I kind of like them?? 3 doormats = one narrow but fairly reasonably sized rug?
I first discovered this bizarre historical hangover back in 2014, when I supported a petition started by Ailsa Burkimsher Sadler to get mother’s names on marriage certificates. I also vowed that I wouldn’t get married until the law was changed – it just sat all wrong with me to willingly participate in the erasure of women.
Also, I didn’t want to be angry on my wedding day. And let’s face it, I would have been furious. Everyone would have had to endure a feminist lecture. Don’t get me wrong, they still will, but it will be a lecture with a happy ending. No not THAT kind of happy ending, honestly GFPs, you all have a one-track mind and I’m ashamed of you.
This change has been a long time coming. It didn’t take long actually for David Cameron, who was PM at the time (god remember those days? Before Brexit. Before Trump. BEFORE COVID!) to agree to adding a box for mothers. In fact everyone was falling over themselves to agree that it was a very bad thing to be systematically excluding women from the historical record. It was just that no one thought it was important enough to pay for. Apparently the cost of printing some new pages for the registers (which until this point were all paper-based) was more than women’s equality was worth. Still it’s nice to have a figure for these things isn’t it. Woman’s worth = less than tax cuts for the top 10% of male earners*. Seems fair.
Thankfully, digital registers saved the day and apparently the cost of shifting from paper to digital was worth it. Hooray! A gender data gap closed by Big Digital, who’d have thought it.
Anyway, the wedding’s on and I will finally be making an honest man of the AB who is naturally very happy about this development.
*OK yes that was a bit of a non-sequitur. Here is some data to make up for it:
In 2017, the Women’s Budget Group pointed out that at the same time that austerity measures were having a particularly severe impact on women in the UK, ‘tax giveaways disproportionately benefitting men will cost the Treasury £44bn per annum by 2020’. These include a £9 billion cut in fuel and alcohol duties, a £13 billion cut in corporation tax, and a loss of £22 billion from raising income tax and National Insurance thresholds. Together, these tax giveaways accounted for more than the total annual cuts in social security spending – which makes it clear that this isn’t a matter of resources, so much as (gendered) spending priorities. (Invisible Women, p.262)
But, GFPs, as one gender data gap closes, another one opens, and this week has been no different.