What do I think of the Tory majority in the UK?
Pal Hariod Brawn asked me this so I thought I would give a somewhat superficial answer as that is all I can manage.
I’m not surprised.
Most people are racist, selfish and not interested in philanthropy. By and large the Tory party appeals to that point of view.
And, while my principles/beliefs lean somewhat to the left, in my lifetime I can’t remember a good/successful Labour government.
‘I’d vote Labour but I’m a socialist’ always comes to mind. Certainly I remember the euphoria around the Blair victory. And the disenchantment. The disillusionment. A Labour prime minister who modelled himself on Margaret Thatcher.
Which brings me neatly onto a nice feministy thing. (Sorry Hariod, that’s it on politics, for the most part.)
I have read recently some real arse about backwards comments about women and feminism.
One of the most common fallacies is that being a woman means a woman
- a) is a feminist, or at the least can speak on women’s and feminist issues
- b) a woman will do her all-out best to ensure other women receive at least equal treatment, if not preferential, to address the power imbalance in society.
Many women in positions of power (well, the few in positions of power) exhibit the Queen Bee syndrome.
Thatcher was a classic example of not wanting to aid other women.
One of the chairs of my board was a similar example (also Tory incidentally). At a time when there was a government push to get a gender-balanced board of directors, my chair plaintively said: ‘But I’m the chair (she probably said chairman), surely we don’t need any more women on the board?’ On a board of eleven directors?
More recently on religious blogs, I have noticed a trend for religious women to approve of sexist language, defend it, and criticise people (me, and others) for pointing out that gender-specific language is no longer appropriate.
This goes back to the fallacious belief above that says, I am a woman, therefore I can comment because I know what I am talking about.
Well, sure. If you have a relevant qualification in the use of language and thirty years of experience, go ahead. And that’s not just discussing use of sexist language, that’s often discussing the potential insult of a lot of words and trying to find appropriate and accurate ones.
For example, one of my journalist colleagues wanted to describe a group of protesters as ragamuffins and I stood my ground. I felt it was demeaning and inappropriate and inaccurate.
‘I am a woman’ doesn’t cut it when it comes to determining sexist language.
Insanity seems to think she is qualified to comment as she used to be a True Feminist (TM). Well, I’m not sure she really was … as the saying goes. Tricia is qualified because she is a woman.
Tricia, on her post about my one blog comment elsewhere, said:
If you’re going to be mad about something, at least go after real outrages like the horrible oppression experienced daily by women around the world, or the disastrous way we are failing those in need of mental health services here in the U.S.
But I have mentioned that too. On more than one occasion. Readers of roughseas will have seen a number of posts about it, invariably on what is laughably called International Women’s Day.
I plead guilty to not campaigning for the state of the health service in America. I’m more interested in health and education for women in poorer countries than in the inglorious insurance-based health care system of the leader of the western world. Which, incidentally has nothing to do with women’s rights per se. Nor can I do fuck all about it.
Quite frankly, America has a shit health care system and that is neither my fault or my problem. But if you want my view, it fails because it is based on money. America is based on money and corporate greed. I know nice Americans, well, I think they are nice, but any country that resents paying into a communal pot for health care and is willing to see people out of house and home to pay for medical bills is living in the dark ages. But, that’s a new country for you.
So having pointed out that I can do Jack. Shit. Nada about the state of American health care or health and education for women in Africa, Asia, Central and South America, poor parts of the USA, what I can do is write about language.
And by writing about language, if I only open one person’s eyes as to how influential and discriminatory it is, I will have achieved something.
There are none so blind as those who will not see.
Or for those with a biblical preference:
They have mouths, but do not speak;
eyes but do not see
They have ears, but do not hear
Psalm 115: 5, 6
Let’s finish on a discriminatory and trivial high, ie one that bans women from exercising personal choice and personifies them as sex objects.
Got ankle problems? Over fifty? No darling. Go away. We just want the young skinny leggy bits of stuff. Because, after all, we only really want to look at those sort of women anyway. It’s not as though women serve any other purpose. Apart from breeding and cleaning.
Breed before you’re fifty? Maybe become the old cleaning woman afterwards? Just keep out of sight.
And people wonder why I comment on gender specific language? Women have a long way to go, throughout the world.