Yes, I am in that mood again! This time I am not in the mood to feel sorry for the plight of working women in the UK. We all have free will, and we make our choices based on our own experiences, and on what we feel is acceptable or practical in our own lives. My question is this: Will it ever be equal between men and women?
I recently decided to watch a classic movie from 1988 that has been a favourite of mine since I was a teenager. The movie is Working Girl. It features strong female leads played by actresses I admire, and of course, there is the eye candy that is Harrison Ford. I know he is old enough to be my granddad, but I don’t care! He will always be Indiana Jones to me!
Anyway, while I was indulging in the movie the other night, my mind wandered to an experience earlier that day. I had attended a football match with my organisation Girls Out Loud. There were half a dozen women, and a group of teenage girls from the high school where we work. We are the girls’ ‘big sisters,’ offering mentoring and support in helping them transition from school to either further education, or into their careers.
Well, there were a lot of curious stares from fellow football fans at the stadium. It probably added to the confusion when we were allowed to stand on the pitch and take some photos, and we were able to meet the club manager, who just happened to be the brother of one of the women from the school who is involved with our group. I overheard a few muttered comments from people sitting behind us, and one that stuck in my mind came from a middle-aged man. I heard him say to his companion, “Must be a school trip or something; maybe a girls’ football team.”
Nobody came over to speak with us; nobody dared ask us outright what we were doing there. But for some reason, we did not fit in with their League 1 football club. It’s not that it is a largely male environment, although I find that football in the UK is still very much male dominated. It is simply this idea of ‘fitting in’ with society.
Later that afternoon, when we were in the lounge area waiting to meet the footballers after the game, we received another comment from a male supporter. The man was older, probably retired, and he came over and said to my friend, “It’s nice to see some dolly birds in here for a change.” I had to laugh! Fortunately he didn’t offend any of us, because we are not that way inclined, but the comment stuck in my mind when I was watching Working Girl.
How has human society improved since the Suffragette movement and the rise in feminism and women’s rights? I am not sure. I still find myself faced with prejudice, and it doesn’t all come from the men. We are simply wired differently. Some women are very unsympathetic towards their own kind, particularly when it comes to business. What bothers me is that even now, in the 21st century, women are being forced out of the business arena simply because we are the ones who produce and nurture our children. How do we change this? I don’t know. I will continue to think about it…
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*Images courtesy of Google – Working Girl from IMDB database, football stadium from http://www.panoramio.com/photo/6387259*