In the 1970s I remember watching game shows where the (always) male host would ask female contestants what their husbands did for a living. You know, the half of the marriage who wasn’t on the TV trying to win £50 and a radio.
Last night on the BBC TV news, the highly qualified and successful human rights lawyer Amal Clooney was introduced as the wife of Hollywood superstar George Clooney. She was later asked if she felt her husband, actor, direcor and all round MAN helped raise HER profile.
I sometimes wonder if we’ve moved on much in the intervening 40+ years. We still have pay gaps, women are under-represented in boardrooms, treated to a PINK bus on the Labour Party campaign trail, told to not dress provocatively so as not to encourage sexual assault, have fewer books reviewed in the broadsheets… I could go on, and I’m sure you have many, many more examples.
I support International Women’s Day not because I hate men. I support it because my sisters are denied the same opportunities as men; because some sisters are forced to undergo female genital mutilation; because women in Ireland are denied autonomy over their own reproductive issues; because the media tells our daughters that to be beautiful means to be thin/curvy/big-lipped/big haired/big-boobed etc;because our daughters are told to be beautiful instead of astronauts or sculptors or biochemists; because older women are told how to regain their youthful looks instead of being encouraged to do whatever makes them happy.
Today I am celebrating being a woman. I am smart and silly, fat and funny, ill and inspirational. I am woman, here me fucking ROAR!