Here is the beginning of 52 posts about 52 women over 52 weeks.
During the U.S Presidential elections I found myself wondering what a world with Theresa May, Angela Merkel and Hilary Clinton as our leaders would be like. How having these power-suited women at the frontline of some of the world’s most powerful economies would inspire girls growing up to imagine themselves in leadership roles. Of course, their suits share a few stains and tears, and perhaps in certain lights seem to rapidly change colour, but undeniably, it’s exciting that we are starting to see women (plural) in very visible positions of power.
On the morning of Wednesday 9 November we woke to a different reality. One that felt as bitter as June 24. One that feels akin to being winded. It felt like a blockade to progress of gender equality.
The left is falling short. We saw it with Brexit and we see it again in the U.S. But what is also discouraging is the continual slighting of female ambition, we saw it with Emma Rice at the Globe and we see it again with Hilary.
It was not Hilary’s gender alone that was her downfall, Hilary’s campaign was fraught with difficulty, not least in the last hurdle with an ill-timed blow from FBI Director James Comey, thanks to A. Weiner’s sexting scandal. Huma Abedin’s public embarrassment due to her husband’s marital infidelities is disappointingly something her boss knows all too well. It was never was never going to be easy for Clinton 2.0.Hilary is a kaleidoscope of different public personas all contributing to an uncertain campaign, and I would not even attempt to try to sum her up in this post, but you can’t help but ask the question: if Hilary was a male candidate, would Trump have won? How could a man who has forcefully spurted such short-sighted,misogynistic and offensive comments be the President Elect?
For now, it feels really important to shine the spotlight somewhere other than Trump’s already luminous face. That’s the germination for this blog. It’s all very well riding the wave of discontent, spewing words of outrage at an oval office void of Hilary, but the momentary anger will fade.
It’s evident that we don’t celebrate or recognise women enough, and I’m not just referring to the Merkels, Mays and Clintons. And so begins, a year long aim of unearthing great women of the past I currently know very little about, pinpointing formidable women in the present, and spending some time enquiring into the complicated and brilliant things that woman have done, are doing and will do.