Why Female Politicians Aren’t Always Pro-Women

10 Apr

Why Female Politicians Aren’t Always Pro-Women

Ann Friedman (whom Kris suspects is right about everything) for The Cut, on Margaret Thatcher and “the price of progress” with respect to women in politics.

Personally,  I’m uncomfortable with the idea that a woman is biologically predisposed to govern in a way that’s discernibly different from a man of the same political persuasion. The argument — advanced by many well-meaning advocates of gender parity in politics — that women are more measured, more rational, and more compassionate suggests that there is an inherent difference between the genders. And that women are the fairer, gentler sex, a notion that has been the justification for decades, nay, centuries, of discriminatory policies and customs. There is as much variation among women as their is between women and men, and “different” doesn’t always mean “better.” Still, I understand the appeal of the women-govern-better argument. After decades of only the smallest incremental progress for women in politics, arguing we need parity for parity’s sake — because equality is the right thing to do — seems almost quaint.

So advocates of gender parity in politics must walk a bit of a tightrope, and nothing challenges their balance quite like prominent conservative women.


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