Like a lot of people, earlier today I made sure I had Twitter open so I could keep on top of what was happening at Margaret Thatcher’s funeral.
However, for a good half an hour, probably more, one of the top trends was “Sam Cam”, and all the tweets were about what she was wearing – how good she looked, how surprised people (mostly men) were at how good she looked, how she looked compared to the Queen / Amanda Thatcher (who was being compared to Pippa Middleton by 11.30am – !?).
It just makes me angry. Sorry, but that completely is not the point. I don’t want to know what she’s wearing. Why does it matter what she’s wearing? I want to know what is happening. This is not news. This is not relevant.
I hate how often any woman in a position of influence becomes diluted down to the designer of her dress, her shoes, her “fashion forward” handbag. It drives me mad. Yes, I’m a woman, and I want to look nice, and presentable, and professional – but it makes my blood boil when it is made to seem that a) that doing so is expected of a woman, all women and b) that that is ALL that is expected them.
Sorry if this is a little crude, but I’m almost surprised we haven’t had a blow by blow of what Thatcher herself is wearing today. I’m not going to pretend to be fully clued up on the issue, but whatever your political interests, Margaret Thatcher was the first female Prime Minister. You have to agree that that in itself is a landmark, is inspirational. And am I the only one who’s been irritated by the fact that she’s being described as “the only” female PM? As if it couldn’t happen again?
I’d like to have a daughter one day, and I’d like her to grow up thinking – believing – that she could run the country if she wanted to. That she could do just what men do, do whatever she wanted. And not spend the whole time being judged on what she was wearing while doing it.
Whenever this kind of lazy attitude towards women in public positions crops up, I like to take a second to remind people of this BRILLIANT response from Hilary Clinton. Says it all, don’t you think? Thank you, Hilary.
I’m not saying we shouldn’t care about how we look. I do. Everyone does. But we shouldn’t ONLY care about how other women look, when there is so much more to see in them.
Something else that might make you think – if you’re on Twitter, take a look at the @EverydaySexism account, and just see whether it makes you think. There are things on there that have genuinely shocked me, things that I’ve had happen to me – and all of which are being treated with an attitude of “…meh”.
I’m not some kind of raging soap box feminist, but I am a woman. That in itself should make women want to stand up for themselves and say, enough is enough. It’s 2013 for goodness’ sake. It’s embarassing. Can’t we try and be a little more progressive?