Tag Archives: women’s rights

Take Me Out: a feminist’s dream?

11 Feb

ITV dating show

Take Me Out. It riles me. It grates with all my principles. It makes me feel embarrassed. Most of all, it makes me fear for the giant steps that women are currently making through campaigns such as This Girl Can and No More Page 3 (if you ignore the childish and aggressive behaviour of The Sun with regard to the latter). If I have these concerns then why do I continue to let my 6-year-old daughter watch Take Me Out? It’s all about the lessons she can learn.

“There’s a boy and a girl and if they switch their light off they don’t like him and then there’s one person left and they go on holiday to Fernando’s.” That’s how a child sums up the premise of Take Me Out, ITV’s 21st century (apparently) dating show. Simple, innocent, unquestioning. Of course, it’s great Saturday night entertainment and along with many other forms of entertainment where women aren’t given credit for having anything other than breasts, make-up and a desperate desire to meet Mr Right, many would say that it should just be treated as a bit of light-hearted fun. (Which brings us back to Page 3.) But as with many media portrayals deemed harmless and fun – think back to the racism in British TV shows in the 1970s – the potential for lasting damage, particularly on impressionable minds, is serious.

Why do I let my daughter watch it? Because her cranky mother with her feminist leanings sits next to her and provides a social commentary. Hands up – I enjoy the show. I enjoy it not because it makes me feel good about being a woman in 2015 but because of the constant amused disbelief it generates. It pleasurably raises my hackles and gives me full licence to pontificate to my daughter about everything that is wrong with the programme.

You shouldn’t judge people on their looks alone

In the last episode we watched, the majority of the girls switched off their lights on first sight of the man. What a blast to his self-esteem. We all form an immediate opinion of people based on first impressions – that’s normal – but we have to learn to recognise that shortfalling and then think beyond it.

“Won’t those girls who switched off their lights be really sad when they find out what a nice, interesting man he is?” I venture. Her argument was that the rules say you’re allowed to switch your light off in the first round – “No likey, no lighty, Mummy”. A rule’s a rule and I should probably be proud that she respects that.

It takes some effort to explain to a 6-year-old why it isn’t acceptable to judge someone based on how they look; they are still taking the first steps in developing empathy and mostly they are the centre of their own universe. Yet it doesn’t hurt to prod them in the ribs with a not-so-gentle reminder of how cruel TV ‘entertainment’ can be.

“Look mummy, she’s got trousers on”

As we watched the parade of girls at the beginning of Saturday’s show, I started to tut (quite rightly) about how they’d forgotten to put some of their clothes on. My daughter countered that the studio was probably quite hot. Fair point, but I went on to say how much better they would look dressed a little more … elegantly. My daughter told me that I’m not as stylish as the girls on Take Me Out. And they’re at least 20 years younger than me, dear daughter, and, as they are single and in all likelihood childless, they have a disposable income to deploy on looking ‘stylish’.

All is not lost though. When my daughter pointed out that one of the girls was actually wearing trousers (skin tight but at least no flesh on display) I congratulated myself with unashamed smugness that some of what I’ve preached might just be sinking in.

Fortunately, my 3-year-old son has no interest in Take Me Out. If he did then, yes, I would let him watch it too. And, yes, I would be equally keen to point out its inadequacies to him – perhaps with more vehemence than with my daughter. Part of that is that, whilst inequality continues, women are in dire need of help from men. It’s not up to women to fight alone but it will take more than Ed Miliband and Benedict Cumberbatch wearing t-shirts with slogans to force change from the roots up. Perhaps Take Me Out is another small step to educating the men and women of the future, providing we’re savvy enough to use all that is bad about it to do good.

Objects of desire

25 Sep

Fragile box

I have been slightly disturbed by a recent thread on a mums’ online group. The discussion was about the attractiveness of a local delivery man – his doorstep appeal. Sizzling, apparently. The type of fella you’d want to be answering the door to in your nightdress. Maybe letting your dressing gown slip open as you drowsily open the door at 7am. Desperate housewives having a bit of a giggle. All good, clean fun, right?

But turn the tables and is it so funny? Imagine a thread on a dads’ forum talking about a delivery woman: “Should’ve answered the door in my pants!” “Wouldn’t mind posting something in her box!” Suddenly it sounds less harmless and much seedier. Why is it okay for women to do to men what they don’t like done unto themselves? Is one of the benefits of being the ‘weaker’ sex that we can harangue men in a non-threatening and therefore acceptable way? Look at the ad with the Diet Coke man cutting the grass – tossing him the shaken can to open is equivalent to making a woman climb a ladder to look up her skirt. I’d like to see whether an advert like that would avoid complaints.

I’m not aiming criticism at the people who commented on the thread – I certainly want to be able to go into town without wearing a flak jacket – but it made me think about the double standards that operate in a society that is (hopefully) striving for equality. Perhaps turning the tables on men is a form of empowerment – an attempt to redress the balance of power by taking men on at their own game. After all, gender equality is about creating a level playing field. Do we therefore say, yes, it’s fine for women to talk about men based on their appearance and sex appeal alone. If we do, then at the same time we should be reaching for the topshelf in the newsagents and ripping the protective wrapping off the men’s magazines – right? It’s only fair after all. Either we agree that it’s acceptable to treat women and men like this, or we agree that no one should be reduced to the status of a mere sexual object.

That’s an awful lot of questions. I don’t have the answers and, yes, maybe I should take a hike and go and burn my bra someplace else. I am sure the delivery man – high up on his pedestal – is in no danger of being chased down and ravished by a pack of mums so to that extent it is harmless. But I wonder how he would feel if he read what was being said about him. Perhaps he’d be delighted and his testosterone levels would surge. But perhaps – and there’s a good chance – he would feel uncomfortable and more than a little embarrassed by the attention he’s received.

Am I a failed feminist?

28 Aug

Girl picking flower

I think I’m a feminist. That’s not me pushing back my chair to stand up and make a guilty admission. What I mean is that I think I’m a feminist but probably don’t meet all the requirements, if such rigid requirements indeed exist. I’m interested in the issues and barriers affecting women and will gladly step up on a soapbox or two. Is it terrible then that this afternoon I helped my 5-year-old daughter get ‘dolled up’ for an evening out at the theatre?

This afternoon was special. It was the last afternoon we had alone together before the start of the new school term. With a trip to the theatre with her dad planned for the evening, I decided to treat her to an afternoon of pampering. Or, as it turned out, I gave her a bath and painted her fingernails whilst she watched back-to-back episodes of iCarly. We chose a dress (pink) and a cardigan (sparkly) for her to wear out, selected some of her less tacky jewellery and packed a little handbag (the one that was “more like a grown-up’s”) with a purse, tissues and plasters (of course). Finally, I helped her apply a little bit of eyeshadow and some lip gloss. Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, or, in this case, freebie make-up sets from a well-known brand of kids’ shoes are.

Did I do wrong? No. Am I betraying my feminist tendencies? Possibly. I think it’s highly unlikely that our afternoon will send her in the direction of wanting to be a glamour model rather than a rocket scientist. Equally, I doubt that she will be left thinking looks are more important than anything else. What we did this afternoon was for her. She’s not interested in what other people think when they look at her. (And I hope that will long continue.) She’s interested in how things make her feel inside. Doing what she sees Mummy doing made her feel more grown-up and thus independent, things most children hanker after whether or not we agree with or support it. It wasn’t about feeling more like a ‘woman’ (with the negative connotation that women are defined by make-up and fashion), it was simply about being on level pegging with an adult. If taking a razor to an imaginary beard could have had the same effect, she probably would have done it.

I’m very much against thrusting toys at girls that could narrow their aspirations. We fought the tide of pink in our household and were eventually overwhelmed. But rather than call wildly for help from a sea of sparkly plastic, I’ve hoisted myself on a boogie board and ridden the wave. Pink paraphernalia, make-up and glitter aren’t going to put my daughter in a pigeon hole from where she can’t see the stars. There are things in our world far more powerful and pervasive that will try to inflict such damage. What matters is her having confidence – the ability to define who she is by herself, rather than be defined. If the biggest enemies to achieving this were the colour pink and a bit of nail polish then the need for feminism would have ceased to exist a long time ago.

Pretty in pink: is my daughter doomed?

6 Feb
 Yellow Moon

Photo credit: Yellow Moon

According to government minister Jenny Willott in a debate today, pink toys are damaging the economy. Damaging it? Going by the number of pink toys in shops I’d say they’re supporting it. But Ms Willott was referring to something much more sinister and long-term. She argues that pink toys are steering girls away from careers in engineering and the sciences and therefore businesses are missing out on “vital talent”.  Toys – and the associated stereotypes – are to blame for the gender gap.

This puts me in a quandary. I’m not happy with the way toys are marketed at boys and girls. Lego Friends leaves a bad taste in my mouth. However, I resent the suggestion that my 5-year-old daughter’s future success will be mapped out for her by the toys she plays. If I listen to what was said in today’s debate then she’s doomed! I might as well start my search for a rich husband for her now. Like many first-time parents, I started off adamant that pink plastic and sparkles were not going to become part of our household. Yet 5 years on, my daughter last night set up a mini hair salon in her bedroom and I happily let her brush my hair and smudge lipstick across my face. The pink flood inevitably sweeps into your home, regardless of how much parental sand-bagging you do.

Am I worried that she’s going to think she can’t achieve a professorship in astrophysics? No. Am I going to thrust Meccano at her and make her play with it goddammit? No, I’m not. Of course I’d rather she got a buzz from building a 6-foot replica of the Forth Bridge in Lego. Of course I find bottles of Princess Aurora perfume and hair braiding sets intensely annoying in the way they reinforce gender stereotypes -but my daughter likes them. She has a little brother so there are plenty of ‘boys’ toys and ‘girls’ toys in our house – she can play with whatever she likes. Giving children free rein to choose what they play with is positively advocated. If my daughter that day chooses her Lego Friends café over a Lego digger then who am I to stop her?

When I look at the toys she plays with that are supposedly ‘girlie’ I see much more than a future vision of her propping up a nail bar. Take Hama beads for example: fairly girlish, arty, pretty, plenty of pink beads for budding princesses. But there is so much more to them. As my daughter focuses intently for half an hour on making a flower I can see her learning concentration, patience, design, symmetry, maths (she counts the beads when copying examples) and science (the heat applied to the materials causes them to melt and fuse – well, you didn’t think I told her it was magic, did you?).

Sure, there are lots of pink plastic toys for girls that are useless and serve no purpose. That’s what the children of yesteryear used to call ‘fun’ before we forgot how to have it. My little girl learns through playing with things that make her happy. By being happy she feels comfortable with herself. Without that comfort she will never have the confidence to open her mind and imagine what she is capable of. If her first step on the road to becoming an astronaut is sticking stars on a Barbie picture then so be it.

It’s all about balls

5 Jan

Ball pond

I have a dream.  I have a dream that one day no article about women and their careers will need to mention their beauty regime or their wardrobe. Today I clicked on a feature about a well-known woman in the media industry hoping for some nuggets of her wisdom.  Indeed there were some, but I also came away knowing about her shoe preferences and skincare. Granted, in her particular field (fashion magazines) looking good is a sadly unavoidable factor. What bothers me is that in articles about women their appearance so often becomes part of defining their success.  It’s hardly furthering the cause.

It isn’t the details of a person’s personal life encroaching on their professional life that grates. Successful people are created by who they are and not just by what they achieve at work. It is interesting to learn that someone runs 20km to work or spends their spare time writing poetry. These things maketh the (wo)man. What becomes annoying is the unnecessary detail, the detail that doesn’t contribute to an understanding of why an individual has achieved what they have.

I read an article last year about easyJet chief executive Carolyn McCall – only the third female boss of a FTSE-100 company – that I wish I’d saved, so refreshing was its approach. It made me hopeful about the portrayal of women in the media. Not once did it mention her appearance. There was no talk of her home life. She was defined neither by her looks nor by whether she had kids. Other than the startling fact about how few women feature in the FTSE, she was written about neutrally – not as a man or a woman but as a business person. In fact, the treatment that men normally receive.

The piece about Carolyn McCall proved that it can be done – that a woman can be portrayed as simply being damned good at her job with not one ounce of that success being attributed to (or at least mentioned alongside) how she looks. We don’t need to know where she shops, whether she waxes or which member of One Direction she prefers. It may seem remarkable to some, but having balls isn’t just the preserve of men.

Parental guidance: thrusting, twerking and dirty words

15 Nov

Parental Advisory image

Miley, Miley, Miley. She’s whipped parents up into a frenzy and perhaps not in the way she intended. Or maybe it was. I doubt she’s the easily led pop starlet that Mammy O’Connor seems to worry that she is. The whole Robin Thicke/VMA episode pushed boundaries (and bikini lines) just a little bit too far given the show’s potential audience. We now find ourselves in a ‘storm of controversy’ about the heavy dose of sex in pop music, and for that, Miley, I thank you.

I became a prude when the heavy responsibility of owning a 5-year-old daughter dawned on me. They get to an age when Nicki Minaj gyrating on the floor in neon can no longer be mistaken for an episode of the Teletubbies. The questions start. Then the imitation.  And don’t get me started on the long-term effects on men’s perceptions of women, female self-esteem, etc,  etc , etc.  Phew, makes me so hot under the collar I feel like stripping off and putting on a flesh-coloured bikini – if only my principles allowed it.

Let’s be honest, it’s not a new phenomenon. There have been plenty of thrusting crotches (Presley, Jackson) in the history of pop music that have raised the eyebrows of parents fearing for their impressionable young. I’m sure crotches and butts will be thrusting well into the 22nd century and will continue to generate debate as to their effect on our morals. We need to accept that the pop world isn’t going to stop getting its boobs out any time soon. In the face of that, what we can do is develop coping strategies. What can you say to your kids when you find them with Miley’s derriere in their face or listening to what you thought was the radio edit? Here are some ideas, entirely palatable for the prudish parent:

  • “No, darling. Those people in the audience aren’t cheering her – they’re laughing at her. Silly thing has forgotten to put her clothes on.”
  • “How funny that they’re singing about their socks being on fire. A bit like that Bruno Mars chap singing about how those socks take him to paradise. He’d love M&S wouldn’t he?”
  • “I’m not sure why she’s rubbing her bottom on him like that. She doesn’t look very comfortable. It could be worms. Yes, yuck indeed.”
  • “Twerking? I’m not sure. Ask Grandad – he’s from Yorkshire.”
  • “What does she want? To go up her reward chart of course. She’s been a good girl.”
  • “I’m sure that Professor Poet and First Officer Ditty will cover what rhymes with ‘hug me’ on Rhyme Rocket. Let’s not speculate on it in front of your grandmother.”

Rather than beat our heads against a brick wall expecting immediate change, let’s take a step back and view the pop world with humour and disdain in equally useful measures. I hope that I can instill in my kids some sense that what they see on TV and hear on the radio is not aspirational. Let them laugh at it. My daughter needs to know that she doesn’t need to strip down to her undies to be considered attractive or successful or to be empowered.  My son needs to understand that there’s more to women than their bodies and what they can do for men.

If entertainment wants to be overtly sexual and entertainers are happy portraying that then who are we really to tell them to stop. Let’s just switch them off. What would be sad would be if the blurred lines between entertainment and reality stopped generating debate and there became no lines at all.

Women: big business

30 Jan

Businesswoman

Sometimes I wonder if top female business executives would be better off keeping their mouths shut about the issue of women in the workplace and the challenges they face. Do they actually do more damage to the cause in trying to support it? Hell’s bells, I hate to use the word cause. It shouldn’t even be a cause. Whilst a topic remains a ‘cause’ it will never become normalised. Are high-flying business women really all that inspirational?

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer at Facebook, used the opportunity to talk about the gender stereotypes that are holding women back in the workplace.  According to Sandberg, the more successful men get the more they are liked and the more successful women become the less they are liked.  It seems that people don’t like to see women outside of their stereotypical role of wife/mother and assuming the supposedly masculine traits needed to succeed in the cut throat world of business. So unladylike!

I’m very much with Sandberg in grimacing at this unfortunate by-product of centuries of gender stereotyping. However, in the interest of openness at work (and perhaps with a misguided nod towards the ‘normalisation’ of working parents), she went on to suggest that employers should be allowed to ask their employees whether they want to have children. On this point I have to disagree with her. That’s right, one of the most personal questions you can ask someone and the answer could be scribbled down on your employment record. Perhaps the employer will also tell you openly how many doors will be shut in your face depending on the answer you give. I’m all for a climate of openness and flexibility in the working environment to help parents but I question whether Sandberg’s suggestion would genuinely benefit both parties.

Differences aside, Sandberg did use a prominent stage to champion equality for women in the workplace and for that I salute her. But here I put on my weary face. We’ve heard this a million times before from women – or, more specifically, mothers – in top jobs. These are women who have made it to the top with immense effort but – and here’s the rub – they are also women who are exceptional in some way. Exceptional can mean a whole range of things:  they have voracious ambition (oops – I almost said like men), they have ninja business brains, they have made enormous sacrifices in their family life, they can afford dawn to dusk childcare, their partners have been the stay at home parent, etc, etc.  The list could go on. What I am trying to say is that women who make it to the top of their career bring something extraordinary to the table that (dare I say) ‘ordinary’ women (like me) don’t or can’t.  I would hazard a guess that whatever their unique quality is, it has the power to override any unfair treatment they might receive on their way up the ladder. (To be fair, the same applies to men. Not every man has, as this debate would sometimes lead us to believe, the innate ability to be a CEO just because they have different genitalia.)

Top business jobs do require an exceptionally talented candidate and when you get to such a narrow stratum of the business population is it really such a surprise that you don’t find representatives from every walk of life? Is there debate around discrimination against the unexceptional people in society? Those who are great assets to a business but cannot work until 2am in the morning? The people who say “I want to have a brilliant career and a brilliant family life in equal measure”? Perhaps we should be focussing on letting women get on with their careers and creating their own definition of success so that a woman running a multi-million pound company isn’t constantly marked out as the sole example of success in a man’s world. The women I would love to hear from are the ones who are happy, content and successful in their jobs and who have achieved a work-life balance. There are plenty of stories of women flying high because they’ve sacrificed something from their personal life or are so hard-wired to business that they started turning a profit selling tampons in the school toilets aged 11. I want to hear more from women who have achieved the Holy Grail of a perfect work-life balance – if such a thing indeed exists. That I would find inspirational.

Sexing up women’s sport: is this really the 21st century?

13 Oct

Sometimes women can be their own worst enemy. Take former England cricketer Ebony Rainford-Brent’s views on how to encourage women into sport in the article Sexing up key to boosting profile of women’s sport which appeared on the BBC website earlier this month. After reading this article I had to check the date – not only to check that it wasn’t April 1st but also to see whether we’d mysteriously travelled back several decades in time.

Ms Rainford-Brent summarises her stance thus: “You want women to be attracted to the sport, but sex sells”. Note the almost apologetic addition of the word ‘but’ as if to make it alright to say “You want women to be equal, but we’ve got tits and bums you know”. She goes on:

“Some of the biggest barriers for young girls playing sport is the image and being sweaty or a bit masculine, so if you can make the sport more attractive for females to play then you will attract more girls in.”

I can imagine that’s an enormous barrier. Women are infamous for not wanting to break into a sweat. The birth rate plummeted when women realised it was near impossible to give birth without a slight dampness of the brow. How Sweaty Betty stays in business I don’t know, such is the image it gives of hairy women in gyms, armpits dripping, whilst around them men recoil in disgust at the sight of such a depraved betrayal of femininity.

According to this dubious ambassador for women’s rights, “women’s tennis … [attracts] female crowds because the players look feminine, but they are very sporty.” Really? They can look feminine AND be sporty? I’m grateful here for Ms R-B’s instruction as I had always assumed the two were mutually exclusive. Whatever next? Women can have blonde hair AND be clever? Women can have kids AND a successful career? I know this last one is extreme and every cell in your body rejects it but just imagine …

So why does Ms R-B think cricket is a shining example of what women can achieve?

“Women’s cricket also has a good advantage in that we have very feminine looking and good players, but when we started playing we wore the England men’s kit which was very baggy and heavy and didn’t look great.”

When they painted their nails pink they beat India. When they were first sponsored by Jimmy Choo they beat Australia, considered the best women’s cricket team in the world. But, by god, those heels were a b*gger when running up to bowl. Forget determination, physical strength and skill, clearly women can achieve anything with a little feminine tailoring. Make it pink and they can take on the world.

I’m not kept awake at night thinking about how more women should be getting into sport. As far as I can see, they’re already there. (I think there was something on the TV recently called the Olympics – I recall seeing at least a couple of women taking part and I believe that some even won medals. That said, we managed to detract from some very successful women by prefixing every mention of their name with the phrase “London 2012 poster girl”.)

There’s no doubt that certain sports are dominated by men and that the women in those sports struggle to be taken seriously by sponsors and the media, but is turning every women’s sport into beach volleyball really the way forward? Surely equality is about minimising and not accentuating differences. Women are as physically and mentally determined as men and as motivated by success and money. And if they break a fingernail in the process then I doubt you’ll find many sportswomen at the touch line with a tear-streaked face touching up their mascara.

London to Paris for 56DD return

13 Sep

It’s good to know we’re in the 21st century. An era where we’ve learnt to be respectful of individuals, what they are and who they want to be. Where exploitation is not tolerated and men and women stand shoulder to shoulder – equal. Isn’t that right Eurostar? I see you nodding. THEN WHAT’S WITH THE BOOBS IN YOUR LATEST AD CAMPAIGN?

(Apologies all for the poor quality of the photo. It was taken on a train – me, a sole woman in a carriage full of men, trying to take a photo of some woman’s breasts without anyone noticing. People have been thrown off trains for such offences.)

Eurostar have recently launched a campaign (I admit, a cleverish one) which, as their press release states, “From cricket to the Little Black Dress, … highlights things that are considered to be iconically British but which actually originated in France or Belgium.” You’d be forgiven for thinking that the advert featured here therefore suggests that breasts originated in France. In fact, the reference point is the bra but, let’s be honest, who noticed the bra with those fellas vying for your attention?

And so in the 21st century where on one hand we’re worrying about why there aren’t more women in top jobs, on the other we’re still using near-naked babes to sell products. I should change that to read near-naked boobs, after all the woman around them clearly isn’t all that important. We don’t see her head (what’s the point, there’s probably nothing in it anyway) or the rest of her body (so we’ll never know if she’s actually carrying a briefcase and is simply in the process of getting dressed for her job as CEO of a FTSE 100 company, snapped accidentally by her stay-at-home-dad husband who is getting ready for the school run).

Ah, the humble breast. There are few topics that can excite such debate. Should we keep them in? Should we get them out? (Perhaps keep one in and one out at all times to cover any social situation. This should give you plenty of time to assess the tone of the room and be half ready either way.) If women get them out to breastfeed in public they run the risk of upsetting the bloke on the next table even though they’re doing the most natural thing in the world (what breasts were made for). That same bloke will turn back to his table in disgust, flip open his newspaper at page 3 and ogle the bums and tits unashamedly.

As a society (cue broad sweeping statement), we’re obsessed with boobs as sexual beasts. Arguably, this can be empowering for women. I tell you what though, if the only way I can truly feel and be powerful is by being objectified into one huge boob then I’d rather my chest was as flat as a pancake. I don’t imagine that Hilary Devey’s current television series Women at the Top is going to conclude that women bring something different to the boardroom and that that something different is simply their breasts.

Mayer have a career please?

24 Jul

Mums get it in the neck. Sometimes they just can’t win. Debate is raging around Marissa Mayer, Yahoo’s CEO, and her assertion that she’ll only be taking a few weeks of maternity leave and plans to pretty much work through it. Naive? Yes. (A newborn is bloody hard work.) But with lots of cash to throw at the situation? Well, yes, maybe it is possible to resume your career the day the baby and mother are booted out of the private hospital followed by a gaggle of muslin-clutching nannies ready to mop up every posset. Three cheers for the woman with a successful career! Hooray for the woman who’s having a baby! But a woman trying to have a career and a baby at the same time? Boo hiss!

Marissa Mayer is an amazing example of what a woman can achieve in business. What? Even wearing heels and lipstick? Well, yes. Patronising as it may sound to mark her out as something extraordinary, that – unfortunately – is the world we live in. Women at Ms Mayer’s level are still an exception rather than a rule. It’s still odd. It is even more odd – as the debate around her comments would suggest – that a woman could choose to have a baby and choose to continue her career at the expense of the precious time that not being at work allows a mother and her child.

Yet if you’ve already made sacrifices and worked flipping hard why would you want to give up any elements of what you’ve achieved? You’re still a mother regardless. Your child still needs you and in amongst the conference calls and PDA tapping you’ll make sure you meet that need. Many women don’t get the chance to spend a long maternity leave with their child and for reasons very different to Marissa Mayer’s. She may not need to go back to work for the money but plenty of women do and need to do so quick smartish – a sad reality, like it or not, of a world driven by filthy lucre.

A woman shouldn’t have to choose a career over parenthood (or vice versa). The midwife doesn’t send you out of the hospital with a placard saying “I’m a Mother and I aspire to nothing but burping my baby”.  Equally, if/when you do return to work you don’t wear a badge saying “Opting out – I’m just here for nappy money”. But  in a society where women are still the primary carers for children, making sacrifices (intentionally or otherwise) is inevitable. Even when you attempt to strike a work/life balance it can, speaking from experience, feel like you’re failing at both. Should you be able to have your cake and eat it? Of course, but for most ordinary women it isn’t possible to be Superwoman – and let’s face it Marissa Mayer isn’t ‘ordinary’.

Marissa Mayer would probably love to take a year off if she knew for sure that things wouldn’t move on without her and set back her achievements. Bringing up a child alongside the pressures of her career will be another achievement that she can be proud of. To me she doesn’t sound like a woman who would do things by halves.

William's stories

Lots of stories!

blue milk

thinking + motherhood = feminist

Sara Bran

Notes on Gravity

bee & barlie's books

English Children's Books: Writing for other Expat families

Slummy single mummy

FAMILY /// LIFESTYLE /// TRAVEL

ccstomberg

Random musings

My growing obsession blog

Struggles and successes in a suburban garden

angelbaby

a pro breastfeeding and gentle parenting blog

Style in my City

Fashion, food, lifestyle and culture in St Albans

simonsometimessays

...and sometimes he sings it instead

Love All Blogs

the first blog showcasing site and non-profit making, altruistic network that welcomes all bloggers

Dorkymum | Stories from Tasmania

Stories from our family home in Tasmania

Mayfair Mum

Adventures raising a Little Chap and more

Northern Mummy with Southern Children

Tales from a northerner stuck in the south

%d bloggers like this: