30 Aug 2018

The Liberal Party has a man problem. Its a man only, almost and they're all very ambitious with many bullies amongst them.

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The woman problem in the Liberal party?

Firstly, there is not so much a “woman problem” as a “man problem” on the conservative side of politics in Australia. The Liberal Party room is dominated – and increasingly so over the past generation – by male MPs who anoint leaders in their own image.

Last week they looked at Peter Dutton, Scott Morrison and Bishop and chose the one who is, if you average out the demographics of current Liberal MPs, their identikit picture.

This reinforces the collective power of men in the Liberal party room, maximises their comfort level and is, until exposed to political reality in the form of a general election, an approach easily sold on the inside as “common sense”.

Secondly, the reluctance of Liberal women to name and organise around the liberal feminism they actually practice, psychologically undercuts their power and keeps them in a prone position.

They need to name and unashamedly organise around the set of ideas that can end the present male Liberal monoculture in a way consistent with their political philosophy: that is, liberal feminism. 

Every time Bishop and those like her shy from declaring themselves liberal feminists, they pull the rug from under not only their own feet, but also from under the feet of every other Liberal woman around them. It’s time they staked out their philosophical ground.

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