Series L, Episode 9 - Ladies & Gentlemen
- A question for the ladies first: "Why shouldn't you have the vote?" Reasons given for not giving women the right to vote were first put forward by socialists. At the time the suffragettes only wanted the vote for women who owned property, so socialists through that expanding to the vote to more property owners would fill Parliament with more bourgeoisie. Also, lots of women did not want to vote, probably because they had been "brainwashed" into thinking they should not have. For example, because women thought that they were not involved in politics, engineering and such; it was thought that they should not vote because they knew nothing about it. The suffragette movement was also divided amongst itself. There was the "suffragists" who followed the Liberal Party, and the "suffragettes" who were the ones who smashed windows, chained themselves to railings etc.
- XL: Women first got the vote in 1867. The first known woman to vote was Lily Maxwell of Manchester. She was a ratepayer, and the law at the time said that ratepayers were allowed to vote. At the time there was no law saying that a woman could not vote. Such a law was brought in the following year. (Forfeit: The 1920s)
- Spending-a-Penny Bonus: The panel are given some small handheld electronic devices that make the sound of water flowing. The device in question is a "Sound Princess" or "Eco Otome" and these are used in Japan to disguise the sound of you going to the lavatory without the need of having to constantly flush and thus saving water. This is because traditionally the Japanese are rather pee-shy. It comes in three colours: pink with a little heart "for the inner girl in every woman", baby blue with a ribbon "for that free and fresh feeling", and a white Save The Earth form that is unisex.
- You can catch various diseases from lavatory seats. These include hepatitis, dysentery, fungal infections, puerperal fever and viral gastro-enteritis. You can only catch them however from touching the loo-seat with your hand and then for that unwashed hand to touch a "soft entry point" like your nose or mouth. The easiest way to avoid it is simply washing your hands. The myth that you can catch STDs from lavatory seats was spread by doctors, because they thought that more people would come forward with STDs if they thought that they caught it from a lavatory than from a sex worker. (Forfeit: Nothing)
- XL: Your mother-in-law can help you run things a tiny bit better by dying. A study of 6,753 deaths among CEOs and their families found that they cause a statistically significant and economically large decline in their profitability of their companies, with the exception of mothers-in-law which had a slight positive, but statistically insignificant effect. If you really want to be a successful CEO in the USA, the feature you should have is to be tall. Only 14.5% of US men are over 6ft, but 58% of US CEOs are over 6ft. CEOs, no matter how much they are paid, have no effect on the performance of a company: the idea that they are worth what they are paid, which is gigantic compared to the average member of their workforce, is nonsense. A report in 2013 found that between 1993-2012 40% of the USA's highest paid CEOs had either their companies bailed out by the taxpayer, had their companies charged with fraudulent activity, been fired for poor performance, or have overseen the death of their companies.
- The panel are given vintage suggestions from agony aunts and are asked to complete them:
- XL: The seventh-most common cause of death among German U-Boat crews during World War One was being killed by British sailors in drag. The Germans used "cruiser protocols", which meant that if they approached a merchant ship they would rise to the surface and give the crew time to abandon ship before they brought it down. The Royal Navy therefore disguised some of their ships as merchant ships and got their crew to dress up as women and walk along the deck. When the Germans surfaced and called for the crew to man their lifeboats, the captain of the British ship would pull a lever, real their guns and shoot down the U-Boat in a rather unsporting way. 14 submarines were sunk this way.
- You cannot name an Anglo-Saxon swearword. The people in Anglo-Saxon times who wrote were mainly those in Holy Orders and did not swear. The Vikings did swear, with one word "rassragr" being considered so rude that the victim would be entitled to kill the man who swore at him. If he did not die, the man who swore would be proven to have used the word and be expelled from the community. Stephen knows the meaning of the word, but does not give the definition. (Forfeit: *%$#)
- XL: If there was a maths test between men and women it will be more likely that the men will do better because women are constantly told that women are worse than men at maths. Similarly, Asian people tend to do better at maths because they told that Asian people are good at it. Tests have shown that if you take a group of Asian women and tell them they are women who will be competing in a maths test against some men then the women will get around 60%. If you then take a group of Asian women and tell them that they are Asian women who will be competing in a maths test against European men, then the women will get around 80-90%.
- There is no evidence to suggest that Lady Godiva rode through the streets of Coventry naked. Godiva owned Coventry, and the first story about her riding naked was written in the 13th century, 200 years after she had lived. It was written by Roger of Wendover, who was famous for writing unreliable gossip. Roger's story is that Godiva's husband, the Earl of Mercia, had put large taxes on the people of Coventry which she thought were unfair. The Earl said that he would only get rid of them if she rode naked through Coventry and so she did, with the locals closing their eyes as she rode. But this whole story is false. (Forfeit: Rode naked through the town)
- Nobody knows what Mary Magdalene did for a living. She appears in all four Gospels, but at no point does anyone even refer to her as a sinner. At some point she became confused with two other women; Mary the sister of Martha, and an unnamed sinner from Luke's Gospel who washed Jesus's feet with hair. In the sixth century Pope Gregory the Great made this confusion official by declaring in a sermon that all three of these characters were the same person. This was the official line for over 1,000 years, but was corrected in 1969. (Forfeit: Prostitute)
- You do not get a baby boom nine months after a black-out. In 1965 there was a black-out in New York and lots of people including The New York Times said there was a baby boom, but research shows that this never happened and The New York Times issued an apology. (Forfeit: There's a baby boom)
- Friday 5th December 2014
- BBC Two
- 30 minutes
Cast & crew
|Stephen Fry||Host / Presenter|
|Alan Davies||Regular Panellist|
|James Harkin||Script Editor|
|John Mitchinson||Question Writer|
|Justin Pollard||Question Writer|
|Molly Oldfield||Question Writer|
|Andrew Hunter Murray||Question Writer|
|Anne Miller||Question Writer|
|Stevyn Colgan||Question Writer|
|John Lloyd (as John Lloyd CBE)||Series Producer|
|Ruby Kuraishe||Executive Producer|
|Suzanne McManus||Executive Producer|
|Jonathan Paul Green||Production Designer|