• Morgan Fagg

Time to put on my Feminist Hat

Updated: Jul 21, 2019

I was asked to discuss the role of women in society by a woman I work with as part of an English class. I knew her company had an excellent reputation for treating employees right and you could see the awards that they had won over the years. Her experience and other people I have met there, have had a very positive experience.

She has suggested, we could talk about the topic for an English class but before we look at the #Metoo generation and the announcement that James Bond is now a woman and the Ghostbusters are all women too, I will have to put on my feminist hat even though like many people feminist is too strong a word thanks to images of feminazis.

So before I go head to head to defend the importance of equal pay and equal rights, let me just start by saying, if I loose this argument, I still win as a man and that's how easy it is to be a man sometimes.

The US Women's team won the World Cup last week and congratulation to them but for many people, they were loud and arrogant and rude to the president.


They were braggadocios but they won, they get the bragging rights. Donal Trump promised "So much winning that America would get sick of winning" and it turns out he was right.

These women won, he on the other hand lost the Popular Vote to a very unpopular woman. More Americans voted for Hillary Clinton than Donald Trump and despite winning 3 million more votes than her opponent, Hillary Clinton lost the election and is told to "Shut-up Hillary" or "Move-on" when she engages on American issues.

There is a backlash of course against men even in politics and I remember, quotas being suggested in political parties ten years ago that would have limited the number of men running so as to encourage more women to run.

Being involved with a political party that had a lot of women, maybe more than 30% for example, I didn't think we needed to fight for a woman's voice and thought such policies were dangerous.

Women must be able to run for political parties but they can't receive or for it to be perceived that they got there too easily. My own political party had run a female president candidate in 1989 and she won. Gender is not an issue to me but the quality of the candidate is very important.

I've heard female friends complain that Ireland didn't have a female Prime Minister and I would argue Ireland has had several Deputy Prime Ministers that were women. It all depends on the leadership rather than their genitals in my mind.

Likewise in acting, James Bond we are told shall be a black actress called, Lashana Lynch. Does James Bond have to a black woman, of course not but James Bond doesn't have to be a white man either. The character is fictional as is the Little Mermaid.

Can women be spies? They could tell you that but then they would have to kill you.

I've written about a female spy a few times and find her story particularly fascinating so of course women can be spies but can they play the part of 007?

Kiss kiss bang bang might not work as well for a black woman than the traditional 1950's Ian Flemming novel but we are not in the 1950's anymore. Bond is dated and I say that as a fan.

Bourne, Jason Bourne woke the franchise up and we got Daniel Craig instead of Pierce Brosnan and it was a refreshing change. Big Brosnan fan but Craig's Bond was more realistic with less lazar beams.

Daniel Craig delivered, the director delivered, the scripts kinda sucked a little but the films worked reasonably well. When Lashana Lynch picks up a Walther PPK and gets behind an Aston Martin, it will be on her head if a female 007 works or not.

In reality this will depend on the script and direction as well as her acting but fans will be gunning for her and I think Idris Elba dodged a bullet by not becoming James Bond.

Another British character that goes through more actors than set changes, Doctor Who is now a woman too. I am reluctant to comment as I have not seen any of the latest episodes but while not trying to sound racist here, I was disappointed that another Earthling got to play the alien time travelling role and not someone from Doctor Who's home world, Gallifrey.

Front and centre, after 55 years and 14 actors, Doctor Who is finally female.

Money money money, are women being paid enough for their roles? When Doctor Who actor Matt Smith played the role of the Duke of Edinburgh in The Crown, it was revealed that he was paid more than the actress playing the lead role of Queen Elizabeth II.

Considering that the Queen appears on the money, you would think the actress would have been paid more money but in this case we have to look at Who negotiated their contracts and Who had more recognition.

Speaking of money, it was announced yesterday that the world's first computer hacker will be the new face of the 50 pound note in England. Alan Turing changed the world and deserves to be remembered even if his role was very secretive for more than 50 years and it was only in 2013 that Turning was pardoned by the Queen for the crime of being gay in the 1950s.

In America, they had planned to change their bank notes to Harriet Tubman but Donald Trump doesn't seem too happy about a black woman replacing Andrew Jackson so that hasn't happened yet.

Women's contributions after been undervalued for thousands of years, from Adam and Eve to Mary Madeline to my own ancestor the Pirate Queen whose history was better recorded by her British rivals than Irish historians. Even when it comes to modern books, authors like J.K. Rowling & E.L. James seem to have masked their gender possibly in order to sell books.

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