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Hopes for 2021, a.k.a. the post where stargazer has an opinion

Tags: women hope book

I have a confession to make. In real life, I am quite outspoken. On my blog, however, I try to keep my opinions to a bare minimum. It’s nice just to chat about books.

But when I started to write this post about my hopes for 2021, a few things just spilled out. Don’t worry, after this post I will go back to keeping my non-bookish opinions to a minimum. The flip-side of being outspoken is that I love to hear counter-arguments, so feel free to let me know your honest opinion in the comments.

And with that, let’s look at my hopes for 2021, which is my spin on this week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic. I hope:

1. We will win the fight with Covid 19
Or at least it will stop dominating our lives the way it did in 2020. If Covid 19 had been something I’d read about in a novel, I might have found it an interesting premise, how a virus can change our society completely. Living it out in practice has been less amusing.

2. UK will get a smooth transition out of the EU and London will persist
I am not a fan of Brexit, but I’ve done what I could to prepare. I’ve had to change job, because a huge numbers of London City jobs are being moved to the EU. I’ve got permanent residency, so (presumably) I won’t be kicked out. And we even got a last minute Brexit deal. I just hope that London, this wonderful city where people from all over the world come together, work together, become friends, marry and produce offspring who in some cases are fluent in three different languages, will persist. There aren’t actually that many cities globally with this degree of internationality and diversity.

3. Faith in democracy will be restored
Do you believe in democracy? Fundamentally, I still do, but events in recent years have shown serious downsides of democracy or at least in the way we implement it. And what happened in the US the other day??! I hope that was a one-off, but doubt that the underlying currents, which these events reflected, will go away overnight.

4. The woke culture will blossom, but not derail
Believe me, I am a huge supporter of equality and think we should treat everyone the same way, irrespective of race, sex, religion, appearance, sexuality, social background, etc. But it can’t be right, that we have to be afraid of opening our mouth in fear of offending some minority group we weren’t even aware existed. Everybody makes mistakes. Few of us are 100% up to speed with the latest topic we are meant to worry about or the latest phrases we are not allowed to use anymore. Surely, some degree of tolerance, dialogue and understanding must be required from all sides to allow us to move forward. I despise the cancel culture and don’t understand the fact that J.K. Rowling is swamped with death threats. Do people really think that is the way to actually resolve any issues?

Speaking of J. K. Rowling, I saw this discussion of her essay on transexual Women over at whyevolutionistrue. The essay was nominated for the Russell Prize 2020, but didn’t win. I think people on both sides of the discussion might find it interesting.

5. Female equality in the job market will become a non-issue
Obviously, I think it’s positive that companies focus on giving females equal opportunities, but I also think it is a complex issue. Having quotas (such as 50% of women on the board of directors as they do in Norway) is in my view not the right way to go about it. If difficult to find enough willing and qualified candidates, it will inevitably lead to women getting the reputation of being second rank employees. Also, I would absolutely hate to be promoted if I am not the best, just because I am a women. It would feel highly unfair and would not by any means make me feel proud or happy.

I actually thought other women in the job market would have similar sentiments; I know it applies to my social circle. But the last time I said something along those lines, someone actually unfollowed me, so apparently I am wrong. What are your views? Should women in some cases be selected, just because they are women? I am all for giving women support, attention and encouragement if needed and I also believe more senior women in leading jobs would encourage more young women to follow. But in the end the best candidate should always be selected.

Finally, there is the issue of senior jobs coming with responsibility and stress. Again, based on my own circle, it might be the case that more women than men prioritise differently and would rather live with less stress and more time / energy for their children. We should be careful not to signal to these women, that they are making the wrong choice. Anyway, I don’t think it’s a straightforward discussion and would love to hear what you think. Also, the discussion applies more generally: Is positive discrimination a viable route to equality or does it make things worse?

Let me finish this point by quoting Gifty from Transcendent Kingdom (yes, I have taken to quoting fictional people now) because this quote perfectly reflects how I feel we should *see* women in the workplace:

“I didn’t want to be thought of as a woman in science, a black woman in science. I wanted to be thought of as scientist, full stop”

6. We take responsibility for ourselves and others
In the UK, during the COVID crisis, we have moved from having freedom in our lives to being completely micro managed by politicians. That goes strongly against all the values I believe in. In an ideal world, daily information about risks, numbers and latest results from the simulation models ought to be published. And based on that, each individual would use their common sense to adjust their behaviour. Do I think it would work? Well… Based on my observations through 2020, no, not really. And perhaps that is the most scary part of it all.

7. Book Bloggers will have a great 2021!
Ok, before I start babbling about world peace and sustainability, let me quickly get back to basis, which is book blogging. No matter what life may throw at us in 2021, I hope we will all have fun with and find comfort in book blogging and continue to support each other. That to me is the greatest strength of the book blogging community.

Phew, that ended up being a long post – and very different from what I envisaged when starting out. What are your hopes for 2021?

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