Summer is warm and pink, the same floral dress worn day in and day out. Open in the back to let a rare breeze flow through. Berries for breakfast, lunch, and dinner; an endless flow of sparkling liquids. Rain all day, nights spent running through […]
Tag: Amy Richardson
Summer is the season I always associate with having the time to settle into a good book or two. Most good tv has finished by the end of July and there’s nothing new on the horizon until September. There’s an abundance of long evenings to fill that are perfect for curling up with a good book. My summer holidays are also prime reading time. We normally take a ferry over to France for our holiday, so that gives me a several solid, uninterrupted hours to get my teeth in to a novel. Often I take series with me so I can feel like I’ve followed something through a journey, but anything that is either light, or amusing, or meaty is perfect for this time of year. I’ve either read every book on the following list more than once, or I’m due a reread of it. I hope you enjoy them all too!
‘In office but not in power’; so read the headline on the front page of the Sunday Telegraph yesterday, and it gives some sort of indication of the state of the United Kingdom’s leadership. On Thursday last week, the British public went to the polls […]
“Be careful in the world of men Diana; they do not deserve you.”
I’m not too proud to admit that I cried at this line. With the above words Hippolyta, Queen of Themyscira, (Connie Nielsen) sends her daughter Diana (Gal Gadot) off into the outside world to fight in a war that the Amazons have nothing to do with. But she knows that Diana will go no matter what, that she cannot stay now she has heard of the horrors. It’s the moment that Diana starts her journey from princess to superhero; it’s the beginning of becoming Wonder Woman.
Theresa May once posed in a t-shirt which read ‘This is what a feminist looks like’.
In 2006 the Fawcett Society, a British organisation which campaigns for women’s rights, posted onto their flickr page a selection of images of prominent members of UK society wearing their t-shirts. Mrs May does not look completely comfortable in the image, but as the image does not look professional we could excuse her for that. In her favour she does appear to champion women in politics, she has introduced some laws that benefit women (including extending domestic violence protections), and she is, after all, a female prime minister. However, she has a dodgy record of voting for LGBT rights and her attitudes towards immigration and austerity have left women much worse off. To cap it all, there’s the comments she made on the One Show last night.
The One Show is a weekday magazine show broadcast live on BBC One directly following the 6 o’clock News. Mrs May’s camp has said that during this General Election campaign she will be making a limited number of television appearances, but last night’s interview was one of the few exceptions. Sitting on the show’s green sofa alongside her husband Philip, this was an attempt to ‘humanise’ Theresa May, to make her more ‘approachable’ to voters. For some, that may have been the case. She wasn’t told about the questions beforehand, but she also wasn’t asked anything particularly difficult. There was nothing she could slip up on and, unfortunately, no rebellious grilling from Matt Baker, who infamously asked David Cameron how on earth he slept at night in 2011.
Before getting into what was really troubling about Mrs May’s interview, I just want to pause and think about how she decided to try and reach ordinary people by making a tv appearance with her husband. Philip May is not a politician. He does not, as far as I can tell, have any form of public role at all and instead works in finance. He may be married to the current prime minister, but why does that mean he should be interviewed? Ah yes, because the way to ‘humanise’ a powerful woman is to prove that look, she’s just like everyone else! She’s married! To a man! She must be manageable. The fact that he mostly sat turned slightly towards her, nodding in agreement with her, should just show how loveable she is.
But doesn’t it just reinforce the notion that a woman is only important if she has the affections of a man? Trying to find out more about her home life instead of asking her about her policies is an attempt to show that being a powerful woman doesn’t diminish her ‘womanliness’. He said she was a good cook, but did make the concession that the sort of man who would expect to come home to his dinner on the table at six every evening would not enjoy being married to her. But not because of her, because of her job. By mentioning that this was not a thing that happened, it implicitly suggested that it is a thing that can reasonably be expected to happen. God forbid the husband of a working woman cooks dinner for her.
But the real bombshell, the statement that made me angry that Mrs May thought she could wear that t-shirt all those years ago, came quite early on. Asked how hard it is to win a negotiation with Mrs May, Mr May replied that marriages required give and take. I don’t think many would agree. He then quipped that “I get to pick when I take the bins out, not if”. So far, so innocuous. But then Mrs May jumped in, across the beginning of another question, that there was “boy jobs and girl jobs.” I’ll let that sink in. Boy jobs and girl jobs. From a PM who once claimed to be a feminist.
As our very own Lee wrote in a comment on Lauren’s piece about Ivanka Trump’s fake feminism, you can’t just call yourself a feminist. Well, you can, but that doesn’t make you one. Actions speak far louder than words and the way in which her government’s austerity measures are hitting women is frankly inexcusable. Not only that, but to go on a prime time television show watched by millions of people and express such regressive opinions is hardly the way to inspire and encourage young women. Mrs May has the biggest ‘boys job’ of them all and yet she isn’t showing herself to truly believe the words on that t-shirt. Theresa, I’m a bit disappointed.
“Feminist: A person who believes in the social, economic and political equality of the sexes” When Beyoncé sampled the above words from a TED talk by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie on her track ***Flawless in 2013, it was a feminist awakening for many young women, and […]