Listeners outraged as Radio 4 broadcasts Woman”s Hour Christmas special… on female masturbation
Female masturbation is not a topic many of us want to discuss at the breakfast table with our grandmothers, parents or children.
But yesterday morning, thanks to the usually innocuous Radio 4 programme Woman”s Hour, that is exactly what happened.
The 10.30am show forms the soundtrack to many a household”s morning ritual – and more so on the day after Boxing Day, given the number of families spending the festive period together.
So you can imagine the nation”s collective embarrassment as the usually tame talk show took a rather risqu turn.
Shocked the unshockable: Tracey Emin managed to ruffle Jenni Murray”s feathers when she asked on air if the presenter masturbated
As part of a look back at Woman”s Hour clips that had generated the most interest on Twitter, presenter Jane Garvey introduced an interview from Jenni Murray with artist Tracey Emin that took place in May.
With a warning to “fainthearted” readers, Ms Garvey told how the upcoming interview ‘shocked the unshockable Jenni Murray” when she was “asked the unaskable’ by Tracey Emin: Whether or not the indomitable interviewer masturbated.
‘Don’t even ask! How dare you!’ Ms Murray answered with mock outrage.
But having skilfullyfended off the question, Ms Murray nonetheless segued into a lengthy discussion on female masturbation, in which the two pondered the taboo nature of the topic.
Many breathed a sigh of relief when Ms Emin stopped pontificating on the subject – but before they could turn their attention to their croissants and coffee, they were further dismayed when a separate clip was introduced, this time from an interview with Jane Garvey talking to sex expert Suzi Godson and columnist Joan Smith.
Mock outrage: Jenni Murray skilfully fended off the “unaskable” question – but nonetheless went on to discuss the topic at length
“[Female masturbation] It”s another thing women aren”t allowedto talk about or discuss, and Twitter went ballistic when we ran the feature,” Ms Garvey said.
“But has Tracey got a point,” she continued. “Why are women so afraid to talk about female masturbation”
The three went on to talk at length and in some detail about female masturbation and sex – leaving many listeners feeling downright awkward.
Many said they were horrified at the uncomfortable subject matter but too embarrassed to turn the radio off.
“Once it came on, I was couldn”t cross the room to turn it off, said one dismayed listener. “I had to sitin the kitchen with my 92-year-old grandmother, my parents and a very reserved aunt and uncle while Jane Garvey and these experts went on and on talking about sex and vibrators.
Presenter Jane Garvey prolonged the awkward discussion with experts Suzi Godson and Joan Smith, leaving listeners blushing at the breakfast table
“Itwas awful – I”ve never heard such a deathly silence descend over the breakfast table. It was enough to put me off my bacon sandwich.”
Another made the point that while female masturbation in itself needn”t be taboo, discussing it publicly should be.
“The presenters were asking why womendon”t talk more openly about masturbation. But to be honest, why shouldwe As with any sexual act, it”s a private matter, not one that we needto discuss with friends, family and neighbours. It”s much the same as male masturbation. Who would want to hear a group of men sitting around talking about that over breakfast
“Sometimes subjects are taboo for a reason. Save it for art, books – just not the radio, please!”
One listener was driving home from a Christmas break with his seven-year-old son in the back seat when the programme came on.
“Itwas just awkward,” he said. “It”s 10.30 in the morning, for goodness sake – you don”t expect them to start talking at length about sex on Woman”s Hour.”
In response, Radio 4 said today that the programme was dealt with sensibly.
“Radio 4 is an adult network and Woman”s Hour is a programme that discusses women”s issues. There were clear on-air announcements at the top of the programme and before the item alerting listeners to the sensitive natureof the discussion. The subject matter was approached in a sensible and adult manner.”
Despite the sensitive handling of the subject, some listeners were nonetheless perturbed. And, given that the programme was about reaction on Twitter, it was only fitting that much of the feedback should come from the microblogging site.
“Wah!Listening to woman”s hour with my 90 year old Grandmother. SO MUCH FEMALE MASTURBATION CHAT *withers and dies*,” one horrified blogger wrote.
“Jesus!!!I”m having breakfast with all my Family – Mum, Sis, Nieces, my kids etc- and Radio 4 is talking about Female Masturbation!” wrote another.
Another put it simply: Do not want to listen to discussion about female masturbation while my parents make breakfast thank you very much Radio 4.
The segment finally drew to a close 15 minutes later, bringing an end to the nation”s blushes with a question that led on to the next subject: Do we, as a nation, share too much
There was no doubt much tacit agreement as Radio 4″s shell-shocked listeners came to the unwelcome conclusion that Woman”s Hour had done just that.
WHAT THE TWITTERATI SAID WHEN WOMAN”S HOUR WENT RISQU
Wah! Listening to woman”s hour with my 90 year old Grandmother. SO MUCH FEMALE MASTURBATION CHAT *withers and dies*
Jesus!!!I”m having breakfast with all my Family-Mum, Sis, Nieces, my kids etc- and Radio 4 is talking about Female Masturbation! WTF
Lowlight – being trapped in car with both parents lost in Keighley 1way system with tracey emin debating female masturbation on woman”s hour
Blimey! Listening to Woman”s Hour summary for 2011. Tracey Emin embarrassing Dame Jenni Murray by talking about masturbation. Goodness! #fb
Listening to woman”s hour earlier with my dad in the car whilst they were discussing female masturbation was in no way awkward…
Do not want to listen to discussion about female masturbation while my parents make breakfast thank you very much Radio 4.
Erm, Radio 4 are talking about female masturbation at half10 in the morning..
Why are there two women on my radio talking about masturbation :S
Turned on Radio 4 to hear a piece about female masturbation. #TheWorldWasADifferentPlaceWhenIWasYoung
ALTHOUGH SOME LISTENERS DID ENJOY THE PROGRAMME:
It”s 10.30 am and Radio 4 are talking about female masturbation. Why can”t the world always be like this
Eating Nutella on toast while Radio 4 talks about female masturbation. Works for me.
womans hour was very racy today..lots of talk about the smell of hot horses-scandalous #r4