The Tablet's eye for a story is in evidence this week in the Editorial, where Catherine Pepinster scoops the world with the shocking, shocking news that the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, is 'male'. The surpasses the brilliance of the news, carried without fail in every edition, and with unflagging outrage, that the Pope is Catholic.
How did our intrepid reporter work it out? By reading the Holy Father's latest document, on women in Africa. Naturally, once we know the author of the document is male, we know in advance that the contents have no value. A bit like Miss Pepinster's ramblings about men, or the priesthood, one assumes.
Being female, Miss P's thoughts on women in Africa carry far more weight than those of the Universal Pastor. Her great insight? Women in Africa should be given condoms.
Nothing is more predicable than a feminist. And nothing more out of touch with reality. What are these women going to do with these condoms? Women, ahem, don't actually wear the things. All they can do is give them to their overbearing menfolk and beg them to use them. Is that empowering?
Saying to a man: 'wear this and you'll be free of responsibility for any offspring, and if you infect me with AIDS everyone will say you took all reasonable precautions: you can use me as a sex object as much as you like' - that's empowering too.
In this real world, Miss Pepinster, condoms reduce the rate of infection between a couple, one with AIDS and one without, by 80%. Do you want to subject women to that 20%? If that is what western feminists can offer, they can keep it.
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