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Women's Hour

Discussion in 'CycleChat Cafe' started by Tim Bennet., 22 Apr 2008.

  1. Tim Bennet.

    Tim Bennet. Entirely Average Member

    Location:
    S of Kendal
    I went to the funeral of an old climbing friend a couple of weeks ago. She just lived long enough to celebrate the Golden Anniversary of her pioneering, women only expeditions to the Himalayas.

    Yesterday on Women's Hour, one of her fellow expedition members returned to the program to reflect on their achievements all those years ago. To put it in context, they played exerts from the original program made shortly after their return home. It was striking how all the commentary and comments on Women's Hour in 1958 were voiced by men, and continuous reference was made to these women's husbands, what their husbands thought, what their husbands did for a living, how their husbands coped while they were away, etc.

    As a pioneer of 'women's rights', albeit in a very conservative and genteel way, I think Anne would have been pleased to note the obvious changes made over the last 50 years, even in the limited world of broadcasting. But listening to the contrast made me wonder just how long it will be before even having a 'women's hour' at all might seem just as anachronistic.
     
  2. Arch

    Arch Married to Night Train

    Location:
    York, UK
    Woman's Hour is one of those tricky subjects. When I had the radio on all day, on my laptop, Woman's Hour was one part I often didn't really pay attention to - like any other 'magazine' programme, there are bits that interest and bits that don't. When it was started, of course, there probably was a need for something to raise women's voices a bit, and I suspect now it's become such an institution that it would be hard to scrap it, although it's a little out of date.

    I'd certainly be happy to see a 'Man's Hour' - I suspect I'd find bits of that just as interesting. I think most other programming is fairly neutral and if anyone percieves a gender bias it says more about them - I suppose The Food Programme might be seen as a woman's thing, whereas The Material World might be sciency and male. Not for me - I find The Material World much more interesting!

    The one thing about a Woman's Hour, like having a 'Well Woman' clinic, or women only car maintenance classes, is that it might encourage those women who still feel less confident in 'male' settings - sadly, there are still all too many women who feel that and all too many men ready to domineer...
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Tim Bennet.

    Tim Bennet. Entirely Average Member

    Location:
    S of Kendal
    Yes I can see the necessity these days of all sort of women's only schemes. I have been an keen supporter of the 'Women For Sail' schemes trying to rebalance the male dominance in sailing since the 70s. I was wondering more about what further progress we will see in the next 50 years. It's easy to either forget how much progress has been made or to equally be convinced that 'nothing is changing' and progress has ground to a halt these days.

    Equally interesting (and slightly depressing) was looking at some of the changes in the wider world. These women drove out to the Himalayas in a Landrover overland via Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and then over the Kyber Pass into Pakistan and India. They then negotiated with Jawaharlal Nehru to allow them access to hitherto closed areas of the Himalayas.

    But to return to the present day, it was a little disappointing that it was only Women's Hour that picked up on the anniversary. I think it would have been better if there had been more recognition of what they had done, irrespective of whether they were women or not. Small, lightweight 'alpine style' expeditions didn't return to mainstream mountaineering (ie men's trips) until the 80's.
     
  4. John the Monkey

    John the Monkey Frivolous Cyclist

    Location:
    Crewe
    I heard the programme - it was very good - worth catching on Listen Again if you can Arch.
     
  5. Twenty Inch

    Twenty Inch New Member

    Location:
    Behind a desk

    And perhaps that's why we still need Woman's Hour.

    On a side note, the terrible pun in the "Women for Sail" scheme is a good example of the unconscious mysogynism that women are fighting against. It's homophonic with "Women For Sale", with all the connotations of prostitution, abuse and trafficking that that implies.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    Tim Bennet.

    Tim Bennet. Entirely Average Member

    Location:
    S of Kendal
    "Women for Sail" for founded by women for women. It might seem dated and perhaps unacceptable now (in fact I believe it's name has morphed into 'Womenship') but way back then it was seen as provocative and controversial enough to get noticed.
     
  7. red_tom

    red_tom New Member

    Location:
    East London
    46.065 km by Leontien Zijlaard-Van Moorsel in 2003. Wait, what are we talking about? ;)
     
  8. Fnaar

    Fnaar Smutmaster General

    Location:
    Thumberland
    How about "any port in a storm" as a name? ;)
     
  9. Arch, wasn't the equivalent of mans hour that programme presented by Tom Robinson called 'The locker room'?
     
  10. yello

    yello Guru

    I like Women's Hour. I consider a lot of other radio is 'Men's Hour!'. I'll expand on that; what I like about Women's Hour is the fact the discussions and debates are invariably had in a very civilised manner and respect is given to the opinions of others. With notable exceptions, I find the current style of radio is often confrontational and aggressive, and I personally do not like it.
     
  11. barq

    barq Senior Member

    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    I don't think there is any need for a Men's Hour because dominant groups are already well represented. Just the same as white people, middle class people and heterosexual people don't need special programmes because they are already very well served.

    Feminism has achieved a lot, but it needs maintaining. Books like Ariel Levy's Female Chauvinist Pigs shows how easy it is to slip backwards. Women's Hour lacks the political bite that I'd like to see, but it's the Beeb so I guess radical gender politics are rather out the question. And these days I think it's strength is in its diversity.
     
  12. Arch

    Arch Married to Night Train

    Location:
    York, UK
    I think you're right. Also, I like any programme that segues from a piece on ladies bits into a piece on recipes with chocolate...:biggrin:
     
  13. Fnaar

    Fnaar Smutmaster General

    Location:
    Thumberland
    ..."And now, here's a recipe that you can flick cocoa beans into..." :biggrin:
     
  14. buggi

    buggi Bird Saviour

    Location:
    Solihull
    There is already a man's hour. it's called "match of the day" :biggrin:
     
  15. I'd sooner listen to Women's Hour, to be honest. Football sends me straight to sleep.:wacko: