International Womens Day

BBCToday is International Womens Day, as I was growing up through the 50’s, 60’s 70’s and onwards, I watched women being treated as second class citizens at times.  I was brought up in a household in which the dominant male, my father was very anti “womens lib”. “Burning Bras” he used to say “load of shit, whatever next?” Mind you he was an ex submariner whose father used to throw knives at him for fun when he was drunk!

Even in my earliest years, I knew just by reading history, listening to the news, reading newspapers and eventually watching T.V.  I knew, in my own way I was witnessing history in the making.

Aside from the obvious, my mother, there have been a lot of women who’ve I’ve admired and earned  my respect throughout my life, some from history and some who are still alive todaymargaret-thatcher-ftrThe most controversial is of course, Margaret Thatcher.  Arguably, Margaret Thatcher  who”is a woman above her station” according to one of her misguided aides was the first real success for the woman’s movement, albeit of her own doing.  A woman who eventually was betrayed by the men in the very political party  which she dragged from destruction.  In the political field there are many women who have achieved mighty heights, Harriet Harman, harrietDame Shirley Williams, Theresa May, Hilary ClintonTheresa Mayto name but a few.  Across the world, in the civilised political world at least, women are most definitely on an equal footing with men.  Any man who is stupid enough to not treat women as an equal is a man destined for extinction.

In my own life I’ve encountered many women who’ve been at the forefront of equal rights wether they know it or not.  When I was around 13, I worked for a woman who at the time was about 25ish.  Sue owned a small cafe, and in those days when women were still seen as people who had to “stay at home, do the cleaning, cooking, look after the kids and oblige their husband whenever he demands”, Sue was a positive beacon to the female gender.

Eventually, in the 1968  as portrayed in the film “Made In Dagenham”,women working in the Ford factory in Dagenham, went on strike.  They clashed with not only the mighty Ford empire but also with their husbands and partners.FordThrough the intervention of  the then Transport Minister, Barbara Castle, the strike led to the Equal Rights Bill 1970.

So why are we still behaving like we never had this Equal Rights Bill ? Because it’s political. Still let me tell you about 3 ladies who I have the utmost respect for just because they are women.

Linda Coe, a lady who I became friends with during the 1990s.  Linda had a turbulent life before she met Peter.  When I first met this little fire cracker she was the manager at a venue where I worked as a D.J.  She worked hard with Peter and wherever she went she expected to succeed.  Mostly she did, but a firmer and more loyal friend you’d never meet.

Vanessa Penfold, vanessa P this lady, I don’t know her well but I met her and her family through business.  This lady aside from having her own health problems has been supportive of Julie almost daily.  Thanks V

Finally, Juliejuliemy partner for 40 years and my wife for 35 of those.  This incredible woman has been my cornerstone while giving us 3 gorgeous kids, running our home, working and has always been by my side, through thick and thin.  3 years ago she became ill, 12 months ago she was diagnosed with incurable cancer and now our roles have reversed.  There is no woman I know who makes me feel as proud as I am of Julie.

Julie is a multi talented writer, artist, actor, cook, wonderful wife and mother.

There are many many other women who, like Julie, are people who aren’t in the public eye but like many of their male counter parts, prove their worth every hour of every day.

Thanks for listening 🙂