Why I’m Handing Back My Feminism Card

Feminism is great, equality between men and women is essential and it’s a tragic shame that it still hasn’t been achieved on a global scale.

But I’m handing back my feminism card, I’ve not always agreed with some hard line feminist movements, I’d much rather see a more humanism approach than dividing everything between the sexes.

What prompted by decision to say once and for all that I don’t want to be labelled a feminist was the #5050Parliament petition.

In simple terms, the petition claims Parliament should reflect the general population and be a more 50/50 split between men and women, at the moment only 23% of Parliament is made up of women.

Whilst I agree in principle that Parliament needs a good ol’ shake up to remove useless MP’s, I don’t think a 50/50 split will make much of an improvement. I’m sure the scandals that have hit Parliament in recent years have found men and women just as guilty as each other, besides, having a vagina doesn’t automatically mean any female MP will have my best interests at heart.

Rather than be concerned about there being enough women in Parliament, I’d prefer to see experienced people in Parliament.

I couldn’t care less if the Education, Health, Transport or Defence ministers are men or women or snow globes, what’s important to me is that they have experience of the area they reside over.

A Health minister who has actually made a life or death decision in an operating theatre, an Education minister who has stood in front of a class of 30 disinterested 15 year olds and a Defence minister who’s served in the Armed Forces.

These are the changes I’d like to see in Parliament.

Do any of the government ministers actually have any real life experience in the departments they lead?

A Transport minister who drove buses, or a Justice minister who has practiced law, perhaps a minister for Environment, Food and Rural affairs who once farmed?

Most ministers are now either government ministers with specific responsibilities in certain areas, such as Health or Defence or are members of committees, which look at issues in detail, from government policy and new laws, to wider topics like human rights.

A position in these committees, agencies or areas, where decisions are made which impact the lives millions of people, should surely be based on experience rather than gender.

Comments

  1. here here!! I am so sick of the equality issue. I want someone who can do a job well, it really doesn't matter about what they have in their pants, the colour of their skin or who they love...........just be able to do the job!? x

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    1. Exactly! We need to get over every issue being about gender, some admittedly are, but not everything comes down to whether your have boobs or balls x

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  2. That is so true! I agree that these ministers are very good at making decisions that affect thousands of people without actually understanding.about the situation themselves. I would love to see Mr Gove go and survive a week in the school where my husband teaches for a few days. It is true that it isn't about the men/woman split at all. Well said!

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    1. Thank you, I doubt he would survive the day, they really should have experience in matters they make decisions about

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  3. I'm with you! Even working with local health / education / social care as a parent carer rep it is the people who have genuinely been there and done that that have the perspective that counts, BECAUSE they have been there and done that! You can spot the service managers who have actually sat in case conferences, and the OTs who have assessed children as well as writing protocols, and it gives them a different perspective. As you've said, by putting individuals with these experiences in positions with the power to make changes we would at least have a chance at meaningful changes being made. Until then, man/woman/trans/gay/straight/bi/married/single/complicated - it's all the same.
    Lucas

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    1. Thank you, it's so frustrating that experience doesn't come in to these sort of decisions more often.

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  4. I totally agree! How can someone who's only ever studied and worked in politics have the first idea about these other real life jobs. And I often find men have my best interest, as a woman, at heart than other women do. Well said.

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    1. Thank you.
      It's ludicrous, one of the first things a person is asked about in an interview is what relevant experience they have!, never seems to apply to ministers.

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  5. This all makes perfect sense to me, but we're not in politics and the same rules don't seem to apply! I think if a minister has no relevant experience for the post, they should at least shadow someone over summer recess and learn how tough it is to do any of these jobs!

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    1. It's a shame that it does seem there are one set of rules for us and another for them

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  6. You can disagree with individual elements of feminism without having to disregard it completely.

    As with any ideology - be it communism, socialism, feminism, capitalism, humanism, Buddhism, republicanism, liberalism, or national socialism - there will be all kinds of different people following it. Some of them will be smart and some of them will be stupid; some of them will be bigots and some of them will be well read; some of them will be aggressive bullies whilst others will be calm and rational.

    From what I can see of the 50:50 Parliament campaign it isn't something they are wanting to achieve literally, more that they are highlighting the disparity of numbers of men and women in parliament.

    I sincerely hope that you pick your feminism card back up and carry on as you were.

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    1. Thank you for your response, there are indeed many kinds of people following all different ideologies.

      The latest reshuffle has perfectly highlighted the disparity between the sexes in parliament, yet this is something I do not see as an issue, experience or lack of, is. Having worked 'under' both male and female Secretaries of State, I can conclude that gender had nothing to do with their efficiency.

      As I've mentioned, I'd much prefer a more humanism approach to issues, so whilst I can agree with aspects of feminism, I wont be waving a banner any time soon.

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  7. I totally agree that whilst we should facilitate the inclusion of women in parliament, if they want to be there, equal representation for the sake of it is just a lot of effort for not much benefit. I think it's a two-tiered issue: there need to be more women in government, because there are qualified, experienced women who are struggling to get heard there, and the barriers to their inclusion must be taken down proactively. But striving for balance without reference to ability is just a nonsense.
    I don't totally agree that experience at the coal face is a necessary qualification. Whilst an excellent ex head-teacher could possibly be a fantastic education minister, it doesn't always correlate that someone who has undertaken the more practical job of - taking your example - driving a bus, will have what it takes to make policy decisions and influence senior decision makers. I was a very effective, and respected senior manager, without ever having done the job of those on the lowest salaries in my organisation.
    But I do get what you're saying, and totally agree that in any organisation, governement included, a person should get the job based on their ability and credentials, not because they wear a skirt or don't. I don't think that stops you from being a feminist though. It just prevents you from being an irrational, one-dimensional feminist. And if we're going to really get anywhere, we need to outnumber that kind!

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to comment, you're right this is a two-tiered issue, in my hast I may have just jumped on my soap box and started ranting!
      You are right that experience does not necessarily transmit to ability. However I do remain convinced that some degree of experience when making decisions which impact hundreds of thousands or millions of people is essential. I believe people are more likely to be responsive and agreeable to decisions made by an individual who can relate to the situation rather than one who is appointed the role based on 'flavour of the month' or a shoddy ploy to attract voters.

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  8. Very very valid points, all on levels. Just today I was thinking that feminism and equal opportunity has done a real number on us. Now the seem to want twice as much from us without the romance and gentle-manliness from them. I agree with you.

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