So my fiance and I were in bed, watching Question Time (or rather, he was watching Question Time whilst I lay there, eyes closed and not-quite-sleeping), and they were talking about the recently-departed Margaret Thatcher, which in turn led to a discussion of Women in Power. So far, so predictable. Zzzzz.
Enter Kenneth Clarke, Conservative MP, banging on about having to deal with feisty broads sitting across from him, being ‘harridans’ and asserting themselves and sometimes even going so far as losing their temper and shouting at him (which, by the way, he thinks is hilarious, and admits to provoking them to get such a reaction for his own personal enjoyment). And then he said this:
‘And I hope the next generation of politicians will actually have ordinary women of ordinary temperament…’
At which point I sat up and said, ‘Oh, fuck off! Fuck off!’ before laying back down, muttering ‘ordinary women of ordinary temperament *grumble grumble*’ and most likely scowling.
I spent the next day composing righteous rants in my head, as I often do, pointing out the obvious double standards of Assertive Man = Leader/Assertive Woman = Bitch, etc; wondering how Kenneth Clarke might amuse himself in a world of quiet and docile women politicians, refusing to rise to his provocations (and how might these female doormats even make it to Parliament in the first place?); reiterating that it is, in fact, the 21st century now and bullshit like this isn’t cool anymore; despairing at the fact that no one on the Question Time panel or in the audience called Clarke out and demanded he explain just what he meant by ‘ordinary temperament’, even though we all know what he meant, and sentiments like his are still so commonplace as to be unremarkable.
And finally, I decided to stop mumbling essays to myself on my way to work, which probably makes me look like a crazy person, and try writing it all down instead.
So thank you, Mr Clarke, for providing me with a name for this blog.
And also, fuck off.