Because all politicians are righteously drowned in vitriol

Why is drowning in vitriol the price women pay for being in politics?
Suzanne Moore

Another in our ever popular series “Questions in The Guardian We Can Answer”

Politicians, by definition, set themselves up as the people who both know, and desire the power, to tell us how to live our lives. Why wouldn’t we despise them?

Seriously, why wouldn’t we have a certain expressed distaste for those who take 40% of everything we do in exchange for diversity advisers?

12 comments on “Because all politicians are righteously drowned in vitriol

  1. Anne Marie Morris is certainly drowning in vitriol, but Suzanne Moore doubtless approves of that.

  2. What Theo says. Barely minutes after that article was published, Anne Morris used an antiquated expression and the usual suspects were calling for her head. Because she’s not on their side.

  3. Tim, the ultimate put down to any politician:

    Why wouldn’t we have a certain expressed distaste for those who take 40% of everything we do in exchange for diversity advisers?

    Well said !

  4. Anne Morris used an antiquated expression and the usual suspects were calling for her head

    It isn’t even that antiquated. The report in The Times implied it had disappeared in the 1920s, but anyone over 60 probably heard it often, with no-one raising a quizzical eyebrow. But then that was in the days of the Black & White Minstrels, when naming a black Labrador ‘Nigger’ wouldn’t have resulted in prosecution.

    So if I were extemporising and searching for a phrase to describe some unusual or unexpected problem, I might well come up with “nigger in the woodpile”. It would not occur to most normal people to think of it as derogatory to black people, simply because of its (somewhat obscure) derivation, any more than describing something as a ‘tragedy’ might be considered derogatory to goats.

    IIRC there was a teaching union official who described dwindling attendances at a conference as being like “Ten Little Niggers” and had to resign as a result. I wonder how these people teach the works of Joseph Conrad, or Huckleberry Finn.

  5. Do you have the “Well Behaved Women Rarely Make History” bumper-sticker over in the UK?
    I always think “People rarely make history; that’s why those events make history” when I see it.

  6. In the U.S., HUCKLEBERRY FINN has already been removed from many libraries.

    So I understand. A bit of an own goal, since one of the main characters is black and portrayed very positively.

  7. Taking two random women politicians, Theresa May and Marine Le Pen, I think the Guardian is responsible for quite a bit of the vitriol.

    @Chris Miller: that is rather typical. The Noddy books had Golliwog, a character that was too African. The solution was to eliminate that character. So the answer to stereotypical thinking about minorities is to run them out of town. Or the library in this case.

  8. “I wonder how these people teach the works of Joseph Conrad, or Huckleberry Finn.”

    With lots of trigger warnings and the provision of safe spaces.

    I can understand why it isn’t used now but there’s lots of things we don’t do or say that have been commonplace throughout history.

    If young people are to learn anything they need to understand context and stop being so fucking soft.

  9. I can’t say I’d ever given it much thought, but I didn’t realise that “nigger” in “nigger in the woodpile” referred to black people.

    I thought it was some sort of weevil, given the context. I wouldn’t even have been sure that the spelling was the same. I may need re-education.

    Anne Morris is a few years older than me, and I imagine it just pinged into her head.

  10. Chris Miller

    “It would not occur to most normal people to think of it as derogatory to black people”

    +1

    Context is everything.

    And btw, isn’t that precisely the “ah, but that’s OK” excuse given by SJWs when people of much melanin use such terribly abusive language to casually address each other.

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