I recently went to see Home, I’m Darling in the West End. It has really got me thinking – partly as it’s as far as possible a depiction of a partnership that I can imagine, and certainly not something I’ve ever contemplated myself. It was a tremendous production and one I would thoroughly recommend seeing, however this “fantasy’ of 1950s married life being lived out in modern times made me question how far women have come since this period.
Having graduated over 30 years ago I remember the halcyon years of the late eighties with power dressing and the belief that my generation of women could ‘have it all’. I felt in all areas of my life I was as good as anyone and would certainly fight my corner. Looking back now at those 30 years since university maybe I did try too hard – 3 children, starting my own business, maintaining that business employing 7 people, having a good relationship, competing horses and recently developing a CIC for using horses in learning and therapy. But would I do anything differently if doing it again – damn no!!
This rollercoaster of a full life has been my life-blood – thriving on the challenge and excitement of it all. So, this takes me back to the play – it has made me look around at what young women see as their roles in family, work, relationships and play. Actually I feel a bit disappointed in where we have got to over the last 30 years….what I see now is a real polarisation between women who are excelling in many facets of their lives but an equal number of those still limited by their life chances. Limited by their families, their partners, their work but most importantly limited by their confidence to run head-long into what would make them happy and full-filled.
International Women’s Day gives us the ideal opportunity to reflect on women and their achievements. Do we need to be doing more to raise up and celebrate the power of women, the special and different attributes they bring to make the best empathetic leaders, coaches, actors, doctors, fighter pilots – the list is endless. Yes, I think so …… let’s encourage women to have more self-confidence and self-belief. Let’s work together to break through more barriers in all aspects of life and thrive on the challenge and excitement that life offers. Most of all let’s avoid the stereotype of the 1950’s house- wife in Home, I’m Darling – if fact let’s make sure we avoid stereotypes in all aspects of our lives completely!!