Posted by Tania Kindersley.
Today is International Women's Day. It is also Shrove Tuesday. So I made pancakes whilst thinking about the women. I was quite overcome by my own ability to multi-task. I wish there were a better word than multi-task, which is clunking and ugly, but there it is.
Although of course for me every day is women's day. For some reason I have been thinking of the women of Saudi Arabia a lot lately. They may not drive, vote, or go outside unless accompanied by a male relative. Why would you do that? You grow up with a mother, and some sisters, and aunts, and some girl cousins. You see that they are quite jolly and interesting and have opinions and things. Then you grow up and think: THEY SHALL NOT DRIVE. Why? What would happen if the women drove a car, or had a job, or went outside alone? Would the world spin off its axis?
Sometimes I do a little thought experiment. I imagine what would happen if the men of Saudi Arabia were not allowed to drive or vote or go outside. I imagine, closer to home, if the House of Commons had a minority of men, if only twelve percent of Footsie 100 company directors were men, if the vast majority of judges were women. It's such a strange imagined world that it is almost unthinkable. Yet it exists the other way round, and when anyone says anything about it, people yawn and mutter about bolshie feminists.
Over at The Telegraph, Christina Odone marks the day of the Women with this charming headline: Times Have Changed - Nagging Feminists Need To Move On. She clearly has not been thinking about the women of Saudi Arabia. The Mail does a shock horror piece about the lovely Iman GOING OUTSIDE WITHOUT MAKE-UP. Where's The Glamour, it shouts. Yeah, Iman, where is the glamour? Surely on today of all days you should not be mislaying the glamour, because everyone knows that is what is really important.
Talking of glamour, here are some photographs of snowdrops, because you can never have enough snowdrops, especially if you are an international woman on International Women's Day.
I realise I risk monotony, but I can't resist the viburnum:
On the other hand, I don't think I've put up a picture of some random leaves for at least a week, so this will make a nice change:
And look, look, the dear old garden gate, all weathered and mossy and everything:
If it is glamour you are after, I say, you can't beat these ladyships, being pensive:
And the hill: