Good News on Primogeniture, But Sexism Still Persists

Good news from the Commonwealth Heads of Government conference in Perth – the Royal succession rules will be changed to end the male primogeniture rule.
Not before time. I’ve argued previously, on several occasions, that the existing law enshrined sexism at the heart of our constitution. In my opinion, this has been settled consensus since women were given the right to vote in the 1920s.
Sadly, in many other countries and cultures, the “we wish you were not a girl” sentiment still persists. The Japanese system does not allow women to ascend to the throne at all and elective abortions of female foetuses have skewed the gender balance in India.

4 Replies to “Good News on Primogeniture, But Sexism Still Persists”

  1. Yes. And more women are killed by male violence (not counting wars) than by cancer and car crashes put together. To me, the problem is encapsulated in the very notion of women ‘being allowed’ or disallowed to drive/vote/have abortions/inherit or whatever. Who is the invisible agent doing the allowing? Someone that isn’t women clearly thinks they are entitled to dictate what women should and shouldn’t do. And therein lies the problem.
    So this change is all very nice and everything, but does it really challenge the notion that women’s rights and freedoms are actually men’s to give or take away? I’m sure that Princess Anne would take a view…

  2. Enjoyed this and Clairice’s comment. Its amazing that it has taken so long to change the law. Presumably the agent “Allowing” in this case is parliament which is now made up of men and women. I think it must all go back to Adam and Eve and just as some authority in families is given to the eldest child, Adam (man ) is given authority over Eve as he was here first. I agree with the authority of the eldest child (naturally) but of course not with the authority of men!

    1. “[Adam] was here first”? This is a classic case of internalising the propaganda of the church. Biological common sense tells us than neither man nor woman was here ‘first’… You need gametes from both sexes to make human beings. But if anything, it was woman who came ‘first’ – haven’t biologists traced our genetic lineage back to a group of (I think) nine African women?

  3. I think I would like to refute your accusation of “internalising the propaganda of the church”. But I agree that church teachings and perhaps the teaching of other religions have culturally meant that men have been seen as having authority. I don’t defend this but seek to explain it. I wonder if there is something in the human psyche that tends to lean towards hierachies so the idea that men and women are equal is resisted?

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