Bloody Difficult Woman! Theresa May takes equality a step backwards
I remember feeling optimistic when Theresa May became Prime Minister; the highest office of our country was once again in the hands of a woman. Hooray! The world needs more women in the highest ranking political positions. I truly believe that will help to get more girls educated world-wide and to curtail the horrible aggression all over the globe.
Since then her actions have caused me many concerns, however this is not a piece about politics, nor an intention to make a case for any party as we approach the elections.
It is a rant in support of equality.
Although levied against her by a man, her statement that EU officials will find her to be a 'bloody difficult woman' suggests that we don't have a good enough case to make in the Brexit talks so we intend to be difficult and bloody-minded instead. Importantly, it took all women a step back in our quest to be taken seriously by men as capable equals.
She could have said "he will find me to be a knowledgeable, skilled negotiator, who will present a solid case for the UK", or "he will find that I present a fair and equitable case for the UK, in the Brexit negotiations". This would have by-passed the fact that she is a woman and instead, position herself as Prime Minister; as a Leader, an Equal, a Professional. All that is unquestioned when it is a male Prime Minister.
By saying she will be a 'bloody difficult woman', not once but several times, she demeans herself, her position and the entire female gender. For decades - centuries, even - women who are not "agreeable" in relationships, who don't kowtow, who have strong independent opinions, who are better performers than their colleagues in the workplace, have been belittled and bullied with personal and sexist insults. Insults such as "oh, you are just being difficult" or, "you are just emotional", have been used against us (me included) and been part of the reason for the glass ceiling being so difficult to penetrate. These personal insults are designed to undermine the woman's confidence, put her down, ridicule her credence, and are generally perpetrated by men who are insecure.
It's taking decades for women to prove themselves as equal, capable, intelligent, worthy etc., and Theresa May's comment is irresponsible at best. At worst, she gives license to men to call any woman "bloody difficult" when they take an opposite position in debate.
I feel really disappointed about this because it takes us a step back in the quest for half of the global population, females, to be of equal importance to men. I think she should know better. What do you think?