Jude Collins

Monday, 17 May 2010

Sisters could do it for themselves?

What's the silliest thing you heard in the wake of the election results?  My favourite was a comment from an ex-politician. With no trace of irony, she expressed satisfaction that Maggie Ritchie, Arlene Foster and Naomi Long had been elected to Westminster.  "I think they can achieve great things working together!"  was the judgement.  I'm not sure who this is most insulting to,  the members of the SDLP, DUP and Alliance parties  or to women.  If you're a woman, it suggests, you can't possibly have political ideas beyond the all-girls-together ideas engendered by dint of being a woman. If you're an SDLP/DUP/Alliance party person,  you might want to wonder what the point in political parties is, if half the population put their sex  (OK, OK,  gender then, gender)  ahead of any party loyalty.  Do note I'm not saying that there shouldn't be more women in politics. All you have to do is look at the British Conservative party hierarchy and you see the talents of women aren't being tapped. But to say that the core loyalty of women is to other women, simply on the basis of whether they tick M or F on a government form, is hilarious and wrong-headed in equal measure.  What's more, any attempt to push that agenda is doomed to failure, as seen in the quickly-rising-quickly-falling Peace Women of the 1980s and the equally ephemeral Women's Coalition of the 1990s.

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