Hooray for Harriet!

What a week – not just for me (as I got married on Monday) but also for British feminism.

As I have been on honeymoon since Tuesday, I have had the luxury of wafting around reading the newspapers everyday.

And what I've read is a lot of comment about Harriet Harman, her so-called feminist agenda and what the Mail, the Spectator and the Telegraph have made of it.

In short, Harriet Harman was put in charge and took the opportunity of a smidgen of power to talk about women’s rights, inequality in the boardroom, the horrendous rape conviction rates and other items that our roundly ignored most of the time, by most of the people.

Aghast at this, Rod Liddle at the Spectator decided that the best basis on which to judge the elected deputy leader of the Labour party on whether he would want to have sex with them. I mean, this is meant to political comment!! Don't anybody dare tell me that misogyny in British politics is not mainstream after this!

The pillock from the mail went on about Harriet and her ‘controversial’ proposal to teach kids about healthy family relationships (given how many women are subject to domestic violence during their lifetime, it would seem that many of them might need it).

If I had the patience to wait for my 3g card to load up Lib Dem Blogs I may well have noticed the outrage of all our Lib Dem Bloggers and Rod Liddle’s out and out misogyny, with his little acolyte at the Mail worrying about the introduction of a ‘controversial’ feminist agenda. As it was, before I left the world of wireless broadband connection (aka our hotel at Loch Lomond) I only really saw Rob on a comfortable place, Peter Black and I think Caron calling him and the Mail out for unacceptable sexism.

I have myself been wittering on about a lot of these things, on my blog, for nearly three years now. I haven’t had many misogynists coming onto my site – mainly it’s been the defining silence of my fellow bloggers and only recently do I feel that I am not a (consistently) lone feminist Liberal Democrat Blogger. So, it’s very nice this week, to discover that in the Times, Guardian, Observer and the Indy at least there may not be approval for everything that Harriet Harman is saying but there’s is definitely approval that there should be a strong feminist voice in our country and that is good for all of us: men, women and children.

So I say, Hooray for Harriet, for winding up the misogynists and getting a bit of sensible comment about feminism and women’s equality going! And I say well done the Times, Guardian, Indy, Observer, Caron, Rob and Peter for saying that it's not good enough.

Finally, time has been called on the casual misogyny that so many employ when talking about her and other female politicians, including many, many Lib Dem bloggers – that label and oh so funny (not) play on her name of Har-person! Many have voiced disgust and irritation at it’s use and I’ve never felt that party politics excused misogyny but I leave the best deconstruction of it to, Anton Vowl, at The Enemies of Reason blog.

Anyone who says 'Harperson' should die. Look, it might have provoked a mediocre snicker the first time. Oh yes, Harperson, hoho. Not really that funny, but yes I see what you're saying. That sort of thing. But if you're still using 'Harperson' then you should just be killed. There's no use in trying to keep you alive, because there is no point, because your life means nothing. Now I'm no defender of the woman herself - God alone knows the awfulness that New Labour have brought upon this country, and she's one of the leading players - but calling someone 'Harperson' isn't funny, clever or even approaching amusing. It's just pointless, lazy, boring shite, and you need to die. There is nothing good about it. Even if you think you're using it in a way that says "Oh well if it annoys the lefties then it's worth doing" you should still be killed, because it doesn't; because it just makes you, and every argument you have, look stupid.

OK, maybe, I wouldn't go so far to suggest anyone should die, but apart from that, I feel the same way.


Caron said...
9 Aug 2009, 22:49:00

First of all, congratulations on your wedding! Hope you are enjoying Scotland!

I had a good go at the Mail the other day, but I hadn't read the odious Liddle's Spectator article. I'd like to say I had expected better of him, but I can't.

Did you get the chance to listen to Harriet's Woman's Hour interview on Thursday, I think, when she spoke at length about the various frustrations she'd had during her career raising these issues? I think probably any woman in progressive politics would recognise some of the things she described - how she'd raise an issue and her male colleagues would tell her she was wrong, then when she raised it again, they'd chide her for going on about it.

And then you have the TUC thinking they're striking a blow for feminism by condeming women to TUC regulation footwear. I kind of wanted to scream at them "Do something for low paid women who are losing out to single status, you numpties."

Anonymous said...
16 Aug 2009, 09:57:00

Something you should read ...

Harriet Harman's Lies About Rape Exposed Today



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