Monday, 21 April 2008

Women in politics

Centuries-old prejudices were to the fore in the colourful Italian Prime Minister's remarks about his counterpart in Madrid


Spanish Prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero poses with some female members of his new cabinet

By Katy Guest, The Indipendent, Sunday, 20 April 2008

Sometimes, a week is a long time in politics. Other times, 350 years fly by and nothing seems to change. One of the following statements about women in politics was made in the 17th century by an unenlightened London satirist; the other was made last week by one of the leaders of the 21st-century free world. Can you guess which is which?

"[He] has formed a government that is too pink," reads one. "That's something we cannot do... because there is a prevalence of men in politics and it isn't easy to find women who are qualified for government. Now he's asked for it. He'll have problems leading them." The other imagines "the merrie Lawes by them newly Enacted, To live in more Ease, Pompe, Pride, and wantonnesse: but especially that they might have superiority and domineere over their husbands [and] cure any old or new Cuckolds...".

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