We need to fight the myth that women are naturally more caring than men

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Sunday 08 March 2020 15:20
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Google honours International Women's Day with animated Doodle

I read with interest Lucie McInerney’s article on two parents sharing the load (A child has two parents – how, in 2020, do we still expect mums to do the lion’s share?) on 7 March. This is not just an issue for parents with children, it affects all aspects of care.

While my mother-in-law was still with us, the caring expectation fell on me, even though I was the key income earner and my husband was willing and able to take the share. A lot of this came from my mother-in-law herself, who could not and would not grasp that her son was not the major earner and could look after her. (Oddly, she couldn’t cope with women doctors either.)

The assumption that women are the more caring gender is at the root of this and I just don’t believe that this is nature over nurture. This bleeds into a resistance by boys to consider that caring professions are a reasonable means of employment for them.

We should and must accept that men can care too. And we can start by removing the stigma of men occupying caring roles.

Laura Dawson
Harpenden

Coronavirus and the Cheltenham Festival

We and many other people in Cheltenham are very concerned that race week is going ahead given the threat of coronavirus. As you know, it will bring thousands of people from all over the world to the racecourse. They will be in close proximity to each other, shouting, cheering, coughing and sneezing in the stands; jostling shoulder to shoulder in the confines of the bar. Afterwards, all going into town to party in crowded pubs, restaurants, clubs and bars. Finally, going to stay in hotels, B&Bs and the homes of many local families that rent out rooms. Can you imagine how many lives could be put at risk?

We strongly urge you to apply pressure to the government to issue a ban on large gatherings as a matter of urgency. Apparently, the Jockey Club will not cancel without such an announcement. The government will be meeting on Monday to decide whether to implement a ban. Monday is too late, the races start on Tuesday. It is not a one-day race where everyone goes home afterwards. It is a four-day event.

We understand it is short notice and that it will be financially devastating for those that have so much invested in it. They managed a cancellation in 2001 because of foot and mouth and survived to run as normal the year after.

Surely, containing the spread of this deadly virus is more important? It is putting us all at unnecessary risk, in particular the elderly in the many care homes in Cheltenham.

Marten and Susan Ager
Address supplied

Let’s take to the seas, not the skies

Are our airlines taking care of their employees? In my opinion, no they are not. My husband works for a major airline. He tells me employees have been given a single free bottle of hand sanitiser. This is utterly ridiculous. The big message is that international travel is spreading the coronavirus. Anyone who works in a transport hub is exposed to thousands of travellers every day, exposing themselves and their home communities when their shifts are over, to this disease.

If the government had a spine, it would suspend international travel for however long the medical experts recommend. We are an island nation, let us make use of our natural sea-bound borders.

Joanna Appleby
York

World Health Organisation provides information on Coronavirus

A Netflix alternative

Not happy with Netflix? (Disappearing into the algorithm: Why Netflix has become a graveyard for great shows). Hey, I’ve had a good idea. Let’s contribute to fund a really good broadcasting service. Maybe have as its raison d’etre that it should educate, inform and entertain. Hang on...

Cole Davis
Norwich

James Bond movie ranking

Regarding your list (James Bond films: Every 007 movie ranked in order of worst to best), I prefer a T-bone cooked medium-well. I hate Rap, EDM, Old School, and other genres of what I see as street puke. Finally, I disagree, almost entirely, with this list, My list ENDS with two entries: a blank space, and then Thunderball. Any Bond movie stands up better than that scatterbrained, mindless, underwater clusterf***. To each his own.

Craig Caldwell
Address not supplied

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