I read a post by a woman on Facebook recently that said:
“Our generation is so busy trying to prove that women can do what men can do that women are losing their uniqueness. Women weren’t created to do everything that a man can do. Women were created to do everything that a man can’t do.”
Now, I’m not trying to spark any kind of gender debate, but I disagree with the lady that wrote this and I personally think that without meaning to, she is doing us a real dis-service.
Women have been ‘competing’ with men for centuries. We’ve been doing the same things because we’ve had to and not because we’ve wanted to prove to men that we are as good as they are. Think of women who have worked and still do work alongside their men folk as subsistence farmers. What about the Pilgrims who journeyed to the New World and the journeys across to the Wild West? If the man died, the woman got on with it. And we still do. I hate to mention it, but there were women convicts who were transported to Australia for their crimes, even if it was stealing food to feed their families. We got ‘equal’ treatment there then.
Mae West once said:
“Every man I meet wants to protect me. I can’t figure out what from.”
I’m with Mae. I don’t think we really want men to protect us from life. We want to taste it all ourselves and eat greedily with a big spoon. We want to be able to do what we want. We want the same opportunities. We are prepared to take the same risks but we also deserve the same rewards.
“Sure he was great, but don’t forget that Ginger Rogers did everything [Fred Astaire] did, .. backwards and in high heels.”
My Facebook friend, I think, was making a point about the women who risk life exploring mountains and parts of the planet that are a risk to any human life. However, she hasn’t done her homework. Before the current crop of female adventurers there was Freya Stark in the 19th Century (and there are many others).
I think she’s missing the point. Women have had to push through boundaries, glass ceilings and a lack of faith in every aspect of our life for centuries. Depending upon your beliefs, you may accept that woman was created from the rib of man. Through the ages, women have been the possessions of man. We have been chaperoned and protected to within an inch of our lives, whilst all we really want is equality.
During the Second World War women worked the farms to produce our food, they ‘manned munitions’ factories making ammunition and also made the wonderful aircraft that prevailed in the Battle of Britain (and delivered them too).
Before Margaret Thatcher was refusing to do a U-Turn in one of the most remarkable and iconic hairstyles ever, Indira Ghandi was Prime Minister of India. And by the way, in the UK the Suffragettes fought for the right to representation and finally won us the right to vote in 1918 ( 1928 for women over 21).
Marilyn Vos Savant (appropriately named) is the person who has the highest recorded IQ in history with a score of 190. Albert Einstein’s IQ was 160 and Stephen Hawking’s is 162.
In the medical sphere Marie Curie was doing her bit. Born in November 1867, she did pioneering research on radioactivity and was the first woman to win a Nobel Peace Prize. Before her, Florence Nightingale was nursing soldiers on the battlefields of the Crimea.
We were at last allowed to compete in marathon running races in 1972 – for the first time at the Boston Marathon. The first British astronaut was Helen Sharman, who went into space in 1991, way before Tim Peak, who only went into space in December 2015.
In the financial world we have Nicola Horlick and Helena Morrissey, both of whom have been successfully running wealth management firms for many years. Clara Furse was chairman of the London Stock Exchange before Xavier Rolet. Then there is Baroness Karren Brady who was voted as one of the 50 most influential people in the world, is a life peer, Chairman of West Ham Football Club and a non executive director of SyCo Entertainment.
And frankly, we need not say anything about Anna Wintour. The woman is a legend.
There are so many other influential women in Britain alone that I would love to mention, but the post would end up as a book!
I want to expand the content of this blog. I’m very interested in the development of women. I’m interested in the achievements that we’ve made. I’m interested in understanding why we are what we are now and how we got here. I’m going to write a series of posts on the Feminine Agenda and I’m really looking forwards to writing them and celebrating who and what we are.