5 August 2009

Harriet Harman is a disgrace to both genders

I loathe Harriet Harman beyond all comprehension, and more than any other non-extremist politican from any side of the spectrum. And boy (ha, maybe that should be 'girl'), has she raised many an ire with her latest witless, sexist, prejudicial bit of anti-man bile.

The phone-in on 5 Live this morning was, despite the best efforts of Nicky Campbell to balance it out by pleading for pro-Hattie callers, almost entirely against her latest outrageous anti-men cobblers. This included some admirably frank women, none of whom sounded apron-clad or overrun with screaming children as they promoted good, talented men of the world and articulately dismissed the idea that women should be given certain jobs in politics or business just because they possess a uterus.

There is only one point to be had from all this guff about gender. Any job, in any walk of life, should be given to the person who is best qualified and best equipped to do it, and only for those reasons. Whether they are male or female should have nothing to do with it. Nothing. No. Thing.

I've never liked Harriet Harman. I think she's a humourless, inarticulate, sly overachiever. Now I think she's genuinely dangerous as well.


Jon Peake said...

I doubt anyone takes her seriously. I certainly don't. If a man had said that about women there would have been a march on Whitehall.

She's clearly losing it. Don't expect to see her in a position of responsibility for very much longer

Brian Rowland said...

I didn't hear the phone-in, nor do I have barrel-loads of time for Harriet Harman, but the fact remains that men and women still aren't equal in the workplace (women are still on two-thirds the salary of men in 2007). Perhaps once the two genders are on equal footing (2020 is the date I saw mooted, for heaven's sake), then we can talk about the small matter of jobs being awarded on merit. Much as I think it would be fantastic for such a thing to be in place, fact is we're not there yet.

And it's true that women are under-represented in politics. One prime minister EVER. One Foreign Secretary EVER (Margaret Beckett, for 14 months, two years ago). One Home Secretary EVER. That is not equality. I can't speak for the business world, I don't know enough about that.

Jo said...

Well Brian all I've known is local government and I can honestly say that its the post thats are graded and not whether its man or woman delivering the duty.

Gotta agree with you Matt on this one, even speaking as a female variety, it is definitely the white male that is in the minority in todays society. So much so that they are being descriminated against, even down to adverts on the tv. Equality should mean equality .. not stacking the odds! Not on, not fair and not called for!

Bright Ambassador said...

That's what you get for listening to Nicky Campbell. Let that serve as a lesson to you.

Kolley Kibber said...

By many accounts, Harriet still harbours quite lofty ambitions, which makes this inexplicable cloud of reductionist guff even harder to contextualise. I don't know anyone on the 'feminist spectrum' who agrees remotely with what she's said here. It just sounds like a pointless, petulant whine. Most women I know who have serious ambition want to make it on their own merit, and not as part of a quota or bit of tokenism. If Harriet was trying to drum up support from the Sisterhood here, she's failed spectacularly.

I certainly don't agree that the 'white male' is being discriminated against, however. From where I sit, they're still doing pretty fine. Let's not get carried away.

Suzy Norman said...

While I'm suspicious of quotas and naturally in favour of a meritocracy, I see no harm in bringing this debate into the public eye. Not least because as Brian Rowland points out, there's still a pay and representation discrepancy.
I fail to see how she is more 'dangerous' than the Machiavellian A.Campbell or the profligate A.Darling.

The Joined up Cook said...

Oh how lovely. Someone who thinks EXACTLY like me about that woman.

In my view she falls into that dangerous group of people who think they are much cleverer than they actually are.

As for the bias thing. I've been to a number of interviews for fairly junior posts recently. I only need to work p/time to top up my pension and to stay in contact with society.

Nearly all those who have interviewed me have been women about twenty years younger. I've felt that they'd looked at me and pigeon-holed me; 'Middle aged white male' and then dismissed me.

I've blogged about some feedback I got on one of these and it bordered on scandalous.

Bias comes from all sides and is down to a lack of imagination and empathy.

Harman has neither of those qualities.