Are we about to enter a new era of global politics with a female leader in power in 3 of the major economies of the western world? Fingers crossed Hilary joins the posse with Theresa and Angela by the end of the year, as the alternative is like an episode of The Simpsons – funny at first but real life???
Could we be on the cusp of global political change where women step up to lead? And if not we only have ourselves to blame. The way we allow the media to portray women in power in the UK and USA is appalling. No sooner had Theresa May won the leadership competition (in fairness, no competition atall really) the language and messages in the press made me want to weep – All anyone could talk about was her fashion sense and her shoes. She was called bossy, difficult with some confusion around the word ruthless – some journalists felt she was too ruthless, others felt she was not ruthless enough to lead the country and when she dared to announce her new cabinet the press labelled it ‘The Day of knives’ – argh!!
Is it any wonder women are not exactly queuing up to accept public office? And how can we act surprised when the next generation are politically numb? What messages does this personal attack send to our young women? Step up if ya dare but get ready to have every element of your professional and personal life put under unfair, unnecessary and blatant misogynistic scrutiny. Oh yes please where do I sign NOT!
I for one, do not care what Theresa May wears, personally I think she is quite stylish and sassy and unless she shows up in a PVC cat suit or doing an impression of a bag lady I care not a jot what choices she makes with regard to her wardrobe.
This constant criticism of women in power results in a survival of the toughest, mentally and can be damaging to our natural nurturing instincts. Also as we all have a leaning to be liked any position of power is even more unattractive as it demands serious gumption when you know you are going to be unfairly judged and vilified for everything you say and everything you do, from the language you use to the height of your heels. Whilst some of this analysis is expected and welcome 99% of it is irrelevant, patronising and misleading, challenging all your hard work and tenacity to get there in the first place!
As we appoint more women to positions of power this status quo will either intensify or start to shift, but we all have to call it when we see it and support the pioneers, if we hope to effect long term change and capitalise on the courage of the few.
I will be cheering for Hilary as I cheered for Theresa – this is an important time, these women positively outshine ANY competition and deserve their success and our support regardless of their political leanings.
Let’s hear it for sisterhood!