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Author Topic: Women in politics (split off from the feminism discussion thread)  (Read 1444 times)

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Offline KythiaTopic starter

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Men are and have been responsible for almost every problem a women can and does face.  You also find men are far and beyond the largest contributors to racism and other forms of discrimination.  Men cause most of the wars, most of the crime and are the biggest contributors to problems such as the banking crisis.

You can't have this both ways, Brittany.  You can't say "it's awful men are in charge and would be better if they didn't because they cause most of the wars".

Without stats or, frankly, the interest in finding them I'm perfectly happy to agree that most wars have been between countries led by males.  But thats simply because most countries are led by males. 

It's simply not a valid criticism of a "patriarchal" society to say that problems with a society (leaving aside the question of whetehr all wars are a bad thing)  are caused by the patriachy and thus it in and of itself is wrong.  It's like arguing that, errrrrr, that most disciplinary problems here on E are related to members and therefore we should cast out all existing members and replace them/us with a new set.  Sure, most problems are caused by members but thats simply an artifact of the case that only members CAN cause these problems.

Argue in favour of replacing all leaders with females if you like, I disagree but whatever.  But you can't justify it by saying that women qua women would make better leaders solely because of a lot of existing problems have been caused by male leaders.  Thatcher went to war in the Falklands (or the Malvinas for any Argentinian readers, not trying to start a different argument), Indira Gandhi bordered on dictator and thats just two off the top of my head. 
« Last Edit: February 15, 2013, 02:27:28 AM by Remiel »

Offline Brittany

Re: Women in politics
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2013, 07:08:04 PM »
You can't have this both ways, Brittany.  You can't say "it's awful men are in charge and would be better if they didn't because they cause most of the wars".

Without stats or, frankly, the interest in finding them I'm perfectly happy to agree that most wars have been between countries led by males.  But thats simply because most countries are led by males. 

It's simply not a valid criticism of a "patriarchal" society to say that problems with a society (leaving aside the question of whetehr all wars are a bad thing)  are caused by the patriachy and thus it in and of itself is wrong.  It's like arguing that, errrrrr, that most disciplinary problems here on E are related to members and therefore we should cast out all existing members and replace them/us with a new set.  Sure, most problems are caused by members but thats simply an artifact of the case that only members CAN cause these problems.

Argue in favour of replacing all leaders with females if you like, I disagree but whatever.  But you can't justify it by saying that women qua women would make better leaders solely because of a lot of existing problems have been caused by male leaders.  Thatcher went to war in the Falklands (or the Malvinas for any Argentinian readers, not trying to start a different argument), Indira Gandhi bordered on dictator and thats just two off the top of my head.

Completely agree.  But it is one of those things we will not know until we try. 

The big question though, is why shouldn't every country have a female leader with 1 or 2 countries having a male leader?  This is the way it is at the moment (and always has been), but the roles are reversed.  In 2013, there should not be a reason why a female candidate, and a black candidate runs for every office all over the world. 

This does not happen.  I have never had the chance to elect a female Prime Minister (asides from the Green party) or a black prime minister.  I see a big fundamental flaw with this.  They should not get in because they are a woman, but women should be encouraged to run and be allowed to run.  When a British female politician tries to run as leader of a political party, the party nixes it before we get to have a public vote.

Feminism is about equality, and the world is not equal, nowhere near.  Most top jobs taken by men.  Yes, banks ran by women may have caused the recession, but they didn't because our banks are ran by men. 

To me, at basic human rights level, feminism has done it's job.  But you are still unfairly limited as to how far you can go in life and your career in comparison to a man, at least in the UK.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2013, 07:12:25 PM by Brittany »

Offline Rhapsody

Re: Women in politics
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2013, 07:12:38 PM »
This does not happen.  I have never had the chance to elect a female Prime Minister.  I see a big fundamental flaw with this.  They should not get in because they are a woman, but women should be encouraged to run and be allowed to run.  When a British female politician tries to run as leader of a political party, the party nixes it before we get to have a public vote.

Perhaps you haven't had a chance to elect a female PM yourself, but there was in fact one very famous one who ran the UK for 11 years. You might have heard of her: Margaret Thatcher.

Offline Brittany

Re: Women in politics
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2013, 07:15:13 PM »
Perhaps you haven't had a chance to elect a female PM yourself, but there was in fact one very famous one who ran the UK for 11 years. You might have heard of her: Margaret Thatcher.

Outside of my lifetime.  But this is one lady. 

Out of 74 leaders of the country, 73 have been male and only two females have even been up for election, one with a party with no chance.  Equality?

Also many people describe her as the greatest of all of them.  Many hated her, but she had a lot of followers.  So females can evidently do the job.  Why no female candidate in the next 23 years?
« Last Edit: February 14, 2013, 07:17:39 PM by Brittany »

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Re: Women in politics
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2013, 07:16:53 PM »
Plus the US equivalent of a PM - a woman first ran in 1872, and one cannot discount the powerhouse that Clinton was in 2008 (and, if the rumors are true, will again be in 2016).

Offline KythiaTopic starter

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Re: Women in politics
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2013, 07:18:47 PM »
Outside of my lifetime.  But this is one lady. 

Out of 74 leaders of the country, 73 have been male and only two females have even been up for election, one with a party with no chance.  Equality?

Also many people describe her as the greatest of all of them.  Many hated her, but she had a lot of followers.  So females can evidently do the job.  Why no female candidate in the next 23 years?

Prime Ministers aren't elected over here.  Parties are elected, they then elect a leader within themselves.   Check out the situation where Tony Blair stepped down and Gordon Brown took over.  There was no public vote needed.

Offline Rhapsody

Re: Women in politics
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2013, 07:22:26 PM »
Outside of my lifetime.  But this is one lady. 

Out of 74 leaders of the country, 73 have been male and only two females have even been up for election, one with a party with no chance.  Equality?

Prior to 100 years ago, there were no women in British politics at all, which skews your data. There have been 23 Prime Ministers to date since 1910, and in the last century, that single woman who has been the country's leader held the position for 11% of that time frame, far longer than the majority of her male counterparts. Further, 25% of the House of Commons and 20% of the House of Lords are women. Is it equivalent equality? Not quite yet. But it's not as far off as you might think.

Offline Brittany

Re: Women in politics
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2013, 07:27:29 PM »
Prime Ministers aren't elected over here.  Parties are elected, they then elect a leader within themselves.   Check out the situation where Tony Blair stepped down and Gordon Brown took over.  There was no public vote needed.

I understand that.  However parties have not been electing women for these top jobs.  And the parties do not have anywhere close to 50-50 representation. 

The labour party consists of 30% female MPs and they have more female MPs than all of the other parties combined.  Yet 48% of Labours local councillors are female.

This tells us that the female local councillors are not getting anywhere near as many promotions as the male.  This, as you say is decided by the political parties of the UK, and they of all businesses should be aiming for a 50-50 split.  The female politicians are out there, but they are not being given the good jobs, which seem to go mostly to older men who insult police officers or leave important files in the pub.

It's jobs for the boys, it always has been, and that is reflected all the way through British business.

Equality = 50/50.  We shouldn't settle for 30% and say at least it's an improvement and we had one or two leaders.  Labour actively boast about having 30% female representation where as they should be ashamed it isn't higher.  When Obama was elected, people were delighted that the barrier was finally broken for the civil movement.  If there is not another black president for 100 years, there has been no change, and no barrier broken.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2013, 07:33:41 PM by Brittany »

Offline KythiaTopic starter

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Re: Women in politics
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2013, 07:32:35 PM »

This tells us that the female local councillors are not getting anywhere near as many promotions as the male.  T

Local Government to National isn't a promotion.  It's a different job.

Quote
This, as you say is decided by the political parties of the UK, and they of all businesses should be aiming for a 50-50 split.  The female politicians are out there, but they are not being given the good jobs, which seem to go mostly to older men who insult police officers or leave important files in the pub.

This is the same form of argument as you were making before.  Most MPs are male, hence most mistakes by MPs will be made by male MPs.  It's statistics, not sex.  And besides, one of our MPs claimed for her husbands porn movies on expenses.  No sex is blameless here and, anecdotally, I cant think of any evidence to suggest female MPs are underrepresented in the horrific errors stakes.  Look at Harriet Harman's frequent and quite blatent making up of statistics.


Offline Brittany

Re: Women in politics
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2013, 07:42:53 PM »
Local Government to National isn't a promotion.  It's a different job.

This is the same form of argument as you were making before.  Most MPs are male, hence most mistakes by MPs will be made by male MPs.  It's statistics, not sex.  And besides, one of our MPs claimed for her husbands porn movies on expenses.  No sex is blameless here and, anecdotally, I cant think of any evidence to suggest female MPs are underrepresented in the horrific errors stakes.  Look at Harriet Harman's frequent and quite blatent making up of statistics.

Again you may be correct, but my initial point still stands.  They are delighted and proud to have 30% female representation, while the aim of feminism is for equality.  Equality is 50%.  For a British political party committed to equal rights, they should be actively looking to boost the number of females in important roles, yet instead they appear content with 30%.

I am not saying take skilled men and replace them with unskilled women.  But the women are out there, working in local government and studying politics degrees.  They should have equal chance to join the party as a male, and in that party they should have equal chance to rise right to the top.

While the party votes for the person it puts forward as Prime Minister, and not the people, a female is always selected for the final five (Diane Abbott was selected at the labour election) and always the party votes the female candidate out first or second.  I cannot concede there are not some sexist MPs that won't vote for a woman.  There are also sexist members of the constituency who would not vote for a woman.

There is sexism in politics, because it is a male dominated environment.  But it's not just politics, it's the whole of UK business.   Football, what those two announcers spoke about the female linesman, sexism.   Go to a factory and see naked pictures of women all over the shop floor, sexism.  Any industry that is male dominated has a sexist undercurrent.  I work in the hotel industry, a largely female industry, and there is no sexism that I have seen in the last two years towards a male.  I cannot accept that men are not able to give women equal opportunities, equal pay and treat them decently, and I do not believe that a male in a female environment is subject to anywhere near as many problems. 

Offline KythiaTopic starter

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Re: Women in politics
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2013, 07:52:21 PM »
Again you may be correct, but my initial point still stands.  They are delighted and proud to have 30% female representation, while the aim of feminism is for equality.  Equality is 50%.  For a British political party committed to equal rights, they should be actively looking to boost the number of females in important roles, yet instead they appear content with 30%.

I'm not precisely certain who "they" refers to here.  But all three major political parties have expressed that commitment.  Labout have used all women shortlists and the Lib Dems and Conservatives have said they will start in the 2015 General Election.

Quote
I am not saying take skilled men and replace them with unskilled women.  But the women are out there, working in local government and studying politics degrees.  They should have equal chance to join the party as a male, and in that party they should have equal chance to rise right to the top.

No argument here

Quote
While the party votes for the person it puts forward as Prime Minister, and not the people, a female is always selected for the final five (Diane Abbott was selected at the labour election) and always the party votes the female candidate out first or second.  I cannot concede there are not some sexist MPs that won't vote for a woman.  There are also sexist members of the constituency who would not vote for a woman.

This isn't the case.  Noone is "selected", candidates put their own name forwards. 

In general, I think I disgaree with some of your positions.  But it matters not.  I'm going to bed now, but I've enjoyed talking to you.

Offline Brittany

Re: Women in politics
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2013, 07:55:39 PM »
I'm not precisely certain who "they" refers to here.  But all three major political parties have expressed that commitment.  Labout have used all women shortlists and the Lib Dems and Conservatives have said they will start in the 2015 General Election.

No argument here

This isn't the case.  Noone is "selected", candidates put their own name forwards. 

In general, I think I disgaree with some of your positions.  But it matters not.  I'm going to bed now, but I've enjoyed talking to you.

Likewise, good night :)

Offline Caehlim

Re: Women in politics (split off from the feminism discussion thread)
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2013, 07:24:59 AM »
I would never claim to understand why our male leaders start so many wars.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catherine_the_great
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artemisia_I_of_Caria
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gudit
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_I_of_England
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_I_of_England
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joan_of_arc
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahhotep_I
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eleanor_of_aquitaine
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bouddica
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golda_Meir
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isabella_I_of_Castille

Edit: In hindsight I should probably provide some context to these links.

I believe that women are capable of everything that men are capable of. This includes starting or participating in wars. As you can see, there have been many historical women who have been involved in this process. This list barely scrapes the surface, but it's a starting point. Read some history and you'll see just how exclusionary your quote above appears to anyone with an interest in history.

For the record, some of the most useful resources I found to assemble this list was from feminist sources documenting powerful female figures in the past.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2013, 07:51:20 AM by Caehlim »

Offline Silverfyre

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Re: Women in politics (split off from the feminism discussion thread)
« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2013, 07:35:57 AM »
But...but... men... blame...everything...

~faints from disbelief that one gender isn't the "be all, end all" in fixing the world~

So yeah, women are not the key to changing the world for the better.  Neither are men or any gender/sexuality/national/ethnic/what-have-you factor.  What is are good, educated and compassionate people.  Regardless of gender, those leaders, politicians and officials that strike out for the people and with virtuous goals in mind will be the key to changing the world and creating a place of equality.  Implementing an "affirmative action" type of plan that makes all governing bodies have 50/50 representation along gender lines (mind you, this ignores the population that does not identify as purely male or female) is not only unrealistic but unproductive.  Gender does not equal good or bad intentions and blaming one gender for all the evils and terrible things in the world, past and present, is shortsighted and plainly sexist.  We need people who work towards progress and equality, not some bizarre gender status-quo that exists simply because of what genitals they might have.

Offline Brittany

Re: Women in politics (split off from the feminism discussion thread)
« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2013, 09:09:59 AM »
I've never actually said the world would be a better place if it were run solely by women, nor that men are responsible for everything.  Men have been responsible for most of the current issues the world finds itself in, such as the war in Afghanistan and the banking crisis.  This may well have happened with females in all of those jobs, we have no way of knowing.

What is clear however, is that men are currently in charge of the world, and it should be an aim of equality to have a much larger percentage of female influence in important decisions than what we have now.  As I said last night, I concede there have been female leaders, and for the most part they've done a job at least equal to what the guys have.  Thatcher was one of the longest reigning PM's with a large group of people who to this day say she was the best of them all.  Yet since, no woman has been put into a position where we could elect her.

When President Obama became the first black president, the Civil rights groups were delighted, as I'm sure feminism was when Thatcher was elected.  They see it as a glass ceiling being shattered.  I am not sure how the civil rights thing will go, but no glass ceiling was shattered with Thatchers election.  They gave a woman a chance, she took it, became one of the most successful Prime Ministers ever and now we are back to waiting a huge amount of years to even have another female candidate.  It's as though it was a "heres a female in charge, shut up now" rather than true equality.

As I said last night, there are women in politics and they are not given the best jobs despite sometimes being the best candidate.  They also are not being voted for by both politicians and the general public, partly and sometimes solely on the basis that they are female.   This is fundamentally wrong. 

Implementing an "affirmative action" type of plan that makes all governing bodies have 50/50 representation along gender lines (mind you, this ignores the population that does not identify as purely male or female) is not only unrealistic but unproductive. 

I understand and agree with you in principle.  We should be picking the best person, rather than gender having any influence at all.

However if this is the case, the balance would be fair.  In this generation we may have 70% males and 30% females in top roles, given that is what the generation turned up in terms of good candidates.  However the next generation could then see 80% females and 20% males.  And the following 50-50.

What we have now, is the males are always the majority.  Parties are happy and proud to have as little as 30% female representation and see this as a huge breakthrough.

In reality the best candidate should get the job, and if this resulted in 80% of the top politicial jobs going to women, then so be it.  This will never ever happen.  Politics is seen as a male dominated environment and female politicians are not judged fairly on their flaws and pluses in the same way males are.  I don't think anyone is actually arguing that the system is fair and that gender does not play a role in how far you can go.  It may not restrict you, like in the case of Thatcher, but she had to work harder than any male prime minister just to have the same level as respect and win votes.

My view on the Matriachal society, is if you guys feel it is fair and just for a mere handful of powerful influential females to govern our world while the rest are men, why would it not be as fair and just for the males to be the minority? 
« Last Edit: February 15, 2013, 09:23:44 AM by Brittany »

Offline Silverfyre

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Re: Women in politics (split off from the feminism discussion thread)
« Reply #15 on: February 15, 2013, 09:21:57 AM »
If you agree with it, then why do you keep advocating for the opposite (i.e. your matriarchy principle) with your posts?

Equality is not a 50/50 split down gender lines; it is equal representation of issues that concern everyone and a progressive minded sort of government that does not judge or rule against people based on gender, ethnicity, sexuality or any sort of factor that is a personal and/or biological choice.  I would love to see more women or anyone that is a "minority" in politics, as long as they deliver up the sort of "equality" that would truly benefit society.  I am tired of the same rich, older white men in power that are found throughout the world; I will agree that the privileged white male politician generally is not progressive, not striving for equality or putting anyone but themselves and their party's ideology first.  I am disgusted by the current political climate in not only my own country but the world in general.  We need change but it needs to come out of something other than something like instituting a matriarchy or something that is determined by gender.

Stating that it is never going to happen either means you have already given up; I'd like to keep optimistic and work towards giving something like this a chance as saying it will "never happen" only admits defeat and shows that you have no real conviction behind your opinions.  It might take time but I'd like to think that eventually, we will get it right. 

Offline Brittany

Re: Women in politics (split off from the feminism discussion thread)
« Reply #16 on: February 15, 2013, 09:31:33 AM »
If you agree with it, then why do you keep advocating for the opposite (i.e. your matriarchy principle) with your posts?

Equality is not a 50/50 split down gender lines; it is equal representation of issues that concern everyone and a progressive minded sort of government that does not judge or rule against people based on gender, ethnicity, sexuality or any sort of factor that is a personal and/or biological choice.  I would love to see more women or anyone that is a "minority" in politics, as long as they deliver up the sort of "equality" that would truly benefit society.  I am tired of the same rich, older white men in power that are found throughout the world; I will agree that the privileged white male politician generally is not progressive, not striving for equality or putting anyone but themselves and their party's ideology first.  I am disgusted by the current political climate in not only my own country but the world in general.  We need change but it needs to come out of something other than something like instituting a matriarchy or something that is determined by gender.

Stating that it is never going to happen either means you have already given up; I'd like to keep optimistic and work towards giving something like this a chance as saying it will "never happen" only admits defeat and shows that you have no real conviction behind your opinions.  It might take time but I'd like to think that eventually, we will get it right.

My advocating of the matriachal society is as I said.  I do not see why a large amount of people feel it is OK and not unfair to have all of our major decisions made by men.  If what we are living in now is a fair and acceptable world, surely it would be just as fair and acceptable to have a society mostly run by females.   For a very very long time now women have been held down by men in life and especially at work.  Is there a part of me that feels true equality would be giving the males a taste of what they have put women through for hundreds of years?  Certainly.  I would find it hard to have sympathy if a man was neglected for a promotion because he was a man, or if a man had to work harder and better than all of the women, just to earn the same amount of respect.

But my personal feelings aside, I agree the best candidate should get the job and the pressures on the employee should be the same regardless of gender.  This is not how it currently works, not just in politics but in the majority of industries.  A female firefighter for example, has to be twice as good as her male counterparts to get the same level of respect, and often even being twice as good, still doesn't get it.

As for me having "given up".  This is a long running thing, it's been going on all my lifetime and generations and generations before that.  Women have been held down.  People, politicians like to claim equality but we are nowhere near.  The time when a young female straight out of college can join the Conservative party, get a good starting job, work her way up, and become Prime Minister in exactly the same way a male can is nowhere near.  The reality is, she can do this as Lady Thatcher did.  But it will take her longer, and she will have to fight harder than the male, having to win votes that she will lose elsewhere simply because of her sex.  That is not equality.

« Last Edit: February 15, 2013, 09:37:42 AM by Brittany »

Offline KythiaTopic starter

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Re: Women in politics (split off from the feminism discussion thread)
« Reply #17 on: February 15, 2013, 11:19:04 AM »
Implementing an "affirmative action" type of plan that makes all governing bodies have 50/50 representation along gender lines (mind you, this ignores the population that does not identify as purely male or female) is not only unrealistic but unproductive. 

I actually disgaree with you slightly here, or at least in the specific case of women only shortlists for political parties.  I think the issue is two-fold.

1) There is no objective standard for what makes a better politician.  No party would want to risk an awful candidate so the women on the women only shortlist will, I am sure, be perfectly capable of being an MP.  If there was some kind of scale for MP effectiveness then sure, I agree.  But there isn't so I don't feel that concerns about effectiveness (which I realise you personally haven't mentioned but are an often brought up issue) really apply.

There is evidence to suggest (and search as I may I cannot find the reference.  I'll keep looking, let me know if you want it and I'll PM it) from a presitigous US law school - lets say Harvard for the sake of a name, though it may not be.  Black students are getting in with lower qualifications due to affirmative action policies, but they are graduating with the same representative spread of degrees and getting the same jobs.  In essence, what is suggested is there is so little difference between the top 1% and the second percentile that it makes no difference.  There's essentially a competence ceiling.

I would argue the same applies to MPs.

Is that a reason for women only shortlists?  Well, not quite.  It does mean that, IMHO, they do no harm to the effectiveness of government although it isn't a boon either.  But...

2) There are societal forces acting against female MPs.  We can call it an old boy's club, though its obviously more complex than that.  Increasing the number of females would go some way towards removing that - both by increasing the number of people in decision making positions and (to my mind more importantly) serving as aspirational role models and "symbols" that such things are possible.

I can't possibly argue that

Quote
good, educated and compassionate people

are a much better way of achieving equality.  However, I do feel that it is way simpler to implement a "quota" system than to come up with some system (I can't think of one) to ensure that only such people get elected in to office.

Your mileage may, of course, vary.

EDIT:  Forgot to say.  And of course women only shortlists do little to nothing to enable those outside the binary.  And that's where quota systems fall down, IMHO.  Women are a big enough and recognisable demograph for it to be feasible.  But when it gets to the stage where we are electing people utterly regardless of competance becase the shortlist has been stocked to make sure the House of Commons has the correct number of one armed Albanian Jewish immigrants who trained as a shoemaker then it gets ridiculous.  Not of course that I'm claiming people existing outside the binary are such a minor (in terms of numbers) group as to be unable to get a good and willing candidate to stand, but as lines are drawn increasingly finely (can a genderfluid person adequately represent MTF transexsuals?  Obviously not looking for an answer, just an example) it becomes harder and harder.  THat, to my mind, is the downside of quotas and I confess I have no answer.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2013, 11:24:33 AM by Kythia »

Offline Silverfyre

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Re: Women in politics (split off from the feminism discussion thread)
« Reply #18 on: February 15, 2013, 11:26:56 AM »
It might be simpler to initiate a quota system but it is far from a solution to solving the problems of our current political climate.  It would be wonderful to get more perspectives than the same "Old Rich Boys Club" that we have had to endure for the last ....well, forever.  I just think that there is a better means of implementing a better system than "Hey, you have a vagina!  That means you are qualified!". 

Personally, I think that gender and religion, as well as economic standing, should have no place in government.  There should be a system of government that does not favor the rich and the powerful and allows for anyone to run for office without facing financial ruin just to get on the ballet and have a reasonable chance at winning.  It is an idealistic system to say the least but I can always hope. 

In other words, I agree that we need to change politics.  We need a more diverse voice in government and in our officials.  Enough of the rich, white and male population ruining the world but let's find a system that doesn't hing on someone's gender.  That just doesn't make much sense to me.

Offline KythiaTopic starter

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Re: Women in politics (split off from the feminism discussion thread)
« Reply #19 on: February 15, 2013, 11:38:08 AM »
Oh I agree, I do.  But I can't think of a system of government that fulfils those criteria.  Whereas I feel women only shortlists are a positive step - a net good despite the valid criticisms you make - and, more importantly, implementable.  Something people can work towards and agitate for.  In essence I think you're letting the perfect be the enemy of the good, a little

Offline Silverfyre

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Re: Women in politics (split off from the feminism discussion thread)
« Reply #20 on: February 15, 2013, 11:44:36 AM »
I think you are right.  My idealism can be blinding at times but I just wish there was the "perfect system" when I know fully well that there probably isn't.  Women and minorities need better representation and we need to get rid of the same "Old Rich, White Boys" club; on that, I think we can all agree. :)

Offline Brittany

Re: Women in politics (split off from the feminism discussion thread)
« Reply #21 on: February 15, 2013, 12:07:17 PM »
"Hey, you have a vagina!  That means you are qualified!". 

I don't want to be rude, but like last night you are implying again that the only difference between a female and a male is their sexual organs.  This is simply not the case.  Whether you like to believe it is so or not, an average female and an average males life experiences are vastly different, as is our biological make up and societies expectations.  These effect our views on life and what is important to us.  Would you imply the only difference between a black person and white person is skin color?  Because this is a very naive idealistic view. 

A government requires female viewpoints and female opinions.  It has been shown time and time again that women will come out and vote in large numbers when a political party addresses a situation that concerns women, as African-Europeans will come out and vote in large numbers when a policy that affects them is on the line.

It is a fact, that if you poll the female population on issues that affect them, and you poll the male population on issues that affect them, the results are different.  I am not saying that Amy from Cheltenham and Jack from Swansea won't give the exact same results, but on a broader basis there is a definite difference between males and females that I feel you are missing.  Even stemming down to basic needs.  If you go to a chemist, what do you buy?  I'm certain it's different from what I buy.  You can learn what I buy, but you cannot comprehend the importance of the items in the same way you could if you experienced them in the way I do.  I can tell you what they are for, and how important they are, but you will always lack the perspective that comes with actually doing something.  I know you feel men are qualified to speak for women, but if I polled people on the importance of say make up, the male and female responses would be different.

It is for this very reason that it is important to sometimes say "I'd rather have a womens perspective on this".  A committee of 10 men is missing a viewpoint and an opinion that it would have if you replace just one of those men with a woman who shares the general concerns of the female public.  A man can educate himself on giving birth, he can educate himself on childcare, he can educate himself on women's health.  These are issues that affect a majority female base, and in my opinion a woman who has experienced these things is usually in a better situation to understand what can be done to make them better, than a man who has read about them.

It's also very important to have role models.  So many of the women in politics now were inspired by Thatcher.  I'm sure young german women look up to Angela Merkel and are inspired.  There are many things that having a woman in a prominent role brings to women as a whole and I think you overlook a lot of these.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2013, 12:28:17 PM by Brittany »

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Re: Women in politics (split off from the feminism discussion thread)
« Reply #22 on: February 15, 2013, 12:26:29 PM »
So, because of a few biological differences, men and women should be categorized as being entirely different creatures that see the world completely differently?  On subjects such as child birth and anything that deals with a woman's biology, they absolutely should have the say on it and not rely on the so-called "experts" who happen to also be men.  But when it comes to something as broad and diverse as economics and politics, one's gender does not dictate the person's ability and intellect into such affairs. We will have differing priorities due to gender but it is not as prevalent as you make it out to be. Their life experiences, upbringing and education does and while I do agree that men and women have differences in these departments, I do not believe (as I have stated over and over again) that gender is going to change that much when it comes to politics or positions of power that shape humanity and society. Show me some hard statistics and scientific as well as psychological data that proves otherwise.

 As far as making the comparison between say Caucasians and Africans, you should do a bit of research of your own before jumping on peoples' opinions and calling them naive.  There are very few biological differences between these two groups.  In Africans, there are more fast-twitch muscle fibers and some African women have a slightly faster gestation period (source: http://ije.oxfordjournals.org/content/33/1/107.abstract) but beyond, there isn't much besides skin color.  Upbringing and social factors are completely separate factors and I do agree that there is a difference between growing up "white" and growing up "black".  You simplify my views and calling them naive is, quite frankly, rude and does not do what I am saying justice.  Try to refrain from using such comparisons when I made none in my posts.

So on that note, I feel I've said my points in this thread and shall enjoy reading the discussion as it unfolds.  I do not think I have much more to add beyond what I already have and hammering my head against the proverbial brick wall does little good for anyone. 
« Last Edit: February 15, 2013, 12:29:19 PM by Silverfyre »

Offline Brittany

Re: Women in politics (split off from the feminism discussion thread)
« Reply #23 on: February 15, 2013, 12:34:56 PM »
So, because of a few biological differences, men and women should be categorized as being entirely different creatures that see the world completely differently?  On subjects such as child birth and anything that deals with a woman's biology, they absolutely should have the say on it and not rely on the so-called "experts" who happen to also be men.  But when it comes to something as broad and diverse as economics and politics, one's gender does not dictate the person's ability and intellect into such affairs. We will have differing priorities due to gender but it is not as prevalent as you make it out to be. Their life experiences, upbringing and education does and while I do agree that men and women have differences in these departments, I do not believe (as I have stated over and over again) that gender is going to change that much when it comes to politics or positions of power that shape humanity and society. Show me some hard statistics and scientific as well as psychological data that proves otherwise.

 As far as making the comparison between say Caucasians and Africans, you should do a bit of research of your own before jumping on peoples' opinions and calling them naive.  There are very few biological differences between these two groups.  In Africans, there are more fast-twitch muscle fibers and some African women have a slightly faster gestation period (source: http://ije.oxfordjournals.org/content/33/1/107.abstract) but beyond, there isn't much besides skin color.  Upbringing and social factors are completely separate factors and I do agree that there is a difference between growing up "white" and growing up "black".  You simplify my views and calling them naive is, quite frankly, rude and does not do what I am saying justice.  Try to refrain from using such comparisons when I made none in my posts.

We are going to have to agree to disagree.  There is more than biological differences.  You are putting everything down to physical differences and dismissing the completely different cultures and life experiences we have.  We have different goals and different needs out of politics.  A school closing is a far bigger issue to a woman than it is a male on a broad basis.  Society has completely different expectations of men and women and as such our experiences in life differ, which effects the very way we see the world.  I do not want a man who lacks the perspective of a woman to speak for me, or to claim to share my views and I'm sorry you don't like this.

While there may be no biological differences between a white European and an African European, again I feel it is naive to say that they are the same.  They are two completely different life experiences.  Cultures and society are completely different.  A white man living in Europe will on the whole not be subject to racism, where a black man may experience this daily.  It is naive to think that this does not create a completely different person in terms of perspective, viewpoint and opinion. 

People of African origins like to have leaders of African origins because they feel they can best relate to them and best look after their interests.  In the same way I would prefer a female representative who cares about the issues I care about and can put forward my interests.  Men are not qualified to speak on feminine matters that effect me.  Until a man requires the use of a morning after pill, they have no real perspective on it's usage, it can never be an issue that really matters to them as it does me.  Therefore I don't want them deciding how it should be regulated.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2013, 12:42:56 PM by Brittany »

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Re: Women in politics (split off from the feminism discussion thread)
« Reply #24 on: February 15, 2013, 12:42:08 PM »
Maybe you should re-read my posts before saying I ignore certainly factors when I did indeed address them.  Here, I'll make it easy for you:

So, because of a few biological differences, men and women should be categorized as being entirely different creatures that see the world completely differently?  On subjects such as child birth and anything that deals with a woman's biology, they absolutely should have the say on it and not rely on the so-called "experts" who happen to also be men.  But when it comes to something as broad and diverse as economics and politics, one's gender does not dictate the person's ability and intellect into such affairs. We will have differing priorities due to gender but it is not as prevalent as you make it out to be. Their life experiences, upbringing and education does and while I do agree that men and women have differences in these departments, I do not believe (as I have stated over and over again) that gender is going to change that much when it comes to politics or positions of power that shape humanity and society. Show me some hard statistics and scientific as well as psychological data that proves otherwise.

 As far as making the comparison between say Caucasians and Africans, you should do a bit of research of your own before jumping on peoples' opinions and calling them naive.  There are very few biological differences between these two groups.  In Africans, there are more fast-twitch muscle fibers and some African women have a slightly faster gestation period (source: http://ije.oxfordjournals.org/content/33/1/107.abstract) but beyond, there isn't much besides skin color. Upbringing and social factors are completely separate factors and I do agree that there is a difference between growing up "white" and growing up "black". You simplify my views and calling them naive is, quite frankly, rude and does not do what I am saying justice.  Try to refrain from using such comparisons when I made none in my posts.

So on that note, I feel I've said my points in this thread and shall enjoy reading the discussion as it unfolds.  I do not think I have much more to add beyond what I already have and hammering my head against the proverbial brick wall does little good for anyone.