On Reshuffles and Flashing Thighs
While today’s front pages are – entirely justifiably – the source of great anger and symptomatic of wider sexism, there is a danger of missing the full picture.
The more we zoom into a thigh the less we see of the wider context. The more energy is expended on Esther McVey’s skirt – whether through lust or outrage – the less energy is expended on Gove being sacked after wrecking the education of an entire generation of children. The closer we examine their bags, the less likely we are to notice the total absence of any working class, black, LGBT and disabled representatives in the cabinet.
It is true that yesterday’s reshuffle was treated predominantly as a superficial photo opportunity by a right-wing sexist media corps. Let that not soften our focus on the fact that yesterday’s reshuffle was organised predominantly as a superficial photo opportunity by a right-wing sexist party.
With a few months to go and this government’s legislative programme already closed, shoving a few women to the front was always a cynically cosmetic exercise. Its treatment by the media was not unforeseen consequence, but intended result.