09 September 2008
Where have all the ladies gone, laments Chris Brewer.
After my suggestions for an award for men during the Vodacom Women in
The Media function a few weeks ago and having done my bit on National
Women's day, I hope it's clear that I'm far from being a chauvinist.
If you believe that then I feel safe enough to ask this question:
"Where have all the ladies gone?" (And the gentlemen too for that matter?)
It seems to me that somewhere along the way of women's liberation the
plot has been seriously lost.
Like most good causes, the struggle for equality for women started
out not so much as an ideal but as a vital human rights demand.
Women, at the close of the 19th century were treated abominably.
But before we all start cheering and proclaiming Emmeline Pankhurst a
saint, let's not forget that at about the same time as she was
campaigning for women's voting rights, the Fabian Society (the
foundation of the Trades Union movement) were campaigning for the
abolishment of disgraceful low-pay practices by the mill owners and others.
Also, it occurs to me, that whilst everyone remembers Pankhurst for
leading the S&M domination revolution by chaining herself up and
Emily Davison for trying to stop a galloping half-ton race horse by
standing in front of it, I can't remember any one person who is famed
for campaigning for the abolishment of 10 year old children working
down the British coal mines, pulling carts in near pitch blackness.
It's nearly 90 years ago now that women in Britain got the vote and
what's happened since then?
Well, rather like the Trade Union movement and South African
Democracy, the whole idea corrupted itself.
Insidiously, the movement transformed itself from women being equal
to men to women ripping the testicles off men. Silly hairy and
sexually-unfulfilled women like Germaine Greer demanded that women
were actually better than men.
Don't get me wrong, I happen to agree with that concept but I rapidly
became sick of butch women demanding that women have the right to
become bricklayers and steeple jacks. (Have you ever noticed that
it's mainly ugly women who make all the noise?)
So where has the Women's Lib brought us?
Well, we've had magnificent government leaders like Margaret Thatcher
("I owe nothing to women's lib") and I'm pretty sure that Helen Zille
will do a good job in South Africa. Some absolutely brilliant
businesswomen have emerged - the list, fortunately for us, is very long.
But for every high point in the movement there are a dozen low points.
Family values have changed for the worse - the concept of Mom being
at home tends now to relegate all mothers to the status of
For women to create a happy, safe, nurturing environment isn't
considered success these days. Ask any woman who doesn't 'work' and
she'll invariably say, apologetically, "I'm just a housewife."
Men don't have a definite role any longer. I think they have good
reason to feel threatened. They are no longer considered with respect
to be breadwinners and protectors.
Germaine Greer was the one who said that "traditional marriage is
like legalised slavery for women" as if she knows what she's talking
about (I have a problem believing that ANY man - or woman come to
think of it - would want to marry her) and, if anything, it's the
other way around.
I rather like the concept of opening doors for ladies, standing up
when they arrive at a table and treating them rather more caringly
than I would the dickhead sitting next to me watching rugby. I really
hope there will continue to be feminine, sexy AND powerful women
around for as long as I am - like Sarah Pallin for example.
All those testosterone-enriched women can fart and belch along with
the men if they want to but I'll sit with the really feminine ladies
thanks, and they're welcome to burn their bras if they wish. (I can
still undo a bra strap with thumb and finger you know.)