From the forums - Boobs, benefit cuts and the language of love

15th October 2010 at 01:00
Big and bouncy is frowned on in some classrooms, and that gets us on to the subject of amour

Don't look now, but there may be a cleavage monitor lurking in your staffroom. No, not the ones who are unsubtle when they gawp at their colleagues' breasts. According to teachers on the TES online forums, some staff are judging the appropriateness of others' decolletage, then reporting them to management.

Egyptgirl was surprised to be grassed up by such a cleavage cop. "I am a well-endowed woman but even so, you really couldn't see much, even if I'd bent down," she says. "My line manager and members of the SMT told me not to worry as they didn't think it was unacceptable but it's got me thinking: what's acceptable and what's not?"

Lilyofthefield says she has been criticised at work for having boobs that "move when you walk" and told to wear a sturdier bra. "When I was younger I took these comments seriously and spent six months wearing polo-neck jumpers which if anything made me look even bigger and bouncier," she writes.

Even more extreme was the reaction BelleDuJour encountered while working in a boys' public school last year. "I was wearing a summer dress with a V-neck - not a plunge neck, a V-neck," she insists. "I was asked not to leave the staffroom unless I `covered up' as there were parents touring the school!"

But while the debate has some women blushing, it provokes a different reaction among male teachers. "Is anyone else enjoying this thread a bit TOO much?" asks squashballs.

On Mumsnet, the mums were still in uproar at the chancellor's plans to remove child benefit paymentfrom high-earning parents. But on the TES forums, there was support for the plan. "Of course higher-rate taxpayers should not receive child benefit. They can manage without it," comments Bobvincent.

Tangerinecat is amused that middle-class mums are "up in arms at the thought that the money which pays for their children's music lessons or pound;45 shoes will now have to come from their wages," he says. "The problem is that as people get used to a certain standard of lifestyle, then that standard becomes a basic `entitlement' to them."

But huevosrancheros says the cut makes her furious "not for me, but for all the women who rely on that benefit regardless of their married partners' incomes".

What is the language of love? It is a question that is bothering modelmaker, who asks if there were "any MFL specialists around" who could help.

"The only thing I can tell for certain is that it's not German," thebigonion replied. "Italian, possibly, Dutch from time to time, and occasionally the French spoken by a Belgian. Once, it was Welsh. But I try to forget that particular occasion." Ah, the regret.

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