The Duchess of Cambridge should help working mums

I’m a huge fan of the Duchess of Cambridge; so much so that I cried at her wedding to William, and even forgave her when she called her child Charlotte, which – I know full well – is one of the most hackneyed monikers of all time. It’s the sense of stability that makes Kate so special; exactly what the Royal family needs, and missed during the Diana years.

Even so, some of the Duchess’s charitable activities have made me raise an eyebrow in recent years. Along with Princes Harry and William, Kate has been greatly preoccupied with children’s mental health, running numerous campaigns to raise awareness. Though well-intentioned, these have always seemed to me to promote hypochondria among parents and children more than eradicating stigma. Such activities have also distracted the Duchess from one big opportunity: to help working mothers.

Indeed, watching her out and about today on a royal engagement to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, something struck me that I hadn’t realised before: the Duchess is quite possibly most famous working Mum in the country. Motherhood is desperately in need of a sisterly saviours; unintentionally, perhaps, it has been neglected by feminism. As a single woman, feminism seems warm and welcoming, but has barely any positions on areas that affect mothers; breastfeeding or the right to choose (a caesarean), for instance.

But the it’s time motherhood got some attention, not least because it is the cause of one of the biggest barriers for women; gender pay disparity. Discrepancies clearly exist because of childcare, which women continue to take the brunt of. This then forces them into part-time work, to accommodate their children’s needs, and it’s always these roles that are the worst paid.

Motherhood needs huge attention, not only to ensure more have more help with getting back into work, but to incentivise future generations to have children. At the moment it isn’t all that appetising, knowing what the stakes are. Men can have it all: amazing professions, amazing kids (sometimes). For women, broodiness almost certainly dents on career prospects.

There are numerous ways in which the current set up for mothers could be improved. Socially there needs to be more expectation for men to take up childcare. This is something the Duchess and Prince William seem to manage quite effectively.

Companies could also help workers more, running nurseries, dare I say, as a staff perk. In general motherhood needs the same sort of attention as mental health, #MeToo and numerous other fashionable movements are afforded.

Most of all, mothers need a respected figurehead fighting for awareness of their needs. Who better than the Duchess herself?


It is a privilege to hate the West

The scene of Mike Pence and Kim Jong-Un’s sister, Kim Yo-Jong, sitting together at the Winter Olympics opening ceremony has exposed something sinister and alarming about the liberal media: its wilful reluctance to be truthful about the West.

Indeed, reading most newspapers, one could be forgiven for thinking the West is the most oppressive place on earth. Journalists have done everything they can to prove Trump and his government are fascists. But when these same commentators were presented with an actual fascist – Kim Yo-Jong, Pyongyang’s PR queen – they swooned and gasped, like a bunch of silly school girls.

“Kim Jong-un’s Sister Turns on the Charm, Taking Pence’s Spotlight”, read the New York Times, which said that Ms. Kim had “managed to outflank Mr. Trump’s envoy to the Olympics”. “Kim Jong Un’s sister is stealing the show at the Winter Olympics”, said CNN; another paper complimented her “charm offensive”.

When it came to Mike Pence they were not so flattering; Slate magazine asked: “Is Mike Pence the biggest jerk of the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics?” Others were even more poisonous, joking that Americans might want to flee the oppressive US.

These critiques are not so much laughable, but an insult to the citizens of North Korea: a country in which people are systematically murdered, tortured, raped, starved and where forced abortions are performed by injecting motor oil into the wombs of pregnant women. But the US is worse, right? The US deserves more condemnation?

Such double standards in reporting are indicative of many Westerners’ disgust for their own countries, for reasons that are quite perplexing. There is a fashionable assumption to believe that the West is corrupted, restrictive and responsible for every evil in the world; that the ‘system’ needs overthrowing and made better. Really?

I somewhat expect that humans reach the self-destruct button once they have achieved everything they need; liberty, basic needs and nice television sets. Maslow suggested that when we have it all, we self-actualise, but more often than not we navel-gaze, unable to see how lucky we are from an objective perspective.

What is all the more hypocritical about the commentators who have flattered North Korea is that it’s often these same people who pretend to care about the international community, projecting themselves as charitable globalists.

Actually, they only care about worldwide crises when they’re caused by the West, so as to justify their own hatred of it. When regimes have their own self-inflicted evils, commentators will never say so.

This is not only evident from the Winter Olympics coverage, but the lack of interest Iran has had in its protests, and the dearth of commentary around President Rodrigo Duterte – the murderous leader of the Philippines – who recently ordered his soldiers to shoot female rebels in the vagina.

If only these murderous dictators were treated with the same contempt afforded to Trump and his associates – Bambi and Thumper in comparison – perhaps some real social progress might be made.

But it’s impossible when Westerners are so unwilling to appreciate their own fortune. Thinking you’ve got it tough in the West is the new “let them eat cake”.