It's quite interesting that in 2014 we are still discussing the issue of equality. There are two big political issues centering on blatant sexism at the moment. We have the Lord Rennard issue for the Lib Dems, where Rennard has been accused (and apparently cleared) of behaving innappropriately with female staff within the Lib Dem organisation. We also have the issue of UKIP's Nigel Farage making disparaging comments about women in the workplace.
Given that women make up over 50% of the electorate, I find it truly bizarre that they are so often referred to in a way that implies they are a minority. Are political parties really unaware that women are the majority? I have to congratulate men on somehow managing to conceal this issue to such an extent that in a thousand years we've only had one woman Prime Minister. Given the rather bizarre we chose the actual head of State, we've faired a bit better with monarchs. Is it truly any coincidence that the Queens of England have usually done a better job than their male counterparts. Both Elizabeths have been very successful in the terms of their times. Our current Monarch has somehow managed to cement the role of a totally undemocratic head of state, who is subject to repressive religious discrimination, into our hearts. The first one ruled over some of our greatest military conquests. Then there was Victoria, who reigned over a huge expansion of British power and Empire. You could make the case that women have done a far better job than their male counterparts. Given the long list of men who have been Prime Ministers, it is perhaps odd that only Winston Churchill would displace Thatcher as the most popular for the Tory part of the nation. Labour have yet to dip their toe in that pond, which is shameful. As for the LibDems, they haven't even bothered to give any a serious job.
In Barnet, we have a female leader of the Labour Group, who has not exactly shone. The Tories had a female leader at the last election, who secured their best election result in recent times. Sadly she passed away soon after.
In business, few women make it to the top. The hackneyed old excuse is that they don't get quite so far because of time taken out to bring up children. I believe this to be a lame excuse. If this was true, once women had stopped breeding, the field should again be level, but it clearly isn''t. I suspect that it is because women network in different ways. You don't get anywhere near as much stitching up deals in golf clubs with women. If you believe that business decisions should be made in smokey back rooms amongst the boys, it is clear you will expect women to do badly. If however you are judging candidates on their ability to do a job, then surely "clubbability" should not matter. If you run a firm or a department and you are passing over the best candidate, you are letting yourself and your company down.
In Barnet, we have nurtured five excellent bloggers. Two of these are female and three male (for once I count myself in this list). We all have different skills and bring different things to the table. I do not believe that the Barnet blogging scene would have created anything like the impact without Vicki & Mrs A. I think Vicki's defection to Nottingham is a huge blow. When I started to blog, it was viewed as a "male" passtime. Vicki & Mrs A destroyed that myth. It is interesting just how often I speak to people who have only heard of Mrs Angrys blog out of the Barnet bloggers. Generally these readers (although not always) are women. It is quite clear that Mrs A connect with different people to the Barnet Eye, when I speak to readers of the Barnet blogs. I find that as with the Sun and the Guardian, people prefer one particular blog and one particular style. The point I am making is that in blogging, any success is built purely on hard work. No one forces people to read blogs, it is an entirely qualatitive decision to follow a blogger. As such it is clear to me that Mrs A can compete on an equal footing and has done exceptionally well. It is perhaps one sphere of life, where you are totally judged on your talents alone. When you take all the bullshit away, it shows that talent is what matters. Sadly in most spheres of life, talent is the least of your worries if you want to get on. Your sex, your parents, your school and your bank balance matter far more. Until we, as a country, choose to address that, we are simply wasting so much of our natural talent.