, contributing to a feeling of slow-burning madness: am I imagining this? Can this be a problem with me, or the other person?”

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