Let’s take three completely related facts. Theresa May and Andrea Leadsom are the final two in the Conservative Leadership election. Consequently the next leader of the Conservative Party and next Prime Minister will be a Woman. This is not due to feminism.
Ever since it became clear that a woman was set to take a seat as the next Prime Minister feminists nationwide who would have never dreamed of identifying with a right wing, capitalist party before are now busy claiming credit. Even Tory members are joining in on the girl power hype. ‘Labour preach feminism, Conservatives practice it’ and ‘Tories 4 Feminists’ are just a couple of the awful slogans I’ve seen these past few days.
I’m not saying that we’d be anywhere without the sacrifices of the suffragettes, those women are and will always be true heroines. But third wave feminism has done precisely nothing to help these two women. Let’s be honest, braless protests and Instagram snaps of your new ‘This is what a feminist looks like’ T-shirt help no one, especially two politicians who are too busy governing the country to scroll through your social media. Like the late and extremely great Maggie Thatcher, both women have got this far on merit, the very same reason men get this far too. It seems like these women have discovered the key to success. It’s not all female quotas, it’s not screaming that their life is unfair, and it’s not claiming they’re being sexualized when expected to dress presentably. No, no, no. It’s hard work and determination. To claim it is because of anything else is demeaning.
On the other side of the spectrum there is, as always, the complaining feminist. After spending years shouting that there needs to be more women in politics and that women are leaders too, they finally have the perfect opportunity to get behind a strong, successful woman. But no. That would be too easy. That would be admitting that they were wrong and that the notion of a world dominated by the women hating patriarchy is nothing more than an illusion. To these people there is always a complaint to be made. This time it’s that apparently that both May and Leadsom don’t deserve to be in the position they are in. That ‘they don’t represent women because they’re not feminists’ is completely irrelevant. They’re not here to represent women, that’s not their job, and the very fact feminists think it should be shows how self-obsessed third wave feminism is. There’s bigger issues than sore feet from high heels and men holding doors open for you. They are elected to govern the country, not to answer to your angry Facebook statuses.
May and Leadsom are not being ‘given’ the key to Number Ten like Labour is giving women the key to that hideous pink mini bus. They also did not shave their head, burn their bra and threaten to sue if they weren’t given a promotion. They worked hard, paid attention and climbed the ladder. Maybe it’s time for feminists to give up their war against nothing and do the same.