Tuesday, 17 September 2013

I'm not impressed by this

I'm hesitant to say anything, because I think it's going to be misinterpreted (you know, by the millions of people who don't read this blog) but I think it's important.

Putting up a sign saying "Intellectual Area: No blondes allowed" is deeply offensive.

Putting up a sign saying "Career person's area: No women allowed" is deeply offensive.

Putting up a sign saying "Teetotal area: No Scots/Irish allowed" is deeply offensive.

So why, why oh why oh why, is it considered OK to put up a sign that will be displayed in front of a live audience of millions perpetrating another negative stereotype?

For those of you who haven't heard, the BBC produce and televise a series of musical events over the course of each summer known as the Proms. The Last Night of the Proms is a huge deal - it's broadcast at major venues throughout the UK and in many countries around the world.

This year, for the first time, the conductor of the Last Night was a woman, Marin Alsop. Kind of big news for some. For me, not so much. I'm afraid that since the conductor is no longer a repeat visitor (you know how everyone has a Doctor? I also have Sir Andrew Davis) I cannot form an attachment or interest in them. The music means more than the individual.

The prom goers responded to her arrival in a sweetly humorous way - they added pink "It's a Girl!" balloons and streamer decorations to the conductor's stand.

To me, that's enough. That is clearly taking the piss out of anyone dumb enough to think women can't do it, that is not offensive to anyone, it isn't aggressive, but it's funny.

However, someone added a sign. I don't know who - the suggestion online is that Marin added it herself but I wouldn't take that as iron clad.


It's in the bottom right of the image and it says "Multitasking area, no men allowed". My google fu is appalling so I couldn't find a better image.

I really, truly, 100% feel that  was unnecessary, aggressive and not amusing.

And - for anyone who thinks that it's OK, because it's women fighting against the man, and men have been doing it for years, etc - Yes, they have, and we are the ones who think that is bad. We're the ones standing up and saying equality, justice, common decency, etc mean that things like this *shouldn't* be said. What message is it giving when we just join in?

Anyway, it's been bothering me.


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