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.
For the last four years I’ve been paying my karmic dues (I would say “contributing to the big society”, but it makes me feel a bit sick in my mouth) by teaching English to a group of asylum seeking women in East London. This is what they want to know.
Banter is a very odd thing. As an activity it provides a handy shelter for bigots to flex their anti PC brigade muscles and to prove to their friends that they fell out of the funny tree and hit every branch on the way down. What it is not alledgedly is subjective. Anyone who questions the banter status quo is immediately deemed humourless. I’ve seen it used to shield people from accusations of racism, homophobia, disablism and sexism and it’s the latter, which as a 45 year old woman, I’ve witnessed most.
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.
A YouGov survey commissioned by the End Violence Against Woman Coalition (EVAW) this week has found that four in 10 women report experiencing sexual harassment in public spaces over the last year. Some of you may have read that figure and been shocked. I was shocked, too – shocked that it was so low.
As someone who is interested in feminism as a movement, I was pleased to find out about RadFem2012 – a Radical Feminism conference held in London in July. Unfortunately, to my disappointment and anger, this conference has a policy of excluding people based on gender – not only men, but also people who are transgender.
Perusing Facebook recently, I stumbled across a cartoon that could be said to represent the relativist view of women’s rights. The cartoon was of two women, one of whom was dressed in a bikini while the other was wearing a niqab.
Last week, two men were arrested after undercover investigators from the Sunday Times filmed medical professionals in the UK offering to perform female genital mutilation (FGM) on girls as young as ten. They have denied any wrongdoing, but it is estimated that 100,000 women living in the UK have survived FGM, with a further 22,000 girls under 16 at risk. I spoke to Nimco Ali from the Bristol-based organisation Daughters of Eve about her work to eradicate this harmful practice and support survivors of FGM.
As what became known as the Asian grooming trial finally reached its sentencing stage this week, I found myself thinking back to the few days I had spent in the company of a half-dozen British-born Pakistanis. They were on the last leg of a tour, distributing aid from the UK-based charity Muslim Aid, in some [...]
Life as a woman is difficult. The diet of salad and Ryvita; the pressure at work to play with Maltesers in a coquettish manner; the endless hours spent worrying about being bloated, consuming endless tubs of yoghurt. If there’s one thing advertising tells us about women, it’s that we bloody love yoghurt.
Latest from Independent journalists on Twitter