Who ya gonna call? Girl power transcends Hollywood into politics

The past week has certainly been a week for women. Firstly, from Hollywood came a formidable foursome of females fighting the supernatural in a remake of the 1984 movie Ghostbusters. It felt like feminism on steroids as iconic roles traditionally carried out by men had been handed to women.

The new Ghostbusters aren't the only females to be taking centre stage Image courtsey of Ghostbusters.com
The new Ghostbusters aren’t the only females to be taking centre stage
Image courtsey of Ghostbusters.com

And who says Hollywood doesn’t happen in the real world? Perhaps this re-version of fiction represents a wider trend in reality. Because just like the film, Theresa May came onto the scene as the UK’s second female Prime Minister on a mission to banish the ghosts of the Cameron era which climaxed with Brexit.

The effects of that decision will keep her busy throughout her premiership, though she started in brutal fashion by performing on exorcism against the Notting Hill poltergeist which had previously haunted the cabinet. The reshuffle indeed sprung a few surprises as Boris Johnson came back from the dead, Michael Gove and George Osborne were banished, and Jeremy Hunt’s soul managed to live on at the department of health.

Despite the extraordinary goings on of the recent weeks, the most unfamiliar sighting may not have been of the monsters in Ghostbusters but instead the number of women in frontline politics. While the attempt of Labour’s Angela Eagle wasn’t quite a stellar example of girl power in politics – her bid to become Labour leader fell flatter than her reaction to Boris’ appointment to foreign secretary – the world political stage can now no longer be considered a gladiator’s arena of masculinity.

Domestically, the Conservatives managed to nominate two women for their leadership election which left a series of men in their wake and resulted in a female Prime Minister again. In Wales there is a female leader of the official opposition in the Welsh Assembly. In Scotland the performance of women is even more impressive. The positions of First Minister, leader of the opposition and leader of Scottish Labour are all occupied by women.

The international stage isn’t much different with the long-serving German Chancellor Angela Merkel once again impressing in the face of adversity. Her reaction to terrorist attacks in France and her native Germany, along with the huge challenges posed by Brexit, go to show that there are few more capable of leading the biggest country in European politics than her. She, however, faces electoral challenges in the new year as does Hillary Clinton.

Polls currently have the former First Lady with a slender lead over Republican presidential rival Donald Trump in the US elections. If she maintains that lead, she’ll take that title of most powerful women in the world away from Mrs Merkel.

It’s important to remember all of this was achieved not through the patronising process of all-female shortlists or by militant feminism, but through politicians and society recognising capable women and rewarding them with high power through the same processes presented to men. So let’s keep fighting gender prejudice, but the evidence clearly shows we should make female shortlists a thing of the past.


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