Hoorah, the last day of the working week already! Onward! I have been promised sunny weather for the weekend and feel a chilled couple of days building things of wood in the sunshine could be rather fun. What was that song about people who need people being the happiest people in the world? Nonsense!
Today: no free compliments. Woe. Just as well I don’t need people! However, I was brought a jar of cherries to make cherry muffins with. Awwww! And I had to run out at lunch to buy presents and stamps and cards and what have you. Presents all round!
For today it is the Lady of Lovely Hats’ birthday, and I had better not turn up empty-handed, because it is an Important birthday. The one I thought it was last year and did a big portrait of her, hahaha.
Speaking of lassies and important things, today the radio was all over some survey someone’s produced of the world’s hundred most powerful women. Which made a nice change from being all over X-factor – I have never even seen an episode, apart from on Sherbet’s birthday when I was forced to watch Jedward and they were indeed quite amusing cos one fell over – and yet I cannot escape it! So I was quite interested to hear about something else. Though it was unfortunately timed, because the news that Lady Gaga is among the most powerful women walking the face of the planet is combined with no less than three emails from friends, exhorting me to join this facebook ‘campaign’ for Breast Cancer Awareness month.
First off: I have nothing against Lady Gaga, except for getting Paparazzi stuck in my head for about three weeks earlier this year, and I kinda liked the Aliens-esque video. I’ve heard her quoted as saying she wants to be the biggest pop-star of all time and every penny she makes is plugged back in to achieving this, and fair play, she seems to be very successful at it. I wouldn’t say that necessarily equals having power, however. And fair play to Michelle Obama, too, who has lots of degrees and a career and raised kids… and is also apparently The most powerful woman in the world; although as someone pointed out, does that mean Dennis Thatcher spent about a decade as the most powerful man in Britain?
Maybe I should be having a look at exactly what is meant by ‘power’ here. I mean, I have autonomy (hurrah), but can’t have anyone put to death (also hurrah). That is quite enough power for me, as long as the status quo does not change to take any of it away, and of course, I have no control over that, and thus exactly as much power as anyone is prepared to let me have, essentially. Which is not a lot when you think about it. But what exactly are we using to measure other people’s power?
And lo, we have a Reuters article, quoting the magazine that announced these results. “We focussed less on power and wealth and more on-”. Wait. A list of the top 100 most powerful women, and there was “less focus on power”?
And on top of this WTF moment, yeah verily, I am being bombarded by emails from well-meaning friends asking me to post a message on where I like to leave my handbag (what handbag?) so that ‘men will wonder what is going on’. ‘Let’s show them how powerful we women are!’ bleats the chain-letter. Right. I am starting to see why there is confusion over what constitutes a ‘powerful’ woman. Power could be conceivably argued to be the ability to be doing something, not the act of making men ‘wonder about what you’re up to’ (and leaving any actual action to be taken as a result to be someone else’s a) work and b) decision). Men are already plenty encouraged to view woman as loopy nightmares not of this planet, (thanks John Grey, among others!) and this really isn’t helping.
I am not the only person to come to this conclusion: a bloke who is friends with the Lady of Lovely Hats has started his own facebook theme: ‘I don’t care where you keep your purse’. Instead, he is exhorting blokes to give a couple of quid to a breast cancer charity, in order to prove that they’re more practical than women. Which kinda makes its own sodding assumptions, namely that all women are signing up to this and are incapable of doing anything better, but where this ridiculous idea is concerned, he has a point, what!
So I stomped off and gave a fiver to a prostate cancer charity; turn and turn about, like. It’s not exactly Doing something, but it was all I had time for in the middle of wrapping gifts, washing dishes, writing cards and finding an outfit I can look swanky and still walk eight miles in. (Which in itself does not give a good impression of my personal level of ‘power’, does it?)
And I logged back on and discovered he had had a go at me for not giving to his charity. What? I thought you wanted blokes to donate, so you could prove you’re better than me?
Fine. Have two pounds, which means I am now seven pounds over my budget for the, cringe, month, oops. And am now even more irate, though I totally kicked arse by having the moral high-ground, what! Because in my book, that constitutes Winning; which might indeed explain my paucity of personal levels of power. Although apparently if you’re female, even power doesn’t constitute power. Harrumph!
And indeed, my contrariness saved my arse, how ironic, given it’s a prostate cancer charity. If I had merely given to his charity, I wouldn’t have needed my cashcard out, and therefore wouldn’t have realised it was not in my purse, and would have gone into town with only three pounds and that would have been most embarrassing.
That ties back into the purse/handbag theme, actually. Dammit!
Still, I managed enough power to walk into town, remain upright long enough for two pints, meet some peeps I had failed to ever meet before despite knowing em off the internet – and one of em was very lovely and bombarded me with bath-bombs, which I wasn’t expecting, but they are free and now I smell fabulous just from carrying em around – hand over the gifts, buy the birthday girl a drink and march all the way home again. Viva! And it was cheap. So I spent what I woulda spent on transport on second-hand CDs. Cough. Dammit, some of my money should go on me!
In conclusion: remember, being Boxer the Carthorse is not a good measure of power. They will turn you into glue after you’ve slogged your guts out for the good of the group, just see if They don’t.
Still. It was a nice night and everyone looked Fab and I was finally toasty warm! With my jacket on. In a pub that everyone said was the most unbearably hot pub ever.