Tag Archives: Politics

Woman to Woman: Labour Uses Giant Vagina to Win Votes

There are a lot of women taking to social media and blogs lately to discuss their increasing concern regarding female representation within British politics. A lot of us are metaphorically scratching our heads and wondering which party to align ourselves with in order to feel properly represented and others, myself included, feel so overwhelmingly disenchanted by the overt lack of female representation within politics that we are considering abstaining from voting altogether. According to those in the know, roughly nine million women refrained from voting during the last general election, the majority of those being of the younger population. It bodes the question, why does politics insist on not representing half of the population? Apparently, Labour have the answer and it looks like it comes in the form of a giant vagina on wheels.

Perhaps this isn’t the most important thing to take issue with, and I may be the only person who feels this way, but I feel that the bus is hugely patronising and, if I’m honest, quite offensive. Whilst I imagine that the thought process behind the bus was well intentioned, I feel that it creates far more issues towards women like me who were disenfranchised with British politics to begin with. A giant pink bus, I feel, only further alienates me from the voting process and a lot of it does, admittedly, have to do with the colour. Harman has openly argued that the colour is the most appropriate representation of their aims with regards to recruiting female voters, but I can’t help thinking that it is entirely counterproductive and creates a more specific and gaping gender gap than the one that already exists. To me, it feels that Labour are insinuating that female voters are different from regular voters.

In essence, Labour have single-handedly landed themselves a specific ‘niche’ target in the form of half of the population by highlighting concepts within their political aim that seemingly only affect women. Harman stated to the Telepgraph that: “I don’t think it’s at all patronising to recognise that women have got different patterns of their working lives, there’s different patterns in families between what women do and what men do. That is to recognise the reality and to say public policy needs to address that.” Which, if anything, just goes to prove how out of touch with reality that Harman and Labour truly are: To suggest that child care, equal pay and domestic violence are female specific issues is only further highlighting the massive misrepresentation of women within our country. This Labour voting tactic that is supposed to appeal to women on a higher level than their adversaries, only further seems to represent the over-arching patriarchal ideologies within our political voting system that disenchanted over nine million voters during the last general election; these issues are not gender specific issues that need to be addressed by women – these are overwhelming issues that have been apparent within our country for decades without being acknowledged by men within government bodies and personally, I find that it is these men that need targeting and not this ‘niche’ (and by niche, I mean that tiny proportion of women that represent half of the country. If you can’t detect my sarcasm, then read it again).

As far as political tactics go, I find this one to be the most offensive. An attempt to reengage female voters is a fantastic idea, but the truth is, reengagement of a disenfranchised body of women that represents over nine million people (perhaps increasing, I’m not sure) by driving around in a vagina bus is only highlighting that the government, whether they be elected or not, have no idea how to appropriately represent women, because they keep seeing us as women specifically. We are voters and the issues that are at the forefront of the woman to woman vagina bus campaign are incredibly important, but we’re not the people Labour need to be targeting. We know that equal pay is a horrendous issue within our country and we know that we are at a financial disadvantage when we perform the same job as men; it’s men and business owners and people like David Cameron whose blatant refusal to acknowledge this wage gap is the issue. The sheer cost of child care isn’t something that only affects mummy, it’s a cost that effects the whole family, meaning daddy needs to acknowledge and support child care reforms too. Domestic violence is an issue that affects both men and women, not only as victims, but as perpetrators too – in short, these are not female specific issues that that is where Harman and her merry band of idiots has gone wrong.

Instead of a vagina bus that highlights gender stereotypes (because all women resonate with and respond positively to a fluffy pink, girly bus!), surely in order to reengage female voters, specifically young female voters, is to highlight the inaccuracies, hypocrisies and blatant lack of gender equality within political systems. Passing things off as ‘female issues’ is only further representative of women not being taken seriously within politics. It highlights the gaping chasm that is gender equality within our country and only further emphasises that issues such as equal pay, child care and domestic violence aren’t taken seriously at all by governing bodies. I get the theory behind Labour’s vagina bus, I really do, but I feel that the only real goal it has achieved today is to further slam another nail in the Labour coffin: They are not only out of touch with their traditions and roots, they are out of touch with half of their voting population too and the main lesson I’ve learned today is that a vote for labour is a vote for the demise of common sense.

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Can’t Vote, Won’t Vote:

I am more than happy to admit that I am not the most politically minded individual. Politics both bores and infuriates me in equal measures, as it’s something that I am excluded from, before I’ve even began to consider a party I might be interested in aligning myself with. As a result, I am one of those rare breeds in society who is mocked and ridiculed by any type of voter as being the type of person who shouldn’t have an opinion on any political party, or the manner in which our country is run. But, surely someone who is as utterly despondent as I am regarding the UK government, both as it stands and because of the parties fighting for the coveted role of leader of the political playground (Oops, I mean Prime Minister), surely I am exactly the type of person both necessary to politics and who deserves the right to complain?

The reason I feel that voters don’t think I should have an opinion regarding politics or any form of political discourse is because, as a result of being so positively dejected by every political offering we have and from receiving positively vitriolic diatribe when admitting this in the past, I am often reluctant to admit that I have never once voted. I don’t even think that I am registered to vote. I do understand that this might make any attempt at political discussion entirely redundant, but fear not, ye of voting mind set – I am writing this blog purely to highlight why I don’t vote, not to encourage others to do the same, or not to try and tell you that your political stances are all wrong (although, let’s face it, if you vote Ukip, they probably are).

Of course, as a woman, I feel a particular, poignant and overwhelming shame at myself for aligning myself with the concept of not voting. As a woman who calls herself a feminist and who supports women’s rights and who practically obsessed with Emily Pankhurst at school, writing essay after essay championing women and their suffrage (I received A*’s all-round for every single one, so ignited was my burning passion for the right to vote!), I sometimes recoil in horror at the fact I’ve never voted and my feminist heart genuinely bleeds over the fact that I am not what my fore-sisters were starving themselves and accidentally flinging themselves in front of horses for. But, I don’t think that’s my fault and I like to think that if I had a chat with Ms Pankhurst, she’d support my decision not to vote – whilst I definitely have the right to, I guess that also means I reserve the right not to, especially if I feel that it is detrimental to my country… right?

I am not the only person who is feeling politically cast adrift and there are many people in my life who either don’t vote, or stick with the same voting pattern as a result of tradition or an inability to choose. A term often used, which sums up my political stance (or lack thereof) is: He’s the best of a bad bunch. And to me, that is the epitome of UK politics; the guttural, agonising cries of democracy as it wilts away into the past, leaving in its wake the questionable politics of someone who bends and twists democracy to fit their own personal needs – the best of a bad bunch. Yet, to me, in the upcoming elections of 2015, there doesn’t seem to be the best out of a bad bunch, because to me, everyone is terrible.

Every time I switch the news on, I am inundated with the same things happening. If David Cameron has done something particularly idiotic one day, then we will see a smug looking Ed Milliband explaining why Labour would be a better choice through personal and pointless attacks at how seemingly hopeless the current UK government are, then we’ll see Nigel Farage wobbling his head and doing exactly the same thing, throwing in some rhetoric regarding how he wants to make Britain, Britain again, whatever that means. Then, occasionally we’ll see Nick Clegg attempt to join in the Cameron bashing, until he realises that his credibility is a moot point and that as a result, his political party of choice will never see the warm innards of 10 Downing Street again. And this is entirely interchangeable, depending on which leader of which party has done something that the others can attack – it’s playground name calling and childish taunting at it’s very best and it astounds me every time I see these people on the news, making juvenile comments about their opponents, that this is the state of UK politics; it’s nothing more than a terrible reality show like The X Factor, except the winner gets to ruin our country for a further five years. It’s worrisome.

I think the only thing that unites all political voters (or non-voters in my case), is perhaps the fact that our country is in dire straits and the only, overwhelmingly obvious reason we feel that our country is as broken as it seems to be, is the fact that we have David Cameron and his merry band of wankers at the helm of it all (the concept of a coalition government, conveniently forgotten, it seems). If the hashtag #CameronMustGo is anything to go by, I am not the only person who agrees that the country is flailing on the world’s stage as a result of his shockingly bad method of management. If you didn’t already know, the hashtag is Twitter’s longest standing hashtag, with millions of comments and links to photos and articles outlining Cameron’s failings as Prime Minister, as well as a particularly resounding death toll for the tolerance of the Conservative Party as a whole. These are concepts I am entirely in agreement with and feel that, as a result of being the type of person who was charged bedroom tax when she didn’t have a job and having to choose between eating or putting on heating for two weeks (which I could then only use at night, because it was too expensive to run constantly) in the winter months (of course, only having the living room, bedroom and bathroom heaters on, because I couldn’t afford to heat the whole house) and having to sign on every two weeks, even though I didn’t receive any proper benefits as a result of my freelancing, only to be told that my efforts weren’t good enough; I didn’t use the booklet to fill out my job search because I always filled it within a couple of days, instead opting to use a giant PukkaPad, I was sanctioned. I didn’t use the government appointed jobsite that linked to Monster because I found it too contrived and not very user friendly and I was sanctioned. Meaning that for one month, I had the forty pounds I needed to eat with taken from me. I was lucky, because I could just jump ship and go from my freezing house to my parents’ house where I would live for free, eat for free and be as warm as I wanted for free until I could afford to go back home… but for thousands and thousands of people, they didn’t have that luxury and in some cases, suicide/death was, for them, the only luxury they felt they could afford… Yet, there are some people who tell me that Cameron is the best of a bad bunch. And it upsets me to think that they might be right. But, if Cameron is the best out of a bad bunch… How bad are the others? Who else could we really see running the country in a manner that doesn’t result in either all out civil war or seeing yet more people starving themselves to death as they stand in a queue for a food bank?

To me, at this point, there seems to be only two further parties with a potential at glimpsing the ultimate goal of wrapping their hands around the doorknob at 10 Downing Street and feeling the sweet sense of ecstasy as their hands grip the knob, twist and push it open, acknowledging the ultimate climax of getting to call 10 Downing Street theirs. (All very homo-erotic, but I went for it, don’t judge me) and that’s The Labour Party and apparent ‘never going to happen, but there are a lot of people so utterly despondent with the rest of us that they are all clinging to a party that consists of nothing but racist, homophobic, misogynists with contempt for anything that isn’t a white man with his own business and a tiny penis to match’ alleged underdog, Ukip.

If I chose to vote and didn’t want to choose The Conservative party for obvious hashtag related reasons, then these are my options. Labour with their politics allegedly steeped in history that support the common worker and fight for worker’s rights via unions and other such things in order to promote a healthier, more financially stable Britain through accessible politics. Except that the people supposedly encouraging these politics are no worse than Cameron and his merry band of wankers. Leader, Ed Milliband, perhaps the weakest man ever to grace the political stage, surrounded by upper-class snobs who turn their nose up at the very people who helped define The Labour party through its formative years; the common worker. If Emily Thornberry and her ill-advised photographic tweeting is anything to go by, aligning myself with the Labour Party would result in nothing but something that is very much the same as what is happening to the country right now. Except the person doing all the damage would be wearing a red tie instead of a blue one.

As a woman, aligning myself with Ukip is not even an option. To consider it, to even write about considering it, knowing that I would rather bash my own skull in with an empty wine bottle and hurl myself in the Tyne river during a snow storm than actually consider voting for Ukip, is painful and makes me want to hurl. I hate Ukip. They terrify me and the fact that people I know and care for support some of their racist, misogynistic and downright inhumane policies is shameful and terrifying. To be a woman voting Ukip is essentially putting a bullet to your own head and pulling the trigger (which may actually be possible if you vote for the fuck monkey that is Nigel Farage); you are not respected, you’re barely even considered human and as someone who has had extensive experience with certain Ukip voters, you are only considered a baby machine, who has no real place in an environment that doesn’t involve making sandwiches or cleaning a toilet bowl. Please take a look at this link if you’re a woman who is considering, or has a male human in their lives who intend to, vote for Ukip.

So you see, faithful readers, who’ve gotten through almost 2000 words of blogging… this is why I don’t vote and why I won’t vote. If any of these political parties (because the other parties don’t really have a look in as far as I can see from my research) achieve success in the next election, then I and any woman who identifies themselves as someone worthy of respect, will be fucked in some way or the other (and it seems with Ukip’s policies on sexual harassment in the workplace, this might be literal) and our country will plummet further into the dank and disgusting space reserved for the likes of North Korea or Australia, back when we sent all of our criminals there. Voting for the best of a bad bunch? No, you’re voting for the destruction of the United Kingdom***.

***Unless you’re a homophobic, misogynistic, racist snob…then congratulations fuck nugget, you got yourself a five year long muslim bashing, female smacking rape party! YAY!

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