Voting for minorities

Thinking about women rulers, it is interesting to see how progressive South-Asia has been in this regard. Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have all had female leaders. In fact, the latter two have had more than one, as has India if you were to count Sonia Ghandi.
Critics of Asian culture in general, and Islam in particular, do like to remind us of the essential backwardness of the regions and religion, with a general misogyny being the primary exhibit. To those Muslims who voted for Benazir Bhutto, say, this might seem a spectacularly unfair accusation… especially when the USA (moralizer-in-chief) is turning itself inside-out over the question of whether the country is ‘ready’ for a woman (or a black man) to lead.
Perhaps an alternative measure of democratic maturity is not the length of time a country has sustained democracy, but the point at which the populous begins to elect leaders whose sex, race, and religious combination differs from that of the traditional ruling elite.


As an immeditae footnote to all this, I note that the while the first Black and Asian-heritage MPs were members of the Labour Party, the first woman MP, Nancy Astor, was a Tory.
It is also interesting that many of these paradigm-changing women ‘inherited’ their political seat from male family members. Nancy Astor stood in a by-election in 1919 after the incumbent, her husband, inherited a seat in the House of Lords. Isabel Martínez de Perón became president after her husband’s death, as did Khaleda Zia, Prime Minister of Bangladesh. Her predecessor Sheikh Hasina was the daughter of a President, as was Benazir Bhutto.
And then, of course, there’s Hillary.

8 Replies to “Voting for minorities”

  1. It’s been so long, oh lord, since we had the vote – and look who rules us still – and how harsh the male environment is at Westminster for any woman not made of steel who, like Thatcher, basically scorns her own sex.
    And while we fiddle with minority representation and lower pay scales and mysogyny in the worksplace, and the lack of a word that means hatred of men only in common currency – here come the primitive religions again, to murder us for not protecting men from their own violence by effacing ourselves.

  2. Same quailifications, same ability, same experience, same pay demands = same pay. Research shows that all other things being equal women apply for lower paid jobs than men- not the same as being paid less than men
    Mysogny in workplace – Workplace shemes give women an advantage – less is expected of you than the majority
    Word that means hatred of men only – “Misandrist”
    Male violence is used to secure and protect resources for women and their children
    Getting so tired of the anti male cultrure that is slowly destroying this country……………………

  3. Wow, Matt, I can’t speak for anyone else that reads this blog but personally I am shocked by your lack of acknowledgement of the very real issues that face women every day. You are such a misogynist (learn to spell it correctly, please) it is truly jaw-dropping. Anti-male “cultrure” is not destroying this country, quite the contrary. You are so buried in your own male privilege, you have no idea what goes on.
    I don’t feel like giving Feminism 101 to such an unwilling student, but please do yourself a favour and do some research (start with the basics, google it), or at the very least back up your “facts”.
    For example, I cited my source for the stats on male violence. Can you prove that women apply for lower paid jobs than men? You make a lot of sweeping statements with zero backup.
    (oh and P.S., I don’t hate men – quite the opposite. I dearly love my father, my brothers, my partner, and my male friends. They are reasonable men, not judgmental jerks.)

  4. Oh, and PS:
    well said, MK. I wouldn’t say I’m shocked, just saddened really.
    I also think it’s sweet that he thinks males constitute a majority. Presumably he knows the odds of being either male or female are approximately 50/50. Skewed mindset, you see.

  5. To answer your points in order
    1) I am not a woman so why should I be concerned with the “very real issues” they face every day ? Are you concerned about the very real issues that men face every day ?
    2) I am a junior civil servant so hardly “buried in male privelidge” (even if there is such a thing). Contrary to popular feminist opinion the lived experience of most men (outside the elite) does not lead them to conclude they are privelidged or powerfull. Yes I have read the research (I have a BSc in Psychology) it was conducted by a woman, and no I can’t cite a reference at the moment.
    3) A number of years ago, as an experiment, an executive job was advertised in a national newspaper with a salary of circa 60k. Only males applied. Two weeks later exactly the same job was advertised in the same paper with a salary of circa 35k. Male and female applicants applied. This fairly conclusively shows that women apply for lower paid jobs IMHO.
    4) Irrespective of natures balancing act, given that 25% of working age women are out of the workforce at any one time, in many workplaces men must be the majority. Even where they are not, women will claim minority (in the political sense) status. You can’t have it both ways.
    5) Being critical of women does not mean you hate them any more than being critical of men makes you a man hater. It’s just that under the PC jackboot you’re not allowed to question the prevailing orthodoxy that men are overprivelidged bastards ruthleslessly exploiting women at every opportunity, nor are you allowed to claim that women are anything other than infallible, cute, fluffy bunnies. And yes I have a girlfriend and a mother.

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