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Monday, 28 February 2011

Quotas for Female Politicians

This article is my rebuttal to an article I read in today's i newspaper. As I discussed in my piece on food writers a few days ago, I kind of like this new newspaper and its basic concept, it's pretty good for delivering a quick shot of news, business and sport etc., and the paper it is printed on feels quite nice and it has staples in, which to me screams class and value for money at just twenty of the queen's own pence. However, I am sad to report that it seems the columnists they have writing their "Opinion" section are just as fucking insane and misguided as the charmless Richard Littlejohn and the trouty Jan Moir we encounter in the Daily Mail. So let's waste no time and get to ripping apart the crap that one Mary Ann Sieghart for some reason got paid for subjecting us to in today's i.

The subject of Mary Ann Sieghart's (I could call her Ms. Sieghart like they do with every bird they mention in the Mail, whether they be Paula Radcliffe or a hooker who's fucked Wayne Rooney, but I don't want to) article, which took up a whole page in the country's most concise newspaper so must have been considered somehow useful, was how there should be quotas in order to make sure there are enough women in parliament.

Every argument in this article is at best reductive and at worst retarded. Case in point, Mary Ann Sieghart writes that when she started covering politics (I'll let her take over here) "in the mid-1980s, that world was almost entirely male.". Now, I was only born in 1983 so obviously my memories of the mid 1980's are mainly Thundercats based, but what I definitely, definitely remember was that the Prime Minister at the time was called Margaret. For my entire childhood in fact, the most powerful position in the UK was held by a woman, well, unless you think the most powerful person in the UK is the monarch in which case - oh no, hang on, Queen Elizabeth II is also in possession of a vagina.

Mary Ann Sieghart points out that "more than half of FTSE 250 companies have not a single female director", which I assume means that nearly half do. If you take into account her later point that "Because of the rigours of child-rearing, there are certainly fewer [good female candidates]" then really, the fact that nearly half of the top businesses have women on their boards suggests that, maybe, everything is fine and you should stop trying to make a living out of bitching about an issue that is no longer relevant - i.e. feminism.

Mary Ann Sieghart berates the Conservative party for never having had all female shortlists for winnable seats, like her beloved Labour, who have lost power because they were so bloody awful that even an alliance of Annoying Dave and Impotent Cleggyweg looked better, had had in the past. Now I'm sorry, but how is that equality? You don't want equality, in reality, do you? You want an easy fucking ride. In politics, the gender of the person you vote for isn't that much of a factor unless you are still, in your insane mind, embroiled in some kind of Rock Hudson and Doris Day battle of the sexes from the olden days. An all female shortlist for a vacancy I was hiring for is something I would never in a million years entertain, because it's not fucking fair, so why would I look at things any differently as a voter than as an employer?

She says that "Nobody likes quotas, but they work". Work at what? Not at true democracy. Not at anything useful or good. They work at getting inferior candidates into positions they don't deserve, just because the best person for the job was born with the ultimate handicap for PC times - being white, middle class, heterosexual, able bodied, and male. You can have a quota saying 50% of MPs need to be ginger and it will do just as much good - it's arbitrary, it's stupid, and good on the Tories for not adopting it - they're still the only party to put forward a woman for the top job and to happily accept her having it for many years.

Mary Ann Sieghart is very selective in her memory of what has happened in the last thirty years and is also the kind of person who will always bleat on about this issue - someone who is not as good at her job as some men doing the same thing.

Incidentally, Mary Ann, when you call men Neanderthals, does it not strike you that there must have been Neanderthal women, too, in order for them to have survived as a species long enough to evolve into us - that is, sensible, thinking people and especially crappy man hating columnists?

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