Last week I was talking to a friend about the Criado-Perez case. I was in full support of Criado-Perez and the need to get another woman on British banknotes but my friend wasn’t sure why it was so important. I racked my brains but, for some odd reason, couldn’t come up with a good answer on the spot, but in recent days have found some inspiration.
That inspiration has come from the crazy antics between Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke at this years VMAs.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not about to be all, “Women’s rights! Miley can do what she wants!” I’m also not about to be all, “Miley has no self respect!” What I am going to say is this: why are so few people forgetting that Robin Thicke is a 36 year old man who let a 20 year old woman, someone young enough to be his daughter, “twerk” against him? She’s engaged and he’s married; they’re both as bad as each other in my opinion. Miley also had a rather raunchy music video for We Can’t Stop, but Robin Thicke had a video full of naked women for song Blurred Lines. I recently came across a broadcasting of the censored version of the video on a music channel to which the announcer said, “He asked his wife if she was okay with the naked women first though, how cute!” I’m sorry, what? How does that make it cute? Doesn’t that just make both of them even more misguided than they seemed before?
I think both Miley and Robin are misguided people. I think what they did on stage at the VMAs shows their lack of respect for their partners and for themselves. They took part in a provocative dance move in front of millions of people across the world and probably just thought it was entertaining. Men in their 30s should not be letting young women “twerk” against their crotch, their is no pride to be found in this; it’s actually pretty creepy.
So, to return to my main point, this is why we need Jane Austen on British banknotes: we need to remember that there are women in this country of great intellect, whose worth is not found in their bodies or in their sexuality. We need to remind men that these women exist and that “women should be in the kitchen” jokes need to stop because women are not a joke, just like men aren’t either. We need to remember that a lot of men have great respect for women, and that a man’s worth is also not found in this sexuality, that being respectful of women and of his own body and how it uses it is far more sexy than letting young women grind up against him.
Criado-Perez’s fight was important because it reminds us that women will not sit back and let men take over, but also that there are men who support what she did. She didn’t demand that all banknotes have women on them but just wanted one to remind us of the importance of women, and that they deserve to be equal to men.