The Choice: Women Fight for Respect

source: BBC News Magazine

It’s so difficult to really predict what will incite public hatred and protest.  Oddly, during the holidays, when we were enjoying time off, the world exploded with news that BBC News Magazine has dissed women by picking a ridiculous choice for their December 2011 “Faces of the Year – the women.” The December choice brought out more feminists than the National Go Topless Day (started by a man) or even AIBA’s insistence that women boxers should wear skirts in the ring during the Olympics.

Who was chosen that caused the entire Western world to lash out?

Sweetie the Giant Panda Photograph: China Daily/Reuters

Granted, it’s not a woman, but it is a female, and, if you scroll down this Guardian article to Panda Facts, you’ll note that female Giant Pandas are pretty amazing. Ok, it’s not a woman, but where’s Kate Middleton? Where’s the Queen? The choices start out pretty admirable with Congresswoman Giffords, then Adele (who is amazing), I think the bar was pretty high in January and February. March was notable. According to the story,Eman al-Obeidi   “burst into the Rixos Hotel in Tripoli to tell the assembled foreign media that she had been beaten and gang-raped by 15 members of Muammar Gaddafi’s militia over a two-day period. She showed bruises and scars on her body.” Very gutsy and well worth the inclusion. (By the way, America is granting her asylum. Finally, America notes rape as a reason to offer political asylum).

Then we have the designer of Kate Middleton’s wedding dress, Dominque Strauss-Kahn’s accuser, and a very bizarre story of a Croatian woman whose identity is stolen by an American man living in Scotland, using her Facebook image as a “Gay Girl in Damascus.” (I kind of like the Giant Panda better now).

Ok, in July, they chose Prince Albert’s new wife, Charlene Wittstock, who was more interested in leaving the castle than staying. In September, BBC News Magazine made Rebecca Leighton their woman of the month. She was at one time charged, but let go, for allegedly administering insulin to patients, killing three. She was released, but sacked for stealing pain killers. Next comes the rich (very rich) Duchess of Alba, who married a man 24 years her junior, but not before she parsed out her money to her kids. Corporal Kelsey de Santis took November for asking Justin Timberlake to a military ball and then, there’s Sweetie.

With all the hoopla and anger about the choice of a Giant Panda, women everywhere missed the most extraordinary woman of the entire year – August’s Pauline Pearce. She stood in the center of the riots in Hackney, just outside London and lambasted thugs and gangs for stealing from hardworking families and destroying their entire community. She admitted that she was frightened, but that’s what courage is, isn’t it.


Worthy of a GIRLFRIEND of the Week and a word of praise. Thank you Pauline Pearce for reminding us that even in darkness, there are lights amongst us.