Tag Archives: gender

Obama vs Cameron

Before the last US election, I was out on a night out in Aberystwyth and drunkenly bought a copy of Esquire just because Obama was on the cover. This was how much I hoped he would be elected and I wholly bought in to his mantra of change. I was nevertheless still slightly scared to wake up in the morning with a bad hangover and with Obama staring me in the face as I’d passed out with the magazine next to my head.

It hasn’t ended up as I think most of us had hoped (as this article from Owen Jones captures well). But the scary thing is that under Romney everything would no doubt be worse, particularly in terms of gender equality, as this article by Emma Brockes captures when she looks at the influence that female voters had on the election result. Here’s hoping Obama does something in his second term to revive the hope that so many people had before his first term. Still, even if he does manage that, not sure if I want to wake up so close to his face again anytime soon.

In stark contrast, can’t say I had any hope when the Tories had the largest share of the vote in the last election. Dame Helen Ghosh has said that Cameron is out of touch as only 3 women are permanent secretaries. Can’t say the fact that Cameron is out of touch is a big surprise.

But it seems that it’s not just Cameron that’s out of touch, turns out most of us are to some extent. This article about a week of sexism by Laura Bates shows just how widespread sexism is in our society and how we don’t really question these things. I can’t claim to have any moral high ground here. Until a couple of years ago I’d laugh along to many dubious jokes, it’s only recently I’ve felt confident enough to challenge this and be the uncool guy in the corner being uber-pc. But it’s something I plan to do more of, and not just in terms of gender either as I think we all need to do more to challenge everyday discrimination.

On a slightly nicer note, thousands of people have decided to try to lobby for Malala Yousafzai, the young blogger who wrote about the struggle for young women to get an education in a Taliban dominated area. Which is pretty awesome. I’m off to sign the petition now and I suggest that you do the same as it’s a well good idea!

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“Milk for Real Men” and the Universal Credit

Walking home from work the other day I saw this ad staring back at me on a phone box.

Silly for a number of reasons:

  1. Am I not a real man if I don’t drink milk whilst hanging off cliffs?
  2. Am I not a real man if I’m not muscled up to the max or if I choose not to buy bulking products that will make me bigger?
  3. If I’m not a real man does this mean I’m a woman? Gasp! The horror of such a concept!

I know this ad is really a shameless ploy into getting me to feel ashamed of myself and purchase their product, but really it just made me extra glad that I’m not a buff dude who ploughs money into such companies.

I’ve been a member of the Bevan Foundation for a couple of years no. It’s a bit weird to be a paid-up member of a think tank, it’s not something I ever thought I’d do, but actually it’s just about getting great news updates on social justice issues in Wales – so basically bang on the money considering what I’m interested in. Their blog is well worth a read. Victoria Winckler has blogged about the threat of Universal Credit to Equality. It’s an interesting article as it’s not what I’d initially thought of when I heard about the Universal Credit, but not only will the credit severely affect the disabled and exclude those that are the wrong side of the digital divide, but it will also entrench divisions of labour in households.

The BBC’s programme ‘Women at the top‘ has looked at why so few women make it to the top in the world of business. I’d comment further, but I haven’t had the chance to watch this yet as I don’t have a TV and a certain telecoms company that I won’t mention (Orange) are ridiculously slow in getting our broadband installed.

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Penny Red vs patriarchy

There’s some stuff I tend not to blog about it, even though it’s pretty heavy stuff that people need to hear, examine and think about. Over the last couple of weeks you may have heard about Todd Akin‘s statement that the female body could naturally abort pregnancy when “legitimate rape” had taken place. I didn’t cover this, despite it being a blatant feminist issue, partly because the rest of the internet seemed to have it covered, and partly because I felt that as a guy I wouldn’t be able to sum up what is just about the worst thing one human being could do to another.  Obviously guys can be victims of rape too, but this was not the context of Akin’s statement.

Despite being a guy blogging about gender issues, Feminism is a movement best led by women otherwise it risks being undermined. However where I do think plenty of dudes out there can easily help it to call “bullshit” when you hear someone say something dodgy, sexist or just despicable. I kinda felt others were doing it better than I could ever do. I suggest you read Penny Red‘s blog instead, which is about as thought-provoking and moving a blog as you’re likely to read.

In a completely opposite vein, Heather McRobie has written for Open Democracy on how Feminism is currently caught up with the female body and wider social issues are not being examined. I don’t like writing about patriarchy, mainly cos I’m part of it (my gender), but her argument seems to fall flat to me as the language seems to me to be dictated by patriarchal forces.

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