21st century feminism

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Election 2010: St. Gillian?

Mrs Gillian Duffy. What do you think? She's everywhere. The fall-out from Gordon Brown's comments about her has dominated the election debate all day, not to mention the Prime Minister's every waking thought, and who knows how it will affect the big day. You can watch the full exchange here. For what it's worth here are my 2 moments of feminist clarity about the row.

Thought number 1... I'm gutted that Gordon Brown made the comments, calling her a bigoted woman was BAD, but if you take a look at the conversation he had with her, she's no saint either. "All these Eastern Europeans what are coming in... Where are they flocking from?" If a shaven-haired pierced young man had made the comments I'm not sure the national outrage would have quite been the same. Just because she's a granny, doesn't mean she can't also be bigoted in her opinions. 

Thought number 2... Seeing two male reporters harangue her afterwards, when she clearly wanted to walk away (it can't be easy to process that Gordon Brown has just called you a bigot), was a taste of things to come. She's at the centre of a media storm and all I seem to hear are men trying to use her to make a political point one way or another. Andrew Sparrow's General Election Live Blog makes a couple of choice remarks:

3.27pm... Men in suits are hanging around outside like expectant fathers. It's either going really well in Duffy's front room, or really badly. I bet it's the former. An apology goes a long way to mending hurt feelings.

4.37pm... I've just heard my colleague Jackie Ashley, on the BBC, suggest this would never have happened if Sarah Brown had been with her husband. And what does Sarah think of it all? Heaven knows. 

Will it cost Brown the election? Who knows.

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