It's an exciting time to be a woman if you think that after New Zealand's election there will definitely be a female Prime Minister and that Kamala Harris is inspiring little girls in the US and globally by taking the vice-presidential ticket.
New Zealand is perceived globally as a tolerant society, but niggling opinions and words are still wearing half this population down. Politics is not something I would wish for myself or any other female, because it is a hotbed of insults and judgments based purely on gender and appearances.
Why does the electorate still focus on the weight, or the smile, the hair or the outfit of a female politician, or of any women in the public eye for that matter? Society does not hold men to similar exacting standards.
A while back, host of Australia's Today Show, Karl Stefanovic, wore the exact same suit on air for an entire year, only changing his shirt and tie, and not one single complaint was made about it. Yet his female cohosts wore something twice and were chastised. What if Hilary Barry's rogue shoulder was on set with him? All hell would have broken loose.
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Does it matter if National Party candidate Nuwanthie Samarakone was once involved in some kind of physical hobby that not only enhanced her as a smoke show but showed her discipline and courage? Aren't we as parents trying to teach our children, amongst other things, to be disciplined and courageous? Does her healthy body mean she won't do as good a job as a man?
We like women to be fit and thin, but to only show that off on our terms. Last week a young woman was told to go home and change from a gym in Sydney because the teacher of schoolboys present thought she might be too distracting to them. Can someone be sad, defeated and outraged all at the same time? Because I was.
Putting aside the fact that those boys are likely seeing more skin within their friends' Instagrams or Snapchats, I was gutted that once again, a woman had to change how she was reasonably going about her life for fear it upset a male.
Hilary's shoulder upset Geoff. Nuwanthie's picture upset Merv. The furore created last month in the US when pictures of a doctor administering emergency care to a swimmer while wearing a bikini was sparked because instead of marvelling how lucky the patient was that a skilled professional happened to be on the spot and save the day, the focus was on the fact that she was not fully dressed on a beach. Show me a woman who is. And once you have, then we can all complain that they must be part of a religion that covers up too much and we can find that confronting too.
We teach our daughters and school girls to be strong, to dream big and to be confident, so shouldn't we be teaching our boys how to speak to girls, how to treat them with respect and that in every way they are just as valued and worthy as the boys?
I'd rejoice if boy's schools, in fact, any school, made this part of their curriculum so instead of boys growing up with girls and women shrouded in mystery and as such treated from a place of fear and insecurity, they were able to speak to them and about them as equals instead of objects, to not be distracted by what women choose to wear and to be in control of themselves and their actions.