I was really heartened to read today that there is a beauty contest for victims of landmines called Miss Landmine. Not only does it raise awareness of this dreadful weapon (which costs about $15 but ruins a life in less than a second), but it also means a lot to the women entering it. One woman said she felt she was no longer hiding herself away but was proud to be out there, showing herself off.
Now I read that Cambodia is banning it, calling it an “insult to disabled people”. So what does that make Miss World? An insult to “normal” women? Or women with big breasts and big hair? All this political correctness does my head in. And I don’t think it is particularly constructive any more. If Miss Landmine now doesn’t go ahead then the winner will not get a custom-made prosthetic limb. So who exactly does that help? The PC brigade possibly. But it sure as hell doesn’t help the woman without a leg.
On a lighter note, I went to see our dentist yesterday. He is one of those lovely gentle Indians who talks like he’s in a Merchant Ivory Film. When it was time to X-ray my teeth, he leaned over and asked sotto voce: “Are you in the family way?” I may just be part of the last generation who will know what that means.
On Thursday we head off to France on holiday. I am longing to see the girls, my mother, our friends and to breathe the air. But I am not looking forward to speaking French. I am already rehearsing conversations in my head, and they are not going well.
Copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2009