Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Iron Jawed Maidens

Elections are taking place in the States as I type. It's strange how large they loom over here in Ireland. I'm excited about how many women are running. But scared at the kind of woman so many of them are. End of political broadcast.

And I've been dossing off work watching clips from this film "Iron Jawed Maidens". It tells the story of the first American suffragettes and what they went through to get the vote for women. All women, even Sarah Palin. I read about it over on From Byline to Finishline  - thanks!
Best Movie quote: In women courage is often mistaken for insanity



Emmet Ryan said...

Well I think being picky about the type of women they are is half the problem. I may not agree with Harney's politics, for example, but she's shown more gumption and direction in getting where she wants than any other female politician in the history of the state.

People with that kind of drive and ambition, of both genders, are often the ones that succeed in politics. They are not often the most likeable but likeability and capability often don't go hand in hand.

Anonymous said...

thanks for the trailer post, I'll get around to watching it! I totally see where you're coming from on the political angle, frankly I think it's our electoral system in Ireland which has to change before we start seeing the numbers of women in government that other European countries have.

niamh said...

@ Emmet - why shouldn't we be picky about the type of person in politics? Wouldn't that be the whole point of universal suffrage - I might not agree with O Donnell or Palin but at least they have the right to be out there saying it.

@SMSB - looks like a great film, am trying to find a dvd copy over here! I'd love to see more women getting involved in politics but am unsure how successful a quota system would be here. Recently a slew of female politicians gave up the ghost for gender-related issues so there's something more wrong than just the voting system.

Emmet Ryan said...

I think you missed part of the point I was making. We should be picky about who runs the country but the universal part of universal suffrage does mean we have to include everyone when it comes to at least taking part.

There are lots and lots of bad politicians, of both genders, but we must make do with what the people elect. Getting picky about who chooses to get involved when your core aim is for more people in general to get involved is at the heart of the problem.

The first thing any candidate serious about being elected needs to be is electable, the second thing is a capability of retaining their seat at subsequent elections.

That's a brutal but accurate description of a democratic system. Those kinds of conditions are going to attract people, irrespective of gender, who are not just civic minded but are driven by power.

That may sound awfully bleak but if you take the positive side of it, this is the kind of job most people would hate to do (indeed up until 2007 anyway there was a clear long-term decline in the number of people seeking to run, ask the lads in DCU for a copy of How Ireland Voted for stats on that) but those that want to do it are at least going into a job they are more likely to like.

Marie said...

That film looks awesome and Hillary swank seems like a good actress for the role. Did you know that New Zealand was the first to give the vote to women? Just thought I'd throw that out there;-)

niamh said...

@ Emmet - umm, I'm not really sure what we're discussing here anymore? sorry, just not clear what part of the post you're objecting to? :)

@ Marie - No I didn't actually! That's a great first to have!