ZELLA COMPTON: Did I miss the moment true equality was achieved?

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There was an article in The News last week about a lady who’d made a complaint about signs in garden shop.

The signs were about things that girls should do, and a separate one about boys.

Demeaning attitudes still persist, more subtly perhaps, but they’re still there

It was the same old stuff which has plagued us for generations. Brave boys climb trees while pretty princesses are busy homemaking.

I was amazed at the amount of criticism which the lady who complained was subjected to on social media, as was the garden centre for agreeing to take the signs down and stop selling them.

Seemingly some people feel that, as this is 2017, society should get over itself and recognise that these signs are harmless.

I find this very difficult. When was the year equality was achieved, believed in and promulgated by all generations?

The ‘in the kitchen’ or ‘can’t park’, or ‘she’s a bit fat / old / ugly’ attitude to women pervades year after year.

Perhaps, if we’d reached a point where boys were told to be making cup cakes and painting their nails and to dream to be princes, it’d be fairer to say ‘get over’ the signs, they’re nostalgic.

Unfortunately for many women and girls, demeaning attitudes still persist, more subtly perhaps, but they’re still there.

We witness it in expectations, in pay, in the media, in everyday casual sexism.

Stereotypical signs are a very thin edge of a deeply ingrained culture which still has women in tight little boxes.

Why should girls have to fight these antiquated attitudes first before they set out to do what they want to do?

Our daughters have to learn to ignore the daily dose of media and other sources which show them women cleaning homes, or looking after their men folks, or as violent victims of crime before they get going with their lives.

On top of this, the media tell us that to achieve their full potential, our daughters have to not only be clever, they need to be beautiful and groomed and skinny.

And as for the boys, well hey, I don’t think it’s as bad for them – yet.

Being brave all the time must be pretty hard, but climbing trees and exploring feels like a great approach to life.

I salute the lady who complained, and I salute the garden centre that responded by getting rid of the signs.


A while ago Bournemouth Borough Council decided to build a reef in the sea in order to create waves, the idea being that Bournemouth would become

the next surfers paradise.

It didn’t work.

There were problems with the original reef being made of sandbags, and splitting, and the contractor went bust.

But it struck me how ripe Stokes Bay is for development of body-boarding waves. We already have the tankers and speed boats creating the ripples, perhaps it’s time to build on those and bring tourists to Gosport? Can it be done for a bit of summer fun?

If not that, let’s get some diving platforms installed, preferably with a slide into the sea.

Now that would entertain both myself and the teenage population.


So we have finished another season of Game of Thrones – a show I have loved but am feeling an itch.

You know the one, where you sense something has changed and you’re being lied to.

Specific lies include leaving cliff-hangers between episodes (we’ve always known who dies as they die before), travelling great distances in a

blink of an eye (this matters) and calling another person Dany – to make a sick-inducing second statement of ‘my Queen’ work.

To me, it feels too much as if the screenwriter crafters – who always write the same old, same old – are lined up to take the mantle but have forgotten it’s Game of Thrones they’re writing and not a rom-com, bro-com, or episode of 24.