Gender equality and spending choices

Sir, – When I was in my 20s, I thought that gender equality was there for us, for my generation. In my innocence, I assumed the fight was over, the battle won. My mother’s and grandmother’s generations had done the work. If a woman worked and was talented, whether she did or did not have children wouldn’t matter. Her hair or make-up regime wouldn’t be any more relevant than that of her male counterparts.

Now I’m in my 40s and I see women have only slightly more power, slightly more freedom than previous generations. Indeed the organisation I proudly graduated from has an embarrassing record of promoting women.

Who is to blame? Is it men holding the reins tightly and only giving lip-service to a new balance? Is it mothers of sons, who want the world to give their male offspring as many advantages as possible, earned or unearned? Do fathers of daughters think the world should benefit men more than women? Is it women for allowing everyday inequalities to go unchecked, and men for quietly taking advantage?

I began a few years ago to try to redress this imbalance in my life. If a phone company’s marketing budget targets men, I spend elsewhere. If a retailer has predominately male managers, I shop elsewhere. If a broadcaster has a male voice, I choose one of the many alternatives online. Now my mechanic is a woman.


If everybody who believes in equality between the sexes adjusted their spending choices, we won’t have to blame management for giving us the “male” voice they mistakenly think we find more comforting. – Yours, etc,


Wilton, Cork.