One of the more bizarre aspects of gender bias is that the more its study becomes pertinent to the modern world, the less people seem to study it. It’s not unlike disappointment at your favourite indie band suddenly achieving fame, and your interest in them waning as they become everyone’s favourite tipple.
I wrote 1909 in 1988, with the hunger for money at its craziest. I was fascinated about how this was affecting people’s ability to have well-balanced equal relationships, if such a phenomenon is achievable. It seemed everyone from my old school suddenly had a job, wore a suit, owned their own place and drove a fast car. Nevertheless, interest in relationships between the sexes in academia and gender bias was thriving.
Now the money has gone, so, it seems, has the focus on why we are so different, and how society might be ‘correcting’ those differences. In the 2014-15 academic year, I am told, for the first time, there is no-one being funded for post-graduate studies in Gender Anthropology, and yet horror and social awareness of subjects such as the stoning of women, arranged marriages, FGM, child abuse and people trafficking has never been as media-focused.
It’s fascinating to imagine what might be ahead of us in the UK after the next general election. Is either main party declaring its agenda in this area? Are they even being asked about it?