We have lived long enough in a world where women are constantly undermined in favour of men. For hundreds of years, women have been seen as ‘not as important’ or ‘not as good’ as men.
Recently, it was revealed that BBC TV’s QI host Sandi Toksvig was getting only 40% of the fee previous host Stephen Fry received.
This is outrageous!
The fact that Stephen Fry did the job for ten years and is generally accepted as bringing prestige to the show is not a factor, any more than the fact that Paul Merton has appeared on Have I Got News For You for what seems like generations. Just because he has should not mean he gets paid any more than a one-off guest panelist. People should be paid according to the amount of wordage and length of screen time they have in each episode of each panel show.
The fact that Sandi Toksvig currently has 158,000 Twitter followers and Stephen Fry has 12.7 million should not be a factor. This is about equality of pay for people doing the same job.
All comedians in any stage show should be paid exactly the same and there should be a statutory rate per minute no matter whether the comedy is performed in a local club or at the London Palladium. Comedy is comedy. A comedian is a comedian. A presenter is a presenter is a presenter.
There should be statutory rates for plays. All actors playing Hamlet should be paid the same amount. It is outrageous they are not. It is the same play and they are spouting the same words.
“One equal wage for all creative performers” should be the mantra for the 2020s. An actor is an actor. A comic is a comic. A TV presenter is a TV presenter.
NO PAY DISCRIMINATION!
Talent is a matter of opinion not a fact. We should outlaw performers’ agents and ban all financial negotiations on pay and fees because negotiating is, in itself, an inherently discriminatory endeavour.
THIS IS ABOUT EQUALITY!
But we should also positively discriminate more generally.
PC has not gone far enough.
Equality is not just a right; it is a necessity and should be – it has to be – enforced.
For years, bald men have been discriminated against and maligned. It is overdue that this is reversed and bald men like me should be paid more and given more job opportunities than more talented, experienced and suitable hirsute men after years of discrimination and ridicule aimed against us. Hairism must be rooted out. We must restore and impose equality.
As far as I am aware, no bald candidate for British Prime Ministership has ever beaten an hairy candidate in a General Election.
With Atlee v Churchill in 1945 and 1951, it was the battle of two slapheads. In the General Election battle between Margaret Thatcher and Neil Kinnock in 1987, Thatcher had the hair and, indeed, the balls.
The fact that baldism is rife in politics and in Society at large is self-evident.
And the same goes for men with beards.
For too long has Society accepted open discrimination against bearded men.
Margaret Thatcher, it is reported, would not appoint any bearded man to her Cabinet.
But this particular discrimination goes way back. It started, I believe, in Britain with the Beard Tax in 16th century England when Queen Elizabeth I introduced a tax on every (male) beard of more than two weeks’ growth.
In 1698, Peter the Great introduced a beard tax in Russia “to bring Russian Society into line with Western European countries”. The Tsarist police were empowered to forcibly shave off the beards of those who refused to pay the tax. This inevitably triggered a revolution in 1917.
But this institutionalised beardism is not just restricted to Right Wing regimes.
When, in 1979, I went to Albania (then under the benevolent leadership of Enver Hoxha) I had to have part of my beard shaved off so there was a gap of at least regulation distance between my chin beard and my sideburns.
Even under a benevolent Socialist regime, beardism can flourish and has flourished.
What all this proves is that there is deep-seated institutionalised beardism and hairism engrained in the very bedrock of society, including British society.
The only way to rid our country of these pernicious prejudices is to have quotas.
There should be quotas in all jobs in all areas of society for bald men and bearded men related to their percentage of the population at large.
If a hairy-headed or shaved-chin candidate is more qualified to do a job, then he (or she) should be rejected in favour of a bald or bearded candidate, until the correct quotas are met.
It is unfortunate but it is necessary.
This is about equality.