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Over on the Guardian comment section a women called Melissa Kite has written an article that made me recoil due to it's misguided ideas and level of internalised sexism. The title of this piece of idiotic work?

Women MPs must man up. We need more battleaxes, fewer shrinking violets

Let's have a look at some of her magnificent arguments shall we:

David Cameron told Angela Eagle, because she was shouting as loud as the men. This sort of sexist intimidation is wrong, of course. But I would argue that, rather than wait for the utopian day when men stop being misogynistic, female MPs should toughen up.


Yes, I see, instead of working towards a Parliamentary system that is equal and representative of us as a country, us women should just put up, shut up and toughen up. It's too difficult to expect men to examine their behaviour and change it, bad luck ladies, get over it.

Among the intake now complaining of sexism, none I can think of is worthy of that most auspicious term: "battleaxe". Battleaxes used to be a feature of parliament, and they did a better job of holding their own than the current shrinking violets.


Battleaxe is one if my most hated terms, it's a way to minimise a woman's strength and the idea of women's strength full stop. A strong woman is an exception, she has to be so tough she is seen as unfeminine, undesirable and an anomaly. This is up there with one of the issues a lot of us deal with at work, a strong woman is called a "bitch", as a woman when you are strong or even just capable, you are derided and when you are quiet you are called weak.

Ultimately, politics requires women with hides like rhinos, women who are sufficiently on fire with conviction to stand up and fight.


Again we are just expected to work within the status quo. There are literally hundreds of male MPs who quietly do their work, don't stand and fight, don't make noise but no one will ever criticise them for the way they go about serving their constituents.

As a young woman working in politics in the UK I have come up against men in their 70s who like to tell me they've been around since before I was even born, that won't take advice from the professional because she is a woman. I've dealt with being called "darling", "young lady" and "little girl". But just because I've done it doesn't mean it should be something we all just get on with, we all develop a thick skin and stop arguing against. Fuck, the idea that all the women serving me in the top level of politics in my country have to be one way, in one mould because that is the way to survive the boorish, sexist environment still in place in the Houses of Parliament makes me very very sad.

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