Firstly let me be clear – I don’t want either Theresa May or Andrea Leadsom to be the next Prime Minister of the UK. However, that decision is in the hands of the 150,000 Conservative Party members across the country.
But it will be one of them, and as always seems to come up when discussing women in power – motherhood has become a talking point. One candidate is a parent, one is not – and the mother has clumsily indicated that being a parent gives her a greater stake in the future of the country, and therefore makes her a better candidate for Prime Minister.
Leadsom (the mother) is furiously backtracking from her comments, and there is speculation whether this is conspiracy (to appeal to traditional Conservatives) or cock-up (she fluffed her interview where she said these things).
I do not think being a parent makes someone more qualified for a role than someone who isn’t. But I do wonder if Leadsom was trying to indicate something a bit more nuanced.
I am absolutely not the person I was before I became a parent. It has changed my perspective on the future, and how I see the world around me.
Being a dad – especially of a daughter – introduced a new way of looking at the world that has informed my vision of it ever since. It has made me far more than the person I was before.I would not be writing this blog if I hadn’t been a parent.
However, that is not to say that someone who ISN’T a parent could write more passionately, intelligently, and perceptively than me about the themes and ideas I write about on this blog. In fact, I know that’s the case.
So being a father – or a mother – will likely inform anyone’s perspective on life from then on. But being one – or not – does not make anyone more or less qualified to be – for instance – our Prime Minister.
But I do strongly believe is that our next Prime Minister will lead a party that will do very little to help the women in our country – whether they are mothers or not.