So a sportsperson would not get an OBE or a knighthood simply for representing their country with success, presumably they enjoy doing that and are well recompensed, so why do they deserve another accolade? Also out are career civil servants, who also presumably get paid and have a good pension scheme. And don’t get me started on donors to political parties who get knighted for services to industry, i.e. making money and then giving some of it to their favourite politician in consideration for future services.
If a famous sportsperson uses their influence to set up a charity or helps people in a different way then their altruism may merit reward.
One person who I believe has earned their reward is Laura Bates - who now holds the British Empire Medal. Laura stared a campaign entitled Everyday Sexism which predominantly fights against mistreatment of women by highlighting day-to-day examples of how they are harassed, assaulted and generally harmed by men.
No right-thinking man could read the Everyday Sexism book, or follow on Twitter, without feeling shame that members of his sex so despise women that they carry out these acts. Neither could they not feel anger towards those responsible.
Women have always been treated as second class citizens, most religions deny them equality. Christianity has made some progress but I won’t believe it has totally repented of its ways until I see the first Catholic female Pope. There was recently coverage in the media regarding a Jewish Orthodox school in North London trying to ban mothers driving their children in, only men should be allowed to do this. The Moslem religion fares even worse with their attitudes. How about killing girls because they want an education?
Then there’s the subject of female genital mutilation, perhaps the worst example of sexism which, although illegal in the UK, is still practiced and has, as yet, not seen a single successful prosecution.
Many times the excuse is that woman should be more modest so as to stop inflaming men’s lusts. It doesn’t seem to occur to the leaders of these religions that men should make any attempt to control their base desires and behave as civilised beings.
But Everyday Sexism also reports on how ingrained sexist attitudes are, when young girls (and we are talking about eleven year olds) are cat-called, subjected to lewd suggestions and groped on buses, their mothers often tell them it’s part of growing-up and to just accept it.
The blaming of the victim comes across time and time again, you must have deserved it, you provoked him, you were asking for it. Rarely is the perpetrator condemned as being responsible for their actions.
On a national scale is the report from Aceh in Indonesia that has seen a rise in the number of sex crimes against women in its casino and entertainment district. Their solution? – Ban women after eleven o’clock in the evening! The idea that perhaps it’s the men who should be banned has probably never occurred to them.
On a less violent note the campaign raises questions such as why you see headlines such as Mother-of-Three Roan Fairhead to Head BBC Trust but no mention of Mark Carney’s family structure when he was appointed Governor of the Bank of England?
The most recent example came when Nobel laureate, Sir Tim Hunt, made comments about how women were unsuitable to work in laboratories, it ended with him resigning.
In fact the main problem I had with this article was deciding which stories to leave out…
And that’s the explanation for the title of this post, it’s NOT about feminism, it’s about treating people fairly and decently regardless of their sex.