Madonna with the photo in cuestion. | @madonna

I see that an outraged Madonna has criticised Instagram for taking down photos in which her nipple was exposed for all of us to admire - anyway, she went on to say that she has managed to maintain her sanity - “through four decades of censorship…sexism…ageism and misogyny.”

As a humble journalist in search of truth, I see that Madge’s ire would have been further incensed by the Daily Mail Online’s decision to ‘sellotape’ the aforementioned nipple on their amusingly named ‘sidebar-of-shame’ online feature. However to be fair to them they did publish a string of pictures of her in which she is seen writhing both on-top and under a bed in fishnet tights, a cut-out bra that revealed parts of her breasts, alongside a thong and high heeled stilettos.

I have to say that I did try and look away from the more provocative pics of her like any gentleman would have done perhaps, but it appears that I am somewhat of a sexist monster for not fully enjoying the thrusting sexiness of an - er, er, mature lady now well into in her seventh decade. If you ask me it is all very confusing for us chaps; come on what are we supposed to do? If we applaud the lady’s chutzpah in this matter, will we not be condemned as a DOM’s (dirty-old-man) by other women who rarely dress in this daring fashion and frankly take a dim view of a woman who rather likes to flaunt herself semi-naked about the place? Indeed, maybe I am being terribly insensitive even drawing peoples attention to Madonna’s left nipple as I’m sure that her current outrage is just a smokescreen to cover the fact that she suffers from crippling shyness and abhors being the centre of attention. Or is she as my old mum would have it - “Only as good as she should be.” Which if you think about it makes absolutely no sense at all - a bit like the blessed Madonna!

When it’s best to say nothing at all

Where do you stand dear reader, on the “patronising and offensive way” that many of us address women? This is not just a chap thing, because according to a certain Ms Belinda Barlow, who was addressed as “sweetheart” and “darling” by a Tesco checkout girl, it is both deeply patronising and offensive. Oh dear, yet another person who wanders the world seeking offence no doubt. Nevertheless, I am a chap who does watch his P’s and Q’s regarding what he says to women in everyday life. No, nothing like that - it’s just that I have to make sure that I don’t call waitresses or shop assistants “love” or I will get the death-stare from a woman of my acquaintance.

Just as I would be called a sexist pig by merely uttering the word “darling” to a female personage, which I have to say I like to think that I haven’t done for nye-on 30 ears or more. Now then, is it really that bad to be familiar in a friendly way to a fellow human being without being branded as offensive I wonder. Indeed, generally, I think that we are just talking about context here aren’t we?

Surely, an older man or woman chatting pleasantly to a young shop assistant is hardly the same as calling a female CEO “poppet,” or seeking to belittle a work colleague by using silly or offensive sexist names? And anyway I would hope that you would be soon ‘on-your-bike’ if that were the case. So, in arguing against myself, could it really be - that using terms of endearment to total strangers causes them to feel inferior in some way - and if that is the case, how should we encourage them to desist from doing it - If in anyway this makes the person involved uncomfortable?

It also has to be said that you have to choose your words carefully when formally addressing a member of the female gender. For instance, many modern women will bridle at the term ‘lady,’ as if it were somehow derogatory, yet women of an older generation prefer that descriptive word, and I also notice that some militant feminists are not keen on the word ‘girl’ either, even if used in the case of a child. Do you know, sometimes, just sometimes, I want to scream really loudly and then lie down in a foetal position and cry.

As for the pursed lipped Ms Barlow who made a great fuss regarding a checkout person and reporting her to her bosses just for being friendly towards her - I recommend the following form of words. “Will you be needing any carrier bags, you sour faced, humourless old bat?”

As I seem to have struck a female theme in this weeks meanderings, if I told you that scientists have proven that women have much better memories than men, would you be at all surprised? No, I thought not. I know a woman who can tell me exactly what I said during any given situation at any venue or function since 1992. I would like to tell you that this is a very rare phenomenon, but that would be just lying wouldn’t it?

You may well be in the middle of a most amusing anecdote to your transfixed cronies and yet bored partners can always be relied upon to contradict certain elements of your most entertaining story on the specious precedent that it is not entirely accurate? For all that is holy - don’t they know that this riveting tale is an approximation as to what happened all those years ago, and it really isn’t necessary to constantly interrupt a chaps most entertaining yarn with a steady chorus of tiresome clarification and misappropriated context? No, apparently not!