Time to put the ism back into sex.

October 14th, 2008

There is nothing more repugnant and objectionable than being present as a woman amidst a blaze of guy talk. Guy talk, most often than not, belongs to part of a wider culture where women are subject to sexist stereotyping and being sexually objectified. The last time I got caught amidst such chauvinistic babble was when I asked a group of random men Sigmund Freud’s unanswered question: “What women want” for a TV series on women. Predictably I provoked an amusing array of comments all perfectly wholesome and non-offensive until the cameras stopped rolling. Interestingly, these men, all members of the general public possessed an instinct that prevented them crossing boundaries and entering into sexist territory whilst under the spotlight of a public platform such as television. This instinct can only be defined as Political Correctness which in turn greatly stems from the media itself. UK media coverage has played a significant role in shaping and enforcing social attitudes and thus setting out clear boundaries of what is socially acceptable and not.

Although we are far from a complete extinction of sexism in the media – portrayal of women in advertising and a lack of senior news anchor women comes immediately to mind – political correctness can take credit for part of the progress that has been made. Often the subject of criticism, Political correctness has on many occasions been brandished unnecessary and quite simply a nuisance with regards to words and labels. The balancing act is one of the greatest challenges. Too much PC and you think the world has gone mad. Too little – then you have a situation like the one America is facing – a catastrophe.

What has taken place in recent times in the US media is an explosion of unshackled sexism. Although a supporter of Obama, it is frightening to think that what swung it for him was the onslaught of sexist media coverage against Hilary. All modern day democracies require mass media to create a platform to enable all voices involved in the electoral campaign to be heard and be powerful in a national dialogue. The national media has a responsibility to report fairly, to hold to account and to analyze those who wish to wish to be placed in a position of power. But when this process is tainted with sexual innuendo and their capabilities distorted over misogynist word play, you begin to question the viability of such a democracy. What impact does it have on mindsets? And what’s more, if a fraction of a rant was geared against Obama because of his race, then the furore generated would have undoubtedly placed a fear of God into any media outlet wishing to follow suit. However, some media analyst groups such as the Women’s Media Centre have picked up on the sexist commentaries and created the online campaign: “Sexism Sells but We’re Not Buying It.”

I am under no allusion that sexism sells and Americans are still buying it. The media coverage during the Presidential nominee campaigns illustrated how women’s professional capacity can be tarnished. But that aside, you do not need to look afar to find equal levels of double standards directed at women on their personal lives. Women have been recently the subject of the blame game when it comes to their husbands having affairs. Several books have been published to such extent from Gary Neuman’s latest novel entitled “The Truth about Cheating: Why Men Stray and What You Can Do to Prevent It,” to the even more audaciously entitled “The Re-education of Women” by Dante More. But in a day and age when women are increasingly embarking on extra-marital affairs, I see no self-help books of similar ilk directed at husbands. It has the same undertones as the traditional double standards of premarital sexual activity, when men and women throughout time have been subjected to different “rules” guiding sexual behaviour. Women have and almost to this day, continue to be faced with a Madonna-whore dichotomy: you are either pure and virginal or promiscuous and easy.

Language is pivotal on how the media scrutinises men and women. You only need to remember a recently brandished term “sex addiction” to cover up multiple affairs committed by male celebrities like David Duchovony and Michael Douglas. It strengthens the view that language is employed to excuse men. All these examples contribute to a sense that sexism is at the bottom scale of offence in comparison to racism, homophobia and anti-semitism when quite frankly they should be equal. If not addressed robustly then America may soon pay a high price for the repercussions of such a mind-set engrained in the media.

Our own struggles are far from over in the UK. Political correctness played a part in preventing the men I interviewed from airing their true views to potentially thousands. But it was not enough to prevent them airing them to me – a woman – a victim. It is time to put the ism back into sex on a global scale.

Wake-up and smell the tobacco.

August 30th, 2008

For the past three decades, there has been a growth in intolerance and developing repulsion towards a certain community in the UK. This group are increasingly finding it tough to integrate their particular practice amongst many social settings and as a result, are finding themselves isolated and unable to fit in.  A nation that once was for so long accepting and inclusive towards this community in all indoor public arenas has finally banned these individuals from their routine cultural practice. Thank goodness! Long live Britannia, long live the Queen. On moments like this, I am proud to be British.

Smokers no longer make-up the fabric of our indoor-public society. The battle against smoking has begun shifting attitudes and psyches. There are daily indications of this new phase from the media to social attitudes. The shock horror projected by many tabloids at Brittany Spears’ two year old son playing with a packet of Marlborough Lites and trying to mimic his mum’s smoking antics marks a strong shift in the media’s perception of smoking. Furthermore, speaking to people embarking on trying to find soul mates, there has been a stark move away from anyone trying to “make-do” and “put up” with Mr. or Miss eligible if they are a smoker. For many, the prospect of enduring a life with a partner who could possibly suffer premature death is a major turn-off in a prospective partner.

So whilst the war against smoking is beginning to be won in the UK and generally in the West, we are totally unaware of how we are inadvertently shrugging off our addiction to the developing world. Tobacco, a rich country problem, is soon to be a low to middle-income country problem because the number of smokers is decreasing in regions like the US, so American multinationals are now looking to aggressively target developing countries. Do not underestimate the fact that smoking will be the biggest killer in the developing world. Smoking related deaths are expected to surpass those caused by the Aids epidemic. Tobacco consumption will outstrip global population growth. By 2030, 10 million smokers will dye annually, 7 million deaths will occur in developing countries.

The statistics paint a bleak picture. We have the ability to predict an epidemic so far in the future and also have the knowledge to prevent it. Surely the window of opportunity is now? But unlike the other killers, smoking is a matter of civil liberty and is not an instant killer so therefore does not receive the same level of media attention than other epidemics such as the SARs virus, Aids, terrorism, Global warming. Along with the statistics, change therefore, from the bottom-up, looks equally bleak.

The only hope for change seems to be in the hands of the top-down approach. This means a complete reliance on global governance. But the forces that form global governance – international institutions, laws, regulations and agreements – are using measures to protect fledging industries in developed countries. Far from being part of the solution, Global governance will only exacerbate the inequality around the world as developing countries are forced to drop tariff barriers against highly successful international brands. What’s more, many Governments are courted by inward investment. China is a major problem as its Government owns cigarette manufacturing companies and draws profits from them.

The rich look set to get richer whilst the poor are on a down hill slope. At the moment, the only hope lies with two billionaires – Bill Gates and Michael Bloomberg who will inject $500 million to promote strategies to reverse rise of smoking in China, India and Russia. Their generosity will certainly dwarf the current $20 million spent every years on anti-smoking campaigns in these regions. However, they are only two uber rich philanthropists amidst 950 billionaires. The combined annual income of the poorest is less than that of the 500 billionaires in the world. You do the maths. This global inequality set to be propelled by tobacco could easily be averted but the urgency is not realized, or should I say, not desired to be realized.

The vision for equality should be that all communities enjoy good health, access to education and be in control of their own destiny. Globally, tobacco receives poor financial commitment and human attention than other causes of death. This exacerbates deep inequality. It is both a moral imperative and a pragmatic necessity in terms of future global economics to diminish inequality. I’ve felt pride in the UK for beginning the process of kicking the habit. But I certainly feel no pride as a citizen of an unfair world.

Women learn to create your own space or fall at your own peril

August 24th, 2008

No matter where I am in the World, I like to explore the national treasures of the land. Whilst in Canada last week, I stumbled across the Canadian national treasure – the Maclean’s magazine which was once re-named over 100 years ago as the busy man’s magazine. Well anything good enough for a busy man is good enough for me hence the rather heavy suitcase on my return home filled with numerous copies – for the sake of proving a point. Whilst skimming through the articles which aim to inspire readers, I stumbled across an article about “why men are getting happier and women more miserable.” Contrary to the aim, I felt a little less inspired and more provoked.

However, I was far from surprised. The gap in gender happiness is something I have been well aware for some time now. I only need to look at examples of couples belonging to family, friends and colleagues. You cannot escape it. The levels of unhappiness amongst women have developed since they began establishing themselves into the workplace in the 70s and 80s.

Women have come a long way since the feminist movement of the 70s. But what is it about attempting to create a gender neutral society that that has led to overall diminishing happiness amongst women? Having spent the past few months mingling in the company of high powered couples I can say with utmost certainty that if you are aspiring to be such a power duo or at least emulate aspects of it that you fully appreciate that this certainly will be the road to men getting happier and women more miserable. You may be wondering at this stage, how can this possibly be a destructive thing? Well it is, when roles and responsibilities begin overlapping and expectations are mismanaged.

Welcome to the era of the alpha female – the new trophy wife. We are currently in the wake of a historic shift. The rules of the mating game are transforming. Men were once good catches because they were high earners. This now also includes women. Amongst the circles of high powered couples I gauged a reoccurring sentiment amongst the men. They were proud of their partners/wives CVs. Most men are not interested in someone who does not have to offer them as much as they have to offer her. Only fair and square especially when considering compatibility. But how has this re-defining of masculinity and femininity played a role in making women unhappy?

Women have made the greatest progress over the last 35 years. Irrational exuberance has perhaps played a part in their declining scale of happiness. The woman’s movement promised the moon and the stars but did they not realise that most things would in fact be unattainable. It is the story of the juggling act and chemicals. You do not necessarily have to have a career and kids to be tired. There is an exhaustion felt by women that is distinct to women, proven by the fact that psychiatric data reveals nearly twice as many women as men develop depression-related disorders at least once in their lives.

What has the role of men been in the framework of a high powered relationship that has contributed to female misery? Women have been encouraged to reach perfection – being accomplished, smart, a good mother, to look fashionable all the time. Not realising those expectations can only aggravate the female sadness. Her compulsion to reach perfection for the sake of managing expectations can ultimately lead to bone-numbing fatigue.

There is decreasing trend in the traditional corporate wife who stays at home and an increase in the high powered-wife who has the stresses of her own career. Great in theory, if men could fend for themselves but the modern corporate wife is still desired and partially expected by most men to participate in aspects of entertaining and travel. Do these women possess supernatural qualities? On the surface, these women know how to play the supporting role ever so well. Evolution has mostly played a part in programming it into our psyche. Below the surface is quite possibly a different story.

What if careers overlap in areas and the couples involved are public figures? The expectations can therefore be truly destructive. Take Cherie Blair, one half of the well known power couple for instance. In her recent memoir, ironically entitled: “Speaking for myself,” she reveals grief of having to mourn for her un-born child through stage-managed directions by her husband’s team of spin doctors – for the sake of managing expectations. Judy Finnagan, part of the Richard and Judy brand also comes to mind. If there is anything apparent about this power duo then it is the fact that Richard has managed to reduce Judy to a mumbling mess. Judy’s inability to lead interviews is the result of constant put downs by Richard. Their programme is embarrassing viewing for this reason alone.

My fixation of being able to do anything a man can do perhaps needs to be re-examined. If there is one thing clear, I do not want to end up sad like the increasing female population. I and many others need to realise that men and women are fundamentally different in many aspects. Women have to set the stage for space in order to prevent a loss of their identity, motivation, confidence and energy. Perhaps this is what the woman’s movement should have focused on. We may now be living in a 50:50 society as exemplified by most power couples. However, women will forever make the greatest sacrifices by default due to their child rearing abilities – a tradition that will never evolve.

It all begins in the home.

August 24th, 2008

Increasingly I am witnessing an emphasis on the categorising of role models into racial/religious/gender roles. As a short term solution, I see no harm in the creation of role models with conditions especially for the purpose of serving as a life-line to some communities, for example, combating the knife crime epidemic that is currently savaging young lives. As a long term practice, I fear it may become entrenched in the mindsets of youngsters who simply select a role model specific to their racial/religious/gender group by default. As Governments and communities actively seek out categorised role-models, a dependency may altogether swerve us away from the actual root of the problem – the failing production of role models in the home front. What’s more, a saturation of specific role-models may limit future generations of a fully rounded mentor.

If I were to recall how many role models I have had in a quarter of a century of existence then counting on fingers alone would not cut it. But then tell me to whittle my never-ending list to one is almost a sheer impossibility. Sheer impossibility is something I had to overcome as I began to construct a speech that I had to deliver about my one memorable role model to an audience of 150 youngsters and adults all from a Muslim background. The spectrum of role models I have had in my lifetime can only be described as diverse as the members of the United Nations. So who could I select as an example whilst I was going to be seen as a role model for young Muslims?

Having been successful in a community radio station over the past two years and being a Muslim, I have recently found myself being courted by groups and organisations associated to charities and community projects working with Muslim communities trying to promote increased engagement of youngsters in education and employment. The common thread with all is that organisers have assumed my role as a young Muslim role model. I am now part of the phenomenon of role models with conditions. However, with the current need for positive Muslim role-models amongst a back-drop of demonization and attacks, I am happy to be part of the movement. The only complication about this is that those that I am targeted at do not necessarily think me worthy of such a role.

And not worthy is how a packed audience of predominantly Muslim teenage boys of Bangladeshi origin perceived me when I was invited to a question and answer session about being a Muslim in the Media. At every stage of answering I was actively undermined. When asked about questions of being discriminated because of my religious background, one boy in the audience shouted out: “what does she know about Islamophobia, she doesn’t even wear a headscarf.” Quite frankly, even if I did wear a wear a head scarf they would have been equally dismissive of me simply because none of the other panellists, who were male, donned a beard or exuded a particular religious identity but still managed to capture the attention of the audience. Being a Muslim woman and not a Muslim man in this instance made me a poor candidate for a role model.

I wondered what kind of role the women in the lives of these boys must have. Do the mothers and sisters have any influential impact? Are they inspirational figures? Or is there an imbalance in impact between the male and female figures in their lives? What difference would it make if there was balance? Well firstly, I would have received respect. All this reminded of conversations I had with a friend who is a teacher at an inner city school and has spent years trying to make sense of why the most unruliest and disruptive pupils in her class were boys of Pakistani origin. Her conclusion, she looks like the women in their lives, that is, the mothers and sisters especially because she wears a headscarf. Their homes are governed through patriarchal structures and the vast majority of the boys were unaccustomed to someone who looks like her in an authoritative role. To me she is a role model in her own right for setting a precedent and challenging such attitudes.

With all these examples I am absolutely confident that some quarters of my community are failing their children and if there is no self-examination then matters may get out of hand. It is not just boys that are affected by this. On a monthly basis I mentor at a secondary school for girls to help raise the aspirations and horizons of a group of Muslim girls who have been selected as potential achievers. With the mothers failing to attend meetings and fathers dismissing the need for both sets of parents to be involved in the mentoring scheme, the reason is clear why these young girls have been labelled as potential acvhievers and not achievers. All these scenarios that I have mentioned illustrate that parents and close family have an influence the on set of values, sense of direction and motivation they impart. This influence makes them equivalent to role models. Whether they are positive role models can be debated.

If the home environment created positive role models from an early age then I have no doubt that a precedent would be set amongst young minds that make them comfortable with their identities, their roots and aspirations. It could set the basis for youngsters to branch out and look at people in certain professions and think “It could be me”, but they may be just as inspired by people not of their race, religion or gender. Who, after all, did Tiger Woods or Lewis Hamilton look up to when they set out on their worldbeating career paths? Jack Nicklaus? Michael Schumacher? Perhaps, but only after the far more influential role of their own parents.

In the end, the memorable role model whom I selected for my speech was my maths teacher who not only made a difference in my learning career but through his pearls of wisdom continues to make a difference to this day. He instilled a sense of self-worth and confidence because he helped create an environment where I was not scarred to make mistakes. My role model was neither a Muslim nor a woman.

Leave the moronic club and join the switch off protest

August 24th, 2008

To criticise something without seeing it is generally bad practice. To critisise something and then to continue seeing it is pure stupidity. That is what I feel about Big Brother viewers. Some television pundit at this point probably cannot wait to correct me with the fact that The Big Brother audience is more up market than might be expected: 44.2 per cent of viewers are from the ABC1 demographic. I do not believe that a moronic state and belonging to the ABC1 demographic are necessarily mutually exclusive. And what do I feel about the fact that 59% of the audience is women – take a wild guess.

Big Brother has been running for nine years now. I congratulate myself on not tuning in once this series. In fact, the last time I caught a glimpse of the mind numbing programme was when it was graced with a Bollywood starlet. But if you ask me about the latest controversy in this latest series then Alex the gangster wannabe comes to mind. How do I know? You do not need to be stupid to tune in. The non-stop coverage in newspapers, magazines and news outlets keeps me updated involuntarily.

The term stupid really does no justice for the wider implications to a group of people who year in year out religiously follow the lives of housemates. What does it say about a person who eagerly tunes in to follow the bullying tactics and abuse of a house mate? Or how about the few eager men that tune in to the household hoping to catch some female assets? Is that not equal to voyeurism? Let us not forget that Big Brother streams out 24 hours live. Who are these viewers? Perhaps they are enthusiasts of watching paint dry? Do viewers actually realise that Big Brother is predictable and quite frankly orchestrated for sadistic pleasure?

The makers of Big Brother – Endemol and Channel 4 – have consistently got into deep water for subjecting the public to indecency and not stepping in early to make a stand on important issues such as racism and bullying – almost excusing the behaviour by being slow to react and eject the offending culprits. But the truth is, record numbers of complaints get logged regarding Big Brother. But we are still watching it. It is now time to stop blaming the producers and commissioners. The real culprits are the viewers who freely accept their viewing destiny by tuning into a bunch of misfits who allegedly represent British society plucked from no man’s land in order to follow their every move, yawn, burp and other obscenities in their 15 minutes of fame.

Although viewers are diminishing, there are still viewers in the region of 3.8 million and when controversy strikes, even more people tune in. Proof of this was two weeks ago. Euro 2008 had reduced Big Brother’s viewing figures dramatically but the Alex de Gale’s removal from the show was watched by 703,000 viewers on the Channel 4 +1 between 10pm and 11pm according to unofficial viewing figures. The time shift channel benefited from one of its highest ever viewing figures because the public were intrigued by a bully. The fact that Big Brother possesses a cross-media impact is why Channel 4 wants to continue with Big Brother and why ITV1 craves it.

It is time that this generation took the lead in the moral opposition: switching on the critical eye and then switching off. Just think of the power of the “Switch-Off” campaign. It may put regulators out of business but the good news it may actually lead to the extinction of Big Brother. A far more effective alternative than to actually go through the motions of complaining. If the switch off campaign does not take off then producers will continue to manipulate the format, cast for sexual explosion, mental implosions all for the sake of maintaining the brand’s attractiveness to the youthful and affluent viewers or should I say the moronic demograph? And worst of all, I will still know about the latest controversy involuntarily.

Bling and MTV – is that it?

August 24th, 2008

Offer me the chance to visit a remote island, a bustling world class city or even exotic Luton and you know what, the inner drive within to explore is ignited. Any place but Dubai. I’m probably mad in the eyes of those dazzled and schmoozed by the sheer opulence, luxury and perfectionist comfort. For me the prospect of flying out to the never-ending land of the skyscraper does not set me off on cartwheels and handstands and nor did it last week when the prospect became reality.

Whilst there, attempts to avoid the shopping malls were in vain. Like breathing, going to a mall became inevitable. With soaring dessert temperatures, there really is not much activity on offer for the Emiraties who are bound within limits set by family and religion. So I do have some sympathy. But once in a shopping mall, the Emiraty youth culture is a visible and prominent fixture and they certainly know how to have a good time as their apatite to consume is staggering.

From designer stores to food joints, you cannot escape young Emiraties. Whether it be young women donned in traditional black abayas and bling that could rival American hip hop acts or the young men in their signature dishdashas hoping to catch some blue tooth action – it is evident that fashion takes prominence. I feel somewhat out of place in comparison with no designer labels on display. I wonder if Primark will ever take off in the UAE?

Undoubtedly fashion is one of the main influences on the young. But recently, Dubai has gone from business to music mecca. Here, music has become a hotbed of marketing activity. Funnily there was a time when CD’s were confiscated by custom officers but thanks to the many local, regional and international satellite channels and, of course, the internet – it is now more available than ever before.

The visible force of the youth in public places is a reflection of the fact that half the UAE population is under 25. It is therefore no surprise that businesses are aggressively targeting the youth community. Mix this youthquake with a boom in music entertainment and you get MTV Arabia, which launched last year. Apart from the rush of advertising dollars, MTV tried to launch with a difference for the region viewing itself as something much more than music television but a platform for debate to discuss drugs and health issues. This reinforced by a statement in it’s business plan to be the “region’s first and only youth lifestyle brand, offering a platform for self-expression, while truly representing Arab youth” indicates that MTV Arabia could be a possible beacon of hope for the consumer driven youth? Or have the team at MTV Arabia marketing realised that there are more mobile phone contracts than there are people, with subscription rates at 104% of the population thus making the viewing experience an interactive extension of the shopping mall?

Despite my vocal scepticism provoked by knowledge that money makes the World go round, I actually do believe there are forces at play that are trying to revolutionise social change. Media is no exception. The power of entertainment media can be a great vehicle to exchange cultures, music and ideas thus should not be overlooked. I know, because I have been part of it for the past few years. However, I do wonder whether the localized rehash of MTV reality shows can be part of that social change force?

With the Channel 4 documentary “How Television changed Britain” fresh in my mind, I wonder how television will change the mindsets of the Dubai youth in the next ten years. Glamour media will undoubtedly play a significant role in this, which we term in the UK as entertainment media. Glamour media generally refers to the use of model-like males and females or those with celebrity status to tackle social and political issues. The increasing shift towards glamour TV in the UAE is seen by analysts and practioners as economically and politically driven reasons. Is there a danger for such a “glamour” factor to be used to propel Social and Political agendas?

As the economy is being driven by these youngsters, does money bring ultimate happiness in this almost utopian land? I seriously question this especially when the front page of the daily English language newspaper “The Khaleej Times” publishes a haunting picture of an 18 year old girl attempting to jump from an 8th floor apartment. It concerns me that fashion seems to be the main fixture in the mindsets of the Emiraty youth. Bling and now the launch of MTV Arabia – is this it for the youth? If the current sheer levels of consumerism have been achieved in a very short space of time since Dubai was created, I worry for the next thirty years.

Can women be feminine and still reach the brass ring?

August 24th, 2008

With Hilary Clinton formally out of the picture in the American Presidency race, I do wonder if I will ever see a woman become an American President albeit rule the world? Whilst numerous commentators speculate whether her defeat was linked to her gender, fuelling the feminist movement, I believe she ran a hard campaign and lost fair and square to a great candidate. Her defeat is really no loss to feminism.

Having worked on two programmes for radio and television all about women it may come as no surprise that I have formed a keen interest in monitoring cases of women trying to reach the highest realms in typically male dominated arenas. As a result, I feel a great sense of hopefulness and optimism which often gets challenged by my male friends who increasingly remind me that it’s a man’s world and the sooner women realise it the better. Why am I still friends with them you may ask? It’s quite simple really. Their audacity simply provides the initiation of a pulse racing debate which I absolutely thrive on. More importantly, how else are stereotypes expected to be demolished?

If Hilary was a man would she have clinched the nomination race? If this is to be believed, then women should attempt to literally fill the shoes of men and thus be more like men in order to create an equal playing field. Margaret Thatcher would therefore be the obvious choice for a role model, having reached the brass ring of being the first ever female British Prime Minister and possessing classic alpha female qualities. Is it imperative therefore to shed feminine tendencies in order to reach the brass ring?

Someone who categorically disagrees that masculine behavior is the only legitimate way in which leadership can be exercised is Dee Dee Myers, former White House press secretary and author of a new book fantastically entitled: “Why Women Should Rule The World.” The book is about what happens when women attempt to take on positions of leadership: The choices they make, the obstacles they face, the rewards and the disappointments — and how they differ from men. She highlights certain internal and external struggles which form the basis of men and women being hard wired differently. But in her view, they are no way intended to fuel the argument that the fairer sex should be exempt from playing a role in resolving the world’s problems. In fact she means quite the opposite.

It is the internal struggle that she mentions that has got my pulse racing recently. Myers is of the view that women do not take ownership of their successes the way that men do and, correspondingly, are less likely to reach for the brass ring. I could not resist thinking about how this applied to me, my female friends and not surprisingly my male friends. The conclusion matched Myers’ statement. The internal struggle cannot be better illustrated than at networking events which are traditionally renound for being the setting of extending contact links by taking ownership of your own success. Having recently been invited to a plethora of networking events, I took a back seat and became a keen observer of male and female engagement in networking. I quickly realized that effective networking is simply an applied strategy. What’s more, it almost pains me to acknowledge that such a strategy was mostly mastered by the men in the room. What men did and the women failed to do was fire a round of name dropping, title announcing and indicating their unique selling point. Although, the men managed to cover more ground I am not sure whether they actually formed meaningful relationships? As a woman that naturally matters. Women took there time. Small talk was often their saviour.

Without trying to sound like a sweeping generalist and too harsh on my sex, we women do not have a clue. Of course there are the exceptions. Pinky Lilani immediately comes to mind. Pinky’s contacts are truly amazing. They extend from royalty, corporate movers and shakers to A-list celebrities. I met her recently and had a lengthy conversation about the internal struggle that has been plaguing my mind. Pinky has spent the past decade tirelessly working to create a much needed space for women to be able to celebrate their successes through networks that rival the traditional all boy’s/man’s club. She places emphasis on the importance of somebody else selling you. This may actually form the basis of a cure for the internal struggle.

Although I may not see a woman ruling the world in my life time, I am certain that this world will no longer be a man’s world. Difference is key and it is what makes this world round. There is no reason why we shouldn’t stand side-by-side with men in resolving the world’s problems and leading the next generation. The only sad aspect to all of this will be no more pulse racing debates.


August 23rd, 2008

Keep up to date with Nabila’s latest opinion on Social-Political issuesh here in this weekly Blog