Friday, December 4, 2015

Billionaire baby

"CEO and wife make announcement..."    "Mark Zuckerberg and his wife..."

You know, these kinds of headlines that render woman a nameless, identity-less, implied gold-digging appendage of some well known man, piss me off, no matter who the people or what the subject. And they will, in my educated view, ultimately defeat any effort to make the world a fairer place to girls, no matter how rich their father.

They are a legacy indeed of the time-honoured Western tradition of pronouncing married couples 'Man and wife' instead of the more obvious and reasonable 'husband and wife', or even better, 'wife and husband', but that's getting light years ahead of ourselves.

In these deeply but still somehow deceptively sexist formulations, man is the substance and woman the accessory; man the great hero, woman the grateful recipient. And although most couples are now pronounced 'husband and wife', giving the semblance of the all-important equality of respect upon which to base the rest of their lives together, some continue with the sexist tradition. I even heard it used recently, without irony, in some otherwise not particularly sexist movie.

These headlines from two days ago announcing the pledge to give Facebook money in the billions to charities, a pledge that some believe is a canny tax dodge, others the biggest charitable donation ever made (it is probably a bit of both) reduce womankind to accessory status, no term signifying this reduced status better than 'wife', never mind that the woman in question is an accomplished doctor and educator, while the man in question is merely a Johnny on the spot character who got lucky with a single, somewhat socially dubious, and in part stolen idea that has not entirely improved the lot of humanity, indeed, and that which cheated its co-founder to the point that he successfully sued for many millions, or was it billions.

I applaud this recent idea much more than the original one, even if there may be tax advantages in it, and I credit it almost entirely to Dr Priscilla Chan, the 'and wife' of Zuckerberg, with the help of Melinda Gates, who set the example, and of course to the children that they have given these otherwise single-minded men - their husbands - that made them realise the ultimate technology before which they, and all men, should be humbled, is the egg and the womb, and the selfless love that nurtures the life they give unto the world every moment of every day without fanfare or financial reward.  

No comments:

Post a Comment