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the good life in a digital age

a rather poor feminist

I was surprised by my female colleagues reaction when I not only married but became Mrs Loasby. They were horrifed that I would “take the man’s name”. As my other surname came from my dad the objection seemed ill-thought through.

At least I’d chosen my husband and chosen to take his name. I never had any say in Harvey. Even more bizarrely they seemed to accept my decision when I mentioned that I would be the only ‘Karen Loasby’ in Google. Patriachy,  it seems, is ok if it enhances your brand!

Recent news also attacked  the Mrs title. Only very close friends and utility companies address me as Mrs Loasby. I don’t actively use Mrs and I’m baffled by a colleague who puts (Mrs) after her name in her email signature but I’m not concerned by the (empty) symbolism.

This doesn’t mean I’m in favour of sexism. I’m outraged that my grandmothers were held back by society. One was a civil servant and one a matron. Both were more educated and could earn more than their husbands but their careers were constrained by the attitudes of my great-grandparents,  one of my grandfathers and by the civil service. But their world seems utterly alien to me.

I never experienced any prejudice at school. The teachers were outraged when I didn’t study Physics at university. It was a similar non-issue at university.

At work my best  bosses have been women but I’ve had two awful female bosses too. Jen Rigby, Margaret Hanley, Julia Whitney and Helen Davies have all helped me greatly. This might just be a sympton that the BBC and RNIB don’t  discrimate against women.At the moment my boss is female, the head of IT is female and the CEO is female. This is my normality.

I suspect this is my mum’s fault. She was both inspiration and insulation and deserves a post of her own.

Written by Karen

March 24th, 2009 at 5:22 am

Posted in family,work