Women MPs should ‘toughen up’.

Melissa Kite, in yesterday’s Guardian describes women who leave UK politics as a result of bullying by their male colleagues as ‘shrinking violets’.

There is some victim blaming in the article:

The problem is not that male politicians can be childish and offensive, but that today’s female politicians don’t seem to know how to handle them.

And a suggestion that women who can’t handle bullying in parliament are lacking not just in insensitivity, but in political conviction:

Ultimately, politics requires women with hides like rhinos, women who are sufficiently on fire with conviction to stand up and fight.

The reference to Mo Mowlam’s staying tough when she was called fat during her cancer treatment is particularly distasteful, suggesting, as it does, that if Mo had backed down then, she wouldn’t have been tough enough and worthy of being an MP.

2 thoughts on “Women MPs should ‘toughen up’.

  1. It’s another ‘catch-22’……..damned if you do, same if you don’t get super-tough….either way, woman reaching out into traditionally male enclaves risk extensive, often ruthless verbal (if not more…) abuse……….

    But, since wishing tougher women would show up in politics doesn’t suffice to make that happen, maybe a substitute for that can be that these ‘softer’ new women in politics experience some serious ACTIVE MORAL SUPPORT by those concerned, like the author…….maybe THAT can help on the ground, bottom line……

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