POLITICS – NO PLACE FOR A WOMAN?

POLITICS – NO PLACE FOR A WOMAN?

As Cameron, Clegg and Miliband line up like a trio of privileged peacocks ready for political pontification, I don’t think I have ever been as disinterested, disillusioned or turned off by politics in my life!  It just looks like another tiff in the Eton dining hall to me and I know I am not alone in feeling utterly depressed by the whole process.

As Baroness Warsi becomes the latest female to experience a very short career in the cabinet I know, intellectually, this lack of parity should spur me into action and encourage me to get my campaigning head on, but  I feel  deflated and disempowered by the whole affair and as I am sure you know by now this is, totally out of character for me.

The media has done a pretty solid job of vilifying any women who dares to step up to the political plate – Harman, Mensch, Widdecombe and May are all examples of smart women ridiculed and battered for everything other than their political prowess.  This makes the game very unattractive to women and helps to maintain the male majority.

Our so called democratic system is definitely not female friendly – late night sessions in the house, a ‘he who shouts loudest’ mentality and the need to maintain both a London and a constituent visibility means serious sacrifices for a working Mum.

We are asking so much of these frame-breaking women to stay the course in a system that constantly chips away at their identity and forces them to defend themselves for every move they make.  Unless we make some fundamental changes politics will remain yet another men’s club and our economy and society will suffer big time.

11 comments:

  1. janecreativemind

    Hi Jane

    Let me introduce you to the Campaign for Women and Democracy http://www.cfwd.org.uk which looks at the situation globally which doesn’t present the UK in a very positive light for a 21st century democracy. I’ll be at the Labour Women’s Conference in Manchester on the 29th which is always inspirational. Stay with the fight – we need women like you.

    Jane

    Reply
    1. janekenyon

      sounds fab Jane!

      Reply
  2. Fergus McClelland

    This is not just about male domination. There are many women who make a career out of being a woman – a victim. There are also powerful women who fly high by being strong – such as the rather special woman who works with Alan Sugar who took over Birmingham City Football Club and transformed it over 16 years who is now the manager of West Ham. Very powerful. However, the usual thing is for women to do victim to get power – which gives no power. Jane is a powerful woman – as well as a good friend. She manages to do FP – Female Power. Maybe there should be courses on this???

    Reply
    1. janekenyon

      oh there’s an idea Fergus!!

      Reply
      1. Fergus McClelland

        🙂 FemPower By JK!! Book NOW – or else!

        Reply
  3. Claire Park (@Claire_L_Park)

    Mmm, couldn’t agree more about feeling utterly deflated about our ‘leaders’ it is absolutely nothing more than an old boys network.
    What is the answer? As women we are at polar opposites to men, we think and feel differently. We will always want to be there for our families as well as our careers and in this case constituents and government.
    We are asking our female politicians to join the ‘old boys club’ at present and of course it’s not working.
    What would be another way of doing it?

    We are also asking them to choose between a career and a happy, balanced home-life. Is this simply a reality?

    Is it healthy to the female psyche to in fact, have it all? Would we be truly happier?

    Claire

    Reply
    1. janekenyon

      Hi Claire – for me this is not about having it all, although I never quite understand what ALL is and I don’t remember asking for it! It is about balance and choice and at the moment most women have neither!

      Reply
  4. Claire Park (@Claire_L_Park)

    Hi Jane

    I know what you mean, I don’t remember asking for it “all” either!
    I’m really interested by what you say with regards to balance and choice though.

    It is only my opinion here but I do believe we ways have choices, albeit sometimes difficult ones but they do exist. Perhaps they are not always being looked for.

    Claire

    Reply
    1. janekenyon

      yes we do have choices literally Claire but too often we have to make them with a heavy heart as they are also fraught with sacrifice. I am not suggesting there is a perfect solution here, it is personal. My hope is that WE are making our own choices and not society,the government, the old boy’s network or outdated culturual expectations! Does that make sense??

      Reply
  5. Claire Park (@Claire_L_Park)

    Hi
    Yes it does. And yes, sometimes it can feel like choices are made with a heavy heart. I understand completely and have been there too. It took me a long time to allow the heaviness to lift.
    I do also very much hope that more and more women make their own conscious choices. That’s what I love about what we do, help women to make conscious choices, which leave them lighter.

    I love your site and the GOL site. Your work is inspirational and very very much needed.

    Claire

    Reply
  6. janekenyon

    thankyou Claire great to chat with a like minded soul!

    Reply

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