I've just read a rather amsuing post on LabourList titled "Yesterday was the day the Tories said goodbye to the women’s vote" by someone called Seema Malhotra (pictured) who it has to be said is quite a hotty, although I am of course in a relationship and I'm probably far to sexist for her given she's the Director of the Fabian Womens' Network.
Anyhow, the reason I found it an amusing post was not just because of the shrill and hysterically way it was written - she is a woman of course so what should one expect? - but also because of the rather quaint thought that anyone really gives a crap about questions to the Leader of the House about the forthcoming Business of the House.
True, people like me, and possibly you because you read my blog, may have an interest it, but apart from that the post is a classic case of thinking that all the women in the country are glued to the news or BBC Parliament to see what Harriet Harman and Alan Duncan say to each.
Admittedly it is a bit like watching Will and Grace sometimes, a marvellous TV show might I add, although the UK equivalent with James Dreyfuss and Kathy Burke is funnier because it is smuttier - on a point or order if Alan Duncan is reading this it would be hilarious if you could be a tad more queeny in the Commons. Would you do it for me sweetie?
Anyhow, I digress, Seema Malhotra's argument, if one can call it that, is that the whole affair in the Commons was nothing more than rampant sexism of the highest order. This is because Alan Duncan took the piss out of Harriet Harman and her comments about her love for stilettos in the Daily Mirror. Malhotra argues that,
Politics should be about principles and about debate. Not a debate about women’s attire that would be more appropriate for the sort of debate Parliament might have expected 200 years ago. If there is such disrespect for women politicians on the side of the Tories, how can women ever expect that they will be defenders of their needs and rights in Parliament.Actually politics should be about principles and debate and bloody real life which means, when Alan Duncan follows his alleged sexism with a self-depracrating joke along the lines of "I may be gay girlfriend but I'm not a tranny!" should be fully understood to be (a) funny and (b) devoid of discriminatory malice.
Crucially what we have going on here is that Duncan is exploiting, quite rightly, the absurdity of what leftie equality campaigners like Malhotra argue. He is deliberately choosing stereotypical subject areas about gay men that if a straight guy said would have resulted in a post titled "Yesterday was the day the Tories said goodbye to the gay vote".
The fact is, it is a general truism that women love shoes and fashion. I know my other half does as do many others of my female friends. Likewise it is a sterotypical trusim that all gay men must ergo love shoes and fashion too. Thus Alan Duncan finds himself in the rather lucky position of being able to do a bit of what the Left would call "postmodern irony" if they were saying what he had said.
However, because he's a Tory, a party that in my experience has an awful lot of gay men in it might I add, he must therefore be being a rampant women hating bastard who is probably in favour of locking the wenches in the kitchen and ensuring that they darn his socks from here to eternity.
It is of course complete bollocks. That does not however stop the crazy people who are intolerant of intolerance and lack any semblance of a sense of humopur getting on their high horse to morally chastise and push the predominant orthodoxy that anyone on the Right who makes a joke is really a secret hate mongerer. How they love to hate what they see as hate.
I sincerely hope that Alan Duncan continues to speak and gently rip the piss out of Harriet Harman in the Commons each week. It is a pleasure to watch, listen to, or read because it is so clear that the two of them actually bloody love it. As for losing the womens vote, highly unlikely, the vast majority have much better common sense antennas. It's only the "women in comfortable shoes" that don't.
Alan? You keep at it boyfriend!
DISCLAIMER: All remarks in this post that could be intepreted as sexist or homophobic are not. Its called sarcasm and humour and exists purely to annoy people like Seema Malhotra because I can.
UPDATE: Image changed after commenters pointed out that the one being used from Luke Akehurt's blog is incorrect.