‘Everybody seems to live rather well down here in Monaco’ – Roger Moore
I like to narcissistically think of myself as a woman of the world and pretty much adaptable to most situations; I’m as happy sitting in a grotty local pub drinking warm wine out the individual bottle as I am throwing on a fancy dress and heels and sicking £15 cocktails with a nice view. So when the change presented it’s self to visit Monaco Yacht Show while we were on holiday in Nice last year, I threw on my £5 dress from Mango, child sized trilby and was prepared to join my tribe for the afternoon.
Oh how wrong I was. MYS was founded in 1991 by British events company Informa and now boasts annual visitors of nearly 30,000 at their show in September. It’s a place for the rich and (I’m assuming famous) can park up their multimillion pound playthings and show off to all their rich mates. It’s also a place where, if you’re in the market to buy a yacht, you can hob nob with the sellers and try and negotiate the best price.
We didn’t have a ticket for the show, we just went a long to have a nosy around like all the other commoners, for which I’m glad in hindsight. I’m not sure my £5 bargain Mango sundress would have cut it in hindsight. It was super, super glam. And whilst I did have a lovely day sauntering around the banks of the marina, perving over these over indulgent monstrosities and musing with Dave over which ones we would buy if money were no object. There was something that bothered me on a deeper level. Hence the point of this blog post I suppose.
Aside from that fact that it was an evident billionaires playground masqueraded and an industry show it was quite possibly one of the biggest displays of misogyny I’ve ever seen. the gender ratio was easily 80/20 in the favour of men. The women serving only arm candy for the men or sales girls in super short shorts or skirts and tight polo shirts. Not one of the girls working the event have been over a size 10 from what I saw.
Dave and I spoke about it all in the pub that afternoon as he could tell it was troubling me. He tried to make me feel better by pointing out that only men are stupid or arrogant enough to waste their money on massive penis extensions like a superyacht.
In March 2019 Forbes published their annual list of billionaires. Out of the 2153 listed, only 242 are women, which is only 11%, which is the minimum abv I will accept for a bottle of wine. There are more CEOs in the UK called John or David than there are female CEOs altogether. And I bet at least a handful of those Johns or David’s have been to Monaco yacht festival before.
If you’re a listener to out Brunch Club podcast (and if not, why not?) in episode two we talk about feminism and what it means to us and Carly (resident silver-tongued assassin) sums it up perfectly. Imagine when every man is born, they’re issued with a pie but women aren’t. Being a feminist isn’t saying to men we want you to give us your pie, or you need to share your pie with us, we’re just saying we want our own pie.
I’ve gone on a slight tangent there, but it can all be brought back to the yacht show and how blatantly obvious it was that women still aren’t getting their pies.
One things that brought me out of my existential feminist mood that afternoon was that we were lucky enough to catch the Red Arrows flying over the festival. And we had a chance to briefly talk to their official photographer and Senior Aircraftsman Hannah, which means she’s qualified to fly planes AND gets to travel the world capturing pictures for their socials. She’s is a pretty badass chick in my eyes whether she owns a yacht or not.