Thursday 11 December 2014

Not a job for a woman

Twitter is aghast that Labour MP Frank Doran has said it was not sexist to say he was unsure whether the post of fisheries minister was a "job for a woman". I happen to disagree. The right kind of ball-busting woman who was on the side of the industry would rapidly command the respect of fishermen, but in the context of today, where so many ministers are metropolitan appointees, parachuted into safe seats under some all-woman shortlist, resulting in the likes of Stella Creasy, it most definitely would not be a job for one of those women. Or indeed any other ministerial post for that matter.

British trawlermen (the one's I've met) are about as rough as rough gets and don't tend to share London's "enlightened" values. This is not to say they are inherently sexist, but they're perhaps not the most subtle of individuals and will spot a vulnerability a mile off. It's not a job for someone who lacks convincing empathy for what is a male dominated and dangerous profession, and any government in a hurry, wishing to rapidly earn the trust of the industry, would at the very least recognise such in their ministerial selection, above and beyond any wider window-dressing considerations.

This does not necessarily mean it isn't a job for a woman, but from the meagre pickings available in the current parliament, where female genitalia matters more than competence, you could be forgiven for thinking Frank Doran (Aberdeen North) has a point.

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