Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Ladies in the news.

According to a certain Susana López Abella, the General Secretary for Equality in the Galician Xunta, companies created by women last 30% longer than those created by men and they are surviving the crisis better on the whole. This is because the Galician women who start their own businesses tend to have a higher level of education and training, again according to the Equality Secretary. Good news for businesswomen then! Much better than the position of women in the business world as a whole in Galicia where still only 35% of companies have any female presence on their boards. Tut, tut! 

On the other side of the world Hillary Clinton is being criticised for letting herself go. Her biographer has been dropping hints that she might run for president in 2016 but says, "I don't want to sound anti-feminist, but she's not looking good these days. She's looking overweight and tired." As her biographer is called Ed Klein, I assume it’s a man. Time Hillary got herself a woman biographer. It seems to me that it’s too easy to pick on lady politicians for their image. 

Someone who doesn’t get criticised for how she looks is Kate Middleton. Or should we say Kate Windsor now? Whatever her name is, she is usually held up as a style icon. But it seems that the time has come to start speculating about whether or not she is pregnant. In Touch magazine has published a photo of her with a bit of a “tummy”. They say they are sure it’s not just the way the dress hangs. And besides, they say, her face is radiant (isn’t it always?) and rounder, as is her backside – rounder, not radiant. Proof positive, obviously!!! 

As regards the Spanish royal family, Queen Sofía is praised for being such a stalwart, constant helper and support for the king and she has been a good grandmother to her daughter’s children as they have been going through troubled times. Well done, Madame! 

 Letizia also receives a good report, adding spontaneity to the seriousness of Prince Felipe, although he too is given credit for being well-prepared for kingship in a parliamentary monarchy: as democratic as a royal person can be!! A good report all round then. 

Less so the king himself. As LV (de Luns a Venres, the free paper her in Vigo) says, there is a before and after Botswana. And the “after” is not good for Juan Carlos and his standing with the people. It’s not so much that he went on safari. It’s not so much his hunting elephants. It’s not so much that he was accompanied by a certain Corinna. It’s putting all those together and much more the fact that he just wasn’t THERE for the country in crisis. “O Rei é noso e ten que estar para servirnos”, according to the journalist Pilar Urbano. (The king is ours and he has to be here to serve us.) 

Back in the UK it’s Cameron who’s catching it. Even the papers here report his leaving his daughter behind in a pub. Opinion among my friends and in the UK press varies from “can someone who can’t even remember his daughter be trusted to run the country?” to “surely anyone can forget a child in the pub”. Tim Dowling in the Guardian writes about once leaving his baby behind in his pram at a fish market. He had to go back and retrieve him with much embarrassment. It’s in our family mythology as well that my mother once left my small brother parked in his pram outside the nursery school when she dropped my sister and me off one morning. It was only when she arrived at my grandmother’s and was asked, “Where’s the baby?” that she remembered him. So you don’t even need to be a highly pressured male to do it. 

Spanish males can take some comfort in the progress of Rafa Nadal though. He’s the first tennis player to win Roland Garros seven times. Keep it up, Rafa!

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