In a poll assessing 'what takes priority in your life?', the Daily Mail offers its female readers only two priorities: their husband or their children.
One would have thought they'd at least have included 'self loathing' as a third option for those of us who have the temerity to be unmarried, childless, gay, focused on our careers, or simply uninterested in dedicating the greater part of our lives to caring for others.
Fascinatingly, the poll runs next to two articles that investigate precisely how much time single, childless women over thirty-eight should devote to guilt, plastic surgery and questioning every professional decision they've ever made. Clearly, women with neither husband nor children are of little interest to the Mail unless they're prepared to be effusively upset about it. The prefered pose is one of elegant self-loathing, of well-preserved women in expensive dresses admitting that despite all the good things life and liberation may have brought them, their lives are empty and pitiable.
Unsubtle though its message may be, this poll represents rather succinctly what life is really like for many women today. We are discouraged from imagining futures that do not involve servicing the needs of others. We are offered an illusion of choice, formatted in garish baby-pink, between a small range of options that actually serve to exclude any possibility of another kind of life. And this, dears, is why feminism is still important.