Tuesday, 13 December 2016

This blog post is definitely not about Theresa May's brown leather trousers





At this juncture, readers of Barker’s Broken Britain would probably expect me to write something about Theresa May’s brown leather trousers. It has occurred to me that I could almost certainly find something witty and subversive to add to the gigantic tidalwave of online babble around the slippery Amanda Wakeley pantaloons.

With my educational expertise I could probably add some amusing commentary on Nicky Morgan’s sneers (prompted by journalists, I may add...the comments weren’t unsolicited). Or I could lay into the hypocrisy of carrying your own pricey handbag while questioning how well the designer trews would go down “in Loughborough market”.

I could also take a nice dig at May’s joint chief of staff Fiona Hill, who has not come off as a very nice lady at all in this farrago.

But I am categorically not going to be writing about this outrageous silliness. It would be playing into the hands of the male media chiefs who would like nothing more than to see all of womankind tear itself to pieces in a huge catfight, a la Sheffield Townswomen’s Guild’s re-enactment of Pearl Harbour [Monty Python fans click here].

The advertising space they would sell watching us writhe around hitting each other with our designer bags would be immense. Because handbags are what every woman carries, right? It really is all we have to defend ourselves. They are stuffed full of lipsticks and tampons and scary shit like that. And that's all we really care about, obviously.

Much as my journo’s mind finds the whole story magnificently fun and distracting, it also despair-inducing. That the media should reduce Theresa May’s premiership to nothing but a bitchy fight over a pair of trousers is so 1980s. And then for that bitchy fight to be reduced down into some kind of outward evidence of May’s “control freakery” is even worse. Accusing strong female leaders of being controlling is almost as clichéd as saying they “don’t have enough experience” when first appointed.

And it’s not the first time the Prime Minister has inadvertently been at the centre of one of these newspaper-induced catfights. Remember the Andrea Leadsom comment that having children – unlike May – would make her a better prime minister as she had a “very real stake” in the future of the country? How Fleet Street adored that gaffe (again, prompted by journalists in an interview – she didn’t just start slagging off childless women on Twitter after a few drinks).

So, that is why I definitely won’t be writing about this. Absolutely none of it.

You won’t hear a word from me about the ridiculous trousers, or Nicky Morgan’s lack of intellect or loyalty or Fiona Hill’s evil text messages.

Nope. Nothing to read here.



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