Feminism, climate change—and swimming poolsby Deborah Levy / March 16, 2017 / Leave a comment
If I ruled the world, all politicians, including presidents and prime ministers, would have to sign up for three years of rigorous psychoanalysis, as a condition of taking office. In this way, the men and women who represent us would be better equipped to think more intelligently on behalf of others. Furthermore, the experience of struggling to find a more truthful language to articulate all the dimensions of anxiety, love, conflict, anger, disappointment—and indeed hope—would at last put an end to the bland political language of insecure certainty.
If I ruled the world, magnificent heated outdoor swimming pools would be built in every city, town and village. It would be considered perfectly reasonable to dive in and swim lengths, or to frolic and chat in the steamy water. I think we would be happier, which might be connected to being healthier, but that’s your business.
Most urgently, under my rule, never again would news programmes only feature middle-aged white men talking the talk. Furthermore, I would sign an Executive Order to ban the “thumbs up” gesture currently so popular with white male thumbs. Sometimes a thumb is just a thumb, but, whatever, please put your thumbs away.
When it comes to commissioning scripts for television dramas, I would legislate for a 20-year ban on all storylines that feature women whose function is to merely endure the terrible things that men do to them. Brilliant and complicated new stories would be written by both women and men—to be directed by women.
Unpaid internships would be revealed as unpaid work. This is one of the many shameful ways it has become culturally acceptable to make the lives of the young as difficult as possible—along with student debt, zero-hour contracts and unaffordable housing. Also, the public sector staff who keep the UK together would be fairly paid and celebrated. However, all receptionists in GP’s surgeries who have acquired their attitude to patients by watching Bette Davis push Joan Crawford down the stairs in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, would be given a chance to play a more likeable character. Climate change: how can we be persuaded to believe that everything is connected to everything else? This would be the question put to work by my administration on day one.
Finally, it would be compulsory for school students to learn at least six poems by…