Girls who run my world

 Beyonce’s song Run the World starts with a clear statement of ‘WE run this Mother’. I believe her 100 per cent. She should have stopped there. Unfortunately the song carries on asking ‘WHO run the world?’ Had Queen B thought to ask me to co-write her number one hit, I would have told her very bluntly to lose the question mark and simply keep on telling us.

Whether the mother she is referring to is nature, ship, board or fucker, I don’t care. I am in Beyonce’s tribe and I truly believe that us girls do in fact run this world. I’m not so naive as to think that men are now redundant and take no part in the day to day mechanics. But something has been brewing these past few years and there seems to be a hell of a lot of oestrogen in the water.

Historically I should say it all started with women gaining the vote, bra burning and the arrival of The Spice Girls. But for me I never felt at a disadvantage to men in the first place. So I never questioned whether or not I was getting treated equally.

I took the underwear burning and the suffragettes for granted because I grew up in a world where I was told I was just as good as the boys.

That was until one summer in San Francisco when a very opinionated, feminist lesbian told me my outlook on life was childlike {read bullshit}. She said I was at a disadvantage simply because I’d been born without a Y chromosome. I didn’t argue too strongly because I was sleeping in her living room but over the years I have rehearsed the reply I should have said to her. ‘Maybe I’m just one of the lucky ones; my parents never treated me any different to my brother. If anything they were probably harder on him because he was the oldest. I went to boarding school at 16 and lived in a house full of girls who did anything and everything they wanted.’

There were no boundaries, no doubts, no restrictions and no limits on the size of their dreams. At university being a funny woman who was good at what she did was embraced and celebrated; I got the best parts, I was asked to be in shows outside of college.  At 22 I moved to London to join a theatre company; again no sexism, we were all equal.

But like I said, maybe I’m just one of the lucky ones.

The world of comedy is notoriously dominated by men. This is fact and I have no doubt that if I ever get to dip my toe into the enormous pool of funny waters, I will be subject to some kind of rejection, discrimination and yes, perhaps a dose of sexism. BUT…but the times are a changing. Women, like cream in an Irish coffee or Rylan from the X Factor, are making their way to the top.

For me I really started to notice the shift in oestrogen levels at Toronto airport in 2011. I was on my way home from Nashville and had a six hour layover.  The limit on my credit card was maxed out and I had to decide whether I should spend my last few dollars on food or Chelsea Handler’s book Chelsea, Chelsea, Bang Bang. The book won and boy was I glad. I read it cover to cover during the six hour wait and constantly laughed out loud. FUNNY FUNNY FUNNY! Rude, real, well-written, relevant but most importantly just plain funny. Arriving home I was hungry {literally and metaphorically} to find more like-minded maidens.

I devoured Tina Fey’s Bossypants, Caitlin Moran’s How to be a Woman and Nora Ephron’s I Feel Bad about my Neck with as much enthusiasm as a gay man waiting in line to see Kylie.

There was a shift in life, my life as a woman in her 30’s trying to make some semblance of a career.

Suddenly all I seemed to see were woman rising from the ashes of their burnt bras. Comedians, writers, filmmakers ~ all women ~ were producing beautiful, thought-provoking, exciting and popular work. Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo {Bridesmaids}, Sarah E Polley {Take this Waltz}, Sarah Millican, Zooey Deschanel {New Girl}, Mindy Kaling.

As I watched Emeli Sande, Jessie J, Annie Lennox and The Spice Girls all perform during the Olympic ceremonies, Beyonce’s words ran through my head:

‘My persuasion can build a nation, endless power, with our love we can devour’ 

As the year came to a close and 2013 made an appearance Rhianna was named the most successful artist of the past 20 years. Not the most successful woman but the most successful artist. Girls by Lena Dunham shook the comedy world at it’s core. And Tina Fey and Amy Poehler made history when they became the first two women to host the Golden Globes awards. There’s just no stopping us. My list may not include scientists, doctors, CEO’s, politicians or poets but these are the women who are running my world.

Who’s running yours?

MORE WOMEN WORTH MENTIONING:

Leandra Medine: Creator of the fashion blog and worldwide success that is the Man Repeller. 

Lucy Lumsden: Head of comedy at Sky, who within 18 months, singlehandedly turned Sky into the go-to place for new and original comedy.

Victoria Coren: Columnist, presenter and professional poker player.

Anna Crilly and Katy Wix: Comedy double act with their own show ‘Anna & Katy’ coming to Channel 4 this March.

Kelly Framel & Jaime BeckStylist Framel & Co creator of cinemgraphs Beck joined forces to create beautiful and innovative online editorials.

Adele: No explanation necessary.

Dr. Caroline Chester: One of America’s top plastic surgeons specialising in paediatric care….and my Auntie.

2 Comments
  • Tim
    Posted at 08:47h, 19 February Reply

    Vivienne Westwood……a girl from a working class family growing up in post war Britain going on to be the greatest designer this country has ever had..(my opinion)

    My hero since the Harris Tweed collection, I was 17 x

    • Ms Donovan
      Posted at 11:17h, 19 February Reply

      Oh totally! Went to her exhibition at the V&A on my 25th birthday and cried at how brilliant it was. Blazing her own trail and not caring what anyone else thinks of her.

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