In the latest round of Brown-bashing I happened to witness, the usual moaning and grumbling took place, ‘If I was in his position…blah blah blah etc…’ which annoys me enough as it is, as I’m sure we’d all struggle to hold it together, but this time I was especially annoyed. Especially annoyed as someone suggested that if the Prime Minister were a woman, none of this financial mess would have happened. None of this mess, nor indeed most of the mess of the last few years, concerning wars and poverty and general plights on society.

This is when, of course, I stepped in to say what an utter load of bollocks that was. Being a Feminist, I obviously think a female Prime Minister would be brilliant. But, just because she is a woman, does not automatically make her a peace-loving and caring person. Take Margaret Thatcher, for example. She was one of the most formidable politicians, who perhaps ticked all of the ‘masculine’ boxes, and had no problems with starting wars and obliterating whole communities in her ruthless economic plans. In response to her typically masculine behaviour satirists branded her a man and most famously in Spitting Image portrayed her in a suit with a cigar. However, no matter how vile you find the woman, the criticism should rest soley on her actions, not on whether she conforms to gender norms.

This kind of gossipy self-righteous drivel, propagated by the ‘Loose Women’ culture harks back to the Victorian views of women being angels and men beasts. This regressive step is harmful to society and also the political process. The way the media scrutinise female politicians so closely causes them to censor their actions according to how society says they must be; everything they say, do, wear – even their hair styles are commented upon and criticised for not being feminine enough, or being too dowdy or frumpy. Outspoken female politicians are derided for being whingey and nagging – which is enough to put potential female politicians off the job.

None of the women I know are as morally superior as some people would have them. If women ruled the world, wars would still be fought, crimes would still be committed and the economy would still fail us at some point. No one can be a super hero, we are all human and therefore bound to make mistakes. The thing is, at the end of the day it’s not about men versus women, it is about choosing whoever is best for the job.

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