Tories propose all-women shortlists

politics feminism

So, I saw an article on ConservativeHome defending David Cameron’s proposal for all-women shortlists, and another opposing it, and the more I read the more I had to comment on it myself.

My first thought was “hey, didn’t Labour try that” followed quickly by “hey, wasn’t that deemed illegal when Labour tried it”; yes, and yes, but apparently it’s since been legalised. Still, I find it amusing that the Tories are doing something they no doubt criticised Labour for.

However, I can’t say I’m opposed at all — as I previously commented, I dislike this sort of “reverse discrimination”, but I dislike the inequality it’s meant to fix even more. (Unless you have a better solution to the inequality in Parliament, I suggest you shut up and stop whinging about “sexism” when your party is primarily made up of rich white men).

What really drove me to comment, however, were the replies:

In my experience 30% women is about right. Higher than that and it had better not be a critical enterprise.

Yes, really showing up the Conservative Party as a progressive, inclusive party there.

Doesn’t the fact that the members of Westminster North chose you as their candidate cut the ground from under your argument that Conservative Party members are too prejudiced to select women candidates?

Yes — there is at least one candidate who is not a woman, so that proves that the Tories aren’t sexist! On a similar note:

Did Mrs Thatcher need an all-women shortlist? Did Anne Widdecombe? Teresa May? Edwina Currie?

Four women have been Tory MPs! That’s practically sexist against men, that is.

As someone who is short and bald and 53,what will Dave do for us,perhaps a short bald and middle aged shortlist?

Yes, bald people are definitely discriminated against; look how few of them there are in Parliament, for a start…

Isn’t it racist and sexist to blame the problem with politics on white men? What about Jaquii [sic] Smith, Keith Vaz?

More of the same. “Some women/ethnic minorities aren’t perfect, so that proves that white men aren’t a problem!”. Yes.

…the once-Conservative party has been taken over by an unrepresentative clique of non-Conservatives who have about as much idea of what the ordinary Joe and Josephine think and want as does Stephen Fry.

Yes, multi-millionaire David Cameron and “you’re just jealous of my big house” Anthony Steen (among others) have a much better idea of what ordinary people want. Personally, I think that’s extremely unfair to Stephen Fry.

Seriously, I could go on all night. Instead, I’ll leave you with my favourite:

I know they used to call the Tories the ‘stupid party’…

Used to?