On Tuesday I made two discoveries. Firstly, I stumbled over How to make a Mummy feel special, because I get just as irritated by media criticism/coverage of working mothers.
Then I read her post – described thus
“The Friday Rant Club is an opportunity to get all those frustrations that have been building up off your chest before the weekend. Either post something in the comments below or write your own one. There’s a little badge over there on the right if you fancy showing the world that you are not a doormat!”
Everyone loves a rant once in a while *ahem*
I set about ranting at the aspects of work that I am not enjoying at the moment. Then someone in the office brought my attention to an article in last Saturday’s Guardian
It may be dated April 1st but it isn’t (unfortunately) an April fool. *Deep breathe* it refers to David Willetts the Universities Minister, a member of the Government. If you blood pressure is a bit low you can read the full article
Some how this man is still in a job. Some how main stream media don’t seem to be screeching about this. For anyone who doesn’t want to read the whole article here is a quote from The Guardian.
“Willetts said feminism was probably the “single biggest factor” for the lack of social mobility in Britain, because women who would otherwise have been housewives had taken university places and well-paid jobs that could have gone to ambitious working-class men. The Conservative minister made his comments before the launch of the government’s social mobility strategy next week”.
I won’t patronise anyone reading this blog with a statistics of relating to Women in Parliament, Women in the Judiciary, Women in Senior management etc etc. because I know you are all well aware, I don’t see any taking going on, I see that women are under represented.
As working woman who worked flipping hard to get educated and get where I am, I find this erm,…. what is the word I am looking for…offensive. Yes, I will stick with offensive.
I am sorry aspiring man – but if you were that aspiring then maybe you should have sorted it out. I don’t see why I should have given up my opportunities or aspirations based on my gender. Or maybe this is all in Mr Willetts head.
According the Guardian Mr Willetts continued;
“He expounded the downsides of the “admirable transformation of opportunities for women” by suggesting opening up education since the 1960s had magnified social divides, courtesy of “assortative mating” whereby well-educated women marry well-educated men.”
“It is delicate territory, because it is not a bad thing that women had these opportunities,” he said. “But it widened the gap in household incomes, because you suddenly had two-earner couples, both of whom were well-educated, compared with often workless households where nobody was educated.”
Well, imagine! Women being attracted to an equal!
What are women supposed to do? Stay in the kitchen and shut up? Excuse me, can someone check the date is this not 2011?
But my biggest issue is that he has boiled this down to ‘Feminism’. Feminism the dirty word. For me feminism is about equal pay and equal rights. Flexible working and good paternity rights for both partners.Respecting the work women do within the home and outside of the home. Valuing child care and bringing up children. Not having to enjure sexist language or sexist jokes. I could go on. It’s not about hating men. I’ve met a lot of women who would call themselves feminist, I’m sad that more women don’t. This thing is about hating men is, in my experience, a myth, sure there are extremist, but they don’t represent the whole movement. It’s a myth that suits people that have an issue with feminism and all it represents. Feminism is not a negative thing, it is a very positive thing not just for women, for children, for men, for a civilised society. It’s something that I intend to encourage my son to embrace, I hope that it will influence him to be a better partner, friend and maybe father in the future.
Last note, how ironic that Mr Willetts the University minister is so concerned for the aspiring working class men and social mobility when his own Government have introduced tuition fees that will make University an even harder to reach goal for anyone whose background is anything other than ‘well off’ be that middle class or working class. Realistically those who won’t go to university will be those from poor backgrounds and now whose promoting Social Mobility?.
Oh I feel so much better for a rant.