Saturday, October 04, 2008

Thanks for the memories

So, we are finally saying goodbye to Ruth Kelly. I cannot say that I am disappointed about this (dancing gleefully on the remains of her political career is more accurate) given that she has had an atrocious record in terms of advancing gender equality and was a shoddy minister for women.

I was a little surprised by the articles springing up around the time of the announcement, darkly proclaiming that her resignation *conclusively proves* that women cannot have a career and a family at the same time. It seems a bit bizarre to draw this conclusion given that:

(1) she's certainly been doing it (and being promoted whilst doing it) for the last ten years or so. I'm sure it is hard to balance having-a-lot-of-children and a high profile career, but she seems to have been managing admirably so far.

(2) Reading between the lines, it looks likely that she jumped before she was pushed - e.g. she and Brown don't get on, she'd have been bumped from the cabinet in the reshuffle anyway so thought about it and decided to pack it in first.

Thinking about the phrase "to spend more time with her family" is a little weird - when men spout it, it is usually a sign that they've fucked something up and/or about to get fired. When women say it, it's seen as a worthy and admirable thing to do. Odd that the same phrase can be interpreted so differently depending on the gender of the individual using it.

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