In honour of International Women’s Day, I want to say just one thing. I’m not a feminist.
I was going to ask about an International Men’s Day, but apparently I’m over a decade behind the times. I just haven’t heard about it. It’s in November, apparently.
I am not a feminist for the simple reason that I believe in equality. Feminism is inherently biased towards females. The clue is in the name. If I have to label myself, I prefer ‘equalist’ because I do not care if you are male or female (or, for that matter, with whom you share your bed; that is your business, not mine). I only care if you are a good person (and if I were looking to hire somebody, whether you are the right person for the job; your gender is irrelevant. Can you do the job well with the tools at hand?). I agree, people doing the same job need to be paid the same. That’s just fair. Equal. Not a feminist issue, but an equality issue.
I think the idea of “female-only lists” is a bad one. Why would any woman want to be considered the best female candidate, rather than the best candidate? Which is what she would be if the list had contained men. Surely by accepting such things, us women are only proving what men have thought for centuries: that we aren’t capable and we need special circumstances to show that we are. Likewise quotas for top jobs. Why be chosen on the basis of being the best female (or indeed on the flip side, the best male) for the job, rather than the best person for the job?
Maybe it was just the calendar being given away at my freshers’ fair in my final year (OK, I wasn’t a fresher, but never mind; pens and calendars), but the number of days dedicated to female things compared to the number for male things was vastly larger. From September through to June, there was about eight days for women and just two for men.
There’s probably an awful lot that I’ve missed, but honestly? I’ve got better things to worry about. As long as I’m being paid the same as a man in the same job, and I have the right to vote, and to do pretty much anything I set my mind to (within legal reason and as long as I’m physically capable), then I’m happy.
Anyway, while the sun is still shining, and Summer is clearly on its way (I tend to only consider two seasons: Summer and Winter, defined by the clocks going back and forth), I thought I’d share a summery sort of cake recipe, which, in the interests of full disclosure so you don’t think I’m cheating on my Lenten fast, I made several weeks ago. Long sentence, sorry!
So, Peaches and Cream Cupcakes, from the Hummingbird Bakery cookbook.
120g plain flour
140g caster sugar
1 and a half tsp baking powder
40g unsalted butter
Splish of vanilla extract
Peach slices, enough for a bite in each cupcake case
It’s another simple recipe. Start by putting the bits of peach in the bottom of the cake-cases and put to the side while you make the cake-batter.
Which you do by beating together the flour, sugar, baking powder and butter until you get a sandy consistency. Then add the milk, egg and vanilla. You’re supposed to add half the milk and beat a bit, but I didn’t read that bit, and they turned out just fine. Mix until smooth.
Spoon over the peach bits and half fill the cases, as per normal with cupcakes.
Bake for 20-25 minutes at 170C/325F/Gas Mark 3 until golden brown.
Ice with vanilla butter icing (butter, icing sugar, a splish of milk and dash of vanilla).
Put the kettle on, and enjoy!