So we now have a female Prime Minister who was had failed to get the majority that was ‘her due’. In accordance with events over the last year I’m wondering if I should consider knitting myself a ‘pussyhat‘ and banding with a disparate group of others to hear various female celebrities rage against the sexism clearly on display, in obscene and, quite bizarre frankly, random poetry.
I watched throughout the night as the miscaulation of Theresa May was revealed from the first exit poll to the final declaration that this would be a hung parliament. The BBC presenters I watched, male and female, seemed aglow with the political upheaval; their faces and mannerisms all so very different than this time last year.
I note that Laura Kuenssberg was particularly vitriolic against May, being continually critical and seemed to crow in her downfall. A sign of unconscious misogyny perhaps?
But let’s stop the tired jest of pointing out the hypocrisy of the Left. She doesn’t like the Conservative party, obviously, but May was arrogant and ran an incredibly bad campaign. She lost because, inevitably, she didn’t deliver what she had asserted that she could; strong and stable leadership. With u-turns and questions about her competency as Home Secretary she failed to convince she was a safe pair of hands. Also, with the constant theme of her inevitable win, people felt free to vote for the ‘free stuff’. I’m a conservative and, as such, I believe in a meritocracy. Although I don’t believe that Corbyn merited the keys to number ten (which despite his relative success, he hasn’t won) in this instance she clearly fell short too.
So, I’ve put my knitting needles away and decided to focus on the future. What is it most of all that I want from this hung parliament?
Brexit is an underlying theme has echoed throughout this vote, a hang over from last year’s referendum and its divisive result. If this had been focused on throughout perhaps today May would have had her desired majority. However in the election campaigns early stages other things were chosen to be focused on and in the latter the focus was imposed by other things. Terrorism, haunting our footsteps like the spectre at the party, reared its gruesome head in recent weeks; three attacks in three months.
It is on a similar issue where my focus is now. You see, as I stated in my last post, I really do believe that there should be no barriers to a woman’s advancement, and government should work towards this. In this I am similar to traditional liberals. However, as stated, it should not intervene to the point of creating an artificial system of female advancement, or any other minority group for the matter; in this I am different to modern ‘progressives’.
Tied up in modern progressive politics is the belief that all societies are equal, that these diverse societies should be encouraged to exist alongside each other intact and that there should be no borders between nation states; in fact the idea that nation states should be abolished as some form of evil in themselves seems to have become a progressive dogma. However, as I’ve spoken about previously, the assumption that these societies themselves desire these same outcomes is an enormous and dangerous one to make. I’m obviously talking about Islam as a creed here as it is not compatible with these progressive dogmas, in spite of my previous assertion that the way one interacts between ones religion and the actual belief system it represents is entirely individual. Therefore no matter how convinced and sincere those that hold the dogmas of equality and diversity may be, the rejection of these same dogmas by those they view with such benevolence will still be maintained when their is a deep cultural and, or personal adherence to the actual tenants of the religion.
Before anyone accuses me here of racism let make rebutt that as an argument. Islam is a creed, a belief system. There are others who share the same nationality as Muslims, they share the same skin colour yet the belief system that their family and community ethics is molded by is quite different. Sikhism, for example, actually was developed out of the feuding between Islam, in its quest for dominance through jihad, and Hinduism and in its adherents attempt to maintain the right to their belief system. Therefore many proponents of Sikhism may share the same nationality, ancestry and skin colour, but their attitude towards when fighting in a war is just can differ enormously (Sikhs, when in accordance with their religion fight to protect themselves and others from religious persecution, but not to proselytise).
Sikhism also has within its creed an attitude towards women that is incompatible with Weterm beliefs in regards to the equality of women, whereas Islam does not. It’s this particular area that has started to form the main area of my concerns in terms of this government’s agenda.
Brexit has, for many, been based for many on the lack of sovereignty and for others on the commitment to the free movement of people leading to uncontrolled immigration. In terms of European immigration, although I think that there could be safeguards that should be introduced that would ensure a smoother process and more integration, it is not an issue that I personally have an issue with.
However Angela Merkle’s unilateral decision in response to the crises of immigration has deepened fracture lines that were already present due to the commitment to equality and diversity with regards multiculturalism.
We develop our social mores from the largely distilled intellectual arguments of the day and their interaction with out pre-existing moral code. Inevitably this will at times be more fraught when the status quo is challenged radically and particularly when there is a top down approach to the morality and social values within our society. A slow development of these social mores is more successful, so that ultimately a vast majority feel as if their consciences and liberty aren’t infringed upon. In essence, they have been given the opportunity to internalise these beliefs or to develop systems which allow the, to steerage themselves from their everyday reality within reason.
However, as discussed, multiculturalism and its belief that all belief systems are equal have been applied in an ethnocentric manner and those of different cultural backgrounds have not had the same pressures of normative integration applied to them. My last post, the response to the allegations in Rotheram and the Trojan school scandal are examples of this.
The equality of women within our society has been hard won and men have engaged with women to enable this equality to develop. Despite the suffragettes violence it was not this that won female suffrage, but the respect that women won having helped on the home front in the First World War. Elite men’s attitudes towards both women and the common man had to be re-evaluated. Equal pay for women, sexual discrimination laws and a host of others were passed whilst there was a minority of female presence within the houses or parliament – men acquiesced them.
Within our society the existence of domestic violence has been challenged by the majority of men. A code of conduct of male physicality towards women has developed that has lead to social mores that not only frowns on the use of violence towards women, but that has historically meant the sacrifice of men’s lives for the protection of women’s. The Birkenhead Drill of women and children first being a classic example of this.
I have worked within our society in a role that required my bravery and willingness to engage in physical activity previously reserved for men. As a police officer I have broken up fights, taken knives from people, attended large public order events including riots to name but a few. I’ve often felt fear, but tried my best in a job that in the UK doesn’t allow the addition of a lethal weapon.
Prior to my joining the force I was convinced that intense training could increase my muscle mass so that I could be on a par somewhat to ‘the boys’. I couldn’t. My physicality is different. That doesn’t mean to say that I don’t think women have a place in the forces, but this should be acknowledged. We are equal, but different.
This difference in physicality is protected on the main within our society as, despite the shrill voices of the feminist fringe, men on the whole have our social norms instilled into them by our society, a society which they have helped to develop. I have been on football terraces when a Manchester City fan, considerably taller and well built than me, threw a punch. He seemed suddenly shocked at his realisation that he was about to ‘hit a girl’ and stopped, his fist inches from my face. His aggression left me in no doubt that had I been a man he would have continued and my face, not built structurally in the same way as a man’s, would have had been seriously fractured.
I can go into further examples here and I acknowledge that men hit women; but the latter are vilified for their actions by other men, not cheered on.
Following the New Year’s Eve of 2016 (was it only that short while ago?) as the reports of the incidents in Cologne began to emerge, as well as those from other major cities throughout Europe, my eyes came across an image used to illustrate the story in one of the major news outlets. Two female police officers, evidently not English as they carried side arms, walked with their back to the camera in a sturdy and resolute fashion. I suddenly had a profound thought; my daughters will enjoy less freedoms than I did.
This is the paradox, or one of the paradoxes of the great, progressive dream.
You see, unlike many women who espouse feminism I have stood in a front line. I’ve been in riots. I know how understaffed you often are. As they sit in comfort scornfully looking at police officers using their battons to hold of violent animal rights protestors and denounced the use of the truncheons alone as an innapropriate use of force, I’ve looked at the mass of bodies in opposition to them. It’s simple physics, the force they face outweighs them. They need the force to maintain whatever area and people they need to protect.
In riots my experience has been the same. Greatly outnumbered, as myself and colleagues have stood protecting over turned cars from being set alight by rabid crowds, I’ve looked at the few feet of distance between myself and my colleagues and known that, should the violence erupt, the distance would be too great for them to get to me in probability. I would be on the floor, my weaker body being smashed in the euphoria of violence and they would not reach me. I’ve thought this calmly, matter of of factory in just such a situation.
So it was easy to put myself in the shoes of female polices officers alone on duty that night, knowing that the authority our society had given them would be a red rag to a bull, like these women in authority (here), and that they too would be violated. I know too that any superior officers would start to conclude the same thing and female patrols will be reduced and redirected onto other duties for fear of future laws suits.
Inevitably it will not just be nights that are flash points that will result in this withdrawal of female presence, it’s will be in every day duties. After all, are these incidents hasn’t the advise always been to Western women to separate ourselves, dress ourselves differently. Advice that, when given to late night female revellers, has been met with horror and revulsion is applied with discrimination in the diverse society.
So this is one of my concerns. When free movement of people is on the table is negotiated how will those of other cultures outside of the EU, with no comprehension of or desire to integrate, be dealt with.
It is the sister concern of terrorism, but it’s a terrorism of a different kind. It’s necessary to not just protect my daughters, but other young women of different skin colours, the same creed, different and none. How will our cherished equality, wrestled from but respected by Western men be maintained.
At the moment I don’t have confidence that it will be. My only hope is that it looks like the Tories will be in partnership with the DUP who have lived recently throu many years of terror and whose proponents have enforced sectarian mores.