Dee Anderson is an immensely strong, inspirational and empowering woman who is currently leading an important campaign to bring justice to her mother, Sylvia Anderson and ensure that she receives the recognition for her work and creativity; recognition which rightfully belongs to Sylvia.
During her lifetime, as a result of a patriarchal system, Sylvia found herself omitted from the work and creations which she produced alongside her husband, Gerry Anderson. To this day, these productions are still referred to as being work by Gerry Anderson with no mention of co-creator, Sylvia.
Sylvia Anderson was a pioneer. She subverted the expectations of the time and achieved greatness through her intelligence and exceptional talent and creativity; greatness which was denied to so many women of the time. Yet, Sylvia fought this and leaves a legacy of work which has brought joy to generations of people all over the world. This is a woman who should be celebrated, not eradicated.. Sylvia contributed so much, not simply to the television productions, but to women throughout history. She was an icon and yet society has allowed her voice, her achievement and her legacy to be silenced.
Sylvia’s story is a significant one as these issues remain in society today. Worldwide, women are still being denied their voice and their due recognition which is a serious concern. In many ways, society’s attitudes towards women has progressed significantly. However, the fact that the debate still exists demonstrates that the problem remains endemic worldwide. Why, in 2021, are we still having this argument? Why should this argument exist at all? It would seem that, like Sylvia, women are still suffering the effects of a patriarchal system in which intolerance of women’s equality is still a factor. Why is women’s equality so important? It is important because the key word is equality. If equality does not exist for one section of society then how can equality exist at all? This is not a debate simply about Sylvia Anderson. It is not just about women. It is about society as a whole. No person has a right to deny anybody their voice. No person has a right to deny anybody their existence. No person has a right to take away a person’s identity. If we ignore Sylvia Anderson’s story, then we ignore the story of millions and this is simply not an option.
It is right and just that Sylvia should no longer be denied the recognition which belongs to her. In 1928, Virginia Woolf wrote, ‘I would venture to guess that Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman.’ It is a sad reality that in 2021 this is still relevant. Let’s change this. It is time to give Sylvia, and all women, their voice and their rightful place in the world.
I think most of us by now will have seen the hilarious video posted on YouTube for World Mental Health Day in 2019 with Prince Harry and and Ed Sheeran faking a misunderstanding about being ginger. A brilliant introduction into the very serious issues surrounding us today around mental health.
As more and more famous people come out to tell their story of dealing with anxiety and depression and with the shocking suicide of stars like Robin Williams through mental health, it has now become apparent that we need to tackle mental health issues head on and not sweep them under the carpet.
Don’t hide anxiety and depression away, discuss it openly, take measures to combat it and even if it does not disappear completely you will have it under control, and most importantly of all – know that you are not alone.
As cliché as it sounds, ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’ is a wise old saying but very true in this case, as it has been a stigma for so many years to discuss our individual mental health issues almost as if we will be excluded if we do. Perhaps it is inherited memory of a time when that was the case, but far from true today.
The pressures are such that it is almost unthinkable not to have the latest iphone or laptop or to be constantly on social media, so much so that we are forced onto a hamster wheel of ‘success’ and ‘achievement’, with some of the old values of human interaction being thrown out with the bath water. But it is good to talk.
The key to dealing with the ‘demon’ of our society is to listen to each other without judgement, and listen also to ourselves. There may be no apparent reason why many of us are suffering, some of the most anxious and depressed people appear to have everything, a beautiful family, friends, successful career and some are extremely wealthy. There is no rhyme or reason and Mental illness does not discriminate.
Another wonderful video put together by both Royals and Celebrities is EVERY MIND MATTERS, which is a new online initiative to help all of us deal with our individual mental health concerns and help us make a plan to manage them so that we know we are in this together.