This piece by Anne Summers on women in government sent me to Twitter with the question “Can Anne Summers explain to me the advantage of having a conservative female PM over a conservative male PM?”
There isn’t an answer to that question unless you are a fanatic, which Summers seems to increasingly become on the matter of Julia Gillard, and then the only answer is, vagina.
It might be worth noting that all the women ministers remained loyal to Gillard in the attempted coup on her leadership, Summers writes. Although a few female members of caucus supported Kevin Rudd (and were willing to be filmed with him while he spoke after the meeting where Gillard was re-elected unopposed), there were no women in the key group of plotters. Nor did any women resign as a result.
An act of double treason, then, that the females who supported Rudd were willing to be filmed with him as well? They should have hidden their allegiances, perhaps, not flaunted them, standing by his side?
Is this an example of gender solidarity, Ms Summers muses. Except of course for the women, (are they real women?) who legged it to Rudd’s camp. And how to explain that failure?
This is an aspect of feminism, increasingly dominant, that I find, well, I don’t think repulsive is too strong a word. It affects me viscerally, as is required of true repulsion. The concept that female genitals correlate with good governance is dangerous in so many ways I don’t even know where to begin. Surely such a gendered concept is one women have been fighting against for centuries now? Surely it is the very cornerstone of patriarchy?
Just what these women in government are achieving for women not in government is not immediately clear. Indeed, for many single mothers the change to Newstart, for example, is nothing short of disastrous (so much for gender solidarity). I’m informed on Twitter when I voice objections to this obscenity, it was John Howard’s legislation.
This confuses me. We are supporting our first female Labor Prime Minister, even when she perpetuates John Howard’s policies?
The Gillard government’s record on asylum seekers? Makes me want Howard back. Same-sex marriage? ‘Twas Howard who changed the Marriage Act to prevent this, & despite her party supporting a reversal of Howard’s meddling to allow same-sex nuptials, Prime Minister Gillard will have no truck with it.
But that’s all right, because, vagina.
Of course women must participate in government, and at the highest levels. But why I am supposed to support women whose policies I despise, just because women, is beyond me. This “Rah rah ra! Women are in power!” stuff shits me to tears.
It is a particularly middle class, privileged feminism that spares little thought for women who do not inhabit its exclusive clubs. It is offensively self-congratulatory. It is dishonest. It is distorted. And outside of its immediate rarified circles, I can’t see what good it does anybody.
We did once hope that when women got to the top they would take care of their sisters. Which, come to think of it, is just as naive and dangerous as Ms Summer’s position.