Does the world really need another macaroon recipe?

20 Apr

I’m at a lunchtime concert in Southbank centre where a young lady is singing a song called ‘It’s a beautiful world’. Whilst on my laps is a book by George Monbiot, ‘6 arguments for global justice’, which is an overview of the many atrocities and injustices that plague our planet. When the singer asks us to join in with the chorus ‘it’s a beautiful world’, I do as I’m told and start singing. Then I realise what I’m singing is a lie. How beautiful is it for the 1 in 7 people who are hungry, the 25,000 US prisoners currently held in isolation, the 1000 women who die each day from complications during pregnancy and childbirth (to give just a couple of examples)?

We sit here, singing along and listening intently. How many of the people that are here would sit so patiently through an hour of solutions for global poverty and inequalities?

I’m not condemning having fun, but everything should be done in moderation – when you sing a song about something as vacuous as, for example, your boyfriend, also sing a song about global issues or something pertinent. If you are going to attend a concert, mirror that commitment with also going to a debate, protest, meeting about something that benefits other people.

A lot of my female friends have started writing blogs and not one of them has been a call to action other than the action of baking. With so many years of trying to get women out of the kitchen and encouraging the view that being a woman isn’t synonymous with being a cookie-making machine, we are now desperately crawling back in and dragging the blogosphere in with us. How much better will the world really be with yet another macaroon recipe?

Women should be setting the bar higher – our blogs, our articles, our songs, our activities. Women have so much potential and if we are squandering it, then who is going to make the world a better and more equal place? I’m not saying that I never do anything hedonistic or outright pointless, but I’m trying to balance that out with doing something that encourages positive change, and if I became a singer I would far prefer to be a Tracy Chapman than a Kylie Minogue.

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