Elle magazine’s December issues is making a huge hoot and ha over Feminism. Which I think is great. Cover star: yours truly, Emma Watson. Lets talk about the controversy that was encountered by peoples at Elle when David Cameron was asked if he would take a picture in the above pictured t-shirt and he refused. Five times.
Feminist Emma Watson – #HeForShe Speech
In the aftermath of the UN #HeForShe campaign and the support Emma Watson’s speech encouraged I, like Lorraine Candy Editor-In-Chief for Elle, am disappointed in the Prime minister’s refusal to co-operate in encouraging equality amongst gender. You see because I for one second am not going to delude myself in thinking that David Cameron doesn’t know the true definition of Feminism. Which is equality regardless of gender. The likes of Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hiddleston even fellow politicians Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg have put on the t-shirt but Cameron refused.
Lorraine further says in this December’s Feminism issue “When the man in charge doesn’t engage, it doesn’t bode well. Given the huge international male support for the UN women’s #HeForShe campaign, it does rather make our prime minister look like the odd one out.”
I agree very much with Lorraine. Politics is very much a male dominant environment.There are currently 148 female MPs in Parliament; compared to 501 male MPs. If these men at the top don’t encourage gender equality then it won’t filter down. When actors participate in movements like this they have a different impact. There is a significant impact when influencers such as the PM refuses to put on t-shirt and encourage equality. His position is created by voters who are both men and women. So don’t his voters deserve his support is achieving equality? What confuses me is why not simply put on a t-shirt? Doe gender equality simply not bother David Cameron or is he a misogynist at heart.
I have considered both sides of this argument and this tweet by @GuidoFawkes “Twitter is getting exercised because the Prime Minister won’t wear a magazine’s T-shirt. He’s the Prime Minister not a top-shop model FFS” really made me think but then I thought …AND?
David Cameron is not a model. Noted. We know that, but he is the elected representative figure for the people in the UK. He is our international representative. He is our Prime minister. So yes, he may not be a model but his lack of participation in a movement for gender equality does give one the right to raise questions. Does our PM want gender equality? Does he even care?
For anyone under the impression that the UK doesn’t need Feminism or Feminists I’d strongly advise you to think again. A recent report revealed by the World Economic Forum shows that the UK has fallen out of the Top 20 most gender equal countries in the world. The statistics speak for themselves. A 2013 press release from Fawcett Society the UK’s leading charity for women’s equality and rights states ‘The gap in pay between women and men is a key measure of economic inequality between the sexes. News that the gap has begun to widen, after years of slow but steady progress, is a damming indictment of the government’s record when it comes to women’s standing in the economy.’ ‘The pay gap between men and women now stands at 19.1 per cent for all employees, according to a 2014 study by the Fawcett Society.‘ Maybe David Cameron refused to wear the t-shirt out of shame because of the lack of gender equality in the UK today?
Currently the UK is ranking #26 on the World Economic Forum: Most gender equal countries. How far do we need to slip on that list before Feminism isn’t seen as the latest trend, before all those who think that gender equality is o-kay in the UK wake up? Heck, who’s willing to live with gender equality being just o-kayish? Not me. I want gender equality to fully invade every aspect of society and I will take nothing less. As for Cameron maybe he didn’t like the colour of the t-shirt? Let me know your opinions!