Why any woman in the UK would ever vote Conservative is completely beyond me.I replied smugly, wondering if Mrs P (who I know votes in this way) could perhaps see something that they could not?
I was told, in reply, that clearly Mrs P has concerns other than the dire impact of incoherent policy making on women. That made me wonder. Does Mrs P have to see all issues purely from a woman's perspective? It would seem, according to Marie J and Elaine Chalus, that the answer to this is a resounding "yes":
Any woman who considers herself a person in her own right, should then also be able to understand the impact of policies on her own life, and thus be able to judge appropriately. That necessitates evaluating policies in terms of gender.(Elaine Chalus)
Snap. I'd argue the same for any group unfairly affected by policy. Emphasis on *unfairly*.(Marie J)
What this is saying to me is that, given that she is a woman, my wife must see all policies purely in terms of their effect on women. All policies must be evaluated in terms of gender. She must therefore identify herself as a woman only. She may not (or should not?) look at a party's policies in the round, to identify whether, in her opinion, they would be beneficial to the country as a whole. She must look at the effect of a party's policies on women only.
I think this is sexist. I think this belittles women.
I think this says, in effect, that women should not worry themselves over complex stuff like international finance, national debts, deficit financing, the proper level of government intervention in the economy, and so on. It is dangerously close to saying that women shouldn't worry about such things, they should leave them to the men - after all, men will at least understand them. Just vote on the basis of which parties will offer childcare vouchers. Don't fret your pretty little heads over the complex stuff.
Now, be absolutely clear; I reject that view entirely. Simple experience has taught me that men can be utterly hopeless at such issues while women can be instinctively good at them, and I have seen it often enough in my day-to-day life. In my opinion:
- women are just as capable of understanding and holding a considered opinion on issues that are non-gender-related
- women are not inclined to take a paranoid approach that regards every issue as intrinsically gender-biassed
- women are perfectly capable of seeing the wider picture, seeing the effect of a set of policies on the country as a whole - not just from their own narrow perspective.
I am surprised to find myself (seemingly) being contradicted in this view by two apparently intelligent women. Now, it is important for me to acknowledge that I may have misunderstood the views expressed - if so then I invite Marie and Elaine to set me right, which they can do here free from the constraints of 140 characters. If I have misunderstood, however, then Marie and Elaine may wish to reflect on how they communicate their views!
Mind you, if I understood correctly, and if this view is widely held, then it does at least explain how Labour managed to gain and keep so much support.