I have no idea what’s going on – it’s nearly a month since International Women’s Day – but this week the BBC has not under-represented women in the programmes I’ve watched and heard. If the BBC persists with giving us these illustrious female role models, there may yet come the day when men and women shake off the mind chains, and women become able to assume our rightful status in society without requiring massive amount of coaching and mentoring to even countenance this heady ambition.
Just watched Kirsty Young presenting the documentary Britain at Work – it’s truly astonishing how few documentaries are presented by women.
The other day – can’t easily find out which – I was struck by how many women were on Newsnight. Sue Lloyd-Roberts went to talk to Saudi Arabians about the total and legally enforced dependency of women there. Aayan Hirsi Ali’s case for secularism and one rule of law for all was magnificent (used to thinking of her sadly as somebody damaged to the point of open and implacable anti-Muslim sentiment, somebody I couldn’t link to, but either I had that wrong, the Newsnight interview was atypical, or she has softened). She knows better than most the inhumane implications of sharia law where it is permitted to become the law of the land.
Newsnight tonight is presented by Stephanie Flanders, and the Science Editor Susan Watts is talking about Fukushima. Having to listen to Christina Odone misrepresent Harriet Harman and sympathise with David Willetts attributing a decline in working class malehood to feminism was less disturbing because there were other women there to make appropriate counter arguments. Maureen Lipman, Germaine Greer and Martha Kearney next on the Review Show. Jennifer Egan has won a prestigious literary award.
You know, I was thinking that there were approaching sufficient numbers of women on our screens and radios for me to indulge my dislike of Mariella Frostrup a bit, when I read an extremely good essay of hers on feminism’s global challenge for International Women’s Day and decided to stow it.
I’m not sure if it’s the novelty or something to do with the discourse itself, but I find it easier to concentrate when the people broadcast talking politics are women.
I’ve heard an Any Questions this evening on BBC Radio 4 with an all-woman panel comprising Lynne Featherstone, Anne McElvoy, Laurie Penny (please, why?) and Margaret Beckett (who unsettled my pro-AV position).
Keep it up with the women, BBC. We love it.
PS worth mentioning that some of the best feminists I know are men, and sad to say the kitschest I know are women who think that belittling their and their friends’ menfolk somehow advances the female condition. Hope it’s alright for me to continue to think of that as balls.