I walked along Whitehall the other day and had a look at the 'Women of World War II" memorial to see exactly who was being memorialised. Unfortunately, there's no detailed information - just images of 17 different uniforms from the Wrens to the Land Army that show it's pretty much for everyone. Of course, there is no such memorial to the Men of World War II, or any other war. The Cenotaph only commemmorates the fallen. So as a man, sacrificing limbs, health, longevity, sanity or all these things is not enough for official recognition. But as a woman you get an official memorial for doing pretty much anything at all, even if it caused you no harm at all. Indeed, even if you quite enjoyed it.
For that matter, it also seems fair to wonder why there's no memorial to, for instance, the women of World War I?
Here's a quote from Wikipedia on the issue:
"The monument has come under some criticism because it is specifically for women, whilst there exist no memorial specifically to the men of World War II, while others have countered that the patriarchical constructs of society automatically value male contributions to the war effort over those of women, warranting a specific memorial to female efforts."
For a start, our media and public are especially respectful and protective of our servicewomen so I'm not buying that for a second. When a group of female sailors were captured by the Iranian navy, a woman in the Question Time audience asked whether women should be allowed to fight at the front line. The entire panel responded - "they should be allowed to do what they want". Not one member of the panel asked the woman why she was not as concerned for the wellbing of the male sailors. The question did not cross the mind of a single person there.
Yet because of these supposed 'patriarchal constructs' it seems we officially recognise the efforts of a woman who, say, dug fields during the war, and in so doing pointedly overlook the efforts of a man who suffered severe physical or mental harm in the course of years spent marching from Cairo to the Rhine.
What is interesting here is that even though the argument expressed on Wikipedia is absurdly tenuous, and without the slightest proof, it now appears to be the official position of our government and society.
It's a classic example of the double-standard that exists in our society, and in a way it's good to have such a blatant example of our capitulation to feminist doctrine so blatantly on display. Unfortunately it's a genuine insult to the men who sacrificed so much and are so deliberately and pointedly overlooked.