Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Let's Talk About...

... erections. Sorry, I meant elections. Elections. Is that clear? Let’s talk about elections. With a big, massive, capital “L”. E-lec-tions.

Although, come to think of it, given the amount of testosterone displayed in the last couple of weeks in the local and European elections here in the UK, we might as well leave that “r” hanging in there, a tumescent poisoning of the political landscape.

Our politicians might still carry the look of late 90s, early noughties  metrosexual man (I challenge you, reader, to tell Nick Clegg and David Cameron apart, the two of them standing together on a dark corner around midnight. C’mon, c’mon, you know you’ll fail). They might still try to present a clean-shaven, soft, almost effete face to us proles, but scratch the surface and it’s still the same rampant machismo underneath.

Let’s talk about the recent local and Euro(pria)pean elections. Especially, let’s talk about women’s absence from the political scene. The sole female voice heard above the din of brawny, male vocal power was that of Natalie Bennett’s, leader of the Green Party. She was given a ten-minute slot on Radio Four, of which half that time was taken up by the interviewer rudely interrupting Natalie to ask her a question she was already in the process of answering before being so rudely interrupted. Then, Farage was given twice as long. I bet he was probably holding a pint in his right hand and a ciggie in his left as he made sure that each soundbite came out the way his supporters wanted it. The dirty old sod! But that’s why his army of Ukipers love him (doesn’t the word “Ukiper” feel like “Belieber”, the term used to describe Justin Bieber’s contingent of screaming, deranged, cult-following devotees?). He is Nigel the Lad, one of the boys. Proper English bitter in hand.

Priapus: the face of British politics
Let’s talk about the vacuum in British politics of female power. Not girl power, no. I was never a fan of the Spice Girls and it always seemed to me a tad bit suspicious that girl power had to come wrapped up in a mini-skirt with the Union flag stamped all the way around it.  No, I’d rather talk about the absence of women from politics and the need to have them as part of our discussion on policies and laws. Especially with so many women bearing the brunt of the coalition’s cut-throat measures. With a general election a year away I am fed up of the shouting, screaming and hysterics our political debates are peppered with. And that’s just the (male) presenters on the Today programme. What we need is the calmer, reassuring tone that women bring to politics. You don’t even have to agree with their politics. I am not a supporter of the Green Party myself, although many of their policies are appealing enough for me to consider them as my second option. But what will certainly drive me round the bend from now until May 2015 will be to see yet again three (or four now, with the rise of Ukip) men trying to out-muscle each other verbally whilst the essence of their message, i.e., their policies, gets lost amidst a sea of semantic fisticuffs.

Mind you, this is mainly applicable to English and Welsh politics. In Scotland the Member of the Scottish Parliament and Deputy Leader of the Scottish National Party, Nicola Sturgeon is packing up a mighty punch with the upcoming vote on Scottish independence. Her radio interviews and television appearances have so far shown a calm, articulate and determined politician. Again, I am not a fan of her or the SNP (in fact, I don’t even know whether I would vote for them if I lived in Scotland), but she brings balance to a rather phallus-centric world.

Let’s talk about politics and let’s talk about the lack of balance between male and female power in this area. It is the only way we can ensure that we don’t mistake “elections” for “erections” ever again.

© 2014

Next Post: “Sunday Mornings: Coffee, Reflections and Music”, to be published on Sunday 1st June at 10am (GMT)

18 comments:

  1. It is also true here. Our current government has one(!) female minister and the Prime Minister (male) represents women's issues. Not.
    Hiss and spit.

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  2. is there much difference between erections and elections....? ha. i think we are not far from a female president here in the states.

    my biggest problem with elections is that they are not really the voice of the people. we are presented with candidates chosen by the parties, of which there are only two and they have written the law in such a way as a legit third party is nearly impossible (due in no small part to campaign finance)

    we spend (b)millions electing someone while people go hungry and our infrastructure fails...

    bah. its a crappy system.

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  3. 'a tumescent poisoning of the political landscape'

    I love your choice of words.

    I found that string of humour winding through this excellently worded post. Who better than you to sum up the latest political comic cuts? Well done, Cuban.

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  4. Well, I certainly agree. It is terrible here on the woman front. I disagree with Brian and think we probably are pretty far from a female president.

    Of course, itt is disturbing tofind that there are women one doesn't agree with! And the U.S. has gotten very big on "identity" politics, which is also unfortunate.

    At any rate, a cogent and funny article, thanks. k.

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  5. Way to get the reader's attention! You have a good point! I also like how Valerie phrased her comment. Too funny. Hopefully after the elections things will get better. Hate those years I tell you.

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  6. They are the same old song and dance, nothing ever changes but the face of the person and things sink deeper and deeper, not sure if more women would help or not.

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  7. Looks like Hillary Clinton is planning on running soon in the States. I am eager to see what a female president will bring to the table. All I can say is it can't possibly hurt!

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  8. I am a great believer in the need to have more women in political power but look what we got when we had Margaret Thatcher

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  9. ah - as you know we have a woman reigning our country - and i would vote for her again and again - she's doing an excellent job - i wish there were more women in politics around the world

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  10. Ojalá y en España tuviéramos ese "problema"
    Aquí estamos gobernados por un montón de corruptos y no hay mucha diferencia entre sexos. Hay ladrones en los dos sexos.

    Muy bueno tu post.

    Saludos

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  11. Oh yes, yes, yes (not in a Meg Ryan way, but in a hear-hear way).

    All that macho-posturing, with a passing side-swipe to 'women's issues' (eg nursery provision) and then more squaring up to talk about men-stuff (the economy, cultural diversity) and then they almost seem surprised that women might be interested in that, too.

    But what woman wants to join the bear-pit? Macho-man shouts her down when she tries to have her say, and few women want to join a slanging match. So who are we left with - Yvette Cooper (who, most of the time, is clear and unshouty) or Teresa May (who was so manly she took on the police!)

    It depresses me - we've been fighting this corner for so long. But please - as a man - keep saying it. The evidence suggests that the system is too busy patting women on the head to listen to anything we have to say.

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  12. Well-said! More women would likely bring a better balance to world politics, but it's no wonder so few are even willing to run. Too much mud-slinging, innuendos, and downright lies. Common decency and honesty are in short supply, and what's worse is most people keep voting the same lying, mud-slinging scoundrels back into office... especially if Big Money is behind them.

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  13. Not being the least bit familiar with the current state of politics or politicians in the British Isles, there is no specific remark for me to make in that regard.

    In terms of the U.S. and women in politics vs. men in politics here, I see little difference. Other than being more attune to women's issues, women politicians here seem to behave in a more masculine manner than with a feminine style. They shout and posture and threaten and bully as well as or, perhaps, better than any man holding a similar office.

    Personally, I wish gender and racial and special interest politics of all types would disappear. I think elected officials should consider the good of the whole rather than favor unique groups, but most people still live with a tribal mindset and prefer favoritism for themselves and their kind.

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  14. Thanks for your thoughtful comments.

    On Hillary and her bid to the presidency (if/when she makes that decision), Americans might find themselves in a unique position. Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama (the odd one out), Hillary? I don't know how I would feel about it, to be honest. Hillary did well as Foreign Secretary under Obama, in my humble opinion, but will she be Clinton 2.0 or will she reveal her true colours? Whatever those colours might be.

    Jo, I agree with you. If it'd been down to me I would have Harriet Harman as leader of the Labour party and Yvette as shadow chancellor (hubby is too shouty for my liking). Now, that's a one-and-two combination to reckon with. As for Theresa, sorry, Maggie 2.0 version. And since I wasn't around when the Iron lady was in power, I can't really comment on her performance.

    Greetings from London.

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  15. I agree that perhaps a female president would be a good thing here, but not Hillary Clinton. We already got enough re-treads running the country into the ground and one party domination running the various states into the ground, the last thing we need is someone who is more concerned about protecting herself than doing what is write.

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  16. Ha...yes...I couldn't agree more.
    What we desperately need are more female voices in politics.
    They say we live in a society of equality...but I haven't found that yet!
    Bravo CiL!!!

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  17. Ha...yes...I couldn't agree more.
    What we desperately need are more female voices in politics.
    They say we live in a society of equality...but I haven't found that yet!
    Bravo CiL!!!

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  18. Well,welcome to the political club of female inequality. It's still a glaring issue in the U.S. as well.Judging from the high numbers of women in college in the U.S. and decreasing numbers of men, I think this imbalance will be changing soon. Please check your email,the blog hop starts Monday for me, but not until June 16 if you join.

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