Like many, I’m sure, I have noticed that Piers Morgan will get involved in anything. Like a whiny child desperate for attention, he’ll add his 140 characters to any high profile conversation around. Perhaps it was his associations with the hacking scandal, perhaps it was getting dumped by America – who knows? But right now, Morgan behaves like the kid in the playground that nobody wants to play with, but who keeps forcing his way into other kids’ games.
This time he decided the question of women in politics was the sandpit he was going to kick up a fuss in. After Angela Eagle pulled out the Labour leadership race yesterday evening, many (and mostly) women were expressing disappointment at the difficulty of women reaching the top of politics. Yes, we have a woman PM but she has fewer women in her cabinet than Cameron did. And whilst Labour have more female MPs than the Conservatives, they repeatedly fail to reach the upper echelons of the party.
In fact, funnily enough we’re not good enough to do anything which might mean that some man, somewhere might have a bit of competition
This was the point Cathy Newman, the Channel Four news anchor, made on Twitter last night. And this is when Piers arrives, snotty-nosed and provocative, looking for a fight.
“Perhaps", he tweeted, “they’re just not good enough. Are men even allowed to tweet that theory?”
I can almost hear the chuckle as he tapped the words into Twitter. I can sense the glee that he believed he found the sweet spot of being controversial, openly sexist and mildly relevant.
There’s two theories with bullies/Twitter trolls/pervy men on the bus: either ignore them, or look them in the eye and tell them to where to go. Normally I confine Morgan to the former camp. I try and avoid his presence, not confront it. But this time it's different.
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The very “theory” that women “aren’t good enough” has been a bit of a problem for women since before the dinosaurs. According to this completely unscientific and biased bullshit theory, we’re not good enough to fly planes, not good enough to be mathematicians or footballers or soldiers or judges or best-selling authors or bishops or film directors or scientists or engineers or athletes or composers. According to this theory, we’re not good enough to be paid fairly. We're not good enough to be protected by the state if we're vulnerable. We’re not good enough to lead, to build, to grow. We’re not good enough to demand, to fight, to direct. We’re not good enough to argue, to criticise or to question.
In fact, funnily enough, we’re not good enough to do anything which might mean that some man, somewhere might have a bit of competition; that power might be handed over; that the status quo might be under threat. This theory rests fundamentally on the absolute terror that women are as capable as men and that means that men stop being in charge of everything.
And, indeed, the Labour party is showing a little bit of Morgan’s theory right now; you could be excused for thinking Labour don't have any female MPs who are "good enough" to be party leader, either last summer or this summer. Neither do they have any female MPs who are good enough to be deputy or London mayor. You could be excused for thinking this because the party seem to believe this to be true.
But we, of course, know this isn’t true. And not because of individual members in the party, but because we know in our bones, with reams of empirical evidence, that we are more than good enough. We are not secondary, lesser or falling short in some way. We are absolutely, 100 per cent good enough. We are award-winning, pioneering, triumphing, record-beating, agenda-setting good enough.
So let’s go back to ignoring Piers Morgan, but let’s not allow society to get away with thinking women are simply “not good enough”.