Sunday, June 08, 2008

On women and politics

Over the week-end I was visiting one of my brothers. He and I started to discuss the US election and how the coverage of Hillary Clinton's bid was so over-done and boring. I know that political commentators have already gone over this but - for Christ's sake, it's not like women in other countries haven't been in power before. Margaret Thatcher, Indira Gandhi, Golda Meir, Benazir Bhutto, Angela Merkel - all women who have had or currently hold the position of head of state. Even in Canada we had Kim Campbell as prime minister. True, she was appointed rather than elected when the sitting prime minister Brian Mulroney resigned, but still, a woman held Canada's highest position, however briefly. She sat at the G8. She was there. And that was almost twenty years ago.

What also never seems to be covered is that although the right does not necessarily have a feminist platform, women get further in conservative parties. Margaret Thatcher came from nothing and rose to the top of the Conservative party in England. She did not ride the coat tails of her husband [and yes, obviously Hillary is strong and capable in her own right, but she also took every advantage of her husband's position]. In fact, what do we even know or care about Dennis Thatcher? I remember once listening to Judy Rebick, a ground-breaking Canadian feminist, who lamented just this fact about sexism in the left-wing.

So the left-wing can continue to analyse and naval gaze and all for now. As for women, they ARE making grounds. There are so many women in positions of power and it will continue. I don't know why people don't make more of Condoleeza Rice. Sure, maybe people abhor her politics, but talk about a woman who has progressed up the ranks. What we need to accept is that 'woman' does not equal 'feminist' which is more of a concern to me in current politics. To me it's no big deal that Hillary wasn't chosen. As far as I'm concerned whether or not it was Romney, McCain, Clinton, Obama, or Edwards [my personal pick], any of them was a better choice than Bush. I thank the goddess that Huckabee was not successful. And that's something we can all celebrate.

And now excuse me while I figure out whether I'm going to support the Liberal party or join the Conservatives in Canada to try and get rid of Bush-lite currently in power in Canada...

6 comments:

CoffeeDog said...

Hmm, I was very sad that Hillary didn't get the nomination. I felt that the media and the pundits treated her badly - the Clinton Nutcracker doll, for example (do we see an Obama whiteface doll? no, because that's not politically correct).

Condi? I think her head is so far up Shrub's ass, who cares about her? :-)

Snooze said...

CD: I completely agree with you that the sexism in the media was sickening and a clinton Nutcracker doll is horrible. But sadly sexist attacks on women go on all the time. Everytime someone wants to attack a female politician, right or left, she's a bitch or they want to see her raped - the list goes on.As for Condi, I'm not saying I admire her, but she is a woman in a considerable position of power. We're used to seeing men, good and bad, puppets or not, in power and it's good that women, talented or useless, are getting positions too.

Brice said...

It just shows how behind-the-times our neighbour can be. That HC is news...
Unfortunately, I think it'll be a republican in office. I can't see a visible minority winning yet.

Inexplicable DeVice said...

I'm not very good with politics, so I'll just say this: It's nice to have a woman Prime Minister because, invariably, the hair styles and outfits are so much better! Even Margaret Thatcher's.

I still get all nostalgic when I see a blue two piece topped off with a massively coiffed barnet.

Susan as herself said...

I agree with you re: why is having a woman in powere news, etc...

I also agree that thank all that is sacred Huckabee was not nominated.

And Bush can get the hell out any time now. PLEASE.

Snooze said...

Brice: Maybe it's because we're British immigrants... I agree with you that I don't find it so exciting that a woman ran for the top job.

IDV: Oh how I can picture that exact outfit. You gave me such a laugh just now.

Susan: I mean I can see people being crestfallen that HRC didn't win because she was their chosen candidate but I don't see the 'it was because she was a woman' bit. If Huckabee had been chosen I wouldn't have been upset because he was male... That said, CoffeeDog is right that some of the sexism surrounding HRC was surprising in this day and age. [oh why should I be surprised?]