What can you say .It’s a quiet sort of day and the item that has risen to the frothy surface on local radio is whether or not Jim Wells, the DUP politician, has put his foot back into his mouth again , or …possibly not. He was some past form in this respect so it is no surprise that people are interested in this latest apparent gaffe.Apparently Mr Wells has once again stirred up another hornet’s nest or possibly a little … zephyr in a teacup ,by whispering off -microphone that women between the ages of eight and eighty, scared the wits out of him.Is this a sexist thing to say or is the response to it political-correctness gone mad?
Now as , Mr Wells ,is a politician ,I’m inclined to believe that in this respect he’s a bit sloppy in his thinking , given that politics is really a verbal duel where one’s opponents attempt to find your every weakness and draw political blood at every opportunity.If it’s a joust ,In that respect he was somewhat lax with his offhand comments. He’d dropped his guard .He implied that someone like Arlene Foster , the First Minister and the leader of his party, scares the wits out of him. This was delivered in whispers to a colleague during a filmed meeting and was obviously a humourous aside.A flip jest slipped to a colleague. Then again , I suppose in a certain light our First Minister might appear to have an intimidating aspect not unlike Hattie Jaques ‘ Matron in a “Carry On Nurse ” film, or Miss Agatha Trunchbull in Roald Dahl’s book “Matilda”. That might be the very stuff of nightmares to a certain kind of man. Then again,even Margaret Thatcher had her erotic admirers….so you can never tell in the weird and wonderful world of sexual attraction or deflection.
My feeling is that if politics is your chosen career , then you have to assume the necessary skillset to enable the job to be properly done.In other words, if you have not got those requirements, you really shouldn’t pretend to be capable .Modern politics are conducted with an invasive degree of electronic scrutiny that can probe and search out any perceived weakness.You really can never lower your guard in any circumstances, if for no other reason than it can expose your puerile sense of humour to public ridicule.In an ever-changing world of political-correctness, men and women should be aware of what is expected to upset the political applecart. To believe otherwise, as a working politician, will eventually bring you to public ridicule.
The flip side of this is the claim that any publicity is good publicity. It seems to have done little damage to someone like Donald Trump in the wider world, who dispite portaying himself as as a cartoon buffoon on every occasion, has still managed to garner substantial followers.
In the more parochial setting of Norneverland politics ,some will ask how someone with an attitude like this towards women could actually be fit for modern life , never mind modern politics.They will ask, is this some manifestation of an ultra -conservative patriarchal attitude that believes that women should really be more submissive, and decorative and should stay out of what is really a “man’s game”…A woman’s place should remain in the home and not in the male-dominated men’s club of politics…or was he simply joking about the difference in the sexes, as men and women always do.Or do they?
Wells’ biggest problem is that he has already set out a stall in his regard to what he believes women’s rights should be .He wishes to resist any real change in their allotted place in society in some respects.One example is that he believes that abortion should remain illegal except in medical emergencies , without any exceptions.In his view even victims of rape are not exempt. Many people will share his views across the board and across the sexes ,but women are the ones who will bear the brunt of these views and civic laws and many of them believe it should be their choice alone and not his or any other male’s perogative. That can open an entire debate but it is reasonable to believe that many women will not support his view and that if many men were able to become pregnant their view might be very differnt too.
In January 2015 he said he still supported a ban on gay men donating blood despite prohibition being lifted elsewhere in the UK. It is unclear whether or not he thought that gay women should also be banned from this practice, but given that his department at the time wasted around £40,000.00 fighting a legal appeal about this , it is generally accepted that there is a problem within the DUP generally about gay people whether male or female.Is female gay blood tainted too?
Mr Wells’ loose tongue has landed him in this mire on several different occasions, usually to do with his suspicion of homosexuals whom he appears to view as “enemies” of an established order. Now he has also tripped over his tongue in respect of women.He has exposed a simple weakness.
Was it that gay icon Oscar Wilde who said..?
“To err once is human to err twice is careless” ? Maybe some Wilde scholar out there will correct me.
How many errors has it been now?