Thursday, April 15, 2010


I have been watching the election campaign on the TV and, as a woman, I am finding the media's interest in Sarah, Samantha and Miriam more than a little nauseating.
Firstly, I am not in the slightest interested in who made their clothes or what shade of nail varnish they are wearing. If these women in any way pertinent to the campaign, it would be from a policy point of view, and given they have certainly all been gagged so as not to cause their partner to lose any points in the polls, they are irrelevant. I find it more than a little patronizing too that they are all assumed to be supporters of their husbands' parties. For these three, it does seem to be the case but I can imagine a marriage or partnership where two people love each other but actually don't agree politically, and for that reason, again, their presence in the campaign is unwelcome. Imagine a situation where two of the three support their partner's partner, and the third doesn't? How would the media deal with that?
I would have loved to have seen Hillary become president last year simply out of curiosity to see if the media would have dared to ask Bill for his best apple pie recipe, or to hear how his suit compared to the designer gear of Mrs McCain, but I'm off on a feminist tangent.
The one thing that is niggling me most is the mainstream media's almost blanket insistence on calling Miriam González Durántez Miriam Clegg. When I first married back in 1991, the registrar said 'Sign the certificate here using your maiden name for the last time'. It was taken for granted that I would change my name to my husband's. That was then, but this is now. I, like a growing number of UK women have chosen not to change my name. Whether Miriam has chosen not to become Clegg for UK or Spanish reasons is irrelevant. The fact is that she goes by the name Miriam González Durántez, so how dare the media rechristen her to suit their antiquated ideas? It should be her choice, and hers alone, to change her name.

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