Friday, 8 March 2013


Yesterday was World Book Day.  Not a mention anywhere in my newspaper or normal radio news programmes.  I had to go to an actual bookshop before I could establish that it was actually yesterday, and even Waterstones only had a small corner allocated.

Today is International Womens' Day.  Again, no coverage except, (this may strike you as unbelievable), in a magazine about accountants, and in a seminar organised by an accountancy firm on the networking site "Linked-In".  Two marks for accountants, a traditionally male-dominated profession.

Instead, the media are obsessed with Red Nose Day (last night, BBC 3 had SIX hours allocated to Comic Relief).

Commerce is obsessed with Mothers' Day.  Every shop, every supermarket, huge advertising hoardings - all advertising Mothers' Day merchandise.

Now, I am a mother, and I consider motherhood to be the greatest challenge and the greatest joy of my life.

But, this year I would MUCH RATHER , instead of a gift, receive  news that the International Community was going to achieve, without escalation of violence, some peace and comfort for the mothers and children in Syria.

My newspaper did run, two days ago, a full page advertisement from Unicef, laying out in detail, in very small black and white writing, the suffering of the Syrian children.  I wonder how many people of influence read it.

The same day, William Hague was trying to restrain a colleague from calling for full-scale military intervention in Syria , and the US was rumbling along the same lines.

Today the news is that North Korea is threatening nuclear reprisals .Why oh why is the male response to nearly every crisis, the use of force?

If more men read things, they might feel a stirring of empathy, an imaginative identification with victims - "What if that was me, my family?"

Or am I just being silly?


  1. Bless you, Isabelle. Glad to know you feel the same way.

  2. No, not silly...but frustrated and will never stop acting the way they do....we as mothers and wives and sisters need to alter them slightly if possible...slowly but surely.

  3. It is very slow work, I agree, to civilise a man. And with a husband, you can only work on one man at a time!

  4. Two and a half years down the line, and nothing has changed except that it has all got worse. Russia is bombing Syria, more people have died, and this morning's news was of a military parade of soldiers and hardware in North Korea that sounded exactly like a scene from George Orwell's imagination, in "1984".