Newspaper rant

So I was reading an article in the Times, and had an urge to rant. And look! I have a blog to rant to! (In? At? Doesn’t matter, I’m going to rant anyway.)

The article cites some statistics which show that the number of older couples getting divorced is increasing. (Actually, “cites” is too strong a word — the statistics come from “the most recent data”, no actual source named.)

Apparently, the number of older couples who are getting divorces is increasing, and actress Penelope Keith thinks this is to blame for high house prices. Specifically, she blames the older women:

“If only we could educate people to go on living together for longer. It’s all these single dwellings, all these women in their fifties and sixties who suddenly want their own space, to be their own people. To do what?”

Of course, no surveys about why people are divorcing are cited,  no evidence is brought to support her claim that the main reason is people wanting their own space, and no explanation of why it’s the women who are at fault is given. This is just her opinion. Which is fine — lots of people have opinions that may or may not be backed up by data — but why is it news? An explanation of the housing crisis by a housing expert could be interesting. A study of the reasons more older people are getting divorced might be a good article. But why should we care that an actress has a theory about the latter that she thinks explains the former?

Oh, that’s right — because it allows the journalists to write a headline blaming “flighty older women” for something.

The article (behind a paywall): Flighty older women to blame “for pushing up house prices”

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