Thursday, 11 October 2018

Theresa May isn't a victim of sexism, she's a perpetrator of it

Sometimes you see a celebrity express a political opinion and you're glad they've used their political platform to raise awareness of important issues (Gary Lineker's support for refugees comes to mind) but often you end up wondering what kind of ridiculous bubble of privilege they're inhabiting that they could have got things so hopelessly backwards (Morrisey's embrace of the extreme-right for example).

Paloma Faith's extraordinary effort to cast Theresa May as a victim of sexism (rather than a perpetrator of it) is one of these Morriseyesque interventions.

A crap comparison

Faith's argument is that the primary motive for people ridiculing Theresa May's dance moves was that she's a woman (rather than the fact that she's an incredibly powerful person demeaning herself as a publicity stunt).

Faith's ridiculous counterpoint to the criticism of Theresa May's dance moves was the absurd argument that "when Tony Blair came out as loving music and being in a rock band everyone said it was cool and great".

Let's just skim over the fact that not everyone thought Tony Blair's dalliance with pop culture was "cool and great" (I certainly didn't) to consider the fact that the real difference between the two things has nothing to do with gender and everything to do with image management competence.

Tony Blair's "Cool Brittania" schtick in the 1990s was every bit as much of a PR stunt as Theresa May's widely ridiculed "dancing queen" entrance to the Tory party conference, just Blair's schtick was executed relatively competently, while Theresa May's attempt to look cool and self-aware was utterly cringeworthy to behold (like a Youtuber who goes viral for doing something absolutely naff, so they keep doing it again and again in a pathetic quest for more attention).

A far more relevant comparison would be with Jeremy Corbyn who was bitterly attacked by The S*n for supposedly dancing at the Cenotaph based on crudely manipulated images of him having an animated conversation with a war veteran who had been photoshopped out of the pictures.

So at least Theresa May actually danced-craply before getting ridiculed for crap dancing, Jeremy Corbyn didn't even dance at all before he was vitriolically lambasted for his supposedly unacceptable dancing.

If there's a bias going on, it's actually the fact that Theresa May gets such an easy ride over her despicable policies and outright lies, simply because she's a Tory. 

Just try to imagine the mainstream media fury had Jeremy Corbyn used public cash to bribe the DUP bigots into propping up his government, deported British citizens to their deaths overseas, quoted a vile Twitter troll in parliament to score cheap political points, deliberately continued selling weapons to war criminals, or sided with all the neo-Nazi parties in the European Parliament in order to support the vile anti-Semitic Orbán government in Hungary.

And if other party leaders like Jeremy Corbyn or Vince Cable decided to crap dad-dance their way onto stage as some kind of ludicrous PR stunt to pretend they're charming entertainers rather than boring politicians, the public would certainly ridicule them for it too.

Theresa May is a misogynist

And then there's Theresa May's despicable track record in government to consider, especially the deliberately sexist policies she's imposed.

Since 2010 Theresa May has been a leading member of the Tory government that has ensured that 86% of the economic burden of Tory austerity dogma has been loaded onto the shoulders of poor and ordinary women.

Mainly-male financial sector gamblers caused the bankers' insolvency crisis, and Theresa May and the Tories have ensured that millions of ordinary women up and down the country were the ones to pay the cost of it.

Then there's Theresa May's own legislation to consider. When she was Home Secretary she introduced a harsh new income threshold for British people bringing non-EU spouses to the UK, but by imposing a single arbitrary figure Theresa May ensured that British men are twice as likely as British women to bring a foreign spouse to the UK.

The arbitrary income threshold also created a massive regional disparity with people in London and the South East far more likely to have sufficiently well-paid jobs to meet the threshold than people in poorer regions like the North East, South Wales, Northern Ireland, or the Highlands of Scotland (where high-pay jobs are harder to come by, but the costs of living are significantly lower).

Theresa May deliberately imposed a system that heavily discriminates against women (especially women in poorer regions of the UK) and in favour of wealthy men.

It's actually offensive to attempt to cast Theresa May as the poor innocent victim of sexism when she's actually a deliberate perpetrator of it.

Extreme identity politics

This effort to rebrand Theresa May as a poor innocent victim of sexism is indicative of the kind of extreme identity politics that has invaded British political discourse in recent decades.

Attempting to dress the perpetrator of numerous grotesquely sexist policies up as a victim of sexism simply because of her gender is a glaring example of not judging a woman by her actions, but just because she's a woman.

When people began ridiculing Theresa May's dance moves I wrote an article detailing loads of the horrific Tory policies that are far more worthy of criticism than her cringeworthy dancing, but when a public figure does something utterly absurd people are obviously going to criticise and ridicule them no matter what their gender.

Ignoring Theresa May's track record of imposing incredibly harmful sexist legislation in parliament to cast her as a poor innocent victim of sexism because of this public derision is actually sexist in itself because it's a demand that Theresa May be exempted from both ridicule of her ludicrous behaviour and criticism of her own sexist political track record, simply because she's a woman.

Why should Theresa May get a free pass on the sexist policies she's imposed on millions of British women?

And why on earth should a demonstrable misogynist get sympathy and displays of solidarity when members of the public ridicule her absurd, demeaning and cringeworthy behaviour, simply because she's a woman?

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