Today is the 100th anniversary of the UK’s ‘Representation of the People Act’, which gave (some) women (over 30 and living in their own home) the right to vote. It also extended the franchise to a wider group of men.
Now in the UK, any woman over the age of 18 has the right to vote. We have a female head of state and Prime Minister. However, we also live in a country where women are under-represented in most other positions of power. This ranges from parliament to the boardroom. There is also growing recognition that gender equality is a wider issue and that the efforts of privileged white women is only part of the story, even if it is acknowledged as important. Let’s remember and celebrate that things got better 100 years ago, but not forget that we still have a way to go.
Resister of of society’s preconceptions of femininity?
Or just a human without a razor?’
Recently a group of the Midwives were scandalised by a woman who arrived on to labour ward with proudly hair legs. I laughed and smiled when they told me how ‘unkempt’ she was – unknown to them, I too had a pretty good going leg thatch, hidden beneath my theatre scrubs. This tends to change as the weather heats up and I start to don Summer dresses and skirts. It’s not necessarily that I like smoother legs, I just have a feeling it would be unseemly to show off the lovely down that keeps me warm over winter.
This is my version of an Amazon Molly (Poecilia formosa). This is a fish that reproduces by a process called gynogenesis- it mates with males of another species, but produces only female offspring with its own genetic material.
We often have a pretty clear (heteronormative) idea of what is ‘natural’. A boy duck meets a girl duck and has a little duck family. Often nature has other ideas…