Sunday, 2 October 2011

Shona Prophett Ventures Into the Woman Zone

What's With all this Social Media Mumbo Jumbo?

Turning a profit from a virtual standstill is one of the most difficult jobs I can think of, and I've had plenty of jobs, that's for sure. On the whole, I've never been much good at following one particular career route, primarily because I haven't got what it takes to run the red lights of family intervention. A bit of multi-tasking isn't beyond my capabilities but the whole man vs woman equality thing seems to have eluded me. To be honest, I just don't get it.

Wanting to become a veterinary surgeon was one of my earliest career choices - you know the ones, you're about 5, you find a needle and thread, you begin sewing up your bursting teddy bears and err... giving Tiny Tears some stitches. (Or was that just me?) More likely, nowadays, your kids will find a needle and syringe, but it doesn't necessarily follow that they'll grow up wanting to become doctors or nurses.

Next I wanted to become a showjumper, back in the days when HRH Princess Anne rode Doublet and the likes of Marion Mould, Caroline Bradley and Pat Smythe were at the top of their game. The fun of constantly replacing fallen sticks from oil barrels and nursing bumps and bruises eventually wore off, at which point racing one another along grass verges became the game of choice. But it never once crossed my mind to become a jockey. The likes of Willie Carson and Ginger McCain were 'guy names', racing wasn't a girls' game. (Hat's off to the likes of Hayley Turner).

It was OK to want to be a nurse or a receptionist. It was OK to want to be a stable lass or kennel maid. It was even becoming OK to hit the road within a travelling sales environment. Yet it's still a male-dominated world when it comes to making big cash. I don't care how many Dragons in the Den are female, I hadn't heard of any of the women before that programme, nor do I follow them on Twitter. Perhaps I should?

Now that we have a society of information technology whizzkids and social media professionals, it would appear that some sort of equilibrium had been established between the sexes... or not, as the case may be.

Information - Women tend to talk much more than men, we should be better at communicating and getting any message out there.

Technology - Men should be better at that. Let's face it, they hadn't invented the subject of I.T. when I was at school and anything with 'tech' in the name was reserved for the boys. We got secretarial studies, cookery and needlework.

Social - Women are much more sociable. Whether it relates to society or to organisation, communication has to be a key element of this, so the social aspects, you would think, would fall to the women folks.

Media - Men usually hog the remote controls, don't they? Media relates to the methods by which information is spread to the masses, be it in print, television, radio, Internet etc... basically, he who controls the media dictates how, what, where and when particular information gets spread. (Hat's off to the likes of Arianna Huffington, although AOL now practically owns her.)

As for all these Wireless Apps - I'm still of the opinion that many silver surfers think these are some sort of new-fangled undergarments that replaced traditional corsetry. (Forget your surgical truss, Mr P, I'm sure the National Health Service can provide you with a nice, new wireless application instead.)

As you can see, by using this simple thought process, it would appear that men cannot survive without women in this current, technological climate, where social media and wireless communications rule the airwaves. But who is earning the most from it, I ask you?

How many women make it into the Top 100 rich list on their own merits? (No settlements, law suits or inheritances.) I'd be as well asking how many women have walked on the moon! J K Rowling may disagree, but I am omitting female income generated from providing for children (books) and the likes of Jordan (Katie Price) whose blatant glamourisation of the weaknesses of men should teach us all a thing or two.

This is still a man's world whether we like it or not. They have screwed it up over and over through pig-headed spending, pathetic machismo and, some may say, lack of basic common sense. Worse still, their stubborn refusal to see women as their equals means most haven't got a clue about real, everyday life concerning household budgets, let alone the ability to balance the books on a national or multinational scale.

I'll also add that it's thanks to this that women can still reserve the right to have babies and stay home as wives, mothers and homemakers, but their efforts are seldom well-rewarded in any financial sense. The mother of a Nobel prize winner receives no more recognition for her life's 'work' than does the mother of a psychopathic serial killer... you get my drift.

So, I find myself asking this question in all sincerity - who is making money from the likes of Twitter and Facebook? Better still, how?

(c) Shona Prophett / NYK Media

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