No more cupcakes!

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No more cupcakes!

Where are all the women? I’m not talking about women being taken away by kidnapping, or women we can't see because they are forced to wear a veil, or domestic violence. I’m talking about women - adult women.

I’m not talking about girls – they get excited about cup cakes, speak in a high voice when they see pretty shoes or talk about their genitals as ‘froo froo’ or ‘lady garden’. No, I’m talking about women. If you’re old enough to have a baby, you’re old enough to describe the place the baby comes out with a scientific term.

I think the media is responsible – for everything. Who wants to ‘grow up’ in a world where there are more older women on TV in comedy sketches about “cougars” (women who want sex with younger men) than reading the news or presenting a documentary? It’s not surprising that our daughters don’t think it’s good to get older, when the most popular role model (Katie Price) thinks a good name for a child is Princess Tiaamii. I wouldn’t call my hamster that name.

It’s an agreement with the devil. The men in control let women work in the media if they agree to not have a personality. ‘Look,’ people say, ‘women are now getting all the important jobs!’ But they’re not: they’re trying to be successful by not saying anything important, by being little and stupid and giggly and fluffy.

The language has become normal. My gym instructor shouts ‘come on, girls’ every five minutes. I don’t know who she’s talking to. I’m 38.

Women’s health activists are some of the worst. In adverts, they tell us to check our ‘boobs’ (never ‘breasts’) for lumps. Even people who hate women can do this - remind women that we are weak and sickly. (But men: we usually live longer than you.)

And we can make people think about health issues without treating people like children. Testicular cancer kills but no-one tells men to ‘grab a sprout and check it out’.

The worst thing is that this makes society hate women. Society promotes women for childish things. So successful women are not always the smartest or most interesting. And society doesn’t promote the smartest and most interesting. Bags with dog designs are very pretty, but they don’t make women look like the director of a company. Real women would rather get a rucksack or a briefcase and get on with the job.

Women in the past were farmers, fighters, weavers and builders. They had wrinkles and pubic hair and opinions. It’s time to stop saying women are great when they look and behave like little children. It’s time to grow up.

Kate Smurthwaite is a comedian and activist.

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