Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Mum's the word

I saw an advert last night in which one of the characters said something along the lines of "we know that mums care about their children eating healthily". Now, is it just me, or is that kind of statement not acceptable anymore? What was going on in those advertisers' tiny minds when they decided to use the word "mum" over the word "parent"? Do they really think that mothers have nothing better to do than wake up in a cold sweat worrying about which brand of bread their children eat? And do fathers not give a shit about their children's health and spend their spare time rubbing sugar into their gums? I know it seems like such a small thing but that kind of casual sexism really winds me up.

I had a conversation with someone at work once who, despite being quite senior, had always assumed that she would quit work one day and become a housewife. Now, that's fine if that's the agreement that she's reached with her partner, and it's the arrangement that works best for them, but then she followed the comment up by saying that women make better parents anyway. Apparently it's something to do with hormones. I completely disagree with that. I think that's the kind of statement which does a total disservice not only to fathers but also to adoptive parents. When I was growing up both my parents worked and a lot of the day-to-day 'parenting' stuff was done by my grandma. Now, unless I'm actually living out an episode of Eastenders, she didn't give birth to me. But she was still a bloody good parent.

And, if ever you think that we're living in a modern world without sexism, take a look in the Argos catalogue and look at which toys they have the boys playing with, and which ones they give to the girls. Interesting.

Thursday, February 02, 2006


It's suddenly dawned on me. Getting married means changing my name.

Well, obviously I don't have to change my name. He could take my name. I could (spit) double barrel it. Or we could make up a whole new name that grows organically from our love for one another. Like Slutbunwalla.

But I have, on reflexion, decided to take his. I tell everyone that it's because I want to show that his family are important to me. It's a really big gesture to make to someone you love. Of course, those of you who know what my current surname is will appreciate that having a name which is cockney rhyming slang for cunt is enough reason in itself.

My name will suddenly multiply from three syllables to five. I'll have to create a new signature. Last time I did that I was eleven and it involved the 'n' metamorphosing into a small animal. I'll have to say another name when I answer the phone. And, worst of all, my new name makes me sound about sixty years old.

Marriage I can cope with. A new name... I'm not so sure.