Common cents


Photograph by Mary Olive Edis (Mrs Galsworthy) of Dame Millicent Fawcett, circa 1910

What has changed in the Ninety years since universal suffrage or the Century since genteel anarchy in the UK led to women being permitted to vote in a graceless surrender to the inevitable? Little if it’s still an issue.

I long for it not to be and reflect on how men must view the increase in female-dominated business and political conversations / radio programmes / books / events / sports / plays / film / telly. I wonder if it occurs to them their weary exhaustion echos the centuries women have had to endure a world subjugated by men?

I saw a thing on telly – I don’t have one so it is note-worthy – and found it compelling and stirring in a way I don’t recall. It was directed by a woman. It struck me forcibly that men make art which necessarily will appeal to men. It explains a life-long dis-satisfaction with the majority of visual art; how / why / in what way could the preferred object of the male gaze appeal to women?

Men: if you can empathize with women’s lot over … well, the whole of history, you understand how tiresome it is to be stamped upon. If you were forced to: reconfigure how you think / pour yourself into uncomfortable clothes / undertake frantically dull domestic roles / endure unwelcome physical contact and inappropriate innuendo / publicly diminish the depth of your intellect so as not to outshine your spouse and all simply in virtue of women not understanding you, it seems reasonable to suppose you’d all have joined the lemmings long ago, dashing over the edge.

I long for the time gender is unremarkable. Let’s hope it doesn’t take another hundred years for men and women to agree to celebrate our equally different strengths.