Skip to main content

The female vote

Last week, UKIP unveiled their latest policies to try and gain votes in the upcoming General Election. These policies were aimed at attracting "the female vote". The policies cover maternity leave, childcare...and the tax on sanitary products.

There's nothing new about this technique of political parties publicising specific policies targeting women: in February the pink minibus of Labour was unveiled - staffed by women, these women were going to go out and talk to women, about women's things. Here, Labour had identified "five areas that Labour has determined are key to women: childcare, social care, domestic violence, equal pay and political representation."

But here's the thing: surprisingly, women don't actually spend their entire lives with their interests being defined by their genitals. And they really, really shouldn't be treated as if they are. By pursuing this approach, these political parties are reducing the interests of 50% of the population to only those related to reproduction.

Yes, women have children. Yes, women deal with childcare. Yes, women are concerned with schooling. But, the bit that the political parties seem to forget is...men are involved in these things too. Men have children. Men deal with childcare. Men are concerned with schooling. Yet we never hear about political parties worrying about trying to get "the male vote". That's because it would appear that men must have larger concerns, that don't bother the silly little brains of us reproduction machines, so every policy that's not about children is aimed at them. Men think about taxes, and the environment, and the healthcare system, and the economy, and education, and pensions, and international relations, and other such important things. Women? Well, they think about babies and children, and leave the thinking about hard stuff to the menfolk.

And what about those women without children? Or who've had children, who have now grown up and become adults? Are they allowed to have non-child-based political concerns? Or are they some sort of human waste, not relevant to the politicians because they don't fit into their baby-based policy mould?

So here's a suggestion for you politicians, if you want my vote...how about you show me the policies that address my wider concerns and interests, rather than regard my brain as some sort of ridiculous, child-obsessed mush?


Comments

Dennis North said…
Word, sister! As a father I'm as interested in childcare policy and the tax on tampons as I am in renewable energy & income tax policies. I resent being excluded from issues that concern me greatly. Up 'the Person vote'!

Popular posts from this blog

Relaunching a library service

What do you do when you decide to do what is verging on library-based insanity, and basically scrap your current library service, and relaunch everything - physical layout, LMS, and classification system? In my case, spend a year, planning, developing, preparing….and then a frantic few weeks hauling stock!
The background to this apparent madness is this: when I took on this role I inherited a library using a layout that didn’t seem to make sense, a classification system I wasn’t familiar with, and an LMS that had been in place for 20 years but didn’t seem suited to our needs. As I was new to the library, a major part of the time I had available while settling in during my initial few months was dedicated to exploring how well these things were working, both for users, and library staff. I had the benefit of my colleague also being new to the library, only a few months after me, so together we looked at these issues with fresh eyes.We came to the following conclusions: The physical layou…

Impressive shelving technique

I have a new role model: the shelving technique demonstrated between 12 and 18 seconds by the librarian in this Lucozade video is something to aspire to! :D


Too close to the problem to see the achievements

Sometimes, you have so much to do, that you can't see what you've actually done. I'm feeling very much that way at the moment, so I thought I'd make a public list for myself of all the work and professional things I've done since taking up my role in mid January. Then maybe I'll feel less like I'm just not very good at anything. It's worth a try. Although for obvious reasons, I can't publicly say much about the baddest/hardest stuff, but...it's in there. Maybe it's not explicit about how hard it's been, but it's there.

So: what have I done?


Service management and development

Replaced someone who ran the library for 21 years, who retired 3 months before I started, and gave me no handover information.Got 6 weeks of company/training on the library from an assistant, who then retired, leaving me as the only person in the organisation who knew anything about how the library actually worked.Done the assistant librarian and librarian job simu…