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Letters / Women can do anything they choose to do

Although this is an extract sent to the Shetland News in 1912, it is quite horrifying to hear these opinions still bandied about today in some media, over a century later.

“As I said ae time afore, lat dem stick ta dir ain place an’ dir ain wark: lat dem mind da craidle and da hoose an’ da taypot an’ dir wares, fir dats aa id dir fittid fir; an’ niver mind interferrin inta things id dey ken naething aboot, an’ id’s no inta dem ta learn.

Whin we tell dem id dey’re no wir ekwils, dan dey git mad an’ says dey’re aye been keepit doon be wis.

Yae, I can agree wi’ dem id dey’re been keepid doon; bit hit’s bekaase dey haena, an’ niver haes hed, da abeelity eddir o’ body ir mind ta rise ta wir level.

Ye see, dey hae nae wir feesikil strent, an’ da learned men says id dey haena wir strent o’ mind bekaase dir brains ir peerier, an’ lichtir. Yiss, dat’s very evidint withoot da learned men tellin’ wis onything aboot hit.

Oh yea, dir brains ir truily licht aeneuch.”

In fact, I read something very similar recently on Facebook, given as a reason why women could never participate in a Lerwick Up Helly Aa squad, as “they are too weak to carry torches”.

It may have escaped the writer’s notice, but things have changed.

Women go into battle. Women fight fires. Women carry people (including men) out of burning buildings. Women can fly aircraft and serve on submarines. They can even rescue you, should you need the services of the RNLI.

Women can do anything they choose to do. They simply need to be given the opportunities that men are given without a second thought.

Telling girls and women that they are not equal to men and boys (note: equal to is not ‘the same as’) we know now, is equally damaging to both our young girls and boys. We ignore these warnings at our peril.

Gillian Ramsay
Lerwick