Why are female politicians shamed by their male counterparts? Politics has been a male dominant space for centuries. We witness the lack of women participation in the decision making process in the time of ancient rulers as well. Women were confined to the decisions of the household only.
Even the ones that got a chance to give their opinion in political decisions of their state were highly criticised by the officials for every word they spoke and even the best of the suggestions went through heavy checking and cross checking before becoming a decision. And after all the suspicion and doubts, they never got the credit they deserved by the society. No matter how long the time has passed, there are still such stereotypes prevailing in politics regarding women. So, what might be the reason for this distrust and the shame that the female politicians have to face?
When will the mentality change?
One of the major reasons that I observe is the basic mentality that the male politicians harbour. We cannot deny the fact that many politicians come from rural backgrounds where women have been practicing their predefined roles of being the homemaker and respecting patriarchy as dished out to them.
These politicians have seen their mothers and wives living in an atmosphere that is subservient. Deciding a girl’s character by her clothes, restricting girls from doing certain things and believing in the supremacy of masculinity is what they have witnessed and practiced. And this habit does not go away even when they reach the wide arena of politics. When they see women behaving differently and contradictory to their norms, they find it outrageous.
Holding A Grudge?
Politicians hold a grudge against females for not behaving the way a female ‘should as per the society’. As a result they shame them, call them names, pass sexist comments and jokes to defile them. Defiling a leader’s image is really common in politics. But the difference is, when a male politician tries to defile another male politician, he tries to find flaws in his public work and political decisions, whereas when a male politician tries to defile a female politician, he passes personal comments on colour, dress, appearance, family, personal relations etc.
How long will they stay silent?
A big reason behind the shaming of women politicians is the silence of educated leaders of the party. In order to display and maintain the unity of the party, the leaders do not oppose the insult of female politicians. If a male of party A insults a female of party B, the seniors of party A should make their party member understand that they need to respect the female politician and not pass personal comments. But that does not happen, they fear that opposing the member of their party means backlash from the supporters of that member. The silence of the elites is what fuels such degrading mentalities in the male politicians.
Views expressed are author’s own