I am frustrated and disappointed. The G20 Summit meets in London. Lots of important men shaking hands, slapping each other on the back and smiling in the reflected glory of Barack Obama. They have real and serious problems to discuss behind closed doors but first they must have their rehearsed moments in front of the baying media so that 24 hour news coverage has something to discuss whilst the real work happens.
Travelling with the important men are their wives. All wives have a role in supporting their husbands. Behind every successful man and all that. And so the media spotlight falls on Michelle and Sarah. They are well aware of their role and the attention they will receive. They will have spent time carefully choosing outfits to portray the image that they want to project on the world. Not to my taste but I am sure they gave their appearance careful thought.
So why did no one advise them against allowing the photo opportunity to be of Sarah Brown playing mummy and pouring her visitor a nice cup of tea? Of all the activities that they could have chosen….
I am not a political beast. I have never banged the drum for women’s rights but quietly tried to play the system to further my own ends. An enemy within if you like. And it is true that eleven years working in a corporate and very male environment has left me with a degree of cynicism about equal opportunities. However,I do believe that women should not give up and resign themselves to the seemingly impenetrable status quo. Even if change continues at the snail’s pace it has managed thus far, it has to be an improvement on where we have come from.
So the two first ladies get together with the world watching and make tea for each other? It’s at times like this that I realise just what a very, very great distance we still have to travel.