By Dani Porter, Literary Editor
Ah, you can almost hear the gleeful rubbing of tabloid editors’ sweaty palms from the reports on Kate Moss’s recent Easyjet altercation. How they must have thrilled at her slip-up, her daring to be a bit pissed on a plane. Because no one likes a woman who doesn’t mind behaving a bit badly in public, do they?
It’s not as if she doesn’t lead the rock and roll lifestyle that often produces this – a supermodel of many years, rock star boyfriends and husband and the accompanying jetset, party lifestyle. So why when Keith Richards et al behave badly it’s received with celebration and money-making memoirs but for women it’s a no-no? Why does this behaviour shock and warrant such hypocritical disapproval?
If male pop and rock stars are given any grief these days it’s usually because they aren’t behaving badly enough. We want this kind of entertainment from them, so long as it remains perpetrated by them and them alone. Because there is a tacit understanding (propagation) that women are carers and nurturers, tutting while their menfolk misbehave, and god forbid anyone who openly rejects that stereotype.
Moss, albeit she has no pressure to be a role model, is supporting women everywhere, who don’t mind having a few glasses of wine on a plane and who don’t want let their hair down behind closed doors only through fear of judgement. Sure, that might not extend to calling pilots bitches (allegedly) but nor do most men throw TVs out of windows, either. At least let’s make it a level playing field. Moralise on the behaviour entirely, not of one gender alone.
It’s sexism, pure and simple. It’s the attempt to enforce stereotypes that means more women will behave well to conform. Is this assumed behaviour really so innate? Then why do so many women love Kate Moss? (please, alert me to her next Easyjet booking and sign me up to sit next to her. I won’t report you, Kate!).
Better still is her silent response to the matter. The (largely male-run and owned) mainstream media don’t just hate her for acting badly as a woman. She’s also a woman who has money and power and who won’t succumb to their wishes by talking to them whenever it’s demanded of her. Whatever personal or public reason she may have for staying silent on the subject (and why shouldn’t she?) it does come across a rather wonderful, ‘up yours, I don’t care if I offend’.
She might not care about gender stereotypes, either. But here’s to her lambasting them anyway.