Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Women's stroppy voices

Ruth Sunderland argues at The Guardian's Comment is Free that high-level discussions of how to resolve to global economic crisis need to include women. Here's a taster:
There was no shortage of women at the gathering of the global elite in Davos this year. It's just that most of them were either delegates' wives, there to enjoy the skiing at the Swiss mountain resort while their menfolk got on with the serious business of mending the world economy, or upmarket usherettes dressed in smart, air-hostess-style blue uniforms, helping people find their seats.

The heavy-hitting women present? There was a handful, including Angela Merkel, the German leader, and Valerie Jarrett, who came as Barack Obama's representative. Skim the handbook containing the names of the invitees and you had to pass 20 men before coming to the first woman, who just happened to be Princess Inaara, Her Highness the Begum Aga Khan. On the abridged list of about 170 business leaders, I counted five women. As a delegate put it: "Men in well-cut suits still come first at Davos."

Does it matter that women are not getting on to the guest list of the biggest male ego-thon on the planet? After all, most females of sound mind would far rather be anywhere else. But the truth is that it does. It sure does.
In New Zealand the voices most often heard in regard to the meltdown seem to me to be men, despite the claims of some that we have been a femi-nazi dominated socialist Nanny state for most of the last decade.

Also discussing women's voices in the public sphere, and their treatment in the media, Cactus Kate comments on the Herald referring to National's "stroppy" women:
Stroppy? They are just doing their job. You wouldn't call a man "stroppy". It's an incredibly patronising comment to make to a woman in a profession or of such seniority as any of these three. By definition they all have to be aggressive, leaders and give orders. So that = stroppy? Nonsense.
The spikey one and I probably agree once in a blue moon. I'll be checking the colour of our lunar satellite this evening.


Hugh said...

Davos is very much a guys-only affair. However, it's also supremely irrelevant - all style, no substance. It's basically the politico-economical equivalent of a fashion show.

Julie said...

And that makes it ok how? I'm starting to think that other than Kevin Rudd and Barack Obama no one is actually DOING much about this meltdown of global capitalism. I'm sure that's unfair, and that the meeting at Davos pumped lots of money into their local economy...

Hugh said...

Did I say anything about it being OK?