Time was when someone like Pamela Anderson, a model and star of Baywatch, wouldn’t have been seriously credited with a serious political opinion. That she is – and her analysis of European xenophobia and the gulf between elites and the masses for Jacobin magazine – is considered rather good, is one of way of measuring women’s progress this year.
Being blonde or beautiful or a woman doesn’t automatically now mean the person has had a brain bypass. Ms Anderson’s interview appears in Jacobin, a left-wing magazine based in New York and edited by Bhaskar Sunkara. [Mr Sunkara incidentally, is a former vice-chair of the Democratic Socialists of America.]
In all sorts of ways, 2018 has been a good year for women. Consider the following. Large numbers of women won election to the US Congress. India’s Supreme Court upheld all women’s right to enter the Sabarimala temple, from which they’ve historically been barred as they’re considered impure once a month. Saudi women are finally allowed to drive. And South Korean women have been protesting against their country’s unrealistic beauty standards and seeking the right to go au naturale. There is a definite change in the terms of debate about and around women. Things can only get better [as the song goes, the one that Tony Blair’s Labour Party once used as a political anthem.]