Gender issues in Bootle and beyond – A guest posting from Jen Robertson

Recently Iain Brodie Brown commented on his Birkdale FOCUS (see link below) web site

birkdalefocus.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/why-have-bootle-labour-got-such-big.html

about the astonishing lack of women being MP or Mayor of Bootle. Jen Robertson a young councillor in Maghull has her say about this:-

I share Iain’s outrage but not necessarily his solution. I don’t want to live in a world where the only way a woman can win is if men step aside. Seems more to me like what’s needed is a new outlook within politics and within society.

I can’t help but notice the one woman that has been Mayor of Bootle is referenced in the list as ‘Mrs’, none of the men were referred to as ‘Mr’, somehow they appear either to have deemed her gender or marital status to be relevant. I think it’s important however to take a step back and realise women are hardly the only discriminated against group. How many of those Mayors were non-Caucasian, or disabled, or gay or transgender? I could go on, but it would be a long list. The problem likely isn’t as simple as them all being men, it’s that they’re all probably the same kind of man. Perhaps, aside from the issues of gender, they were a more diverse group than I have realised but it seems sadly unlikely.

Education I really think is the only way to change any of this and it’s so much harder once people grow up. Our schools need to prioritise teaching the ideals of equality and diversity, and their importance in any society, in a positive and proactive way.

There is no point criticising the past for not conforming to modern standards, it is as they say ‘a foreign country, they do things differently there’, but when we can’t conform to our own standards then we become so much worse than the merely ignorant that have gone before us. Politics on every level needs a more diverse involvement, and, when it gets it, it will benefit politics just as much as it will society.