by Catherine Delahunty
I needed some light relief after watching the Education Minister, Hekia Parata, smirking her way through an interview on Q+A this weekend about “ropey” National Standards and Christchurch school closures.
Thanks to Caitlin Moran on YouTube there were some laughs available. Caitlin has a refreshing view of women in the 21st Century and you have to love her enthusiasm for debating botox, masturbation, high heels, and brazilians. Beneath the humour is a message I enjoy because it affirms my instincts that botox makes your face look like a bum, and brazilians make your pubic zone look like a child’s. As she says, why pay money and experience pain for these dodgy reasons?
She gets bored with women who only talk about waxing and adulate other women who have got rich by pandering to sexism. I hope when she is my age she will keep busting out these uncomfortable truths to a reluctant world.
Being an older women is a whole new level of marginalisation in western culture. If you are very rich and powerful you might get away with not wearing a mask, but otherwise look out. Older women who are experiencing the effects of gravity and sunshine on our skin are in some ways blissfully invisible; no more whistles and catcalls. But what kind of respect do we get in our culture? It isn’t okay to talk about the menopause even when half the people in the room are ripping their jackets off in winter. It’s not okay to talk about older women liking sex, let alone the fun things we can do with our wrinkly bodies. The pressure is on to fight time, wear hideously uncomfortable shoes and be capable of virtually everything in a non-strident, successful multi-tasking way. It’s bollocks. It reduces our humanity. And maintaining a list of body flaws takes up precious space in our heads.
Thanks Caitlin, you are more fun than watching the Education Minister talk about destroying our education system. When I next have time off I am going to watch ‘Treme’, the New Orleans post Katrina fight back series, whose sub title is “Won’t Bow, Don’t Know How” – let’s adopt that slogan right here right now!