Posted by Tania Kindersley.
OMG, OMG, as the young people say. And: WTF, WTF. Which does not stand for World Trepanning Federation, but What The Fuck?
I just took one small break in my working day, and discovered, not something marvellous about the human spirit, or inspiring about the capacity for endurance, but that a company called JC Penny has produced a t-shirt for girls which says, on the front, in swirling, cutesy letters: I’m Too Pretty to do Homework.
I did not believe this at first, so I actually went to the website and looked it up. It is here, if you want to see the flabbergasting proof.
Did the Pankursts march in vain?
Can we rise up in outrage?
One of the things I think, particularly at this time of year, when the exam results come out and the scramble for university goes on, is how incredibly lucky I was to go to Oxford. I know some people like to sneer a bit about it, and say it’s not really all that, but it was all that to me. I loved it, and it gave me a gift worth more than emeralds. Twenty-six years later, I still think with fondness and delight of my favourite tutor, Mr Stuart, who taught me the fascinations of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars.
I got there not because I was particularly brilliant, but because I was a swot. I worked my arse off. And that was thanks to Miss Holder, who, when I was eight to twelve, drummed into me the importance of the work ethic, week after week. It was thanks to Mr Woodhouse, who, when I was fifteen and sixteen, taught me how to frame a historical argument, and made us all write endless timed essays in class, so that our brains were trained like greyhounds. I got there because I damn well did do my homework, and it was one of the best things I ever did.
So, JC Penny, I don’t really know who you are, and I am sure you are a perfectly respectable company, but TAKE THAT BACK.
And that is the end of my allotted amount of outrage for the day. There will be a proper blog later, when I have talked myself down off the ceiling.