Women… There Weren’t Any

This was a man’s election. Chalked out by men, talked up by men, executed by men.

Women tried to have a voice but they were ignored. Hugely, massively, ignored.

Even The Fawcett Society made no impact…..it tried, it wrote to The Times and so on, (although they didn’t reply to us, we are not “experts” or “academics” you see, even though we, owners of resourceful and intelligent female minds, [yes, “outsiders”] got to the essence of the thing in just a few weeks).

Still it’s pretty hard for anyone to disparage our book since we got it so right; all our prognostications have come true. We are not irrelevant after all.

Even in the aftermath of The Election the grand-standing is coming from male politicians and commentators, all men, the same men… the Andrews: (Marr, Neil and Rawnsley) just won’t give any ground. And the language is ratcheted up; from these designated political “officials” the hyperbole increases as less and less happens. Like football commentators they are finding it hard now to fill the gaps and are starting to repeat themselves. If women behaved like this they would be considered hysterical and someone would take them away.

Two cheers for Jeremy Paxman, we know he’s read our book as we caught him quoting from it and he tried very hard to introduce the question of missing women, the BBC even got in Alexandra Shulman to contribute, although she got the wrong end of the stick and said women weren’t an issue (but quite properly said the clothes worn by political wives were an irrelevancy). But then the programme moved speedily on.

Still there is relief for some. Joanne Cash can look forward to the birth of her baby without having to combine it with a maiden speech, Sarah Brown can take time out from her Blackberry and Samantha Cameron can put her feet up and eat honey-cake and stacks of cheese and tomato sandwiches like normal pregnant women.

This is the bottom line though: just 21% of MPs are women and this just ain’t good enough.

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