by Sandy Burgham
For this issue I really wanted to write about my favourite
subject, feminism after 50. But as it’s the Christmas issue, I
felt a moral obligation to join in the festivities, so to speak,
with something a little more cheery. And as I’d recently become
aware that some are still pondering that age-old pearler of “what do
women want”, I decided to provide a handy guide of what women
really want . . . for Christmas.
A pragmatist at heart, I have long been an advocate of giving
experiences rather than things, especially to women in their second
act, and admit to feeling a little smug that these “ideas for her” take
the notion of gifts that keep giving to a whole new level. So, here’s
my wish-list on behalf of all women.
My family shouldn’t find this hard. They know I prefer experiences
rather than things, so from them I am hoping to get:
1. My daughter off my case.
2. My son off the screens.
3. My husband to stay fully tuned in when I’m talking about myself.
Look, I’d even settle for a back massage from a family member that
is longer than five minutes. My needs are simple.
What to buy female friends my age? Easy:
1. Private tuition from a millennial on all dormant features on
2. Free rein in Unity Books on High St – like a sort of fantasy
grocery grab competition prize for the thinking woman.
3. And talking about older woman fantasies, how about a girls’
glamping trip to Africa, with Ewan McGregor and Robert
Downey Jr in a neighbouring tent, and whom happen to find
us fascinating? (Dissolved into a middle-aged woman’s dream
4. If that’s too pricey, a few friends could club together and
agree to stop posting curated images of the picture-perfect
family on social media, or even just arranging a ban on tedious
vanity posts about children’s achievements? Easy to do and
I look forward to corporate gifts every year mainly because they are
so handy for re-gifting. I get too many bottles of wine, so how about
getting women in the paid workforce equal pay? Again, simple,
but a gift that will be talked about for years. Or, you could give
women the same opportunities as men to reach upper management
and board level in any organisation, without suffering the indignity
of being told it’s a meritocracy and finding that men invariably get
the job instead? Just a thought.
If you run out of ideas, you could pick one or two from my ‘Starter
for 10’ list which are real crowd pleasers for women.
1. Eliminate the sexual double standard.
2. For women not to be victims of domestic violence.
3. For people to realise this also happens in high socio-economic
areas such as The Hobson’s reader catchment.
4. To see Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby share a jail cell for life.
5. To interview Ivanka Trump about how her father boasting about
“pussy grabbing” is not an admission of sexual assault.
6. And then witness the impeachment of Donald Trump.
7. For women around the world to be able to wear what they
want, where they want, without fear or judgment.
8. For Helen Clark to be called back to become SecretaryGeneral
of the UN.
9. For women to have a healthier relationship with food.
10. And to know generally, that they are enough.
Every year there’s always a hot trend like beach radios or Havianas,
but what is really popular right now for women is ensuring that the
Black Ferns are paid a fair amount for their awesome efforts.
And of course, if all else fails, women would happily accept fun
little stocking fillers like abolishing GST on sanitary protection and
ensuring young women in Auckland (and the world) never have to
miss school because they can’t afford to buy tampons and pads.
That’s the kind of thing women want. Pretty obvious really.
— Sandy Burgham
This article first appeared in The Hobson Magazine December 2017