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Jane Shillingford returns to the well once more

The crazy thing about the war of the sexes is that it still makes the headlines. These days arguments over whether or not there have been disproportionately few great female artists, musicians, composers or political leaders down through history ought to be superfluous, but we still get the same old theories trotted out.

Mostly by men, of course.

Elsewhere – equally as ridiculous in my view, but then I’m a gal who’s been around the block more than once – it troubles me to find supposed post-modernist feminists agonising over whether they can stick to their right-on ‘women need men like a fish needs a bicycle’ principles when ‘Gorgeous George’ Clooney is setting lady actors’ hearts-a-flutter on the set of Downton Abbey in a spoof scene for some Christmas charity drive and some strident ladies in their late thirties and forties (who should perhaps know better) are secretly admitting to each other that they’ve got a cougar-crush on the cute one with the dyed blond hair from the One Direction pop combo.

My granny, who died in 1977 at the age of eighty – and in her lifetime had gone from an era when men with red flags walked in front of motor vehicles, and powered flight did not exist, to one in which men had walked upon the Moon – was adamant that women had always controlled the world … and their men.

She had no trouble at all with concepts such as ‘men only’ clubs, indeed ‘men only’ rooms in public buildings but, by the same token – as a lady – she expected men to open doors for her, walk on a lady’s street-side on pavements, rise from their seats as she arrived at a table and (generally) pay for meals when on a ‘date’ [though she would never used that word in describing an outing with a gentleman friend, chaperone-accompanied or not].

Even in the wake of the explosion of birth control advancement and the first stirrings of feminism in the late 1950s, my generation of females still had to deal with rampant chauvinistic sexism. Looking back upon it now, the period between 1960 and 1990 was almost quaint in the naivety exhibited by both genders. To be completely frank about it, in those days – behind all the brave demonstrating, bra-burning, chanting and campaigning – most women just ‘got on with it’.

We had better things to do.

In which context, I have to admit that this story doing the rounds in the media today did bring a smile to my lips. Here’s the Daily Telegraph‘s science editor Sarah Knapton reporting on the ‘revelation’ that serious research – published in the British Medical Journal – has now proved that men are more stupid than women – see here – SO WHY DOESN’T THAT SURPRISE ME

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About Jane Shillingford

Jane spent the bulk of her career working on women’s magazines. Now retired and living on the south coast, she has no regrets and 'would do it all again'. More Posts