Pit that Tit

I'm a woman. I'm a feminist. Yet, I'm still guilty of doing this; pitting women against one another.
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I went to watch Brandy live a week or so back, and I was left star struck at her talent. Her vocals are incomparable to anything else on the charts & I found myself vibing to tracks I had no idea how I learned in the first place. It seemed as though her music had broken down barriers, and transcended age. At a time of such social unrest, it was a welcome break from reality. In that hour or so of listening to one of the R&B greats, I didn't indulge in what we are all prone to doing so often; pitting her against the Beyonce's or Rihanna's of current day music. Honestly, there was no point; she is in a league of her own.

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I am beating at this drum because I got into a heated debate with male sports fans who were bashing female athletes as being subpar and deserving of less limelight and remuneration as a result. I highlighted the greatest sports women such as Serena Williams, who are parallel (and even supersede) some male athletes. This point was rebutted with the reality that in isolation, it was hard for such unrivalled talent not to seem far better than it actually was. This failed to account for the fact that her entire training team were male, or that her serves were far faster than some world class men. Williams, much like other sports greats like Michael Jordan or Muhammad Ali, has broken down barriers and torn records to shreds. She is a light in the darkness that shrouds our race at this turbulent time, yet, she was compared to the subpar talent of Sharapova time without number (pre-doping scandal). Why? Not because of talent, agility, skill, records. No. She was compared on a scale of 1-10 on the basis of aesthetics. "Who has a better body?" the opinion polls asked. Endorsements rolled in for the one time Wimbledon champion, while Serena's deals were shelved or rolled with the credits.
The same can be said in every arena, including politics. The UK has experienced an unprecedented amount of change in the last fortnight or so. From Brexit to our PM stepping down, to the upheaval in the Labour shadow cabinet, and most recently, to the neck and neck battle of the female candidates for PM. The last few days which saw the battle to premiership between Leadsom and May were particularly noteworthy because these were indeed two females going toe-to-toe for a particular post, so it was hard not to compare them. However, unlike their male counterparts, some broadcasters and press bodies were refusing to focus on their accolades to date or how their policies may impact their capacity to make key decisions, rather choosing to scrutinise their private life. How one's choice to not have children has any bearing on their ability to lead a nation is beyond me, yet, it made front page news. I didn't see the same done for Cameron, or Gove, not even wacky Boris. Yet, once women are involved, its a matter of pitting them against one another on the basis of frivolous criteria.
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So where do we go from here? It would be somewhat artificial to enforce a ban on comparison, agreed. My point, however, is to question the basis on which we do so. Would you ever compare JayZ to LilWayne? David Cameron to Tony Blair? Will Smith to Idris Elba? The list could go on, but the answer for each would be 'probably not'. Why? Because they are respected for remaining in their own lane, and dominating their respected fields/ industries. We can recognise that there might be similarities, but never do we degrade their talent or skill to base these comparisons on anything other than those criterion. When will we do the same for women? Enough of the Beyonce vs Rihanna age-old squabble. Each to their own, both outside and in our own respective lives. 
How contrite we must feel to compare an ill-matched pair?