Eagle is out of the running for the leadership; after much hand wringing in the wake of the May Leadsom showdown for Tory leadership and the guaranteed second female Tory PM, where the fact that Labour has never had a female leader was used as yet another thing with which to attack Corbyn’s leadership. Charges of sexism were added to the charge sheet for Corbyn’s leadership by the “plotters”; Jess Philips called it shameful. The “plotters” have now voted down and out the lone female contender, for shame.
Amid the nonsense of the increasingly farcical Labour “coup”, a very valid consideration slipped by, that of female leadership. Not the trite and opportunistic clamourings that surrounded Eagle’s leadership bid or whatever May’s leadership of the Tories represents but female leadership opportunities that are borne out of a true state of women’s equity (or equality). Our society, our culture, our socioeconomic circumstances, our politics are built on unfair structures which disadvantage many and advantage few. Women are among those disproportionately disadvantaged and it is my belief that if we want a fair, a just, an equitable society then it has to be truly inclusive. True inclusivity requires revolutionary reform of our current structures and the ‘Women’s Equality’ movement would seem like one area that can provide that revolution.
Eagle’s leadership bid was probably not the forum for having the debate on women’s equality or, I should say, of continuing the long running debate. A context of opportunism is never going to be helpful but there may yet be opportunities within the upcoming leadership discussions to begin engaging a broader audience on just how important inclusivity is in our society and what role reform for women’s equality can play.
(Originally written 20/07/2016)