Cut your hair short and get the right handbag or you won’t be successful. How can it still be true in the 21st century that I can’t be taken seriously, whatever my looks and figure? I’d hoped for more from a Women in Asian Business conference than discussions of the best handbag to get ahead.
Sadly it seems that encouraging children to read doesn’t make society any better for women either. A study of children’s literature over the whole of the 20th century showed that stories were twice as likely to be about boys as girls. With adult women rarely mentioned as being anything other than a mother, queen or witch. What are we doing in reading Rapunzel to our sons and daughters? A girl who was so conditioned to focus on her looks that she fails to realise that she could use her own hair to abseil down the tower and escape to freedom. So much for realistic life expectations and good role models.