LETTERS FROM LONDON
REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL
10 March 2013
Hi Mum

What a thrilling weekend. International Women's Day and Mother's day. So not.
Did anyone really take notice of the former? Barely covered by the media.

Surely almost everyone with a mother bought/sent flowers, chocolates, a card,
possibly took her out for a meal.

By the time it took to select the 'I Love You Mum', 'The Best Mum', 'Happy
Mother's Day' card at Paperchase, women were murdered, raped, tortured,
abused, humiliated, insulted, dismissed, demeaned, blanked, beaten, sold,
received 1/3 the salary of men, were sacked when they became pregnant,
couldn't dream of moving up the smarmy ladder of success/power/bonuses,
while babies (yes, babies) and children were genitally mutilated (yes, with those
infamous rusty razor blades).

No need to list the statistics as we're all aware of them - dismal though they are
and to be honest, they have no affect on the collective conscious or
unconscious. However, the latest show that a handsome man in any job can
earn 22% more than a not particularly good-looking colleague, yet a beautiful
woman is not paid a penny more than her ordinary-looking colleague. Oh dear.
Now this. Sad.

Curiously men love, respect, admire their mothers, but not necessarily their
partners/lovers/wives/girlfriends/mothers of their children.

I saw American writer Alice Walker on BBC
Hardtalk for a bit and while she
acknowledged that men hold all the power all the time, she was excited that
there were men, groups of men who were actively supporting women, you
know, women who are more than 50% of the population. Really? Where?
When? Could she name any?

To celebrate International Women's Day, in Changsha, China's Hunan province
women had a huge pillow fight. The organisers of the feather festival said it
would ease the stress in the daily life of all its citizens once the streets were
filled with white feathers. Could it be that women were doing most of the work
and were the most stressed?

In London, Business Secretary Vince Cable joined women to open the Stock
Exchange and observe Women Inspiration and Enterprise - ha - while on the
South Bank famous figures gathered to launch WOW; wow, the Women of the
World Festival. 'Throughout the festival we present the very best of recognised
and emerging female talent across all fields including politics, the arts,
economics, fashion, science, health, sport, business and education', with more
than 300 women taking part. A pity the only women who recognised them were
the participants.

Greeks and Romans honoured mothers despite the fact that women suffered as
second class citizens - well - not actual citizens...well - more cults and
goddesses.

Mothering Sunday in the 17th century England was a day for domestic servants
to have their annual day off to visit their mothers and family.

Clearly we have progressed. For the past few decades women have been
permitted to have their own credit cards to buy 8" stilettos. Be thankful. Be very
thankful.
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