Wednesday, 28 April 2010

A World Without Women

If you live outside the U.K. you may be starting to wonder if there really is an election on. I am not sure if it has been mentioned on any of the blogs that I read regularly (pace Guido). The silence is deafening.

I am an educated woman with a family and I have many questions to ask in this election.

Unfortunately, I am being told the answers by the three male leaders of the principal parties, the three male financial spokesmen, the three male spokesmen for home affairs, the three male spokesmen for foreign affairs. The questions are being asked on my behalf by the male interviewers on television and radio.

The principal female images in the media have been the silent wives of the leaders of the principal parties and the embarrassing pictures of parliamentary candidates dressed up as eye candy. I have tried hard to think of an interview that I have heard by a senior female politician and the only example is Shirley Williams, Baroness Williams of Crosby, who at the age of 80 has a fascinating perspective but no prospect of making decisions for the future.

I will consider the issues and vote on May 6th but I feel disenfranchised and disengaged because representation for women has taken a significant step backwards in this election. This is the first election that my daughter will vote in - it is not the world that I thought she would inherit.


  1. hm. this is very interesting. i can't think of an election here that would be like that, but maybe it is coming. A bit disturbing.

  2. I have commented briefly on the election. But you may have blinked.
    I'd tell you how *I* think your daughter should vote, but I suspect that she has her own ideas:-)
    I'm sure that you and MrM have taught her well how to think for herself.
    And remember this; at least the UK has had a woman as Prime Minister. The US only just achieved the feat of having a woman as Speaker of the House (somewhat similar) and has not yet had a woman as President (also comparable).


  3. Yes the silence of the women has been noted and remarked on in these parts. With a son voting for the first time too, I am equally anxious about the impression this makes.

  4. I feel completely disengaged from the whole thing and not just because of the lack of female presence or distance.

    I have composed several posts regarding the political future/situation of the Uk but all failed before posting.

  5. Completely - the silence is deafening. I have been sitting on my hands trying not to post an election-based feminist rant on my blog, but I am also surprised at how polite and non-political my corner of blogland is. And I wonder, is it precisely because we are female, and we don't want to offend anyone by talking about our political views in case they are not shared by our peers?

    If you say I can do it, Alice, I will do it.

  6. Hmmmm...I feel exactly the same about this country, what are our kids inheriting??

  7. Well said Alice. It's disheartening.

  8. Hear hear - and I'm also very tired of those accompanying females (especially in the red and blue livery) looking so doey eyed - it's positively vomit making! I'm sure they love their husbands (I suppose there's someone special for everyone somewhere) but do they have to appear quite so simpering - at least Mrs Clegg has had the balls to stand up and say she has her own career and is far too busy to climb on the 'this is my husband and you must surely love him as much as I do' bandwagon. For prospective leaders who claim to be so family friendly/orientated the question I ask is who is caring for their young children while both parents are gushing in front of the cameras??? Okay I'm just climbing down from my enormous soapbox now

  9. I agree Alice. As "Coffee Lady" says we stay quiet so as not to cause offence by speaking of "such things." Next week I shall be Presiding Officer in an ex-mining community. I was horrified last time I did this (local elections last summer)how many women came in asking their partners "who am I voting for?"
    Obviously I couldn't comment but was dismayed at their disinterest and that they in effect gave their partner an extra vote! That attitude doesn't help our cause!

  10. With you there Alice. Not sure how to vote myself this year, though I will put an 'x' in a box on the 6th.
    Far from being the herald of new dawn the MPs seem to be suggesting, it all looks like Hobson's choice to me.
    There was a fascinating piece on Woman's Hour yesterday about how people vote in the same way as their parents but I have to say we were always told it was rude to ask which way anyone voted. Is that just us or are others the same?

  11. ironic of course that a woman has taken the headlines today after Gordon Brown called her 'bigoted' and is now on his second portion of humble pie.

    I agree with MrsM by the way for the avoidance of doubt

  12. There are far too many things for one small comment box with regards to this; not least because although I've voted before, this is my first general election (missed out on the last one by four months...).

    Maybe part of my reason for not posting has been because of that; too many things and I've never really thought of my blog as being one for my political views.

    Ultimately though, as someone who thinks of herself as a feminist it is rather disheartening that the nearest the press get to promoting equality across the political spectrum is to spend an equal amount of time moaning about the dress sense of various politicans; and this is the future that those before me fought for.

    That's why I'll be putting an x in the box on thursday, because although the options may not be as good as I'd hope for, not to vote would be an insult to those who have fought so that I am able to vote


  13. Some of us are quiet because we're clueless 'mericuns smiling and showing all our teeth while we chew gum and slap each other heartily on the back. Not to mention, we're all way too busy wondering how Sandra Bullock managed to hide her new baby all that time. ;) But I digress...

  14. Like Rhiannon I shall put a cross in a box because I've always voted and feel I'd be letting the side down if I didn't take up that right. And I shan't be consulting Husband as he has rarely voted. As for not blogging about politics, I suspect falling out over politics just isn't worth it. It's not that I'm not interrested, but I am cynical, and I largely prefer 'real' life.


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