For those who do not leave in the UK or/and are not sixty-five year old ladies at heart you may not have watched the Strictly Come Dancing 2013 Grand Final. Well, if you didn't you certainly missed out on a vital piece of our history.
Let me explain. Here is a picture of the finalists from this year:
Abbey Clancy, Natalie Gumede, Sophie Ellis-Bexter and Susanna Reid all had the supreme honor of being able to compete in Strictly Come Dancing's first ever all-female final. I mean just wow. The first ever all-female of Strictly Come Dancing that there has ever been in the entirety of human history. I'm just amazed I've been able to live through such a significant event in women's liberation.
I hope you are noting the sarcasm.
Because I would hope you would all agree that the fact this final was all-female is, well, rather meaningless. As a feminist, I'm all for women being more prominent in our every day lives. However hearing Tess Daily squeal with delight as four women flounce about on stage, hold hands in smiley manner while a roared on to stage to Here Come the Girls, I can't help get a little bit angry.
Celebrating the achievements of a particular gender is only important when they are in a system that is engineered against them. A quick bit of research shows that Strictly Come Dancing is not an example of this system. Every final up until now has been mixed, with the the combinations of MMF and FFM both appearing five times each, and five of the eleven winners have been women. So Strictly isn't exactly a system engineered against women. What it is, is an example of is probability. In fact of all the years this one was most likely to be an all female final as their were more female celebrities than male ones.
So, no Susanna Reid. This is not a "historic" final, as you called it. The gender ratio in this final is nothing to get excited about. However it could have been a note-worthy final if gender did not come into it at all. If we could value the quality of the final based on the ability of the competitors* and not their chromosomes (as it has been in the past) then maybe this all-female final would have been something to get excited about in terms of the feminist movement.
While I was considering this, a question popped into my head: What would they be saying if this was an all-male final? I posed this question to my Dad and he was of the opinion the BBC wouldn't have been made such a big song and dance about it for fear of coming across as sexist. Oh the irony. That, or they would have been exactly the same, and used it as a chance to break out the male stereotypes instead of the female stereotypes.
Before I finish, I would like to say that I am not a feminist being picky and not being happy with anything and seeing sexism everywhere. I'm a feminist who is tired of gender still being such a thing because it only drives sexism further (that is a post for the future I'm sure). Especially when gender has nothing to do with it, as with Strictly. Where gender does matter, on the other hand, is in politics, or in pay gap or in any other way where men or women are systemically discriminated against. But not in Strictly Come Dancing**.
*On this note, Susanna and Sophie should not have been in the final. It should have been Ashley and Richard.
**The overall representation of gender on another hand is something that might be worth blogging about, however I'm simply talking in terms of gender ratios.