“The idea that May’s appointment will now signify that politics is open for all women is superficial and flawed.”
⇨ Guest post by Osha Al-Mossallami (@thefword:) on
The UK recently found itself with its second female Prime Minister. Since then, some have heralded this to be a feminist-coup-d’état of some sort. Perhaps, if you are an austerity-loving-white-feminist – but for everyone else, we’re waiting on Malala’s FaceTime to confirm this is one big failed ploy.
Before going any further – and mainly to stop the ‘Why are you feminists never happy with anything?’ comments – let us get one thing straight: Is it a success to see a woman in this position of power?
Well, yes and no. Yes, if what constitutes your definition of a “feminist success” is merely symbolic. Yes, if you want to celebrate this woman for her gender and not her politics (ironic). And yes, if you want evidence that a woman can inflict the same gendered and racist policies that disproportionately hit women, minorities, and the less advantaged in society as her male predecessors. (Yeah, I lied, it’s mainly no).
Since May has become Prime Minister, I have become concerned with how desperate we must be to celebrate women if we are to herald this as a success. True, in May’s first statement in the role, she appears to be more socially conscious but her track record as Home Secretary makes me sceptical. Let’s not forget that this is the same woman who fed into the UK’s anti-migrant sentiment by literally getting vans to drive around telling immigrants to “go home”. The same woman who wanted the UK to leave the European convention on Human Rights, which not only protects victims of domestic violence, but also protects individuals from abuses of state power. The same woman who is refusing to reveal the extent to which refugee women have been sexually abused by the staff at the inhuman women’s detention centre in Yarl’s Wood. And the same woman I am now to celebrate as a triumph for feminism? No thank you.
© and read on: : Theresa May is not my feminism - the f-word