Liz Truss walked into nº10 as the third woman to be elected as MP in the UK. And whilst some are quick to point out the trailblazing nature of a government inclined to diverse representation, we aren’t so sure we should be clapping for a candidate that was on the race to pick the ‘lesser of two evils’.
First wave feminists have long touted representation as the cure for gender inequality.
But Thatcher, Teresa May, Priti Patel and now Liz Truss have long shown the public that gender representation doesn’t inherently mean the advancement of Women’s Rights. Well, having a look at the current government…no one’s Rights really.
The Tories have gone through four MPs in 12 years of power. The more party leaders you go through, the more likely it is that some of them are women. However, it seems that electing a “diverse cabinet” has long been an effective way to market unpopular, hard right ideologies and questionable policies in a way that looks modern and progressive.
Indeed, Truss has declared herself “Destiny’s Child Feminist”, but has consistently pushed for cutting welfare benefits and reducing taxes on the rich. Additionally, despite the economic crisis in Britain, she has aligned herself with what is arguably the most right-wing government in living memory, embracing a political agenda that will attack the rights of working people (especially minorities), push for racist policies (like deporting many political asylum seekers to Rwanda) and infringe on civic liberties (like the right to protest).
The reality is that Truss has played an active role in creating the economic climate women are now suffering in. So no, we definitely don’t consider her victory a win for feminism.