Women cannot have it both ways

Here we go. Now that the fairy dust is wearing off Jacinda, the opposition is getting into its stride attacking the government, and the flailing prime minister in particular – guess what? There are calls of sexism against Simon Bridges about his treatment of Jacinda. quote:

National?Party leader Simon Bridges has talked about sexism in politics as?the nation celebrates 125 years since giving women the vote.

Bridges has this week accused Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of being “distracted”?after she made a mistake about GDP figures in an interview on Tuesday.

He’s also attacked her for being weak in her dealings with coalition partners NZ First and handling of scandals enveloping Clare Curran and Meka Whaitiri. end quote.

You see, here is the thing that gets me. We are ‘celebrating’ women getting the vote 125 years ago. That was the first step towards women gaining equality with men. We are always being told that women can do anything and that Jacinda is as much up to the job of prime minister as any man. (Matter of opinion, but I digress.) But as soon as a woman is treated like a man, in that she is criticised for her shortcomings and held to account, the shrill cries of sexism ring out. quote:

“I totally reject that – let’s just take the words – they have been used in relation to quite a lot of male leaders as well.

“And I think the truth is, from my perspective, I?have to make sure that I?do treat Jacinda Ardern as prime minister and accountable to the people on the issues of the day and so when I use those?words,?I?mean them and I?say then?because I?think?they fit what is happening in her role as prime minister, nothing more nothing less.” end quote.

Dead right, Simon. You are just doing your job, nothing more. Women cannot have it both ways. Even if Jacinda was a competent prime minister leading a well-organised government, she would be subject to scrutiny every single day. It goes with the territory. If she doesn’t like it, which clearly she doesn’t, then she should resign and leave it to someone who is not quite so thin skinned.

I assume that, if the leader of the opposition was a woman, then this type of criticism would not happen. I don’t think that anyone should go easy on Jacinda because she is a woman. Like most New Zealanders, when it comes to our political leaders, I want the best ‘man’ for the job and I have to say, that is not Jacinda, by a long way.

Still, it is not just Jacinda who thinks she is subject to sexism. Hilary Clinton said she couldn’t break the ‘glass ceiling’. She thought she lost the US election because she was a woman. She didn’t. She lost the election for a lot of reasons, but calling a large portion of the voting public ‘deplorables’ must have been one factor. Maybe there is a glass ceiling, or maybe not but behaving like a total moron will not get anyone through it.