July 27 – Happy Birthday, Joy Whitby and Shirley Williams

Posted on July 27, 2018

Today's famous birthdays are famous enough to be on Wikipedia but not famous enough to be recognizable names
to most of us. For one thing, Joy Whitby and Shirley Williams (both born on this date in 1930; both still alive) are British, and many of us live somewhere other than the U.K. 

Joy Whitby is a television producer and executive. She has specialized in TV programming for children. She created Play School for BBC, and she ran the children's department for a London-based commercial television station. She has produced a lot of films based on quality picture books. And she has used her experience and knowledge to serve on advisory boards and panels dealing with kids and kids' theater.

Shirley Williams is a politician and has all sorts of accomplishments, having served as a Member of Parliament, Shadow Secretary and Minister of various important posts, president of her political party, leader of her party in the House of Lords, Paymaster General, Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection, and Secretary of State for Education and Science. She received a peerage and has been Professor Emerita at Harvard University.

She also broke away from Britain's Labour Party, along with three others, to form the Social Democratic Party.


I found it interesting that some of Williams's many accomplishments had to do with education - and almost all of the quotes I could find from her pertain to education. Whitby chose to focus on kids for her programming ideas. It's such a stereotype that, even in business, even in creative professions like television production, even in government, women work on stuff about children.

But of course, stereotypes about women are only true of some women. It may be true to say that Whitby focused on children's TV throughout her career, but Williams certainly had a ton of issues to focus on, and many women work in fields that have nothing to do with children.

But rather go on with that particular - and important - point, I would like to make a different - but really, really important - point:

There is little in this world as important as the world's children. They are the fresh look at society, they are the energy, they are the something new - the combinations of genes that have never been seen before. They are the future!

Also on this date:

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