Saturday, 26 April 2008

How far have we come?

With thanks to lovely folks on Twitter:

The 1943 Guide to Hiring Women, shared by Alyssa Royse at the Seattle PI Readers' Blog.

LOL! It seems more of a guide against hiring women:

... cantankerous and fussy?
... mentally or physically unfit for the job?
... service is likely to be slowed up?
... bothering the management for instructions every few minutes?

Silvio Berlusconi might agree with much on the list, having declared that the new Spanish government is "too pink" and warned that the Spanish Prime Minister will struggle to control the women in his cabinet: "He will have problems leading them. Now he's asked for it."

Indeed, as Emine Saner explains, the Berlusconi camp seem intent on undermining women at every turn, going as far as to suggest "that they are either too good looking or too ugly to be taken seriously." Media representation of women in politics encourages such a viewpoint; Emine gives a number of examples of women in politics who are often judged for the way they look rather than for their policies.

Catherine Bennett agrees that there is a good deal of inequality when it comes to men and women in politics; unlike male politicians, the criteria of a female politician's appearance is always included in "any thorough assessment of her achievements."

Hmmm. How far have we really come?

Another gem from Twitter:

The Fifties Woman: The Good Wives Guide:

A good wife always knows her place?

A generation of women fought hard for changes, for the right to live our own lives and make our own decisions, to leave the home and go out to work, to communicate with men in our lives on an equal footing, to raise our children as individuals rather than simply as "little teasures ... playing the part."

Yet here we are, a time when public life is more male than at any time since the 1970s, as Jackie Ashley explains: "Those of us interested in politics must reclaim our space."

And shouldn't we all be interested in politics? Surely politics have an effect on each and every one of us (irrelevant of gender) in one way or another?

And perhaps the real question is not, "How far have we come?"

But rather, "How far can we go?"


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