Amazing Women or Amazing People?

Natalie Stone 9 March 2015

I would dearly love to pay tribute to the generations of women whose commitment to society and the planet has proved invaluable to society. It’s Women’s History Month, so now’s the time. But on the subject of time, I just don’t have time. The fact that I feel guilty about not having time to honour fellow members of the female population makes me feel that I don't appreciate what women have achieved, but at the same time I’m contributing to society adequately by working and paying taxes and therefore maybe women don’t need a ‘history month’ or an ‘international day’ anymore?

Controversial I know. Sorry.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not accusing anyone of being whingey or needy, or attention-seeking by creating these special events around women’s achievements, I just feel slightly aggrieved by the fact that men don’t have special days, and therefore vaguely patronised that the world still feels there’s a need for women’s success to be celebrated separately.

In parts of the world and society where women are sadly maligned, ignored or abused, there most certainly is a need to draw attention to the true heroes who bravely rise above their oppressors to succeed and bring their plight to international attention. But maybe here, from my comfortable, creative and fulfilled existence in London, there isn’t.

From my Speakers Corner vantage point I have a birds-eye view of the ambitious and pioneering landscape of the thriving, growing, changing business world. Women are making a mark in every sector; disrupting; innovating; pushing boundaries and succeeding. On a regular basis I watch customer service guru Linda Moir  steal the show at business events; I observe Debra Searle  stunning audiences with her monumental tale of courage and determination, and Martine Wright , who survived the 7/7 bombings to achieve Paralympic victory, leaves the iciest hearts in a messy puddle on the conference hall floor. These women are astounding. Yet still – are they more impressive because they’re of the fairer sex?

Rosa Parks, Amelia Earhart and Emmeline Pankhurst, I salute you, I really do. Malala, Golda Meir and Oprah, you’ve changed the world and made it a better place for my daughter to thrive in. Thank you for that, but so have Nelson Mandela, Bill Gates and Albert Einstein. As have Marie Curie, Steve Jobs and Al Gore.

Can’t we just celebrate amazing people? Does it matter if they’re black, white, female, yellow, short, spotty, male, fat, blonde or long-sighted? Maybe it does but I’m not sure. If they’re brilliant, they’re worth celebrating.

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