I have always thought my husband to be a modern man who champions women just as much as men but he said something recently which made me think differently.
During an episode of The Apprentice he turned to me and said: “I bet Karren Brady isn’t a very nice person, she’s so cold and hard”.
After throwing a cushion at him, I retorted: “Because Claude and Lord Alan Sugar are pussy cats aren’t they?”
The difference between what men and women are allowed to be is phenomenal. If women are successful in the boardroom they are often labelled cold, hard, and not friendly compared to men who are seen as assertive, professional, good leaders. Then there’s the other side of this and it’s something I’ve been accused of being in my career, which is ‘emotional’. If a woman is caring and shows how she feels then of course she’s a train wreck who can’t keep hold of her emotions.
The media plays a big role in this type of stereotyping, even now in 2017 there is still a massive amount of sexism in what we read in the papers and online.
I remember listening to the radio the night Hilary Clinton lost the presidential race to Donald Trump. I was in tears as I’d so hoped she was going to win. What made it worse was the political correspondent saying that ‘if Hilary had cried or showed a bit more emotion during the campaign she may have pipped Trump to the post’. I was outraged because as we all know if she had cried or broken down publicly at any point the media would have eaten her alive.
She would have been labelled ‘unstable’ ‘tearful’ ‘not in control’.
At no point did anyone say that Trump should have been more emotional or that he should have cried. I’m happy to admit I could never be a top director, I am emotional, I wear my heart on my sleeve and I’m not great at decision making. We are all different and that’s what makes us unique and special, I only wish we accepted and supported each other more, especially women. I remember chatting to a very senior female figure in the radio industry, I told her I had terrible mother’s guilt once I started working full time.
She told me she didn’t know what that felt like and had never suffered from it. During an interview with the pop star Alesha Dixon she said exactly the same thing to me and at the time I couldn’t understand where either of them were coming from.
I was probably a bit jealous because there is nothing worse than feeling pulled when you’re a mum. I feel guilty when I forget to put my daughter’s school jumper in her bag and she tells me she was cold at school! I’ve been working in radio for 16 years now and it was once very much a man’s world.
Thankfully a lot has changed over the years but there is still a stigma that exists where women are boxed into roles of gigging fluffy bits that laugh at everything the male presenter says. I’ve often heard female presenters, myself included, being called ‘bonkers’ ‘emotional’ even ‘bipolar’. It seems it’s often a case of ‘you can’t win’. Strong minded, determined, successful woman are sadly often feared, whilst women who are softer by nature are considered unsuccessful and weak, especially where the media is concerned. I think inevitably you have to grow a thick skin, mine has grown a little thicker over the years but I’m still me and I still hold the same values. We are all individuals and whilst the issue of labelling people, especially women, will never go away, we just need to ignore it and hold our head up high. Women shouldn’t be afraid to be who they are and to succeed in what ever they set out to do. Success looks different for everybody, it can be becoming a top director or it can be being a great mum and raising a family well. It shouldn’t matter if you’re tough, straight talking, and non emotional, or soft, emotional and delicate. As long as you are right where you want to be in life remember you are doing just great.
My exciting new venture
It feels like it’s taken ages but I’m so excited to share my next new adventure with you.
Today my friend Sascha from Leeds and I are launching our website and blog - Two Girls Two Tales. We’ve been working hard on this for months now but with me being pregnant and Sascha finishing her degree and working between London and Leeds, it’s taken a bit of time.
I first met Sascha in Leeds when I was working on the breakfast show at Radio Aire. She is young, sassy, funny and incredibly clever and we just hit it off straight away. She’s 21 and I’m 36 so there’s a bit of an age gap but we have a lovely friendship that I’m so grateful for.
Whilst she’s out there dating and having all sorts of exciting adventures, I’m attempting to cover up my grey bits and not have a meltdown over my four-year-old’s tantrums and my husband’s untidiness.
Sascha and I wanted to launch a business that is about every kind of woman, embracing what matters to them and being real so people can relate to it. We talk about dating, love, marriage, healthy, beauty, fashion, you name it we will cover it.
We have some exciting things planned for 2018 including some fabulous events for our female followers, collaborations with celebrities and a radio podcast.
We’d love it if you gave us a follow on our Instagram @twogirlstwotales and become part of it.
Disappointed by Strictly
I’m so disappointed in this year’s Strictly Come Dancing.
I just can’t get over the whole media frenzy with the contestants Alexandra Burke and Debbie McGee. There’s no denying both are great dancers but then both have professional dance experience. Debbie McGee is a trained ballerina and Alexandra stars in West End musicals. I always thought Strictly was about taking a celebrity who couldn’t dance and turning them into an actual dancer. From day one it’s been the same two at the top of the leader board and it’s so boring and hardly fair to the other contestants. I love an underdog and for me Joe McFadden has done incredibly well, he couldn’t dance at all when he began and now you could mistake him for one of the professionals. I also think Gemma Atkinson and Molly King have had a really tough time from the judges. This year I think the bosses and producers of the show have got it wrong.
It’s obvious who the judges want to lift the trophy this year and if it is either of those two, I’m afraid my love affair with Strictly will be officially over.