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Thursday, August 06, 2009

Harriet Harman talking sense (sort of)


Poor old Harriet Harman. "In charge" of the country, she's gone a bit power mad and is using the opportunity to acquaint us all with some of the feminist wisdom she has acquired over the years.

The mostly misogynist tabloids are in a feeding frenzy after she said women need to be in top positions to give a balanced view.

And I'm thinking: quite right too. Why the debate? Why is it such an issue? This is the depressing reality of "women's rights". Men at papers like the Daily Mail can still publish their propaganda every day saying that women are happier when they're at home bringing up a family. But it conveniently ignores the reality that most families can't afford this throwback to the 50's.

Harman also said that the financial meltdown would have been avoided if women had been involved. And she's right there too. This was a point made also by the doughty ladies who are now running Iceland.

Unless you have women on a board, you don't get a balanced view. Women bring different strengths and intuition and realism is often two of them. A male dominated board goes into a testosterone fuelled meltdown with everyone trying to be Alpha Male. Funny how all those banking chiefs were men.

Taking risks in business is fine and laudable but it has to be countered with pragmatism and realism. When you have a combination of men and women together, you get the best thinking and discussion.

So why did I say "sort of?" Well, Harman is not the type of woman we want to aspire to. She comes across as preachy and slightly hysterical. And the way she has thrust feminism into the spotlight is a typical example of her "cow handling a musket" approach.

We're all a bit fed up with these pushy women. You don't have to act like a man now to get on. Mrs Thatcher did, but times have changed. Women like Karren Brady and Jacqueline Gold are better examples of successful women than 80s throwback Harriet.

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