punk phd / feminism / motherhood

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Because sports ruin your hair...

Taken from the piece over at The Guardian:

A council spokeswoman said: "West Dunbartonshire Council has installed nine sets of hair straighteners within the changing facilities at each of the council's three new flagship schools...The falling rate of female participation in sport was a key issue discussed by pupils and improvements to changing and showering facilities, including the installation of hair straighteners, was considered important in reversing this trend. The installation amounts to a total expenditure of less than £1,000 to encourage more girls to participate in PE and support positive self-image."

So to support positive self-image in girls we are providing them with hair and beauty facilities to encourage them to participate in PE...surely this is merely reinforcing the message that it's all about how we look? How about promoting positive self-image through demonstrating that physical appearance isn't the be all and end all?

Labels: , ,

Of course we're to blame!

This week's issue of Grazia magazine features an article entitled "So, is it our fault we get paid less than men?" in response to a report detailing gender pay gaps in 'the City'. In the 'YES' corner is writer and broadcaster Lowri Turner who asks "What is it about us that we accept this sort of discrimination?" (my emphasis). Turner claims that:

...like the battered wife who goes back to her abusive husband, so City women meekly trot back for more. Many even excuse the system that discriminates against them.

And that:

City women should be thumping their fists on the boardroom tables. Instead, they buy into a system that treats them shabbily. For that, they have themselves to blame.

Personally I'm confused. Am I meant to salute Turner for not falling fault to such behavior and for trying to remove the blinkers from these poor women's eyes? Or am I meant to boo in her direction for merely shifting the blame?

Labels: ,