Comparisons to Margerat Thatcher.(12 Posts)
So - my Facebook is filling up with the Tory party leader contest.
And comparisons to MT seem to be the order of the day.
Why does this make me uncomfortable?
I am struggling to put it into clear words either on paper or in my mind.
Please help me.
And be gentle - this board frightens the bejeezus out of me...
I know what you mean. I got annoyed on Theresa May's behalf the other day when she got told she was similar to Angela Merkel. I don't like it because it's so routine to compare women to other women leaders ( there aren't many) and also because it rarely happens to me. When it does happen to men it isn't a compliment. For example recently I read about BoJo "trying to be like Churchill".
I wish women could be seen as people with their own strengths and weaknesses rather than some kind of amorphous interchangeable group.
Yes, it shouldn't be so rare for women to get the top jobs that commentary in their sex (and comparison to the only other one of their sex to reach that level) even occurs to people.
We are some distance from that.
And of course it's difficult for some peop,e to compute that the 'nasty' Tories have a good record on diversity of leaders.
I think the reason for the comparison is obvious - only our 2nd female PM and another right wing Tory.
What interests me is that Labour, with all its hand wringing & all female short lists has never managed a female leader (except as short term 'cover') let alone a female PM. I do think the Union stranglehold on Labour can lead to a traditional working man bias which is not female friendly.
It would be nice to think they thought there were valid comparisons between the two rather than just "both women".
There may be, I don't know. But let's face it any woman in this situation was going to be called the next Margaret Thatcher. I wonder if either has been compared to John Major?
Why does this make me uncomfortable?
Because they are comparing women to women. They should be comparing potential leaders to other past leaders eg Cameron, Major and then Thatcher.
I got pissed off last night when the TV was comparing their policies on maternity pay and same-sex marriage. Not their stance on meaty stuff like economics or peace processes but "women's stuff". Grr
To be fair, that Welsh bloke was presented as a homophobe. I think gay marriage and maternity leave are more immediate and relatable issues than foreign policy.
I think it's inevitable - there is a very limited pool of previous female leaders; you are overthinking it in that respect imo.
I, personally, am just excited that we will have another female PM - I was one of Thatcher's children, born the year she became the leader of the Conservatives.
Like her or loathe her, my generation of women grew up just assuming that we could be high flying if we worked hard enough at it - with a female running the country anything was achievable.
Girls now have Towie types as everyday high profile women, image is everything; you have to think about it for a second before you can come up with high profile, successful women (apart from Scotland with Nicola Sturgeon).
I am also looking to Labour with their shortlists & quotas & wondering why they are still living in the 1950s.
But surely people should not be directly compared based primarily on their sex....
This is my problem, fine - comparison based on policies and principles, but over similarities in choices of suit or hairstyle. I am overthinking that? (genuine question)
Yes, it's the focus on gender/sex as the primary comparison. That should be less important than almost anything else except it isn't. Yet.
It's very tedious that we get told about her shoes rather than policies.
Absolutely agree about clothes & hairstyle being ridiculous things to talk about - but that's how women are viewed in the media at this time, as decorative fripperies.
Unfortunately, until such time as it is considered to be an 'everyday' occurrence that women are in power then this silliness will abound.
I do think though, that more is achieved by these women (and by us) by just getting on with with it & not giving extra attention or airtime to the trivia.
If they (or us) make a song & dance about it then we are reducing ourselves to the same superficial level as the silly people writing the fluffy, empty, meaningless articles.
It's like feeding a troll imo - as infuriating as it is, by giving it oxygen you're (general you) fuelling it.
Don't engage, don't waste your time on even acknowledging it - just dismiss it as the irrelevant nonsense that it is.
It is a tried & tested technique that has been used to distract & diminish women for years - when we engage it 'proves' to these idiots that 'yes! I am easily distracted by the trivia and I will address it because you think I should'.
Nick Campbell just had a phone in about this on 5 live!
One of the commentators pointed out the growing narrative about Leadsom being more compassionate and caring than May, and of course having children. That Leadsom supporters are trying to imply she's a "better woman". That drives me mad
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