Monday, 1 June 2009

Women have never had it so good?

Sir Stuart Rose, Chair of Marks and Spencer, says "Women have never had it so good." He asks with exasperation what we're unhappy about as a new study by M&S shows women are less happy than in the rigid inequality days of the 1950s.

Could it be, Stuart, that in spite of all the pretty things you desperately need to sell us, and, as you say there are women in high spots in industry now; but you see we women are aware of rather more than that going on.
Frankly my dear, you sound like the men of my youth who thought women shouldn't worry their "pretty little heads" about serious matters.

Here's a quick sample of why women might not be entirely happy.

Domestic violence is a national epidemic with women dying from it every single week.
Rape is running unchecked across our lives. Hardly any rapists get charged, and those that do, don't get sentenced.
Women are giving birth in agony, with huge short staffing in labour wards wrecking safety.
New mothers are chucked on the street within a day. As a result, the Victorian scourge puerperal fever, has returned. It kills. Yet it's so easy to prevent with good hygiene and keeping a nurse's eye on new mothers.
The property boom has pushed rent and mortgages sky high so almost all women have to work for money. Choice? You must be joking. LSE research showed that only 30% of women actually want to go out to work full time when they have a child. About 80% do it, unhappily.
We are separated from mothers, sisters and brothers who traditionally helped us cope with our children. We are separated because we are forced to get jobs in other areas.
We watch horrified and helpless as our children grow up badly because we are not there.
The education system is dangerous to kids, with its violent bullying in every school, drugs, knives, a radical lack of studying ethos.
The ruthless fashion industry is destroying our confidence worse than ever. Your industry, dear Stuart, which kills young girls who starve themselves to try to be "beautiful."

We are utterly utterly exhausted with covering three roles, job, mother, home, making it work. Our health is suffering.
Yes there have been some improvements. But don't insult us by saying that this is equality, or feminism.


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