BBC BIG Questions Appearance

On Sunday 30th January 2011 i participated in the BBC Big Questions Show: A live program which deals with topical current issues from a moral/religious framework. Topics for discussion in this episode included the following

– Are sexist remarks just harmless banter?
– Is it right to rent a womb?
– And, is there life after death?

I managed to present some thoughts in a short comment on the first topic. However to elaborate further my points i wish to add the following.

Banter about women amongst British men is a norm. This is without a shadow of doubt. Women are the subject of discussions about their appearance and  roles in Society. These discussions (banter) take place in front of women making them feel as second class, lowly, worthy of no opinion and often told that all they should concern themselves about is what happens in a bedroom and a kitchen.

These attitudes of men still are rife after the decades of struggles made by women to make women equal to men in roles, employment, intellectual stature and opportunities in life.

In 2010 a Yougov poll into sexual assault and harassment in schools found that amongst 16—18 year olds, over 71% had experienced daily or weekly sexual harassment in school.

In further research conducted by the NSPCC from April 2008 to March 2009, 26,134 children spoke about bullying as a main concern and 300 of these talked specifically about sexual bullying –

Approximately 15,000 sexual harassment cases are brought to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission(EEOC). In 2008, EEOC received 13,867 charges of sexual harassment.

The shaping of views towards women which leads to discrimination starts, as is seen from the above statistics at a very young age. Hence, saying that a ‘Cultural problem’ exists here is not far-fetched to say the least. Jack Straw only focused his comments on a particular race in his comments on grooming. A deeper look and one will not fail to find similar trends which prevail British Society at the highest levels. Whether this is the differences in pay between men and women, CEO roles OR entering Politics, women are constantly fighting that battle in the mother of Democracies still to grab this ‘Equality’.

It is also this talked about ‘Equality’ which is the subject of discussion when viewing societies like those of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sudan, Saudia Arabia where Male  British Politicians are quick to say “men and women are not equal in these societies”. From the Discussions above it is clear that their statements are meaningless when a Democracy has failed to deliver the goods at their own doorsteps despite the freedoms available here.

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