This is not a question I have ever asked myself. Until today.
Until I received an email from the BBC rejecting my application for a TV show entitled World's Toughest Army, because I'm female.
Wow! Really? In 2015?
Shouldn't this be something they heavily avoid, especially after all the criticism Bear Gryll's received for his men-only survival show?
After excitedly finding this show online, I took care whilst filling in the application form. I began to imagine how much fun it would be to take part in a TV show like this and let myself dream that perhaps this could be a great entry point for me into TV.
Of course I felt a little nervous submitting my application, but when I read the words "only the fittest, strongest, bravest and toughest need apply" on the website, I felt inspired and thought, go for it!!
I read the terms and conditions and all the information on the website more than once. No-where did it stipulate that women aren't eligible to apply.
I wish I didn't feel this pang of sadness I feel right now.
Sadness that with all the incredible movements, campaigns (like This Girl Can), achievements and talk of change in the world, an organisation like the BBC is promoting the image that men are stronger than women.
Here's the email I received from them:
Are the fittest, strongest, bravest and toughest people in the world men?
A huge part of my mission with the choices I make in life and my blog is to encourage people, and especially women, to live fearlessly, live without limits and believe in themselves.
I am not writing this blog to enter into any kind of debate about whether men are stronger than women. I am standing up for what I believe is right.
- I believe women deserve equal opportunities to men
- I believe women are just as strong and capable as men
- I believe in challenging stereotypes
- I believe that leading by example is the crux to change
- Finally, I believe that if women are to be excluded from opportunities, there should be a much better reason explaining why than "because that's the way things are". What a load of BS!!
- I support any campaign, organisation or person who shares these beliefs and is actively working towards driving change.
I want to be a change maker in this world, you will not find me rolling over and accepting the way things are just because that's the way they have been in the past.
This post originally appeared on Sophie's blog here