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Prostitution in France; Inventions for women; Men and body image

Heated debate in France on how to tackle prostitution. Inventions for and by women. How much do men worry about their body image? Jenni Murray presents the female perspective.

Heated debate in France on how to tackle prostitution - should it be made illegal to pay for sex? Jenni Murray takes a look at inventions for and by women. Reporter Jeff Bird tries wearing a muscle-enhancing top in public - how much do men worry about their body image? The Manchester Camerata and primary school children in South Manchester create a mini-opera about the Holocaust.

Presenter: Jenni Murray
Producer: Helen Lee.

Available now

58 minutes



  • New French legislation on prostitution

    Should it be made illegal to pay for sex?

    Duration: 09:13

  • I wish someone would invent a.....?

    Jenni takes a look at inventions for and by women

    Duration: 08:46

  • Men and Body Image

    How much do men worry about their body image?

    Duration: 10:42

  • Manchester Camerata and the horrors of war

    Primary school children in Manchester create a mini-opera about the Holocaust

    Duration: 07:50

  • Modern Slavery in Britain

    What is a modern slave? Rahila Gupta, author of Enslaved, joins Jenni to discuss

    Duration: 05:42

Modern Slavery in Britain

Three women, said to have been held against their will in a house in South London, have emerged after some thirty years. It’s not yet known exactly what happened to them but the word slavery has been much bandied about. As recent government figures have shown modern day slavery in Britain is growing and twice as many women as men are victims, the Home Secretary has proposed a Modern Slavery Bill.

New French legislation on prostitution

Next week, the French National Assembly will be discussing new legislation to prevent prostitution. In a bill containing more than 20 articles, Francois Hollande’s ruling Socialist Party will be attempting to clamp down on the people who traffick sex workers into France and it is also hoping to provide state funds to help women who want to leave prostitution. But it is article 16 that has proved to be the most controversial because, for the first time in France, it could make paying for sex a crime. The debate over this particular aspect of the bill has been particularly intense, because it has been fuelled by the publication of Touche pas a ma Pute! Le manifeste des 343 ‘salauds’ [Hands off my tart! The manifesto of the 343 ‘bastards’]. This manifesto/petition has been signed by 19 men who say that it is wrong to criminalise the clients of prostitutes and that women should be free to ‘sell their bodies’ if they so wish. But it is not just the content of the petition that has angered feminists in France, the title too has proved to be controversial. The ‘343 salauds’ refers to the ‘343 salopes’ or Dirty Cows, who signed a manifesto in 1971 declaring that they had had an abortion, when abortion was still illegal in France. And ‘Touche pas a ma Pute!’ is similar to the 1980s slogan ‘Touch pas a mon Pote!’, ‘Hands off my Buddy!, the slogan for an anti-racist campaign. Novelist David di Nota has signed the petition and he joins Jenni from France to discuss the new legislation with Dr Jann Matlock, a Senior Lecturer in the French Department at UCL.


French: UCL

I wish someone would invent a.....?

Among  the many  notable  things  invented by women, there’s  the windscreen wiper, what’s thought to be the  first computer programme  and the bulletproof vest – also, and  perhaps not too  surprisingly, one of the earliest commercial dishwashers. As James Dyson announces he’s working on coming up with a quieter hairdryer, Woman’s Hour explores inventions, past and present, of particular interest to women. Jenni talks to Deborah Jaffe, author of ‘Ingenious Women’ and to Swedish designer, Terese Alstin, co-inventor of the invisible bicycle helmet now on sale across Northern Europe.

Manchester Camerata and the horrors of war

Last week, pupils from Webster Primary School in Manchester went to the Holocaust Centre in Nottingham. This week, they are turning what they learnt there into a mini-opera called Horrors of War. To help them with this ambitious project, they are working with composer Richard Taylor and with musicians from the Manchester Camerata’s Learning and Participation department. Reporter Angela Robson has been sitting in on the workshops and reports back for Woman’s Hour.


Webster Primary School perform ‘Horrors of War’ at 6.30pm on Friday, 22nd November 2013 in the RNCM Concert Hall in Manchester. Tickets are free.

Horrors of War

Manchester Camerata Learning and Participation




Men and Body Image

We already have padded bras for women to give that extra bit of help to ‘improve’ their body but now men are being offered something to achieve the perfect physique. It’s a padded T-shirt which claims to produce chiselled pecs, a flat stomach, broader shoulders and enhanced biceps and it is designed to be worn as an undershirt. Reporter Geoff Bird has been testing it out. Jenni Murray discusses men and body image with Joe Warner, author of the 12 Week Body Plan and former deputy editor of Men's Fitness magazine, and with Dr Paul Taylor, Senior Lecturer in Communications Theory at the University of Leeds.


Role Contributor
Presenter Jenni Murray
Interviewed Guest Jeff Bird
Producer Helen Lee


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