1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

General News Labour Party leadership - both candidates support AWS

Discussion in 'Current Events, World News, & LGBT News' started by 741852963, Aug 31, 2016.

  1. 741852963

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    Messages:
    1,522
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Jeremy Corbyn has today announced he supports all-women shortlists*, after his competitor Owen Smith declared his support earlier in the month. They are doing this as in their view, unless there is an exactly equal percentage of women in the party to the general public (i.e. 51%) they cannot be democratic or reach equality. :eusa_doh:

    I think this is a real shame personally, as I think AWS are sexist, undemocratic, discriminatory and unfair on both men and women alike:

    -By having a shortlist in place, men who want to represent their constituency (as is their democratic right) are barred from doing so unless they go it alone as an independent. It is akin to employment discrimination. If a company said "sorry, I can't employ you as you are a man, try a different company" we would quite rightly label that discrimination.
    -It assumes women are automatically going to represent women better than any man when time and time again you do have female MPs who vote against women's rights such as abortion or minority rights, and male MPs who are in support it. Take the female Women and Equalities minister who was anti-gay marriage.
    -It reduces the democratic rights of the public, as they have an artificial group to choose from who may or may not be the best candidates to represent them
    -It belittles the hard work of female MPs who do work hard to get elected, and throws questioning on the talents of those elected through AWS
    -It does nothing to address the actual issue at hand: the lack of female candidates in the first place

    And as this is an LGBT forum, I think what I actually find really patronising about both Corbyn and Smith is them talking about AWS as a pressing issue with zero mention to LGBT, black, ethnic minority or disabled representation. Completely and utterly sidelining other minorities who are actually more discriminated against in wider society, and going to have more barriers facing them becoming MPs (i.e. stigmas and discrimination).

    Under AWS's a man who is gay/black/asian/disabled/trans or any combination is shoved aside to allow a female candidate to gain a seat. This is blatantly unfair.


    *AWS = Having constituencies where women are the only candidates to ensure a woman is chosen
     
  2. Robert

    Robert Guest

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2011
    Messages:
    1,398
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    .
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    Does sexism exist? Yes.
    Does sexism exist within the Labour Party? Yes.
    Does sexism within the Labour Party mean that women are less likely to get selected? Yes.

    That is why all-women shortlists exist.
     
    #2 Robert, Aug 31, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2016
  3. Shoshana

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2016
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    wimbledon
    Gender:
    Male
    While I do not support either Corbyn or smith, I support all woman shortlists.

    I am a man, but recognize that it is ludicrous that women- (actually over 51% of the population) - are so poorly represented in Parliament.
    It is indeed odd that the Labour Party in over 100 years has NEVER had a female leader.
    Ironically, the Scots, in what has traditionally been a more chauvinistic country, most party leaders are female.
    Attitudes towards gay & lesbian people have changed enormously. There are several "out" gay people in both the UK & Scottish parliaments, including the leaders of the Scottish Labour & Conservative Parties.

    Labour in England does seem to have a real problem with having women in leadership positions, making the AWS all the more important.
    Interestingly, the Conservative Party has a female leader & PM for the second time. Welcome to the 21st Century.
    In spite of Corbyns' protestations in favour of equality, he is living in the 19th century & the Party can not come back to the 21st till he is replaced.
     
  4. 741852963

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    Messages:
    1,522
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Are you talking statistically or in terms of quality of representation, I don't think they are necessarily one and the same (see my first post).

    Women in Labour are slightly (not massively) under-represented statistically, yes (42.7%).

    Does this mean Labour has been "letting women down" though, or only representing male interests - no I don't think so. If they were why do Labour have such large female support from the electorate?

    I don't think it is odd. Firstly it is like flipping a coin, just because there are two outcomes does not automatically mean you will get 5x heads and 5x tails if you flip it 10 times.

    Secondly, you cannot ignore society as a factor, for most of those 100 years women haven't been given the position to gain leadership. Women didn't even have the right to vote 100 years ago, so how could they gain leadership of a political party? That has all changed, but it will likely take a few years for things to even out fully as most eligible leaders come from an era 40 years ago, when sexism was worse. It'll iron out with time.

    And neither party has had a gay leader. Again, society has prevented this, and I think there are far more active and real obstacles preventing this than with straight women (as proven with us having female leaders). I think it will be decades before we have a gay PM, maybe not even in our lifetime.

    In parliament, but not in leadership.

    What is important here is the vast majority of openly gay MPs come out AFTER being selected (either being outed by the media, or coming out after many years of service).

    Relatively few were elected at first term as openly gay people. The first openly gay male MP to be first elected being Stephen Twigg in 1997, the first openly gay female MP being Margot James in 2010. So it is still a rarity.

    Women on the other hand are usually obviously elected as openly female!

    If that was the case I'd question why, if both Smith and Corbyn see having women in leadership as so vital, neither have decided to step down to give Angela Eagle an opportunity at running? We could have had a gay and female labour leader, surely that is exactly the "democracy" and "equality" they are talking about?

    And artificially putting her forward as leader would really be no different in terms of fairness to All Women Shortlists.

    And all without AWS! Margaret Thatcher didn't need to be shortlisted, neither did Theresa May - they stood just like any other candidate and got to the top.

    Agreed.

    Does homophobia exist? Yes.
    Does homophobia exist within the Labour Party? More than likely
    Does homophobia within the Labour Party mean that women are less likely to get selected? Probably.

    So why no all-gay shortlists? I would argue because fighting sexism is a lot more media friendly than fighting homophobia. And because both candidates care more about empty gestures than actual equality.

    Now I think the answer for tackling the lack of any candidates (women, BME, LGBT, disabled etc) is not to mask over the problem by artificially forcing there to be more of said groups, but instead to work on addressing the reasons why fewer of these candidates stand in the first place: racism, homophobia, childcare problems, accessibility etc etc.
     
    #4 741852963, Aug 31, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2016
  5. iiimee

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2014
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    In my imagination.
    I agree with the OP. This sucks. Sorry, would type more but I'm about to pass out. XD
     
  6. Robert

    Robert Guest

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2011
    Messages:
    1,398
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    .
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    You can do all that and still have all-women short lists for the same reasons.
    All-women short lists exist because eradicating sexism cant simply happen over night. It doesnt solve the problem of sexism by any means but it at least tempers it. And, of course, it isnt the only thing that we should be doing to combat sexism - and nobody says that it should be.
     
    #6 Robert, Aug 31, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2016
  7. Joe54321

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2013
    Messages:
    132
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Maybe they should have an all women shortlist for their leader, might get a bit further...
     
  8. Aussie792

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2013
    Messages:
    3,317
    Likes Received:
    62
    Location:
    Australia
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    I don't think all-women's shortlists are a good idea because of the concerns you raise (the artificiality and exclusion of very viable men in certain constituencies).

    However, there are some pretty easy cultural changes the UK Labour Party (and the Australian Labor Party, too) can increase women's representation and just generally have a more positive environment. Instead of parachuting male factional and union heavyweights into electorates, a more open and accessible process is pretty easy to foster by having preselections function a little bit more like primaries. Men tend to fare better in those sorts of opaque networking and patronage styles of preselection, but even when women do benefit, it's still not a great style for selecting candidates. And when candidates are parachuted into electorates, making sure skilled women are selected for winnable marginal seats and safe seats is a good way to actually get women elected without relying on all-women shortlists.

    In short, avoid patronage and when you do use it, keep in mind that skilled women should be able to win seats. Parachuting mediocre union men into safe seats hurts the party and doesn't foster gender equality.

    But 42% is a solid amount - a healthy gender balance can look like 45%-55%, which puts Labour quite close to a reasonably equal representation of women.