Radio Four’s Woman’s hour today was all about how young girls handle the pressure to have sex. One girl said a very sad thing about a boy who had stuck his hands into her pants whilst a big group of them were all watching a DVD together on a couch with a blanket over their laps. She said she couldn’t say anything at the time as she didn’t want to make a fuss, so she let this boy (apologies here for the terminology) poke her even though she hadn’t wanted him to do so. It isn’t too hard to imagine that if we fast forward five year the same girl will be telling herself that the date rape she has just endured is not worth making a fuss about. Horrible stuff.
Woman’s Hour is generally very good, it used to coincide with my children’s morning nap and as TV at this time is so grim (Jeremy Kyle, repeats of Come Dine with Me etc) I started listening to it whilst on maternity leave with a cup of tea and a huge slice of cake, when breast feeding meant I could eat for Britain and not put on any weight.
Anyway, they have published their list of the 100 most powerful women in the UK, some of them I have even had the pleasure of meeting. Women such as Victoria Beckham and Professor Sue Black must surely be unlikely bedfellows but they are both there, I have to say that they are both hugely admirable but are they equally powerful? I don’t think so. Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s Deputy First Minister is on there too, she is the 20th most powerful woman in the UK if you can believe that.
No matter how powerful some women become, be it as supreme sovereign or chief medical officer, it is still the case that 15 year old boys will stick their hands down some poor girl’s pants and she will feel powerless to say no.