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Channel 5's Big Brother "Year of The Woman" Publicity Stunt or real attempt to celebra

While on the face of it the alluring image (above suggesting ethnic diversity and political nouse) of the Big Brother eye with a Venus embedded deep within it, did manage to spark my curiosity...I was angry But less than surprised to catch the last five minutes of the launch as Amanda Barrie entered the BB house, and to see the heterogeneous (especially in terms of race and visible disability) representation of British Womanhood!

It took me five seconds into watching to conclude, what I had long suspected that The Big Brother Year of The Woman tagline is a shameful and misleading publicity stunt which unfortunately has led to shoddy, misleading and downright lazy journalism (see the link for the Mirror article published 2/02/18 below).

So the first point of order of this blog post is to set the story straight...Historically speaking!

  • Women DID not GET the vote in 1918...some women did! Women over 30 who met the property owning criteria (so largely women of means!), The representation of The People's Act (aka The Fourth Reform Act of 1918) extended the vote to most men and 8.5 million (about 40% of women) women.

Something of an aside but nevertheless relevant to understanding why it is important for people to stop saying "women got the vote in 1918".....It is argued that had women, been enfranchised based upon the same requirements as men, they would have been in the majority because of the loss of men in the war. This may explain why the age of 30 was settled on the over 30 property owning age limit. Simply put men retained control by limiting the franchise for women. Most of the women affected would have been wealthy, either in their own right or because of their husbands wealth. These developments have to be considered in the context of centuries of limits placed on educational opportunities available to women, restrictions placed on working women pay and conditions and the social and legal position of women in general. Without a vote women were not considered persons/citizens in their own right.

The 1918 Act meant that millions of women were disenfranchised and did not have the vote! We cannot continue to deny the reality of these women by suggesting that the 10 years that they had to wait was without cost to them directly and indirectly.

  • While everyone who campaigned for the vote is a SUFFRAGIST not all Suffragists were SUFFRAGETTES.... To avoid a lengthy discussion here on the methods and approaches used by these two distinctive groups of campaigners and those who fell in between just visit

Yes, it seemed like a good opportunity to educate through popular TV programming but when the education is partial, inaccurate and misleading, It does a great disservice to the women who fought for the right to vote and those who had to wait another ten years before they won that right!

For those watching the Big Brother Launch of the Year of The disappointing that there is no British woman with visible disabilities or BME (the American does not reflect or represent British BME experience)

Also suspect is the placing of two Conservative 'sympathisers'...... who selects these people!

I was not expecting much but I am angry that the centenary is being misused in this way.

Firstly, in response to the above, NO we haven't or to be more factually accurate. Some women have got the power (the diversity is lacking and telling) and many more have not.

Secondly, the fact that the Programme suggests than the women have the power to nominate and the men (oh yes they will be coming in later in the week the stars always come on after the 'warm up act'!) do not was soon undermined when the main presenter indicated ”that the men will be able to steal power back speaks truth to power.... It is still called Big Brother after all!

In conclusion, in case I did not make it clear enough in addressing the question is Channel 5's Big Brother "Year of The Woman" Publicity Stunt or real attempt to celebrate Women? I conclude STUNT and add “hands off our centenary and stick to what you know best....vacuous nothingness!”

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