Aileen Colleran’s Blog

Partick, Politics and Passions

It’s a man’s world..

In this allegedly post-feminist world , it’s always useful to be reminded of the facts of inequality, instead of tabloid mythologies about Alpha Woman and Ladettes. The EOC in producing its last report “Completing the Revolution” has highlighted the dismal fact that it will take 200 years to close the power gap.

Am reading Rebel Girls by Jill Liddington, about the little known history of working class suffragettes – what hard lives and scarcity of opportunity women had in years past – and it’s humbling to read the descriptions of their thirst for knowledge , the obstacles to education, the battle for the vote – which did include actual physical violence. Their fight wasn’t just against patronising attitudes , but included torture and abuse , something that puts a dreadful perspective on the fact that some women don’t bother voting at all today. I vaguely remember a BBC drama about the suffaragettes called Shoulder to Shoulder ,which arguably provided better role models for young women instead of Jordan and Paris Hilton. My generation is less apologetic about our feminism, ( in the words of Rebecca West, whenever I express sentiments that distinguish me from a doormat… ) perhaps because the anti women backlash wasn’t in full force when we were growing up.

Backlash by Susan Faludi was written in 1992, an early prediction of how the small victories of feminism in the sixties and seventies were being rolled back by the media , to the extent that women were being invited to become ‘empowered’ to move beyond daft notions of campaigning for equality and justice.

On attending the first post-election Cosla meeting I couldn’t help myself – on looking round the room I ended up declaring rather sarcastically (and audibly) – Yes, its good to see gender balance at the highest levels of Scottish local government ..(and that applied to every party political group by the way..)

Do gender balance mechanisms work : answer : yes

So the reason for not having them is ?


July 29, 2007 - Posted by | Equality

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