This sort of rhetoric parroted every year by a generation laughably removed from the youth employment market is dangerously naive.
Thousands of teenagers ran out of their schools and sixth form colleges clutching GCSE and A-Level results last week, many of them excited about what the future holds. But that future is rarely in their hands.
A couple of years ago, Conservative Home Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities, Theresa May and Diane Abbott, Labour MP and Shadow Minister for Public Health were both proudly photographed in t-shirts emblazoned with the slogan ‘This is What A Feminist Looks Like’ in a cross party display of support for the Fawcett Society’s 2006/07 ‘Feminist Challenge’.
If some of the more hysterical right wing papers are to be believed there is only one type of young person; the angry, feckless yob that graces the front of the tabloids carrying various electronic goods looted from Argos.
There is a story retold by historian, Robert Darnton, about a series of ritualistic murders of cats in the printers’ district of pre-revolutionary Paris that shocked and horrified its residents. It turned out that the cats were killed by the apprentices as revenge for the ill treatment, low pay and little chance of career advancement at the hands of their masters and their masters’ wives.
The inequalities between men and women in the UK speak for themselves but the endless competition and bickering between the champions of women’s rights and men’s rights hinders progress towards equality because it distracts their attention away from the bigger picture.
Pronouncements on sexual inequality in the UK are normally met with an eye roll by my generation. As the babies born at the tail end of the Thatcher era in the late eighties and early nineties graduate university and begin to enter the real world, the fight for female social equality is all too often regarded as a fight that their mothers had already won. Inequality is seen as a relic of a past and those who continue to talk about it are merely causing trouble.
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