in olden days…?

I recently attended a friend’s wedding ceremony held in the Council Chamber of Camden Town Hall in London.  Milling about as official photos were taken, I noticed a black and white print hanging on the wall, featuring the Council members of 1901.  Given that this was pre-suffragettes, equal opps and @everydaysexism, it’s hardly unsurprising that every single one was male (and White).

camden council 1901

Far more surprising – shocking actually – are the contemporary instances  of all male ‘representative’ gatherings making significant decisions on issues impacting women.  The Donald reinstating the Mexico City Policy removing US funding to any overseas organisation that offers abortions, witnessed by his team of (male, white) close advisors (23 January 2017).  The Northern Powerhouse Conference leaflet which featured precisely 0 female keynotes (not to mention the programme which featured 13 female speakers out of a total of 98).  Extreme examples of male dominated fora?  Or public examples of a stubbornly enduring commonplace?

the waiting game

Time is ticking (slowly) away as we wait for the outcome of the university’s application for an Athena SWAN (gender equality Charter Mark) award, submitted in November 2016.  Anyone who has been involved in putting together an Athena SWAN application will know a) how much work is involved and b) that it’s dangerous or foolish to predict the outcome.  Since November I’ve progressed in a reasonably linear fashion through five post-application/pre-outcome stages.  These are: Stage One: Utter Relief; Stage Two: Total Nonchalance; Stage Three: Niggling Thoughts; Stage Four: Studied Indifference.  Now I’ve reached Stage Five: Counting the Days.  I may be the only person at BCU experiencing the full-flavours of these five Stages; my colleagues enquire solicitously about Athena SWAN when we pass in the corridor but no doubt forget all about it when I’m out of sight.  Meanwhile,Stage Six: Email Hypervigilance, awaits…