The phone rang: another periodical’s editor wanting a why-oh-why rant about the dearth of women in the new Cabinet. Four out of 23 gives us a female percentage one-third that of Spain, half that of France and the Netherlands; in the EU only the Portuguese Cabinet has a smaller proportion of women.
Well, a girl likes to oblige and I come of a liberated generation, fists poised to smash the glass ceiling in the conservatory of life. But after a few seconds’ thought I sadly replied: “Sorry. Just realised: I don’t care.” Feminist guilt flared and swiftly receded. There have been women in Cabinet and the great offices of state, there will be others. No law bars the door, there is no quota against us. Tokenism is anathema.
I've just realized that having women in government is less important than enacting policies that not treat them as sheep. In short, the power of symbols is always limited if their goal is to stop the conversation on real issues, by making people feel good about their own 'tolerance' and superiority.