If you have read a few blogs of mine before, you will no doubt know that I am a keen promoter of women's rights. A specific blog I want to draw your attention to is one I wrote about the Harman debate. I found it extremely interesting that the media, including our own party with Opik, reflected all attention away from the crux and importance of her argument, to a debate about how if a woman is 'shagable', then she is hireable.
This is exactly the type of attitude that has been reflected in the remarks made by Conservative Alan Scard, who said that he would only select a woman if she is attractive. Given that he is in charge of trying to find a candidate to replace the famous duck pond Viggers, it annoys me greatly, that he holds these backwards attitudes towards women. Not only are his comments around women sexist, they also highlight an important dimension of a woman's life, that a man never truly faces. This dimension is one of pressure. Pressure to look good, do and say certain things. I wrote a blog about these types of pressures women have to deal with, which helps expand my point further. The comment I am specifically referring to by Scard, is:
But then the other women say 'Oh I don't like her, she's too attractive'."It just demonstrates the way in which the pressures around how women look can create divisions amongst women, and how men can exploit these divisions for their own benefit. If only there was some way to create a greater feeling of female unity to tackle this pressure...
As well as showing how engrained sexism is within politics it also shows how the Tories despite rhetoric, have not changed. They still have the engrained sexist attitudes towards women, and they are only promoting women for top jobs because it looks good. This is where Harman went wrong. What she said was right. There should be more women in top jobs. But what she failed to outline was that this is because there are many talented women MPs who could do the jobs, not that they should just get the job because they are a women. Comments like this just show how even though there has been progress, there is still so long to go until we truly reduce the dominance of men in politics and society at large.