Recently the BBC Radio 4 Today programme had an item on discussing the absolute plethora of women currently in the public eye and being considered for, or are currently in, positions of political power. (I may be being a bit ironic, or is that sarcasm, sorry.)
I listened to the two women invited on to discuss this and, no disrespect to them, this is what I would have said:
Women are human beings. We are half the population. Frankly, we are allowed to mess up, too. Once we reach that glorious day when half of all powerful positions are filled by women, and half of them are as rubbish as half of the current lot are, we’ll know we’ve got genuine equality.
In general, women do have different communication styles. In general, women do not like the adversarial, aggressive stag-baiting style that characterises Parliament. (Neither do some of the men, but if they try to change it they get characterised as weak. Whatever your views on Jeremy Corbyn you have to admit that he did try to change the tone of debate at Prime Minister’s questions.) See Duels and Duets by John F Locke for a more considered study of this. Many women who have succeeded in the current climate have learned to become ‘comfortable’ with this style, or already were. And yes, I have heard of Maggie Thatcher…
In the world of business it has been demonstrably proven that where there is a proper gender balance i.e. no tokenism or ‘golden skirts‘, better decisions get made. Heaven knows we need some better decision making in the world right now.
So, bring on the women I say and leave out all the music hall, old fashioned nonsense. Gender balanced politics with much more diversity, really does work better for everyone. It’s not a joke, we’re deadly serious.
PS I was approached to talk about Natalie Bennett on a national BBC radio news programme. I refused because they wanted me to take a particular stance and argue with another female they had invited on, criticising Natalie’s performance. I didn’t find that prospect particularly edifying; there are enough detractors as it is.
PPS. Have you heard about the women’s equality party? Open to all genders, and members of all political parties. Now that really is doing it differently.
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Posted on July 7th, 2016 by Jane